The (unconventional) life of a Rabbi’s wife

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“Being Frum doesn’t need to be synonymous with being frumpy,” says Rebbetzin Sarah Feldman. It is this philosophy that has inspired her new blog ‘Rabbi’s Wife’, which brings fashion tips, recipes, decor ideas and entertainment insights to her growing and enthusiastic audience. Sarah tells us more.

For those who haven’t seen your blog, can you tell them what it is about?

My blog is a glimpse into the life of a Rabbi’s wife. Having a passion for fashion, I share fashion tips and clothing ideas that are both modest and fashionable. Being a Rabbi’s wife involves a lot of entertaining so I also post decor ideas and my favourite recipes and cooking tips. It is all from a Jewish perspective and there is a lot of Jewish content, so there is an educational element as well.

What motivated you to start the blog?

People are always amazed when I tell them that I’m married to a rabbi. They think that I should look different or dress differently, and I wanted to show them that you can be Orthodox and religious, conform to the modesty guidelines, and still look good and fashionable.
I am often asked where I shop for my clothing and to assist people in their shopping, and after a radio interview on 567 and a write up in Marie Claire a few months ago on this theme, I realised that a lot of people may be interested in a blog like this.
I am passionate about helping people look their best, so that they can feel their best and therefore be the best person that they can be, and my hope is that the blog will help achieve this.

How has the blog been received so far?

I can’t believe how the word has gotten around! The feedback has been great and it got close to a thousand followers within the first two weeks! And the followers are not just from South Africa, they come from all around the globe!

What has been your most popular post so far, and why do you think it has been successful?

My post on ‘The joy of wearing a wig’. People are fascinated by the concept of religious women covering their hair with wigs. In my case, I often find that when I meet people for the first time they don’t actually believe that I am wearing one.

A more Orthodox perspective could exclude a forum like the internet. How do you think the two can be ‘reconciled’, and are you doing this through your blog?

Jewish teaching encourages utilising all resources available for positive purposes. Instead of shunning the world and what it has to offer, we need to embrace it and harness it for the good. Ultimately people will make their own boundaries but most will embrace initiatives like this; helping committed Jewish women adapt to the 21st century while still maintaining the timeless values and teachings of our holy Torah.

You say “Growing up in an Orthodox religious home, I often challenged guidelines of dressing modestly, but I’ve come to accept and embrace it, and believe that you can still be fashionable and modest at the same time.” Can you elaborate on this?

Most teenagers don’t like being told what they can or can’t wear and I was no different. I challenged some of the restrictions and didn’t just accept all the laws as they were. But as I grew older and the more I learned and internalised the meaning behind the restrictions and the holiness it contains, the more I accepted and embraced the lifestyle.
Even today, while I may not always adopt every stringency, it by no means diminishes my commitment to maintaining this important lifestyle. I also came to realise that one could be fashionable while still being modest and I hope to make it easier for those who follow my blog to do the same.

What are your aims for the blog?

I am passionate about helping people look good and feel good about themselves. This affects every area of their lives and has a positive impact on their relationships, on their families, on their job and everything else.
Another aim of the blog is that I hope to start a stylish/modest clothing range called ‘Saraleh’ that will be sold via the blog.

What is your advice to others who want to
succeed in blogging?

I’m a new blogger so still a bit early to be offering advice but what I can say is that it’s very time consuming, so make sure you blog about something you’re passionate about otherwise it will be hard to keep it going.

Anything else you would like to add?

Please go to www.rabbiswife.com or find me on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr to follow the blog. If you subscribe on the website you will get an e-mail each time I post. And please be in touch; I would love to hear from you!