Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blatant Lying = What?

How does blatant lying fit into Loshon Hora?

What does Lashon Hara say about the following: Last Sunday, someone blatantly lying to someone else, to her face, about a 3rd person? (#1 lied to #2 about #3 {#3 being me})

#1 to #2 (my friend): [#3] told me she moved to [suburb community] and is finally converting!

#2 was put into a corner, and didn't know what to do. And of course #1 said this in front of a small group of people. FAN-tastic (<--sarcasm)

I told #2 that I haven't spoken to #1 since November. Or sometime just after the High Holidays. At least. But still.

So there's *absolutely* NO way I personally told her I'm converting in my new community. I never see her or anyone there. It's a shlep to go for Shabbos, as I don't know anyone there who has extra space for me to stay over.

Anyhow, how can I sort this out, since I'm the one being spoken about? What am I allowed to do to rectify the situation?

PS: This is a toeles situation.

PPS: I was just getting comfortable with MY community and this similar situation. Now I have to deal with people in a community I never see?! Ugh!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Background On Me

Here some background about why I haven't converted yet.

Overseas it had been impossible to convert. Before I went overseas, I involved in intense language study at a major university, and the rabbis there didn't like me.

One in particular, made an announcement about me to the observant Jewish community there, to the Observant students I'd befriended at Hillel. I found this information out during the Spring term of my first year there (Spring 2008) (the situation started September 2007). I then found out *more* information my 2nd Rosh Hashanah there (2008) {this more information was as follows: my best friend at Hillel was the one whom the rabbi wanted to announce this info about me, and tell everyone not to be friends with me} . This rabbi (aka Rabbi #1) also called my undergrad rabbi (Rabbi #3) who then called me, who told me that Rabbi #1 didn't want me at his Shabbos table until I bring him CRC paperwork.

I don't think what I did was wrong, even now.

I think that Rabbi #1 thought that it was my goal to sleep around with the Jewish guys or whatever (which is completely not my goal now or ever; only until after I'm married[and that's a personal, secular choice I made before I began to be observant)].

Rabbi #2 is okay with me, kind of. He said I could go to his home for dinner, as long I didn't date anyone. Which he told me to my face.

Yes, I had hung out with an observant crowd at Hillel the Hillel, and I have guy friends from Hillel, who are fine with me. They don't mind only my dad being Jewish. The few I was close to thought Rabbi #1 was crazy, but there were more people, 2 others I have heard of -- I was friends with one while she was there (she had since graduated) - whom he asked (to her face, I think!) not to come to dinner. So, the only place I can go is Hillel, but the Hillel rabbi is great! She's totally fine with me and doesn't like what happened. She was the only one I could talk to about stuff when it was going on, and she knew about everything as it happened. Unlike myself, who was told about some of the information in this post years after the fact (for example, Fall 2009).

Before, during undergrad, I was around 3 kinds of Orthodoxy: Litvish, Chabad, and Modern Orthodox (<--Rabbi #3). I started going to shul more after my dog passed away, and then Shul hopped between the Litvish Yeshiva (Yup, a yeshiva on the lake! If you know anyone with sons who would want to go, here's the website: http://www.witsyeshiva.com/) and Rabbi #3. I know one of the WITS families, but I mainly stayed with Rabbi #3. As I was around the 2 groups more, I learned about Orthodoxy, and the customs that they follow that the others necessarily don't, but mainly Taharat Hamishpacha and the sheitel thing. The Rabbi #3's wife got a sheitel and it looks really nice! Before I moved away, she let me try it on and I *loved* wearing it! I thought I wanted to before, but now after trying one on, I'm *so* looking forward to wearing one! :-)

So, after 3 years in the Upper Midwest (2004-2007), I went to a party school in the "Lower Midwest" (known almost as much for the basketball team as for its diverse and specific academics {in certain circles, anyway})), where I stayed for 2 years (2007-2009) studying crazy languages, before moving overseas for graduate school (2009-2011).

I was accepted to graduate schools in Toronto and Glasgow, and decided to move to the UK.
The Glasgow community was very nice, even though I only went to Garnethill for the High Holidays (http://haruth.com/jw/JewsUKGarnethill.html). If you click the link, the shul really *does* look like that inside! :-D :-) Oh, and if you trek up to go there, you *will* feel it the next couple of days. It's at at the highest point on a hill; you'll walk up windy, inclined streets to actually reach the shul, but it's worth it. The security got to know me after a few weeks.

I also emailed the London Beis Din, to see if it would be possible to convert while in Scotland, which it isn't. Then I went to Hungary for the 2nd year, and now I'm back in the US!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me!


What I learned this Weekend

#1: A roller coaster of emotions is definitely possible in a 4 hour period

#2: People can surprise you; especially when you least expect it.

#3: My Pesach meals - for the entire week - are pretty much set

#4: Girls don't make Kiddush for themselves. Period. Regardless if you're Jewish or converting. That's what guys are for.

#5: I have really great friends

#6: I'm a pro at Pesach cleaning. I know what to do now, as I spent 10 hours at a friend's house yesterday helping her and her family clean, put stuff away, and bring Pesach-ware down.

#7: I have a stellar Shidduch reference, whenever that time comes

#8: Oatmeal is NOT ha-adama. It's mezonos.

#9: I know the Bracha hierarchy (Ha-motzi, mezonos, tree, ground, Shehakol)

#10: Don't assume - this goes both ways though! How can *I* not do this, but other people can?

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