I have every right to hate Jewish men, Jewish faith, Jewish Rabbis and Jewish laws.
In fact, every single Jew has that right. Because we were born with something called Bechira (choice). Everyone has the freedom to make choices to live their life with good and evil and shades of both.
Yet, I have a special right. I earn that right after my Orthodox Jewish ex-husband threw me in the back of the car and dragged me to the ocean in the middle of the night to have me perform all of the acts he desired on his body; threatening to throw me in the ocean if I didn’t conform. I earn the right by having been cut on my private areas with weapons resulting in my hospitalization. I earn the right because I was drugged by force by my ex. I earn the right because I was physically, sexually, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually abused by an Orthodox Jewish man for more than 365 days and nights.
I earn the right because as a result of the abuse I have suffered severe PTSD- the type that has made it impossible for me to go anywhere for days and caused severe emotional pain that is indescribable.
So yes, I have the right to hate the Jewish man. And I have a choice to look deeper and to love. Let me explain:
I have the right to choose. Choose between lifestyles, and values. Because in Jewish law and Jewish religion you have freedom to choose.
And I choose freedom. The freedom of Orthodoxy. The freedom of an open mind, compassionate heart, and growing soul.
And I choose to see the millions of other Orthodox Jewish men who are kind and thoughtful and eager to please their wives. Men who allow their wives to shine; to shine in business and in the world.
I choose to see the Orthodox Jewish men who are sensitive to others, and looking out for others and are empowering women. Like my family. My friends. My neighbors.
And I also choose to lead a successful life. I make a good living, I am the CEO of a company I founded and own and have many Jewish and non-Jewish colleagues and friends from California, Florida, Colorado, and all across the globe.
I have a nice home. I feel great. I watch what I want and read what I want. I dress modestly because I choose to value the Torah laws. Just as one encases precious diamonds in a safe, I enjoy the boundaries of safeguarding my most precious possession: my body.
I choose to unplug for Shabbat and have a day of peace, reflection, family time, relaxation, and good food.
And I am close to God and the laws are liberating.
I feel free to be a God-fearing Orthodox Jew living my best life. And by the way, I love the things you love, i.e., dining out, running, going to the beach, watching movies, working hard and being successful, posting on social media to name a few. I do not feel confined.
I feel Free. Fierce. Powerful. Ready to conquer the world.
Because life is not black and white.
I see shades of gray. I choose the freedom to understand that just because there is one rotten apple, or one person who is causing pain or suffering it doesn’t mean it is all people in that said religion.
Humans in every race, religion, and gender, make choices. Some of those people make bad choices. It happens in every community, country and culture. It happens in all circles of humanity. Pain is everywhere. And that is not a Jewish story. It is a human story. I will not allow the few and far between to overshadow my ability to see the millions of God-Fearing Orthodox Jews who are kind, compassionate, free, and empowered.
I talk to God all the time.
The doctors who helped me when I was physically and emotionally beaten would ask me “Tell me, why don’t you leave your faith?” I would respond “It is not my faith that hurt me, not God and not the Torah laws and not the Jewish people. It is one evil man who is not emotionally well. And only God’s Will can happen in this world. Faith is what saved me. Faith is what healed me.”
And I know my ex didn’t abuse me because he was Jewish. He abused me because he is a rotten apple, either suffering and in pain or evil or both. And at this time, I not only forgive him, but I am thankful to him. Because he has helped form me. He has helped form the strong, fierce, free woman who loves Orthodoxy.
I know everyone has their own story. And this is mine.