Category Archives: Judaism

“One of Us” Paints a Miserable (and False) View of the Hasidic Community

Because life inside the notoriously private Hasidic world is rarely filmed, One of Us, a Netflix original documentary, makes for interesting viewing. Focusing on three members of the community, all of whom are at a personal crossroad, it paints a terrible portrait of abuse, depression, forced marriages, dysfunctional families, and corrupt leaders.

While these problems definitely exist within Orthodox circles, the documentary is so one-sided it comes off as a hit piece, making it seem like every single member of that community is a victim held against their will, which is not true.

I personally know people who became Orthodox later in life by choice and others who were raised in it. Most Jews do not desire that intense level of religion—me included—but that doesn’t mean being Orthodox is a bad thing.

For individuals that want a highly structured, faith-based, family atmosphere, the Orthodox lifestyle may work perfectly. Those of us who prefer a more liberal attitude won’t, but everyone should be free to pick and choose, according to their own will.

I don’t doubt the sincerity of the folks in the documentary; they are justifiably bitter about their own mistreatment and deserve to be heard. But what I wonder is why the directors didn’t present the other side as well? It would’ve painted a much more balanced picture. Surely, they could find at least one Orthodox Jewish family that would have something good to say.

Years ago, there was a movie made about the same subject that starred Melanie Griffith. Due to the Hollywood touch, A Stranger Among Us was farfetched in some ways, but it did offer a glimpse into Orthodoxy, from a Gentile’s perspective, that was very respectful without fawning. I’d much rather see something like that rather than an intensely negative portrait of Orthodox Judaism.

Documentaries are exciting because they offer a slice of life that may otherwise remain unknown. It’s too bad One of Us deliberately chose to present a biased account.

 

If you’ve seen the documentary, what did you think of it?

Jewish Voice for Peace Members Banned from Israel

Members of the outrageously awful Jewish Voice for Peace group have been banned from entering Israel. Longtime readers will recall numerous posts where I’ve expressed my dislike for their BDS activities, outright lies, and other terrible acts they’ve committed to discredit the State of Israel and Jewish communities around the world.

Just looking at this repulsive picture tells us all we need to know…

While this may seem like overkill to some and is certainly a harsh punishment, I think it is warranted. Separating any Jew from the Jewish homeland is not something I take lightly. It should never be done on a casual basis and must only be reserved for the most extreme cases. Where Jewish Voice for Peace is concerned, it is justified, because they are engaging in anti-Israel activities that hurt the country. They have been documented aiding terrorist groups in Israel and abroad and their own stated goal is to bankrupt the State of Israel with ridiculous sanctions. And, let’s not forget, this is a so-called Jewish group of misfits that claim all Jews are bad and all Arabs are oppressed.

Surely, this decision will be litigated for years to come, but Israel has no other choice to protect the safety and security of its citizens and visitors. I fully support their defensive action.

Partisan & Petty: White House Hanukkah Party Chaos

If you’re hostile to President Trump, don’t expect an invite to the White House Hanukkah party. According to this article, only 2 Jewish members of Congress were welcome and the rest, who were excluded, are understandably upset.

To be fair, this is not exclusive to the current administration, but I think it’s obviously petty and partisan, and was done to punish critics. Regardless of being a Democrat or Republican, every Jewish member of Congress celebrates Hanukkah and I’m sure they all wanted to attend the party—whether they admit it or not.

One interesting note: the Vice President and Mrs. Pence attended. I am very impressed with the commitment and friendship that Pence continues to demonstrate towards the Jewish community. Christians who love Israel and support Zionism need to be recognized for their efforts.

If only Washington could move past the bickering and nonsense, we could really accomplish big things…

Double Celebration – It’s My Birthday & Hanukkah!

Birthdays are special days on their own, but when your birthday AND Hanukkah happens to coincide, it’s beyond amazing! Every so often, this has happened to me over the years, and when it does, I just love it.

For me, birthdays are always a time to take stock of my life and see how far I’ve come and where I want to go next. This past year, my 35th, brought so much growth, professionally and personally. As I enter my 36th year, I am very hopeful and excited for the future and all the possibilities in front of me, eager and willing to go wherever the Lord directs. 

I hope each and every reader knows how much you all mean to me. The constant stream of emails, comments, collabs, content ideas, and social media interactions make The Jewish Lady what it is. (Yes, it’s a blog, but it’s also a forum and a community!)

Some of you like the articles; some are here solely for the giveaways; and a few very persistent trolls keep me quite humble. The feedback is overwhelmingly positive and provides a constant source of encouragement and enlightenment. I’m probably the one who learns the most from the blog, which is funny but true.

So, in honor of this very special day, I want to thank my readers for making all of my birthday wishes come true. I love and appreciate you guys so much. I have a lot of things planned for 2018—and beyond!—that I hope will bless everyone the way they’ve blessed me.

Happy Hanukkah to all!