Carol Green Ungar
Carol Green Ungar

Oy Vey – My Unorthodox Life

What the anti-Semites don’t do to us we do to ourselves.

The latest proof is a  new Netflix reality show  called “My Unorthodox Life,” (They’ve scored this model. Remember “UnOrthodox.” and the documentary “One of Us”?)

This is a reality show. Think “Keeping Up with the Kardashian” gone Jewish. The star is Julia Haat, formerly Talia Leibov the Momma of the clan, a 52-year-old former Monsey, New York hausfrau, and  Judaic studies teacher who has somehow transformed herself into the CEO of the Elite modeling agency.

How she accomplished this, which is akin to intergalactic space travel deserves a series of its own.

Haart is clearly talented and resourceful but her story leaves me both angry and sad. Born in Moscow, this daughter of Soviet Jews has exchanged the precious heritage her parents struggled to reclaim for the worst excesses of contemporary culture. And she’s proud of it!

,“I have covered up my entire life,” she says in a voiceover. “So, to me, every low-cut top, every miniskirt is an emblem of freedom.” Oy vey.

What? The freedom to inflame libidos and then suffer the consequences?

The Jewish tradition instructs us to cover up in order to tame our animal impulses and live a more civilized life. The Orthodox world is far from perfect; the media loves to shine a light in the cracks but outside of nunneries, we’ve got the lowest rates of divorce, abortion, rape and unwanted pregnancy on the planet and we embrace sexuality—in Judaism heterosexual sex between consenting married partners is a way of getting close to G-d.

Tragically Haart can’t see this — I don’t know what injury she suffered to blind her to the beauty of her own heritage but something must have happened to her — these kinds of reactions are not sui generis

Haart appears to be drunk on her newfound freedom, eager to embrace the media dreams of the West, and foist it on her children. Despite her own outrageous success, she tells her kids: “I want you guys to all to outdo me” — to which  her daughter Miriam responds, “challenge accepted.”

Is this the reason for life? To make more money than we could possibly spend? To have everyone know about it?

Very few people move into that space and the few that don’t seem to be happy or well balanced — just look at Britney Spears.

Years ago, Anne Roiphe, who isn’t a practicing Jew, compared assimilation to trading. something ancient and priceless for a piece of worthless fluff.

Julia Haart has traded a life in which even the smallest act (tying one’s shoes—as she cites in the trailer) can be charged with transcendent meaning to a life of dollar signs, Instagram followers, and a gaping void that only G-d can fill.

About the Author
Carol Ungar is a prize-winning author who writes from the Judean Hills.
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