I wrote this blog in 2006 and 2007, while I lived in the Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel with my then husband and my son. During those times I blogged intensely. I published, commented and lamented here daily. The site attracted hundreds of visitors a day. I enjoyed many laughs and intellectual exchanges with people online, some of whom have remained close friends to this day.
But after a few months of blogging I had changed. I had not anticipated the activity and revelations that would come with a simple blog. It was stressful too. The stress of an active internet life took a bite out of my simple Chassidic life. And things in me were different, awakened. I was no longer the same Chasidic woman, wife and mother. With the changes in me, my world began unraveling. I confronted the pressing crisis of changing reality, lost innocence and divorce. I neglected the site and the activity and readership here dwindled. I eventually closed it all to public access and left the content to sit, unreachable, in suspension, on blogger. My pseudonym disappeared into cyber-space obscurity, vanished with the other short-lived weblogs.
Now, some time later, friends sometimes inquire about my journey out of the Chassidic world and I tell them that it began with a blog, some blog, a funny blog, with a strange num-de-plume. The blog opened the world to me. The discussions here were my first open communications with people not from my Chasidic shtetle . It's hard to believe that the effect of internet exposure can be so drastic as to lead to one's leaving the community. But when the writing here is followed in chronological order, you can watch my tones and positions evolve. Whereas I began the blog innocently thinking it will serve to speak for the good in the Chassidic life, I soon found myself lamenting about the bad. I learned new things daily that ate away the fabric of my old understanding. In the archives you'll find my first ever piece, this post, a heated and unfortunate defense of Satmar, to be a far cry from my later posts -- sarcastic criticism on my Satmar/chassidic community. On the Shpitzle blog I went from committed chassidic mother and wife to enlightened bum.
The changes here spawned changes in my life I had never foreseen or imagined. When I stopped blogging it had all only begun.
I won't blog on this site again, but I decided to unlock the archives for a glimpse into the times of amul. The posts are a fun read. The comments are often even better. They're mostly written with spunk, idealistic curiosity and an overflow of double entendres (and lots of errors, which I hope you'll excuse given my poor education). I wrote wildly and freely, spinning ideas while I fed my family supper with the turban fit neatly on my head or while I was sitting among the neighbors and shmeesing. That exploding creativity has dried up for me, but some of its free spirited moments are bottled up in here.