Sunday, November 27, 2005

Parental Pollution Prevention

I have noticed on some public forums that the intent of my blog has been misinterpreted. Some actually believe that this blog condones and on some level admires the ‘revolution’ occurring in our midst. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While I often bemoan the sad state of affairs in our community, I nonetheless opened this blog to defend those that dare attack it - even though their attack is mostly done with criticism that is very similar to my own. There are some who might call this hypocrisy. Yet I respectfully disagree, and I'll hereby tell you why.

When I talk about how bad things have become in Williamsburg and the surrounding area, I am mostly talking in terms of ‘authorities’ having lost sight of what truly matters. More than anything I want this enclave, this insular little community to survive. I want it for myself, and I want it for my kids. I want to have a place that I can call home and not fear the influences American culture will have on them.

We keep on being criticized for keeping our kids from experiencing this glorious American culture. But what if we as parents don’t find that lifestyle so glorious? Isn’t it our right as parents, scratch that – it is not our ‘right’ but rather our ‘duty’ as parent, to ensure that our children have the best life possible? That they are not exposed to anything that might be deemed harmful to their ‘health’? Surely no one would criticize us if we were to put up walls around our little enclave to limit the ‘smog’ from entering these young underdeveloped lungs, yet we receive endless condemnation for depriving our kids from what we deem ‘spiritual smog’.

Before you assume that I am hereby condemning all forms of cultural enlightenment as spiritual smog, I want to clearly spell out that I am a big proponent of offering advanced education as well as honesty in childrearing. I just don’t believe that one needs to overexpose to the unnecessary in order to ensure a healthy well-rounded upbringing.

With that said, there are many issues that I believe that we as a community can – and should – change. Most of these issues have little to do with Chasidus, and even less to do with Yiddishkeit – and as such should never be mistaken for a part of our religion.

Therefore, rejection of the SatWillSidic way of life need not be a rejection of Yiddishkeit as a whole.

The issues that come to mind are those that involve shidduchim, education, entertainment, etc. Issues that are mostly dependant upon parents. Parents can ensure that their children have all they need for an exciting, funfilled and KOSHER youth. We need to once again have the Yiddish life be one that is filled with light, life, and love. If we learn to give our kids happy lives within the frameworks of what is permissable we are ensuring that less will venture 'out there' in search for something that might be more 'exciting'.

16 Comments:

At November 27, 2005 6:16 AM, Blogger Cosmic X said...

"Isn’t it our right as parents, scratch that – it is not our ‘right’ but rather our ‘duty’ as parent, to ensure that our children have the best life possible? That they are not exposed to anything that might be deemed harmful to their ‘health’? Surely no one would criticize us if we were to put up walls around our little enclave to limit the ‘smog’ from entering these young underdeveloped lungs, yet we receive endless condemnation for depriving our kids from what we deem ‘spiritual smog’. "

Well put.

 
At November 27, 2005 9:25 AM, Anonymous queensmaidel said...

Nicely, put, S! But here is the thing: parents everywhere grapple with the issues you do. It is not merely a chassidic issue. If kids are raised properly, with the light and the love you describe, they might not need to be so protected from the "spiritual smog," but will instead have the tools to deal with it when they encounter it. I hate to say it, but what you describe seems something like Modern Orthodoxy. Would you disagree?

 
At November 27, 2005 12:19 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

Queen - I wholeheartedly disagree. Mostly because I was raised with the precise ideals that I described and all the while I was instilled with pride about my ULTRAOrthodoxy. As well as the fact that I am from Satmar. One need not take away from the other.

My parents' motto was always "Know who you are, where you come from - and what is right and wrong". That is all that is necessary in life.

When all the enjoyable aspects of life that are permitted al pi halacha are allowed within the comforts of a Yiddish home, then there is no need to search for 'fun' elsewhere. So much IS permitted. All I'm suggesting is that we grant that to our children.

 
At November 27, 2005 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As well as the fact that I am from Satmar

Aside for not ging to the Kosel, in what way are you as a satmare woman different from the rest of chasidim or even frum yidden?

 
At November 27, 2005 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear friends. Judaism is not black & white. Judaism is a road. Sometimes we are on the left, sometimes the right & sometimes the middle. Nobody is off the road unless they renounce their faith and convert. Anybody born to a Jewish mother is on the road. Only God can judge

 
At November 27, 2005 1:20 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

Anon 1 - Being Satmar is part ideology and part pride. I've proudly held on to both.

 
At November 27, 2005 1:25 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

Anon 2 - Judaism is indeed not black and white. While Judaism per se isn't the road - our lives are. That being the case, at times we do what is right, and times we don't. To assume that our 'Nationality' will suffice when our religion isn't being practiced is completely inaccurate.

You are right. Only our loving God can judge. And while He holds no guns to our heads - Get this - HE DOES JUDGE!

There is no black and white - but there IS right and wrong.

 
At November 27, 2005 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being Satmar is part ideology

Please explain?
Aside for being antizionist, how are you different?

 
At November 28, 2005 7:32 AM, Blogger Frummer????? said...

Sheitel:

Spot on!

It's no spurprise that many of us seem to think along very much the same lines. Do we have more "seichel" than the learned ones who rules us? Surely not!?

Which forums are you referring to?

 
At November 28, 2005 9:43 AM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

I don't understand you sheital.
personally, I think it is great that one aspires towards a life of torah and chassidic tradition. Nevertheless, it is the TACTICS that the current community uses that some people find morally and ethically reprehensible. You make it appear as if Hella and others have attacked tradition. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything what has happened she described as a move away from tradition.

 
At November 28, 2005 10:19 AM, Blogger Totally Content said...

Mod - Hella's issue with the community in a nutshell - was the fact that we are 'sheltering' our kids from the 'glorious secular culture'. Those weren't her exact words, but the message implied was identical. And with her being a non-believer, it was apparent that she felt that enlightenment eventually came to the intelligent in the form of renouncing the traditions.

Too many have agreed with her, and blamed our 'authorities' for scaring us into obedience. [You too clearly stated that with the word TACTICS.] That is where I respectfully disagree.

I believe that while this 'system' we've got going here obviously has its faults (as all systems do), it was not formed with ill intent. On the contrary, at the time it was assumed to be the only way for Yiddishkeit - and by extension us Yidden - to survive. Whether there are some in authoritative positions who have lost sight of what truly is important? Absolutely. Just like there are those that initially claimed that they were 'revolting' for the benefit of Yiddishkeit, yet somewhere along this path of rebellion have they have renounced those beliefs that had originally set them on course.

I’m recommending preservation of what is truly important – in the form of parental involvement.

 
At November 28, 2005 10:28 AM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

Are you advocating for insularity to the point where onw (like Hella describes) has only a fourth grade reading level?
you see this is just one of the TACTICS I am talking about.

 
At November 28, 2005 11:45 AM, Blogger Totally Content said...

I am NOT an advocate for a limited education. And for that reason I do advise that parents get involved.

But I still believe that it is not necessarily a TACTIC, rather it is a result of the priorities this community holds dear. It IS true that larger lenses are needed - to more accurately view the larger scope. But being narrow-minded is not the same as being malicious.

 
At November 28, 2005 1:26 PM, Anonymous FARFALLEN said...

Anonymous said...
Being Satmar is part ideology

Please explain?
Aside for being antizionist, how are you different?

SHAITEL, I THINK THAT'S A LEGIT QUESTION. PLEASE ADDRESS IT.

 
At November 28, 2005 1:57 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

The question of 'how are you different?' is a bit broad. Different from whom? My initial comment related my pride in belonging to Satmar. I wasn't claiming that the difference between Chasidic sects are extremely different - but I WAS saying that their is great pride in where I belong, and that said pride is what is necessary.

That said - I do want to reiterate that Satmar does differentiate from other Chasidus mostly with its ideology. And that ideology IS anti-Zionism. A position I hold dear.

Ooooh! great topic to blog about. Thanks for bringing it up. When I'll have a chance...

 
At December 01, 2005 5:22 PM, Anonymous craig said...

anon:
the diff. between satmar and the rest of the chasidus is as follows
they had a great rabbi:
they believe that they are the erlichste jews (yes this is what they believe shitel)they will in every way they are allowd by law(and even against the law) put you down if you believe and your rav allows you to carry on the eiriv they will spit on you on the street and call you all kinds of names and anythink thats against what their rav said will be enforced on you as long you live in willi
and so on
nice ideology shitel

 

Post a Comment

<< Home