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Letters

Wronged Women

I am appalled by your portrayal of Faigy Mayer’s suicide. An event like this deeply saddens all of us, regardless of race or religious denomination. Yet it amazes me how you have used this woman’s story to wrongfully generalize about ultra-Orthodox Jews (specifically women) worldwide.

Thankfully, as thousands of our success stories don’t end in suicide, they will not be plastered on your pages or across the Internet. But for those who actually want to know the truth, there are thousands of us living rich and fulfilling lives that look and sound nothing like the clunky descriptions offered up by some misguided individuals. So much misinformation about our marriages and relationships appears in newspapers or B-movies that is laughable to anyone even remotely familiar with Judaism and its customs. We eat, work, laugh and play with our children, build happy and successful marriages and careers, and go after our dreams like the rest of the world, while keeping to the guidelines of our religion which enriches our lives.

Whether we wear stockings while doing so, is a personal choice that has no bearing on our quality of life, and certainly no correlation to how the secular world can assess us as a community. Your broad bias does a deep disservice to your readership in denying them the truthful facts about our community. Yes, we have our problems. We have our battles to wage, like every other community or religion on the planet. We don’t claim to have any monopoly on a utopic way of life, and don’t wish to force anyone, young or old, to perpetuate a lifestyle which doesn’t work for them. But we reserve the right to enjoy a lifestyle that we are passionate about, and for this we will not apologize.

I am not a “considering leaving anytime soon” ex-Hasid but feel compelled to present another side to this story: The side of a worldly young ultra orthodox mom, in a happy fulfilling marriage, raising five gorgeous children while simultaneously pursuing an exhilarating career. Oh and guess what? I do all this while wearing my stockings.

HEIDY LOWY

Brooklyn, NY

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