9: Man, I Feel Like a Woman

What do you do when you realize that in order to be true to yourself, you have to shatter everything around you, including the lives of those you love most?

Yiscah Smith lives in Nahlaot, in Jerusalem. But her journey to this Orthodox-meets-hipster neighborhood took her through what seems like four lifetimes. She was born in Long Island, as Jeff Smith, to a Conservative Jewish family. Jeff married a woman, they became more religious, and moved to Israel. Jeff became Yaacov, a Chabad Rabbi, and also the father of six children. A few years later, Yaacov’s identity began to unravel, presenting a terrible dilemma: What do you do when you realize that in order to be true to yourself, you have to shatter everything around you, including the lives of those you love most?

This is Yiscah’s story, as told to reporter Molly Livingstone.

Produced by Benny Becker with help from Raoul Wootliff and Rachel Fischer, and music help from Shoshi Shmuluvitz. Music for this episode comes from Blue Dot Sessions, Dana Boulé, and Ben Sound.

Stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and by signing up for our newsletter at israelstory.org/newsletter/. For more, head to our site or Tablet Magazine.


 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.