I hate it when I’m just a stand-in for somebody you truly hate.
A couple of years ago, I had a woman flee my place after her first visit because my beard and my Orthodoxy made her feel like she was making out with her zede (grandfather).
For the rest of our relationship, I often felt like I was just standing in for her zede and for other Orthodox Jews she hated. She kept saying things like, “I hope you have a great New Year, although I’m sure you don’t celebrate this pagan holiday.”
Huh? All of Judaism’s holidays have pagan origins. All religious holidays have pagan origins. That something has pagan origins does not bother me in the least.
So who was she really talking to? Her zede? Her rebbes at yeshiva?
I encounter people who make a ton of false assumptions about me simply because I look like an Orthodox Jew. They assume I’m really spiritual. I’m not. They assume I’m into prayer. I’m not. They assume I have a relationship with God. I don’t. They assume I am Israel’s ambassador and that I am perpetually interested in discussing everything the country does. Not always. They assume that I am not susceptible to the same temptations that plague my fellow men. They assume I don’t hug hot chicks.
OK, I am ambivalent about hugging. It’s not tznious (modest) and it is something I rarely do in public. They have to be really hot.