Skip to main content

When am I no longer faking it?


I just caught a glimpse of myself in a reflection, in a car window, on my way to the train station.

“Wow,” I thought.  “That sure does look like the real deal.”

What do I mean by the real deal?

Well, you know

Okay, I’ll come out and say it.  A 40-something frum woman, hair covered, a little dumpy, a little boring, pretty content with her quiet life off somewhere in Nowhereville, Israel, following the ways of Hashem.  You’d never know I was only faking it.

Becoming a baalas teshuvah in my early 20s, fitting in was super-important, because if you think about it, I was kind of in freefall.  I’d given up a whole lot – friends, beliefs, even, to some extent, family.  So being accepted was kind of a matter of survival – if I wasn’t accepted, I’d be all alone.

So when did I stop caring?

I don’t know if I ever did, but at some point, I realized that “fitting in” was never going to happen.  So it became more important to surround myself with quality rather than quantity, people who would see me clearly and not run screaming in horror.

Of course, I was still faking it to a great extent.  Raising frum kids while only knowing a few of the right kids’ songs, a few of the right midrashim on the parsha, a few of the weird minhagim that make up a Jewish life (the right order to put on shoes) while not being fully aware of others (something about keeping onions overnight?), and totally oblivious to others (what, there’s a thing you can stick under your tichel to make it not look so flat – not everybody uses socks???).

Somehow, I did it, staying one step ahead of the kids, leading with hesitation, with fear, and occasionally, with the excitement that I was managing to raise them with such precious traditions, such a good Jewish education, such a deep understanding of their heritage – glimpses of the “real thing” that I could never be shining deep in their eyes.

So I faked it, more or less, and some of the kids grew up.  And somehow, I found my way to Israel – knowing nothing about the country other than this was where I wanted to build a life and raise Jewish family.

Fast forward to today, where I somehow find myself smack-dab in the middle.  Okay, a little past midlife, though iy”h, it will still be a long and wonderful life, living a religious lifestyle more than half my life, being a mother almost half my life (that will happen next year!), just one religious Jew in the midst of a neighbourhood full of us.  Full of people just like me.

And here I am, reflected in the car window.  Middle-aged, content, pouffy tichel on my head (yeah, I finally figured it out), confidently striding towards the train station along a route I know well enough to relax and not look where I’m going but instead allow my eye to catch on a stray reflection of myself and wonder if anyone will ever figure it out…or if I’ll live the rest of my life with this deep, dark secret.

Still faking it, after all these years.

Faking it, yet somehow, implausibly, exactly where I belong.

Duckies photo (c) Ken Bosma via Flickr

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


  1. We are all faking it, especially the rebbitzins with the poufy tichels spouting midrashim that they do not believe enough to think about deeply. It takes courage to admit that you are faking it, and, somehow, that sets you on the right route, because Hashem knows who is doing what in their heart.
    Keep the aliyah dream real, even if it feels fake.

  2. Been there. Done that. Moved and Moved and Moved and still trying to find where I belong! You are such an Interesting. Wish you could come over for tea..I'd even bake a Challah: albeit gluten free!- Christine from USA

    1. Christine, thanks for stopping by. I guess that's the point, right? Just trying to listen in on what Hashem expects from us all. Good luck with your own path! :-)
      (p.s. Gluten free can be great!)


Post a Comment

I love your comments!

Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po

It's Heart Month: 3 days left to save lives!

Dear Friends & Family: Hi, everybody! Sorry I can’t stop by in person... you're a bit out of my area.  :-) We’re out walking up and down on our street on this beautiful afternoon to raise money for Heart & Stroke.  This cause is important to me (I won't say it's close to my heart , because that would be tacky!).  I hope you'll join me by donating online. Growing up, I watched as every single one of my grandparents' lives were shortened by heart disease and strokes, and my father had a defibrillator that saved his life on more than one occasion.  Heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 Canadians and are the #1 killer of women. Please click this link to be redirected to my main page at the Heart & Stroke website: Thus ends my personal appeal.  Official information follows.  :-))) ----- Heart disease and stroke is the #1 killer of women - taking more women's lives than all forms of cancer combined. But no one is immune. Th