web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communites

By:

Chronicles-logo

Dear Rachel,

I, too, am a female member of the Satmar community in Williamsburg, but I am not writing to bash Deborah Feldman for using Yiddishkeit to dump her miseries on; I leave that to others who seem to be doing an admirable job of speaking out.

Rather, I feel compelled to share my personal opinion, based on my own experience in a dysfunctional upbringing similar to Feldman’s, in the same Satmar community. My childhood was spent with a mentally ill mother, as my father watched helplessly from the sidelines.

In the interest of preserving the dignity of my close kin, I will skip over the details and trust readers will understand my reluctance to provide them with entertainment at the expense of good people. Suffice it to say that eventually, like Deborah, I ended up living with my grandparents who gave their life to me and saved my sanity.

Like Deborah, I got married at a relatively young age. My marriage didn’t last, but in all honesty our “differences” had no bearing whatsoever on my background, religion or age.

The main point I’m driving at is that I actually thrived in the aftermath of my divorce — in no small part due to the warmth and kindness shown me by my community in every way. I was, moreover, never made to feel like a pity or charity case.

To set the record straight, divorced men or women here are in no way, shape or form made to feel like second-class citizens. On the contrary, the outpouring of compassion and love that surrounded me in my time of need makes mine a story with a happy ending. Today I am married to a wonderful man with whom I am baruch Hashem raising a beautiful family — right here in Williamsburg where we continue to live a blissful and fulfilling life, where I count my blessings daily.

While I am not writing this to sing my praises, I do give myself credit for keeping true to my faith and staying strong in the face of hardship. Blaming my religion, school or community for my life’s misfortunes was never an option and is a cop-out of an excuse for any mature human being.

I could have chosen to leave my faith and gone on to write a best seller, but thankfully I never even entertained the thought. Just goes to prove that, as we are taught, Hashem leads one in the direction the person wants to go.

Proud to be of Satmar Heritage

Dear Proud,

You start off by saying that you and Deborah share a similar upbringing in the same community. I offer that you share a similar personality trait as well: that of a steely determination — which can be used to one’s advantage or to one’s detriment. Personally, I am humbled by people of your stature and applaud you for your strength, maturity and courage.

Plenty of commentary and opinion has surfaced online regarding the current fiasco, but I find one in particular to be most noteworthy, both for intelligent and coherent content. I take the liberty of quoting the concluding paragraphs of an op-ed article by Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt, written as an open letter to Deborah Feldman, that appeared last week in The Jewish Press:

Deborah, you are a woman who has crossed a river. You are free, entirely able to live your dreams. What are your dreams? In which moral community will you find a home?

Will it be a community in which people care for each other? Will it be a community in which people make sure that no one falls through the cracks? Will it be a community in which even the weakest are provided for? Will it be a community infused by a desire for closeness to God? Will it be a community in which gala weddings are made for the needy, even those who can’t pay for them themselves?

And when you find the community of your choice and raise your son to maturity, I pray you will be bold enough to look back and recognize and appreciate all that a community did for you when you were young and had nothing.

Indeed, Satmar has a lot to teach you.

Dear Rachel,

As an American of Italian origin, I imagine I am not one of your typical readers. Though you wouldn’t guess it from my outward appearance, I strongly identify with your people and have enjoyed a close camaraderie with those of the Jewish faith for many years now.

Some years back I had the privilege of working closely with a number of Hassidim who always impressed me with their exceptional warmth and generosity. I even visited their homes on occasion and met with their beautiful families. Thus I was most dismayed by the twisted view presented to the world by a young woman who has an ax to grind.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

One Response to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communites”

  1. How Sad says:

    Thanks Sal for taking the time to defend a religion and a culture that’s been spuriously maligned. It’s truly said that Deborah missed out on the genuine experience. There’s tremendous beauty in Jewish family life. We’re fortunate to have a strong family structure, with our religion giving us a structured yet flexible framework. In the typical Jewish home, the kids look up to their parents, depend on them for guidance, and their home is a place in which they feel safe, loved, and secure. A home in which the parents, despite being busy (popping out ‘lots of babies’ – I’m paraphrasing DF here) are happy to be raising their kids and are happy to do all the hard work required to reap the heaps of nachas that’s their reward at the end of the day. Wissotzky Tea just put out a video that just about captures the beauty and joy of Jewish life – check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KxEeL-HcIY.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Children run into a shelter during a Code Red siren warning of incoming rockets fired from Gaza in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.
IDF Retaliates for Ashkelon’s Morning Rocket Fire
Latest Sections Stories
Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Schonfeld-logo1

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Schild-Edwin

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.”

Certainly today’s communication via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and the like, including the ubiquitous Whatsapp, has reduced the need to talk with people and communicate at length.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communites-8/2012/03/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: