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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Community Divided

I'd like to tell you a little story. Close your eyes and picture yourself back in high-school. You go to the modern orthodox day school, Akiva, and you have several girl-friends (girls that are your friends. Get your minds out of the gutter!) in your posse that go to the "rival" school, Bais Yaakov (You see, it can't be Beit Yaakov. They speak Ivris, not Ivrit.). By rival, you remember that you live in a relatively small Jewish community. There are very few choices of where to go to school. There are the off fringe school, like Darchei Torah and Hillel, but the major two choices are Akiva or Bais Yaakov for Girls/Yeshiva Beth Yehuda/Gedolah for the boys. Now, you remember that most people in your town go to BY or YBY/YG. You're one of the select few that go Akiva. Now, the people of the former have a very low image of the people that go to Akiva. They think that we're really not that Jewish and that the girls are whores for hanging out with guys or that some of them wear pants or that the school must be very bad b/c they don't have this system where they can keep tabs on what you do outside of school. You see their girls and boys can't do certain things, go to certain places, can't be seen with members of the opposite sex, and if a whiff of violation is smelled, you're out. So, imagine both schools' surprise when girls from Akiva actually have friends with girls from the Bais Yaakov. How did any of the schools find out, you ask?

Well, that's a very good question. One day, when you were in 11th Grade, your Akiva high-school went to the Birmingham lake to do Tashlich before Yom Kippur. Some of us have our own car, and after we're done, some of us decide that we're going to pay our Bais Yaakov friends a visit at school, b/c we remember that they're having their lunch period now. So, we all get in the car and head over there. Our friends are excited to see us, but they're not the problem. Unfortunately, their classmates were very immature about the whole occasion. They were squealing like the circus came to town. They were making such a raucus that they started disrupting other classes who's lunch periods were over. We kept trying to quiet them while we were taking pictures, but they just wouldn't shut up. We ended up having to run out through the gym, where the younger grades were benching, before a teacher could kick us out.

Later that day, a few of us were called into the head Rabbi's office. We couldn't believe we were going to get in trouble for visiting our friends. It seems our Rabbi was called by the head Rabbi over from Bais Yaakov, who complained that we disrupted the whole school with our schenanigans. I was ready to go off. I didn't, but I told the Rabbi that they should be happy that we were good friends with girls from Bais Yaakov, that it was a great thing that could come out of the horrible things that existed b/t our 2 schools. The Rabbi agreed with me, said he was happy that we were friends, but that we weren't allowed to go over to Bais Yaakov during school hours.

In the end, the few of us walked out of the office and smirked to each-other and shook our heads at eachother. Here we were trying to just be friends, and the "evil" Bais Yaakov school was trying to rip us apart. The next week, our Bais Yaakov visited us during our lunch break. Go figure...

Well, we're all still friends, and they've broken off from the chains of Bais Yaakov. The community should learn from us...

-OC

20 Comments:

At 1:33 AM, Blogger menachem said...

i am WAY more bitter about high school than you are

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Oh Yeah? Prove it.
I haven't even begun to dig it up, but then, I left highschool over 5 years ago. This was just a story that I got remninded of from another post.
-OC

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

I do try and befriend as many girls as possible of all backgrounds :-) do I get a brownie point?

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger Just Shu said...

That is really my only problem with detroit, the school issue. I was a YBY boy, and didn'ty have many Akiva friend,s I was conditioned to think lowly of them, not by the rabbi's though, not sure why we thought that way. anyways, for High Schjool two close friendsof mine went to Akiva, an I went to Pittsburgh, we kept in touch, and would hang out when I was home. When I got to Isreal, I met all these peopel from Detroit who were my age that I didn't knwo because they were Akiva kids, and now those are my closest Detroit friends. I talk to maybe thre guys I went to YBY to, and the rest are Akiva kjiuds. I agree something should be done in the D to unite the two schools.

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger Just Shu said...

Menachem, you may be more bitter, but you chose to go there.

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger menachem said...

hey, i was 13!

i hate my 13 year old self... i wish i could just kill him

 
At 7:03 PM, Blogger Just Shu said...

think of it this way if you didn't go to ner, would we have ever met?

 
At 8:05 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Menachem, it's a good thing you didn't kill that 13 yr old, then you wouldn't be here today to comment on my blog and vise versa. And, that would be such a shame...
-OC

 
At 1:16 AM, Blogger menachem said...

shu: i'm sure we would have met some other way... in a bar or something probably.

OC: but if i never existed, then i never went back and killed myself, so then i did exist! but then... wait, suddenly i've gone crosseyed

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Don't think too hard, you might hurt yourself.
-OC

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger Chai18 said...

very strange high school experience

 
At 5:56 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Strange yet unfortunately very very true. Never had one yourself?
-OC

 
At 6:47 AM, Blogger Rachack said...

I can tell you don't live in Los Angeles, because if you did some many people would have been kicked out of schools for something like that.

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Chai18 said...

"Strange yet unfortunately very very true. Never had one yourself?"

yes except i was on the other end, there were always issues in my schools with the conservative kids, though nothing cruel just issues of us not really being able to go over to their houses and stuff, which can really hurt a kid when your in elementary school, though it is only now that i realize that :(

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Chai, that's usually what happens. The 20/20 vision of hindsight gives some interesting clarity. Kids can be so cruel... ;-( Seems so stupid now, right?
-OC

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger jaynkaystone said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger jaynkaystone said...

What good does posting this story do? Shouldn't WE at least be acting wiser than them? If you're just going to be disparaging right back, years later, to no good purpose, how does it make this any better? Being one of the BY girls, and remembering your visit and the ensueing "excitement" I also get frustrated with the Detrot situation, but we're all older and wiser now and should be able to see at least some of both sides. And if we are going to use public forums to make comments shouldn't they at least be constructive to some extent?

In any event thanks for the trip down memory lane, makes me feel important to be "mentioned" in a blog. (though to my chagrin i've discovered this isn't my first) ~love ya

 
At 10:20 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Jay, you know you're right. I know you're right. However, I was writing the story from my perspective that I had back then. I was reading another blog, where the person was reminiscing from the perspective of when the story was taking place. I remembered this particular story and wanted to try to do the same.
Actually, I never understood the other side. What happened there? You never told me...
-OC

 
At 10:26 PM, Blogger jaynkaystone said...

Ah, i had been wondering what prompted the post. Who knows what the whole reasoning in the mind of the "Rabbi who shall remain nameless" was, part of it I'm sure was the simple fact that we were disturbing other classes that were going on, and they do try to curb that sort of thing. That's me trying to Dan L'Kaf Zechus, though if I travel back to my feelings of the day too, I think they overreacted a bit, and the sitution could have been handled in a much nicer manner instead of making a dozen girls feel bad for being friends. Plus they took a nice feeling and were able to add the note of bitterness to it, which naturally stinks.
At the end of the day, even with trying to see both sides, I'll agree with you that the city had (and possibly still had but I'm not there anymore) a big problem with Achdus and Ahavat Yisrael. It's a sad fact that we should do more to fix than just to rag on it. In their defense, the BY didn't punish us, we all just got a small lecture on disturbing classes. They never actually said anything to us about "fraternizing with the enemy ;)".

On another note, I can't believe you got me into the blogging thing. When I start my own, that's when you know I've been lost.

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

In the words of Mr Burns from "The Simpsons": "Exxxcellent"
-OC

 

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