15 August 2007

When They Were Young...

This post was inspired by a conversation I had today with one of my high school English teachers. She has since retired and is an adjunct professor in Holocaust Studies (as well as frum). I partially give her credit for where my life headed, as she was one of the first frum people I met that showed me it was possible to be a strong Jew and be "worldly". A large portion of my hashkafah came under her tutelage in high school. Yonina was bending my ear, sharing all the nachat she was receiving from her tribes of grandchildren. [One granddaughter, an officer in TZaHaL and frum, is engaged to marry another frum officer. Another granddaughter just graduated from our local chareidi girls' school and is heading off to seminary in Israel.]

Yonina: "It's the end of an era. For the first time in 52 years, one of my descendants will not be at ___________."

CYM: "A lot has changed in that time as well. Look how the hashkafah of the school changed..."

Yonina: "I have pictures of Rav D_______ before he grew a beard and was wearing sportscoats." [Rav D______ happens to be a descendant of a gadol that I do not wish to directly name as all will be revealed.]

CYM: "Everyone denies that ever happened, like when the school had mixed classes."

Yonina: "That was until the fifth grade. My daughter, 'Laura,' still remembers the boy who would pull her pony tail during class. Wouldn't you know, recently, Laura was talking to someone on the phone who had a familiar voice. After asking what his Hebrew name was, she realized that it was the same boy. My, how time flies!"

My conversation with Yonina reminded me of an e-mail that Esther had sent me some time ago. It must have been forwarded all over the Internet and blogged incessantly, but it is still appropriate in light of recent blogs on the chareidi world. [Rabbi Maryles and Barak]

An over-used cliche is that "clothes make the man". Would today's chareidim see future gedolim in (gasp!) modern clothes? Click on this link...

I welcome any feedback on when this change happened to Orthodoxy. What has been told to me by a friend (thanks, by the way) that it seems that the chareidim are trying to out-chassid the chassidim.

1 comment:

  1. I posted recently about the lack of ancestral memory that most people seem to have. It was unfortunately due to botht he physical loss of our communties, as well as the reluctance of many of the immigrant generation to talk about anything from that time. So instead of real info, people formed these myths about what things were like. Anyone who has access to pictures of their ancestors should take a good look. The picture of my family taken in Europe shows my great-grandmother wearing a tichel, not a sheitel, my great-grandfatherwearing a normal hat (not a "black hat" as we picture), and the younger boys not visibly wearing kippot or tsitsit. These are the kind sof pictures that we've heard about being airbrushed when published by frum companies in order to change the historical record. This goes along with not encouraging those who are interested in frum life to first research what their own background is.


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