Monday, July 2, 2012

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

As I've mentioned here before I was born to a Jewish mother and an Anglican Newfie father. While that made for some hilarious contradictions growing up, it did result in a feeling of not really knowing where I belong in the scope of fitting into a box we all kind of sort of need while growing up. Blah blah I'm my own person, but when I was 12 I was fascinated by the Hasidic Jews while visiting NYC with my mom in the summer. They felt so... foreign, so different and admittedly there was a part of me that wanted to belong just so I could understand why they felt that living like that was their calling. Fast forward to university where I was one of count em four Jewish students on my 2400 student campus and I was basically the most "ish" of them all.

Where I'm going with this, is I've always wanted to understand the Orthodox, but frankly been too scared to ask. I had one Orthodox friend when I lived in Toronto, and she answered a ton of (and created more) questions I had while I tried to sort of but not pry into her life, and why she went from growing up more secular than I did (apparently that's possible) to being completely Orthodox.   So I get that this book is biased, and the author is dealing with a lot of issues she has from growing up in a closed community (and growing up in Waterloo and knowing several ex-old order Mennonite kids one the idea of which I'm familiar) that was isolating, scary and heartbreaking, this book is still one I found fascinating, and that I finished in about a day. This small short blog isn't one where I'm going to get into what little I know of the Hasidic community, let along of the Sitmar community it's a fascinating memoir about one persons experiences in, and leaving a tight community I personally always wanted to understand.

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