I was a Hasidic Jew - but I broke free

by Texas Apostate 1 Replies latest social current

  • Texas Apostate
    Texas Apostate

    Found this story out of the NY post. Interesting and very similar to some XJW stories. I figured it could be an interesting read for someone here. Don't know how to post the whole story, maybe somebody could help. Here is the first page.

    Sitting in a cozy Upper East Side restaurant, 25-year-old Deborah Feldman stashes her copy of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” in her handbag and greets the chef, who’s come out to say hello. Clad in a miniskirt, semi-sheer sweater and cowboy boots, this confident, stylish young woman seems every bit your typical New Yorker. Then she begins to talk about her background.

    Until two years ago, Feldman was part of the ultra-conservative Hasidic Satmar community based in Williamsburg. Abandoned by a mother who left the faith and a father who was mentally disabled, she was taken in by her grandparents, who brought her up to be a quiet, obedient, God-fearing woman who would get married in her teens and start a large family right away.

    But Feldman had other plans.

    In her memoir, “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots,” out Feb. 14, she chronicles her oppressive upbringing and arranged marriage.

    At 23, emboldened by classes at Sarah Lawrence College, she left her husband and the community for good — taking her 3-year-old son with her.

    Feldman recently discussed her experiences with The Post over (very nonkosher) crabcake sandwiches and Key lime tarts: “I think I love eating out more than most people,” she says, “because I was never allowed to do it. Women aren’t allowed to eat out.”

    THE POST: From a very early age, Hasidic girls are expected to wear skirts and shirts that ?cover them down to their wrists and ankles. But during your adolescence the law became even more restrictive.

    FELDMAN: When I was 11, they changed the clothing rules. You used to be able to wear a long-sleeve, high-neck T-shirt. Now you can only wear high-neck blouses, with woven fabrics, because their theory is that woven fabrics don’t cling. T-shirts show boobs.

    If you had a curvy body, then there was something wrong with you. No matter what I wore, the school principal always had a problem with me, because I’m a little Kardashian-esque and I developed young. My principal would walk by and slap me on the ass and be like, “Your skirt shows too much.”

    Every summer, starting when you were 8, you were sent to a Hasidic summer camp upstate; can you describe the bathing suit you had to wear?

    Picture this really shiny nylon fabric and thick, floppy, long sleeves, and pants covered with an extra layer of material to make it look like a skirt. Ridiculous. I remember the sound it would make when the girls walked around the pool with the wet bathing costumes, the slapping sound against the backs of their thighs. So awful.

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/was_hasidic_jew_but_broke_free_IeRSVA4eX8ypg4Ne8cBdSK#ixzz1lprsB9sO

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    If there is one group that I had strong feelings about, it was the Hasidim. I can't imagine attending Sarah Lawrence as a Hasidim. Her parents had to sit shiva(?) to commerorate her death. Part of me respect them so much. The last time I was in Central Park on a weekend, 1/2 the people present were Hasidim families. It was nice to see well mannered children and parents enjoying the park. I've also witnessed chutzpah all the way to beyond arrogant.

    Sometimes I feel an impulse to hurt them. I am utterly shocked at myself. It troubles me greatly. The biggest adversaries are fellow Jews. Perhaps it is the intrusion into NY mainstream space. Those isolated Brooklyn neighborhoods bother me. They take care of their community. A gf wanted to join to get a husband. They don't have to endure mixers.

    They are mystics from Poland mostly. The men danced ecstasticly. Careers are chosen by the religion as are spouses. They are not Pharisees from the first century. The mysticism was so innovative and exciting. Dressing like 19th century polish jews seems to freeze it.

    I am looking forward to read this book. Oprah is doing a show.

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