Kretzmach Traditions

I think I was a good Jew on Christmas. I ordered in Chinese, and took my daughter to see the new Frozen movie from Disney.

Expecting the usual “First Love’s Kiss” breaking the spell of an icy heart, I was pleasantly surprised that wasn’t the case. I also found it pretty cool that the story really focused on the two sisters rather than how Princess Anna could get the perfectly beautiful boy and Queen Elsa would pay for her evil icy ways. I identified (as much as a woman in her mid-30s can identify with an animated character) with Elsa, perhaps on the older sister angle or the way that she felt she needed to leave to be herself.

Shortly after Elsa is found out to be in possession of cryokinetic (cool word, right?) powers, the inimitable Idina Menzel belts out “Let It Go” as Elsa flees up the mountain. “The cold never bothered me anyway,” she sings. And I cried. As masterful a lyricist Eli Gerstner is, the lyrics of a song from a children’s movie moved me more than five thousand Veohavtos combined ever could.

I’m sharing some of the lyrics here, because I think it applies to everyone whose journey has bumps and twists and pain. I imagined singing this with a picture of my former chassidish self projected on a background. I imagined sharing this with my family. I imagined this might sway hearts to understand what being Off the Derech actually means. I’m not on drugs. My personal life is far (FAR!) less exciting than rabbonim would have you believe. I’m still kind of spiritual. I’m respectful towards my parents when some people would have given up. As Elsa/Idina Menzel/Kristen Anderson-Lopez so fittingly put it, “the past is in the past.” For people who were closeted OTDs, these words about breaking free are so personal (emphasis mine).

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand
And here I stay
Let the storm rage on

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back,
The past is in the past

Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand in the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway

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3 responses to “Kretzmach Traditions

  1. As someone who has covered the OTD community and identifies with certain aspects that defines that community, and as someone who loved Frozen (my son and I saw it in the theaters twice!), I immediately thought this song was a perfect OTD anthem. Great post.

  2. Why not? I’m sure the two populations have more than one similarity between them!

    Love your writing and hope you keep posting.

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