Monday, December 05, 2005

The Handbook

My cousin is engaged! Yeah, Mazel Tov! She’s excited. The boy is said to be a good hearted boy – on top of being handsome and a learner. I believe that once again – it was up to the parents to get it right, and focus primarily on the character of each of them, as well as the personalities of the two involved – even more than focusing on the ‘status’ of the match. But that’s a topic for another time.

I’ve got some observations to share. It might not compleletly jive with all I’ve said so far – but that shouldn’t negate it all. It’s just another facet of this wonderful gem called Williamsburg.

So there were flowers sent for the Vort. See - Nowadays flowers aren't spontaneous & heartfelt 'expressions' - as in "Say it with Flowers", flowers are obligatory because there is a rule book somewhere that requires that it be sent. So automatically there is a problem. Do you send an additional bouquet the next day? Isn't a Wednesday humongous super-expensive bouquet enough? Doesn't it already express any sentiment that was meant to have been conveyed? Not according to The Handbook. The Handbook has a straightforward segment on "Shabbos Kallah" and if you look lower down it clearly spells out the need for "18 Roses". I don't think the halacha allows for any leniency. At least not in the 1990 edition of The Guidebook. So of course, one needs to consult those that have the updated version.

When a child is born into a Williamsburg family (I think that BP, Monsey and Monroe are part of this clique - but I am not certain), they are handed The Guidebook. In it there are lists of proper code of dress, expressions for every occasion, gifts with coordinating event and timing attached. There are rules for what to wear to to what occasion. What to say in response to a gift. What to give in response to a gift. Precise rules as to when the "Mazel Tov" comes with a kiss, or just a hand-shake, or (if ever required/permitted) a hug. There are also rules about what gifts a kalla gets, and what a choson gets. When to give it, and when not to. When to call. How soon to hang up. What to say, what not to say. What to think. How to think. What to think when others think. What to say that you think about what others thought - or said they thought.

The Guidebook is an amazing tool if you want to blend in.

So Baruch Hashem I was blessed with a mother who burnt that book as soon as we were born. She taught as that there was right and there was wrong - and what the 'public' has deemed as proper protocol has little to do with how we truly ought to behave. It is indeed thanks to her that all of you are so lucky as to have had the opportunity to be introduced to someone as dazzling as me. :) I had always assumed that my aunts had followed my brilliant mom’s example.

But apparently my darling cousin got ahold of that handbook. The 2005-2006 version. And she says that one of the newer rules clearly states that if one faction of the ‘shidduch’ goes according to ‘The Rules’ the other side needs to comply too. Personally, I am of the opinion that she co-authored it. Be that as it may, the entire engagement is now going to have to go according to The Rules.

Wish us luck.

52 Comments:

At December 05, 2005 11:45 AM, Anonymous willigirl said...

Oh please !!!!
"a gem called williamsburg?"

Wake up lady what world you live in? I live in that same ghetto and its full of horrific acts gone way out of hand...

There is no handbook of rules we are just controlled by some idiots and if we do it our own way we are a goy gumar you know it yourself.
stop acting like willi is gem of gems where cheating,rape,
abuse,double lives,tv,internet,
porn,crooks, ganuvim and the list goes on and on! things that in any book is a no no....everybody is to busy judging others they think because they wear a shpitzal or white stockings on shabbos nobody will ever detect their wrong doings.....

"YOU DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVERS"

Because my shietal is a different color or my earings a bit longer does not mean I do bs.

Most of you are in denial and cannot fathom the fact that the most disgusting crimes are done in willi. Because their payas are a bit longer they are ok? Give me a break I am 26 and live here all my life ive seen it all so don't go telling me I am talking without brain.
Stop being so close minded and naive... open your eyes YEAH RIGHT GEM WILLI" hahahaha.

We might be friends for all I know since I am your age and from satmar. but hey we all want to be anonymous since internet is forbidden!!!! I guess we are on the same page! how ironic you got the urge to come online and tell people what a gem williamsburg is! I find it a bit odd.

Having said all that every society has good and bad! not all but a tiny bit of us are a nachas to have around and are truly gems inside out!

 
At December 05, 2005 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are some sick self hating jews i have a suggestion get your asses outa willie and go be kofer hashem and stop being misreable

 
At December 05, 2005 11:55 AM, Anonymous willigirl said...

sick self hating jews? you are ignorant thats all! I speak the truth nothing but the truth I am not hating for I have lots of respect for them! In case ignorant brains like you have not catched up I am part of it why should I leave because they are wrong?

 
At December 05, 2005 11:59 AM, Blogger Totally Content said...

willigirl - Learn to formulate an argument before you start writing.

You picked the simplest line as the basis of your entire rant. As a side note, that line could have benefitted you more if you would have looked at it and simply said that some gems - when looked at a bit more closely - are far from flawless.

My identity isn't that strongly gaurded - and unlike you I do not lead a double life. Email me, we can be in touch.

 
At December 05, 2005 11:59 AM, Anonymous Willigirl said...

Ive said what I wanted im done! no need to debate this do your thing!

 
At December 05, 2005 12:01 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

willigirl - proofread next time, I hate being 'caught up' in your wild and grammatically incorrect ranting. It literally bugs me more than your baseless opinions.

 
At December 05, 2005 12:01 PM, Anonymous willigirl said...

unlike me? how do you know i lead a double life? who said I lead one?

uhh? you do since you are online blogging! thats not very satmarish!

 
At December 05, 2005 12:05 PM, Anonymous willigirl said...

Go be kofer hashem? what has all this to do with hashem? I am just telling you what goes on! that does not make me kofer hashem! that is stupid of you to say.

Why would I want to email you? or be in touch? that was not my intentions!

 
At December 05, 2005 12:09 PM, Anonymous willigirl said...

I am at work! I do not have the time to proof read.

That bugs you? my grammer on a blog! I pity you then! it doesnt bug you that your children could be harmed in this ghetto! no need to answer!

Its so boring debating over and over again nothing changes things just get worse! Don't let it bug you girl you won't have to read my rants no more!

 
At December 05, 2005 12:14 PM, Anonymous willigirl said...

baseless opinion?

f--- you!

 
At December 05, 2005 12:21 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

willigirl - In regard to that delightful offer - I think I'll decline.

As for your charming way of expressing yourself... I was going to remove it, but there is one easy way for people to negate any validity or weight that their viewpoints might have carried. You seem to have found it.

Congrats.

 
At December 05, 2005 1:16 PM, Anonymous Miri said...

Willigirl, why you still living around these parts?? Just get outta here, and get a decent life, if you're so fed up with this one. Or is it not an option, bec. you DO live by the 'Rules Handbook'?

Re: your first post, who are you kidding? "There is no handbook of rules we are just controlled by some idiots ..."
As a Satmar Williamsburg girl myself, I totally agree with Sheitel this time, that our lives ARE ruled by the Handbook, and to break some rules would cause some tongues in the community to wag. Of course, depending on which rules, and how far it was bent or broken. But the rules are definitely there for whoever wants to 'fit in'.

Most people are too content and narrow-minded to actually 'chap' that they are living according to the rules. It's what they grew up with all their lives, and see nothing wrong with it. But, yeah, it is a sick thing. Gives us no freedom.

You must be really mad at this place....

 
At December 05, 2005 1:41 PM, Blogger FoncusedYid said...

williy girl!!

i love you honey!!

 
At December 05, 2005 2:27 PM, Anonymous Mosheshmiel said...

willigirl you speak like JBF (Jewishbifemme) I bet you are the same bitch.

i love you honey!

 
At December 05, 2005 2:59 PM, Blogger the shaigetz said...

Nice Blog Sheitel! I can't say I envy you your commenting though.

 
At December 05, 2005 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MosheShmeil is a girl, just so every one knows, 29 yrs old lives in Boro Park, used to have apopular blog not too long ago :(

 
At December 06, 2005 4:53 AM, Blogger Frummer????? said...

The rules exist, every society has them. The problem is when people are afraid, terrified, to diverge from them even in the tiniest way, because of what others will say. Interestingly enough, other societies suffer from exactly the same thing.

The difference is that by virtue of "Ve'Ohavto Le'reacho komocho" we are expected to be better, yet our society suffers from the same judgemental attitude as any other. And that is why people complain when Chassidim behave badly, after all, are they not supposed to be the cream of Jews, at the pinnacle of spirituality? That’s what they claim.

 
At December 06, 2005 10:23 AM, Blogger shlomohamelech said...

Wiligirl, with a few more people like you Wili will be a better place, LOL. There is really no need to add to what you have written, you have said it all... You are really one of the enlightented people in Wili, like the left in this country and in most countries. Williamsburg is proud of you. You should be our spokesperson to the world... Maybe you should write a book.

 
At December 06, 2005 11:09 AM, Anonymous willigirl said...

I came back to apologize for cursing at you! I guess this entire subject of Williamsburg brings out the b/witch in me ;)


---------------

Awwwww Shlomo! how sweet of you to say that! you made my day...

As for writing a book by the looks of it its impossible I just comment and they feel the need to talk about my grammer (I am more intelligent see I am satmar did not go to college and I blog high vocabulary attitude)...


-----------

spokesperson to the world? LOL! I don't think so I have no intentions to tell the world I am just discussing it with people who live in my world who happen to be in denial.

 
At December 06, 2005 12:29 PM, Blogger yidishcreplech said...

PPL WHO KNEW KUNNY RUTTENBERG CHECK OUT MY BLOG

 
At December 06, 2005 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOW WHY IS EVERY1 MISSING THE POINT
I CANT BELIEVE THAT SHITEL IS LIVING IN SUCH DENIEL
JUST GO OUT THIS SHABBOS IN WIILI WITH A HAND BAG OR WHATEVER AND DOING SO WITH THE HETTER OF YOUR RABBI AND SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN
JUST SEND YOUR KIDS TO BIKVEI HATZON SCHOOL JUST B/C UTA WONT CHANGE YOUR KID TO A BETTER TEACHER AND SEE HAT HAPPENS (OF COURSE IM TALKIN 10 YEARS AGO BUT THE PRINCIPAL OF THAT BEHAVIOR IS STILL ARROUND)
JUST BUY A DIFFRENT STYLE OF COAT FOR YOUR CHILDERN AND SEE HOW MANNY PPL WILL GIVE YOU THEIR DOTHER (OF COURSE THEY HAVE THE RIGHT)
ME YOU US CAN GO ON FOR DAYS AND YOU WILL STILL LIVE IN YOUR DENIEL

 
At December 06, 2005 1:28 PM, Blogger Genendy said...

You guys need to face reality. You see Willi as a ghetto and that's exactly what it is. And now you 'oifgeklerte' think you've busted out of the ghetto - at least mentally, if not physically. But you don't even realize to what extent you've grown up sheltered - how much outside knowledge you're lacking. Like for instance that there are pressures to conform in every society. Each in their own way, each to a different extent, but it's not at all exclusive to the Chassidish oilem. Grow up.

 
At December 06, 2005 4:12 PM, Blogger FrumBiMidal said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At December 06, 2005 10:31 PM, Anonymous JK from KJ said...

I was fascinated by your portrayal of our attitudes. Why is it that I do things just to impress my neighbor who does it just to impress me?

But it is crucial to note that these flaws have nothing to do with religion. Peer pressure is something that has been out there ever since. This trend has gone so far, that many companies are building their entire marketing strategy on this stupid behavior.

It’s always been everywhere.

 
At December 07, 2005 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right JK, but in some places it's so much worse than in others.

 
At December 07, 2005 9:11 AM, Anonymous JK from KJ said...

Is it possible that the place that you believe to be worse than the others happens to be the “only” place you had a chance to examine closely???

Isn’t’ that what they say, the grass on the other side of the fence always makes the impression of being greener???

 
At December 07, 2005 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely not. You can't compare BP or Monsey in this regard.

 
At December 07, 2005 1:45 PM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

"Isn’t’ that what they say, the grass on the other side of the fence always makes the impression of being greener??? "

so you think it is greetner to be in willi with their 4th grade english?

 
At December 07, 2005 2:53 PM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

yes it is ironic. You must have picked up skills from somewhere. Care to tell us your secret to success??

 
At December 07, 2005 2:55 PM, Anonymous JK from KJ said...

4th grade is already an accomplishment for me.

Although I do strive to master English, it’s only because of my general obsession with language.

If you want to relate to my success, that’s entirely a different story. I find myself sitting every other day with people who have had a good higher education asking for my business. Ironic, hu?

 
At December 07, 2005 2:59 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

I apologize for my error. I mistakenly deleted JK's comment which was supposed to precede Moderns's 2:53 comment.

Please excuse me. JK has reposted his.

 
At December 07, 2005 3:00 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

What JK was saying was that it is often easier to assume that – in general – others tend have it better. He was in no way specifying what those assumptions were relating to. So in that regard, for you to guess that for some reason he would find a lack of education 'greener' is presumptuous and, if you'll pardon my saying so, stupid.

JK raised a valid point. Rules are universal. Every society has them. To judge which society has the worst set of rules, is quite difficult – if not virtually impossible. Since most of us experienced childhood in only one – it is quite expected for us to only truly understand what it was like to be raised that particular way. Those unhappy would eagerly assume that that grass might be greener elsewhere.

- and how a fourth grade education would be relevant to this conversation – I can’t fathom!

 
At December 07, 2005 3:37 PM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

I was being facitious.
My point was that the grass is not always greener.
Those who are not in Willi won't be attracted to a culture that has a weak education for the children.

In other words to say the grass is greener is a cop-out.
This is just a ploy to beat around the bush and skirt the issues.

Granted picking on Willi's education maybe a cheap shot but it is not a stupid point.

The point is there maybe a better place for people who are unsatisifed with their group.
Their needs (be it educational, social, spiritual ETC.) maybe met on the outside.

 
At December 07, 2005 3:38 PM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

"My point was that the grass is not always greener"

I meant that the grass is often greener.

 
At December 07, 2005 3:38 PM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At December 07, 2005 4:44 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

Modern - while all of your points are valid, none of them detract from what JK said. He simply stated that "All societies have standards." And while it is true that some societies' rules are stricter than others - none of those rules make the education of said society relevant!

In light of the education argument - at the risk of repeating myself for the umpteenth time: If you feel, as you are justified to, that the education your children are receiving is insufficient -then by all means DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Teach them whatever it is that you deem necessary! Parental involvement is known to be the most important ingredient in their children's education.

To blame the community is a cop-out.

 
At December 07, 2005 5:00 PM, Blogger Genendy said...

Mod - Every society has its pros and cons. And every person has their own priorities. The important thing is to be in a society that jives with your priorities. Just because education is a priority to you, doesn't mean it has to be for everyone else. Others consider it more important to raise their children in a close, tight-knit community. I know of several people who've moved TO Willi for that reason.

 
At December 07, 2005 5:13 PM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

" Just because education is a priority to you, doesn't mean it has to be for everyone else."

This is partially true. Although others may feel education is not important, they maybe wrong.
For example, read the book "the unchosen". And visit footstepsorg.org.

Clearly, there are consequences for the preferences of having a 4th grade education.

And it may work out fine to raise children w/o an education but often it does not.

 
At December 07, 2005 5:15 PM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

And a community that fosters a ghetto education is culpable for those consequences.

 
At December 07, 2005 7:44 PM, Blogger mistake said...

Hey sheitel, long time. Im back to criticize ur every word. Here goes:
“So Baruch Hashem I was blessed with a mother who burnt that book as soon as we were born.”
I wonder if she really burned it or only created her own little handbook for her daughters and their friends to make other kids miserable. Correct me if im wrong:
Its ok for you to wear a sheitel and make up, but its not ok to wear denim or take off ur seams.
Its ok for your husband to watch movies and have internet at home but he would never let his unmarried son go to work; wear a jacket, sandals, or sneakers; or carry a cell phone.
Once you entered high school you couldn’t wear a winter hat or carry a backpack. No, scratch that, ur mom is too reasonable for that. She actually insisted you wear a hat against your kicking and screaming.
You might not send flowers for shabbos kallah after the humongous Wednesday bouquet because its not in your handbook. but you’ll still be suspicious of your neighbor wearing nail polish.
Hey, these are only my assumptions based on my experience. But if you do happen to find that they don’t imply to you then it only proves correct my earlier dubbing you a misfit.

 
At December 07, 2005 8:44 PM, Anonymous chiam said...

Well said mistake..

The talking behind the back when a yingerman takes off his hat and rekel when its 100 digrees outside oy vey...

 
At December 07, 2005 8:46 PM, Anonymous chiam said...

'degree'

 
At December 07, 2005 9:41 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

Mistake - your comments literally made me laugh out loud. Not because you hit in on the button, but because you couldn’t be more wrong.

And contrary to what you believe - I was never a misfit. Because believe it or not smart parenting does exist in Williamsburg. So there was right and wrong - and try as you might to find fault in that ideology – you won’t be successful.

To successfully parent, one needs to put down the rules. And no, those rules have nothing to do with community standards and everything to do with halachic, moral and ethical concerns.

 
At December 07, 2005 9:59 PM, Anonymous chanie said...

Mistake-thanks for being the spokesmen for the silent majority of us reading this blog who don't have the patience to deal with yentas in denial. Whatever you said, I as an insider, couldn't have said better myself.

 
At December 07, 2005 10:45 PM, Anonymous bagabund said...

other then your high vocabulary in

the english language i think you

have no idea what the point is

here shitel

i think what mistake try's to

prove here is as follows

or you are a misfit to your

community or you DO look down on

these ppl she's referring to

now to sum it all up . the fact is

that ppl in willi canot do what

they want even if according to halcha

it allowed to do

now what you try to say (i guess )

is that they CAN do what they want

and you bring for an example your

self

now everybody knows the terror

thats going on in willi .

everything a satmar man thinks its

not ok according to his rav to do

he will enforce it


a mother sees a girl go dressed as

mistake refers to she wont let her

daughter be friends with her and

it goes much deeper then that


the eiriv


the shlagerien


e.t.c.


now you were brought up healthy

but not every1 has the healthy

parents you have and i think this

is what mistake try's so hard to

make clear here that the norm isnt

as you portrays it to be in fact

its only the MISFITS that act

according to right and wrong like

your mother supposedly taught you


and b.t.w. you keep away from

answering to all the ppl who are

writing here to you what do you

thing? they are all so wrong? are

they all misfits? only

you know whats going on there

c'mon stop the foolishness and

start to explain yourself with

plain word for word heart to heart

stop the high vocabulary and the

kinda writing that hides your stand

 
At December 07, 2005 10:47 PM, Anonymous bagabund said...

it wasnt meant to be written in a poem format its just a mistake im sorry for making you guys scrolling down so much lol

 
At December 08, 2005 12:57 AM, Blogger Totally Content said...

I wish I could explain myself any better. I will try to avoid high falutin' language.

I am not a misfit. I am not an outcast. Nor am I a perfect fit to the mold. I was raised to respect everyone. I was raised to be myself. Being an open and completely honest person – denial is truly not a part of my make-up.

It saddens me to no end that so many of you have a hard time relating to that kind of childhood. To this kind of adulthood. If that is indeed the case - and so many of you did not have what I had - all I can do is beseech you to be better parents! Trust me, as a respected member of the community RAISING YOUR CHILDREN TO BE MORAL AND TRUE TO THEMSELVES IS PERMITTED AND IN FACT ADMIRED IN OUR COMMUNITY.

The saddest part of the above statement was the fact that it even had to be made.

 
At December 08, 2005 9:33 AM, Anonymous moshe said...

congratulation shitel
so all you wanted to say is that YOU were brought up healthy but there IS alot of ppl in this gem willi there are not and the little book that momy burnt when you were born is NOT being burnt by most others
now we can talk and understand each other

 
At December 08, 2005 10:40 AM, Anonymous Miri said...

I agree with all the bloggers here that sheitel indeed was raised in a very healthy environment and by smart parents, but the majority of the community was not!!

Maybe the intent of this blog is to show us that you CAN raise your kids differently and still have them growing up normally here? But for that, parents need lots of seichel. How many actually have that???

 
At December 08, 2005 11:40 AM, Blogger Totally Content said...

Hey mir - nice post.

Dunno if you've got what it takes, but your hubby certainly does. lol. Your baby-to-be will be just fine.

Love ya! See ya around.

 
At December 08, 2005 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are sending free copies of this book, I'd be glad to get a copy.

Thanks

 
At December 11, 2005 7:23 PM, Blogger Sol. said...

Well everyone I'm impressed and sad that we even have to discuses our personal issues on the public web where any anti-Semite can make fun of our internal problems. And the main focus is to resolve the problems with chuchma and true knowledge of real hashkafa. I think that we do have to keep on changing the tactics of chinuch. The yetzer hora also keeps on changing as we all know. But indefinite we are to change the attitude we had from the war to now. Parents are to be more educated with Jewish issues and children are allowed to ask any type of questions on Judaism there is no fear - in Judaism everything has a true answer.

 

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