Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shabbos and Neighborhoods

I spent a lovely Shabbos with my guests from Chutz La'aretz- slightly jet lagged, but a very nice Shabbos none the less. While sitting at the table, with my neighbors and my guests, the talk turned to neighborhoods.

My neighbors were extolling the wonderful things about my neighborhood.
The place where I live is entirely frum,(religious) and as such, the streets are closed on Shabbos. The children head outside and jumprope in the place where cars usually drive, all the men are heading to and from shul and home, and the women enjoy a quiet Shabbos without the noise of buses. Immediately after Shabbos, everything starts running again, breaking the still silence of peaceful Shabbos rest.

The schools here are excellent, there are shuls, and gans, and there are professionals located all over.

I listened to them- and commented how it was nice that even in this neighborhood, we have many different types of people- Lubavitch, Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Litvish, Yeshivish- all the fun labels- yet everyone gets along and associates with each other. They all agreed that that was a big maa'lah- benefit- to living here.

Yet I wonder. There are neighborhoods that are all frum, that associate with many different types of people, yet they are labeled as more modern, or more yeshivish, or more something. Is that a good thing? Is it a good thing to be mixed in a melting pot, or does it reflect badly on the people that live there?

I always thought it was a good thing- but maybe people judge a neighborhood based on their immediate neighbors, and not by the whole?

Is it a good thing to have so much diversity? Or does it reflect negatively on the neighborhood, that it has so much going on, and so many different types? Would it be better to have just one type?

And how do these neighborhoods get these labels anyway?

So many questions- and I don't know if there are any outright answers.
But I'd love to hear thoughts.


SuperRaizy said...

I think diversity in a neighborhood is a great thing. Life becomes very boring if everyone around us looks just like we do. Associating with lots of different types of people keeps us interested and open minded.

nmf #7 said...

SuperRaizy- Thanks for the comment!In a close knit community- I agree- diversity is excellent.
I may be wrong on this point, but although open-minded is great- but there is a difference between casually being open-minded and having one's brain spill out. I guess there needs to be a balance.

The Babysitter said...

Good Questions.

and yea, everything needs a balance.

you want diversity, but at the same time, you want your children seeing the most of what you want them to emulate.

nmf #7 said...

Babysitter- true- but what if you'd like them to emulate something isolated and segregated? Or what if you'd like them to make up their own minds?
There are all sorts of questions which come up when choosing a neighborhood.

The Babysitter said...

yea, so then I suppose it's in the parenting, that no matter what neighborhood you raise your children in, your children can come out the way you want them too. You just have to adjust how you raise them based on the neighborhood. Like if it's more open then you'll want to educate them on the different ways and how yours is different and why you do it the way you do.