It’s not so simple. Part II

Now I’m here. 6 weeks in. I’ve come to understand the shorts and t- shirt situation. On school swim trips the fashion here is for girls to wear shorts and t- or tank over bathing suits. They swim in that. But that’s girls only. It seems to filter into mixed swimming too. 

So I said to my friends – if we go mixed swimming the rule is my 13 yr old has to wear the frum-kini as I like to call it. The dreaded swim dress. My daughter’s stomach churns at the thought. Ok – so then we won’t go mixed swimming. And the truth is – you can get around that here. There are seperate swimming pools and separate beaches. Earl has decisively said that he doesn’t want to go mixed swimming. ( I can’t figure out if it’s for halachic reasons or because he’s happy to be left alone?). But still the girls will wear shorts. Ok so I now need to buy shorts.  So now if we do go swimming to a mixed pool do I let Mic wear long baggy shorts and a long sleeve t- shirt? 

The other thing is I came to Israel to be more Israeli. To eliminate the gashmius mentality and live a very real life  here.  So far we are living on a much lower standard. And some of us are reeling.  But some of us are rolling with the punches. We are all lacking sleep and the constant rush and running around is taking its toll on our usual cheery natures. Also the lack of stability and routine is pushing hubby over the edge. He’s frazzled. 

So here I stand. So many many people that are not chareidi ha e told me the same thing. ” tznius is an issue all over the Jewish world. This is the thing today. The girls are pushing the limits.” 

Across the broad spectrum of chardal, Dati leumi, and all the various facets I have been told not to make an issue. They are good girls. Good middos. It’s about their relationship with Hashem. And the mothers with older girls are beaming with pride as to the accomplishments of the daughters in both the secular and the religious sectors. Whether their daughters are still in high school or in the workforce or National Service or in the army. There is a national pride, a Jewish pride and real nachas. 

I’m sure they are still very real problems in each family.  And it appears to me that when the time is right after batmitzvah the girls have an awareness of right and wrong. And I also see my daughter very happy to be in a community that accepts her for who she is and not judging her because she is wearing sandals. She is not labeled “not frum enough”. 

And to be truthful while we still aspire to learn Torah and be spiritually enriched and grow as people; we always dressed in a Dati leumi fashion. 

I don’t impose that my children need to wear socks –  I never have. 

I just don’t want my friends to judge me, as if I’ve gone down a level. Because really I am just being real with who I am and who my children are.  And to my darling friend Mikki – if I donned chareidi garb just for a year I would be in the loony bin here thereafter!!! Because it’s not only how you dress-  it’s the phone you have, it’s how you let your children dress, from eight years old they have to be wearing stockings, socks are no longer an option. The hechshers you can eat, every aspect of your life is affected. There is so much more involved to be chareidi in Israel than just the way you dress. And I say that with love. It’s very different here. 

We are really scratching the surface of Who we are and deciding where we are going. 

2 thoughts on “It’s not so simple. Part II”

  1. Hi again,
    So it’s not just the clothing- as you say it moves into hechshers and other things too (phones?). What it sounds like, through this media of communication, is that you and earl together- working with where each child is holding- need to evaluate where are you currently and where do you want to see yourself in the future. What I mean is make the choices today that will lead you towards your goals.
    Defining those goals are the hardest part- but I think once that can be done the hard choices become less so because of the reward of moving to ward your goal.
    Maybe there’s someone in EY who can help you- a mentor type who can see where your family would thrive most.
    Another note is: can you guys get any more sleep 😉
    Making life decisions under stress is not so recommend;-)
    ( as if we are ever *not* stressed out when facing major Decisions)
    Breathe-Find your Center- define your goals- ask for advice from a wise and experienced person (not me;-) – go forward with confidence and know that if you are doing what’s best for your family no one has any right judge you (not like anyone admits to judging others, but you will have the knowledge of doing what’s good for your family backing you up when you feel the judgmental eyes on you)
    Not mine sweetie- I only recommend the socks as an experiment. Not because it’s “THE” way to live. Only you make that choice and I for one stand beside you for making your family’s (and your) needs a priority.
    Xoxoxo still missing you


  2. One more idea: read your old diary. I’ve been reading you older blog entries. Im seeing struggle to find your personal track- be it stay at home mom/working mom or where to live or how to raise the kids or what to wear or how to school them.
    The path doesn’t have to be anyone else’s but it needs to lead toward your goals.
    Since you left I have been doing the same questioning for myself.
    As you wrote in November 2010:
    Rabbi Weinberg makes it very sensible. “Make every second count,” he says.

    When he mentions pursuing a goal, he says to do so without Rabbi Weinberg makes it very sensible. “Make every second count,” he says.

    When he mentions pursuing a goal, he says to do so without interruption.
    ****end quote
    And you also sent me the video about why Aliya is so hard by rabbi Brody.
    Aside from the important info he gives for people living in EY, he tells us out here in chutz, that if we are being a Beacon of light then we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing and it’s ok if we stay (my understanding of what he said) so that made me ask am I being the beacon? For myself for my husband and for my kids first and also for the community I live in, the city I live in and the world at large.
    Around this time also my moms book came out and I was reminded of what regular people are capable of- including plain old me. So I too have been struggling with some basic questions too.
    what am I here for and how am I best suited to do MY jobs in the world and how can I reach the goals that the Torah and Hashem has for me and how can I do that in my current situation. And the small details of every day life are what shows our beliefs regarding the big stuff . I can be all spiritual and close to Hashem when I’m all alone, but can I remember His presence when I’m busy with entertaining my kids mid- renovation and the usual chaos of my life? I can be full of emunah when huge challenges that are clearly out of my control face me, but what about the stuff that seems within human control- when someone upsets me or wrongs me do I recognize that as a message from Hashem or is it just because the other guys a stinker. If my emunah and my connection with Hashem is important to me I need to strengthen it so that it is with me when I’m busy with the small things of life. So what are the choices I need to make to turn that into reality? It how I spend my time. How I schedule my day- if it’s important I must make the time to daven and talk to Hashem. Or maybe my paint colour is more important…or a cleaner house….or reading emails….or schmoozing with friends. Something has to be sacrificed and I can’t always let it me by relationship with Hashem or I won’t have the one I want.
    And as for clothing and music and movies- same idea.
    What’s more important to me and what brings me to the place I want to be- this head covering? This too that’s maybe accentuating something a bit more than it should? This particular skirt that I just noticed rides up when I ge tin the car (but it’s so cute…so what is more important to me- the cute look of my skirt or my relationship with Hashem)
    And what about food? V’mishmartem me’od…I’ve been reading so much about the health of our foods- and lack of it. And I need to make choices that go along with what I believe. It cost more, it’s not as convenient to get, etc. but….am I living in accordance with my beliefs and are my choices bringing me towards (or away from) my goals.
    Thanks for leaving- now I have all this to face!! Lol 😉
    We’re not alone in the struggle- all thinking people have been here and are here now because it’s a daily and constant requirement for us to use our bechira.
    Hatzlacha my dear friend. For all of us.
    ❤ mikki


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