When I look back on 2010, dear G-d I hope I can find some kind of solace and strength from a year I honestly want to forget and move on from… But if I can’t, I can always look back on some of these ditties that came about via this blog. Here are some of my top/favourite posts from this past calendar year:
Ah yes, the first rant of the year ends up being about why frummies don’t care about the world outside of their own. Sure it was a little premature, but I stand by my statements. Not one orthodox synagogue joined along in the special shabbat. No flyers were handed out, no words were spoken or reported. And I also enjoyed debating things with a commenter, I enjoyed it immensely – not just because I hadn’t gotten into a comment war before, but because I held my own in refuting the replies as well as carefully explaining myself in response.
This story is a classic. The dude gets taken in for questioning because the flight attendants were freaked out by the tephillin boxes he was using for prayer. The story goes national, the flight delayed, all because of some ignorant (yet well-intentioned) flight attendant – aka a classic misunderstanding. Kudos to the dude for putting on tephillin on the plane and braving these unfortunate circumstances. And hey, thanks to the story, more people know what tephillin are.
Call it the coming out post for opening up about my problems… Before this post, no one really knew anything. Heck I didn’t even know what was going on… But if I knew one thing, it was that I had to do something – something to not only get people’s attention, but to do something where I felt I was actually accomplishing something constructive and that I was able to do that by getting my thoughts and feelings off my chest. And sure I was saying that I would stop posting, which technically means losing this medium to express myself, but to be honest it helped open doors that would enable me to express myself verbally – and more importantly to actual people face-to-face, or voice-to-voice.
A really great initiative that I just had to write about. Maybe next time I can be a little more involved and how things transpired through these kind of initiatives.
Two days earlier I had written this, which I’ll admit was purposely attention-grabbing but nonetheless genuine. But it was this post I felt truly showed an unedited, all-out illustration of how bad things had gotten for me. Never before in my mind had I more effectively expressed how angry I was at my inability to make things happen and how frustrated I was at the circumstances I was faced with and the perceptions of how people I had trusted had let me down. And while this may have been a very low point for me, I can still find achievement in that all that was written was without any prior brainstorming, formatting or filtering. This message was from the heart, and dammit I felt good having just wrote this. I would’ve never said something like this before in my life, and this was the first time I mustered enough courage to do so.
It was short and to the point, but once here I was at another key point in my mind where I felt ready to open up again without concern of saying too much, or not saying enough. I think of this post when I think of these kind of posts, and it makes me happy knowing I can write about these things with enough confidence to do so honestly. Plus the message is also not to make a lot of noise (quantity in posts), but rather to play beautiful music in the form of my writing when the time calls for it and at a comfortable pace (quality).
This posts stands out for two reasons – the feedback & the absurdity of what happened when he did play (aka the bad karma for pitching on Yom Kippur.) Sure, it may not be my place to judge others on their decisions of whether or not to go to work on certain holidays or how those decisions were influenced based on their circumstances (something I made very clear in the post, and what I was not demeaning at the end of it all). But what I will jump on is when your decisions backfire on you, whether or they had anything to do with why you did it or not – in this case, pitching on Yom Kippur resulted in one hell of a shellacking in the arena of major league baseball.
Not since I found out that Stephen Harper was at a synagogue on my street was I more excited and anxious to run out and play the role of eager reporter and find out what’s the story. And while it’s unfortunate it took a horrible thing like antisemitism to do so, I was pleased to have that feeling once again – something I honestly felt I’d lost in the past year. But beyond my own experiences, finding this was definitely an eye-opener, and a reminder that we may not be as safe as we may seem in good old Thornhill/Jewtown.
I’m no prophet nor do I wish to be in the business of interpreting why things happen in the world and preaching what they mean. But when I see something happen and I truly feel that this is why it happens (of course after looking into things, and not just bluntly saying “that’s how I feel and nothing can change that”), I have to get it out of me and on paper somewhere others can see it. This post was me saying, this is my voice and please listen… I think you’ll agree.
Without question, this post was my favourite one of the year to write about. It was my mos-read post of the year, and opened me up to a finally being able to write about my skepticism towards “frum” Jews and the unfortunate way they sometimes behave. It also brought me back in touch with other friends and blogs that I had lost touch with, and thus was able to share my feelings about these kind of things more conveniently in the future. And about the post itself… if you’re religious, please… don’t go embarrassing yourself on national television… And if you do, at least try coming off as intelligent, responsible, and human?