Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Do born Jews dislike socializing with converts that look like “Shiksas”? part deux

Do born Jews dislike socializing with converts that look like “Shiksas”? Part deux
So where does that leave us girls that look like Michal and I? Or women of color that can't pass for born Jewesses in terms of dating and community involvement? I feel that while I'm generally treated politely, I am treated with suspicion and considered far less desireable in terms community, mostly in hospitiality and shidduchim. I have a goyisha panim as I've been told nicely or I look like a shiksa as I've been called less politely. Michal and I are both blonde and blue eyed, not thin, but not obese either. I am of average height, don't know about Michal. I do have a somewhat Jewish last name (i.e. there are a few other families in my neighborhood that have same surname as well) and there is strong evidence of Jewish heritage going back a few generations on both sides. Although I may not look like it, there is a good chance I may indeed be a born Jewess, even my beit din, agreed even it was possible though it was inconclusive (but no bracha was made after I dunked since there was doubt). I have a gentle, sweet personality and traditional Southern manner, so it is not that I am offensive in my actions. I dress modestly within Orthodox guidelines, though I will wear colors other than black. I volunteer in the community and give generously to my ability to do so. My brother when he grows a beard looks very chassidishe and at a Jewish firm he use to worked at, he was sometimes mistaken for Jewish and asked to join minyanim, invited to meals. I keep thinking how lucky he was!
Michal again: The funny thing is that for me, people who don’t know my last name often don’t realize I’m a gyoress, though, of course some do. This is why More girls in my Jewish class would realize I probably converted than the girls in the Hillel. They hear my starkly Irish last name being called at roll and then they look and notice I look Irish. Actually, my German grandmother had a big nose and looked kinda Jewish. I also suspect that members back in my ancestry converted out of Judaism. FYI, my convert friend that I said you look like in some of your pictures had patrilineal descent.


  1. I'm sorry, but I'm outraged! What you (in the purple text) say exists, and I personally am ashamed it does! I should illuminate why I find this outrageous, but I should preface that I'm not only an FFB, but I'm of rabbinical stock as well.
    But it has been my good fortune, boruch haShem, to be in a family which increased in number a few years ago when my mother adopted two converted families (from Puerto Rico) and taught us, her own children, the deep concept of v'ohavtem es ha'ger. Though I have an obvious language barrier problem with one of the families, the feeling is there: we are one family! We hang out; share our simchas, and my mother proudly displays their photos alongside those of her children in the living room. They’re affectionately referred to as “our Puerto Rican family.”
    Thus, when I read such lines, and I know them to be true*, it boils my blood that something so beautiful, i.e. the act of voluntarily deciding to embrace the Torah, is not respected.
    Frankly, this is how I see it: I don't care where you're from. I don't care what your surname--or forename--is. YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL JEW! And the ignorant will remain ignorant. There is little one can do to knock into the brains of so many that a convert is not only a noble, but since all of Klal Yisroel is a nation of converts, your own first-generation decision to convert, makes that commitment so much more valuable to haShem.
    I hope the journey for you, both, becomes easier.

    *My first encounter with a ger is seared into my mind, and I wince every time I recall it. I was a kid and my father was called into a local shul to complete the minyan for Minchah. As the gabbai, or whoever it was, began karbanos, he turned to my father, pointing at a gentleman, and asked, "That guy there is a ger; can we count him for minyan?"
    Could you imagine the horror?! I know you can.
    I was a kid then, and I knew the posuk of v'ohavtem es ha'ger, and I was screaming on the inside, "how could you dare ask such a question?! He is far more qualified to be mashlim minyan than you: because he committed to haShem and you're just a bum!"

  2. WOW! David, I am really impressed with this. It's usually the FFBs who hate us. Personally, I think they want to ensure some sort of status for themselves.

    Would you be interested in expanding that a little and submitting it as a guest post? You can Email it to michaltastik at yahoo or the Gmail which is attached to the blog.