Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Idyllic Innocence Is "IN"

Serendipity led me to, a now defunct blog that so eloquently describes the day to day vignettes of living life as an American Yeshiva Bochur, learning in Eretz Yisroel.

It is the rare occasion when one encounters a heretofore little known blog that has merit, and one begins to engorge the mind on reams and realms of precious thought. It is as if one had discovered a new vein of gold that can’t be mined fast enough. I hope you don’t mind if I indulge in some mined treasures therein.

One particular post that caught my attention was titled Seclusion and discussed the innate beauty of children who grow up in a secluded environment. Although one can argue that these children will never receive the life-tools they need to navigate the world as adults, there is much to be appreciated in those who can prolong the age of innocence as long as possible. I recall the first time I set eyes on Boro Park. I was amazed to find hundreds of children, peyos flying playing on stoops with Spaldine balls, playing tag and other street games, noshing on some new-fangled Kosher treats. The cherubic faces made me yearn for such an idyllic childhood. A vision of seclusion and beauty and innocence. In the eloquent words of the Baal HaBlog…

Beautifully so, I think. Have you ever taken a walk in peaceful Meah Shearim on a Friday night? Watched the boys and girls of eight or nine play in the streets? The poetic innocence on the faces of the Yerushalmi kids twinkles in the twilit alleyways. Freshly scrubbed and bathed, they play with joyful, carefree abandon. Abandoning the yokes of a society gone insane on them, they are, in a word,
children. When was the last time you met up with a nine year old who was only
nine years old? We say, “oh, what a smart child you are”, chap a knip, and move
on, subconsciously silencing the screams of our own childhood… itself so much
more innocent. Children are meant to be children, not adults. In frightening
irony, however, adults behave childishly and attempt to shortcut their
children’s most vital experience- their youth. They nuke their progenies’ time
growing up, and nuclear is nothing short of the result.

This came to mind recently as I was disturbed by news coming out of New Square. Of course there are problems with insulation, as so vividly depicted by the must-read article by Rabbi AHARON HERSH FRIED. But one must not throw out the baby with the bath water. One must try to find the middle ground in all of life’s challenges. As Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky said...

I’ll tell you. I’m often asked here in Monsey and especially
regarding girls, “How much should we or can we shut
them off to protect them from the culture at large?” I
always tell them, “You can’t! Unless, that is, you live in
Squaretown.” Now especially; I understand they have their
own hospital and their own cemetery, one can be born
there, live ones life there, and be buried there. To those
who can do that, ‘Tavo aleihem brachah’ (may they be
blessed). Most of us, however, do not live in Squaretown
and cannot live in Squaretown. So what will you do? Not
tell a young boy about evolution and then wait until at age
16 or 17 he reads in the New York Times, which he ‘knows’
prints only ‘verified facts,’ that the bones of a person 2 or
3 million years old were found!?? And the Times will print
this without any mention of detracting opinions or
controversy. What will this young man do? He’ll be
completely lost! This would not happen if he had been
taught at an earlier time in school by his rabbei’im and
teachers that there are people who believe such and such,
what their mistaken beliefs are based on, where their error is, what it is we believe about such events, and how we believers deal with these


  1. coming thisclose to actually posting something bloggishly controversial

    חזור בך

  2. Seclusion and isolation works for a few years, by the teen curious age everything changes.


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