Joking around with Elisheva, we were talking about the parsha and she joked that I should become a rabbi because I know so much (even though I was in the middle of mixing up the rituals of the ben sorer umoreh and the sotah at the time). 

So I told her, off-hand, that a modern Orthodox woman has received semicha along with the title of either “Maharat” or “Rabba.” (Google it yourself and pick your favourite!)

Anyway, she paused not even for a second before blurting:  “Oh, modern Orthodox!  Modern Orthodox is basically Conservative with their… happy Yom HaAtzamaut, and let’s all… celebrate Shabbat.  Wear a long Israeli skirt!”

All of which in a kind of sing-song, twirling around the kitchen.


I dunno.  I don’t see this as intolerance, even though, in public or coming from an adult, I definitely would.  Sometimes it just makes me happy that my kids are so confident of where they stand in the Jewish world. 

Life is THAT simple when you’re 14.

Sooner or later, life will probably prove them wrong… but who hasn’t been proven wrong about something they deeply, passionately believed when they were 14 years old?


  1. Well, we all enjoy poking fun at various denominations (but especially Conservative! Let's be kind of halachic! But not really! And listen, here are all the things G-d did for us... nah, just kidding!), so it's hard to be disapproving. Hopefully, though, her ability to find humour in some of the inconsistencies won't translate into a lack of respect for Jews of other denominations.

    (actually, I'd love a post about how you plan to nurture that kind of respect, especially with one kid in hardcore Yeshiva where *he's* the worldly one!)

  2. I found it interesting since the first 6 years of her eduction were in a MO school. As for the YBoy, all I really do is mutter "just be polite..." over and over and over. Once he gets an opinion, you'd better not be on the other side of it.


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