The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #136: Shpitzle’s Secret

Frieda Vizel grew up in Kiryas Joel. It’s a devout Hasidic community in upstate New York that rejects almost everything from modern, secular life. But a few years back, she started living dangerously. She started reading the newspaper, and watching Magnum P.I. on a contraband Dell computer… and most dangerous of all, she started blogging under a pseudonym: Shpitzle Shtrimpkind. She also started her family.

Here’s Frieda, shortly after her son, Seth, was born:

Frieda imagined she’d be able to find the perfect balance between her life-long insatiable curiosity, and her love of the tradition in which she was raised. But as her world opened up, she realized that she had no choice—she was going to have to leave her community behind, and take her five-year-old son with her.

Here are Frieda and Seth now:

Tune in this week to hear how Frieda gave her son the life she’d always imagined for herself. And how she came to realize that he needed something else.

Want More Frieda?
We thought so.

Frieda founded a tour company called Visit Hasidim, that takes visitors on walking tours of Hasidic Williamsburg, in Brooklyn.

You can read Frieda’s blog entries as Shpitzle Shtrimpkind here. More recently, she’s written about Judaism and parenting for The Forward and Kveller.

What ideas about parenthood did YOU have to flip totally upside down after having kids?
Tell us about your recalculations, direction changes and total parenting 180s in the comments.

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