Friday, January 8, 2010

Little Boxes

As a society, we create rules and expectations for everyone around us. Titles, labels, boxes . These are the "places" we categorize people who we encounter- coworkers, friends, family ; or label those around us- Frum, not Frum, Yeshivish, Modern, etc...

This is what society was created to do (see "Lord of the Flies"). But I ask- as a society, as a Jewish world and nation, how small or large are our boxes? What categorizes a person in one box and not the other? The labels that we create and so willingly force other people into- what gives us that right? Now I know no one can CHANGE society- but on the topic of homosexuality, there is one thing I thought of, with help from a friend, as far as boxes go:
There are exceptions to every rule.

Whatever box you may place me in, or anyone in your life, we have to be willing and understanding that there are (a) other boxes, and (b) exceptions to every box. Not everyone will fit perfectly in everyone else's box. In fact, most of us don't ever fit into a box- we are all individuals, just some are more obvious about their individuality than others. But when labeling and boxing and giving other people expectations, make sure you do not rely too heavily on what box you "expect" or "assume" someone belongs in. Because chances are, they will break the mold.


  1. I thought the issue was coming out of the closet and now it is boxes? Very original, but it wont work to get ppl to empathize with ur struggle.

  2. the goal of the blog is neither coming out of the closet, or sympathy, or boxes, it's just what's on my mind.

  3. Frum Gay - to add to your point, people who we generally place into certain "boxes", when you get to know them better you realize you've placed them into the wrong "box." (otherwise known as fakers, etc..)

  4. Yasher koach Ely--for reminding us that we all live in more than one box.
    Even the aron hakodesh in the mishkan consisted of 3 boxes--of different sizes and elements--perhaps to remind us that no matter what box seems to be our "dalet amot", we still have a place in the sanctuary.

    Torah and mada at YU; a religious Jew in the secular world--we all live in more than one box.

    You surely are not alone in the gay box, even while you will always have a place in the Orthodox box--and no doubt, you have many fellow travelmates who are likewise occupying those same boxes with you.

  5. T - perhaps that is why we dont have the aron today or even in the second temple. The boxes have become so convoluted.

  6. Rove'a and nirv'a the Torah considers one box.

    When one chooses safety under one umbrella, rather than a box, all are equal.

  7. This is so true. The Jewish community, I have felt, really relies on its boxes to categorize everyone. Coming from someone who is BT and not FFB, those categorizes can be a bit overwhelming and very judgmental. I am so much more than just BT, but unfortunately, to some people that is all they can see.

    And the boxes can get so small. There are boxes for guys who wear jeans or girls who wear denim skirts, or for people who watch movies, or any other tiny aspect of life. These seemingly mundane things, which on their own don't define a person have become ways in which, at least from my experiences, they are examined and accepted or rejected. Personally I think it is a bit too much, but maybe that's just because I'm still new to all of this.

    One another note, Frum Gay, I would just like to say that, although we've only met a few times in person, I really do enjoy reading your blog. I admire your strength and courage and I wish you all the best.

  8. I dunno if you got you title for the post from there, but there's a great song from Malvina Reynolds called "Little Boxes". They used it as the theme song for "Weeds".


It Gets Better- Gay Orthodox Jews