Monday, June 30, 2008

The Others

Evan responds to a question:

You're not one of those American Jews who sees Haredim as "The Other," are you?

Well, in some sense I do. After all, the whole point of wearing the clothing of 18th century Eastern European Gentile nobility is to set one's self apart from society, to make one's self the "other." I would think they might be offended were I not to consider them to be "The Other," after all that effort.

Of course, I'm Catholic and very far away from Israel, but I sure do get the point. If you are trying that hard to be different from the rest of us, I'd suggest not getting surprised when people start considering you to be something other than whatever it was you supposedly started out as. If you leave the tribe, change all your tribal markings, and start acting different, the remaining tribe members will start thinking you have created a new tribe.

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