Monday, May 02, 2005

Absence makes the heart wonder

People must think we religious Jews are crazy (mental image of Obelix tapping his thick meaty finger against his head holding a pile of Roman helmets). Not eating bread or anything leavened for 8 days and clearing it out of our house. Waiting three hours after steak for a coffee. Not sleeping with or touching our wives for 10-14 days a month. Not touching members of the opposite sex until we are married (that really is crazy - who does that??).

I'm not gonna try and explain it. Not yet. But having to engage in self-discipline and control is an important attribute. Not only does it distance us from our animalistic selves, it also gives us a greater appreciation for the good things in life. That first fresh post-Pesach piece of piping hot bread. The post-chuppah excitement, releasing the pent-up frustration of love that has no outlet.

A friend of mine who owned a swimming pool once described his after shabbat swim as "Niddah-like". Hameyvin Yavin. I just hope that I get to experience that soon - the swimming pool, silly!

TRK

5 Comments:

At 5/02/2005 6:45 AM, Blogger Malka said...

Before I came to know more about relgious Jews, I had very little understanding of the concepts behind the laws of family purity, being shomer negiah, etc.. So, yes, not having been socialized that way I thought it a little strange to say the least. However, I have since come to decide that I WANT to be this way, that there are good reasons for one to strive for the discipline because in the end, the rewards are that much greater and sweeter. You hit the nail right on the head - having to engage in self-discipline and control is an important attribute. Not only does it distance us from our animalistic selves, it also gives us a greater appreciation for the good things in life. I couldn't have said it better myself

 
At 5/02/2005 7:17 AM, Anonymous itsallgood said...

Good timing! I just cam back from psych class when I read your post... we were talking about love and relationships, since I'm the only frum girl in my class I got all the usual questions of- "but how does it work by you?" "How in the world can you marry someone without knowing how he kisses"?...
I had some answers and one girl actually told me she envys frum ppl when it comes to things like this.
So yup, they think we're totaly nuts but they can't help respecting the fact that we have laws and we have the self control to live by them. And what's more is the laws make sense (at least most.) One of my classmates said it best (I was explaining the concept of "nidda"):"it's so amazing that the torah's so ancient, and yet so wise" like, DUH!!

 
At 5/02/2005 7:46 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

I posted a long comment and blogger chewed it up - I should've saved it first like I usually do.

Take two:

M,

Luckily the mitzvot have deeper meaning and aren;t just there to discipline us.

IAG,

You are right, though over time it becomes more and more difficult. One frum girl told me shouldn't stand under the chuppah with a guy unless she's kissed him first. I don't quite get it.

TRK

 
At 5/02/2005 4:10 PM, Blogger TwennyTwo said...

Okie dokie, self control is important. No one knows that more than someone trying to be respectful of tsnios (sp?) in Miami.

I grew up in an orthodox jewish neighborhood, so I'm used to it. Plus I'm muslim, and some people take the whole modesty-between-opposite-sex thing WAY seriously. But even we have to step out of ourselves and look at why we do what we do... because avoiding touching men for the heck of it does nothing for God. When I'm super frustrated and want to hug my guy friends I keep this in mind... all for the greater good.

 
At 5/03/2005 12:41 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Twenny,

You can spell it tsnius. I take it Muslims have similar laws. How was it to grow up in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood?

To be frank, I think the "modesty between opposite sex" thing is pretty damn serious, because it's so difficult to keep to.

Orthodox Jewish tradition basically forbids any physical contact between the sexes before marriage.

 

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