Thursday, April 19, 2007

Zionist High School Flashbacks

The big arguments going around today have to do with this story from the JPost:

Seven pupils at a Beit Ya'akov school in Netanya were punished after they stood up for the siren that sounded Monday in honor of Holocaust Memorial Day (Monday), Yediot Aharonot reported.

According to the report, the school principal removed the girls from their classroom and forced them to stand up for the rest of the day and read psalms.

In haredi circles, using sirens and "moments of silence" to mark memorial holidays is considered a gentile custom and is discouraged.

Haredi rabbis often encourage their followers to recite psalms or other prayers silently during the siren.


As I read this I had a flashback to 10th grade:

I was in a Yeshiva High School, I didn't know it was Yom Haatzmaut, and in all honestly I didnt really care. My friend who lived in the area came to my dorm room the day before (which I didn't even know was Yom Hazikaron) with an Israeli flag and a banner from Coke that said something about saluting Israel.
When I left my room Yom HaAtzmaut morning I hung the banner on my door and the flag in my room. I came back to the dorm after Shachrit and the banner was on the floor. I hung it back up and again, after breakfast, it was on the floor. I hung it up a third time and when I came back to the room during a break I saw the Mashgiach carrying it away.
"Rebbi, thats mine", I told him
"Twice I threw it on the floor and you didnt understand so now I'm taking it away", he answered.
"You threw it on the floor", I asked him, "I thought it was one of the guys who didn't understand the importance of Israel to the Jewish People. I didn't think a Rabbi would throw something so important on the floor."
"Not only am I taking the banner, but your flag is on the floor where it belongs."
I immediately went and started calling everyone I know telling them about this horrible thing that happened. If I would have known a reporter I would have tried to get the story in the news. The headlines would have read "Charaidi Rabbi Tramples Israeli Flag", or some other such title. The reality was that
a. I only did it to irritate them. If I would have cared I would have requested permission to hang something up.
b. This one Rabbi was an extremist and in no way showed the character of the school. The school was a yeshiva with strong secular education, AP courses and all, and while they werent Zionist they certainly werent anti.
c. If I would have talked to a reporter I would have exaggarated (such as, "the principal made me stand up all day")
d. although I didn't get a punishment, I deserved one, not for hanging up the flag, but for speaking very disrespectfully, and if I would have gotten a punishment I would have told everyone the punishment was for the flag.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats a very honest assessment. I don't think most people, even at your age would be able to do that.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how come you barely ever write since your blog became positive?

7:32 PM  
Blogger Menachem said...

i think we need to put facebook aside for a bit, and go back to blogging

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Menachem said...

your blog sucks

10:38 AM  

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