dimanche, février 12, 2006

shabbat was interesting. I spent it at the local chasidic shul. I got wooed by a 38 year old divorced and overweight frummie who showed up in my chabad house and decided on the spot that she was interested in me, then there was a 27 year old relative of a frummie (there for the aufruf) working for a consulting firm offered to take my resume to help me get a job working for BlahBlah the company she works for all while amazed that I could read Hebrew said so, and obviously intrigued by the fact that I was this out of place foreign looking person in a chabad house... she started off with comments about how it's strange that the rabbi makes these comments with Hebrew words thrown in, but not to be scared or to feel bad since he's just spouting gibberish and no one else understands anyway. Then she realized that I read Hebrew reasonably well and asked me how I learned Hebrew, and I explained that I learned Hebrew in Hebrew School, omitting the silly fact that when I learned Hebrew in Hebrew school I really only learned to read words out loud, but not really to know what the heck they mean. Heh. so while I bentched she exclaimed to everyone around her "wow, look at her, I went to Hebrew school and never learned how to do that..." and then she would lean over listen to me and go back to being like, wow. At one point she turned to me and asked me if I knew what ethnicity I am and when I told the person I am Chinese she launched into a discussion about how her girlfriend is learning Oriental medicine and how she was a skeptic until she saw a demonstration by some fellow where he burned a piece of paper with his qi. I know a bit about that stuff too, but it is interesting of course how people decide what they should talk to me about and what they think I am based on how I look. Friday night a middle-aged woman came up to me and said "I'm Swedish and converted, though I'm not as religious as you." She paused and then said, "so do you like anthropology?" I cracked a smile and stifled a brief bit of internal surprise. It amused me. I have to confess though that there are reasons why sometimes I prefer quiet shabbatot where I can hide away and not deal with anything or anyone. In some sense this is what appeals to me about college campus Jewish communities. People are a little bit less likely to be poking at me if I'm another student in the crowd.

then again, when I went to the talk at Jeremy's shul on the history of CHinese Jews.. I swear every freak came out.. peopple decided to wear the most outlandish things in what was I suppose and expression fo their brotherhood with those of Asiatic descent? Who knows.. but mention soemthing foreign and Asian and you might get all the nutjobs in the Jewish community to come out. Oh, dear Lord.

As it is said... save us O Lord from those who would harm us, save us from those who are do not know how they could or would harm us, and save us Lord from those who so deranged they would harm us thinking we are someone else. heh, that's a bit dark, eh?