The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

On Being Normal II

The comment thread on this post does a better job of making my point than I did on my last post.

It is so easy to fall into meaningless narishkeit. In this case it's the length of knee socks for 8 year olds. It could easily be another goofy issue that entirely misses the point. Sadly, in so many cases Chariedi institutions are being led by people who are in a race to show that they are the most "frum". This is what I meant by missing the forest for the trees.

Yet, on the other side, there is a sense of cognitive dissonance. As if freely engaging the secular world is not a huge challenge. Anyone who is engaged in the secular world knows that this is simply not true. It is a huge avodah to straddle that line.

Bringing up normal children is therefore no less challenging. Bringing them up to recognize the narishkeit, to separate the wheat from the chafe, to focus on what's real rather than what's small, to engage in the world around us while at the same time recognizing the dangers in that world, is no small task.

I submit that it is our most important job.



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