Thursday, June 02, 2005

Lucid Dream about Real Life Circumstances

I sleep with a wireless headset over my ears so that I can listen to brainwaves and hypnotic suggestions while I sleep. Tonight I had a dream that I was walking through some town and I saw giant statues of nazis. I was a Chassidic Jew wearing my black hat and there were Jews all around me. I felt uncomfortable because I thought I was going to be arrested for my identity. I took off my hat, but then when I realized that it would make no difference, I put it back on.

The dream then shifted to a conversation I had with a girl from law school. This one has been my id, trying to convince me to stop being platonic. She was in her car, and I was in the passenger side of my car. Somehow through a crack in my window, she reached her hand through to hold mine. I opened my window and with my hand I held hers. There was nothing sexual here, just one friend supporting another friend. I could see in her eyes a look saying "I know; I am sorry for your loss." [She was referring to the shidduch that just ended]. When I held her hand, I felt a pulsing energy through our palms and she was shocked that I reached out and held her hand because this meant that I broke out from my platonic ways.

We certainly were not about to do anything intimate because we were just friends, but immediately, the thought that came to our minds was my make-believe conversation I had with G-d before I met this girl who just ended the shidduch. I made a deal with G-d (in real life, I really did, and I spoke to my friend in person about this the morning before I met the girl for the first time) that if this shidduch did not work out, I would stop being platonic, and I would resume my ballroom dancing and contact with women. This certainly does not mean that I would be physical or intimate with any of them or that I would no longer wait until marriage, but that I would no longer be what is called shomer negiah (guard of the touch), a concept in Judaism where the man does not touch a woman -- this would be a barrier so that he does not accidentally get lured into other lascivious and tempetuous acts of intimacy that are forbidden before marriage.

In real waking life, I did make this deal with G-d (if one actually can) that I would no longer be shomer negiah and that I would start ballroom dancing again if this last shidduch did not work out. I made this deal the day before I met this last girl I was dating. Now she has broken it off and I wonder whether the status of my contract with G-d is still valid, or whether it was valid in the first place, or whether I just dreamed it up in my imagination.

Shifting back to the dream, after holding her hand, she wished me a happy birthday. If that were true, then it would have needed to be a Sunday, which means that the day before must have been Shabbos (the Sabbath), but I was home working, and I don't remember there being a Shabbos -- Oh my gosh! (I thought), I missed Shabbos for the first time since I was frum (religious) !! This was bad, but it was completely unintentional.

Being that it was my birthday, I wanted to go see the Rebbe (Lubavicher Rebbe) to get a beracha (blessing) for my birthday. I couldn't believe I missed Shabbos. I saw a few Israeli guys who walked towards me and started a conversation with me in Hebrew. I stood up and started to walk with them towards my bunk (this is a dream, remember, things don't have to be logical). I told one the Israelis about the nazi statue and how uncomfortable it made me. I also told them I was going to the Ohel (the gravesite of the Lubavicher Rebbe) and I hoped that nobody would ask me for a ride there. I walked with one of the guys -- a tall, blond guy, and we were talking. When I got to the bunk, he gave me a big hug. I asked him what his name was, and he said his name was [Zoe]. I said, "That's my name too! [Zoe] what??" He answered "[Zoe] Freid". I told him my full name, and I thought that it was very strange that he had my name. In the dream moments later, wondered whether since I was dreaming (I sometimes can tell in a dream that it is a dream I am experiencing), whether he was me. "Freid" I thought... that sounds like "Freed"... "Freed from what?" I thought as I woke up to my bunk...

I opened my eyes to hear the brainwave sounds and the wireless headset still over my ears. I realized that Jews don't go to the Rebbe on their solar birthday, but rather, on their Lunar birthday which this year will fall on this Wednesday, June 8th, the day I leave to China. I will go see the Rebbe in the morning to ask for a beracha (blessing) and to ask for some understanding why things happened the way they did with this shidduch that just ended two days ago.


Daphnewood said...

I remember your bargain. However, you know my feelings on touch and how I think only man turns it into something dirty. No need to rehash that soapbox issue of mine. Anyway, maybe God would rather see you dance than be married right now. Just a thought.

Zoe Strickman said...

I liked this dream. It incorporated many aspects of real life, so at times during the dream, I was unable to tell whether it was really happening or not.

Rowan said...

What a powerful dream! It certainly implies that you are wrestling with aspects of yourself, and sounds like you'd LIKE to allow yourself to no longer be shomer negiah, but whether that is possible for you is another story. I think it's a battle here between your emotional/logical selves of what's to be done next.

Also, if you read my other comment, sorry about the hug thing. I forget sometimes that you live a different lifestyle than I, we seem so similar. I respect it though and wouldn't dream of trying to aggitate you.

You used to ballroom dance? Me too! I was the star pupil at my studio here. (not to make myself sound amazing) but we were at the point where we had to either quit, or go competitive. I would have LOVED to go competitive, my husband not so much, but don't you agree that ballroom dancing is an EXPENSIVE sport? We had spent enough money to buy a house by the time we'd finished.

How was your dancing? American Standard or International? Do you miss it? I miss that incredible feeling of flying when you've "nailed" a perfect waltz. I used to dream of it long after, but in dream definition, it is the ultimate "sexual" dream. Both flying and dancing.

Not to sound strange or anything, but my favourite musical is Fiddler on the Roof. Your life decisions seem to be very similar to that movie....though parts are farsical...I wondered if it (if you've seen it) portrays the orthadox values accurately, would you say it does? What does it mean (I've always wondered) to spit after someone says something bad, is it good luck? They do that in the movie often.

Do you speak fluent Hebrew? Is it a difficult language?

Nothing like being asked a zillion questions is there?

Zoe Strickman said...

Rowan, no particular order in these answers:

Hebrew: Yes, I speak it; it's difficult and it uses a simplistic caveman kind of grammar. My rabbi believes I need to get stronger in my Hebrew so I can "live and breathe it" because the Jewish culture is in the Hebrew. I've also been learning to speak Yiddish.

Spitting after someone's name is an offensive thing to do to the person who's name you're spitting at. I don't think it's a Jewish practice per se, and I think it was adopted from Italian culture (forgive me if I am wrong). You'll see it often in mafia films where the godfather says "I spit at your soul" and then he spits. The logic is not an attack on the person you're spitting at, but it is a removal of anything that was in your mouth (saliva) that could harbor the thought / spiritual karma of that person as you do not want their name associated spiritually with yours. Its a removal of anything that was in your mouth when you said that person's name.

I haven't seen Fiddler on the Roof since I was a child, but I suppose it is probably very close to the life I live with the belief systems I hold. Keep in mind it is a comedy caricature of the Jewish lifestyle.

Ballroom Dancing: I used to be on the ballroom dancing team in college, and we used to compete in the collegiate class. The most advaced I got was the silver level, but most of the competitions I attended was at the bronze level. We used to win on American Cha-cha and International Rhumba. Latin dancing was my favorite because I was usually too stiff in the foxtrots and waltzs. We were trained mostly in American Standard, but on the side I learned International because I thought it was more exciting.

Don't worry about the hug thing; this will be an area that I will think deeply about in the next few weeks. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. In a way it is therapeutic. I appreciate your comments.