Monday, June 28, 2010
Thursday, August 27, 2009
"The raped Jewish body"
I was exposed to Shiksa's blog lately, and enjoyed her beautiful posts so very much. I don't come from a Hassidic background, nor do I speak Yiddish, yet, I did grow up in a semi-religious home in Israel, thus felt close to most of the issues brought up by her, especially: the Jewish holidays, religion, and family matters. I thought that it would be nice to rejuvenate the blog with some fresh topics, which may interest the readers of this unique blog.
Years ago, as a student, I took a course about two holocaust writers. One of them was Yehiel De-nur, known as Ka-tzetnik ("Concentration Camper" in Yiddish). From an early age, I was fascinated with the subject, and watched everything that was shown in the Israeli TV. I guess I was fascinated with death from an early age, which explains my passionate interest with people that kill themselves (Sylvia Plath, in particular), or others (serial killers). Few days ago I had a very stimulating conversation with someone that I find very interesting. I told her that I believe that a child, that is beaten, feels, unconsciously, as if he might not survive the beatings and die. I was beaten, and thus assume that that’s the reason for my fascination with death.
As of lately, I'm fascinated with an essay about De-nur, the person who fulfilled, for many years, the role of the national holocaust writer in Israel. The stuff I come across is truly captivating to me, and I thought to share some of it with you the readers. I know some of you speak Yiddish, and could easily identify with the background of Ka-tzetnik, who grew up in a Hassidic home, and wrote in Yiddish and Hebrew.
Ka-tzetnik (1916-2001) was born in Sosnowiec, Poland, and was a prisoner at Auschwitz for two years during World War II. After 1945 he immigrated to Israel, and wrote about Auschwitz. Unfortunately, I didn't read any of his books, mainly because I don't like his writing style, which is kind of kitschy. Because of his Hassidic background, his books are full of purity motifs and blood motifs that give a realistic feel, but actually create a surplus that precisely distance from realism. In any case, I always prefer the theoretical, and for me, reading about books is much more fun than reading the actual books.
There are arguments about the quality of Ka-tzetniks' books, not so on their enormous influence. The center of the argument is: why his books describe in great details violent sexual acts in the extermination camp Auschwitz (like cruel rapes of Jewish youth by Nazi soldiers and prison guards). Why the holocaust description is given in the mode of sexual prism, or even pornographic, combined with kitsch and death? And why his books accepted with such a big enthusiasm in the Israeli culture, and eventually adopted by the ministry of education, that distribute them as a present to high school students?
One of the answers comes from a guy name Eli Eshed. He claims that the connection between sexual acts to the holocaust created an extreme and unusual mental atmosphere, one which was captivating the conservative provincial and puritan Israeli readers of the sixties. Oz Almog, who writes a lot about the Israeli society, writes that there was a thirst for sexual arousal material in the sixties, a period of pornographic drought. Because the dealing with sexual material and the publication of them were considered a perversion, attributing them to the perverse world of the Nazi, was the right ruse for publishing them. The covert message was: you are reading about sex that does not happen around our districts, in our respectable and modest places, but rather in a cursed place populated by pervert people. Therefore, this material is allowed reading.
Regarding why the ministry of education adopted ka-tzetnik's books, the answer is a national-allegorical one: the rape of the men and women in these books is rape of the nation. The passive Jews, that are compared, in the spirit of the period, to women (next paragraph will explain why), are being raped in consent, for they didn't become "new Jews", meaning masculine-active that fights for their dignity and independence, in their fathers' land. Ka-tzetnik entered the holocaust Israeli writer's canon in Israel, since his description of the horrors in exile taught the Israeli boy how he should behave in his own country, so his fate will not be identical to the fate of ka-tzetnik's characters, their bodies desecrated, and their dignity lost.
(The Jews were being compared to women at the time because of developments that occurred in Western Europe, toward the end of the 18th century. The bourgeois of the 18th century hide and suppressed his body, but at the turn of the century his body was newly revealed. Meaning, new ideal body was created, ideal that identified the young masculine body, shaped like the Greek sculpture, with the "good citizenship". This recognition was made because the modern communities were strongly connected to the reality of war, which in, for the first time, volunteered citizens were participating as an alternative to mercenary. Those, after released from the army, supplied the social and political life in values and norms such as: physical fitness, endurance, discipline, courage, etc – all acquired in the battlefield. Women, that didn't participate in war of course, were excluded from the public discourse. That was true for Jews as sell. They were excluded since they were defined in advance as people with defective body, undefined and feminine. The scientific outlooks of the time didn't refute those traditional outlooks, they gave them authorization. The war myth was: a person that is not fit fighting against the common enemy is probably his partner, thus cannot be considered citizen. Jewish physicians of the time, that read those studies and absorbed the conclusions, argued that it's possible to change the damaged Jewish man's body, so he will be able to contribute to country and army. Zionism and psychoanalysis internalized those Anti-Semitic outlooks, and requested to rehabilitate the Jewish body from his feminine weaknesses, melancholy and hysteric. In this manner, "muscle Judaism" was born by the wording of Max Nordau, who tried fighting Jewish degeneration, on the speaker stand in second Zionist congress from 1892).
From: "a different look in 'the other planate'", thesis for M.A. at Tel-Aviv University, 2005, by Oren Segal.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Lets imagine for a minute that your going to put all your believes about what makes you unhappy into an empty box…fill it up with everything you always believed is the cause of your unhappiness, when your done let this box fly up far away, you can imagine if you wish a red hot air balloon, or maybe a bird, put all of those things you believe is making you unhappy into the box and let it fly up far away into the sky until it completely despairs into space.
Now, imagine that all that you ever believed about what happiness is, is a lie.
Imagine that you have a closet in your house that is filled up to the top with stuff that if you open it everything will come flying out, there isn't any room left to put anything else in it, you need to clean it out in order to make room for things to fit in there, same thing goes with you’re thoughts, you're filled up with all this imaginations of what happiness is, you don’t even have the room for real happiness into your life.
In order to be happy, you need to let go of all those things you believe are going to make you happy, because therein lies the source of your unhappiness.
Ask your self the following questions:
1. What I know is true about happiness is...?
2. What I'm certain about happiness is...?
3. What makes me happy is..?
4. What I don't have that would make me happier, is...?
5. (pick one) I can't possibly be happy unless....Or, I won't be happy until, is...?
6. What I know about dealing with other people's happiness is..?
7. What I have learned from others, or from books or tapes, about happiness, is..?
8. What I regret and/or resent about happiness, is..?
9. What I continue to believe about happiness, even though I have evidence in my life that what I believe about happiness isn't true, is..?
10. What else there is for me to say about happiness, is..?
We are the creators of everything in our life’s, we add meaning to things all the time, we even believe in it and define our self’s by it, what if we take away all the meaning we created and leave it empty? you're left with nothing there.
From nothing you create something, within nothingness lies everything, you have all the possibilities to create anything you want, you have the power to create & it's endless with out limits.
Think of something or someone that makes you unhappy? Feel it experience it, don't run from it, don’t try to change it, identify the sensation in your body where you feel unhappy? what do you want to do when you feel unhappy? what is the worst thought of the experince of feeling unhappy?
Now think of something or someone that makes you happy, feel it experience it fully, Happy, Happy, Happy feeling…think of a sensation in your body were you feel happy? what do you want to do when you feel happy ? What is the best thought of the experince of feeling happiness?
If you do this exercise a few times back and forth going over this experince of what made you happy or unhappy you will realize that you are the cause of your own unhappiness because you’re letting something or someone be the cause if it instead of you being the one who causes the happiness.
Being happy is not going to come from a source outside of you, not your job not your weight lose, and not that special someone that might one day come into your life and make you happy, or what ever else you think is going to be your happiness.
If we constantly walk around thinking of things that are going to make us happy, will never be happy, when you say I’m miserable it's a deceleration, you say it you are it, you create it, nothing and no one is responsible for it.
Yes their are times when it's appropriate to be unhappy, when you’re faced with a tragedy you do need to allow your self to experience feeling sad or unhappy, you can’t always be happy, but the one thing we need to realize is that you're in charge of you're own emotions.
When you let go of the idea that someone or something will come around and bring you happiness, you can actually achive it.
Saying I’m miserable is a declaration, just the same way as saying I'm happy is a declaration.
Think of when you were first born, you didn't have any opinions at all, you didn't even know your identity, as you go along life you started creating your self, you started having opinions, you started defining your self and it's all based on experiences that you went through in you're life, whether it's good or bad or what ever it is, what you say is what you create and become, you create who you are, what are words-language? when you speak words you create things.
If you take all your opinions and truth about your self and get rid of it you are left with nothing, and from nothing there is endless possibilities of creating over and over again, there isn’t any truth to anything, there is only what we believe to be true and what you make the truth be to you.
If we have the ability to keep an open mind that maybe my opinions are just my opinions and not actually the truth, you leave room for change and growth, maybe learn something new that can open the door to many new experinces in your life that were never there before, knowing that you don't know everything and that the truth might actually be hidden from your view gives you the ability to gain more out of your life.
Stop waiting for happiness to come around, be the one that is the cause of your own happiness.
"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."
Martha Washington (1732 - 1802)
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Divorcing from your parents
Recently I received a phone call from my mother which came as a big surprise since my mother is never the one to call any of her kids, this is how it's been for many years, me my brothers and sisters have already accepted this fact willingly or not.
I pick up the phone expecting to hear something terrible has happened...maybe she is calling to tell me there is a death in the family (I know my grand mother is very sick) But no thats not why she is calling me for, she called to tell me not to come to my brothers wedding beacuse it will be a big embarrassment to her if the brides family will see that she as a daughter like me and of course she adds I'm shaming god and she can't have me come to the wedding when God is so ashamed of me.. I say to her don't you worry about me and God we have worked out a very good relationship he didn't hire you as his lawyer to speak for him about how he feels about me.. your only using Gods name instead of just saying that you are the one that is embarrassed of me..
I most say I was very surprised that she called to tell me not to come to my brothers wedding, I thought that we have come to have somewhat of decent relationship even if there isn't love between us but at least in the last few years we have been civil with each other even with out my parents approving of my lifestyle, I was invited to my previous brothers weddings, when I came to the wedding she even threw her self at me with tears in her eyes screaming loud... My dearest daughter... I missed you I love you... of course all this was in front of a hall full of people watching us literally in awe of how much my mother loves me & accepts me...she never ever did any of it before, no hugs no kisses not even once.
I ask her what happened..suddenly you don't want me to come you threw your self at me last time, you invited me, you made me feel welcomed... well she says I thought that it will help...you will change.. but no it didn't do a thing... your still the same way.
Surprise surprise I didn't come running back to her asking her for forgiveness and changed my way of life.. mmm the life that I so most hate... can you imagine what a disappointment it is to her? she even lowered her self so low to hug me after 20 something years... and me wanting to bury my self in the ground rather then being held hostage in her arms in front of everyone pretending to show how much she cares about me, WOW!!!! I dared not to stop living the life I live, the life I cherish today.
Of course people like her have to make them self feel good about there own miserable life to tell me that I'm unhappy and miserable. Right!!!!!! she has no clue who I'm what my life consists of she doesn't even begin to know how many wonderful relationships I have today.. so much love and support that she can never even imagine or grasp.. and the thing about it is that I'm totally fine if she isn't apart of my life, Thank God for that.
She tells me I still love you, your still always welcomed to come visit at home but not at a wedding thats not a time for us to do Kiruv with you (bring you closer) as If I need her to do that.. Mmmm she is going to choose when to love me and when she can't? I'm suppose to say sure you tell me where and when I'll make sure to make my self available when its good for you. I said If I'm not good enough to be invited at a wedding I'm not good enough to come visit you at home either.
I said to her you say you love me? when was the last time you called to ask if I'm okay? if the kids are okay? If I need food?.. forget about money thats beside the point You have a divorced daughter with kids don't you ever want to know how she is doing?
She tells me I heard that a mother doesn't have to call her kids, kids have to call there mother.. I said what you heard was wrong, if you say you love your children you have to show it to them, she says No....it's enough that kids know it, I say I'm your daughter telling you now how I feel when you don't call and don't show me love I tell you that I wanted you to hug me to kiss me to put me to sleep with a warm hug as a child and that knowing that you love me isn't enough.. Don't you want to do what your child that you so love asks from you? How do you control your self when your around your kids not to give them a hug a kiss showing how you feel inside?
I can't stop hugging my kids I never will stop, I can't stop not wanting to show my emotions, hold them & kiss them, put them to sleep with warm hugs and kisses every night, when they go to there father I can't fall asleep cause I miss giving them hugs.
She goes well my mother didn't show it so it was hard for me, I say we all know your mother didn't show it and that is why we have been so nice to you beacuse we understand that you didn't grow up with it, but Now, Now that your admitting to it and you say you know how it feels like not to get love why don't you start at least now to show us, its never to late, call your kids Not only me all of us would be so happy that you pick up the phone and just say hello how are you? forget about the past you know what it's like, so change don't keep using your mothers lack of showing you love as an excuse not to do it today.
She didn't really have what to answer to that so she just goes off into a all different topic saying to me I have kept my mouth shut all this years but I still didn't accept how you live your life, I say to her I never asked you to accept how I live, all I say is that I think people can still treat each respectfully and be loving towards each other even though they don't necessarily agree with each others way of life.
She start telling me how I shame god and that I'm a zoynah (whore) beacuse I have been with other people after my ex-husband, in her mind it seemed that she was hoping that I will go back living with my ex beacuse I haven't been with anyone all this years so technically we are totally suitable for each other Right!!!! Like that is what made us suitable to be married? now that she found out I have been with other people suddenly her dreams came crashing down.
I'm not going to write everything that we discussed because it was a very long conversation, I had this conversation not only with my mom but with my father too both this past week I opened up and told them all the things I have kept inside for so many years, I needed to do that to stop keeping what I feel inside and stop pretending that I'm okay with how they raised me and how they choose to treat me and talk down to me the way they do, I know now more then ever that I will never please them no matter what I do, and I don't have to please anymore, Mmm Only come visit when its good for them.
I need to start being more pleasing towards me and really let go of this unhealthy relationship, they can only make me want to go out and drink and use drugs and I have gained to much good in my life to let them effect me, I'm done being a pleaser, now even more so then ever I'm really letting go of all this negativity and I'm even more empowered to live the life I love and cherish and give my kids the love and affection that I never received.
I'm only a stronger and better person today beacuse I don't have to put others down in order to feel good about my self, I don't need to judge others or put blame on anyone to justify staying angry and resentful my all life, I can forgive and move on, you have to allow your self to be honest and say what you feel in order to be free of resentments and that is what I did now.
The fact that I'm able to say what I feel and move on is a healthy sign from my side I'm not letting people have control over my emotions and actions, I'm now fully taking charge of my life in spite of all the abuse and harshness that I endured growing up, this is my only triumph over them Not revenge.
You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation...and that is called loving.
Well then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it.
It is only your aversion to it that hurts, nothing else.
Monday, October 29, 2007
There's Avrohom Avinu: He seems to be frum but really he's a BT and his father made idols, not our kind...next.
Yitzchak Avinu: Well his grandfather made idols, there was all that nastiness with Lot and is half brother is an arab.
Yaakov Avinu: His great-grandfather made idols, his brother went off the derech, his mother comes from a very treyfe family and he wasn't shomer negiah with Rachel Imeinu before they were married and he spent a lot of time with his uncle, who's mammesh a rasha.
Yosef HaTzaddik: His mother had an idol once and she died early, plus he's a slave and his brothers don't like him, must be something in that and with all the issues with Avraham Avinu and Yitzchak and Yaakov Avinu...better not to.
Moshe Rabbeinu: Oy, what a maaseh!!!! His parents separated, then they got back together, his parents abandoned him, put him in a basket, he was raised by goyim...not our kind for sure. He may be close to Hashem but his background is so problematic , we wouldn't want him in OUR family!
Calev's descendants: We don't want to marry into that family. Enough said.
Dovid HaMelech: Descendants from a Geyoret, not our kind of people. Sure a few generations have gone by but all things being equal shouldn't we look for someone with more 'jewish' background.
Shlomo HaMelech: See above, all his mother's marriage was very dubious, he is rich though but the yichus and family background is very tricky.
I can't help but laugh at how true this is, I think it really explains it well exactly how its done in many Jewish orthodox circles especially with how I grew up.
Friday, September 21, 2007
שירבו זכיותינו קאמפיין
NOTE: to read it large click on it
I think we need to add a few more to the list
Not wear sexy underwear.
Not eat in pizza stores or restaurants.
Not wear a sexy bra from Victoria secret.
Take showers only with Kosher Soap.
Don't talk with Men.
Don't look at men.
Don't flirt with Men.
Don't sleep around behind your husband's back.
Don't take Birth Control.
Don't use Condoms.
Sleep with a long tzniusdige Night Gown.
When breastfeeding Don't do that in public (unless the baby is really hungry but make sure to cover your self appropriately)
Don't sit around under a tree in the summer with your friends in the countries and talk Gossip.
Last but not least Don't read Shiksa's blog.
Wishing you all a easy fast..
I Only hope that you can take upon your self to keep at least some of the things on this list, as it says on the bottom of the list the time is now your readiness is really really Hot....