Ex slut BT’s and being Aished in Israel

Guest post by Anonymous girl…

So I was the only non-madricha BT on my trip to Israel this year, standing out like a sore thumb, to be sure, but not giving a rat`s tuches what other people thought. The “Aren`t you just dying in this heat from wearing all those clothe”  got a little annoying after a while, considering I found myself most comfortable and not sunburned. For me, it was an opportunity to show people that being religious is not all or nothing, and exploring Judaism can be a lot of fun too.

But as is often the case on these peer-oriented tours of Israel for the 20 something privileged yidden of North America, the vast majority are merely interested in the subsidized ticket to Israel, and the opportunity to go out every night to club land, drink, and pick up strange Israeli men. Judaism? What? (insert hangover vomit and kvetching about the heat, food, length of shiurim, crappiness of content presentation, etc…)

So a friend of mine is at Ohr Somayach and asks that I come chill with him and his friends one night in `Crack Square` or the infamous club district of Jerusalem– home of Zolli`s the hookah bar and various off-the-derech youth staying out at all hours of the night picking up sex partners or drugs or both. Not that I judge, seeing as I have my own colorful past to deny as a proud flaming BT. But I find myself more often than not older than these kids, so much of their rebellious behavior I got out of my system before putting on a skirt and davening everyday.

So there we are, sitting at Zollis smoking nargila and drinking and his friends are conspiring a shidduch between him and I, but he won`t date me because the mystique of me has worn off since I cut off my dreadlocks, and he`s found out that I`m recently out of a *gasp* long term relationship and thinks I can`t hear him when he tells his friend he can`t, cause I`m a `bat zona.`

Whatever, he`s younger than me, not *really* my type, and what do I care what someone whose last sexual encounter was head from a blind girl thinks of me? He`s the one missing out. Enjoy your pure Israelite virgins. From my old ways and years of experience I know that inexperienced guys tend to do the deed better anyway (meaning I don`t limit my dating realm to only ex-sluts also), and it bothers me I intimidate them so much, but whatever. I`m damaged goods and they apparently all want to marry girls who wouldn`t know the first thing about pleasing a man. That`s OK, it only means he isn`t my bashert. I have thick skin.

So the topic of sluts comes up and I admit that I guess on some level I am an ex-slut, but unlike many ex-sluts I can remember who I`ve slept with, and it hasn`t been that many people… AND, my period of experimentation was fairly short lived around the ages of 20-22… Then I got Aished and realized that non-committed sexual acts are not really worth it, and that`s why I feel so empty… Yada, yada, took a year to dump my goyfriend and become shomer negiah, and now I wear skirts and don`t touch boys… Oh, and I`m not even in the dating scene right now, but rather in my swearing off men phase because being shomer negiah for a month is nothing short of a joke, and I would not make good dating material anyway… Or at least so says my chavrusa.

When lo and behold, their rabbi from the yeshiva comes by to say hello and take our picture (evidence?) and asks us all if we go to Ohr Somayach, including me.

`Clearly I do not, rabbi` I say in my defense.

To which he responds, `Ah, but for all I know you could be sneaking into the dorm rooms at night, so that`s why I asked.`

At which point I get all paranoid and weird, questioning why I am sitting on a patio with a bunch of horny guys from Ohr Somayach drinking and smoking late at night. I clearly look the part, and I guess on some level deserved the comment.

But I can`t help it, I used to work in a club and have lots of guy friends, and there were no religious girls on my trip I connected with, and clubbing and boozing hard was not the reason I was in Israel, and so freaky yeshiva boys on a patio just seemed to be where it was at that given night. They were all very funny, came from various backgrounds and had good stories, thought I was a nice girl and sure on some level it was flattering they were trying to hook me up with my friend. But I thought I was mature enough to see that it ended there.

My intentions weren`t to have some seminary girls gone wild experience, but it appears I exude this energy given it was not the last time I was implied to be some slut in a skirt.

It seems the female madrichim all had crushes on our logistical madrich, and would flirt with him to no end. So when our free Shabbos came round, and I had nowhere to stay, he kindly offered me a place to stay with him and his family just south of Jerusalem in a small community. Before leaving Friday afternoon to meet him at the bus station, one of the jealous madrichim looks at me and warns me not to do anything naughty, as if to say I would dare do such a thing as sleep with some 22 year old man boy in his PARENTS home on Shabbos!!!

I was so offended and asked her why she would say something like that, and she said, `Because he is hot, and I wish I could be in your position right now.`

Ew.

Firstly, he was much too hairy, too young, and did not speak English well enough to form a real connection (I am very cerebral and need a serious intellectual connection to spark sexual attraction, and broken falafel English does not cut it). That, and I just do not picture myself getting involved with Sephardi men (Woman! Bring me my feesh!).

His family was nice, did not speak much English either, but the food was amazing, and it was a great opportunity to practice my Hebrew and for them to practice English. I attended his cousins bar mitzvah in shul the next morning, and we threw candy over the mechitza and over all it was very nice and lewd thoughts did not enter my mind once except to fantasize about non-loser guys back home that I did not meet in Israel.

And none of his friends thought I was his girlfriend, in fact a lot of people thought I was his cousin visiting from out of town (a lot of people think I am Sephardi because I am dark and tan like a mofo). And motzei Shabbos he took me to his friends birthday bbq where I got to discuss gemara and physics with a Hebron settler for three hours– quite the treat as an astrophysics major!

But the judgment from my tour group was unimaginable. Upon returning its like everyone wanted details on the SURELY scandalous events of the weekend. One thing I picked up in Israel however is how quick people are to judge based on appearance, and it saddens me. Also the baseless hatred making even more evident how far we are as a people from ever rebuilding the Temple.

On the flipside having random Israelis tell me I need to make aliyah and that they think I will meet my zivug very soon was kind of nice, making me wish I had the means to move to Israel. Even the guy sitting next to me on the flight home looked into my eyes and told me I should make aliyah soon or I will find a husband here and never make the move (how sweet).

Or this cabbie in Jerusalem who took me to Kevel Rachel to daven for my zivug and healing for a flat fee one afternoon, and I must say it was the best 30 dollars I ever spent. He even waited for me while I davened, because he said I had a lot of emuna and that I was kind to do a mitzvah of waiting for him in his running cab while he went to run to an errand (and did not steal his cab, I guess?).

And meeting real West Bank settlers in their home environment and seeing for myself that they are not really so crazy as Western media portrays them was eye opening.

Or how about the seminary girls from Bat Ayin who rescued me that Shabbos I got lost in the Old City on my way to my assigned family for lunch… And ended up taking me to the Machlas… That was such an adventure!

In the end, it still kind of shocks me they let us put the GOT AISHED? slogan on our t-shirts for the trip, seeing as some participants would mention how insulting that is to their intelligence to even dream of calling them Aished. Pfft… I rarely if ever mentioned what I study in school, and I do not need a fancy education to brag about my intelligence. Not to mention what is the harm in having a sense of humor about this seemingly pejorative term?

The way I see it, we were all taking the term back and retransforming it into something positive. It will only bring more attention to their kiruv cause and hopefully give someone a chuckle when I decide to sport the t-shirt on my next trip to NYC later this year.

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