The clitorides voting is open until the end of April. Vote for your favourites [ X Dismiss ]
Home « Forum « Story Ideas

Forum: Story Ideas

Jewish Coming-of-Age story wanted

Peterspeter

I asked the moderator if there were any stories on SOL with a Jewish protagonist in the coming-of-age genre. Nope.

But there should be!

One perpetual angst of COA is throwing off the bonds of Western (Christian) religion, Catholic or Protestant. Lots of stories have no religious issues, which leaves the conflict to mere parental control versus sex.

Can someone write a good story where the COA story is about a Jewish boy or girl?

awnlee jawking

@Peterspeter

I asked the moderator if there were any stories on SOL with a Jewish protagonist in the coming-of-age genre. Nope.

But there should be!


The obvious answer is for you to write one yourself.

There are 39 stories on SOL containing 'bar mitzvah'. None of them seem to meet your criteria, but Oyster50's Community Three and Community Four may include Jewish coming-of-age for lesser characters.

AJ

Peterspeter

And that's the problem. I'm hoping for a main character, probably male but not necessarily, who is Jewish. I'm not and my last submission was 8 years ago, so don't hold your breath, though I'm sorta, kinda working on bringing Laura forward.

Replies:   joyR
richardshagrin

Maybe someone could write about orange jews.

Remus2

Such a story would sound hollow without a detailed background. That background would most likely only be written well by a Jew. I've spent some time with Jews, including three months working in Israel. That was just enough for me to know there is much I'm clueless about in that regards. Hope you find a story or someone to write it.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Remus2

Such a story would sound hollow without a detailed background. That background would most likely only be written well by a Jew.


Very true.

joyR

@Peterspeter

And that's the problem. I'm hoping for a main character, probably male but not necessarily, who is Jewish.


There are some excellent Jewish COA stories but they are published books so will cost to buy or download.

Replies:   Peterspeter
Peterspeter
Updated:

@joyR

Portnoy's Complaint for one. That's great literature. Remus2 is right, like Roth's book, the story here would have to have a Jewish author, one who's steeped in the traditions.

The best example I can think of right now is Michael Loucks's current saga, "Good Medicine," with a Russian Orthodox main character struggling with his deep commitment to his religion while yearning to get laid.

It's early in the story but I've a sneaking suspicion that he will break from his religion, as in Louck's earlier saga, the triple 2015 Clitorides award-winning "A Well-Lived Life."

That's what I'm looking for. Only Jewish. And here, not in book form.

Crumbly Writer

@Peterspeter

Getting a 'good' Catholic or Protestant to write a believable story about Jewish life is a stretch. Your best bet is to offer your services for anyone who is planning or even contemplating such a story. That way, you'd be actively encouraging the types of stories you wish to read, but you'd also be playing an active role in developing them.

Unfortunately, you'll probably have to wait some time before anyone responds.

While I've often times included minor gay/lesbian/bi and/or trans characters, I've avoided using them as main characters, though I finally broke that when I finally write my first gay erotica novel and later when I wrote "A House in Disarray" about a lesbian detective. Both were very instructive in what's needed to construct such stories.

I'm now in the process (i.e. planning stages only) of rewriting my 6 book Catalyst story substituting a black lead for the all-white atheist Alex. But again, I'm only doing it because I've got fairly extensive history having married a Jamaican and raising two black daughters (like you, I got sick of never seeing any minorities represented in SOL stories).

Listing yourself as a "Jewish" reference is a necessary first step, but I'd also go the next step, and register yourself as an 'editor' on SOL's editor's page, specifying yourself as being 'knowledgeable about Jewish life, customs and perspectives'. But, once again, it may be some time before anyone responds. :(

Replies:   Peterspeter
Peterspeter

@Crumbly Writer

Thanks for this. Alas, I'm not Jewish. Michael Loucks' "Good Medicine" story is working its way through a Russian Orthodox (that is, conservative Christian) life story. How Loucks is going to sustain this tension into the future is part of the anticipation and an excellent reason to keep reading.

Writing from an experienced perspective such as yours is to me the only way to get this done. I have to believe there are Jewish readers at SOL and probably Jewish writers here as well.

Okay, so they're not Philip Roth (who is?), but my plea was for one to step up with something. Perhaps a 1-chapter trial run? Inquiring minds want to know.

Crumbly Writer

@Peterspeter

Okay, so they're not Philip Roth (who is?), but my plea was for one to step up with something. Perhaps a 1-chapter trial run? Inquiring minds want to know.

It's surprising there aren't more Jewish authors (or readers) volunteering, though SOL has always has a problem attracting minorities, given the flak they get via feedback and scoring 1-bombs.

PotomacBob

@Peterspeter

Russian Orthodox (that is, conservative Christian) life story


What is there about Russian Orthodox that qualifies it to be labeled "conservative Christian?"

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@PotomacBob

What is there about Russian Orthodox that qualifies it to be labeled "conservative Christian?"


Its practices are relatively unchanging.

AJ

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@awnlee jawking

Its practices are relatively unchanging.


Relative to what? Other denominations?

awnlee jawking

@PotomacBob

Relative to what? Other denominations?


From what I understand, they haven't yet succumbed to happy-clappy services led by women ;)

AJ

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@awnlee jawking

From what I understand, they haven't yet succumbed to happy-clappy services led by women ;)


The services are pretty much based on the archetype of the Hagia Sophia in the 5th century and not much has changed except a bit of stylization.

In addition, they hold to what I would call traditional conservative Christian view on morality (e.g. sex is proper only within the context of marriage of one man to one woman for life).

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

@PotomacBob

Relative to what? Other denominations?


In many ways, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, both Russian and Greek, are more conservative than even the Roman Catholic Church.

They avoid direct depictions of Christ and other important figures from the bible, which are common in the RC Church, because they consider such images to be idolatry.

For the same reason, you won't find crucifixes (A cross with a figure of Christ on it) in an Eastern Orthodox Church.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
awnlee jawking

@Michael Loucks

I'm an agnostic, in the broader sense of 'not knowing' rather than the original 'unknowable'. I place little importance on organised religions and their teachings, and yet I appreciate the sense of occasion when people dress up to carry out historical rituals.

If people want religious services conducted by men, women, martians, vampires or whatever, involving any particular emotional states they choose to express, provided they don't infringe on the rights of others I say more power to their elbows.

AJ

Michael Loucks
Updated:

@Dominions Son


They avoid direct depictions of Christ and other important figures from the bible, which are common in the RC Church, because they consider such images to be idolatry.

For the same reason, you won't find crucifixes (A cross with a figure of Christ on it) in an Eastern Orthodox Church.


Neither of those are accurate statements.

1) Orthodox make extensive use of icons which are direct depictions of Christ, the Theotokos (Mary), the Apostles, Patriarchs, and Saints. They do not use statues, nor do they permit iconographic stained glass (though you will see this in some former Uniate churches). See this link: Orthodox Byzantine Icons

2) Very specifically, during the services of Holy Week (specifically during the 'Twelve Gospels' service, the priest will 'nail' an icon of the crucified Christ to a cross. In addition, there are crucifixion icons such as the one at this link: Three Bar Wall Cross.

And see this interior photograph of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in Toronto (where I have been many times).

Replies:   joyR  Dominions Son
joyR

@Michael Loucks

the priest will 'nail' an icon of the crucified Christ to a cross.


Never really understood how that does not conflict with "You shall make no idols"

Replies:   Michael Loucks  Remus2
Michael Loucks
Updated:

@joyR


Never really understood how that does not conflict with "You shall make no idols"


The issue is not making the representation, but worshiping it. After all, God himself commanded that the Ark of the Covenant have two cherubim on the cover, so the commandment clear cannot ban simply MAKING images, but worshiping them.

It also cannot ban the use of images in liturgical worship, because God also commanded that images of the Cherubim be embroidered on the veil and curtain of the Tabernacle (cf Exodus 26:1).

And just for completeness, both the Jewish Tabernacle and the Throne Room of God (in Revelation) show the use of incense in worship (and the Tabernacle specific liturgical clothing).

Orthodox Christians respect icons, but do not worship them. They are symbols which manifest the reality behind them, and as such, any reverence paid to an icon is actually paid to the person or thing manifested by the symbol. Reverence and respect aren't worship.

Replies:   joyR
Remus2

@joyR

Never really understood how that does not conflict with "You shall make no idols"

The verse that is based upon;

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them" (Exodus 20:4–5).


That particular segment of the bible is interesting to me. In particular, the differences between the various versions and how they are interpreted.

They will universally have an explanation as to why they have the 'right' interpretation. Yet they are different enough that they cannot be all right.

Based on that, it is in fact conflicting imo. The only way it could not conflict, is for there to be no graven image/idols at all involved.

Dominions Son

@Michael Loucks

Okay, It was my understanding that the Orthodox iconography was more abstract.

joyR

@Michael Loucks

The issue is not making the representation, but worshiping it. After all, God himself commanded that the Ark of the Covenant have two cherubim on the cover, so the commandment clear cannot ban simply MAKING images, but worshiping them.


This is exactly why it makes no sense to me. I read your comment as quoted (my bold) and then the commandment as follows.

"You shall make no idols"

Only one of them is correct as they are the diametric opposite of each other.

As one is claimed to be the word of the gold the worshipers follow, and the other is the interpretation. I would have thought the commandment trumped the interpretation. But apparently not. Which is why it makes no sense to me.

That said it was just a comment, I presume you are as believer, so let's leave it there as I don't wish to cause offence and you doubtless have better things to do.

Michael Loucks

@joyR

As one is claimed to be the word of the gold the worshipers follow, and the other is the interpretation. I would have thought the commandment trumped the interpretation. But apparently not. Which is why it makes no sense to me.

That said it was just a comment, I presume you are as believer, so let's leave it there as I don't wish to cause offence and you doubtless have better things to do.


Trust me, you can't possibly offend me. :-) To quote Uhura from Star Trek: TOS 'The Savage Curtain' - "In our century, we have learned not to fear words." Sadly, we've forgotten since they episode aired in 1969.

In any event, if we assume both commands (do not make idols and bow down to worship them + make images of the cherubim) are from God, then the answer must be that it is the worship that is the problem.

If on the other hand, we assume one is God's word and one is a gloss, then how do we know which one is which? :-)

And finally, if we have competing theories, how do we know which one is correct.

I'll leave that as a thought experiment for the reader. :-)

awnlee jawking

@joyR

Only one of them is correct as they are the diametric opposite of each other.


Can't they both be wrong?

I asked God recently and She said she'd provided no input into any human religion. (Note - the method of asking and replying are both extremely dubious.)

AJ

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@awnlee jawking

Can't they both be wrong?

I asked God recently and She said she'd provided no input into any human religion. (Note - the method of asking and replying are both extremely dubious.)


I am doing my best to not offend those who are believers...

And then you go and spoil it...

seanski1969
Updated:

@joyR


I am doing my best to not offend those who are believers...


Why??? Those who believe in gods offend me by the actions of their religious organizations throughout human history.

Replies:   anim8ed  Remus2
awnlee_jawking

@joyR

I am doing my best to not offend those who are believers...


Don't forget unbelievers. They may also be upset at my admission.

AJ

anim8ed

@seanski1969

Why???


Because posting topics that are offensive do not contribute to open dialog and are detrimental to smooth forum discussion. Divisive topics such as politics and religion should be avoided especially as they have little bearing on the main topic of this forum.

Remus2

@seanski1969

Why??? Those who believe in gods offend me by the actions of their religious organizations throughout human history.


So you would judge someone based on the beliefs of their ancestors?

I don't personally care who I offend, nor do I care if you're offended. However, I don't go out of my way to do so in polite or even semi-polite company. Doing so deliberately is just being an arse.

LonelyDad

When the people of the exodus had Aaron make the golden calf, it was so that they could worship it, pray to it, and sacrifice to it as a focus of whatever religion it represented. Gos's command for things like the cherubim on the ark was to remind His followers of the sacred nature of the contents of the ark. In the same way, icons are to be a reminder of either the story depicted, or of the person depicted as a kind of visual record in the same vein as a written record. Unfortunately, there have always been those who shift the focus to the icon as a power in its own right, such as being able to heal the sick, etc., much like the relics of the Middle Ages, which were considered to be totems with powers in their own right.
I know I haven't expressed this well, but to me the big difference is that such objects are to be reminders of God, not facilitators in their own right. That is what idolatry is, treating the idol as something empowered to do acts in its own right.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@LonelyDad

I know I haven't expressed this well, but to me the big difference is that such objects are to be reminders of God, not facilitators in their own right. That is what idolatry is, treating the idol as something empowered to do acts in its own right.


And you have it exactly right. Along the same lines, Orthodox do not need 'verified miracles' (how do you even do that?) to declare someone a saint - that happens organically as people express proper reverence for a departed person.

Back to Top