Monday, February 11, 2013

Ask Chaviva Anything: The Mish-Mash Edition

Another installment of Ask Chaviva Anything! Let's do some random ones this time. To start us off, we have the following.
Can we meet you in Israel? (Not trying to be sketchy)
Sketchy? Psshaw! Never. I'd love to meet anyone and everyone who visits Israel or lives here. I'm also going to be in the UK over Pesach for a few weeks, so if you live there, shoot me an email and we'll get together.

This one isn't a question, but I'll address it anyway.
I asked questions that we never answered.
You did? What were they? Feel free to re-ask at the link or to post your questions below. Alternatively, you can email me at kvetching dot editor at gmail dot com. I try to answer all questions that are asked. However, I don't answer questions that are derogatory, mean-spirited, or just plain hateful.

The next question could be a long-answer query, but I'm going to keep it short.
Why are there so many different "catagories" of Orthodox Jews? Where do you fall in?
Like everything in life, and in every religion and country, we feel most comfortable when we can categorize someone or something. It makes it easier to say "He is this, and I am not" or "She eats that, but I do not." Without these boxes or categories, people find it difficult to breathe. It's sort of like the joke about the Jew on a deserted island who is rescued. When the rescue party shows up, they notice there are two synagogues on the island that he built. They ask him why, and he points to one and then the other saying, "That's the synagogue I go to, that's the synagogue I wouldn't step foot into." Humans are creatures of adjectives -- it's just how we function. The bummer about this is that we limit the adjectives and categories we have when it comes to religion.

Most people would peg me as Orthodox, or, here in Israel, as Da'ati Leumi (National Religious or Religious Zionist) because of how I dress, how I will cover my hair, the people I surround myself with, etc. However, I don't like to put myself in boxes. I've written about it before, but these days I'd just call myself shomeret mitzvoth -- I observe the mitzvoth that HaShem has gifted us.

Next up?
Do you want to have children?  A lot? A little? Do you think Israel is the ideal place to raise children?
Yes, yes, yes. It's interesting how when you end up with the right person the thought of children is almost compulsory. Many of you will remember in the not-so-distant past that I was hesitant about having children. Because of some strained relationships, I thought that I would not be a good mother, that I would do more harm than good with having children, so I was considering just writing off kids forever. Moving to Israel and meeting Mr. T has changed my needs and wants astronomically. For the first time in my life, I can actual picture myself having children (as many as HaShem has in store for us), because Mr. T is an amazing father already. He lights up eyes in children without any effort, and I find it beautiful and inspiring. We're eager to have our own brood so that we can screw them up as much as possible. (Joking, of course.)

As for Israel being a good place to raise children, I would say a million times yes (especially in Neve Daniel). There's a freedom and comfortability here for children, and I'm eager to bring Jewish kids up in a place where they're free to be Jews but where I also can teach them about the global community in its diversity. I'm blessed to come from a non-Jewish family, so my kids will never exist in a bubble where the world is all Jews, all the time. At the same time, they'll be comfortable and happy in a country where being Jewish is more normal than in many other places.

We'll close off this round of questions with another easy question.
Will there be a photographer at the wedding and will we be able to see the pics? : )
Yes! One of Mr. T's friends will be taking pictures, and I'm going to have several friends there who are Social Media superstars, so there will be lots of live-action Tweeting and Facebooking going on, I predict. We're also still trying to figure out whether a livecast on UStream or YouTube is possible, so be on the lookout for that.