Monday, May 09, 2005

Will she choose a Chassidic lifestyle?

She takes a deep breath, metaphorically grabs hold to my right hand, and places her foot on the ground next to mine. The puddle oozes around her shoes and she looks me in the eye for a look of reassurance. I can hear the beating of her heart and I can see the speed of her heartbeat through the ripples of the olive puddle beneath her feet. The floor vibrates from her trepidation. I can feel it against the soles of my feet.

Tonight is not about me, it is about us. Her question of the night will be to determine how she can bring the world of television into a post-nuptial home. My goal is to convey the thought process that a post-nuptial home is a sacred temple that the husband and wife build together.

I hope to convey that the serenity and the sanctification of the home should be the first priority. How the home should be when there are children is how the home should be when the husband and wife build its foundations. Gaps in the structure and holes in the foundation of a home with promises to mend them in the future would never pass muster with a government inspector when building a real home, nor would it pass muster with my conscience. As with a house, one can always bribe an inspector, but the house will still be unfit for long term use and one day may sink and collapse.

I will communicate a warm message that any desires -- mine or hers -- that are not in line with the religious home should not be judged or shunned, but rather, should be indulged outside the confines of the home until the discordant desire is taken care of. Sometimes it will never be resolved; however the sanctity of the home will be preserved. The individual feeling the desire to act against the dictates Jewish law should not proceed in secret, however, it should be understood that just as one wipes the mud from one's feet when a person enters a home, similarly, one should cleanse his mind and his actions as a spouse steps into their own home.

This is the difficult part of the search for a wife. I always pray to G-d that I make the right choices, and that I can be a role in furthering the truth and preserving the religious ways and that I do not cause obstacles for myself and for others to live a happy and healthy life.

I see her tonight at seven.

PS - As you -- the readers -- know, I am as far from perfect as one gets. I have my good parts, and I certainly have my bad parts. While there is no guaranty that I will master the elements of my personality that are not in line with the kind of Jewish life I am committed to living -- likely not before I marry if she turns out to be the one will become my wife -- nevertheless, I will do my best to curb any habits or incongruent elements of my personality and my lifestyle before we join to become one person. Those discordant elements that remain will become my primary target for termination or resolution. I do have many secular parts and whims left to me, some of which do not belong in a Jewish home. These I will leave at the door, and they will not enter my home.


ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

So this is a date? did you meet this young woman through your matchmaker?

best wishes to you,

Daphnewood said...

Hirsch, you know I feel I have come to know you a bit and really care about you and your future. However, I think you are not choosing your battles wisely. Any successful relationship is about compromise. Only fight over the things that truly matter to the innermost part of your soul. Is this really worth the wedge between you? Seriously, you watch movies and plays but she is wrong for sitcoms? I personally do not watch television but I know it is important to others. Am I reading your post wrong? IS this what you are worried about with this girl? Take a deep breath and remember: COMPROMISE. She'll give in to your wishes a lot more often if you show that you actually value her opinion and her wishes. Otherwise, you are headed for holy headlock instead of holy wedlock.
deep breaths!

Zoe Strickman said...

Yes, this was a date set up through my matchmaker. You are both right -- both about the internet and about compromise.

The internet is often looked upon as bad by the ultra-orthodox community because of the misuse that can happen from it. However, it is not a black-or-white thing. Some people do not chance it because they feel its misuse is inevitable -- for those people, it is proper for them not to have it in their homes. From all the porn that comes into my e-mail, if I actually had to sift through all of that instead of having spam filters, perhaps I wouldn't have an e-mail address either.

Secondly about compromise. You are 100% right. There is little difference between tv, a sitcom, a movie, or (I'll add in) a video game -- all of these do not belong in a religious home.

The issue was that I wanted to convey the importance of building a home that is sacred; having any of those in it could only cause a slippery-slope effect to further secularization.

I love a good XBox video game (I could spend days playing), or a good movie, and she loves a good sitcom. I wouldn't bring either into the house though -- it is not appropriate. If I want to play, I'll do it elsewhere until I could kick the habit. Pretty cool stuff, eh?

ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

:-) You're a great guy. It sounds like things are going well for you and that you might just be (forgive my forwardness in saying as much?) worrying too much.

Take care and best wishes to you!!! :-)