Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Note on the Agunah situation

So, I know the whole agunah thing has been an isue for awhile now, and that there are rabbis trying to take preventative steps for situations like these - for example, encouraging pre-nup agreements (which is what the ketubah was originally supposed to be, it's just that now the monetary amount is no longer enough to really be an incentive.) But I was not aware that there are actually people in the world who work to actually put the heter mea rabbanim into practice. I can't imagine that there are actually 100 rabbis in the frum community who could support this sort of thing. However, such seems to be the case, at least allegedly. So I'm linking to Frum Satire's post here, bc there are more links there.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

This is An Excuse

I'm pretty sure no one's noticed, really, especially since many bloggers go through many periods of time during which they post nothing. Due to laziness or busy-ness or apathy or exhaustion. Sometimes writer's block. I could go on. My point is, no one is expecting or needing an excuse from me on why my posts have been slow lately. So I guess this is just for me, really.

A lot has been happening with me personally these last two and a half months or so. And I don't blog about personal stuff, generally. So since my head has mostly been filled up with personal stuffs of various natures it hasn't been filled up with stuff I could post about. (And if it is in some other place, then clearly it is not here....) So. Perhaps, as E-Kvetcher recommends, I finally have "enough stimuli" to keep me busy. Although, not at all ironically, not one whit less angsty. Such is life.

An amusing tidbit; one of my bestest friends ever in the world got married this weekend. At the kabbalat panim she blessed me that my life should be simple and without struggles. I honestly did not know what to make of that. But I love her so I said "amein."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What up dawgs?

Sorry. It gets boring sometimes, having to think of a new title for every post. One has to mix it up every once in awhile.

So, I'm annoyed. Which is not unusual. But the source of my annoyance is multi-faceted. It is also nearly five-thirty in the morning and I have not yet been to sleep. Again, not unusual. Just, a contributing factor to the general madness. You should all be aware.

A relatively recent post on Orthoprax's blog brought this up in a vaguely crystallized form, but the crystallization process has been crystallizing for quite some time, more turbulently in the last couple of weeks. There is no guarantee at all of any of this being lucid or coherent in any way, so I"m just going to rant.

Said post of Orthoprax's reminded me of a favorite quote of mine from Little Women (Louisa May Alcott); which, to paraphrase, goes something like the following; Amy is complaining about the snobby girls at her school who "label" her father for not being rich. Her sister chides her by saying she means "libel" and oughtn't to talk of her father as though he were a jar of pickles.

Words are funny things, aren't they?

I've met quite a few people who leap in terror at the slightest sign of being categorized; "Well, yes, I went to x seminary, y yeshiva, come from z neighborhood, but don't label me!! For G-d's sakes, whatever you do, anything but the labeling!" It is to me both naive and endlessly frustrating.

First: Everyone categorizes. It's how the human brain assimilates information. In other words, everyone does it, and no one can help it. So do you. Deal with it.

Second: Who cares? People are going to think what they're going to think; where you've been tells something about you, even if it's not what everyone thinks it should be. (That sentence really does have a meaning in my head; I think I'm incapable of extrapolating, however.)

Third: Why the intense fear? Seriously. My motto is, fit into as many categories as possible. This confuses people and stymies their thought processes. Which is always good clean fun. I like to think of myself as the steamer trunk George Bailey always wanted to have - covered with as many labels from as many different places as possible, and when there's no more surface room, you pile them on top and make layers. (Like onions!) Not only are you confusing and exotic but also intensely interesting and colorful. Where is the bad in that? (Besides, if you refuse to categorize yourself in any way shape or form, what are you? Nothing. Amorphous vapor passing through people's minds completely incapable of leaving any sort of valid and lasting impression. Who wants that? Seriously?)

It's like William James said (I'd link, but I won't) there are two kinds of philosophers - those who need to know the truth and those who are terrified of being wrong. The first group rushes madly from belief to belief, from idea to idea, only discarding one for another when it is sounded and discovered to be false. The second refuses to believe anything, bc they can never know for sure that they are right.

So, the question is, are you going to spend life living, even if you will inevitably make mistakes, or will you let your fear paralyze you into nothingness and inaction, living frozen and suspended in a strange no-man's land where nothing is ever solid or real?

Also...I just feel like if we all spent a little more time living our lives, our personalities would shape themselves and fall into their correct places naturally. This world of stuffing yourself into one category or leaping away from all of them in intense dread and loathing has a tendency to become mildly stagnant, once you get past all the semantics.

In my personal opinion, anyway. Just saying.