Saturday, April 4, 2009

part one

now that i am aware that a blog community of orthodox jewish and former orthodox jewish doubters is out there, i have someone to direct my words.

i will tell you my story as if interviewed.

rolling stone: aren't you a little old to define yourself as off the derech.

yr (yonahred): yes. i think one defines themselves as otd when they feel close enough to the derech timewise or lifewise and the derech is still a major feature in my life, so i define myself as off the derech.

rolling stone: tell me about your childhood and judaism and jewishness

yr: i grew up in winnipeg. both my parents were from the midwest: chicago and peoria, but my father got a gig as a rabbi in winnipeg, so when i was 3 we moved up there.

rolling stone: a rabbi, huh? what kind of a rabbi?

yr: modern orthodox. my father's father went into work on shabbos for many years out of necessity, but only after davening with a minyan and making sure to avoid doing "mlacha's" during the day. my father's mother was not observant until she married. my father grew up in peoria and then went to chicago to study in the yeshiva that eventually became the skokie yeshiva. he got his semicha there. and he chose (or fate chose for him) to teach in winnipeg.

rs: many orthodox in winnipeg?

yr: not kids my age, that's for sure. i went to a day school (that's what they call yeshivas outside of new york) that was attended by kids whose parents believed in tradition and attended conservative congregations. the synagogue at the end of the hall of our school was orthodox with a low partition. my brother was two years older than me and faced the brunt of nonconformity vis a vis wearing a yarmulka where the other kids didn't.

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