Skip to main content

The Tragedy of Gitty and Shulem Deen (Reading "All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir")

It is impossible to read All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir.

It is impossible. You want to turn away like it's a bad dream, but it's not a bad dream.

It is a recount that feels so close to the truth it hurts.

Because you were Shulem Deen, once.

The child of parents who believed, but didn't quite belong.

Awed by the light, but a questioner.

Told, early on, that you were rebellious and an evil child.

"All of the questions have already been answered," they reminded Shulem and you, too. "You're not supposed to really ask, not really."

You knew better, because your parents and grandparents are the real thing, that is to say you come from a line of holy and great and pure rabbis stretching centuries and centuries back.

You were Shulem Deen, except Shulem got hit so hard, physically and mentally, that he left all of it. Had no belief left in the system at all.

You were Gitty, too.

Dutiful and convinced in the rightness of the system - somewhere, somehow it must be right.

Believing in your special role because you are a female.

Women are potentially murderers of holiness, the rabbis say and you always believed it. Unless submissive, immoral and tempting a man astray.

That's what they call a man who goes to such a woman - the same thing they call a heretic - one who goes and does not come back.

You were lucky enough not to really be Shulem, or Gitty either.

Your parents believed that keeping minds from sunlight turns fingers to gnarled claws.

That shoving healthy bodies into closed boxes bends their spines irretrievably.

So you were groomed for a secular life as much as for a religious one.

And when you sat for your dissertation, your parents sat there, whistling.

You were one of the lucky ones. But Shulem and Gitty were not so fortunate.

Had they been given the freedom to be secular, maybe then they'd still be married.

Maybe they would be able to hold hands, sit on the porch and watch the sun go down together.

Not trade visits with the kids. Not have to think about the whole community they come from. Watching every moment of their lives, weighing in on every moment and move.

___

All opinions are my own and do not represent those of my agency or the federal government as a whole.



Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

________________
All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …