It's been two full years since I started blogging. My first year was pretty much about "this is what my life is like, as an Orthodox woman, and here's why I do the things I do. Welcome to my world. Are there any questions?" My second year was mostly about, "Here are the things I ponder and muse as an Orthodox woman. What do you think about that?" And here I approach my third year, and the following comes to mind:
THING THING What is that thing?
THING SING That thing can sing!
SONG LONG A long, long song.
Good-by, Thing. You sing too long.
Thanks, Dr. Seuss. Which has long been my mantra: stop before they're tired of you.
But there's more.
It seems that by putting myself out there as this happy, fulfilled, serene (most of the time) Orthodox woman, I have also set up a de facto "in defense of Orthodoxy" blog. And the greatest and most interesting irony of it all is that in many cases, the closer someone is to Orthodox Judaism, they more I feel that way on the blog - that my practice of my faith is on trial. Which has led to all kinds of incredible discussions on the blog: rich, deep, intelligent, caring, feeling discussions.
It has also led to me feeling wiped out.
At the risk of sounding petulant, I say this: I don't WANT to defend religion so much here on OOTOB. So you might say, too bad. You set yourself up for this. Do you really think you are going to just emote or intellectualize about your life without tough questions? But truthfully, I don't MIND tough questions. I like them. They've challenged me to find ever greater answers. The interesting part of this blog - and the fulfilling part, since it's not all about what's "interesting" - derives exactly from the friction here. But the exhaustion is not coming from there. It's coming from the emotionality of it, sometimes, and the self-editing I find myself doing to avoid it. The emotionality that I and I alone (ridiculous, of course) am on the witness stand, defending Judaism with my formal education that ended 20 years ago (continuing education and being married to a rabbi notwithstanding). Questions that are simply curious do not exhaust me.
So I say this: I don't have all the answers. Is that OK? Sometimes here on this blog, I will simply say "I don't know" and it will be OK. And it will not be me conceding that therefore God does not exist, or does not care quite as much as I think He does, or that my practice of my faith is baseless, or any other host of issues we've covered here. It means that my inability to refute every challenge due to time constraints, my limited resources and brainpower, and my desire not to let this blog eclipse my life is in no way a blight on my faith or practice thereof.
I will still continue to publish comments that wipe me out, and they in no way signify my agreement or endorsement. I may alter the nature of my posts, but I might hate myself if I do :) Who knows?
So I think I'll continue on this crazy journey with a bit of self-protection. Let's see what happens. Thanks for sticking with me.