Sunday, September 27, 2009
He knew if the shoe was on the other foot, she'd drop him in a minute. How pathetic was he that he'd put up with this?
"We want different things." That's what women often say to him and it never means anything good.
He wanted to know which feeling was stronger for her -- her hatred of Orthodox Judaism or her affection for him but he knew the answer. She'd built her entire adult life on hating Orthodox Judaism, rejecting Orthodox Judaism, despising Orthodox Jews. To love him as an Orthodox Jew was to hate herself.
"I'm trying not to put it in a box and define it and just be there and just be present. I'm trying. I'm trying to be honest and see what it is. I hope you are doing the same. I don't have any guarantees. You don't have any guarantees for me. It just feels intense and open and we can just sorta mean a lot to each other right now.
"It's so hard that you're Orthodox and committed to Judaism. It brings up a lot of stuff for me."
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Dude, you can't let that get you down. She was telling you to keep you at a distance, to communicate she wasn't interested in anything with you. But just because a woman has a boyfriend is no reason not to be friends with her or friendly with her. It does not mean she'll never be available.
Dude, you can't put out this much hostility and anger and expect that people will want to hang out with you. Unhappiness is a buzz kill. It makes me want to flee. This is a shul. This is not a place for berating women.
In an unusual move, a group of influential Orthodox Jewish leaders wrote a letter urging American rabbis to speak during this year’s High Holidays on the importance of ethical living, in response to some recent high-profile arrests of Jews, including two New Jersey rabbis in July.
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In the Sept. 3 letter sent to about 2,000 rabbis nationwide, the leaders of Yeshiva University, the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America cited "the recent scenes of religious Jews being led off in handcuffs, charged with corruption, money laundering, and even organ trafficking.”
During the High Holidays, which began Sept. 18 with Rosh Hashana and end Monday on Yom Kippur, Jews are supposed to take stock of their lives, and rabbis’ sermons these days can touch on everything from personal religious observance to social issues, and from personal morality to international relations.
The letter, which several Orthodox rabbis in New Jersey said they would heed, urged Jewish clergy to publicly affirm at least once during the High Holidays that the Torah forbids all stealing; that secular laws bind religious Jews; that Jews should lead efforts to promote honesty in society; and that Jews must sacrifice financially rather than bring shame to God or Jewish law.
"This is not a time for splitting hairs over possible dissenting views,” reads the letter, signed by six leading Orthodox rabbis. "(W)e must make the ethical demands of the Torah and the day clear in the most public of ways. We strongly urge you to join with us and loudly declare, to our own communities and to the world, that we, representing Torah, will not tolerate any but the highest standards of ethics.”
The letter referred indirectly to money-laundering charges against Rabbi Ben Haim of Congregation of Ohel Yaacob and Rabbi Edmund Nahum of the Synagogue of Deal, N.J., and Rabbi Saul Kassin from Brooklyn, and organ-trafficking charges against a Jew from Brooklyn. Those arrests were part of a massive sting operation that also led to the arrest of politicians on corruption charges. The letter seemed to hint at crimes of Bernie Madoff, whose fraudulent investment company cost thousands of people billions of dollars.
"That's because I'm ashamed," she said.
"Ashamed of what?" he asked.
"Ashamed of your Judaism. Your Orthodox Judaism. People hate Orthodox Jews. I can't bear to hold your hand while you're wearing a yarmulke, with your beard, your tzitzit out. It fills me with shame. There's nothing I can do about it. That's just the way I feel."
He'd always suspected that but now he had it in clear words. She spoke softly. She spoke from the heart. This was not one of her recorded speeches. She was connected to her feelings and she was telling him the truth.
"Do you remember that Sex in the City episode where that guy was dating a fat girl? He was very happy with her. They had a great time in private. But he was ashamed to introduce her to his friends. And the one time a friend ran into him with her at a restaurant, he didn't introduce her. And so she broke up with him."
"Yeah," he said. "I saw that.
"So when you have sex with someone, what does it do to you? Do to your feelings for the person you're intimate with?"
"If the sex is good and frequent and is accompanied by emotional intimacy. Does it make you more vulnerable to that person?"
"I wouldn't say vulnerable. No, not vulnerable. It just makes me want to be with the person and to have good times with them. I live in the moment. Whatever feels good. I don't believe in vows."
"When I have sex with somone," he said, "a lot of sex, good sex, accompanied by good conversation, it multiplies my vulnerability to that person by 50 times. They have 50 times more people to hurt me or to please me.
"So when you had sex with that girl and told me about six days later, what was going on?"
"A lot of guys," she said, "find it a turn-on for their girl to be with another girl."
"I didn't know it would make me feel so ill. I had no idea. I had told you I did not want to hear about your heterosexual adventures, but it didn't bother me hearing about the times you were with a woman. So we never spoke about monogamy. We never spoke about you having sex with women while you were with me. But when I found out about it, I suddenly felt very ill. And then through that illness, about ten seconds later, there was a tremendous feeling of relief. That it was over. That there was nothing further I could do. I didn't need to push my limits. I didn't need to stretch and change for you. That it was all over and it was all decided for me and the only thing was to move on."
"I did it to break up with you," she said. "I didn't like you very much at the time. I did it with a girl so it wouldn't hurt you so much, but I knew you'd just break up with me. I didn't want to do the breaking up. I knew this would force your hand. And it felt like such a relief."
"What role do you sense fear playing in my life?" he asked.
"I don't know," she said. "What do you mean?"
"My greatest fear in a relationship is that my partner will be unfaithful. That's the greatest pain. And when it happens, I just cut the person off. They're dead to me.
"David Deida talks about loving without fear. I want to learn to love without fear. I want to learn to love even though I fear my partner is unfaithful and will be unfaithful or has been unfaithful. Fear constrains my love. It holds me back. I don't want to risk things. I just want that safe 50/50 relationship. Fear constrains my heart. I want to open up my heart and surrender to love and to face my fear."
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Bi Jane responded to just him: "We are women, not girls. Don't make me use the feminist spelling. Do you think I might LIKE her?
"I feel very strange when I am with you. I want to fight and f..."
He responded: "Yummy."
She emailed: "Really, you and I are doomed for disaster. But we'll be the ones playing the violin as the Titanic goes down."
A literary scholar interprets: "Well, the first part could be quite right--and I think you both might sense that. It's what makes the "relationship" as alluring as it is--that tragic, dramatic element. But the part about the violins...I'm not sure what she means. She really does have a flair for the dramatic, and a way to be unnecessarily cryptic. I wonder if she means that you'll both move the relationship toward disaster, and when all is said and done you'll also both be the ones drowning in your own sorrow?"
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"I'm finally feeling better," he says. "Three days in bed and now I'm OK. How's the dog search?"
"I"m frantic," she says. "I got off work early yesterday and went to look for my friend's dog. Cain* is my best dog friend in the world. I called every animal shelter, every vet. I plastered Runyan Canyon with flyers. I did the same with Cain's other favorite dog park. This woman at Runyan put it on Twitter. Today my friends at work are going to help me put it on Facebook and Craiglist."
"Wow," he says.
"Ultimately," she says, "I don't know what to do. He could be in Santa Clarita. He could be in Mexico. You make this huge local effort. Apparently the internet is the way to go for these things. That's where I'm looking this morning. My heart is heavy and it is hard to breathe. I'm wondering if he's safe."
"Wow," he says.
"I can't even go there," she says. "I'm just going into action right now. It's something I can't even begin to think about.
"I was out all night, showing his picture to the homeless people in the neighborhood. To all the trannies."
"Wow," he says.
"Wouldn't it be cool if we could switch places for a day?" she says, "feeling what it's like to be each other."
"Wow," he says.
"You'd be so weirded out and so would I. I wasn't even thinking sexually.
"I couldn't sleep last night so I sang prayers for an hour."
"I'd like to hear that," he says.
"It would so turn you on."
"Sometimes I do really good blogging when I'm sick," he says. "Not this time."
"I can't believe how you tricked these rabbis to convert you," she says.
"Does it make you think less of me?"
"Oh, completely. Your karma, oy, I hope the all-loving Buddha helps you out because there's nobody else who can.
"Do you think your Judaism is just like the porno community for you? Just an insular community you want to be a part of for a while."
"No," he says. "I didn't want to be a part of the porn community. I just wrote about it. They are both insular communities."
"Which community will be next for you?" she asks.
"I will be part of the Orthodox community for the rest of my life. I've been in it for 15 years, since I moved to LA in 1994."
"I just assumed," she says, "that you would abandon Judaism when you found the next thing."
"While I was sick," he says, "I listened to this novel 'On Chesil Beach' by Ian McEwan. It's about two people who love each other. They get married in England in July 1962. They're unable to consummate their marriage on their wedding night. They walk out on to the beach and say really cruel things to each other. Then they get an annulment and lead unfulfilling lives."
"Ohmigod, I totally want to read this," she says. "I love Ian McEwan."
"It hit home for me," he says. "They both felt the intensity of love. They both enjoyed being with the other person. What they both lacked was patience. So when they sexually misfired, he reproved her for running out of the room, she sniped back. Then he called her a bitch. She walked off, hoping he would envelope her in his love. But he just stood aside and let her walk off.
"It really hit me because I don't have a lot of patience either."
"I know," she says. "You've broken up with me three times already."
"I don't believe in bashert," he says. "I don't believe in the meant to be stuff. I don't believe we're fated or destined. Relationships are what we make of them. They're not decided by the gods. I'm pragmatic, not mystical. Luck plays a huge role in love and life."
"I don't believe in any of it," she says. "I don't believe in love, in relationships. I sorta believe in the here and now and staying present and if it feels right, that's where you stay. I don't believe in knowing things for a lifetime. My parents divorced when I was young."
"How long have you had this philosophy?"
"Forever. The marriage oath is just ridiculous. I've always known I would never marry and never have children. I never want to belong to someone. I've given up. It's not going to happen for me. I'm unconventional. I have these views about marriage and relationships that most people don't have. But why can't I do it my own way?
"You like things that are contained. You have certain expectations."
"Yeah," he says.
"And if it does not fall into that category, you can be dismissive. But I don't see it as a lack of patience."
"I know when something feels really bad. Like when you walk down a step and the step isn't there to meet your foot and you start falling through space and you don't like that uncertainty?"
"That's a good metaphor," she says. "I just want to be in bed with you right now."
"Well, let's do it. When do you want to come over?"
"This is not a good week. Can we just play it by ear? I'm going to try to leave work early and just scan Runyan Canyon and plaster neighborhoods and then see where I am. OK?"
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Grr. Everyone wants me to reconcile everything I do with my Orthodox Judaism. My yoga. My blogging. My cursing and debauching. Oy, I can't do it! I don't want to do it. I want to be free. I'm an artist. An honest man is always in trouble. Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.
Hmm, he thought. I'm grateful. I write out my morning pages. I make notes on what I'm grateful for. But forgiveness? I'm not so forgiving.
I like to treasure my hurts. I nurture them. I bathe in them. I feed my resentments.
There are moments, however, when I release them. In yoga, I sometimes let them go. When I sing Long Time Sun. I'm a different person. I let go of my defenses and offenses. I sit there in easy pose and I open my heart and I pray for others what I wish for myself -- "may all love surround you".
Also, it looks like it would be a good idea to change the administrator's user name from the default--no need to make it easier for an attacker to get in.
It would also be good to use stronger passwords than you are now:
And: you should periodically create and download backups of the various blogs that you have. (If you want to be safe, burn them to CD or DVD or put them on USB drive, etc. in case your computer has problems of its own.)
More info: http://lorelle.wordpress.com/
Saturday, September 05, 2009
"Normally we just hang out at lunch. I've always had boyfriends. I didn't think it was appropriate just to go out with him at night.
"He came to my house. We went out and had a few drinks. He had about 12. We came back to my place. We talk. I figure he's going to leave. And then he's like, I am so drunk. I say, I have to go to bed because I have to go to synagogue in the morning. But if you want to hang out in the living room, that's fine.
"He says, I don't think I'll be sober for hours. Can I just stay here?
"I said ok. You can sleep on the couch in the living room.
"He said, I don't want to sleep in the living room. I want to sleep in the bed with you.
"I said no. I thought he was joking.
"I went to the bathroom. I come out. He's laying in my bed, pretending to be sleeping. He will not get out of my bed.
"He says, I'm not going to try anything. I'm just going to sleep. I said no. I'm dating somebody.
"We're fighting. And then he comes over to me, grabs my arm, and says, 'Come on, just one fuck. Just one. I'm leaving tomorrow.'
"I was like, get out of my bedroom. It was 45 minutes of fighting. I finally threatened to call the police. He called me a prude.
"Seriously, that is not the way to get a girl to sleep with you."
What kind of man doesn't want to go?