An Ignoble Comeback

Hashem works in mysterious ways. Suddenly the flusher on the toilet is stiff and it takes a lot of effort to push it down and flush. We wanted to blame the new cleaning lady but she came on Friday and it only malfunctioned yesterday.

I’ve been meaning to write for ages. There are half-formed sentences floating around in my brain and half-formed paragraphs written and random papers, littering my desk. I always mean to finish up, type up and post. Somehow, it hasn’t happened until now. All it took is on pretentious commentator to get me up and writing.

On Friday I received an email from WordPress asking me to moderate a comment on a previous blog post titled Tomorrow. The comment read: That a Jewish person can even think about suicide is mind-boggling. The first emotion that came up after read this was indignation. I felt the comment was belittling the suffering that this individual was going through. I then took a step back and realized that the commentator had a point. The truth is, in Judaism, committing suicide is one of the worst sins a person can commit. Hashem gave a person life as a gift and Hashem is the only one who can take it back. If someone were to learn about it from within the good books, suicide would become unfathomable.

Although the tone of the comment threw me off, I conceded that he (I don’t know by whom the comment was written; for some reason I’m assuming he is a male.) was right. However I decided not to let the post through because of the critical tone. I also felt that this blog is not the proper forum for a discussion about suicide.

The next comment, by the same person, hurt more, probably because the judgement was placed on me and not someone else. The commentator dismissed my whole struggle of being stuck in a Rut by saying that speaking negatively breeds negativity and therefore I shouldn’t speak about being in a rut because that is precisely what places me in the rut.

Dear Sir, the blog post was about leaving the rut, about letting go, of redeeming myself from negativity and moving towards creativity, towards positivity. That was the message behind the post. By looking at looking at how much my life had changed for the better, that is what enabled me to leave the rut that held me back. Is that positive enough for you? Or did you not read the post thoroughly before you passed judgment?

Deep breaths. It’s okay. What other people say doesn’t have to matter. I thought I was able to let this all go. But then on Motzei Shabbos he left a third comment on my A little bit about me and my writing. Here is the exact quote: I this and I that. That is not a Chassidish mindset. IN fact, it not even represents a Jewish approach. That you call the community you grew up in “insular” and “sheltered” is quite inaccurate. The community did not insulate you. You merely seek to blame the community for your feelings of guilt for having left the fold. No one stopped you from leaving, did they, young lady? Write on, but write truthfully, even if it hurts.”

I don’t even know where to begin. I think I should make a disclaimer that I am indeed Frum and I have not left the fold. When describing the community I grew up in as insular I wasn’t speaking of the Frum community at large, rather within the  one I grew up in. Regardless of me and where I stand in life, I still maintain that that the specific community in which I was raised is insular and sheltered. As for writing truthfully, I pride myself with my honesty. Some may say that I am honest to a fault. I believe that all of my writings (and in other aspects of my life as well) are honest and truthful.

Like I said before, Hashem works in mysterious ways. It took a judgmental individual to rile me up enough to actually sit down and write. So what is the point of this post (Other than giving power to this person who I want to take hold of by the shoulders and shake him until some sense is knocked into him.)? Definitely, to vent. It doesn’t feel good to be judged by anyone, especially someone who only has snippets of information about you. Other than that, I suppose, this is my ignoble comeback. Hopefully, I’m here to stay.

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Posted on May 26, 2013, in Response and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I love you, Sarale. This blog is just perfect. It describes the conflict in our heads, the reason we write, and the people that we are forced to face when we make out writing public. Recently I was threatened by someone on my blog with a lawsuit. It was baseless but it hurt and it was challenging to deal with. Thank G-d for my husband and his rational thought process.

    To your commenter I say, congrats on being able to handle your feelings differently than we… Though I question you for anonymously making judgements and recriminations online. If its so easy, sign your name.

    Keep blogging, Sarale. Your words are beautiful.

  2. Listen –
    While I totally agree with the idea to publish every comment as long as it is not spam – there are some comments that you can just delete. And who cares what they say about you?
    I am guessing that this is either a he or a she that has left the fold. That s/he has a lot of resentment towards one or more of the following: Chabad. chassidism, Orthodox Judaism, Judaism, rabbis, halacha, Torah, Jews, religious Jews, and maybe even G-d.
    Just ignore it.

    Your writing is beautiful, and I wish you would write more often.
    Whether or not I agree with your approach to the anonymous-or-not discussion is another thing. (Just to keep the creeps away, it’s worth it to be at least semi-anonymous.)
    And no, I don’t think that your blog is too negative. But I will say that I haven’t looked at your blog in months because the latest post (suicide) scares me and is way too descriptive.

    And like tdhpr said – if you leave negative comments as, “anonymous,” then you’re a coward. At least have the guts to sign your name.

    • True, I agree that all comments don’t need to be posted. I also agree in theory that what other people say shouldn’t matter. The reason why I responded is because I was utilizing my emotions as a catalyst to get back into the swing of writing. I think what bothered me the most was the part about writing honestly because it was a bashing my integrity and that is very hurtful.
      B”H I’ve moved passed this and now I just pity this person that feels the need to anonymously troll peoples’ blogs.

  3. So you’ve met the haters. I’m glad he left that third comment because it made you realize how utterly worthless his comments were.
    By putting your writing out there you’re exposing yourself in order to open a dialogue and that’s a brave thing to do. People who shut down dialogue by passing judgment like that don’t have a place here and it’s okay not to even register what they say (in the future).

  4. Dear Sarale, שתחי-ה;

    You called me “judgmental”. The Rebbe says that when you label another person negatively, you, in fact, are seeing yourself in the mirror;
    (See here: http://hezbos.blogspot.com/2010/07/mirror-image-by-divine-delivery.html)

    By deleting my comment, you protected yourself from another person’s take of my comment, which might have differed from yours.

    You are absolutely wrong in accusing me as judgmental. I think you are the age of one of my own maidelech. I merely felt my opinion of your own words can help you or anyone else adjust to a better mindset. Who am I to preach? When I was your age I surely was much worse than you could ever be. But now, with decades behind me, and the Rebbe’s words to guide me, I feel I too am allowed to make a comment, as sure as any other of your readers.

    I tell you point blank that my love for you is as much as it is for my own family members. In fact, all Jews belong to one family. I have the Rebbe’s attitude to admire for this and to try and emulate.

    Whle I commented on what you wrote, I also wrote it up here:
    http://hezbos.blogspot.com/2013/05/on-thinking-speaking-positively.html
    You can see, I hope, I did not stand in judgement. I objectively assessed and commented accordingly.

    I may well be living in the “insular” community that you describe. But, as I suggested, insularity is subjective, and, in fact, because you did not qualify it, remains a mystery as to what you meant by it. In the sense that you define it, every one in the world belongs to some such insularity – a commmunity. If you are frum in Honolulu or in Meah Shearim, it’s all insular and non-insular – depending on how you feel about something.

    As you can see from the commenters, some think I am a hater, a resentful person, critical, irreligious and even an atheist – none of which is true. Words, how you say them, have impact. If you say you are in a rut, you are. If you say you are in a rut and finding a way out, all power to you.

    Not that it might matter to you, but deleting what I wrote did me, a reader, a disservice. Had I written something grossly tangential or offending, or spam, would make it understandable. But otherwise, why bother deleting? Other people can immediately detect what is palatable and what isn’t, so why bother?

    Kol tuv!

  5. By the way, Sarale, I meant not to describe you personally as being negative; After all, you demonstrated how you overcame your ill feelings. I merely addressed the talk that people generally use and could do better avoiding. Having said that, back when in fact you admitted being in a rut, had you said so, you’d have been doing yourself a disservice.

    I fear that another misunderstanding can spring from this, so I best shut up. Shalom!

    • We obviously have very different opinions, hence our very different blogs.
      I think it’s best if we each stay on our own blogs, doing things our own ways.
      And therefore I would like to call a truce.
      I wish you much Hatzlacha.

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