Friday, August 27, 2010

Ulpan 3: The Questions

Why do Jewish married women cover their hair? (coming from the Muslim girl who doesn't cover her own hair in the class)
Why can't women sing in front of men that don't mind hearing women sing anyway? Can you sing under your breath?
Why don't religious Jews serve in the army?
What does Beitar Yerushalayim stand for (the soccer team) and who is Yosef Trompledor anyway? (I asked this one- and it turns out most of the class didn't know either. So much for educating the masses about Zionism.)
Can religious Jews throw stones on Shabbos if they set aside the stones before hand with that in mind?
Why do different Chassidic sects have different kippot, hats and payot?
Should there be buses that travel on Shabbos in Jerusalem?

And so on. Feel free to answer if you know. I for one had a lot of fun with some of these questions in class. I am proudly religious, so I truly don't mind when people ask me respectfully and honestly- not antagonistically, about the Jewish religion. I'm happy to give an answer, and to engage in discussion. What I'm not so happy about is trying to deal with the stereotypes, or the anti-charedism that comes along with it. It's hard for me to explain that a religious person who steals isn't religious, and that we are not 'you people' and so on.

How would you deal with some of these questions? Inquiring minds want to know. Respectfully of course.


student of ivrit said...

..."and that we are not "you people""

That's what came to my mind when you wrote about those questions.

I think the most important message is: we are all different, there is a wide variety, and I am NOT responsible for all of them.

So if they ask about throwing stones on shabbes, you might want to answer something along the lines "throwing stones is forbidden, because you might hurt someone, and someone who does it is worse than a beheyme, and on shabbes it is even worse, so I do NOT identify with stone throwers, never mind the minute technicalities that might make it technically "allowed".

Same goes for different garbs of chasidim... I do not know where you belong exactely, but you might want to answer: Yes, indeed, this is a very interesting question. I do not know either.

student of ivrit said...

and here is where you can learn everything you always wanted to know about Trumpeldor and never dared to ask...