American Jewish Children
Reprisal / Dafke
this, the modern world, raising a Jewish child is a difficult task.
We are few in this the modern age. We are fewer and fewer in numbers.
If we find Kosher products, they are costly compared to the meat products
of the general population. The
younger generation believe in the scientific world, which finds no fault in
eating products that we as believing Jews label “trefe,” not kosher, not
clean, not edible by our kosher or
“clean” brothers and sisters. We are taught the scientific realities and the
non kashrut keeper looks at our laws as ancient, fanatic, restrictive,
compulsive unrealities. The cost in
itself has caused the unbeliever to question the rationality of the kosher
eating Jew with the combination of all the other restrictions that are practiced
by the orthodox Jewish person. The
cost of kosher food and the restrictions of the Schabbat and holy days often
compels the “true believer” to have to forego the proteins that he would
have been able to afford but cannot under his financial circumstances. In spite
of all that, the orthodox family forgoes much and feels gratified to follow the
rules, restrictions, and celebrations that his forebears have believed and
carried out. They gain so much from practicing as they believe and were taught
from birth that they are not unhappy. They carry out as many as their
“Caryagim Mitzwot” as they possibly can.
are fewer and fewer Jewish people in our world today.
Our United States of America, the land in which many of us are fortunate
enough to have raised our children, has brought a change in our numbers and
sadness and losses of our identity as Jews.
Our young ones, of whom we were so proud, have left us.
There are many reasons for this. It
is easier to find non Jewish mates; they are much more available. It is easier
to live in a non religious world without all of the restrictions. It
is less expensive to have a tref (non kosher) household and many restrictions
and “idiosyncrasies” have been lifted.
is the Jewish child who wants to be the proverbial boss as he grows.
He will show his parent that he is in charge of his life and disbelieves
what his mother and father have taught him.
He will be what he wants and marries a non Jew. To make it even stronger
he will marry a Mongolian. He may even take her to a “Rabbi” who will in one
or two sessions declare her to be Jewish. This
is a “favor” to his parents and they now have a “Jewish” daughter in
law. It is one way of exhibiting his
so called adulthood and deposit his childhood beliefs into the proverbial
garbage can. If his parents are
angry, he insists that if they loved him “truly” they would welcome his
spouse. It is fashionable to show
that he is an adult and owes nothing to his parents.
They are “wrong, prejudiced,” and much more.
are those of our Jewish brethren who deny their Jewishness. It is one way that
they feel they will be accepted by their fellow men.
In their minds, they believe what the anti-Semites have told them, and
they want to be accepted by them or they believe in their own inferiority and
can shed their religion through self-denial. They are often people who dislike
themselves. They have lost their identity; they do not know who they are.
is essential that we like our Jewishness, our strengths, our abilities.
We see many examples of such among our people. We have a higher
percentage of physicians than non Jews, and more college graduates. When we have
doubts about our importance, we must remember who we are as a people. We must
remember just a few: the physicist, the genius Albert Einstein, or the many
notable physicians like Jonas Salk, who invented the polio vaccine, saving
thousands of people’s lives. We
have Jewish soldiers who are brave and strong and have protected our people in
Israel. Let us be proud of who we are and be a healthy and proud example to our