Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Guest Post - Coffee Room Conferences.....

Photos by Zbigniew Kosc

[A series on chinuch haBonim VeHaBanos sumbitted by reader "Daas BaaleiBatim," an up and coming askan in the field of chinuch. The level of writing needs a little help, but we can see through that. If you find some of the criticism tired and corny please forgive him, writing is not his thing...]

"Vus Macht Mein Zihn?" Azoi vi der Tatte!

Velicher Yankel? Ahh em, Oy Nebech, zeine kinder zenen eppes ‘azoi’, Yuh, men zul nisht geprivt verren. Veist duch vus di velt zugt “An Eppel Falt Nisht Veit Finm Boim” (Kaveh Shtible Conversation)

And that’s how we, The People of the Heimishe Nation, were inoculated with the truism “kids do as their parents." So, to put it in simple terms; if you're a good, law abiding Jew then your kids will be too. If you aren't then your kids won't be either. Hey, Come to think of it, if we would go to some Hypnotist to regress our Heimishe truisms to their source, I’m afraid most of our beliefs would have a very noticeable odor to them - namely, chlorine and caffeine, if you get my drift … Getting back to the point; "Hey, sir, wait one minute! Yankel does follow the books, so then why are his kids "azoi?" Ach! Hust nisht git Farshtanen! By the "chinuch derushes" we were taught that "doing it right" is just not enough these days Not only must you do the right thing, you must ALSO do it with ENTHUSIASM. So the new rule is that if YOU get excited about learning, Shabbos, and davening then your kid will too. But if you don't then your kid won't either.

"Ubber Mechel, Yankel iz duch mamesh a flam feier, er iz gur a varime Yid?"As an answer, we are then treated to weekly violent graphics about the Keilim Mazikim, (internet, cellphones) caricatures of children transformed into these really vicious green grumpy alligators, and snapshots of The all new "BlackBerry Auschwitz," plus, as an added bonus we get inspirational Blurbs from our Comandanten on the Shlechte Chaverim Sin-drome." Nein! Ich veis kluhr az Yankel hut nisht kein Internet, in hut affille a cell phone Me’isher." Chuchem, says the friend, bist arois mamesh far shilchen oirech! So then you missed as-a-special-bonus the "Upgeben Mit Der Kinder" speech. Chol Hamoed Trips, Quiet Quality time, Homework and More. That's what it takes to have good kids. "Shtissem,! Pinkt der chol hamoed hub ich gezehn Yankel by di rides mit alleh zeineh kinder…." So Mechel, Why do we commonly see that inspired parents have uninspired kids while stam, abi gezint not-so-bright people have these great, gelungene kids??”

Possible solutions include:

1) Too Strict with the kids vs. too easy on them
2) Hit his kids vs. never disciplined them
4) “It’s his Melamed in kitah Gimmel’s fault”
6) Doesn’t have a Kehilla
7) He’s a BT
8) She comes from a divorced home
9) Dyslexic
10) Keriah problem
11) Eye Vision
12) ADD and ADHD

Yuh, s’iz a shvere gulles.

So, after all the flyers, pamphlets in the mail , free Chinuch CD’s from Shomer Shabbos Shul in Boro Park, and perforated kvitlach forms to the Gedolim from Kupat Ha’Ir were donated before Pesach - for ten dollars a pound - to the at-risk bocher who sits all day on the Yellow Sheimos Truck; After ourselves and all explanations were exhausted we finally get to hear THE SOLUTION. (We'll talk about the solution in part II, IY"H) They tell us "Nisturim darchei Hashem," we don’t understand Hashem's ways. We are reminded that the question how the "tzadik veRa lo" gets such a bad chelek in this world is the oldest one in the book and is the basis for Emuneh etc. And who can forget the explanation that the "trerin fin di mameh by lecht benchin" will never go to waste and are stored in this really big cup in himmel. Oy, and I forgot about the Teffilah for good kids you say Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan.

So, my friends; the Agudath Israel of America's 87th "Yisrael asher B'cha Espa'er" convention is around the corner. ALL the "kenners" are gonna be there. Maybe, just maybe, someone can launch a brand new initiative. Now I know what your’e thinking; there are no more names for projects available, all combinations of all chinuch sounding names are already in use. Have no fear Chaveirim, this project can be called "The Last Clarion Call," bought with permission from the Holocaust Education Foundation, or maybe can even be called “Project Launch.” It will be in Conjunction with The Torah Umesorah Convention Resource Center and in tandem with Project Yes, and a joint project of the Operation Am Echad - Chizuk "Solidarity with our Brethren in Eretz Yisrael Mission." And I’ll even tell you the most opportune time To Launch Project Launch - right before the Chocolate Mousse a’ la la, and in between the Glatt Yoshor round table Symposium. Pleeease! Let project Launch Put together the Guide for Ketanim to Gedolim Manual. Klal Yisrael is in dire need. And when it’s done, would someone be so kind as to drop me a linel on The Complete Idiots Guide to Rising Your Kids Heimish.


nonmouse said...

oy cynicysim!
as reb .... said, tefila ouse mechtza un halb is asach.

Josh said...

The Pasuk tells us that in the Messianic generation, Heishiv Lev Avos al Banim. This is truly what is happening. The Avos of todays Heimishe Yeedin were atheists after the trauma of the holocaust. Their children rejected their at best tepid Judiasm to rebuild Hungarian traditionalism in the best made up traditions of Satu Mare. Yet this inauthenticity was sensed by the tayreh yeedishe kinder, who returned en masse to the religion, or irreligion, of their forbears. Thank god we can all now agree that there is no god.

Anonymous said...

WADR, this is the best post in months. Keep it going!! This guy has enough cynicism to smile thru the all the tzoros and tzar gidul bonim that we all face.

Shulem said...

I enjoyed the piece!
Breath of fresh air, a "pauseh" from the constant Lubavitch vs the world of the Tzig.

OrthodoxJew said...

at least you realize that the agudah today is hungarian

sruli said...

Great piece. Thanks for sharing. Encourage the young man that wrote this.

Yechiel said...

This is the first time I've ever posted on a blog (this or any other). All I want to say is that underneath the cynicism in this article there is clearly a burning desire to fix things. I can tell the difference between stam gehocket and letoeles and this guy's the latter. I hope he is given the strength to do so.

Anonymous said...

Cynicysim (for which which this post gets top rating) is a good catapult to shake and wake up those slumbering in the "go with the herd" mentality.
However, nothing less than an across-the-board revolution YES REVOLUTION! within the heimishe community is the calling of our generation.

A revolt needs brave, consistant plus level-headed pragmatic leadership, otherwise it will end like the recent elections in Iran.

The masses are potentally ready but we have become castrated of the basic qualities of real Judaisam so we have no capabilities on our own unless we get dedicated guidance on a clear path out of this mess.

Thhis post is a positive begining.

Minkatcher Aynikle said...

So nauseating because it's so true.

כסף יענה את הכל

shelo asani chareidi said...

Oy it's so true.

Tzig, are you going to the lo sisgodedu convention?

Friendly anonymous said...

"Leytzonei hador" are always questioning whether Yitchok is Avrohom's child. No chidush there.

However, as a parent, I can tell you that i know exactly where my children get their bad habits from, and it's from me, not from the internet, etc.

feivel said...

Stop with your fake humility.
You don't believe for a sec that you or your kids have "bad habits".If anyone would mention this to you you'd go ballistic.
Now we have to add-this to all your good attributes "ah groiseh unov oichet"

Friendly anonymous said...

Hey Feivel, you seem to know me well. do i know you too?

Anonymous said...

really great post, let's have more of the same!

Anonymous said...

Anyone have the numbers? Who's got more kids with di tzoros, Satu Mare's or Lubabs? WWMN (we want Moshiach NOW)

Anonymous said...

So lets talk about the Agudah Convention Here is a starting question what has ever been accomplished there, and why is it so expensive and why does anyone go?

havemeyer said...

this guy is spot on the money....... now that we all agree with each other we can close down the blog .... just kidding ..... now that we all agree what are we going to do about it .....

OrthodoxJew said...


Anonymous said...

The Agudah of today is so pathetic.
They are meaningless and useless.

At this convention, they hit on an idea. Since the Torah Umsorah conventions are packed and full of real issues and solutions, they are now usurping Torah Umsorah, and using those subjects and issues belonging to Toarh Umsoarah and fitting it into the Agudah convention to give them some feeling of importance.

WanderingJew said...

Thank you all for the support.
The Biggest white Elephant in the Agudah Room is the People speaking about chinuch. Its like Bernie Maddoff preaching about moral fiscal standards. Those that created the "Selection" proccess to divide up "Metzuyonim" Beinonim" and "Shvache" then stand up and encourage us to take care of ALL of Klal Yisrael.

Like segregate the "weak" and then make hospitals for them...

WanderingJew said...

A good example of this "Caring for your Hostages" debacle is the "Shidduchim Crisis Solution"

1st you have a 35 year period where every Rosh Yeshiva pushed bucherim to serve time in yeshiva till they're 23. Marry a 18 year old Bas Negidim. Who's Zevulun father is priveleged to have chapped "The Best Bocher from The Yeshiva for Best Bocherim Only"

And then low and behold the numbers don't pan out, and for some odd reason... We're in a "Crises". Maybe if someone wouldve contacted a Mathemetician or even a shrewd Ingerishe Yidel they wouldve had a light bulb turn on.

So now we get a plethora of "Solutions" by those very same chachumim that created the unevitable crash. And, like WoW! Great idea! Let's make an... ORGANIZATION to use virtual cams to let out-of-town girls get a chance with the last remaining Mohican Bocherim.

evanstonjew said...

The topic buried in the terrific wit and irony is how to raise a kid to be heimish. I"ll take a stab at it.

1)Be heimish
2)Talk to your children in yiddish
3)Develop the binaries of "es paast and es paast nisht" and "baalabatish vs. nisht balabatish" until the kids have internalized these values in their kishkes.

The heimish values in question can be transmitted through an emphasis on shame, which is far more effective a tool than guilt. The Japanese hold their world together through feelings of shame. They are very successful. Guilt leads to rebellion. A shame culture leads to ever greater degrees of refinement and sophistication. Rabbinical culture and chassidish culture work because people have a sense of what is appropriate. Once you lose that sense there is no end to the problems. These feelings run deeper than the pan-halachic approach that is being used as the current substitute for a sense of family traditions and status.

WanderingJew said...

wow.Evanstonjew. In number 3 you have given us a new definition on the word or rather the concept of "Heimish"

Its definitly food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Evanstonjew. What's the difference between guilt and shame? Doesn't shame lead to guilt and vice versa?

Che Guavara said...

If it wasn't so sad it would be funny.

We need a revolution but whoever will lead it must be prepared to get shot...

evanstonjew said...

Anonymous...If I eat soup with the wrong spoon I might feel embarrassed, but hardly guilty. And if I marry someone beneath my status, it's again a feeling of shame. One can feel shame for activities that are neither morally or halachically wrong, and where there is no reason to do teshuvah.

When someone injures us, say monetarily, he can repair the damage by compensation, after which over time the injury is forgotten, and we are no longer angry. When we are shamed, especially in public, it is not uncommon for people to rage away for a lifetime. Shame unhinges our self, that which holds us together. We turn red, the blood rushes to our face. Japanese CEO's have been known to commit suicide when they failed to lead their companies to success.

There is a voluminous anthropological literature on shame cultures vs. guilt cultures. Judaism has some of each. Beikvesa demeshicah chuztzpa yasgi refers to a deterioration of our sensitivity to shame.

Daas...No. I gave a recursive definition. Beginning with heimish, which I assume everyone knows how to identify if not define, I offered a suggestion how to replicate it over generations. Defining heimish without pointing to a list of examples is not so easy.

DaasBalHabayis said...

So let's assume that in The Tzig's Dictionary we would define "Heimishe Yid" as: "Someone who Developed the binaries of "es paast and es paast nisht" and "baalabatish vs. nisht balabatish deep in their Kishkes"

Would that not classify as a satirical definition?

Regardless. You are probably right that Shame is a strong factor in creating this reality we call Heimish.
Its an interesting idea.

nonmouse said...

it was also r mottel weinbergs first time being served turkey on thanksgiving and he said so!

WanderingJew said...

EJ. So if in in The Tzig's Dictionary we would define "Heimishe Yid" as:
Someone who has Developed the binaries of "es paast and es paast nisht" and "baalabatish vs. nisht balabatish" deep in his kishkeh"
Would that qualify as a satirical definition?
Regardless. The point you make about Shame being a factor in creating the reality we call "Heimish" is probably true.

Its an Interesting idea.

Anonymous said...

Pls clarify, I don't get it, why isn't guilt a effect of shame. If you married someone beneath your status won't that make you feel guilty that you didn't hold to your standards. What is examples of "Guilt Societies"

evanstonjew said...

Anonymous...I feel ashamed for being front and center in this space. It's not my blog, and I try to comment and run, not conduct a seminar.When people show off more than they are used to, the rush of narcissistic libido makes them feel ashamed. But I don't feel guilty. If Tzig doesn't like this back and forth, he is free to delete it.

The marriage case is where I fail to meet an internalized ideal. I wanted to be a doctor, I ended up a nurse. I wanted to marry someone eidel, I ended up with prust. I tried, where is there a place for guilt? Not all ideals are chiyuvim.

I don't know of any pure guilt societies. Most societies use both types of control with some relying more on shame and others more on guilt. Rule of law societies are more guilt oriented; (if it is not forbidden, it is permitted.) More aristocratic or more tribal societies like the Arabs are shame driven.

And that's roughly all I know.

Anonymous said...

Tzig promoting your negativity again?

Why don't you ever post something positive about general judaism.

The Agudah has done much good for klal Yasrael over the years.

All Mosdos Hatorah only stand in their merit. Read the new book on Rabbi Moshe Sherrer.

LikeWhatever said...

Mike Tress, Irving Bunim and Moshe Sherrer were great askanim. But what does that have to do with the Agudah today?

They just eat, drink, socialize and talk about anything irrelevant.

Agudist said...

so who says frum Jews shouldn't be allowed to have one weekend of fressing, socializing and just feeling good about themselves???

what's the crime?

LikeWhatever said...

Will some brave Agudah soul pls Stand up and tell us all what in the world you "do" at The Convention?

Please, don't be shy. Let us know.

OrthodoxJew said...

its all kosher entertainment instead of florida

LikeWhatever said...

Yup. The Agudah did it again! This year Rabbi Zwibel solved The Issues. He spoke about (Number 3 on the list of Solutions) MOLESTATION. He actually SPOKE about it. And that's a major change from the long standing policy of only THINKING about it.