- What is my age:
- I am 48
- My body features:
- My body type is muscular
- I prefer to listen:
- I like:
- In my spare time I love doing puzzles
The term connotes the observance of Jewish religious law in a way that often exceeds its bare requirements. This not only includes the careful study of Torahdaily prayers, observing Shabbat and kashrutand performing deeds of loving-kindnessbut also many more customs and khumrot prohibitions or obligations in Jewish life that exceed the requirements of Halakha. Frum can be used in a negative sense for 'hypocritically pious', 'holier-than-thou', 'sanctimonious'; or in a positive sense for 'pious', 'devout', 'God-fearing', and 'upright'. The phrase frum and ehrlich captures the positive connotations of these words, to mean roughly 'upright' or 'righteous' see tzadik.
As the only child to my amazingly loving parents, I was raised in a predominantly white suburb with a large Jewish community. In grade school, I was the only black child in most of my classes.
I was wrong. Life is easier when we can just put other people into boxes.
But let me start at the beginning. My parents and I underwent a Reform conversion when we became interested in Judaism. Eventually, as I learned more and became more observant, I realized that to lead the religious life that I knew was right for me, I would need to undergo another conversion, with a frum beis din. People were so curious about who I was that some of the chaperones suggested I speak to a couple of Birthright buses about my journey.
The frum community’s problem with women
My response? When I was 30, I took a leave of absence from my job, packed my bags, and headed to Eretz Yisrael to attend seminary. While I was waiting in line at Israeli customs, a random traveler started questioning me: Why are you in Israel?
Do you know Hebrew? Are you a convert? Shidduchim were another difficult step.
I kept getting The Talk about how I should be open-minded and not be so picky. I wish people knew what it feels like to be enjoying a Shabbos or Yom Tov meal when the discussion takes a left turn and involves race and black Americans.
My beautiful Shabbos, which was supposed to be calming and relaxing, is now filled with discomfort and pain. The stares from little kids — and their moms! One time I found them so overwhelming that I just walked out of shul crying and finished davening at home.
I went on a trip for young professionals, where a very respected rebbetzin wife of a renowned rosh yeshivah addressed the room and reminded everyone to treat others with kindness, no matter their race. She had the unusual gift of being able to read a room and to understand the dynamics of her audience.
At that moment, I felt the holiness from within this woman. Her ability to empathize was incredible. At the end of the evening, she hugged me and gave me a couple of autobiographies of frum black Jewish women like myself.
Stress, headaches, loneliness. Could this be normal?
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