My Dilemma

Posted: July 26, 2010 in Brainwashing, Religion
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So here’s the moral dilemma of the day. Well I’m not seriously considering this, or maybe I am. Not sure. Let me describe my family for a second to give you some background.

My dad’s an intense personality. As one of his friends, my former Rabbi, once told me that he knows my parents to be not necessarily the most yeshivish people he knows, but definitely the most frum.

My mom’s more open minded, having grown up in day schools. She became more yeshivish as the years went on, especially after my oldest sister got married. That’s when Yinglish expressions became part of her daily vernacular to some extent or another – it’s still funny to hear it from her.

A year back when I was still somewhat religious and they had no idea where I was up to, she always told me I can go work and she doesn’t think that me learning is a greater fulfillment of who I am, considering that I am more than just someone who knows how to learn (gee thanks Mom- permission to go to work). She told me my dad’s someone who sees potential as a black and white thing- ie) you can learn well, so go learn!  She mentioned to me how he didn’t see a person as a whole with other issues and interests etc.

Looking at it from another side of things she definitely believes in the life she leads- which is a good thing- but she definitely is one of those people that believes her way is correct to the exclusion of other ways. When I mentioned at one point that I would eat fish at a regular bar (at that point either I had been partially keeping kosher or wasn’t but didn’t care to share) her reaction was one of  “c’mon, stop being so immature.” So she’s very much in that world but somewhat knowledgeable of the normal world. Somewhat.

My sister- well I already told you all you need to know about her. My other sister’s as yeshivish as her except more open minded. My brothers-in-law are super yeshivish – kind of like their wives.

The issue at hand is my little sister. She’s preteen. Well she SHOULD be preteen considering she’s 12. She should be headed off to her Disney concerts and be fighting for or against Team Edward. Or maybe she’d be into the whole goth thing. Who knows.

She’s a miniature version of my oldest sister. She’s got that whole holier-than-thou tznius thing going on. Probably never spoke to a boy her age who isn’t related to her, and has never seen a movie. If I put on the radio while driving her somewhere she gives me a look and laughs, not as if she’s uncomfortable with the music I’m listening to, but more like she doesn’t quite understand why “goyish” music is on. I can almost see her trying to figure out why her brother has music on that she only hears in Sears or from the workers doing construction at our house. Now the shit they play in Sears NEVER comes out of my speakers. Try telling her that. To her it’s all lumped together. Yeshivish vs Goyim.

I was driving her to a friend a few months back on my way to help a friend study for her test. She asked where I was going. I told her. Her response? ” HER test???!!” She can’t fathom anything other than her small narrow world. Unlike most girls in Brooklyn who are somewhat aware of the world out there, my sister is completely and wholly in the dark.

And it’s even moving on to the next generation. My oldest sisters 4 year old boy asked me why I was wearing gray pants. Charcoal gray suit pants, mind you.

So, here’s the dilemma:

Do I corrupt my little sister or not?

No, corrupt is the wrong word. Do I sit back and watch my little sister follow in her older sister’s strange footsteps, or do I find some way to make her slightly more normal.

I’m not talking about becoming not religious. Just to let her know about the world of religious people in the NY area who are far more – what’s the right word- open minded? I have plenty of religious friends who are quite normal thank you very much. She just never gets to meet that crowd. So yes or no?

And if so, how?

Would love to hear from everyone. Just remember, I didn’t actually say I’m doing it. Just sayin.

  1. David says:

    Well, since you asked…
    It seems to me that it’s not your job to raise your little sister. You may not like how your parents are doing this (I do sympathize), but it’s their call, right or wrong. Having said that, I think it’s perfectly acceptable for you to be honest with her if and when she has questions about what you think or how you see things.

  2. Ichabod Chrain says:

    It’s hard for anyone to say what you should or should not be doing. But just the same if I were in that position I’ would explain to her that there’s a difference between the schlock that that passes for much of contemporary culture, and the stuff of the masters, or near masters.
    I’d probably expose her to pre-20th century classical music. Girls tend to like Mozart, so I’d play Mozart in the car. . Bloch wrote a nice cello piece based on Kol Nidre so if you exposed her to that she couldn’t really say it was goyishe music.

  3. Ichabod Chrain says:

    I’m not an expert in classical music but from what I’ve read, of the composers a typical 12 year old girl might like, the experts would put Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Handel, Schubert, and maybe Chopin in a class by themselves. There are other classical composers who have had staying power over the years who are at a high level, but not at the same level as the ones I mentioned.

  4. K says:

    hey, not really sure what the situation with your little sister is, but if it gives you any insight, 12-13 years old is a VERY akward stage for many girls. Being a “Normal” preteen is not what its cracked up to be…..when I was in 7th grade, I was shy, and since I didnt dress or act like an 18 y/o I was ridiculed by the other girls. :/

  5. dave green says:

    wtf ill tell ur parents and thell kik u out

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