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I’m Moving Back to Kiryas Joel

Getty Images // Families in Kiryas Joel

Recently, while sitting at a relative’s wedding in Kiryas Joel and picking at the soggy stuffing under the skin of the chicken thigh and listening to the gossip around me, I had an epiphany: I really, badly miss Kiryas Joel.

So, when I got home and kicked off my heels, I took to the Forward website and quickly, before I had any regrets, compiled a list of comments from my articles that prophesied this moment — the moment of guilt and nostalgia for a place that birthed me and gave me boundless love, affection and freedom.

“since u fled kj y do u still look back and makeing fun of them?? this is a sign that u still have feelings for ur hometown and and family…….” wrote on commenter.

Sir, thank you, thank you. Rest assured, I will no longer look back and be “makeing” fun of them. I do have feelings for my hometown, which is why I’m returning. I just hope my husband and children won’t be too sad that I abandoned them.

“Frimet is trying to beat down her guilt by beating up on Satmar… Get a life, Frimet, or find yourself another scapegoat!” wrote another.

I’m guilty as charged. I do not have a life and I was actively looking for scapegoats. But all that is over now. I listened to the loud voices of guilt telling me the reason I write is because I am guilt-ridden and the reason I don’t have scapegoats is because I have a life.

Anyway, I don’t mean to bore you with all this nonsense. The point is, I am returning to Kiryas Joel. I have contacted all said commenters who have agreed to help me shave my head and shop for new clothing and scapegoats. One man even volunteered to buy me a Jaguar — the car most rich Satmar women drive these days.

You have nothing to worry about, my dear commenters. I will no longer be exploited by the Forward to write sensationalistic articles about Chasidim and Orthodoxy. At first I was happy when I moved to Airmont, but then I grew mortified when I saw myself wearing jeans and uncovering my hair. One commenter said if you had to choose a life for your daughter between Kiryas Joel and growing up Conservative/secular in Westchester as you did, you would choose Kiryas Joel. To that I say, good for you! Give me a holler when you have that daughter and I’ll come pick you up with my Jag and take you back to KJ. I will never again throw out babies with bathwater. I do so very much love the bathwater.

In conclusion, and because this is the last piece I will write before I am liberated from this prison outside Kiryas Joel, I thank you for reading my columns. A special thanks to the commenters who made me see the light and brought me back to my roots, the roots beginning to grow out of my breezy buzz cut.

Editor’s Note: April Fools!


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