Whatever you do, don’t call me ‘Rebbetzin’

14 Feb

Time to update the blog – I’ve been busy blogging over at The Times of Israel and wanted to repost my latest offerings from there.

Here are the opening few paragraphs to my first Times of Israel post  – a plaintive cry entitled “Whatever you do, don’t call me ‘Rebbetzin‘” (click on link to see full article):


Times of Israel, 22nd January 2014

It all started innocently enough. It was our first year of marriage, and we were living in London. My new husband (to be known as ‘RBS’, short for ‘Rabbi B S’) mentioned once or twice that he was interested in this Modern Orthodox rabbinical training programme in New York. I didn’t pay much attention at first.

 After all, as if I, the sophisticated European, was ever going to live among those Disney-worshipping, fast-food-scoffing folk on the other side of the Atlantic.

Even more so, as if I, the educated, feminist, feisty woman, was ever going to become the wife of a Rabbi, otherwise known as a *Rebbetzin* (shudder).

I had had more than enough run-ins with those ancient, holier-than-thou, eerily sweet rebbetzins who had haunted me during my years at my Orthodox Jewish girls’ high school in London. The idea of me becoming one of them myself was quite inconceivable.

So I put all mentions of this ‘YCT’ – Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School – down to delusional notions on the part of RBS and buried my head in the sand.

Until it reached crunch point – he really was interested in applying to the school and unless I had any legitimate objection to the whole rabbinical thing, he was going ahead.

Of course he was accepted, I stopped resisting, and off we went to New York. We spent the next four years comfortably ensconced in Riverdale, a leafy suburb in the north Bronx, surrounded by well-behaved, politically correct, highly-educated New Yorkers, none of whom, regretfully, fit into my superior European stereotypes.

Read more: Whatever you do, don’t call me ‘Rebbetzin’ | Rebecca Schischa | Ops & Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/whatever-you-do-dont-call-me-rebbetzin/#ixzz2tHL83vxa
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2 Responses to “Whatever you do, don’t call me ‘Rebbetzin’”

  1. animalizard February 20, 2014 at 16:48 #

    Heheh. I imagine you had visions of yourself taking ‘how to tie a tichel’ classes.

  2. rebjoni March 5, 2014 at 21:33 #

    Reblogged this on rebjoni and commented:
    I promise, I won’t call you Rebbetzin…

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