Sunday, July 01, 2007

The kindness of bloggers

(art by: Naomi Ocean)

Whenever I talk to a non-blogger about any of you who I refer to as a "blogger friend", they look at me like I am meshugganah. They can't understand how I can call someone a friend when I have never met any of you (although that will change very soon) and only spoken to a few of you on the phone. I'm sure that this is no new subject for a blog post but it's actually a little surreal when you think about it. We watch each other's children grow and share fun stories about them, we mourn the loss of each other's family members, we dream about each other, we join together for support when one of us or a family member is ill, we celebrate engagements, marriages and the donning of tefillin for the first time...we do all sorts of things "together" yet we could probably pass one another on the street and never know it. And the kindness I have come across here never ever ceases to amaze me and I thought I would share one of those stories.

LO and I were supposed to go to Israel and meet up with PHD there. Our trip got cancelled, but PHD couldn't cancel his trip since he was going there to attend a family wedding. Every day that he was gone LO and I were missing him terribly, but Shabbats were always the worst. Turns out that he felt the same way. While he was enjoying his time with his family in Israel, Shabbat was not the same without us. Short of getting on a plane to fix the situation, I tried to think of what else I could do to make this better. My research for ideas led to many very EXPENSIVE solutions. I decided to turn to a blogger friend who lives in Israel for suggestions. And he went way beyond giving suggestions, he actually facilitated the whole thing and certainly made Shabbat for PHD and his family very special. (When I tell this story to non-bloggers, they can't believe that someone I have never met would do such a nice thing.) So Trepp, here's a HUGE THANK YOU! I am truly blessed to know you and to be able to call you my friend.

After that Shabbat, PHD arranged a meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Trepp. Here's a picture from that meeting (and yes, I'm still jealous!)

We had a beautiful Shabbat (as we always do) but this one was more special since it was the first one we shared since PHD returned home from Israel.

To all of our blogger friends out there, LO, PHD and I wish to thank you for your kindness and for sharing all your stories with us.

Shavua Tov.


Tamara said...

That was a nice post. I agree whole heartedly and have met, fallen in love (TikkunGer_, and cried (when my mom passed) with many bloggers. I've made real friendships and virtual ones too.

Actually, I'll be meeting for the first time in person, not a blogger, but a long time friend I met more than 4 years ago on JDate. Yes, I'm engaged, and yes, TG is going to join us as we all meet and share a meal.

I love the internet.

torontopearl said...

I understand what you're saying about "blogging friends"; it's true that people don't quite get it. Many people who know me certainly couldn't understand when two years ago, after reading Seraphic Secret for a few months and communicating pretty regularly with Robert Avrech, that I decided I MUST travel to California to attend the annual yahrzeit lecture and meet the family. I've sent gifts to bloggers whom I don't know well but who entertain me, and others, so wonderfully with their words; I've sought out phone numbers and called a few bloggers on occasion to console them or try to cheer them up at a difficult time. I always say that blogging has helped enrich my life in its special way.
I'm glad you feel the same way about bloggers, Oriyenta!

sue the jew from Kalamazoo said...

What a nice gesture. Isn't it great to know that there are kind people in the world. On that note, I want you to know that if you are ever in or near Michigan Steven (male jew from Kalamazoo) and would certainly enjoy meeting and swapping stories with you.

One thing is bothering me though. You had plans to go to Israel that got cancelled. But PHD went anyway, without you, and stayed for weeks (several shabbats)? That's not right - why didn't he take you with him? Something is wrong with this picture.

Ezzie said...

Amen. At this point I've met so many it's become old hat, but it never ceases to amaze me that on an average shabbos, we might have a couple sleepover and a number of eating guests who I know through blogging and/or other bloggers.

Ezzie said...

Heh - in fact, just above is a blogger who we always think of when reading our baby one of her favorite books - since she's the one who gave it to us! :)

treppenwitz said...

To paraphrase a line from 'Friends': If the old saying 'the camera adds ten pounds' is true, then I'm assuming that there were several other cameras in the room pointed at me! :-)

Seiously, it was my pleasure playing messenger boy and even more of a pleasure meeting your fiance in person!

Now we have to work on getting you and LO over here.

Jewish Deaf Motorcycling Dad said...

I first saw this type of phenomenon in the old newsgroups (i.e. and then in web forums. I think the nice thing about blogs is that they are kept more organized. All your thoughts are kept on your blog in one place, rather than in various places. But I remember going out to a total stranger's house to pick up something that he posted for sale on a newsgroup. My parents thought I was going to meet an ax murderer. "So you learned about this person over the computer? You don't know anything about him??" :-)

orieyenta said...

Tamara - That sounds like an interesting meeting...hope you'll blog about it.

Pearl - I feel the same way about Robert that perhaps we'll all end up meeting at the annual yahrzeit lecture one day :)

Sue - He needed to go for the wedding - he stayed for several weeks because who spends $1000's to fly over there and just stays for a few days? LO couldn't fly to Israel because after 17 weeks of waiting, we have still not gotten her passport and I could not go without her.

Ezzie - That's so neat about the book. I always think about you and Raggedy Mom when I think about going to New York and visiting my Dad.

Trepp - PHD and I are already planning the trip. He mentioned that one of the last things you said to him was, "I still think Israel would be a great place to honeymoon." I think we've almost got him convinced!

JDMD - Yeah I remember those old newsgroup days. I guess the person's house you went to wasn't an axe murderer ;)

PsychoToddler said...

I speak to my blogging buddies much more often than to my "real" friends. Not always vocally of course. I consider commenting and email to be valid forms of communication.

Through these forms I have become much closer with many of you than with the people I see in shul every week. And certainly more than the people I left behind in NY.

Still, when I tell people about the friends I met on the internet, they do get totally creeped out.

Jack's Shack said...

Time for a group hug, or does that interfere with trying to maintain a level of negiah.

Where is Gil Student when we need him.

RaggedyMom said...

Orieyenta - Did you say "coming to NY to visit my dad?" Just say when :)

PT - I agree with you that it sounds totally weird to most people.

tnspr569 said...


People who aren't into blogging get very weirded out when I mention anything relating to fellow bloggers/blog friends.

Shevy said...

Nice post.
I love your blog name :)

orieyenta said...

PT - Come on, you creep people out? Say it isn't so. ;)

Jack - for you, I'm sure a group hug would be in order.

RM - When we manage to get up there, you are definitely on our list. Maybe we could grab the Ser and Ezzie, the Jewbiquitous gals and have a little blogfest.

Tnspr - It's funny isn't it?

Shevy - thanks!

Elisson said...

Blogging is a strange way to build a community, but it does put you in contact with many people you'd otherwise never meet...and who share common interests.

Here I am, checking your site out because of a comment you left at Treppenwitz...and I find this post. Just an example.

Technology: ain't it amazing?