End-of-Year Post  

Posted by inkstainedhands in

Since I got my report card today and passed all my subjects, it is finally official that I am done with eleventh grade. (To be honest, I did not just pass my subjects, I passed them with flying colors. I had only two marks under 90, and my overall average was above a 90, so I am quite satisfied.)

After the frenzy of finals and other exams, I finally have a chance to think more about the past year and what I have learned from it. I also want to comment on some things I have observed in the past few weeks, but that will be in my next post.

Yesterday, I decided to clean out my knapsack and folders and organize my papers from school. It was then that it forcefully struck me: Eleventh grade is over. I won't be able to attend all those classes that I loved anymore. I used to look forward to some classes so much, and now it's over. I wondered why it only came to my mind then, and what I realized is that finals are actually merciful. They help you make that transition from school to vacation. Finals took up so much of my time and energy that I did not even have the opportunity to think about how sad it was to be leaving eleventh grade. All I could think about were my exams, which prevented me from thinking about much else. But now that I have all the free time I could want in order to think, I really miss school. Of course, I do not miss the tests or the countless assignments, but I miss learning. I purchased a few translated seforim in the past few months, so I suppose I will learn those.

The important thing is what I gained this year from school. Not only have I gained more knowledge, but I have gained a deeper appreciation of life and Judaism. I learned how to be a better person, and I learned how to look at life from a different angle in order to make the most of it.

People sometimes ask me whether I feel as though I am a different person now than I was a year ago. When one of my teachers asked that question at the beginning of eleventh grade, I answered that I don't feel any different. Now, however, I can answer with full certainty that I am not the same as I was last year or even at the beginning of this year.

It feels wonderful.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at Thursday, June 25, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

8 comments

Be careful with those translated seforim, the translations are biased based on what the translators want you know/understand. These translations are skewed to make you as one more of the frummie morons you see all around.

June 26, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Well, I'm not quite sure what your requirements are for someone to be called a moron...

Ramban is translated line by line so I can easily compare the Hebrew with the English. Rav Hirsch.. well.. I can't exactly read the original as it wasn't even in Hebrew.

Either way, I think it is safe to say that I will always remain myself; perhaps it will be a better self, but still myself.

June 26, 2009 at 11:23 AM

"Ramban is translated line by line so I can easily compare the Hebrew with the English. "

But, as you know many words have multiple meanings, so depending on how one chooses to translate, slants the whole meaning of the text.

For example, there is a prophesy about a birth of Ben-David who will be the next Mashiach. Traditionally Jews translate it as "...a young woman will give birth..." But there is a whole other group of people who chooses to translate it as "... a virgin will give birth..." and they formed a whole religion on it.

By reading the text, that same word could be translated either way. Now, in the modern Judaism, we have similar "translations" everywhere, to promote the agenda of those doing the translation. Since, most B"Y and B"Y wanna be schools promote the similar agenda, you wouldn't even know about intentional mistranslation. I don't want to go into details, but there are a lot of it.

June 29, 2009 at 10:48 AM

I don't know why, but I somehow don't buy into the whole conspiracy theory.

June 29, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Who is talking about conspiracy? These people each want power and they set up their own religion. Just like Christians did with mistranslation of one word and then building on it.

There are many examples of one thing leads to another and we have a world where men and women are not allowed to interact and marry virtual strangers, we have a world where parents are not allowed to parent, because schools take hold almost entirely of their children. Parents are still needed to provide money and clean clothing for their children.

June 30, 2009 at 12:42 AM

Both you and frumskeptic seem to hate the school system very much, and that's okay -- everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just disagree with "we have a world where parents are not allowed to parent." If parents want to parent, they can. But more often than not, they choose to leave their children's education to the school. I don't see that as being the school's fault, but rather that of the parents.

I choose not to be as suspicious as you are of everything and everyone around me.

June 30, 2009 at 2:10 PM
mlevin  

Have you ever heard the analogy about the beginning of Nazism? ...First they came for the Crippled and I didn't object because I'm not crippled. Then they came for the homosexuals and I didn't object because I'm not homosexual. Then they came for the elderly, Gypsies, Jews, Catholics... and I didn't object... then they came for me and there was no one left to object.

Same is going on here. The right wing orthodoxy is moving further and further away from Judaism and towards a new totalitarian religion where masses don't have any say and they are getting poorer and poorer with fewer and fewer options for making money while their rabbeim gain more and more power and control over everyone's lives. If I and others like me keep silent and don't object then we will be powerless when in the end their greed for power destroys Judaism.

And yes, this life style will eventually destroy Judaism, just like it almost destroyed it in Roman times. In case you have forgotten, during the siege of Jerusalem the two warring sections destroyed themselves and almost all Jews. These two sects, translated into modern terms, were ultra right wing orthodox and reform. In the end the middle group, Modern Orthodox, survived, the one that has become our ancestor.

"But more often than not, they choose to leave their children's education to the school." One of the reasons is because schools don't want parents to parent. I remember a freshman parent orientation in one of the "Flatbush" girl high schools. The principal said (I'm paraphrasing), "You, parents, are busy and don't have time. Your daughters are now my responsibility, I will take care of them. You don't have to worry about them anymore" This is the same school that has no girls on ave M laws, and no dating until April of senior year, and no traveling outside NY state without school's approval. Yes, this is the same school that has spies and it is the same school that has expelled girls that were seen in Florida on a beach in inappropriate attire.

There are modern orthodox Jews in my neighborhood who are terrified that their children won't be allowed into school and consequently won't get a shidduch so they put on sheitels and long sleeves and hide their tvs and computers and sneak in non-heimish food. All of these things are chumras, not halochas, but their children are brainwashed into thinking it's all halacha...

June 30, 2009 at 8:20 PM

The right wing orthodoxy is moving further and further away from Judaism and towards a new totalitarian religion" -- Yes, but I am certainly not a part of that, and I think you are severely misjudging some people and schools. I understand what you're saying, but I think that it's important not to overdo it by being suspicious of institutions that are more centered than what you are describing.

"These two sects, translated into modern terms, were ultra right wing orthodox and reform. In the end the middle group, Modern Orthodox, survived, the one that has become our ancestor." -- I would not identify myself as ultra right wing Orthodox, honestly. I guess it's that old joke about everyone to your right being too frum and everyone to the left not being religious. But seriously, I think I am pretty mainstream. I come from a family of Russian baalei tshuva, and I would say I identify myself more with that group.

"The principal said..." -- A lot of parents ARE too busy to actively parent their children. I don't approve of it, but that is how it is in a lot of families. And I think that what the principal said was meant more to assure the parents that their children are in good hands than to send across the message that parents are no longer necessary for the education of the children. It is very easy to misinterpret what somebody says in a way to make it fit one's agenda.

"This is the same school that has no girls on ave M laws, and no dating until April of senior year, and no traveling outside NY state without school's approval." -- And you think everyone follows those rules? It is ultimately up to the parents which rules they want their daughters to follow and which ones they don't care for. There are rules about media, but it is up to the parents what they will allow their daughters to have and what not.

"Yes, this is the same school that has spies" -- Not that again.... I think I know which school you are talking about, and if my guess is correct, the school does not have spies. Have you ever considered that students, or students' parents, might be the ones tattling on the other girls? This has nothing to do with the school itself but with the people who go there.

"There are modern orthodox Jews in my neighborhood who are terrified that their children won't be allowed into school and consequently won't get a shidduch so they put on sheitels and long sleeves and hide their tvs and computers and sneak in non-heimish food." -- It IS sad that people feel the need to be something they're not in order to fit in. I think that people should be understanding and accepting, no matter what level other people are on. It is better for them to do what they feel they are ready for and then do more when they want to than to feel like they have no other choice.

I have a TV and internet. I watch movies. I listen to non-Jewish music. And you know what? I'm not hiding anything.

"All of these things are chumras, not halochas, but their children are brainwashed into thinking it's all halacha..." -- Yes, that is rather unfortunate. That is why it's important for parents to talk to their children, so the children can think for themselves and not believe everything they are told. They need to know how to weigh things and decide what to believe and what not to believe.

And by the way, I don't really want to talk about the school you mentioned here on the blog, so if you want to continue that discussion you can email me at myinkstainedhands (AT) gmail.com.

July 2, 2009 at 1:08 PM

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