As long time readers are aware, a significant portion of this blog is devoted to those aspects of Israeli life and culture which I find fascinating, amusing, quirky, or just plain odd.
But in all fairness, there was much about my American upbringing which our kids would undoubtedly find strange, alien, and – in some cases – perhaps even somewhat shocking.
Note that I’m not talking about things which fall into the category of “They Weren’t Invented Yet” – you know, things like cell phones, digital cameras, PC’s, etc.
No, I’m referring to the cultural norms and standards which YZG and I experienced when growing up in a very different time and place.
Over the years, I’ve told the kids stories from my youth and childhood, but they can’t relate to many of the ideas and concepts which we took so much for granted.
- Co-ed elementary school classes
- Early admission to college
- School on Chol HaMoed Succot
- Getting milk cartons every morning in school
- Being the only Orthodox Jewish family on our very long block
- Car trips (For example, my grandparents a”h lived about an 8-hour drive away from us, and we visited them at least three times a year. In contrast, our kids consider a two-hour drive to be a major journey…)
Please feel free to leave your own examples in the comment section.
As far as our Israeli kids are concerned, these things are just as foreign as anything found in, say, the “Little House” books – with a few minor differences, of course.
Namely, our fathers never played the fiddle or trapped animals in the woods; our mothers never churned their own butter or preserved their own meat; YZG never had to milk the cows; and I never had a corn cob doll…