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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Funny NYT Piece

There's a funny item in tomorrow's NYT about a soap opera that is filmed in a studio in the heart of Orthodox Midwood, Brooklyn - otherwise known as the neighborhood of Flatbush:

The show has been filmed in New York for its entire 51-year history, and it’s safe to say that its souped-up world of sex and chicanery rarely resembles life on the sidewalks outside. But seven years ago the producers moved their studio from Midtown to Midwood, and with a healthy dose of real estate irony, the relocation coincided with a sharp growth in the local Orthodox Jewish community. As Midwood’s Orthodox population soared to perhaps three-quarters of the neighborhood, the gap between sidewalk and soap opera became a gulf.

Now, when Oakdale’s powerful, scheming blondes and sensitive, square-jawed men step out of the warehouse at Avenue M and East 14th Street, they encounter women wearing very long skirts and men with very long beards.

In Oakdale, your daily life might include falling into a coma, learning that you have an evil twin, or developing amnesia. Your romantic relationships would be more fleeting and unstable than the average high schooler’s. Above all, you would be in constant danger of getting kidnapped — Lily Snyder, for instance, has been kidnapped no fewer than eight times.

Outside the studio, by contrast, all premarital contact between the sexes, even handshakes, is forbidden, and many residents do not allow television into their homes.

Inside the studio, a woman might be hanging from a bell tower by her fingernails, while in the streets outside, the most dramatic scene is the group of elderly people holding court in the kosher Dunkin’ Donuts.

“We’re strangers in a strange land,” said Christopher Goutman, the show’s executive producer. “There aren’t even any bars around here.”

...This is such stuff as housewives’ dreams are made on. But not the housewives pushing prams past the studios on their way to the Chap-A-Nosh restaurant. Nor the girls from the Zionist yeshiva across the street, who swish past hundreds of pounds of oatmeal sitting on the studio’s loading dock, completely unaware that it will be transformed into quicksand from which a desperate heroine will soon be struggling to free herself in a most alluring manner.

Of course, anyone familiar with the area - and the "Zionist Yeshiva" they describe (Shulamith School for Girls) - will remember that the soap opera Another World filmed in the studio for decades. There were even rumors when I was a teenager of a male star from the soap opera who tried (unsuccessfully, the story goes) to pick up Shulamith girls he thought were cute.

I guess this article goes to prove that despite indications to the contrary in many mixed communities, disparate elements can still coexist in the same neighborhood without all hell breaking loose.

90 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

first of all, i appriciate the attempt in the last sentance of your post to reignite the fire that used to exist on this blog several months ago. if i am wrong and this was not your intent, forgive me.
second of all, out of couriosity, why do the produces/actors of the show give a hoot if the people outside their studio are interested in the show? adarabah, i would think they would be happy because they can record their show without any annoying fans or papaprazzi.

1:26 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

first of all, i appriciate the attempt in the last sentance of your post to reignite the fire that used to exist on this blog several months ago. if i am wrong and this was not your intent, forgive me.


There are many instances on his blog of posts about neighborhoods and communities in which people are resisting a change in demographic. It's such a common occurrence that it is nice to see a community where different types seem to be coexisting comfortably. This isn't about one community in particular.

1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom-

If you really think about it, they are coexisting on a minimal level. They are not really living together.

First of all, the soap opera crew do not reside in the neighborhood.

And let's face it, if they did, no real or unrestrictive friendships are going to be formed between the two groups.

I would guess a good parallel to your post is how blacks and whites "coexisted" in communties in the South in the 1960's.

7:12 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

Orthomom-

If you really think about it, they are coexisting on a minimal level. They are not really living together.

First of all, the soap opera crew do not reside in the neighborhood.

And let's face it, if they did, no real or unrestrictive friendships are going to be formed between the two groups.


Who said anythign about "real or unrestrictive friendships"? And why in the world is coexistence dependent on the soap opera crew living in the neighborhood? They spend their days there, among ultra-Orthodox Jews. Both groups seem to get along just fine. No fighting, no lawsuits, no name-calling or anonymous sniping in the article.

Go figure.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom--

I respectfully hear what your saying- that they are not at each others throats- but is that anything to really crow about? Shouldn't that be a given?

At the end of the day there is absolutely no interaction between the two. If the soap opera crew lived 24/7 in the neighborhood it would more than likely result in what you see in Lawrence, Teaneck, Crown Heights, Passaic Park, Lakewood and all those other fractured towns.

As a side note, speaking of Teaneck, there was a recent article warning residents to not let it become "another Lawrence".

In other words, it appears that to merely "coexist" amongst others who are so insular and so removed- even in the most minimal of ways- from most of society at large does not make for a whole and happy community.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Jacob Da Jew said...

Interesting.

I live close to this studio and have never heard of it.

Will have to check it out.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom wrote: " There were even rumors when I was a teenager of a male star from the soap opera who tried (unsuccessfully, the story goes) to pick up Shulamith girls he thought were cute."

OOOOOOOoooooo, I know who he is. I was good friends with him in Atlantic Beach for many years. He was also a performer on Broadway. He now lives on the west coast, unmarried. The family home is still in Atlantic Beach where he visits regularly.

Funny story. Surprised at his behavior on high school children though, but I guess a lot of things would surprise us!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Orthomom -- you seem unaware that the Soap Opera community and the Orthodox community in Midwood are currently in a deep dispute. The Orthodox community pays a bulk of the parking tickets on Avenue M, and therefore, have been getting more and more insistent on getting their share of the services the Soap Opera community gets, such as free coffee on the set, and black car pickup and drop off.

The Orthodox community has recently succeeded in having the scriptwriters add a yeshivishe character to the soap opera, and they are close to having an entire family added to the cast.

The Soap Opera community, furious at this infringement on their way of life are launching a vicious campaign to end the Orthodox influence on their show.

Their main complaint is that the girls who attend the Zionist high school across the street don't show enough leg, which is an affront to Soap community's less 'fanatical' mode of dress, and bitterly relate examples of how their attempts to befriend or date the high school girls have been met with elitism and disdain.

The Orthodox community, meanwhile, while generally sanguine about the whole conflict is starting to mobilize. They are starting to move into parking spots that surround the studio building, and park extremely fancy cars that grow ever more luxurious, prompting the Soap Opera community to remark that if the Orthodox community is so rich that they can afford these cars, then they probably have enough money to pay a few extra parking tickets, even if they don't get any coffee or black car pickup, not to mention tickets to screenings.

The Orthodox community is outraged with this assertion and insists that the cost of tickets for expired meters and double-parking is outrageous and some free coffee is the least the Soap Opera community can provide. Meanwhile, the Soap Opera community is unrelenting in its accusation that the Orthodox community is taking up all the parking spots on East 14th street, which leaves no room for their black cars to remain idling for hours while they shoot the day's episode.

CNN recently did a story about the problem and implied through their reporting that the Orthodox community has no right parking near the Soap Opera community's sound stage and are really at fault, and despite the cost of parking tickets have an evil plan, led by a local Bais Yaakov to displace the Soap Opera community altogether and take over the studio and turning it into a parking lot.

While many in the Orthodox community admit that doing so isn't such a bad idea, they still insist that the accusation is absurd.

The fight goes on and on. The Orthodox community wants services for their money they're spending and the Soap Opera community just wished the Orthodox would go away, ignoring the fact that if they would, traffic cops of different ethnicities would move in to relentlessly ticket the idling black cars, and their would wind up being too much coffee at the end of every day.

Orthomom, get your facts straight. There's a powder keg in Midwood just waiting to explode. The good news is that at the pace soap operas unfold, nothing of any significant will happen for at least 50 years. And even then, at 30 minute a day intervals.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

still wondering -

that was priceless.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Cosby Show was also filmed in that studio. Rudy's football game being filmed in the field near my house, and we went to watch the taping -- in our Shabbos robes. Needless to say, we're not seen on screen. :)

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Fox said...

Still Wonderin' should definitely get an award ... great stuff!

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still Wonderin' wrote:

The Orthodox community pays a bulk of the parking tickets on Avenue M, and therefore, have been getting more and more insistent on getting their share of the services the Soap Opera community gets, such as free coffee on the set, and black car pickup and drop off.
Why should a for-profit, private, taxpaying entity NOT be able to use private care pick-up/drop-off, coffee, etc? Sounds like jealousy.

The Orthodox community has recently succeeded in having the scriptwriters add a yeshivishe character to the soap opera, and they are close to having an entire family added to the cast.

So, you want to become PART of the trash of soap operas? Don't you think for a moment that midos is of a concern for those who want to partake of such worldly, materialistic venture?

The Soap Opera community, furious at this infringement on their way of life are launching a vicious campaign to end the Orthodox influence on their show.

Rightly so. There should be NO ORTHODOX INFLUENCE. I can't understand WHY the Orthodox want to be part of such a sinful, adulterous soap opera in the first place!

Their main complaint is that the girls who attend the Zionist high school across the street don't show enough leg, which is an affront to Soap community's less 'fanatical' mode of dress, and bitterly relate examples of how their attempts to befriend or date the high school girls have been met with elitism and disdain.

What goes on in the privacy and closed door of a studio has nothing to do with the community it is in. They should mind their own business and the Orthodox community should too.

The Orthodox community, meanwhile, while generally sanguine about the whole conflict is starting to mobilize. They are starting to move into parking spots that surround the studio building, and park extremely fancy cars that grow ever more luxurious, prompting the Soap Opera community to remark that if the Orthodox community is so rich that they can afford these cars, then they probably have enough money to pay a few extra parking tickets, even if they don't get any coffee or black car pickup, not to mention tickets to screenings.

Such stupid statements. Again, I reiterate, why should a for-profit, private, taxpaying entity NOT be able to use private care pick-up/drop-off, coffee, etc?

HERE'S THE CLINCHER:
The Orthodox community wants services for their money they're spending and the Soap Opera community just wished the Orthodox would go away, ignoring the fact that if they would, traffic cops of different ethnicities would move in to relentlessly ticket the idling black cars, and their would wind up being too much coffee at the end of every day.

The Soap Opera Community PAYS for their services deeply. They pay high taxes on the building, permits to operate (high entertainment fees) and PAY for the shuttling of people in black cars. They are spending MONEY in your community, whether it is for coffee or on other items in the neighborhood. Oh yes, and those black cars - don't have to feed a meter if someone is sitting in the car.


If it were the other way around, and the studio were to film outside, in the community, and influence the neighbors, I'm sure there would be a BIG stink over it.

PLEEEEEEEZZZE. Learn to pick and choose your battles.

The Cosby Show was mostly filmed at SilverCup Studios in Long Island City, as was a lot of the Sopranos. Maybe the EXTERIOR of the building was used, but the interior of the Cosby Show was definitely filmed mostly in Long Island City. The name of the studio is JC Studios, which was purchased by Warner Brothers way back in the 1920's. Definitely pre-dating the Orthodox influx.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia:

The film industry established itself in the neighborhood in 1907, when the Vitagraph company occupied a studio at Avenue M and East 14th Street. Scenes from films like "Hey Pop" and "Buzzin’ Around," starring Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, were filmed on streets in Midwood.[2] Warner Bros. purchased the studio in the 1920s, using it for short subjects.

NBC purchased part of the Vitagraph Studios in 1953, from which the programs of Perry Como, Peter Pan with Mary Martin and The Sammy Davis Jr. Show were broadcast. The same studios were used in more recent decades to broadcast the soap opera Another World, the situation comedy The Cosby Show, and a few 1976 episodes of Saturday Night Live.

In the early 1970's the NBC TV variety show "Kraft Music Hall" was taped in this studio.

NBC sold the studio in 2000. The facility is now known as JC Studios. The CBS soap As the World Turns currently tapes in the studio.

Among movies and TV shows that have been filmed in Midwood are the following:

America (1972) -- TV Series
The Godfather (1972)
Just Looking (1999)
The Squid and the Whale (2005)

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Have to clarify said...

Anonymous--Still wondering's comment was a joke.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:46 once had a lump of coal used as a suppository and in two weeks it was a diamond.

Apologies to Ferris Bueller

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whew! anon 3:46 i worry about your lack of understanding humor and satire.

geez, it was a joke.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Isn't that where the Cosby show was filmed 20 years ago?

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3:46 nearly gave away his secret identity. He's one of those folks who lives in constant, desperate fear that somewhere, someone is having a good time.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

boring topic at hand if you ask me

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The original Vitagraph studio complex is actually the current Shulamith campus.

If you ride the subway, you can still see the name 'Vitagraph' in the smokestack near the preschool playground.

In fact, the preschool building and gym was an abandoned sound stage until the early '80's when Shulamith moved in and renovated. The campus was owned by YU and house BTA and B'klyn Central until 1979. If you think about it, had YU stuck around....Flatbush would be a very different place today.

(The gates on E14 St still have 'YUHS' on them.)

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is a very interesting topic myself.

A lot of history in Brooklyn.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a highschooler in the 60's at Central (YUHSG), we occasionally set foot into the studio which was quite interesting and exciting. As a Midwood resident, there is no association bt the orthodox community and the soap actors/actresses. They do take up many parking spots especially when you are in a rush to get to Amazing Savings. Also glad to hear that they addressed Shulamith School as a 'zionist' school, not really sure if the title fits, but sounds good anyway.

1:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up a few blocks away from the "soap opera" studio, and I once found a discarded script on the street, as I was walking to do my Ave. M shopping.

I had visions of selling the script to soap opera fans for big bucks, (figuring that they always want to know what's coming up next in the plot of their favorite soap opera), but I was afraid that I would get in trouble with the producers, so I ended up just tossing it in the garbage.

Oh, well.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would you have gotten in trouble.

Garbage on the street is in the public domain...

It would've been great on eBay...

11:48 AM  
Blogger YMedad said...

OM, I'm still trying to figure it out: the actor at the time only thought they were cute? but they weren't? or was it that only he thoguht they were cute? but I thought all Shulamith girls were supposed to be cute?

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason there is no protest is because the community is a true melting pot and there are very little charedim of the fanatical kind. The frum community in Midwood is aging as young people have grown up and set up camp in places like Lakewood or the Five Towns. Ave M. is not full of "very long skirts" and "very long beards." Sure there are plenty of those but the article just wasn't accurate.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction: It's a melting pot of Jews, not a "true" melting pot.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason there is no protest is because the community is a true melting pot and there are very little charedim of the fanatical kind. The frum community in Midwood is aging as young people have grown up and set up camp in places like Lakewood or the Five Towns. Ave M. is not full of "very long skirts" and "very long beards." Sure there are plenty of those but the article just wasn't accurate.

NOT TRUE. I am MO lived there for 10 years. I was an outcast, yelled at on Shabbat for pushing a carriage where there was an eruv approved by my Rabbi, for my wife not covering her head, and even for "making" my wife work and leaving the children with a shiksahah. All within spitting range of the Studio.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yelled at by whom? I'm MO too, have lived in that neighborhood for 20+ years and have found that people stick to themselves and live in their own separate worlds. Nobody cares enough to yell @ s/o pushing a baby carriage. There are plenty of MO people and some pretty important MO shuls and institutions in the area.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Let's not fool ourselves. Even though Flatbush (now known universally as Midwood)used to be a Modern Orthodox suburb of Borough Park, it sure as heck isn't anymore.

Though I'm relieved no one yet has seen reason to boycott an innocuous movie studio that has been in continuous existence since the early 1900s, it is not because of the neighborhood's delightfully heterogeneous population.

It is more likely that the rabbinic powers that be need to prioritize: it's much more important that they destroy Shulamith.

Once they do that, they'll be able to focus on the Studio.

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are plenty of MO people and some pretty important MO shuls and institutions in the area.


YI of Flatbush, talmud Torah of Flatbush, dieing shuls.

YI OF Midwood - A shtibel.

1;42 is right, It used to be a MO area, its now Chaim Berlin and Agudahnicks

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1;42 is right, It used to be a MO area, its now Chaim Berlin and Agudahnicks

I concur. I've witnessed the inexorable change myself, having lived here all my life. The community has become more and more black hat, more and more judgemental, more and more extremist. The only reason the studio gets no flak is because they operate completely incognito. Like the article says, lots of people who live right nearby are not fuly aware of it or what's filmed there. That's fine, and very accomodating on behalf of the studio, but Orthomom is kidding herself if she wants to hold this up as an example of successful integration of communities.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous A joke said...

Q: What do Brooklyn and pantyhose have in common?

A: Flatbush.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but Orthomom is kidding herself if she wants to hold this up as an example of successful integration of communities.


Absolutely. How can a community be labeled as successfully integrated if a group, by design, self-segregates, on many many levels.

In New Jersey, the towns of Maplewood, South Orange, and Montclair are held as successful models of integration- African American, White, Asian, gay, etc.

And yes, and not unsurprising, there is a significant Jewish population in those towns.

The difference and also not surprising? They are not Orthodox. (Modern or otherwise)

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 10:09 your ad hominin attack on Ortho's is dirty. It is indviduals who insulate themselves.

I left Flatbush because it was becoming a Ghetto.

I am MO, live in the 5T and have friends and colleauges of all races, religions and levls of practice.

10:15 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

but Orthomom is kidding herself if she wants to hold this up as an example of successful integration of communities.


Being as I never said anything about "integration", I am not kidding myself at all. I spoke of "coexistence". You might think integration would be nice (I hardly think that full integration is the mark of every successful community), but before that step is even considered, coexistence has to take place. People have to have a "live and let live" attitude towards those of their neighbors choices (religious and otherwise) even if they themselves wouldn't make the same choice.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The difference and also not surprising? They are not Orthodox. (Modern or otherwise)

Well of course. An ultimate purpose of much halacha (kosher, shabbos, etc.) is to segregate, so it's no surprise that non-halachic branches integrate better. And while we're not kidding ourselves, they also assimilate easier for the same reason.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spoke of "coexistence".

Separate, but equal.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 10:09

you are correct about the horrible turn that we jews have taken in segregating ourselves... look what happened when GG did not follow the RULES.. they were forced out of business...this is what the goyim see when they look at us. they see a people that cannot even stand their own kind. is it any wonder that our young want to escape via intermarriage?

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1046 said Nobody cares enough to yell @ s/o pushing a baby carriage.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Oh no. I am MO. Its been about 7 yeass since I moved, but on East 19th Between K and L, a local claiming to be a Rabbi (in Dark Suit and Black Hat, no beard, he said he was an Rabbi.) harassed me on shabbos for pushing a carraige within an eruv. When I told him to mind his own business he said he had a duty to make sure that a fellow Jew was not mechallal shabbas.

I left a few months later is disgust. There a very few MO's left. The MO askanizic shuls are empty.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:20, peddle your self-hate elsewhere. We were having a civilized conversation.

10:21 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...


Separate, but equal.


You make me laugh. So you are telling me that every community successfully integrates BUT the Orthodox? Every group, whether minority or non-minority, must CHOOSE to fully integrate with their neighbors - and if not, the community is akin to pre-civil rights era America? What world do you live in?

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The MO askanizic shuls are empty.

Basically, any neighborhood ashkenazi institution (shul, school, etc.) that is not right wing is fading fast. The sephardim are also becoming yeshivish, or at least polarized with one side yeshivish, as the influence seeps into their community. For example, there are a number of formerly sephardi institutions that are now left-wing ashkenazi institutions--and they're still moving right.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you are telling me that every community successfully integrates BUT the Orthodox?

No, but the Orthodox are part of a set of traditional communities that strive to not integrate. The Orthodox are not alone in that behavior (the Hmong are like that too), but that doesn't change what they are.

As to choosing, of course it's by choice. So what? I'm just describing the facts on the ground: the community you covered in the post is an example of nothing cooperative, integrative or anything beyond "coexisting" in the same way oil and water share a jar. There's no intergroup relationships, no shared infrastructure beyond the lampposts and garbage trucks, no communication at all. You hold it up as an example of what didn't happen in your community, but if the wall of separation was put under the least bit of pressure, the ourpouring of hate, invective and lawsuits would make your experience look like a playground spat.

10:35 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

There's no intergroup relationships, no shared infrastructure beyond the lampposts and garbage trucks, no communication at all. You hold it up as an example of what didn't happen in your community, but if the wall of separation was put under the least bit of pressure, the ourpouring of hate, invective and lawsuits would make your experience look like a playground spat.

And yet they coexisted for years without it happening. The bottom line is - no one's asking for "intergroup relationships" or "shared infrastructure" beyond the basics. Just simple coexistence with respect for others' choices. Hey, it's a start.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

peddle your self-hate elsewhere. We were having a civilized conversation.

Peddle my hate, someone said that It never happaned that I was harassed on my way home from shul. It is truth not hate.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet they coexisted for years without it happening.

Because, as I said, they may share lattitude and longitude, but it may as well be the coordinates of different planets for all they have to do with each other.

Just simple coexistence with respect for others' choices.

What good is coexistence if you define it so minimally that Midwood qualifies? And you're dreaming if you think the incumbent Orthodox community of Midwood respects the choices of their non-Jewish and non-Orthodox neighbors. The reason they coexist peacefully is because they don't interact, not because they mutually respect each other's choices.

Hey, it's a start.

No, it's a nonstart. But at least you're lowering yout expectations, and that's a start.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone said that It never happaned that I was harassed on my way home from shul

Not you, the other 10:20 anonymous.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Peddle my hate, someone said that It never happaned that I was harassed on my way home from shul. It is truth not hate."

It's true 10:20 #2. The comment above your was unmitigated stupidity. Your story was quite illuminating.

My friend from the 5 Towns was spending Shabbos in Flatbush and walked to shul carrying his tallis bag. He grew up in Brooklyn and holds from the Flatbush Eruv.

While he was on his way, a man stopped and said in a loud, condescending voice, "It's Shabbos! Why are you carrying? There's no eruv here."

My friend stopped, looked at the guy and said, "What's an Eruv?" and walked away.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom said:
You make me laugh. So you are telling me that every community successfully integrates BUT the Orthodox? Every group, whether minority or non-minority, must CHOOSE to fully integrate with their neighbors - and if not, the community is akin to pre-civil rights era America? What world do you live in?

Hmmm.. what world do I live in? I guess the REAL world.

A world where my children and I can make true and unrestrictive friendships with others who are "different" from me. A world where women are on equal par with men and are not looked upon as impure during a monthly process or immodest if they show their elbow. A world where I have a freedom of choice and that I trust myself, and only myself, to make the right decisions. A world that says I don't have to be a religious zealot to have a moral center.

The real world. It's a nice world.
You should try living in it.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Neshama said...

Too many anonymouses with whom I don't want to share a name here, so I'm picking a name and claiming my anonymous comments:
9:57: I concur...
10:16: Well of course...
10:18: Separate, but equal.
10:21: 10;20, peddle your...
10:25: Basically, any neighborhood...
10:35: No, but the Orthodox...
10:50: Because, as I said...

12:16 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

wow, anon 11:53. So you won't abide by your neighbors if they choose to follow religious strictures such as the laws of modesty or family purity? How open-minded and tolerant of you.

It's clear you are not someone that should be arguing over what makes a good neighbor. Yours made it clear that you consider for that category only people who are willing to be exactly like you.

Good luck with that "real world" you claim exists. Let me know where you find it.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Family Purity?

Beautiful sentiment, Orthomom. What other groups have I heard use THAT term before?

As for tolerant and open-mindedness, sorry, that would not describe Orthodoxy by ANY stretch of the imagination.

Indulge me, Orthomom. What kind of country would this be if EVERY group lived the lifestyle that you do?

An ideal place, huh?

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Neshama said...

OM, please don't feed the troll.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neshama-

Do you define a troll as someone who doesn't agree with you? Are you afraid that you think there might be a good point or argument somewhere in the post?

Neshama, are you really afraid that is it becoming harder for you to swallow or justify some of those beliefs in the 21st century?

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

by the by...'family purity' is really not what you think. scientific research and the study of dna has found that the words "family purity" might just mean something else. according to the research, we all come from olduvai gorge in the eastern serengeti plains in northern tanzania. there is also a study that has found that 60% of ashkinazi jews do not have the "jewish" blood markers in their dna. according to a national geographic study, 60% of all men claiming to be a kohani share a dna marker. just thought that some might find that interesting.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom - just ignore the ranting and raving of those always looking to pick a fight. Does everything have to be a war with you guys? It was an interesting article - thanks for bringing it to our attention.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"

Family Purity?

Beautiful sentiment, Orthomom. What other groups have I heard use THAT term before?"

Uh, "family purity" is the term, as translated from the original hebrew. You may not like the laws, but they have nothing to do with racial or ethnic purity, and everything to do with a family's choices about their intimate life. Do you think you really have a right to cast stones regarding anyone's sexual practices? I am sure that someone as free-thinking (sarcasm) as you would be the first to defend someone for having sex out of marriage or for having multiple sexual partners. Well, this is as little your or anyones business as any other sexual practice that is legal.

You really are a troll.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3:48

Who is casting stones about anyone's sexual practices?

Oh, that would be those who deem homosexuality as an abomination.

Hmmm... who might that be?

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are casting stones. Family purity relates to a couples intimate life. It is no business of yours.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you clouding the issue? Again, I never said anything about what a couple does behind closed doors.

If the term "family purity" equals a couples intimate life and infers nothing else (I'm rolling my eyes) then I must be completely missing something.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous One who knows said...


If the term "family purity" equals a couples intimate life and infers nothing else (I'm rolling my eyes) then I must be completely missing something.


Then I guess we have to chalk it up to you completely missing something. The term
"family purity"
refers to a couple's intimate married life and infers nothing else. Why don't you try to do a google search and see exactly how wrong you are?

Some people are really nuts around here, OM.

8:29 PM  
Blogger miriamp said...

You brought it up: "A world where women are on equal par with men and are not looked upon as impure during a monthly process..."

In my world, women are on an equal par with men, (whether or not you choose to believe it) and we also cycle through levels of purity and impurity. That cycle has a lot more to do with what goes on behind closed doors than with what goes on on the street. My particular status at any one time is the business of myself and my husband, and doesn't affect anyone else. But you chose to disparage it, and that is what Orthomom is reacting to.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did this thread turn into a Tahriat Hamischaha fued??

7:46 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

anon, your point? men are also rendered impure by having sexual emmissions from their bodies.

Big deal. All sexual emmissions render a person impure.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Halfnutcase said...

Big deal. All sexual emmissions render a person impure.

"Sexual emissions" as you put it, are natural occurences. There is nothing "impure" about them.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

and why not?

Dirt is a natural occurance and we declare the person filthy don't we?

Its all circular definitions anyway. From a sociological point of view there is no more reason to say why so than to say why not, unless you are proceeding from the presuposition that all things natural are pure and fitting in which case you shouldn't mind your children smoking (pot or tobacco) or storting cocaine since all of those are perfectly natural. Likelwise one shouldn't mind if ones child decides to eat a belladonna plant because it's natural too!

Seriously, I'd like to see you justify your reasoning without making an offensively circular argument.

:-)

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you are smarter than that-

Of course I don't think that cocaine is good because it is "natural". We are talking about the human body, NOT dangerous drugs or substances.

The point I was making is that women who are having their cycle are NOT impure and should not be treated as such. It is a NORMAL bodily occurence and most people (including the women themselves) believe that it is OK to have non-sexual contact with them during that period. (pardon the pun)

:)

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They do take up many parking spots especially when you are in a rush to get to Amazing Savings."

Er no, they don't. The studio has thier own garage (rented) on e 15th Bet. Locust and Ave L.

"The original Vitagraph studio complex is actually the current Shulamith campus.

If you ride the subway, you can still see the name 'Vitagraph' in the smokestack near the preschool playground."

Interesting tidbit: The reason Vitagraph stopped filming there was because the movie industry introduced 'Talkies', and the noise from the train interfered with the filming.

"I left a few months later is disgust." There a very few MO's left. The MO askanizic shuls are empty."

Wow, sorry for you dude, if you'd have held out for another 2-4 years you'd have gotten twice as much for your house than you actually did. 19th k & l? There's not a home on that block that'd go for less than $1m today.

"There a very few MO's left. The MO askanizic shuls are empty."

Interesting. You can't find a seat in the MO askanaizic shul nearest to the block you've described (Young Israel of ave J), as a matter of fact they expanded in recent years, and now have 3 minyanim on shabbos, as well as two daily Minyanim for both Shachris and Ma'ariv, as well as a daily Daf, attended by about 15 people. Sorry though, the Rabbi wears a black hat even though he's a professor at Y.U.

"It is more likely that the rabbinic powers that be need to prioritize: it's much more important that they destroy Shulamith."

"My friend from the 5 Towns was spending Shabbos in Flatbush and walked to shul carrying his tallis bag. He grew up in Brooklyn and holds from the Flatbush Eruv.

While he was on his way, a man stopped and said in a loud, condescending voice, "It's Shabbos! Why are you carrying? There's no eruv here.""

Uh, what most would describe as the most right wing Rabbi in Midwood, has set up shop directly across the street from Shulamith, and the two institutions not only support each other, when the Rav of the shul is unavailable, the Rabbi of Shulamith (a Y.U. graduate) fills in for him saying the Daf Yomi! There is also a group of students from YU who travel in to hear a shiur from this right wing Rabbi on a weekly basis. Same rabbi travels to your neck of the woods to say a shiur on a weekly basis in 5 towns, getting along just smashingly with them. In addition there is a school for children and young adults whom one would say, don't follow the right wing (agudah/chaim berlin) lifestyle, who are also on the same block, and, once again, they get along smashingly.
My point is, the yelling that was done to the fellow pushing the carriage is an isolated case, don't disparage the whole community because of 1 fool. As a matter of fact, I had occasion to Daven in the right wing shul, and noticed a sign on the Rabbi's stationary, insisting that, to avoid strife, there be no discussion in the confines of the shul regarding the Eruv.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wow, sorry for you dude, if you'd have held out for another 2-4 years you'd have gotten twice as much for your house than you actually did. 19th k & l? There's not a home on that block that'd go for less than $1m today."

Didn't live on 19th, was walking through. I was a renter who would have stayed but for the changes.


"the yelling that was done to the fellow pushing the carriage is an isolated case, don't disparage the whole community because of 1 fool."

And the women who told my wife that wearing pants and not covering her head was a sin, and the woman who called me after following my non-white caregiver and said only hire russian jewish women, because the other will try to convert your kids. Come on, 1 crazy??

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:01

You must have been hallucinating!

Remember-

Orthodox Judaism is not fanatical.

Just keep repeating.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthodox Judaism is not fanatical.


Unless you live in Boro Park, Flatbush etc

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or Lakewood or Teaneck or Israel or...

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or live in the FIVE TOWNS! It is surely getting that way!

Also, what about the shabbos goyim? Since when is that allowed for housekeepers, babysitters, caterers, etc.?

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 7:25

And in ten years you can add Merrick (YI is building a mikveh for the sole purpose of having more Orthodox move into the town), West Orange, Passaic Park and Great Neck to the list!

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthodox Judaism

and what do these words mean??

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

zionist yeshiva im more confused by that term.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Little do the NY Times writers know, more women than they realize, even the women who push their Bug-A-Boos past the studio, have had extramarital affairs. But I guess their puritanical image of us is better than the other way around. ....If they only knew

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