Differences


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Differences Essay, Research Paper

Differences

It was a cold January night in Brooklyn. I was helping

my father provide a sound system for a Jewish high school

play. Normally when one thinks of Jewish people, they think

that they are just regular people who instead of going to

church go to temple. However there are many different types

of Jews. The ones my father and I were working for that

night were called Hasidic Jews. Every winter my father

would have several bookings of equipment rentals for their

high school plays. For a long time, I thought that, besides

some noticeable differences, they were the same as my Jewish

friends in school, but one night, something weird happened.

I was sitting on a box back stage doing my homework. Pops

and I had just finished setting up so I had time on my hands

to study. While doing my tricky Fifth grade work, I noticed

a small Hasidic toddler standing across the way just

starring at me. At first, I thought it was just a common

behavior of a small person, so not worried in the least bit,

I simply stared back at the tiny dude. Surprisingly, our

staring contest lasted for a long two minutes. It finally

ended when my father walked in and scared the poor kid away.

He did see us staring and asked what that was about. I told

him what had happened and his explanation for it was kind of

strange. He said the boy probably had never been that close

to black people in his life. When dad said that, I did not

think that was possible; knowing how many black people

there are in New York. Then He began to tell me about the

complexities of their culture.

Dad had been working with the hasidic community for

over twenty years. He said they would usually rent studio

time from him in Manhattan. Then eventually, they would ask

him to do on location work in other boroughs. After years

of talking to different people, he realized that a majority

of them originated from Eastern Europe. He was also told

that the main objective of their culture was to maintain the

?proper Jewish life? as dictated from biblical times. It is

for this reason why the way the dress is different from the

rest of modern society. The men are required to wear black

suits and black wide brim hats. In addition they are not

allowed to shave their facial hair. The same hair that was

on their face from the beginning of puberty stays on their

face until death. The women are not allowed to expose their

arms or legs and when they are married, their natural hair

cannot be seen. Wigs or babushkas are required. In terms

of marriage, they are among the only groups in the modern

world that have arranged marriages. Their first language is

Yiddish, a cross between German and Hebrew. It was also

said that social mixing with other cultures was generally

discouraged. The only exception of this was for business.

That is probably why the boy was starring for as long as he

was.

Even though the Hasidic culture is very strict and

orthodox, there are other cultures in our world with similar

ideas on separation. Some believe that separation is

beneficial to the maintenance of their ways of life.

However, I believe that there should be some level of

integration of peoples in life so that we all can benefit

from the contributions that can be made by all and more

importantly live together in peace.

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