Monday, January 6, 2014


I have said many times that Judaism is not monolithic.  We divide along so many lines--level of observance, type of Chassidus (or not), country of origin, approach to chumrot, hashkafah--the list is endless.  However, most can agree that there are two types of Orthodox Jews--the type that were born observant, and the type that were not.
Oh, if only it were that simple.
I posit there is at least one other group besides the FFBs and the BTs (I include geirim in the same category as BTs--in some cases, a similar level of acculturation is needed.  Moreover, kiruv seems to have the most success with the least observant among the born Jews.)  This group is the BT3CK--third culture kids.  The FFB children of BTs and geirim.
These are the children whose parents have stumbled through Kiddush with the help of the NCSY bentscher (transliterated in italics).  The ones who learned Hebrew or Yiddish helping their kids with homework.  The ones whose parents are just a little more liberal.  Who listened to the Beatles or Metallica along with Lipa Schmeltzer and Uncle Moishy.  Or, at the other end, the ones whose parents drank the Kool-Aid and out-chumra everyone else, making sure they "do it right."  The ones those grandparents don't understand that Oreos aren't cholov Yisrael.  (See, it has the little U on it!  Why are you such a fanatic?)  The ones who have seen pictures of their mothers in jeans and their fathers bareheaded.  The ones who never visit aunts and uncles because "it might set a bad example."
Now, my children do not truly fit this category.  While Builder may be evil, he is still an FFB, and the Things have a nice big extended Jewish family which would like nothing more than to cut me and my evil secular influences out of their lives.  However, they are still the daughters of a coastal nomad and the grandchildren of some pretty laid-back products of the 1970s.  Will they fit in the world of frum Brooklyn?  Will they want to?  All I can do is make sure they follow the rules, try to love G-d, and hope for the best.

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