There are more things in heaven and earth… Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
- Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio
Before you start to wonder what this post is doing here: yes, I realize that I have an aliyah blog, and that’s usually where I post most of my goggle-eyed musings about life in Israel.
But my goggle-eyed musings about Jewish life, on the other hand, sometimes belong here. Even if they are about Jewish life in Israel.
About Jewish life… or about frum life. A word I never, ever, ever liked. Never, never, never. You can find tons of old stuff on here that proves it – like this post, about ortho-BOXing me in, from 4 years ago. Or this post, about being spiritual vs being religious.
Where I am right now, frum is a word I never, ever, ever have to use unless I really want to.
It turns out the problem wasn’t with me. The problem was that there simply weren’t enough ways to be Jewish, at least where we were living.
Oh, I’m sure the ways exist, if you’re creative or defiant enough to go against the grain. Nobody forces you to put on a certain hat or daven at a specific shul. I’ve actually met a number of creative, defiant, fabulous Jewish people of all stripes (lots of them are homeschoolers!) who let all those stripes hang out fearlessly.
So maybe the problem is me, and fear.
But it’s also what we see; what we believe “Jewish” looks like. What we believe “religious” looks like. What we call “frum” so as to exclude people without specifically, name-callingly, excluding them.