While commenting on another blog, where I often find myself challenging the cynical sarcastic critical positions taken against my community, I had this conversation (edited for readability):
Akiva : Gotta clarify, I haven't the slightest idea what this is about. Or would you say that's because I'm Haredi and therefore must be ignorant?
DovBear : ...and you're not a Haredi.
Akiva : ...So, the black hat, untrimmed beard, long black coat, white shirts only, large family, overwhelming yeshiva tuition costs, no television, only chalav yisroel and pas yisroel, and I don't qualify as Haredi!
Oy, Ribbono Shel Olam! Truly, you are a channel from heaven.
I must examine my deeds, as my internal (as communicated through my messages) is obviously not matching my external.
T'shuva! I must do t'shuva!
(No, I'm really not kidding.)
Amshi : Your not charedi your chabad!!!!! And we love you
DovBear : You accept too much of the kabalistic hocus pocus to be a real haredi, I think. You seem very new agey to me.
Shifra : Plus you are on the internet... and you seem kinda open minded to boot... Quick to the mikva with you before it's too late!!!
While some would take the compliments from the above, rather I find myself forced to examine how I'm presenting myself (via my writing) if I'm giving the impression, at least to some cynical members of my (extended) community, that I'm not Haredi (a definition of significantly committed religious-cultural-ethnic practice level).
This is an important thing to do on occasion, to look in the mirror and examine ones deeds, level, practice, etc.
It's not, however, something I expected to be brought to through blogging.
Indeed, I was not making a joke above when I said that the blogger who responded to me, DovBear, was acting as a heavenly messenger. I'm sure he'd be horrified to hear this.
I am also saddened at the impressions and negative interactions some have had with some members of my (extended) community.
Hashem Yazo (G-d should help), and so should we.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא