Sunday, July 15, 2007

I'm tired.

I'm tired of being mocked.

I'm tired of not being accommodated.

I'm tired of people making fun of my ideals, my lifestyle, and my standards.

I'm tired of people knocking my hashkafos.

I'm tired of people not recognizing my needs.

I'm tired of people ignoring halacha.

I'm tired of it all.

So thanks for a great summer, guys. I really learned a lot.

Have a nice life.

27 comments:

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Nice blog thanks for coming by nice to know of your blog, sorry you feel so tired and so do i.

Erachet said...

Oh no! What happened?

the apple said...

SWFM - welcome, and thanks.

Erachet - read this and this to get an idea. You've already read them, but it's pretty much the same story, if you feel like a review :).

Anonymous said...

Apple, does this mean ur leaving?

Diet Dr. Pepper said...

bs'd

Apple, amu"sh

Firstly, disregard the beginning of the email I just sent you. I'm really sorry to hear that things aren't going so well. If you need to talk, feel free to call me. I'm not sure if I'm a good listener, but I can try.

I just realized that you don't know who I am due to my new "identity." If you check your email, you'll find out.

Feel better.

Ezzie said...

:(

D'varim P'shutim said...

chazak v'ematz - Stay strong !! I personally got chizuck reading your posts about keeping your ideals even when the going got tough. You are a great role model for others don't despair !!

Anonymous said...

it almost sounds that you regret keeping to your ideals - be careful this seems to be atzas hyetzer - he saw he couldn't get you to change your ways so now he is trying to get you to regret your good deeds don't let him win!!!

Chana said...

Okay, I am very confused, and I feel oddly guilty.

What is this post in reference to? Have you been mocked by people here in the blogworld, or are you talking about your work?

Either way, I'm sorry if in any way I've been responsible.

Scraps said...

(((hugs)))

It's hard to try to function on a higher level than those around you, even when they are considerate. It is even harder when they are not.

I hope this isn't the end of your blog...

the apple said...

Anonymous 1, no, I'm not leaving. I only have two more weeks, so I'm just going to stick it out.

Diet Dr. Pepper, I guessed who you are right away (your bs"d gave it away :) ). Don't worry, you are a good listener. We'll be in touch.

Ezzie, yeah . . .

D'varim p'shutim, wow - I'm a role model? That's a little scary . . . and intimidating. I'm glad I can give you chizuk, though.

Anonymous 2, perhaps. I'm not regretting my ideals - I'm just not in an ideal situation, so if I try and stick 100% to my standards, I make myself very unhappy. It's an ongoing nisayon in balance. Also, you should realize that I tend to blog in the heat of the moment, so my feelings come across very strongly.

Chana, no, no, it's not you - it's the situation here. You have never mocked me. My post is in reference to the group of people I'm with now.

Scraps, (((hugs back))). Don't worry, I'll still be blogging. And you're totally right - without sensitive, considerate people, it's very, very difficult to be yourself.

SephardiLady said...

I think everyone ends up working in an environment or with a group of people that leaves them hurting at one point or another. Try to use the experience to grow and learn from despite the frustration.

Sometimes there isn't much to say, so I will just extend a virtual hug.

Moshe said...

Apple –

I have wanted to respond to your posts regarding you summer experience for some time now, though I never seemed to get around to it. I have met you only once but I believe we come from similar backgrounds. I really feel like I can relate to your summer experience and will therefore attempt to convey my thoughts in a few words.

I went to an ultra-orthodox high school, yeshiva, and then an all-male college. After my junior year, I applied and was accepted for a summer internship at Columbia University. In addition to this internship which went from 6:30am – 2:30am, I took two summer course at Columbia from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. Needless to say, it was an interesting experience to say the least. It was the first time I was in a co-ed environment. It was the first time I was surrounded by people who did not share my religious values. It was both difficult and wonderful. I was both respected and ridiculed for who I was and what I would and wouldn’t do/say.

How I coped and in what ways I felt like I may have compromised on my values are beyond the scope of this comment and will certainly not help you since your summer experience is over. That being said, what I would like to convey is that I think this summer experience served me well and will do the same for you.

In college (I deleted the name because you didn’t mention it on your blog) as in high school you can surround yourself with a great group of friends. You can choose friends with similar values and beliefs. You can seek out those who share appreciation for Torah and your disgust at certain things. However, sadly, that is not the real world. When you leave college and embark on a career, you begin to realize that as an Orthodox Jew with your values, you are an extreme minority. Few people have similar religious values. Some will respect you for them, others will mock you, and there will be a few who will be afraid to approach you because they may be uncomfortable and not know what to say or how to act around you.
I think you are fortunate that you had this summer to experience these issues.

Too many frum young adults are forced into the real world without being prepared. This will not be the case with you – nor is it now an issue with me. You now have an opportunity to delve into your clique at your college and play with your similar-minded friends who understand you. You now have plenty of time to let the experiences of this summer sink in and to digest them. You will certainly think about and discuss them with your friends. Together you will figure out how to attack those challenges and difficulties next time you are forced to face them.

By the time next spring rolls around you will choose an internship and will be aware of the serious issues the real world presents to a frum girl. But you will know how to deal with them. You will be prepared. And for this reason you are fortunate to have had this summer experience. Sure it may have been painful at times as well as extremely uncomfortable, and for that I am sorry and do feel your pain. In the long term, however, what you gained and learned from this experience will help you.

Trust me; I speak from similar personal experiences.

Rebecca said...

Moshe,

I agree and disagree with you.

I go to the same college as Apple. I too am doing a student internship this summer, but it's not full-time and I do not experience the same problems as does Apple in terms of intensity precisely because it is part-time. It's a shock for me as well. And the reason I did not make this a point of mentioning to Apple is because I don't think that my experiences would help her in any way, since most of the people I'm around are respectful of my frumkeit. So I agree with you that not everyone is like that, and it is somewhat of a shock to experience this for the first time.

My problem is your use of the term, "the real world." Because that implies that the Torah world is the fake world. I know you didn't say that, and my guess is that you didn't mean to imply that either. But nevertheless, the implication is made. I hope I do not have to elaborate as to why the Torah world is the only real world.

Meanwhile, the experience that Apple is having is the "bdi'eved" situation that many of us who live in chutz la'aretz must be forced to encounter at some point in our lives. I agree with your statement that this is a learning experience for Apple; my internship is a learning experience for me as well. But never, never should we think that this the "real" experience.

Again, this is not meant to personally criticize you. I am sure that you understand what I am saying and where I am coming from. If you do, then I will ask you to please reconsider your use of "the real world" terming. If you don't, then I guess we will just disagree. I hope you choose the former. :-)

Rebecca said...

Dear Apple,

Believe it or not, I admire your bravery and fortitude in your strength in this internship. May the remainder of it be less painful for you, b'ezras Hashem. :-)

Moshe said...

Rebecca –

I will try to be polite. I appreciate that you agree with me on my overall point but I fail to understand the issue you take with the term “the real world.”

I have two basic points:

A) In colloquial terms, “the real world” means the world post-college when one begins to work. It is referred to as the real world because it is where we are no longer pampered by our teachers and friends and out expected to figure things out by ourselves.

B) The population in the US exceeds 300 million of which only about 5.4million are Jews. Orthodox Jews are maybe 10% of that figure…approximately 500,000. So we are a minority in this country and the real world in this country is not the Jewish world.

C) In my opinion the Torah is not a world per se. Torah is a way of life. It consists of a person’s values and beliefs that influence his every word and action. The Torah teaches us how to live our lives when we are in the “real world.” Only with a Torah foundation can we succeed in the “real world” – the world in which we a forced to live and make a living.

I have a few questions for you:

1) What is the Torah world is your opinion?

2) Please elaborate on the following statement as I didn’t understand it: I hope I do not have to elaborate as to why the Torah world is the only real world. That is, please explain how and why the Torah is the only real world?

3) Why would you say that working for a parnassa is not considered being in the real world? (Though if you answer question 2 properly, this should already be answered).

4) Meanwhile, the experience that Apple is having is the "bdi'eved" situation that many of us who live in chutz la'aretz must be forced to encounter at some point in our lives. Hmmm…Apple’s biggest problem appears to be with Jewish people who are not respectful of her values and sensitivities. Wouldn’t this be an issue in Israel, too??

5) the experience that Apple is having is the "bdi'eved" situation – can you please explain in what sense is it bdi’eved?


I hope you choose the former. :-) -- Convince me why I should.

Again, I do not really understand you position. Please elaborate.

Thanks,
Moshe

Rebecca said...

Moshe,

First of all, I appreciate your attempt at being polite--I think you're doing a good job. :-) And I appreciate your organization in asking questions--that shows me that you aren't just blowing off steam at me (which would possibly result in a barrage of exclamation points), but you are sincerely interested in my opinion. I appreciate that as well, and I thank you. :-)

A) In colloquial terms, I agree. If the argument is simply colloquial terms, then don't bother reading the rest of this post because then I would agree with you. :-)

B) If you were to say the "American world" vs. the "real world" then I would agree. (to be explained later on)

C) and 1) I think we are using the term "world" differently. I refer to the world as a network of individuals united under a common purpose. That being said, the Torah world is a network of Jews who are committed to following Hashem's will as the Chochomim deemed it appropriate. I think we are simply defining "Torah world" on different terms--you see the Torah from the idealistic or intellectual perspective, I see it here from the communal perspective.

2) The Torah world is the only "real world" in the sense that is the authentic world. If you were to argue that the "American world" = the "real world" ie. the metzius, then I would have to agree. If you were to argue that the "American world" (I just chose "American," but you can substitute it with any secular idealism) is the authentic world, then here I would disagree.

3) I don't appreciate the parenthetical statement here because that shows me that you expect me to answer a certain way. But in any case, I'll answer it and you can determine if it does follow your implication.

I didn't say that working for parnassa is not ideal. I agree that there is Yissachar and Zevulun, and I have no problem with people being koveah itim vs. learning full-time. I just wanted to make that clear before I go further.

Now, working for parnassa might even be in the ideal world, given a person's circumstances. Like I said, there is Yissachar and Zevulun, and there must be a distribution of both types for us Jews to function properly.

Nonetheless, one who works for parnassa will inevitably be faced with more temptations and pressing issues that a full-time learning Jew is less likely (I didn't say impossible, please note) to experience. For instance, the fact that he deals with goyim on a regular basis makes him more susceptible (I say susceptible, not inevitable) to falling if he is not careful. This is what I mean by "bdi-eved"--while it is best to work among frum Jews, this is not always the case, even in Israel.

*Note: This is only "bdi'eved" in general cases where such negative influences lie. For examle, in places where there are units such as kiruv (which is also among non-frum Jews), the opposite may be true and the worker may grow from such an experience. Not every worker will necessarily experience downfall. It is only "bdi'eved" where the negative influences threaten his growth.

4) I wasn't aware of the fact that Apple deals with a significant amount of Jewish people. To be honest, I wasn't that clear on the internship position (I came to this blog later in the game). I guess that's something you can blame me for being unaware of, but the truth is that I was unaware of it. So you're right--this sort of interaction could potentially happen in Israel too. I agree with you on that point.

5) The "bdi'eved" here is that Apple is in a situation where she is not dealing with frum Jews (at least, for the most part). I think you would agree with me that being with frum Jews is always the ideal situation, even if it cannot always be attained.

I was hoping that you would choose the former option--knowing where I was coming from--because I assumed that you would understand where I am coming from. But I guess that wasn't the initial case. To refine my point, I hope that you will agree that the Torah "world" (however we would like to define that) is authentic, although it is not always the metzius (the "real world" I believe you speak of).

I hope that helps. :-)

Thanks,
Rebecca

Moshe said...

Rebecca,

I don’t think we’re arguing about anything but I appreciate you taking the time to respond. That being said, I am going to stick with the terminology because I think most people understand what I mean.

-Moshe

Moshe said...

Rebecca,

I hope my comment didn't sound nasty -- it was not meant to be :-)
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comments.

-Moshe

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

Moshe,

Hmm, I'm beginning to think I should start my own blog just for my own rants such as these. :-)

In any case, I'm more happy to hear that we're not arguing than to hear that we are (which in fact would not make me happy, just so we're clear on that :-)). So that was not a nasty comment at all--as a matter of fact, that was one of the nicest I've ever received! Thank you for responding!

Rebecca :-)

the apple said...

Wow, I think this is the most comments I've ever gotten on a post!

SephardiLady, I virtually hug you back. I am trying to keep this experience in perspective - I am here because Hashem wanted me to be here, and there is a bigger message, and I am here to somehow be an influence on the people I'm with, both at work and recreationally. It's just hard to realize this in the moments when I'm unhappy.

Moshe, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness in your comment(s). The summer isn't quite over for me, yet, so if you wouldn't mind telling me some of your coping mechanisms via email, I'd appreciate it - you can get my email from a mutual friend. And you're right - I will appreciate this internship in the future for what I learned (which of course was not what I expected to).

Rebecca, thank you as well. I think my perspective is somewhere between you and Moshe - I don't like the term "real world" because of the non-realness that it implies of our more insular community. I prefer the term "other world" - because it IS a different reality than ours - and the Torah was given to us in order that we should know how to conduct ourselves both when we're in our world and the other world. But I think that a person can be prone to failing in both the goyish world AND if they never leave the frum world that they know.

Allow me to explain:
IF a person works with goyim - and by using this particular word, I mean people who have little regard for the values of Orthodoxy and the lifestyle it represents - then yes, it is very difficult to be yourself, because the temptation to not be a "loser" is very strong, because who wants to be perceived that way? However, if a person never leaves a frum environment, and never knows any sort of challenge to their frumkeit/ideals/standards, then they face the danger of stagnancy, and never realizing just how strong they might be in their frumkeit because they've never come up against something that challenges it.

I hope this is making some sort of sense. Thoughts?

Diet Dr. Pepper said...

bs'd

Apple,

Just to play the devil's advocate, do you recommed putting oneself in challenging situations simply to test oneself? (I remember always hearing in school about how Dovid Hamelech asked for a test, and the result wasn't so good. But Navi isn't my thing, so I may have gotten something mixed up along the way.)

But you know what I think, confusion isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I think that Rebecca and I learned in a certain psych class that disequilibrium is the driving force that motivates one to learn.

the apple said...

DDP, no I don't. In fact, in davening we specifically ask to not be put in a place of nisayon (because who knows if he/she will pass?). However, having been through this - and not quite out yet - I think that nisyonot can be to one's advantage if realized and dealt with properly.

Not that I necessarily did that, but ideally so.

And confusion isn't a bad thing - but it definitely can be frustrating. Especially when you think you have clarity about something and then a curveball comes hurling at your head which makes you all mixed up again!

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

Sorry about that deleted post, that was a mistake :-).

Okay, I do agree with the idea that challenges can potentially make us stronger, if handled properly. But like DDP and Apple said, that's not something we would force on ourselves.

To be honest, I think that the necessity of one being in a non-frum environment is different for each individual. Like I said, some thrive in such environments. I have a few close friends who are on a secular campus and are part of a very small network of Orthodox Jews, who do very well B"H. I, however, know I would fall right away in such an environmment. I think it's hard to give a blanket statement as to what extent one should be involved in "the other world." As they say, "To each his/her own."

And yeah, I like this discussion too! :-)

SJ said...

Though ideally we wouldn't have to be put in a "place of nisayon"--the goyish world, the other world, the real world, whatever--the bottom line is that most of us will be, at one time or another. Even those whose careers (or lack thereof) allow them to stay within the Torah world will inevitably at some point have some exposure to people who are not sensitive to our values. While I think that it is good to be sheltered in the formative years, once one has become a thinking adult, it is important to know what's out there and how you will deal with it. Being in a "hostile" environment for a summer and then being able to return to a school that shares your values so that you can assess the damage and figure out how to do better next time seems better to me than being thrown into such an environment full time with no preparation and no chance to go back to a "safe" environment and reassess. So in that sense, I guess you can count yourself lucky. But I'm sorry, Apple, that it's been such a rough experience for you, and I hope that we will be able to soothe your trauma when school resumes. :)