Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today I'm going to dip into a subject I don't usually talk about. 

By now, anyone who is a regular reader of my blog knows that I am an Orthodox Jewish woman.  Unless you are Orthodox yourself, or you live in an area where you may have regular contact with Orthodox Jewish people, you probably do not fully understand my way of life.

Of recent, there has been some bad press about Orthodoxy in Judaism. And besides for that, most people in the world don't understand the difference between 'Hasidim', Yeshiva Jews, or the Modern Orthodox. Without getting into details and an entire theological discussion, I'll just say that, in my opinion, the main differences are based not only on the obvious exterior garb, but mostly the cultures of each sect, based on the traditions of their ancestors. But, in the end of the day we are all Jews. And we are highly misunderstood. 

So if I may be so bold, I'd like to share my personal opinion and point of view. Being an Orthodox Jewish woman is not in any way in conflict with being a relevent and accomplished woman in today's world. 

And this is the underlying message of my blog: Balance. Beauty. Spirituality. Physicality. All done in a refined and purposeful way.

When I was just a little kid growing up in a humble home in Baltimore, I dreamt of a glamorous life. I dreamt of fashion shows and nights out in New York City. I dreamt of nice houses, gorgeous chandeliers and lavish tropical vacations. I did! I dreamt of being an accomplished woman and a cool Mom, always perfectly dressed, with perpetually manicured nails and lawns. 

(Actually most of my dreams have came true!)

But, never did I doubt the fact that G-d ran this beautiful world. All I had to do was look outside at the trees, the flowers, the gorgeous people...all different yet so much the same! And, in my humble upbringing, I was kindly and gently raised with the belief that He gave us a set of rules that were really for our own good. And just like we would be considered really crappy parents if we let our kids do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted...stay up all night, eat candy all day.. G-d gave us rules to keep us sane and happy, whether we understood or liked it or not. 

So I strove to find the BALANCE in it all. Because we are spiritual beings in a physical world and extremism isn't healthy. We all have passions, dreams and desires and I promise you you can achieve them. And especially coming from me, an Orthodox Jewish wife and mother, who follows the rules of modesty and loves fashion, glamour and fun, I am telling you that you CAN find the right balance. Channel what you love in the proper way. Use your talents to better this world and yourself. 

What you think feels good may end up feeling awful but what you know is right will give you everlasting joy and self esteem.  Go ahead, find your true self, be the individual you want to be and tap into all the beauty in this world...just channel it in the proper the way that will ultimately benefit you. 

And now, here's a perfect example that integrates these thoughts and my love for beauty and fashion: The designer Alexander McQueen was an amazing artist who's designs were by far some of the most creative and artistic that the fashion world had to offer.  And although I would definitely consider McQueen's (and now designer Sarah Burton's) creations to be dramatic and extreme, and not always modest, there is still so much beauty and inspiration to be revealed from them. Maybe you wouldn't wear these pieces, but you can still get inspired to decorate your home, craft your own accessories, or set up a tablescape using some of these amazing colors, textures and patterns. Or you can just relax and enjoy the art of it all. The creative possibilities are endless! 

So go ahead and enjoy these examples of fashion as art from the McQueen Fall 2012 collection:  

All photos from this post came from HERE

Be you. Be grateful. Be happy!

Until next time,

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  1. This post was so beautiful. It's so important to understand and BE who you truly are. Anything less will cause unhappiness. I'm just learning this lesson and I'm much happier. Those McQ designs are gorgeous. I love the purses. Again, sweet post!

  2. Being Frum has many levels. We are each on our own journey doing the best we can...
    meanwhile I too love fasion more than I think I should.
    So I'm enjoying your blog because of it's 'kosher' perpective...

  3. Beautiful message Sharon and GORGEOUS fashion, I want it all!!!
    Have a lovely day xo

  4. There is beauty all around in the every day, the faces of those we meet, and when looking into the eyes and heart of each other. I too believe in modesty on many levels. Not the self abasing kind, but in the knowledge that we have a loving God, and we his offspring.
    I am a Latter Day Saint, and believe we all have a spark of the divine. I apperciate your sharing of your beliefs, it can only bring us closer as women when we do so, Thank you

  5. Thank you for sharing your beliefs, it's only when we do so that we can appreciate our similarities and our differences. I too believe that modesty only enhances the woman and creates a more defined sense in who she is. I am greatful to know that I am a child of God and he loves us all.
    I am a Latter Day Saint woman and enjoy your site so much, thanks

  6. What a beautiful post Sharon and thank you for sharing with us. I think we're all pretty much alike and where we aren't we can learn from one another. Everything in life is about balance. It's when we don't have it we run into trouble.

    Love the handbbags and don't hate me but for some reason I'm loving that first red dress!


  7. "Channel what you love in the proper way. Use your talents to better this world and yourself."

    So beautifully put!

    I adore McQueen, but haven't had a chance to see much of the designs since he passed away. I used to watch all the runway shows online (like you, I had a very strong "editorial" interest in fashion) but I do need to make more time to admire the beauty.

    Speaking of which, those flowers are amazing!

    PS I live outside of Baltimore now and grew up in Kemp Mill. What a small world!!

  8. Sharon, Wonderfully written and spoken from your heart. I truly enjoyed this and share many of your views. Balance, respect, and focus on family. We are imperfect human beings learning from our mistakes and (hopefully) growing and setting new goals every day. Wearing high heels, and fun accessories is all about the joys of being a woman. Balancing modesty and style is easy! Loved this topic and I could go on and on. I am not a Jewish wife/mother - just been around a while :)

    Thank you for your sweet comments. I am swamped with life/work and can't write as much as I'd like to!


  9. What a special post. I loved hearing your thoughts and perspectives, so refreshing to get a glimpse into the religious side of bloggers. On another note, I love your McQueen pictures as well. I hope you are having a wonderful week and Happy Wednesday!! Be sure to stop by my blog and take a peak at the redesign.
    Twirling Clare

  10. Shalom Sharon,

    I understand you. Many persons think of Orthodox Judaism as something radical. Undoubtedly, we can be Orthodox Jewish women, without sacrificing modernity, the beauty, with appropriate clothing and beautiful things. Always with respect and thanking to Gd for all blessings He has given us. Sure, always doing our Tzedakah, fulfilling our rituals and festivals with joy and respect.

    Everything else does not matter. Be happy!


  11. Sharon, as usual you always inspire me. You speak straight from the heart and so on target. I also love those heeless shoes.

  12. Sharon, this was beautifully stated. I am proud to be a co-religionist of yours.

  13. love this post really do, u need to spread ur goodness

  14. Such beautiful creations!!


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  16. Although what you say is true, it is not easy. I am a dancer, and the orthodox community does not appreciate that art form, and most art forms in general. I am also a singer, actress, and there are almost no quality outlets or support systems for these things. I sometimes feel really frustrated with that reality.

  17. loving all the bags!

  18. Beautifully written, Sharon and the message is beautiful. I don't know a lot about your particular religion but of the jewish families I have known they seem to be all about family and they all seem to have their priorities straight. What I get from you is that you have your priorities in order and you know what's important and you live by your value system... that is half the battle in this life, don't you think? Love that you shared this! xo

  19. Sharon I just found your blog through Ruchi's and this post is beautiful! thank you for sharing your perspective! --Leah

  20. Beautiful post which I am sure will clear up some misunderstandings. Sounds like you found a good balance in your life and a solid path to happiness :) Have a lovely weekend!

  21. Beautiful post!!! Thank you for sharing the truths with us!

  22. hi sharon. just recently found your blog and had to comment on this, specifically. as an MO woman, born & raised on long island, formerly of central nj near lakewood & princeton and now living in israel i have experienced many shades of the frum rainbow. i find it is not so much the differences and subtleties in all of our lifestyles, but the fact that we judge each other so harshly for our choices. is it a lack of self-confidence that we do that? are we insecure that someone is doing more so we need to castigate someone we feel is doing less to overcome that sense of inferiority? the best thing, i feel is to walk in your own path with g-d, modestly, as michah said - which i interpret as having nothing to do with clothing but rather demeanor. it is not for any of us to stand in judgement of anyone else - that's hashem's job. we never know where anyone's come from, nor where anyone's going! shabbat shalom!

  23. Had to tweet this. I ride when I can – but will have to do this all next week. More people certainly should.

  24. Just stumbled on your blog and LOVE it! I just started my own recently and am really thrilled to be finding other women that have similar aspirations. Thank you for revealing so much beauty in the world, and may others be inspired to do the same!
    (and you can check out my site at

  25. This is a beautiful and well written post. Thank you for sharing. You absolutely can balance your spirituality with all areas of your life including fashion and home decor. I would not have it any other way. I remember always that the Magic Presence is always with me. I can never be separated from it.

    Your blog is lovely!

  26. very nice post :) thank you, Sharon. I am giving this to read to my daughter.

  27. Oh wow! I am also an Orthodox Jewish woman. Where do I subscribe?!