Second Thoughts

I’m typing hurriedly in my lunch hour again.  I was going to enjoy the sunshine, but fled a park full of rowdy teenagers.  Why must they swear so much and bully each other?  I hated my teenage years, and I hate being reminded of them.

Much of post was in fact drafted the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper, on the Tube to work this morning.  There are some minor things I wanted to complain about, but I am trying to cultivate a positive attitude and complain less, so I will try not to mention them (except for the rowdy teens).

I feel a bit bad regarding my second post yesterday.  I don’t mind having posted it here, but I probably should not have posted it as a comment on  I did get a sympathetic response from the original writer, but I wonder if she was annoyed with me underneath; I certainly feel as if I was being difficult, really saying, “I’ve had it worse than you” which is unfair, as well as violating my new no complaints rule!  My therapist thinks that I might not have had my my emotions mirrored back to me enough when I was a child, leaving me with difficulties in understanding what I feel and dealing with it (I suppose that’s an alternative explanation for the Asperger’s symptoms).  It’s possibly why I need external validation from my blog and commenting on Hevria and elsewhere.  At any rate, I feel I came across as grumpy and rejecting the author’s feelings in favour of saying that my own are worse, which is not polite.

Yesterday was a stressful day anyway, with my problems with therapy and a general feeling of not being able to achieve much.   I went out for a run in the early evening, even though it was probably too hot, just so I could work off some tension and feel that I had accomplished something.  I’m glad that I seem to be coping with stress better, without falling back into depression.  The OCD has got marginally worse in the last few weeks, but I think it’s still mostly under control.  The winter will be the big test as it’s usually when the nights start getting longer and earlier that I fall back into depression.  But that is still some months off, with a lot to happen between then and now.  I just hope I can keep going as I am now through all the scary things on the horizon, especially the ones that I don’t feel able to talk about here yet.

University, Losing Myself, Finding Myself

I wrote this as a comment on this post.  Given Hevria is having mammoth posts, it seemed appropriate to leave a mammoth comment, but no one will read it there and I thought it deserved a wider audience.

I hadn’t “rocked” at school. I was the weird geeky kid that even most of the other geeky kids (the subversively cool ones) didn’t want to know. But that didn’t prepare me for university. I didn’t really have fun. I was in Oxford for three and a bit years and I didn’t really have fun. I had a few good times at the Jewish Society and the Doctor Who Society, but mainly I was desperately lonely and miserable. I spent most of my time there clinically depressed, sometimes suicidally so. Few friends, no girlfriend (I wouldn’t find someone who would actually agree to go out on a date with me until I was twenty-seven. I swear I don’t have a personal hygiene problem…).

No one ever told me I was supposed to have the time of my life at Oxford, to have joy and pleasure (good, because I would hate to think my life couldn’t get better than those three and a bit years), but clearly other people were enjoying themselves and some of them were even doing it in halakhically-acceptable ways, but I wasn’t. My work life wasn’t unstructured, I made it OVER-structured. The thing about Oxford is, everyone works hard and plays hard. I managed the working hard OK (too well, actually, I was a workaholic), but I couldn’t play at all. I would have dinner and Shabbat meals at the Jewish Society and if I was lucky I would get to a Doctor Who Society meeting, but that was all my socializing for the week. I didn’t really have friends. By my last year I was so severely depressed that I was taking books to JSoc dinners to avoid talking to people.

On the other hand, religion didn’t really help either. I became frum, but I never went to yeshiva, for various reasons. I’ve never been in Israel for more than a fortnight at a time. I avoided Chabad at Oxford as much as possible (never been a Chabad person, probably never will be). Nowadays I have found a shul that is 75% right for me, but the missing 25% is hard sometimes. (And even in a 100% right shul, my social anxieties would be an issue.) I have never found “my people”. As I’ve said before, I don’t experience epiphanies or miracles. I just slog away, trying to be a good Jew, trying to connect to God and Torah and other Jews and other people and usually failing, but trying to fail well (and probably failing to fail well too).

So, I was severely depressed about a decade and a half. I won’t go into that again, as I’ve been into it so many times already. But I’m trying to put the pieces of my mind back together. I’m not “rooted”, I haven’t found “my core”. I don’t have inner peace. At the age of thirty-four (next month), I feel I only vaguely know who I am (I may be wrong, I may know myself better than I feel). I’m doing all the learning about myself that most people were doing in their teens and early twenties, only without the intense friendships, alcohol, lazing around and sex-and-drugs/yeshiva-and-kiruv-trips (delete according to taste) that my peers had to make it more fun. I survive. No, more than that, I’m doing well at the moment (albeit worried about when my next crash will be), I just wish I could enjoy life more. I don’t believe life is made to be enjoyed, but I believe in seizing joy where you can, but I’m monumentally bad at doing so. I wish I knew for sure that one day I would have the right community, maybe a couple of really close friends. I wish I knew for sure that one day I would have that special someone to share my life with, to have children with. It seems doubtful, even in these better times. But I continue, mostly because I don’t believe that happiness is the point of life and I can try to be a good Jew even if I’m lonely and unhappy.

Waiting Anxiously

I’m currently frustrated because I normally have therapy over Skype at this time.  My therapist phoned me a minute or so before the start time to say it would have to be over the phone this week because she was having phone and internet problems because of the heat.  I assumed she meant her landline was faulty, as she was phoning on her mobile, but in retrospect this may have been a mistake on my part.  I wasn’t quite ready, so I asked if I could phone back in a minute.  I’ve phoned fifteen or more times in the last hour or so but I keep getting a message that her phone is unavailable.  I tried texting, but no response to that either.  I’ve sent emails and tried to Skype her, but now I’m having problems with Skype and I just got an email from her implying she hasn’t seen my emails.  I am not at all sure what happened there.  I assume something has gone wrong with her phone suddenly (or, more likely, again).  I don’t know why she didn’t give me her landline number when I phoned, if she knew she was having problems with her mobile, or why she didn’t try to phone me back when I failed to get through to her, or why she’s sent me emails that imply that she hasn’t read my emails or texts.

I suppose this sums up how I feel at the moment.  As I’ve hinted, there are a couple of things in the pipeline that could be really good for me, both at work and in my private life, but I’m having to wait a lot for them and still don’t know if they will come about.  I want to talk about them, but don’t dare to.  I suppose it’s silliness and superstition really (I’m not normally superstitious), but I feel talking about them will somehow make them less likely to happen.  Certainly if I talk them up now and they don’t happen then I have to go round to everyone I told about them and say they’ve fallen through, which is always frustrating; last time I spoke about something like this, someone congratulated me on it after it had fallen through because they hadn’t seen my latest post, which was awkward and just brought up difficult thoughts when I wanted to draw a line under the situation.  I will say that the work thing seems to have a strong chance of working out, but that the personal thing is still up in the air and is likely to be for some time.

I don’t think I’m a particularly impatient person, but I do find it hard to wait for something when I don’t know how it will turn out, being caught between hope and despair.  I’m a pessimistic person, but I do hope a lot that things will improve, but then I seem to be more upset when they don’t, even though part of me was expecting things to fall through all along.  The nineteenth century rabbi, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said that if you say that things are bad, God says, “You think this is bad?  I’ll show you what bad really is!” but if you say that things are good, God says, “You think this is good?  I’ll show you what good really is!”  I’m not sure how much I feel comfortable with that (I dislike the idea of such a capricious-seeming deity), but it’s probably true that people who see life positively and with gratitude experience more joy than those who are constantly anxious or complaining.   You can become less of a complainer and more grateful, but I’m not sure how to become less pessimistic and despairing, particularly if, like me, you’ve tried CBT for it without success.

EDIT: I’ve now found out what the problem was earlier: it’s a long story, but it basically amounts to me getting confused about which of my therapist’s phones was broken and the caller ID on my mobile just confusing me further.  I feel pretty stupid, although it was an easy enough mistake to make.  I’m not quite sure why my therapist didn’t try calling me back on her functional landline (which I thought was broken, and which I didn’t think I had the number for anyway, although it turned out I did have it).

Progress Report

I haven’t written much lately (again).  To tell the truth, I have been very busy, fortunately in a good way.  But it has been hard to find the time to write.  I wrote the first part of this at work during my lunch break.  Also, a couple of good or potentially good things have happened, but I am reluctant to write about them until they are more certain, partly out of a vaguely superstitious fear that if I write about them, they will go wrong, partly out of a fear that if they do go wrong or fail to materialize, then I will have to come back here and tell everyone about the failure when I will just want to move on.

I have managed to do a few social things lately.  The assistant rabbi at the shul (synagogue) I am a member of invited me for Shabbat (Sabbath) dinner last week, which I went to.  There were a couple of people I didn’t know there, but I was able to join in with the conversation, at least after an initial period of shyness.  The next day I went to a shul I had never been to before for my Talmud class teacher’s son’s bar mitzvah and then on to his house for kiddush (refreshments) afterwards.  To be honest, I didn’t enjoy it much.  I overslept and got to shul late, which didn’t help, but it was more Charedi (ultra-Orthodox) than I feel comfortable with and I could not understand all of the sermon, as a lot of untranslated Hebrew and Yiddish was being used.  I felt a bit of a fish out of water.  The food at the kiddush was good, but it was completely packed with people in a tiny room.  I only stayed for about ten minutes, but I was glad I went as I think I was the only person from the class to go to the shul and only one other person from the class went to the kiddush.

I gave a short talk about my depression and how I have coped with it at my depression group, part of an evening in which several of us were asked to speak in more detail than we usually do at these evenings.  I think it went well, but I shook quite a bit, especially during the questions and answers.  I was not really expecting Q and A, certainly not so many questions.  I didn’t think people would be that interested in what I had to say!  I am not sure where this shaking has suddenly come from.  I suspect it’s a medication issue.  In the past it has usually been from olanzapine, but it may be the clomipramine, in which case I’m really stuck as I’m doing too well on the clomipramine to come off it.  It is not too bad at the moment and I don’t seem to be catastrophizing it the way I have in the past, when I assumed everyone around me was aware of it and thinking critical or worried thoughts about me.

I had a meeting with my boss this afternoon to finish off induction things from two months ago (I actually still have some training to go to at the end of the month before I am fully past the induction (fully induced?) and to look at my progress, as well as outlining the extra work I will have come September, which will involve liaising with academic staff to check our library content is relevant and then buying new books, which I will then have to catalogue.  This will be the first time I get to buy things at work!  My boss is pleased with my work and didn’t really have a lot to say in terms of things I could be doing better, which is good.

I have now been reasonably well for about six months, so in a few weeks, all being well, I will have been mentally healthy for the longest period in over fourteen years, although I am still a little worried about how I will cope with the winter, which is traditionally when my depression sets in.  I guess time will tell.

Don’t Forget Your Second Wind (Post-Shavuot Post)

Shavuot (Pentecost) was pretty good.  I managed to get to shul (synagogue) for all the services and to participate in the communal Torah study that happened every day, tikkun leil (staying up all night studying Torah on the first night of Shavuot) on the first night and a mixture of group or paired study and shiurim (classes) on first and second afternoons, culminating in a inter-shul study-and-singing event in the closing hours of the Yom Tov (festival) which was very good idea.   One thing I like about this area is that the various Orthodox communities collaborate and people attend different shuls; there isn’t so much of the “They’re too modern/conservative for us” attitude.

However, there has been a price and I feel totally drained and a bit depressed today.  I wanted to go for a run (I have eaten a lot of junk over Yom Tov…), but got up too late and I have had strong OCD over the last day or two for the first time in a couple of months, panicking about kashrut issues again.  This might be due to general exhaustion as going to shul and doing communal study is exhausting in itself, but I also found it particularly draining as I felt quite inferior during the group and paired study, as lots of people seemed to be more adept than I am.  I don’t know if they’ve been to yeshiva (seminary) or have studied a lot of Talmud or if they are just more quick-witted in a group study situtation – my shyness holds me back from asking or answering questions (although I managed to do both a little bit) and I take in information better when I’m reading by myself with time to re-read and digest, rather than in a group situation where I’m listening as much as reading and have no time to think about what I hear and process it.  Either way it brought back feelings of inferiority to other frum (religious) Jews.  The feeling of being drained and having resurgent OCD has led to worries about the date I’m going on on Sunday, worrying if I will be able to cope with it and if my mental health issues will lead to rejection at some point.

In other news, I’m still having internet connection problems in my flat.  Currently I can sometimes get a bit of a connection if I sit in the doorway with my laptop on my lap but sticking outside, but this is uncomfortable and problematic if it is raining, as it was before.  I need to get this sorted, although I suspect I will be told it’s just because the hub is in my landlord’s house and my flat is too far away (but why was it fine for the last ten months?!).

I need to go out to collect a prescription before Shabbat, as well as doing all my usual chores so I should go and have some lunch and get a move on.  You’re Only Human (Second Wind) by Billy Joel has come up on shuffle on iTunes which is probably telling me something…

Luftmentsch Versus Social Anxiety

Things I’ve done to fight the social anxiety in the last couple of days:

Dug out booklet on CBT for social anxiety that I remembered I bought at university;

Spoke to people at Kiddush (blessing said before dinner and lunch on the Sabbath, by extension the refreshments served with the Kiddush blessing after the morning service on the Sabbath) and Seudah Shlishit (third Sabbath meal, often eaten communally at the synagogue) at shul (synagogue);

Spoke to the frum  man who started a conversation with me on the bus, even though I wanted to read and was nervous that he would judge me negatively;

Responded politely when said frum man blessed me that I would get married soon even though I thought it was a bit of a personal thing to say (I think it was meant well and who knows, maybe it will work);

Phoned someone to arrange a date, even though I was very nervous (I haven’t really asked someone out for years, the other dates I’ve been on recently were blind dates arranged by other people although to be fair my sister had checked with this person (a friend of my sister) that she was willing to go out with me before giving me her phone number);

Tried deep breathing when I started shaking at the barber’s and mostly got it under control (I’ve been told the shaking is probably a minor panic attack, but also that it’s caused by medication side-effects; I’m not sure how they interact.  This hasn’t been a problem for some years, so it felt a bit of a retrograde step, but I tried not to let it worry me);

Answered questions at Talmud shiur (class);

Went  to a coffee morning for the OCD support group I go to (or used to go to – I haven’t been for a while, partly because it’s been hard with work, partly because I’ve been a lot better).

The half-time score: Luftmentsch 8, social anxiety 1.

It Is What It Is

“It is what it is” is a phrase I’ve encountered in a couple of places recently.  On the one hand, it’s a silly platitude.  Obviously it is what it is; what else could it be?  Still, as with most platitudes, there is some truth in there.  Sometimes things just are what they are.

In an ideal world, I would be working full time or at least four days a week, sleeping no less than seven hours on work nights and no more than eight hours on non-work nights.  I would be doing an hour and a half of Torah study a day, mostly “serious” stuff, Talmud and Tanakh (Bible) with commentaries.  I would be davening (praying) on time and usually with a minyan (prayer quorum).  I would be working regularly on the book I’m writing and jogging for half an hour a couple of times a week.  I would socialize sometimes and get to my depression support group regularly.

The reality is very different.  I am not achieving any of these targets.  Some, like my sleep, need to be changed urgently (when I am consistently getting only six or even five hours of sleep before work, I come close to falling asleep at my desk mid-morning, especially as I don’t drink coffee!  Bananas are good for waking up, I’ve discovered).   Others feasibly could wait a bit.  For instance, Torah study tends to be an average of about forty-five minutes a day, which isn’t too bad, but some days I do considerably more and other days considerably less.

I’m trying to accept that I can’t turn my life around overnight.  I’ve been depressed pretty much all my adult life.  Work and leisure time patterns that most people build up slowly in their teens and early twenties are suddenly being thrust upon me (and this is without the stresses and time consumption of dating – I’m phoning someone today to try to arrange a date, hopefully).  I’m trying to keep my head above the water and not relapse into depression and OCD, although this is harder some days that others.  Sometimes “It is what it is” is all there is to hold on to.

Faith and Trust in Dating

I haven’t got used to public blogging again after many years.  I think I need to be more careful about saying things that can be traced to recognizable people, especially as my pseudonym is hardly completely secure and I do tend to let personal information drift out.  I just edited an old post to remove something that shouldn’t have gone in, and I edited and deleted some other people’s comments too, which I feel bad about, but I felt it was necessary.  I must be more careful in the future.

I feel all washed out today, struggling with depression and OCD a bit.  I’ve been fighting a cold for a fortnight now; it’s nearly gone, but it’s still lingering a bit; the sudden heatwave only makes it worse.  My flat, which is a converted garage, is very cold in the winter, but very hot in the summer and humid all year round.  I also find that the depression and loneliness are worst on days when I don’t go into work, like today (I’m also off all week next week as it’s half-term and I’m only contracted for term time plus two weeks in the summer), which I may have mentioned before.  I want to go for a run too,  but I really don’t feel up to it, physically or emotionally, which only makes me feel worse.

Yesterday we (me, my parents and my sister – her fiancé is away) went out for dinner for Mum’s birthday, but I found it stressful, partly for reasons I can’t explain given my rules for not revealing personal information, partly because most of the conversation was about my sister’s wedding.  I think this will happen a lot over the next six months.  This is probably also feeding in to the washed out feeling today.

What I really wanted to blog about was dating.  With my tighter rules about what I can say here, I’m actually limited in terms of what I can write, but I tried to get a woman’s number recently, although because this is me, it’s been far more complicated than going up to her and saying, “I like you, would you like to go on a date?  Please could I have your number?” (I have never done that.)  Not least, it’s a couple of months since I last saw her.  I did try to get her number earlier, but encountered an obstacle and gave up, but now I wonder if I gave up too easily and am trying again, but it’s obviously harder now.  Maybe one day I can tell the full story, but for now I’m just waiting and wondering if I made a huge mistake.  Logically, I can’t see what harm could result.  The worst that could happen is she says “No”, or she agrees to go on a date but we have a boring hour or two in a restaurant and agree not to meet again.  But someone I know and trust who also knows the woman told me it was a bad idea, which makes me panic, even though other people have told me to go for it.

There is a concept in Judaism of soul-mates, someone you are meant to marry and to be with.  Admittedly while the popular version of this concept is that you will definitely marry this person and stay married, the more serious theological versions are less definite, saying you will meet him/her and have the opportunity to marry, but you might not or it might not work out and some thinkers reject the concept in its entirety, which makes sense to me as some people do never marry.  So, I suppose I should trust God that I will meet the right woman at the right time and we will get married, but it is hard.  Aside from those theological doubts, I find it really hard to trust God.

In Judaism, there is a conceptual difference between emunah, faith in God and bitachon, trusting God.  Emunah is about knowing that God exists and acting on that knowledge.  Bitachon is about trusting God and accepting that everything that happens is for the best.  Despite having some doubts and questions, I have in recent years found that I have surprising resevoirs of emunah, but I have very little bitachon.  This is partly from a childhood where I felt unable to trust various authority figures in my life to give me the attention and care I needed, partly because I’m a control freak and don’t like to trust myself to other people generally.  The two are related, of course.  (Funnily enough, in another sense I am very trusting: I’m a bit naive and generally assume other people are always telling me the truth and mean me no harm, even when others are suspicious of them.  This is despite my social anxiety and fear of rejection – I’m not really sure how they fit together and have been meaning to blog about that too, but that will have to wait for now.)   I find it very hard to look over my life and say, “Gam zu le-tova, this is all towards the good” and I find it incredibly hard to say, “OK, God, I know You love me and want the best for me, so I’m just going to trust You to sort this out” particularly regarding marriage.

Of course, it’s complicated by the fact that, while we believe in Divine Providence, we Jews also believe that human effort is necessary.  If you want to eat, you need to look for a job and trust to God that you will find one; you can’t just rely on God to make you win the lottery.  And if you want to get married, you have to ask women out, even if you aren’t 100% sure they’re right for you.  This is hard!  It’s something I really need to work and sometimes I wonder if all the troubles of my life aren’t just to teach me this one concept of bitachon.


I feel very depressed today and I’m not really sure why.  I slept in, but woke depressed and tired.  Aside from therapy over Skype, I’ve largely spent the day pottering about in my room/flat (my flat is really one small room with an attached tiny kitchenette and equally tiny bathroom) and trying not to comfort eat (not usually a problem for me, but it has been lately – perhaps because my current antidepressants are linked to carbohydrate craving and weight gain).  I’m reluctant to say too much, as I fear I have said too much here recently; I went back and heavily edited a post that said too much about a third party.  But I suspect part of it is because my sister has booked the hall for her wedding in December now.  It all seems very real, and I seem more alone and unloveable than ever.

I have made good progress with my depression and OCD in recent months, but I think there is one last knot in my mind that needs to be undone.  I am still being held back by fear of what other people will think of me.  This stops me from writing, from trying to make friends and from dating, although paradoxically with dating my sense of honesty tends to prompt me to reveal my mental health issues too early on as well.  I’m not sure if I’m more scared of criticism or praise, acceptance or rejection.  Both are pretty overwhelming.

Then (oh dear) I got really agitated and depressed and wrote a long stupid comment on  Then I felt bad for writing it, but wanted to leave it because I felt I wanted someone to tell me if there’s something wrong with me (like mania), so I wrote a long introduction apologizing for writing it and saying I was going to delete it, but I wanted to leave it there so someone can tell me if I’m going crazy, but that the moderators should feel free to delete it if they want to.  I haven’t done something crazy like that for a while, and certainly I have never been climbing on people’s walls as I was doing on the way home today.

EDIT: I’ve now deleted the comment because I’ve calmed down and I’m probably not really manic (I’ve been told repeatedly I don’t have bipolar disorder).  I’ve saved a copy on my laptop just in case, though.

Nice Jewish Fanboy Would Like To Meet

Recently I’ve been listening to the Nice Jewish Fangirls podcasts, which is a new thing for me, as I have rarely listened to podcasts before, and never fan-produced ones.  It’s very good, but it makes me feel inadequate and lonely (OK, everything makes me feel inadequate and lonely, but this in particular).  It’s partly because the three presenters all seem really enthusiastic about all sorts of new and upcoming things, whereas I’m mainly enthusiastic about things I’ve already read or seen, especially old Doctor Who.  I care most about things that are known quantities that won’t disappoint me, episodes of Doctor Who from the sixties or seventies that I have seen dozens of times and which will always be the same.  I suppose I’ve been let down too many times, even by new Doctor Who (I basically left online fandom around 2007 because I didn’t enjoy the new episodes any more and I didn’t want to be a troll making everyone miserable and although I’ve enjoyed it a lot more since around 2010 or 2011, I haven’t really moved back).

The Nice Jewish Fangirls also go to conventions and make Shabbat and kashrut work there, whereas I’ve always used those as excuses not to go, but really I don’t go because I’m terrified of the crowds and the noise and not fitting in.  And they use slang which just makes me feel stuffy and overly formal.  I have no idea why I talk and write in such a stilted way; it’s possibly one of my borderline autistic traits, but I find using slang in writing almost impossible.  I’m not sure how much I use it in speech; definitely a bit, but possibly not as much as other people, I’m not sure, but I rarely use very modern and internet-influenced slang.  And their successful writing and podcasting careers just reminds me that since my Hevria rejection two years ago, I’ve let what little talent I have stagnate as I’ve given in to the writer’s block, which is really an just excuse for fear of rejection or possibly for fear of acceptance.  I am at least making progress with my non-fiction Doctor Who book, although if I seriously thought there was a chance of getting it published, I’m sure I would find it harder to work on it.

But mostly the loneliness comes from listening to these three interesting, clever, enthusiastic, witty Nice Jewish Fangirls and wishing I had an interesting, clever, enthusiastic, witty Nice Jewish Fangirlfriend and feeling that I never will, that even if I somehow got to meet someone like that (I don’t necessarily mean one of the women from the podcast, but someone clever and interesting and geeky as well as frum and female) she would be out of my league and uninterested in a weird and broken person like me.  I mean, I’m not even a “normal” geeky person, even aside from the brokeness and mental health issues, there’s a lot of geeky stuff that I know nothing about and, I suppose, some non-geeky stuff I’m interested in.

I do at least have a couple of frum geeky email penfriends now who I can “talk” to online, which is an improvement, although it comes at the same time as I’ve lost other friends (or realized that I probably lost them a long time ago, which isn’t the same thing).  I don’t mean to operate a “one in, one out” policy with my friends, but it seems like I’m unable to maintain more than one vaguely close friendship and a couple of loose acquaintanceships at the same time.  I am a bit of a loner and I don’t want an enormous social circle, but I’d like to have a few friends and one special person to give to, to share my life with, someone really on my wavelength.  I’ve been feeling that more and more since my sister got engaged and it’s quite painful now and I just don’t know what to do about it, except maybe to go to a shadchan in a few weeks (when I’m more settled in my new job) and see if she knows any frum geeky girls in London, but I don’t have much hope – as I’ve said before, the Anglo-Jewish population is so tiny to begin with that frum geeks would be a tiny minority within a tiny minority.