Hi, I was just your typical 19 year old Seminary girl in South Jersey (if you don't know where I mean, you are probably on the wrong blog). We all have nisoynos, challenges, and experiences, both positive and negative. Here is where I have decided to share some of them.

Location: Lakewood, New Jersey, United States

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I have often wondered what the Torah’s intentions of Tznius was and how it became so convoluted.
For example, take something as elementary as cosmetics. I had a date a few months ago. While the boy was sitting in my parent’s living room, my father called me into another room , handed me a baby-wife and told me to remove my eye-makeup, because it didn’t look eidl . In my high-school, many times girls were sent to the bathroom to wash their face, when something was deemed inappropriate. There were only girls present. Were they worried that we might turn the janitors on.
Quite often, my teachers would quote ad-infinitum and ad-nauseum, Rabbi Falk’s book on Tznius, the Bible in most seminaries. He cites an often quoted Gam’ that says that, before the destruction of the Holy Temple, women would wear mascara and eyeshadow to incite the men to sin with them and this was one of the causes of Hashem’s anger with the Jewish people and the ensuing Destruction.
With all due respect to Rabbi Falk, I went to
Hirhurim, an excellent site , that I highly recommend and did a little research. It seems that according to Rashi, the Gam’ is only talking about married ladies, and even according to those authorities, that are of the opinion that it refers to single girls as well, it means wearing facial makeup, for the specific purpose of seducing the men. I find it hard to believe that this would apply to girls who merely want to feel good about themselves.
My point is that quite often a girl’s self esteem depends heavily on her looks, and how beautiful she feels, especially in the turbulent, emotional adolescent years.
Many girls in my class, looked like “death warmed over”, without foundation, rouge, or eyeliner. If their appearance was so depressing to me, one can only imagine how they felt when they looked in the mirror and the effect it had on their psyche, and emotional well-being.
Another example is nail polish. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to, I do not go to the mikva yet. Hence, there is no necessity, to remove it monthly. Now, I am not talking about something tacky and garish , or outlandishly provocative like neon green with white pokadots. However, I am often told by many well-meaning ladies that even something simple like pink or lite silver, “pasht nisht far a Yiddishe meidl” ( isn’t proper for a Jewish girl). Having my nails done in a salon is tremendously uplifting to my morale, and makes me feel good about myself. Whereas, bare nails is a painful reminder that I am not a Calla yet. Sometimes, all it takes is the right nail-polish and perfume to ward off depression. It is a lot cheaper monetarily and psychologically then anti-depressants or even eating the wrong things and gaining weight.
So I would implore and cajol all Bais Yacov high-school and Seminary principals and teachers to to realize the effect they are having in destroying the self-esteem of our precious and innocent young girls, when you write up and enforce your policies.
As always, I would appreciate all feedback..

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My Take on Dating during Seminary Year

Ok, I've been mean meaning to post for a long time and stuff kept coming up. I have really been meaning to gripe about the famous Tznius letter but that will have to wait a bit.

With all due respect to my newest blog-friend
Elisheva, I'd like to tell things from my perspective. Although, it is very true that many boys in Israel can mislead girls, either because they are just plain mean, or more often out of sheer desperation. However, it also happens with girls.

One day, I walked into a dorm room, without knocking first and was horrified by what I saw. Over the next few weeks, I witnessed some other very disturbing things. Coming from a very sheltered home in a very insulated community, I was totally shocked. It was then that I realized that it was imperative that I find a boyfriend, both to maintain my sanity, as well as, just to make my stay in Israel a lot more fun and enjoyable. (No, not that kind of fun, get your head out of the gutter, JI, CJ, and the rest of the boys who come here with vivid imaginations).

My favorite places to meet included the King George Plaza in Jerusalem, and Diezengoff in Tel Aviv. There you can always find the cutest American, English, and Australian bochurim. Lets see go on tiyulim (tours) to museums or Tiverya, Sfas and other shidduch-segula places with some nauseatingly, frummy girls or a hot club in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, or some exciting camping trip in Timna, or just ice-cream on the plaza with a nice sweet guy. Talk about your no-brainers. Fortunately, the drinking age there is not 21, like here and its very easy to bribe or flirt your way into most places. The lure of it all was, hey my parents (especially my father) isn't here lets party.

I must admit that I really regret letting some potentially good shidduchim get away, on account on my level of immaturity. Usually, the boys were much less interested in serious shidduch-dating then I was. But once or twice a bochur started to get a lil serious. I would really try as compassionately as I could, to tell him, that myself, my parents and family would probably not consider him an appropriate shidduch, but you make a great boyfriend. Looking back, I feel bad, but my hormones were clearing overpowering my mind and judgement.

B"h, I have grown up a lot since then. I still have occasional "boyfriends", but at least I am not aggressively pursuing such relationships. And after one or two "dates", if I see that they have zero potential for a Shidduch, I usually end it. Ok, ok, sometimes I still "hang-out" a bit. I am just a Lakewood girl in 2005, not Bas Kalba Sovua ( a famous lady from Talmudic Times).

When you are raised in a very rigid, intense gender-segregated community and your father never stops preaching to you, just holding a boy's hand can feel infinitely more thrilling then hours of the best love-making for your contemporary non-Jewish cosmo-girl. I am not totally rebelling against the system and I definitely want my children to have pretty much the same committment to Torah and Yiddishkeit. All I am saying is let me breathe.

I realize that some of you will Mussar me out for this. May I humbly suggest that you instead say Tehillim that I find my Beshert soon..

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Interview with Yeshiva Bochur

Here are answers and feelings to EN's questions

Here are the interview questions: 1) If you were able to get an entire make over, breast implants, lipsuction, nose job ect. Would you? Why or why not?

I obviously don’t need implants as I am already a DD, in fact I was the biggest in my 12th grade class. But I definitely would do everything else, including a nose job, remove a little from the hips, lighten my complexion, improve my smile, and have nicer legs. It is very important for an adolescent girl to look and feel her best, as self-esteem is very crucial. Also, as the Shidduch market becomes more and more competitive all the time, you need every advantage. That is not at all to say that I am vain and superficial, just that you need to make every normal histadlus you can.

2)If you were able to press a button and become not Jewish, would you? Why or why not?
No, I definitely wouldn’t, because being Jewish defines who I am as a person. Without that I wouldn’t be me. Also, I am immensely proud to be or at least try to be a Bas Yisroel.

3What changes would you like to make to the Yeshivish System and why?
For starters, I feel it is important to give girls much more learning and values to survive in America of the 21th century . In my community, high school and seminaries, the vast majority (there are exceptions), of girls and teacher are mindless autonotoms that only know how to be “frum” in a place like Lakewood or Boro Park, but could not go to Auckland, New Zealand and be a beacon of Jewish traditions, morals, and values. They go on to be married ladies that are workhorses/sex-objects, as opposed to being shining examples of Jewish womenhood, for example, Bruria, Rashi’s daughters, or Reb Ahron’s mother.
The boys should be molded into men possessing Middos, Derech Eretz, and above all Menslichkeit. As opposed to conformist, black-hatted monkee-see/monkee-do jerks. Once again, this isn’t all bochurim, but far too many.

4) If you were a parent what would you tell your daughter who had/ or wanted to have sex before marriage?
As hypocritical as this sounds, once I grow up and get past the hormonal craziness of my age, I would caution my daughter that once you give it away you can’t take it back. I would tell her not to do something she will regret for the rest of her life. Because the emotional, and psychological scars are permanent.

5)Who is your role model for life?

Definitely, my grandmother. She came here from Hungary in 1905. America was a very hostile place for Jews then. She didn’t cover her hair, keep Cholov Yisroel, or constantly preach about how sheer your tights are, but she possessed more core Jewish values, Chesed, and Yiras Shomayim, in her lil finger than anyone I know who is alive today. She was very vibrant, tenacious, tough, and above all sincere. I only wish I can grow to be 1% the woman she was.

Now the rules again: ( You need to put these in your post) 1) Leave me a comment saying "interview me please." 2)I will respond by asking you five questions ( not the same as above) 3)You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions. 4) You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. 5) When others comment asking to be interviewed you will ask them five questions.

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