Apr 18, 2008


Wow. I really should have thought this over more, nu?

I'm going to the modern Orthodox shul tonight, and I'm quite excited about it. I e-mailed the program director and told her I was someone who'd been to Reform/Conservative services, but never Orthodox or modern Orthodox, and she essentially said to look for her, that I'd be fine, and to wear a skirt. So I thought I was kosher.

Then I started thinking -- wait, can I take my purse with me? No, no I can't. We have an eruv, but of course you can't carry anything that involves prohibited things, so in this case the purse emphasizes making purchases on shabbat, right? So no purse carrying. I could get over this, except for the fact that at this point -- I carry on Shabbat. I always have my purse. It's just what I do. So I thought about it and was like, okay. So I'll just take my key and my bus pass, right?

But still -- no carrying! I'm talking to an Observant friend of mine, trying to figure out what to do. I'm guessing I could just put the key around a string on my neck and call it a day, but it doesn't solve my whole bus pass problem. Or that I was going to eat after services. ARGH!

Anyhow, Shabbat shalom. You'll hear all about this probably on Monday. I'm going to attempt to at least observe the first day of Pesach best I can, but since I didn't take work off, Monday's a loss.

May your Pesach be easy at it begins!


Beth said...

No carrying at all? Like, not even in a pocket? (Well-concealed pocket, of course.)

I'm interested to see how this goes.

Alex said...

Listen, why don't you just cram your bus pass and key in your sock? I understand that maybe you don't want to stick out like a sore thumb as being not Orthodox, so I see the not taking a purse thing. But Chavi, you're NOT Orthodox and you're not doing any harm to the Orthodox by not doing things the way they think it should be done. Your shabbos observance is between you and God.

Shimshonit said...

I know this is already in the past, but I was concerned about what you wrote. First of all, I agree with Alex--you have to let yourself be who you are, first and foremost. No one who is not frum from birth is already Orthodox the first time they set foot in an Orthodox shul. And second, an eruv permits you to carry with no problem. If you could see what my husband and I used to push and carry to shul within our eruv in America (three kids in double stroller and front- or back-pack, diaper bag, snacks, water, jackets, raincover), you'd think we were planning to stay there a week! And third, from an etiquette standpoint, a lady is entitled to carry a purse or bag, and it's no one's business what's inside (lipstick, keys, bus pass, arsenic). No one should comment. I've carried a bag of some sort to shul for years, if for no other reason than that designers of women's clothing seem to have an aversion to pockets, and I have to have somewhere to stash my goods!

Other than the anxiety about carrying, I hope things went well. Moadim l'simcha.

chaviva said...

Beth: Read my new post!

Alex: It isn't as simple as that, and at some point, well, I might be calling Orthodoxy home, so why not try figuring these things out now, eh?

Shimshonit: Unfortunately I live about two blocks north of the eruv, though, it isn't like anyone would see me carrying something INTO the eruv. It's all quite interesting :D

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