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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
TWoP *sigh*

I just read the recap for the latest House.

And she repeatedly called the patient a convert. The patient was NOT a convert. She said, loudly and clearly, if in an odd way, that she was a balaat tshuva.

If the recapper can look up odd medical words, she can look up odd Hebrew words, too. (Okay, for the record - it means "mistress of repentance", but colloquially means someone of a non-religious Jewish background who becomes religious.)


Hmmm, I've used those words many times but never bothered to wonder why it is Ba'al, which means master of a household for it.

Maybe it means "Honorable one who has repented" or "one has mastered the road of coming back."

If she was a geyores, she'd have never been let near the Chuppah within six months. BT, it's skeptical. Geyores? Yeah, bloody right.

From the recap.

"House bursts into the hallway and finds Roz's gurney being wheeled towards the OR. "Stop that Jew!" House calls out. Considering we're in a hospital in New Jersey, I'm surprised the entire hallway of people didn't stop in their tracks."

My mum and I had that same thought.

Re: From the recap.

Jewish doctors on television? Really? *Shock*

(Still bothered that there are NO Jewish doctors on ER.)

Re: From the recap.

Grey's Anatomy doesn't have a Jewish doctor either and Christina Yang doesn't count. Bah. What happened to us?

Re: From the recap.

Christina almost counts. I wrote a story about her for daysofawesome that has my idea of her backstory -

Her mother married her stepfather and converted, and brought Christina (under age 12) with her. And Christina was fine for a long time, even if she was different from her classmates, but by the time she went to high school, she was meeting people from different backgrounds (science fairs and the like) and making friends and losing her beliefs. And it's hard to say "no" all the time because she keeps kosher or Shabbat, so she stopped. And when she went to college, she went with her birth certificate name "Christina". It took a few years, but her parents are good with this now, which is why they weren't bothered with Burke.

But in her heart, Christina thinks of herself as Jewish and knows that if she EVER believed in God again, that's the route it would take.

ba'al means "master". Master of the house is "ba'al ha-bais", which become baalebust in Yiddish (and leads to the feminine baalabusteh.)

Technically, a BT should be someone who was raised religious, went away and came back - "Master/mistress of return". People who were raised non-observant are actually "children raised in captivity", even if the captors were their own parents.

My parents are frum, can they still be considered captors?

Sorry. :) I don't know where you are religiously, but if you aren't now and then decide to become so, I'd be calling you a "real" BT.

Nah, I'm not frum now but like any good Yeshiva Bochur's daughter, I don't put it past me once I marry and have wee ones. But nah, I just think living with most Jewish mothers counts as captors by guilt!

"Convert" sounded completely wrong to me. (Anyway, it's Sarah Silverman's sister--of course she's already Jewish.) I hope this isn't a totally ignorant question, but can someone convert to the kind of group she was in in the episode? I didn't see the very beginning so I don't know exactly what she was now, but it just made me wonder--would one find a non-Jewish person who converted in that kind of community? I guess what I'm really asking is would there be significant hurdles she would have had to face as a convert that she didn't as a balaat tshuva?

There are always more hurdles for a convert - it's much harder to be a convert, and they're actively discouraged. If a Jew who becomes observant backslides, they're still a Jew. If a convert does...it's a lot more iffy. So there are years of classes and then they have to go before a court and they can be turned down.

But there are certainly Chasidic converts. It's just that *she* isn't one.

(And there's no way a Chasid would marry a brand-new BT. Six months is too soon, even at their age.)

Thanks! It was the marriage that especially sounded iffy. Like I said I didn't see the beginning, but I got the sense they had met through some sort of matchmaking service because they didn't know each other? I couldn't help but think that the man might have a very different reaction to a woman with her history than a convert--even leaving aside that even for her there was too short a time. Surely the person would need to live the life longer to make sure?

If I can offer my two shekel before Mamadeb gives her much better answer, yes, a non-Jew may convert to Hasidic Judaism, but the process is much longer and more arduous. As Jews do not actively missionize and do not believe in asking other people to follow the traditions, we actively turn away those who wish to convert and disuide them that it's needed. They are just as good if they are gentiles. If they do wish to convert, it is usually a looooong period of time, at least a year of study and lots of soul searching and a lot of "Are you sure you want to do this?"

But if they persist, yes, you will find converts.

But Ros in the story was already Jewish, so she was considered one of them who just needed education. She would not have to deal with as much obstacles because she's already a member of a community, she just didn't know about it.

Did I make any sense?

Yes, definitely it made sense. Thanks. Those were the very distinctions I assumed would be made between the two backgrounds.

Matchmaking is the norm in these communities, and they'd know everything about her before they had her meet anyone. Doesn't mean they'd say everything, but the matchmaker would know.

Here's the thing, though - Yonason is also old to never have been married before. It's entirely likely he's also a BT who learned his Hebrew in a Reform or Conservative Hebrew School, which is why he gets the consonants wrong. BTs have a hard time finding spouses in those communities - the parents are worried about the other parents. So, here's a lovely woman who seems totally committed to her new life, and she's of the right age for him, and he'd understand having a past life and the adjustments.

Or he's been waiting for the right woman, and she's finally come around - and it's very hard being unmarried in that community. A Chasidic friend of mine didn't get married until he was in his thirties. He was the oldest bachelor in his group and found it difficult. And it was a good thing he did wait, because in doing so, he found the right woman (a BT, as it happens) and they've been going strong for a long time now.

Long-term bachelors get the reputation of being "picky", you see.

Anyway, he found Roz and they clicked and he wasn't going to let her get away.