Image via Wikipedia
We tend to worry about our self image here in America. I have noticed that. We hoard it as if it is our only possession, this being obvious in the advent of bloggers and vanity sites.
In the tech world, if you write a little snippet of code to do something that no one ever uses, or if they do, they wouldn't care about, then all of a sudden a site with your name must go up, with all of the bells and whistles, and it must be presented as if you were James Gosling or Larry Wall.
I understand. I used to be an attention whore, too. I was a writer, or trying to be, and it was a big production, trying to look as cool if not cooler than the others in my genre already were.
Perhaps I have forgotten the self-image thing. I'm just not up for it anymore, I guess. I generally avoid putting my picture up, eventually I'll get around to it, but more so my online friends know what I look like more than trying to be a media star. I won't be one of those.
I don't wanna be one of those.
So, I'm in the bank, and my teller (I have got to remember her name... it's simply rude not to know) has had plenty of questions about Judaism, especially since I look like I walked out of Crown Heights. I always answer them, which leads to a delightful conversation about this, that, and the other.
I don't get excited and bent out of shape about the fact that she thinks Messianic "Jews" (Vegetarians for Meat is another way you will hear me refer to them) are a valid sect of Judaism. I simply encourage her study, and thank my lucky stars that we (Torah Jews, actual Jews) are thought well of.
We had a recent discussion about Shabbat, and how Jews celebrate Shabbat with rest and the best of everything. She asked if she could celebrate Shabbat. I suggested that it would be an awesome idea. There's a website called Sabbath Manifesto that is perfect. It's sponsored by a group called Reboot, and I was glad to be able to share it.
Today, she wanted to know more about myself and our family, because, as she put it, I was "so laid back." I was informed that she had been studying more about Orthodoxy and the impression that she was left with was something to the effect of what I call the "Orthodox Snub." I did explain the concept of yichud, and how my wife and I avoid any physical contact with the other gender, or be in a closed room with them.
So yes, we're strict. And then the discussion progressed to the differences between Haredi, Chabad, and Breslov. The latter is how I came to the title of this post.
I said that in the Chassidic world, Chabad was the "geeks," and Breslov would be the "hippies."
I am an ultra-orthodox geeky hippie.
I like it that way.