Monday, January 12, 2015

To become Ultra-Orthodox

Today I welcome a very precious friend of mine, who has grown really close to my heart in the few months that we've known each other- Judy Yaron.

A pedagogical expert (pedagogy is the science of teaching) from Israel(though she prefers to call herself an artist instead), Judy is also one of the most amazing, and vibrant personalities I have met; who derives such  deep wisdom from simple  everyday experiences, its always leaves us with a lesson for life and a smile to brighten our day.

You have to read her posts on her own web page www.cutthecrapsolutions.com to actually know what I mean. Her posts
War is a Good thing (which deals with how minds and hearts can be manipulated with words),
Don't Take It Away From Me (a post I've read over and over again),
are closest to my heart.

Thank you, Judy for honouring my request and gifting us this wonderful blog to make our first New Year together more special.

* * * * *
Guest blog of Judy Yaron, on what she plans for 2015

To Become Ultra-Orthodox

As fit for the time year, people around the world are making their New Year resolutions. I’m not into New Year celebrations, but I can’t help jumping on the NY Resolutions bandwagon. These are mine:

• Drink more water, starting my day with warm water and lemon.

• Learn to cook Indian food.

• To become more Ultra-Orthodox

The first two are pretty self-explanatory. Let me explain #3.

Many years ago, I worked as a teacher-trainer in a religious community in the south of Israel. My teachers and I came from opposite worlds. They were Ultra-Orthodox: extremely pious Jewish women, devoted to their faith, who live their lives according to strict laws and commandments. I, in turn, am what you might describe as culturally Jewish. I take deep pride in my heritage; holidays are a time for family celebrations; but other than that I conduct a purely secular lifestyle.

We differed in our dress, our food, and the way we spend our leisure time, but that never came between us. Even our dissimilar beliefs in a higher power, our personal relationships and how we raise our children were never an unsurmountable barrier. For many I was the only secular person they had ever had a real conversation with, and so I became a window to the world beyond their town and way of life. As women we loved to talk and share our lives. We would talk about anything and everything.

One day I had a question of a religious matter and approached the principal of one of the schools, where I worked. He happened to be a rabbi, and we too often spent time discussing the ways of the world. When I posed my question he gave me a curious look. “You realize I’m not religious,” I reminded him. He then turned to me and said,

“Perhaps between you and the Almighty, you are secular, but your kindness, compassion and acceptance of others are Ultra-Orthodox.”

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