Well someone does not understand halacha

March 21, 2014

I did a favour to someone who claimed to work for a small magazine in England. What I learned is that the person worked for Tablet magazine.

I didn’t mind that I was interviewed for something in England and I was slightly misquoted in another magazine (Tablet) which until last Thursday (was the Fast of Esther) I had not heard of as I don’t read e-magazines.

I didn’t mind that I was outed as transgender even thought the magazine published my name, age, and location (I live in a small town) making it a safety risk, luckily my google rank is likely higher than this article is likely going to get. Luckily also that my Orthodox yeshiva would not believe we were the same person anyway (and the few that do know my past keep it very very quiet both the transgender thing and the conversion thing).

What I did mind is the mentioning that I am a convert, which I had said was off the record since it had nothing to do with what the subject of the piece was. It is forbidden to remind someone that they were not always Jewish which it did by discussing my birth religion (age 0 to 8), ironically not the religion I was clergy in from the time I was 18. I was told to keep my conversion on the down low when in Israel and to NEVER mention the R word (Reform) since I act and live as an Orthodox Jew. For the record, one does not convert to a movement, one converts to Judaism.

The author had claimed that she did nothing wrong, but I expect Jews to follow Jewish law as well as secular law especially when I say don’t talk about something. I was a reporter and when I interviewing people and someone said “Don’t mention it” or “Off the record” I would find out exactly what they did not want me to say and I would not include it.

Now I will discuss being a convert, heck the address of this blog is LGBT JBC (as in Jew-by-Choice), but I prefer to discuss it on my own terms. I also would have preferred the transgender aspect to not be associated with my name. Given I said I only want my name used if the rest is hidden, or you can make me anonymous otherwise, this could be bringing me a fair bit of trouble.

I am however writing a book about my experiences, which I am trying to decide whether or not to use my real name or my Hebrew name. Currently I am soliciting feedback so if anyone wishes to read it let me know, it is available on http://authonomy.com/

Shabbat Shalom!