Sunday, March 13, 2011


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. 


Velvel said...

זכרני ימים מקדם...

The story unwrapping on the pages of this blog is deeper then the sea, the day will come mothers & fathers will read to the children your story from hard cover.

Mazal Tov for the remodeling of this blog you did a beautiful job organizing the priceless treasures written up on the pages below.

May your journey ahead be of only success & Joy.

בכל אשר תפנה תצליח!

Anonymous said...

Those were nice times, i just hope and wish that i didnt have a part in your change from Innocent heimish aishes chayil to where u are today.

lakewoodshmuck said...

In andere verter, you are validating the rabbunims words on the dangers of the internet. I sincerely respect you for that.
I wish you all the best.

Y. said...

lakewoodshmuck, it seems to me that Frau Shtrimpkin is referring to the internet as a medium for exposing one to a wealth of unfiltered knowledge and for linking one to all different sorts of humans (and through youtube, also to cats and dogs). That knowledge is power, and that the internet could empower people should come as no surprise to anyone. No validation was ever needed.

But *are* the Rabunim validated by this? To me, this also shows that the rabbunim‘s teachings are pathetically weak and as a result, any DSL connection could crumple their house of cards. And the rabbunim seem to fear it. So much for “rabbunim are right.”

Shpitzle, thanks for opening this up for study and dissection. It’s worth more than many well articulated posts. As they say: Show, don’t tell.

Joseph said...

Sounds like the blog has seriously contributed to leaving your life in shambles. It would have been far better had you never started.

Anonymous said...

Shpitzle Dear, As a former fan of yours i feel so sorry for you, you messed up big time.

Honestly, I believe you know it yourself, and are not in peace even deep inside you, but even if you don't get it yet, you will one day look back, and see how you just got caught in the web, and then it may be too late, you'll be left with nothing.

I pity you, nebech on your soul, and on your beautiful loving family that u destroyed.

It's scary how close I came to where u stand, But I thank Hashem that he protected me, and the irony is that ur being such an apikoires already then, is what got between us.

May Hashem have mercy on you your destroyed family, and all of us.

A former close friend

Leizer said...

Why is everyone so sorry for Shpitzle for leaving? You should be happy for her, since she, like most normal people, prefers life in the big glorious world around us rather than the isolated medieval village she grew up in.

אַ וואָעם ליגט אין כריין און מיינט, אַז קיין זיסערס איז נישטאָ

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Someone just dug out this comment from the archive, which I wrote in October 2006. Very ironic.

"IMPORTANT NOTE: the commenting area was designed for you to post your opinions and thoughts related to the post. Interesting and diverse opinions are very welcome.
Comments that are not related to the post, are of inappropriate language, or a chillul hashem will be deleted. I also reserve the right to delete posts that have personal attacks in them."

Englishman said...


Is your point related to a still published comment on this post? I can't say that I see a comment here where that warning would apply to.

BTW, how did the person who dug up that old disclaimer point it out to you? (I don't see a comment here pointing it out.)

Shpitz said...

It merely reconfirms what I say in this post, about the different states of mind I've been throughout the blogging process. This comment I wrote, with concern to chillul hashem, a concern is very unlike a comment I would make today.

Englishman said...


Unless you have discarded the Torah in its entirety, why do you say that? Is Chillul Hashem something that would no longer concern you should it occur, despite it being something surely you agree Jewish Law prohibits?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Shpitzle,

Explain me please, what’s your vision on life? do you think you will ever find a second lover that you will crave for his smell? i was wondering why you only call it pain(and pain heals) the way i see it he loved and comforted you to an extend that not only enhanced your life but continued to build it. i understand your desire for freedom but i am sure you understand that there is no insurance on how life in your new path will lead you. i understand living in KJ or Willy is a killer but there are so many cool Jewish community’s these day’s and I am sure your lover would of accommodate you and how about lea’lah?(i read your Get on my IPad in bed while i was looking on my little neshumela and tears were dripping) don’t you think she will have it hard without such a loving father?

Shpitzle I cry for you, there are so many open minded Jewish family’s enjoying the love life has to offer without going thru the sorrow you are in.
I would wonder if you would take a minute to explain your position

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Anonymous, and all others who have written to me to inquire about my life--

Perhaps one day I'll tell more. I'm sure you'd find my life very different than you imagine, beyond your imagination. You'd probably have a hard time fitting my life into your preconceived notions of the lifestyle of the ex-chasid.

But I won't share the details now. In the interim, rest assured that I don't live the pain of a get every moment of the rest of my life. I know that those who expect the happiness of marriage to last forever, imagine the pain of divorce to last forever too. It doesn't. Not so at all. If you're in your twenties when you end a relationships that was coddling you to the point it was strangling you, and you start anew, then you inevitably move on. And you have your whole life ahead of you.

formerly frum guy said...

just read through your entire blog in about an hour and a half after reading something you wrote on unpious. i find your blog and story to be fascinating, but i only wish i knew more of the details of your departure! the blog ends off with you in a different mindset than when you began it, but that is still miles from where you are now. for full disclosure, i am an atheist, from a frum, yeshivishe, litvish background, and i, for one, would be very interested in reading more about your life whenever you feel comfortable enough to share it.

Anonymous said...

To Formerly Frum Guy. It's only in the last 10 years that these issues have risen to the surface due to widespred use of the internet. These issues have existed long before 1998 it's just that it was addresed by few people

Peter said...


The Internet has been a great facilitator in bringing people OTD. It also has been a facilitator in adultery.

Anonymous said...

WOW (or oy oy)Just chanced on this blog and skimmed through it,so well written so powerfull yet so heart wrenching. There is so much that can be learned by others seeking and searching, for starters shpitzle in a early blog acknoledges the risks of blogging and if it might bring her trouble.Personaly I learned from this blog that what sometimes looks like freedom is not so glamourous after all and one can even be enslaved by "freedom" and what some people might call restrictions are really keys and tools to gaining true inner peace and freedom.But the main thing I learned is as shpitzle mentions in her blogs the importance of teaching our kids the diff between true yiddishkait emuna, purpose of life,bain adom l'chaviro etc... and our minugim,in A GET there are 2 points mentioned as restrictions the shaving and birth control,both are not real no nos by most of torah true jews and its a shame when issues such as these end up pulling us away from relizing the true beauty and richness in living a yiddishe life.

Anonymous said...

Saw your son in Shul one day, your ex made him a normal decent Chasidish Hair cut, not those shitty secular one!

pat said...

Anon: How do you know the identity of the author of this blog?

Anonymous said...

It takes heart to pursue true happiness at a cost of sacrificing comforts (which some may perceive as happiness), and for that shpitzle you should be commended.
To all those who ask you "why you threw it all away?", how much do they know on what you were missing inside.
Good luck in all your endeavors.

Mindy said...

i was unaware that this blog was reopened, nor that the writer reached such a sad end. Shpitz, I have no idea who you are and will probably never know. My heart broke when I heard about your divorce and leaving the community. I had really hoped you would be able to reconcile your two lives and find some peace within yourself. I wish you all the best and hope you find a measure of happiness, where ever you may be now.

Stanley said...


I echo what you said. Nevertheless, despite reaching the pits, Shpitz is also in a state of denial where she earnestly believes she has reached a state of salvation, happiness, and newfound freedom in her transition to secularism.

SemGirl said...

I havent blogged for quite some time either. Fortunately I am listening to shiurim and using the internet primarily for parnosa these days.

It really saddens me to hear what happened to Spitz, I considered her one of my closest blog-friends.

I wish her all the best in whatever endeavor she is involved in..

All my love


Leapa said...

Shpitzle, you have great talent. I hope you are using it well.

And I hope you realize the besheffer is educated, despite what you were taught. And he is helpful ...

Shpitz in the City said...

I was just sent a link to this blog as some kind of warning about why I should close my blog. While I'm sorry to hear that you have left the community, I am happy for you that you've found your happiness. If that's what this all lead to then BH.

Tina said...

Thank you for reviving this blog and allowing your words to open worlds for others. I learned about you from the podcast, "The Longest Shortest Time" and was moved by your story and your amazing courage. I look forward to reading the words you wrote about this time in your life and seeing how you developed. Blessings to you.

Lily Holowinsky said...

hope you still might read this... it's been a long time
I came to learn of your story after reading Shulem Deen's book. Thank you for sharing your story! Although I did not grow up in a chasidic community, some of the experiences you share I have had myself in my strict Ukrainian community. And I am sure my parents both came from Jewish roots. Anyway... it was helpful to read and hear about your journey. It was freeing for me ... even though both my parents have passed, I am still haunted by their expectations of me. Hope we can meet some day.