May 8, 2011

Meeting Mayim Bialik: Yes, She's
As Nice As You Think She Is

So ... she really liked my mini Sharpie!
When I was a kid, there were some shows that just stuck with me, and one of those shows was Blossom. In fact, for my fifth grade enrichment program project (which was about origami), I got dressed to the nines. That is, for my overweight fifth-grade self I got dressed to the nines. This means I was wearing a homemade black dress with small pink flowers on it, some fancy Mary Janes, and, of course, my Blossom-inspired hat. A photo will be coming -- never fear. Tuvia and I are heading to Nebraska at the end of the month, and there will be gobs of amazing photos of me for your viewing pleasure.

So you can imagine how delighted I was to find out that the one, the only Mayim Bialik of Blossom fame, and more recently of Big Bang Theory (one of my most favorite shows), was visiting my town, Teaneck! I signed up immediately for a pair of tickets for Tuvia and I, and after being rudely quickly shuffled to the event room at a large house in Teaneck that blew my mind, and with my camera at the ready, I was beyond jazzed to meet a childhood hero of mine. And, to think, that when I was a kid watching Blossom I wasn't Jewish, and I didn't even have Judaism on my mind, and all I could think was "Who names their kid Mayim? What does that even mean?"

The event was run by Jew in the City -- the amazing outreach site that is redesigning the public image of Orthodox Jews as you read this very blog post. I've been a fan of Jew in the City for eons, and if you're not, you should be. Mayim and the face behind Jew in the City, Allison Josephs, are Partners in Torah buddies, and that's how this amazing connection happened, and all to our benefit! Mayim talked about her background in Judaism, her life as a starlet, and how learning with Allison showed her the beauty in observance and doing things at your own pace.

From the first time I met Allison, I felt uber connected to her and her own story of growth in observance. After all, we both had existential crises when we were kids, so HaShem had some of the same work in mind for the both of us. Mayim talked about how Allison asked her: Why did HaShem make you famous? Why did he choose you to make famous?

That got me thinking: Why is this blog so well known? Why do people feel connected to me? What is it about my story, my words, my narrative, that other people find compelling enough to email a complete stranger? This is something I'm going to be thinking about. I've always felt that HaShem had a special plan for me, but I've been trying to really peg what that plan is. Maybe it's just the blog? It's reaching out and making the Jewish world a better place? Lighting a fire in all those dimmed neshamot out there?

Think about it. And, while you're at it, go buy some Blossom DVDs!


Jew in the City said...

That's for the nice write up! You guys won a prize from the raffle! I have an autographed Blossom pic for you. And I guess Hashem chose the right prize for the Blossom fan still in you!

{ T G L } said...

Oh, I *loved* Blossom back in the day. I felt it was one of the few shows (and characters) I could identify with when I was my quirky teenage self. I read an interesting article with Bialik last year, I think, about modesty and maintaining standards of modesty in 'The Industry'. It was really encouraging for us professional women who try to dress modestly as well. And nice to hear a 'celebrity' discuss the matter. In that same interview, she also shared some of her spiritual journey which was really nice as well. Always glad to meet a genuinely observant Jew in Hollywood.

As for your blog... well, I think it has to do with both the quality of your writing and your personal story. Many Jews are drawn to conversion stories because it reaffirms their commitments and values to a tradition they might take for granted by virtue of being born in. And because Jews like a good story :)

Making the Jewish world a 'better place' sounds like a great idea as does reaching out to those 'dimmed neshamot'. The world can do with a little more Torah :)

B'hatzlachah and enjoy your blogging journey!

This Good Life

Lori P. said...

Thanks for sharing Chaviva! Great picture. I also was a Blossom fan & current fan of JITC. Would have loved to be at that event.

I think that this blog is so well known because of the person behind the blog - you. I think we all appreciate the personal stories that you share. As a pre-convert myself, it's great to see what someone else has gone through.

LoudLion said...

I know why I keep coming back, you make those of us who are FFB (frum from birth) or not, and have maybe strayed a little from the path in the past, what it is about Judaism that keeps us frum. That sense of honesty and wonderment that we lose from the growing up immersed in it all, you remind us what it is all about, what the love is, and where it is to be found. When people ask me what makes the Orthodox community special I tell them it is all about community, the sense that your fellow Jew will have your back and will support you when you are down and in need without looking at you differently.

I have, and will continue to point people to your blog, and am honored to read of your spiritual and mental/educational growth.

Rivki Silver said...

I also rocked the Blossom hats back in the day. Represent! I keep coming back to your blog because it's interesting to read what you have to say about the myriad topics you cover. Also, 'cause us Jewesses should stick together. :)

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