Monday, November 05, 2007

My Heroes

Okay, i'm coming in a bit late with the Positive Blogging Week, but -thinking positively, I figured better late than never.

I'd like to write about the heroes in my life. I do feel that Hashem (God) protected me and carried me a great deal in the guise of different people and for His guidance I am eternally grateful and for the friendship I am forever gladdened.

But before I get into talking about my heroes i'd like to give a shout out to all my old neighborhood friends, from public school: Albert, Kenneth, etc. I used to be a tomboy when I was a kid, and I hung out with a group of boys. We were always clowning around and there was always something to laugh about. I was always so thankful to them because when I did at times hang out with girls there was always some bickering going on about this girl's dress, or that girl's hair, or who should we decide to be friends with this week.Sheesh!

I guess in a way, these boys were kind of heroes to me, because they allowed me and taught me from an early age what a pleasure it was to talk about life, things, movies, etc and what a bore it was to tear down a person verbally. (Although, as we got older things got a bit sticky. Even though I lived only one block away from school, I always got to class late. So my "posse" decided to take it upon themselves to meet me at my house and walk me to school. I would be TOTALLY embarrassed as my parents asked in great alarm, 'who are these boys waiting for you by our fence?" I would pretend like I had nothing to do with them as I walk out and headed for class. Eventually, I 'became a girl' lol and had to break ties with them.)

Another hero came about the time when I moved away from home. I had been very sheltered at home and was not prepared for the onslaught of life. Guys seem to be dripping with perversions, women all seemed hateful and jealous and unhappy. At that time, I listened to mainstream news a lot. Too much. That too made for depression bouts. Enter Rabbi Capers Funnye.

He was the most interesting rabbi I think i'll ever meet. He was African American and seemed to have a knack for blending holy rollers from baptist type church and Judaism. Since I was unaccustomed to both, it made for very lively times in my life.

Even now once in a while I still sing that shul's jazzy version of "Baruch Hasheeeeem" to myself. As I outgrew the place, I moved on to an Orthodox community. There I met Ms. Thang!

She was the most confident Jewess I have ever met. She dressed slightly differently than what I was used to, and she had a flare for hats. I really admired her graceful and smooth ways. She never raised her voice, but you knew when she was upset. Her husband was this big sephardi guy who seemed like he could take anybody on; but before his wife, he was just a sweet kitty cat! I admired the way she ran her house and made up my mind to emulate her. Because I stayed in their house so much, I learned a tremendous amount from her, watching how they welcomed guests so graciously, how they prepared for the Sabbath, how she somehow served the food but didn't come off looking like a servant. I really think being there formed a lot of who I am now.

When we first met she told me how many people thought she was an arab because she was dark. But I never saw shame in her. She always behaved like she was just Ms. Thang! lol

There are many more heroes that shaped my life, but these stand out at the moment.


Mes Deux Cents said...


Platonic friendships with the opposite sex during the teen years can be great. You can learn a lot.


Tania said...

Nice post! you are blessed to have met such great people.

Loomnie said...

I got to know about your blog from a comment you left on Omodudu's blog. It looks really interesting.... I will come back to read it more patiently.

Ehav Ever said...

Hey Miriam. Great post. It is so interesting how we are influenced by a wide range of people. As Mes Deux Cents said it is great how much you can learn from the opposite gender. When I was in college I was around a lot of women from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, since I was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. It was a real interesting experience and I learned a lot about women from that time.

SephardiLady said...

Miriam-I'm sorry we don't live closer because you are just too cool. :)

Dustin said...

I liked this post. It made me think of some of the people I have learned from over the years.

Miriam said...

Hi Dustin! thanks for stopping by!

How's Chicago? I miss it so!

hubbithub said...

I have never met Rabbi Funnye, and I live in Chicago. (Heck, I may even know you; there are two "Miriams Of Color" I've known in is African-American and one is Hatian-American. Both are all kinds of awesome.)

Michael (a reader of Frum Satire)