Last week, a video popped up on the internet featuring two orthodox girls rapping about Dor Yeshorim, a confidential matching service that provides the genetic compatibility of potential partners. Currently, that video has over 40,000 views on Youtube. The Forward posted an article titled Weirdly Talented Rapping Orthodox Girls Star in Illicit Viral Hit in which they report that the girls were embarrassed of the publication of the video and Dor Yeshorim was ‘disturbed’.
I am sorry that this video was posted without your consent. I’m sorry that you are embarrassed of the fact that it was.
I feel like you’re probably experiencing consequences and condemnation from others (in addition to yourselves). Dor Yeshorim, your school, random people on the internet who’ve never even met you.
And so I want to make it clear to you that you have fans out here.
Many, many fans.
You have a whole host of Weirdly Talented Orthodox Girls who now feel less alone. Less weird.
You have a bunch of people who’ve never heard of Dor Yeshorim now thinking about the concept of genetic testing and looking up the definition of ‘heritable diseases’. You have unintentionally initiated one of the greatest advertising campaigns that Dor Yeshorim has ever had. Reached an audience whom they could normally never reach. Brought the question of ethics and genetics to a world of 140 characters or less.
That is how talented you are.
I just want you to be aware that your video has caused people to discuss stereotypes about Orthodox Girls and Orthodox people in general. And realize that there is nothing weird about Orthodox Girls being talented.
Your video has caused at least two people in my own life to say, ‘I relate to this. I wish that there was more of this out there.’
You accomplished this all without even trying.
Youth is filled with the process of ‘figuring things out’ (actually, all of life is). You are currently figuring out how to utilize your amazing gifts. And that’s ok.
Really it is.
And you might be afraid to perform again. To write again.
You might be tempted to stop dancing in the halls of your school. To stop beatboxing in wherever it is that you hang out between classes.
But… just… please. Keep trying. Keep creating.
Please. For all of our sakes.
Please don’t stop rapping. Or beatboxing. Or writing. Or mixing learning with humor and wit.
Don’t stop turning the things you learn into things you feel.
Don’t ever stop breathing life into your knowledge.
Maybe be more careful about who is filming (if you want to) but please don’t stop generating.
Because you are the future. This is the future.
This is the fusion of old teachings and new minds. This is the transformation of the story that we normally just skim through into a thing of beauty that we feel invited to stop and stare at.
You both have such a unique mission in this world. There is a reason you were given these talents.
They are meant to be used.
And talents can be confusing in the world at large, even more so in the religious world. There are so many things that need to be considered. What is tznius (modest)? What is impacting my shidduchim (potential chance for marriage)? What is right? Where does my skill fit in the realm of halacha (Jewish law)?
But I truly believe that you can figure this out. There is a place for you. An important one. A vital one.
Consider advertising, or making raps about the parsha, or keep just performing for your friends.
Just… don’t stop.
And don’t let anyone ever tell you that it’s weird for Orthodox Girls to have talent. Nothing about Orthodox Girls or Boys being talented is weird.
Anyone who says that appears to have never been exposed to the underground of the Yeshiva world. One in which Yeshiva girls organize productions, create curricula for holidays, and plaster their school hallways in stunning art.
So, Anonymous Awesomely Talented Orthodox Girls, just know that the world is thirsting for what you have to offer in whatever ways you’re willing to share.
And those people telling you that there’s no room for that kind of stuff in Orthodox Judaism?