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If you weren't Jewish, how would your life be different?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 12:42 am
The thread where people were writing about how they aren't cut out to be a mother and likely wouldn't be if they weren't Jewish got me thinking....Bh I love my life now and feel so so fulfilled and lucky to be jewish, but would I have made the same choices had I not been jewish?

I could see myself making some bad choices as an older teenager/low twenties had I not been as sheltered as I was (drugs, one night stands, hanging out with the wrong people...). I think I would have been single a lot longer and spent time building up my career first although I'd have the same career I have now, and eventually marry. I would have spent that extra time working to get passed my childhood so I'd be healthier when I'd get married. I'd probably have kids but just 2 or 3 tops. I find kids hard although I love them. I would have had more money to hire help (as I built myself up first) so would be able to be more present with the kids and it wouldn't be to much bec I'd have someone helping when I reached my limit (I'm an introvert). Oh I'd have a cuddly dog and would definitely take more vacations.

Hypothetically if you weren't Jewish, how do you think/imagine your life would be different (from ages 18+, keeping the same childhood - minus the fact that you where jewish )?

Would you be single?
Live somewhere else?
Have a different profession?
Less/or no kids?
Have a pet? (not that people don't, just in certain circles it's not so accepted)
Travel more?
Different hobbies?
And etc...
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amother




Plum
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 12:52 am
I guess I'd the 'privilege' of really seeing how things could have turned out because I converted and turned my life around completely (moved to Israel, got married, had kids etc).

I would still be living in Europe and not in Israel. Overwhelming possibility I wouldn't be married at my age, instead floating around between short term relationships and one night stands, hoping some guy would eventually love me enough to make some kind of commitment. I'd still have to endure the awkward social outings of pubs and clubs in order to meet people, which I despised. I'd probably have focused on academia, done a masters degree and continued studying before settling for some office job instead of being a SAHM. If I did ever have kids, I'd only have 2, maybe 3 at most because that's what was socially acceptable. Today I'm expecting #5 and I'm still in my 20s BH. I'd still have to wear uncomfortable clothes and worry all the time about my figure (I used to have an eating disorder because of all the pressure put on me, mostly by my mom). Instead today I'm very happy with my body, wear modest and comfortable clothes and know there's much more to me than the superficial outwards appearance. I'd probably have travelled more to the usual places - the US, Canada, Australia, maybe some Asian countries. Waste money, take pictures, return home with souveniers and memories. Instead I live in the most beautiful country in the world (IMO!) and have a home here.

To sum it up, if I had continued as a non-Jew my life would have been sad. Empty. Meaningless. Without a DH who loves me. Without my kids who make my life worth living. Without the richness and happiness Judaism brings me. I would have been like a ship rocking around without direction, without purpose. BH that I converted, it was the best and most important decision I ever made in my life.
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amother




Beige
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 1:21 am
Op, this is a very interesting question. Plum your answer is beautiful and meaningful and inspiring.
My answer is not quite like that. The main thing is, I don't know if I would be married at all. My childhood was one of terror & abuse. In my mind, it was 'all men are crazy dangerous' and I steered clear of them. I had a very deep and close same s-x relationship before I got married and I would not have given that up. I still miss her years later.
I would have loved to have a career as an athlete or a dancer, I wish I could have traveled the world, too. But the hardest thing by far, is missing & aching for the only person in the world who ever made me feel safe and loved.
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amother




Aubergine
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 1:23 am
I would be able to dress in a way that isn't excruciatingly painful for me.
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Rappel




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 1:31 am
I'd probably be single, living in the Congo, and perpetually working for Peace Corps or something like that.
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amother




Beige
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 1:50 am
Also, I wouldn't be living in a stifling crowded polluted city. I would have chosen to live out in the country, on a farm with big open spaces and various crops etc
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amother




Amethyst
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 2:17 am
I definitely wouldn't be living in Israel, that's for sure Smile
I dont think I would have been having one night stands. I actually had that convo once with a secular friend. It's just not my personality at all. I worked very hard in college and I probably would have worked just as hard if I wasn't jewish, although I probably would have lived on campus and partied more. I chose a career that suits me and that I really enjoy so that would probably have been the same. My Judaism didnt factor into that.
I always wanted children, I don't think that would be different.
Definitely would travel more. Shabbat and kashrut affect that a lot.
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 2:37 am
Quote:
(from ages 18+, keeping the same childhood - minus the fact that you where jewish )?


What do you mean by the same childhood but not Jewish?

What would I be instead of Jewish in this scenario? You mean a scenario in which hypothetically at age 18 I suddenly lost my Judasim and was just... nothing?

I guess, yeah, I would travel more, because it would be easier to do so without worrying about kashrut/Shabbat.

I'm not sure other things would change that significantly.
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amother




Black
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 2:58 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
The thread where people were writing about how they aren't cut out to be a mother and likely wouldn't be if they weren't Jewish got me thinking....Bh I love my life now and feel so so fulfilled and lucky to be jewish, but would I have made the same choices had I not been jewish?

I could see myself making some bad choices as an older teenager/low twenties had I not been as sheltered as I was (drugs, one night stands, hanging out with the wrong people...). I think I would have been single a lot longer and spent time building up my career first although I'd have the same career I have now, and eventually marry. I would have spent that extra time working to get passed my childhood so I'd be healthier when I'd get married. I'd probably have kids but just 2 or 3 tops. I find kids hard although I love them. I would have had more money to hire help (as I built myself up first) so would be able to be more present with the kids and it wouldn't be to much bec I'd have someone helping when I reached my limit (I'm an introvert). Oh I'd have a cuddly dog and would definitely take more vacations.

Hypothetically if you weren't Jewish, how do you think/imagine your life would be different (from ages 18+, keeping the same childhood - minus the fact that you where jewish )?

Would you be single?
Live somewhere else?
Have a different profession?
Less/or no kids?
Have a pet? (not that people don't, just in certain circles it's not so accepted)
Travel more?
Different hobbies?
And etc...

I love plums answer.
I would have taken real college in a different career and made that my priority in life whereas now I have a part time job and no career. Instinctively I am very competitive and would've driven myself to the top financially. My non frum bro is doing that. I would've definitely lived somewhere rural w a lot of pets. Traveled a lot, performed a lot. Very very different. Not sure if I'd have kids....
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amother




Mauve
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 3:19 am
I converted, and I have no idea.

There are about a million different varieties of not Jewish. Would I have gotten into Christianity, like one cousin? Bounced from job to job and spent my 20s partying like another cousin? Maybe moved to DC and tried to turn my love of politics into a full-time job, like a third cousin? Or lived on next-to-nothing so I could focus on my art, like a fourth?

I have a lot of cousins LOL and they have such a variety of lives. Some married in their 20s, some in their 30s, some in their 30s and still not married. Some have several young children, some have no children. Some are religious (not Jewish), some are traditional, some are atheist.

I'm not sure where I would have fit in.

If I had to guess, I would have married later. Only 1-2 people I knew from then got married in their early 20s, and most of the people I would have been dating wouldn't have been interested in marriage.

I think there would have been more career pressure, which probably would have been hard for me. But OTOH building a career is easier without kids in the picture.

I think life is mostly mundane no matter where you are.
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amother




Tan
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 3:20 am
You probably mean, if you weren't frum, how would your life be different.
Because all of the above answers could pertain to secular Jews.
In any case, as someone who lived both a frum and non-frum life, and who has many secular family members and friends, I see SO MANY stereotypes above.

There are lots of well adjusted, happily married, content secular/non-Jews. Not everyone is promiscuous, sad and alone. Not everyone has one-night stands! Many people sleep only with their boyfriend/girlfriend, and while that's more partners than just sleeping with your spouse, it isn't a life of sleeping around.

Anyway, my life would probably be similar to what it is now, except I would likely have had less children.
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amother




Tan
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 3:31 am
amother [ Black ] wrote:
I love plums answer.
I would have taken real college in a different career and made that my priority in life whereas now I have a part time job and no career. .


I respect this answer, since it pertains to your individual life.
However, more broadly - there are lots of frum Jewish women who do go to real college and get serious careers.
Maybe it's not as common among the yeshivish or chassidish, but among rw MO or dati leumi, many women are definitely going for serious careers.
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causemommysaid




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 3:39 am
I would probably have a similar life to what I have now but I would be wealthier because a Jewish lifestyle is $$$$.

Oh also I would be a lot more comfortable in summer in sundresses and shorts.

Other then that probably not much of a difference. I still would have wanted to marry young, have a bunch of kids, live in the suburbs, and work a flexible job so I can spend time with my kids.
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amother




Tan
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 3:46 am
causemommysaid wrote:
I would probably have a similar life to what I have now but I would be wealthier because a Jewish lifestyle is $$$$.

Oh also I would be a lot more comfortable in summer in sundresses and shorts.

Other then that probably not much of a difference. I still would have wanted to marry young, have a bunch of kids, live in the suburbs, and work a flexible job so I can spend time with my kids.


This is what I see from many old classmates of mine. Some are Jewish, but not frum, and some are non-Jewish.
On the whole, by their mid 30s, most are married with two kids, living in the suburbs. Some of the women have high powered jobs, some work part time, some are SAHMs.
In every class there are a few who remained single - some by choice, some not. (You also have single women who graduated Beis Yaakov, though probably far less).

I think middle-class life in most western societies tends towards that type of lifestyle. If you are from an inner-city neighborhood, obviously your mileage will vary, as it will if you are from a billionaire family.
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LovesHashem




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 4:05 am
Rappel wrote:
I'd probably be single, living in the Congo, and perpetually working for Peace Corps or something like that.


Single, probably living somewhere exotic, probably trying to be a travel vlogger or social media personality to fund traveling.
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amother




Tan
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 4:13 am
It's interesting that many are saying they would be single, travelling the world. Do you mean at 25? Or at 30? Or 40?

I think this may be a romantic view of non-frum life. Only a few outliers are actually travelling the world full time by the time they pass the age of 30.
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amother




Brunette
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 4:54 am
amother [ Tan ] wrote:
It's interesting that many are saying they would be single, travelling the world. Do you mean at 25? Or at 30? Or 40?

I think this may be a romantic view of non-frum life. Only a few outliers are actually travelling the world full time by the time they pass the age of 30.

I disagree. When I was in my 30s I was still doing this and I met lots of other people doing the same. It isn’t that difficult if you don’t have kids or a spouse. If I wasn’t frum now I would go back to that life in a heartbeat. I loved it and miss it.
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amother




Firebrick
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 5:13 am
I probably would have been dead. Or by taking it or by law ie. Euthanasia. In my country this is legal for mental illness. Instead I kept asking hashem for help. Worked on my low self-esteem and past traumas got married. And have a lovely husband 4 beautiful children and a carreer making more money then most of my classmates. Best of all my suffering relationship with my mother is 200% better with the help of my special DH. Bh thank you hashem I was born a Jew and in a frum family! My younger self would never have written this post never. I used to hate my mother. Fantasizing that my real mother will still come and take me home!!! People don't know how much potential they have with hashems help.
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amother




Plum
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 5:17 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
keeping the same childhood - minus the fact that you where jewish


To be fair, Santa Claus was awesome and I still want him to come visit me in Israel lol
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ora_43




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jul 29 2020, 5:36 am
amother [ Brunette ] wrote:
I disagree. When I was in my 30s I was still doing this and I met lots of other people doing the same. It isn’t that difficult if you don’t have kids or a spouse. If I wasn’t frum now I would go back to that life in a heartbeat. I loved it and miss it.

If you're doing it, it makes sense that many of the people you meet are also full-time travelers.

But they're still a small minority. Like, in a given high school class of a few hundred people, you're only going to see 1-2 people if that who travel full-time into their 30s. Most people are married in their 30s Jewish or not, and most people struggle to pay for lots of overseas travel even if they have a full-time job. Under 15% of Americans travel overseas at all in a given year, let alone do it full-time.

(And then on the other end of things, there are also frum families that travel. Obviously harder than traveling alone, but not impossible. I remember seeing an article a while back about a frum Israeli family with several kids that moved to India for a few months. But you pretty much need to have either a well-paying job, or a job that can easily be done remotely.)

(eta: I'm not amother-Tan, but I agree with pretty much everything she's said on this thread.)


Last edited by ora_43 on Wed, Jul 29 2020, 6:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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