Finding myself in the Middle East

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Elokai Nishama

I am just getting over a stomach bug that left me with this feeling of never wanting to put anything unantural in my body again.

It was just a bug, I think, it wasn't actually something I ate, but I feel oddly cleansed, and anything processed makes my stomach lurch.

It's funny. I think we actually always know what our body wants. That line that goes 'inside every fat girl is a skinny girl screaming to get out, but I can usually shut her up with some cookies' has some truth it it. It's not about being skinny though; it's about not treating our bodies like garbage cans. Eating right, I think, can be simple if we would just learn to listen to what our bodies are saying.

I remember my birthing class teacher saying something to this effect, her beaded necklaces jangling against each other as she leaned forward to emphasise the point. "Listen to your bodies, girls."

It was hot. We were sweaty. We were pregnant.

And because I am really 14 years old, I said, "My body says...iiiiice cream."

She laughed. In a very polite way, I think.

Point is (and I did have a point, believe it our not)that when you throw awesome tasting junk at a person like the 20th and 21st centuries have done to us (devil dogs. I cannot be alone in this.)the real signals grow weak. Like a flashlight with a dying battery in a dark forest.

But we can scrape it all away and feel the truth, because that's just how awesome we are.

I had a teacher many a moon ago who was going on and on about how awful my generation is. On and on, and we were sitting there, taking it, taking notes!

I stood up. I should not have. I was not her favorite. "We rock," I said. "We have so much garbage to deal with and we are still frum, still keeping the faith! That means we are awesome! We have to fight through so much sheker to hear the truth, and we still hear it."

The class clapped.

I might have gone on from there to blame her generation for raising us poorly because once my mouth is in motion, it takes a lever the size that can move a planet to stop it from doing that. But moving past that.

We can move past it.

Because we start off so pure.

Coco-pop said to me as we were walking to gan, "In M's house, they played not Jewish music."

This didn't sound right to me. I strained my morning brain to remember. M's house. We were there yesterday. They were playing something, like one of those annoying Jewish boys bands. "It was Jewish, Coco-pop," I said.

She shook her head. "It was NOT."

And I don't know what defines "Jewish" music (I just know that I only like a very narrow section of it) but to Coco-pop's innocent ears, that wasn't it. And I would have to agree.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't just play D'vekus 'round here. Outdoorsman and I have pretty interesting and varied tastes in music. I think we listen to good music. I think that good music is important.

But we start off pure, and we can feel when things are off.

I asked Rebbetzin Heller once what she thought about a specific tznius book the color and size of Barney the Purple Dinosaur. She said, "Why do you need 800 pages to tell you to cover your knees and elbows?"

It's buried under an avalanche of pages of Cosmo and Vogue. And maybe even under rules and measuring tapes brought out by well-meaning teachers. But I think that underneath, a light glows. We just have to dig deep down. We know what real tnuius is, each of us, inside.

We know what truth is. Hashem planted it in us from when we were young and pure.

And every morning that pure soul is returned to each of us.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful...and deep. I'm gonna read this one again to process it...

Chanalesings said...


JerusalemStoned said...

that's what happens when I'm stuck in bed for two days. :)


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