Ah, another fun installment of Ask Chaviva Anything, chock full of questions that some people would consider pretty darn invasive. I'll admit, some people have been complete jerks -- giving people the power to anonymously ask things is just ripe for this, and I accept that. But seriously, come on folks. Grow up! And now, on to the questions.
Have you found a Rav in Israel? If so, how did you find a Rav in a place with so many people who are Rabbis? In general--as a woman and a ger--have you found it easy to find Rebbeim and to be open with them? (I ask, because I find that discussing personal things with men who aren't relatives or friends to be difficult).
Great, amazing question. The reality is that I still consult my rav back in the U.S., and Mr. T has a rabbi here and a rabbi back in England that he consults (in addition to him being crazy knowledgable on things from his studies). That being said, if and when I decided to seek out a new rav, I think that Jerusalem is one of the best places for it because there is every flavor and shade of observance and halachic understanding here. The easiest way to find someone is to run around in circles with like-minded people, live in a community with like-minded people, and seek out a rav there.
What do your parents think of your second marriage?
If I could share with you how amazing my family has been about my marrying Mr. T, your minds would be blown. Mr. T and I Skyped with my family right after we got engaged, and it was an utter blast (my little brother and Mr. T were hilarious). A few days before the wedding, my father sent me the sweetest email about his take on Mr. T and me and how happy we seem. My father always worried about me in the past, and he always expressed his concerns for my happiness. The great thing? He sees my joy and loves Mr. T and gave us his blessing!
How old is Mr. T? [and] Is it weird that both of your husbands have the same name?
How old is he? Is it relevant? And as for whether it's weird: Nah. It was kind of like "WHOA" in the beginning, but I just have amazing proof that a name is just a name -- it doesn't make the man, at all. The beautiful thing is, someone suggested that my neshama knew I needed a Tuvia, it just took a while for me to find the right one.
I know that you resist Orthodox labels. What about Mr. T? What "type" of Orthodox is he? Is this the same or different from how he was raised? [and] When/where was Mr. T ordained?
You know, maybe I should do a Q&A with Mr. T to answer this question. I don't want to put words in his mouth. We're very much on the level with our individual approaches to Judaism. Hold the line!
Drop out of ulpan yet?
What gave you the idea that I would drop out of ulpan? Yes, I was toying with it when I was offered a very well paying job, but I opted to stay in ulpan and hold out for something that was a little further up my alley.
Stay tuned for future installments of this fun series. I'm toying with doing a LIVE Ustream chat with Q&A. Thoughts?