Housekeeping and religion: More on Megeirot

Homemaking is a challenge for many Jewish women. Some people are just disorganized. Some did not have competent mothers, or mothers who ran an observant Jewish home, or mothers at all. Add a few small children and maybe a job, and you have a tremendous challenge.

Flylady has helped many make progress with their housework. But Flylady is American, English-speaking, and most definitely Christian. Megeirot filled the need for a supposedly Jewish approach to housekeeping. The problem is that the Torah doesn’t tell us much about cleaning drawers. So the bulk of Megeirot‘s content had to come from non-Jewish sources.

As a reader who completed the first “level” of Megeirot wrote in an email: “I liked the overlay of Jewish, spiritual goals achieved through standard cognitive – behavioral type exercises.” In other words, Megeirot consisted of Jewish concepts tacked on to a particular psychological approach. I have no problem with applying psychology in order to achieve a goal. But it’s not inherently Jewish.

Faith/Emuna wrote about attending Megeirot, where she was advised to ask for help from above when straightening out clutter. The idea of a personal prayer doesn’t disturb me, but saying someone else’s prayer might. Same with prayers said over a closet. I don’t know that religion should be mixed directly into everything.

According to the original article in Makor Rishon (Hebrew), Sylvie trained the instructors to negate the feelings a student expressed about the contents of her drawer. No matter what the student said, the instructor was told to tell her: “Sheker (falsehood), that is a statement of the ordinary sechel (intellect) which is your non-sechel. You don’t have any sechel.” Then the student recited a prayer, intended to redirect the woman’s thoughts. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones is a good idea, but telling a woman she has no sechel is not. At any rate, some instructors revised the methods, and even distanced themselves from Sylvie, the founder.

According to Makor Rishon, Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba opposed Megeirot from the beginning and warned that it was not based on Jewish teachings. Later he and his wife worked with several women who had been harmed by Megeirot and Sylvie. Other rabbis felt the method had merit, despite the alleged faults of its founder.

We do need prayer, a connection with God, and a sense of higher purpose even when involved in mundane tasks. But we can also achieve spirituality through learning, serving the community, joyful observance of mitzvot, and caring for our families.

Megeirot appears to have helped many women. It probably served as a good support group, whether or not the content was problematic. Anytime people meet frequently with a competent counselor to discuss housekeeping, parenting, marriage, or dieting, they will improve in that area just because they are focusing on it. But when a method involves prayers, and marital and childrearing advice, one must be extremely careful about the person leading the group. Appearing religious and knowledgeable does not qualify someone to give sensitive advice. Even more importantly, a good counselor knows when to refer to a professional. Sylvie may not have taught every group but she was presumably the one instructors turned to for guidance in specific situations. And if the allegations about her are true, that’s scary.

Previous article on Megeirot

Comments

  1. Frightening indeed, to give another person that much power, especially a non-professional who has no understanding of the individual and her experience, her background, her needs. It is interesting that women, even in these enlightened times, choose to cede their power and intellect to others.

  2. Frightening indeed, to give another person that much power, especially a non-professional who has no understanding of the individual and her experience, her background, her needs. It is interesting that women, even in these enlightened times, choose to cede their power and intellect to others.

  3. Frightening indeed, to give another person that much power, especially a non-professional who has no understanding of the individual and her experience, her background, her needs. It is interesting that women, even in these enlightened times, choose to cede their power and intellect to others.

  4. It seems Megeirot is filling the needs of these women. So, in isolating what those needs are: getting together with other women, advice on housework, how to be a mom, how to pray.
    Question is, how can the community (organized or just by other women) help meet these needs, without a questionable leader? Maybe interactive talks with a social worker or a rabbi or a learned woman, but it’s not called “therapy”? (which is scary to some who have never tried it, but once you’ve done therapy, you say, how did I live without any self-awareness).
    By the way, friends of ours once said it is worth moving to the Jerusalem area because one of the best therapists in the world lives there. (I’m sure there are a couple of good ones near Tel Aviv, too ;-).

  5. It seems Megeirot is filling the needs of these women. So, in isolating what those needs are: getting together with other women, advice on housework, how to be a mom, how to pray.
    Question is, how can the community (organized or just by other women) help meet these needs, without a questionable leader? Maybe interactive talks with a social worker or a rabbi or a learned woman, but it’s not called “therapy”? (which is scary to some who have never tried it, but once you’ve done therapy, you say, how did I live without any self-awareness).
    By the way, friends of ours once said it is worth moving to the Jerusalem area because one of the best therapists in the world lives there. (I’m sure there are a couple of good ones near Tel Aviv, too ;-).

  6. It seems Megeirot is filling the needs of these women. So, in isolating what those needs are: getting together with other women, advice on housework, how to be a mom, how to pray.
    Question is, how can the community (organized or just by other women) help meet these needs, without a questionable leader? Maybe interactive talks with a social worker or a rabbi or a learned woman, but it’s not called “therapy”? (which is scary to some who have never tried it, but once you’ve done therapy, you say, how did I live without any self-awareness).
    By the way, friends of ours once said it is worth moving to the Jerusalem area because one of the best therapists in the world lives there. (I’m sure there are a couple of good ones near Tel Aviv, too ;-).

  7. We talk to non-professionals all the time — we call those people friends.
    But friends do not foster self-doubt and insecurity. Friends encourage us to trust our instincts and do what is right, for us.
    Anytime anyone (friend, professional, or spiritual leader) advises us to ignore our own inner voice, that is a red flag.

  8. We talk to non-professionals all the time — we call those people friends.
    But friends do not foster self-doubt and insecurity. Friends encourage us to trust our instincts and do what is right, for us.
    Anytime anyone (friend, professional, or spiritual leader) advises us to ignore our own inner voice, that is a red flag.

  9. We talk to non-professionals all the time — we call those people friends.
    But friends do not foster self-doubt and insecurity. Friends encourage us to trust our instincts and do what is right, for us.
    Anytime anyone (friend, professional, or spiritual leader) advises us to ignore our own inner voice, that is a red flag.

  10. There’s a Jewish flybaby group, also on yahoo and an Israeli one. If you can’t find the links to join, write to me and I’ll get it for you. I used to be a member and was one of those who put together a Jewish/Israeli version of the schedule.

  11. There’s a Jewish flybaby group, also on yahoo and an Israeli one. If you can’t find the links to join, write to me and I’ll get it for you. I used to be a member and was one of those who put together a Jewish/Israeli version of the schedule.

  12. There’s a Jewish flybaby group, also on yahoo and an Israeli one. If you can’t find the links to join, write to me and I’ll get it for you. I used to be a member and was one of those who put together a Jewish/Israeli version of the schedule.

  13. Does everyone remember the game we played as kids, telephone? – at the time it was silly, now I’m realizing how it’s connected to lashon hara’ah, and now also realizing the power of the press. I reread several times this blog entry, and it took me awhile – but I realize those were the classes we took to look into our hearts and develop our heart intuitions, rather than automatically answer from our brains – it’s a very complicated lesson, and as I said many times about all the lessons, a powerful one. And connected to many things. Growing up, in our society, it’s the Left side of the brain that has been emphasized, the anylytical, intellectual, get the good grades side. the masculine side. That has it’s part in life. But the other side didn’t get much use. The Right side, the creative, emotional, intuitive, feminine side. Yes we need balance, but to balance such overuse, we need for a while to not use the sachel side – NOT that we don’t have sachel, but that we need to increase the other side. As I said, this class took many factors into account, how our bodies react (also a not so well developed skill but a very important one), what the first voice inside our head tells us (as opposed to the many arguments, some say is the yetzer ha’ra’ah, giving us excuses not to do what our first voice says to do) and more – I’m sorry, truly sorry, because my first voice says I should stop and not try to convince all of you, and yet here I am doing this instead of laundry, dishes, etc.
    Just once again, please everyone keep an open mind and don’t jump to conclusions, being judge and jury. I too realize yes, where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire and am saddened by what I read. But I’ve yet to come across something that was as deep and as practical as I found in megirot. I also enjoy flylady, but compared to megirot, her lessons are sweet but not as deep looking into one self. But am not discounting her – for those who don’t know, FLY means Finally Loving Yourself, not a bad thing to do at all. Love your neighbor is also something a bit like the telephone game, because really it said, Love you neighbor AS YOURSELF, because I am G-d – and I feel megirot was all about finding that balance of loving ourselves as well as giving respect and love to others, and realizing that connecting to G-d is the ultimate reason for everything for us Jews.
    Klara

  14. Does everyone remember the game we played as kids, telephone? – at the time it was silly, now I’m realizing how it’s connected to lashon hara’ah, and now also realizing the power of the press. I reread several times this blog entry, and it took me awhile – but I realize those were the classes we took to look into our hearts and develop our heart intuitions, rather than automatically answer from our brains – it’s a very complicated lesson, and as I said many times about all the lessons, a powerful one. And connected to many things. Growing up, in our society, it’s the Left side of the brain that has been emphasized, the anylytical, intellectual, get the good grades side. the masculine side. That has it’s part in life. But the other side didn’t get much use. The Right side, the creative, emotional, intuitive, feminine side. Yes we need balance, but to balance such overuse, we need for a while to not use the sachel side – NOT that we don’t have sachel, but that we need to increase the other side. As I said, this class took many factors into account, how our bodies react (also a not so well developed skill but a very important one), what the first voice inside our head tells us (as opposed to the many arguments, some say is the yetzer ha’ra’ah, giving us excuses not to do what our first voice says to do) and more – I’m sorry, truly sorry, because my first voice says I should stop and not try to convince all of you, and yet here I am doing this instead of laundry, dishes, etc.
    Just once again, please everyone keep an open mind and don’t jump to conclusions, being judge and jury. I too realize yes, where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire and am saddened by what I read. But I’ve yet to come across something that was as deep and as practical as I found in megirot. I also enjoy flylady, but compared to megirot, her lessons are sweet but not as deep looking into one self. But am not discounting her – for those who don’t know, FLY means Finally Loving Yourself, not a bad thing to do at all. Love your neighbor is also something a bit like the telephone game, because really it said, Love you neighbor AS YOURSELF, because I am G-d – and I feel megirot was all about finding that balance of loving ourselves as well as giving respect and love to others, and realizing that connecting to G-d is the ultimate reason for everything for us Jews.
    Klara

  15. Does everyone remember the game we played as kids, telephone? – at the time it was silly, now I’m realizing how it’s connected to lashon hara’ah, and now also realizing the power of the press. I reread several times this blog entry, and it took me awhile – but I realize those were the classes we took to look into our hearts and develop our heart intuitions, rather than automatically answer from our brains – it’s a very complicated lesson, and as I said many times about all the lessons, a powerful one. And connected to many things. Growing up, in our society, it’s the Left side of the brain that has been emphasized, the anylytical, intellectual, get the good grades side. the masculine side. That has it’s part in life. But the other side didn’t get much use. The Right side, the creative, emotional, intuitive, feminine side. Yes we need balance, but to balance such overuse, we need for a while to not use the sachel side – NOT that we don’t have sachel, but that we need to increase the other side. As I said, this class took many factors into account, how our bodies react (also a not so well developed skill but a very important one), what the first voice inside our head tells us (as opposed to the many arguments, some say is the yetzer ha’ra’ah, giving us excuses not to do what our first voice says to do) and more – I’m sorry, truly sorry, because my first voice says I should stop and not try to convince all of you, and yet here I am doing this instead of laundry, dishes, etc.
    Just once again, please everyone keep an open mind and don’t jump to conclusions, being judge and jury. I too realize yes, where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire and am saddened by what I read. But I’ve yet to come across something that was as deep and as practical as I found in megirot. I also enjoy flylady, but compared to megirot, her lessons are sweet but not as deep looking into one self. But am not discounting her – for those who don’t know, FLY means Finally Loving Yourself, not a bad thing to do at all. Love your neighbor is also something a bit like the telephone game, because really it said, Love you neighbor AS YOURSELF, because I am G-d – and I feel megirot was all about finding that balance of loving ourselves as well as giving respect and love to others, and realizing that connecting to G-d is the ultimate reason for everything for us Jews.
    Klara

  16. Fly lady is about growth from wherever you are to where you want to be, and that’s great. Megirot seems to start from assuming you’re not good enough, and that’s dangerous!
    You wanna really learn? Start by saying “As a person, I’m good enough. There’s always room to grow, but not because I’m inadequate, just because that’s the nature of humanity – that there’s always room to grow.” Anyone who doesn’t start from that point is very dangerous!

  17. Fly lady is about growth from wherever you are to where you want to be, and that’s great. Megirot seems to start from assuming you’re not good enough, and that’s dangerous!
    You wanna really learn? Start by saying “As a person, I’m good enough. There’s always room to grow, but not because I’m inadequate, just because that’s the nature of humanity – that there’s always room to grow.” Anyone who doesn’t start from that point is very dangerous!

  18. Fly lady is about growth from wherever you are to where you want to be, and that’s great. Megirot seems to start from assuming you’re not good enough, and that’s dangerous!
    You wanna really learn? Start by saying “As a person, I’m good enough. There’s always room to grow, but not because I’m inadequate, just because that’s the nature of humanity – that there’s always room to grow.” Anyone who doesn’t start from that point is very dangerous!

  19. It really saddens me that there are so many women out there who allow themselves to get sucked into these potentially harmful groups. This method with its demeaning (and worse) of its members sounds so patently silly, why can’t they see that?
    “I don’t know that religion should be mixed directly into everything.”
    I agree completely. It always skeeves me out when I read about hard-core Christians stopping to pray for good bargains before going into the grocery store and things like that. It almost sounds like a superstition.

  20. It really saddens me that there are so many women out there who allow themselves to get sucked into these potentially harmful groups. This method with its demeaning (and worse) of its members sounds so patently silly, why can’t they see that?
    “I don’t know that religion should be mixed directly into everything.”
    I agree completely. It always skeeves me out when I read about hard-core Christians stopping to pray for good bargains before going into the grocery store and things like that. It almost sounds like a superstition.

  21. It really saddens me that there are so many women out there who allow themselves to get sucked into these potentially harmful groups. This method with its demeaning (and worse) of its members sounds so patently silly, why can’t they see that?
    “I don’t know that religion should be mixed directly into everything.”
    I agree completely. It always skeeves me out when I read about hard-core Christians stopping to pray for good bargains before going into the grocery store and things like that. It almost sounds like a superstition.

  22. westbankmama says

    Good post. How a woman keeps (or doesn’t keep) her home is very personal, so this method found a very big niche. Too bad that the woman at the top exploited it.

  23. westbankmama says

    Good post. How a woman keeps (or doesn’t keep) her home is very personal, so this method found a very big niche. Too bad that the woman at the top exploited it.

  24. westbankmama says

    Good post. How a woman keeps (or doesn’t keep) her home is very personal, so this method found a very big niche. Too bad that the woman at the top exploited it.

  25. Having read little on the subject– it does sound creepy.
    However there is a greater question here that begs an answer.
    Why would these women NEED this cult?
    What is not working in the organized religious community that would compel a woman to seek this kind of help and support?
    Our men sing us “Aishet Chayil” every Friday night.
    Maybe it’s not enough.

  26. Having read little on the subject– it does sound creepy.
    However there is a greater question here that begs an answer.
    Why would these women NEED this cult?
    What is not working in the organized religious community that would compel a woman to seek this kind of help and support?
    Our men sing us “Aishet Chayil” every Friday night.
    Maybe it’s not enough.

  27. Having read little on the subject– it does sound creepy.
    However there is a greater question here that begs an answer.
    Why would these women NEED this cult?
    What is not working in the organized religious community that would compel a woman to seek this kind of help and support?
    Our men sing us “Aishet Chayil” every Friday night.
    Maybe it’s not enough.

  28. Dear RR
    “It always skeeves me out when I read about hard-core Christians stopping to pray for good bargains before going into the grocery store…”
    Hashem IS everywhere! The religious Jew even makes a bracha (blessing) after using the bathroom. We make many brachos throughout the day and yes, we CAN ask Hashem to help us find a parking spot or get a good bargain. I am sorry to hear that you feel Hashem only belongs in the shul (synagogue)or when you open your siddur (prayerbrook).

  29. Dear RR
    “It always skeeves me out when I read about hard-core Christians stopping to pray for good bargains before going into the grocery store…”
    Hashem IS everywhere! The religious Jew even makes a bracha (blessing) after using the bathroom. We make many brachos throughout the day and yes, we CAN ask Hashem to help us find a parking spot or get a good bargain. I am sorry to hear that you feel Hashem only belongs in the shul (synagogue)or when you open your siddur (prayerbrook).

  30. Dear RR
    “It always skeeves me out when I read about hard-core Christians stopping to pray for good bargains before going into the grocery store…”
    Hashem IS everywhere! The religious Jew even makes a bracha (blessing) after using the bathroom. We make many brachos throughout the day and yes, we CAN ask Hashem to help us find a parking spot or get a good bargain. I am sorry to hear that you feel Hashem only belongs in the shul (synagogue)or when you open your siddur (prayerbrook).

  31. There was just an article in this past week’s Mishpacha magazine’s Family First (for women) about women who get together and share homemaking tips. Like some of the above commenters said, it seems like something such as this was lacking. A place where women could get together and share their ideas. The author’s idea is to have a rotating group. Every week it’s at someone else’s house and they speak on a topic that is applicable to them all and that they feel they have something worthwhile to say about. It seemed like a great idea to me. Here the women were getting together to fulfill the social aspect. There wasn’t only one nutty group leader such as in these cults. The participants took whatever they wanted from the sessions. At the end they shared tips with each other having to do with the subject. Nobody was pushed to do anything.
    What’s scary about cults is that the people who participate in them don’t even see any signs of anything wrong. They have no clue that something fishy is going on. They justify what they are doing and are unable to step back and take an objective look at the situation.
    I agree with trilcat about the idea that these women are starting off being bad is not a very good concept. All the rabbanim today agree that we need to build up the person. So many people lack self esteem today and we need to show people how much they’re worth instead of how much they lack. It’s such a shame that there are so many nuts out there who are having a bad influence on so many people in the name of doing something to better the world.

  32. There was just an article in this past week’s Mishpacha magazine’s Family First (for women) about women who get together and share homemaking tips. Like some of the above commenters said, it seems like something such as this was lacking. A place where women could get together and share their ideas. The author’s idea is to have a rotating group. Every week it’s at someone else’s house and they speak on a topic that is applicable to them all and that they feel they have something worthwhile to say about. It seemed like a great idea to me. Here the women were getting together to fulfill the social aspect. There wasn’t only one nutty group leader such as in these cults. The participants took whatever they wanted from the sessions. At the end they shared tips with each other having to do with the subject. Nobody was pushed to do anything.
    What’s scary about cults is that the people who participate in them don’t even see any signs of anything wrong. They have no clue that something fishy is going on. They justify what they are doing and are unable to step back and take an objective look at the situation.
    I agree with trilcat about the idea that these women are starting off being bad is not a very good concept. All the rabbanim today agree that we need to build up the person. So many people lack self esteem today and we need to show people how much they’re worth instead of how much they lack. It’s such a shame that there are so many nuts out there who are having a bad influence on so many people in the name of doing something to better the world.

  33. There was just an article in this past week’s Mishpacha magazine’s Family First (for women) about women who get together and share homemaking tips. Like some of the above commenters said, it seems like something such as this was lacking. A place where women could get together and share their ideas. The author’s idea is to have a rotating group. Every week it’s at someone else’s house and they speak on a topic that is applicable to them all and that they feel they have something worthwhile to say about. It seemed like a great idea to me. Here the women were getting together to fulfill the social aspect. There wasn’t only one nutty group leader such as in these cults. The participants took whatever they wanted from the sessions. At the end they shared tips with each other having to do with the subject. Nobody was pushed to do anything.
    What’s scary about cults is that the people who participate in them don’t even see any signs of anything wrong. They have no clue that something fishy is going on. They justify what they are doing and are unable to step back and take an objective look at the situation.
    I agree with trilcat about the idea that these women are starting off being bad is not a very good concept. All the rabbanim today agree that we need to build up the person. So many people lack self esteem today and we need to show people how much they’re worth instead of how much they lack. It’s such a shame that there are so many nuts out there who are having a bad influence on so many people in the name of doing something to better the world.

  34. oof – there needs to be another newspaper article that can say all I want to say better than me
    The premise of megirot is G-d loves me as I am and I love myself as I am – I am the daugher of the King is one of the lines we would say – NOT that we are worthless!!!!!
    but as in Judaism, there’s always place for improvement – the prayers are NEVER to be for an outcome, result, we don’t see Hashem as a magician just there to fulfill our wishes, but as help for us to improve our character traits – and why on earth would any Jew object to another Jew wanting to improve him/herself?????
    I’m sorry there are no other readers of your blog that have experienced the wonderful lessons that I have. And again I’m even more sorry of the power the press seems to have over people, and that’s their only source of information and no one’s seeing the balance.
    And most sorry everyone is judging so – these classes did NOT fit any image of a cult – they were for looking within and connecting to Hashem and working always to be better Jews, wives and mothers. Guess the part that was missing was to be better writers.

  35. oof – there needs to be another newspaper article that can say all I want to say better than me
    The premise of megirot is G-d loves me as I am and I love myself as I am – I am the daugher of the King is one of the lines we would say – NOT that we are worthless!!!!!
    but as in Judaism, there’s always place for improvement – the prayers are NEVER to be for an outcome, result, we don’t see Hashem as a magician just there to fulfill our wishes, but as help for us to improve our character traits – and why on earth would any Jew object to another Jew wanting to improve him/herself?????
    I’m sorry there are no other readers of your blog that have experienced the wonderful lessons that I have. And again I’m even more sorry of the power the press seems to have over people, and that’s their only source of information and no one’s seeing the balance.
    And most sorry everyone is judging so – these classes did NOT fit any image of a cult – they were for looking within and connecting to Hashem and working always to be better Jews, wives and mothers. Guess the part that was missing was to be better writers.

  36. oof – there needs to be another newspaper article that can say all I want to say better than me
    The premise of megirot is G-d loves me as I am and I love myself as I am – I am the daugher of the King is one of the lines we would say – NOT that we are worthless!!!!!
    but as in Judaism, there’s always place for improvement – the prayers are NEVER to be for an outcome, result, we don’t see Hashem as a magician just there to fulfill our wishes, but as help for us to improve our character traits – and why on earth would any Jew object to another Jew wanting to improve him/herself?????
    I’m sorry there are no other readers of your blog that have experienced the wonderful lessons that I have. And again I’m even more sorry of the power the press seems to have over people, and that’s their only source of information and no one’s seeing the balance.
    And most sorry everyone is judging so – these classes did NOT fit any image of a cult – they were for looking within and connecting to Hashem and working always to be better Jews, wives and mothers. Guess the part that was missing was to be better writers.

  37. mother in israel says

    Hi Yael! It sounds like you get enough support from your community, but not everyone does.
    Klara, balance and skepticism work both ways.

  38. mother in israel says

    Hi Yael! It sounds like you get enough support from your community, but not everyone does.
    Klara, balance and skepticism work both ways.

  39. mother in israel says

    Hi Yael! It sounds like you get enough support from your community, but not everyone does.
    Klara, balance and skepticism work both ways.

  40. I think that there is lack of unity among today’s women, between homemakers and working women and the individuals in both groups that wish they belonged in the opposite one. it isn’t surprising that women want to get together and share their experiences, both meaingful and mundane. Moreover, how can anyone be surprised that something with the possiblity of exploitation was exploited or not believe that some women were helped by the course simulatneously. If only there were more venues for women to get together and feel that sense of community, then the women who need it could be more discerning in their choices.

  41. I think that there is lack of unity among today’s women, between homemakers and working women and the individuals in both groups that wish they belonged in the opposite one. it isn’t surprising that women want to get together and share their experiences, both meaingful and mundane. Moreover, how can anyone be surprised that something with the possiblity of exploitation was exploited or not believe that some women were helped by the course simulatneously. If only there were more venues for women to get together and feel that sense of community, then the women who need it could be more discerning in their choices.

  42. I think that there is lack of unity among today’s women, between homemakers and working women and the individuals in both groups that wish they belonged in the opposite one. it isn’t surprising that women want to get together and share their experiences, both meaingful and mundane. Moreover, how can anyone be surprised that something with the possiblity of exploitation was exploited or not believe that some women were helped by the course simulatneously. If only there were more venues for women to get together and feel that sense of community, then the women who need it could be more discerning in their choices.

  43. Um, that was me above. LOL Forgot to sign my comment!

  44. Um, that was me above. LOL Forgot to sign my comment!

  45. Um, that was me above. LOL Forgot to sign my comment!

  46. Anonymous says

    “What is not working in the organized religious community that would compel a woman to seek this kind of help and support?”
    Well, I can’t speak for every community, but in mine people are very clique-y and unwelcoming to new members and (sad to say) people in a lower economic class. It makes it very difficult to get together. Also, as a mother of three 2 year-olds it is just plain difficult to get out of the house for classes, playgroups, coffee clatches, etc. Which in turn makes for a very lonely existence. Sometimes an overwhelmingly lonely one.
    “If only there were more venues for women to get together and feel that sense of community, then the women who need it could be more discerning in their choices.”
    This is what I am working on in my own community. A rotating playdate at peoples homes. That way I don’t have to be “eagle eye” on the kids all the time since I know the home is child-proofed and can get a bit of adult conversation. Shockingly it is more difficult to accomplish that you would think.
    Klara, I think it is important to remember that everyone learns a lesson and incorporates it into their life in a different way. I am an ex-Flybaby (working to return to it, though) and in some groups I was in there were people who would do things EXACTLY as they were told. No deviations. Then there are people who adapt the program to fit into their lives and make it better. They become two different experiences. Kol tov!

  47. Anonymous says

    “What is not working in the organized religious community that would compel a woman to seek this kind of help and support?”
    Well, I can’t speak for every community, but in mine people are very clique-y and unwelcoming to new members and (sad to say) people in a lower economic class. It makes it very difficult to get together. Also, as a mother of three 2 year-olds it is just plain difficult to get out of the house for classes, playgroups, coffee clatches, etc. Which in turn makes for a very lonely existence. Sometimes an overwhelmingly lonely one.
    “If only there were more venues for women to get together and feel that sense of community, then the women who need it could be more discerning in their choices.”
    This is what I am working on in my own community. A rotating playdate at peoples homes. That way I don’t have to be “eagle eye” on the kids all the time since I know the home is child-proofed and can get a bit of adult conversation. Shockingly it is more difficult to accomplish that you would think.
    Klara, I think it is important to remember that everyone learns a lesson and incorporates it into their life in a different way. I am an ex-Flybaby (working to return to it, though) and in some groups I was in there were people who would do things EXACTLY as they were told. No deviations. Then there are people who adapt the program to fit into their lives and make it better. They become two different experiences. Kol tov!

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