*awkward* : less observant friends edition

12 02 2007

I was talking to one of my friends about going to Israel over the summer, since she was in one of the programs I’m applying to.  She mentioned that it was difficult to travel since the buses don’t run on Shabbat.  When I said that that didn’t matter to me, since I wouldn’t be riding the bus on Shabbat anyway, she went off on a long tangent about how you had to make choices, and it was about getting your priorities straight, and it was more important to her to get to see the country, and on and on for 5 minutes.  It’s one of those things that’s amusing in retrospect, but upsetting at the time.  I wasn’t trying to criticize her in any way, just making a comment about what I personally would and wouldn’t do.  She had made her choice, and I respect that, even if I don’t agree, but she clearly saw my choice as an attack on hers. 

This isn’t the only time these things came up, just the most recent.  Is this just an issue because I’m a convert, and they see it as threatening when an outsider chooses something that they’v rejected out of hand*, or is it a generally Orthodox thing?

* This is not to say that all people who aren’t Orthodox have rejected it without even considering observance, only that the ones who tend to react defensively to my choice are the ones who I don’t get the sense have really thought through their choice, or they arn’t really comfortable with the choice they’re making.  People who are confidant in what they’ve chosen tend to think what I’m doing might be odd, but they don’t feel threatened by it.

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4 responses

12 02 2007
Freedom

As long as you can stand up for your beliefs and principles without wavering, you may hold your head up high, no matter who speaks against you, no matter how hurtful their words may be. To thy self be true!

12 02 2007
Emily

It’s not that they’re hurtful. I didn’t feel like I’m being attacked, but that they feel like my observance is somehow attacking them. Hopefully they’ll get the same advice you gave!

12 02 2007
Camilla

It’s not just an Orthodox thing. I’ve encountered similar reactions among people at the synagogue I attend. I have to agree with Freedom though. Be true to yourself, that’s the most important thing.

13 02 2007
Emily

🙂 I guess it’s a human nature thing.

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