Ger Tzadik (Sorta)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Shh! Be Vewy, Vewy Qwiet. This Blog is a Secret.

Well…kinda. After all, you’re reading this aren’t you? Not a very good secret in the traditional sense. Specifically, the blog is a being kept secret from the rest of my life. I’ve told a grand total of one person that I am writing this. Let’s talk about why.

First: I know what you might be thinking if you’ve read the blog up to this point, but the one person who knows isn’t my girlfriend. It’s not that I don’t want her to know about it, it’s just that this blog isn’t really about her, or us. It’s about my experiences while converting. I hate saying it that way because it sounds so self-indulgent, but it’s true. She is a busy woman, who has her own life to worry about right now, and I don’t want to forcibly inject the blog into her world. We discuss all of this stuff on our own already.

That said, I fully expect her to find it and figure it out at some point, or perhaps mention it independently at which point I will fess up. I’m actually quite looking forward to that, since the posts and comments have already created lots of food for though. I have said nothing to be ashamed of, sheepish about, or disappointed with. You can be certain it will remain that way.

No one in the office knows about this blog. What would that accomplish? Not much, so it will probably remain forever a secret at that location.

No family members know. While they’ve been supportive, they really don’t understand. Not at the level of what I am discussing here. I would much rather their knowledge of my new faith, and my reasons for following that faith, come in more measured ways through me.

None of the Jews I see and talk to on a regular basis know about the blog. Its been mentioned before, but the biggest reason is my still uncertain status in the community. While the people around me are openly very nice, it’s just too risky to let this be out there. There is no control of how people will react to what they see here, so the prudent course of action is anonymity.

No, only one solitary friend has been told about it. I told her because of the desperate human need to share a secret with someone, and because she’d probably find it interesting. She’s someone who can keep her mouth shut, and we don’t have a shared social network after years of living in different parts of the country. The rest of my friends may learn about it in time, but either they don’t care, or they fall into the same category of “wrong audience” as my family.

So as you can see, dear readers, you are in on a secret. Truth be told, I could not conceive of a better arrangement. While some use the cloak of the Internet to hide from and snipe at those they disagree with, my purpose is one that could not be accomplished in any other forum; namely, a real dialogue with people who live the life, without having to worry about always watching the words or questions that flow off the fingertips.

It sounds cowardly when said like that, doesn’t it? Asking hard questions in an upfront manner should be encouraged at all costs, yes? But this is the price of being powerless. Since I cannot object or change the way rabbis or others in my community might react if I misstep, I have to be on guard. I am quiet but inquisitive in person, and explore out on the Web. In many ways I am like a supremely curious child who does not know exactly what the rules, expectations, or punishments of the adults around me are. I want to explore the vast world in front of me, but I don’t want to get grounded for a month if I accidentally break the cookie jar. Problem is, I love cookies so…

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