Saturday, January 29, 2005

Park Slope Snapshot: Yeshiva Girls

Smartmom is fascinated by the Yeshiva girls in long, dark skirts who ask, "Are you Jewish?' on Friday afternoons. They come from Ocean Parkway or Midwood - one of those neighborhoods closer to Coney Island. They walk around in small groups, sometimes holding religious paraphernalia. Sometimes not.

When she says, "No," they seem to believe her and walk away. She wonders if they say to one another, "She's so obviously Jewish. Wonder why she said, 'No.'"

Smartmom wonders who puts them up to this -- their rebbe, their parents, their school. She wonders what would happen if she said, "Yes."

Smartmom feels guilty when she says, "No." It is a big lie and she hates to lie. She just doesn't want to be bothered by the Yeshiva girls.

She's in too big a rush. She doesn't want to say prayers on Seventh Avenue. She's not Jewish in the same way that they are and they know it. And that's why they want to change her.

Smartmom feels guilty when she says, "No." It is a big lie and she hates to lie. She just doesn't want to be bothered by the Yeshiva girls.


At 4:31 AM, Blogger red eft said...

Henry says No to them too, except we've only ever seen men and boys. Once, I got into a long explanation, "Well you see he is and I'm not and blah blah..." like I had to tell them the truth.

Maybe No is the truth, SM. Not the kind of Jewish they're looking for.

At 6:51 AM, Blogger Savtadotty said...

One day when Smartmom has time and enough curiosity, she could say "Yes," just to hear their spiel. But not to argue...nobody has that much time!

At 7:20 AM, Blogger mamainwaiting said...

I always say yes, but tell them I'm not interested. I think they want you to light candles or something I find them really intrusive and annoying. Yes, I am jewish, and no, I don't want to do it the way they want me to - whatever that is. I was accosted by a bunch of them in the Grand Army Subway station the other day. I like to say yes, because, after all, I am a part of the tribe. I am also proud to say, "no thank you". That's because I do it my own way, thank you very much.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Little Light said...

I smile, say no thank you and keep going when Christians approach me me on the street with tracts. I know I don't have to say I'm not a Christian since they're not asking, but I understand what you're saying. I just try to keep in mind that they're doing what they believe to be the right thing and I'm doing what I believe to be the right thing.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger bec said...

that's so sad that you feel the need to say "no" regarding being jewish. so many of our brethren died in massacres, pogroms, the holocaust. . . . and here we are, so close to purim, when queen esther saved the jews of iran from haman and achashverosh's planned genocide so that they could remain free to practice judaism, and there are still people today, in brooklyn, who want to deny their jewishness.
i'm not passing judgement--do what you have to do, but you shouldn't be ashamed to be jewish. we are very lucky to be part of such an amazing nation, and our people didn't last this long by denying their ancestry.
i hope that one day you find the courage to say "yes."


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