Friday, July 28, 2006

Shared Taxicab Confessions

Early this morning, I caught a [monit] sheirut (shared 'service' taxi van) from Tel Aviv, where I was LARPing, back to Jerusalem. The occupants of the sheirut were your motley assortment of late-night-Tel-Aviv Jerusalemites, including a couple of drunk kids who seemed to be in yeshiva after high school.

It was two English-speaking guys and a girl, and they seemed to be coming back from a bar where they drank much beer and hard alcohol, but assumedly no wine because of the Nine Days. And they were rambling on and on about relationships and religion. I'm not sure exactly who was who, because I was sitting in the front and they were in the back, but one of them was whining about a missed opportunity with some woman he wanted to ask out, and worried about how his acting like a jerk may have delayed the coming of the mashiahh. They were all very into mashiahh, I wonder what schools they went to.

They also lamented the fact that many Jews date Non-Jews, but used somewhat offensive terms when talking about it. And one of the guys felt like he was going to vomit, and had an interesting conversation with an Israeli man in broken Hebrew with a lot of miming of puking-motions. And they were smoking way too close to the sheirut as we were waiting for it to fill up.

The girl, however, said something I found amusingly tragic. She started talking about Nice Jewish Boys And Girls who leave high school and then go to college, even after a year of yeshiva. She said that they have way too much interaction with the opposite sex, and they get drunk at parties all the time and do other horrible things. She would never go to college and expose herself to such immorality!

Kettle? There's a pot on the phone. I think it wants to discuss decor.


Anonymous Random Girl said...

Hi - you don't know me or anything , but I have a theory about these types of kettle-like comments.
There's this educational philosophy that tries to dissuade young people from doing some things because it will leas to inappropriate situations. In Israel this type of argument is used to convince religious girls not to go the army.
And it's been my experience that the people who really buy into these arguments, or at least repeat them, are those who engage in the inappropriate behaviors.
My guess is that they buy it because it provides justification of their own behavior. Since actions are a direct result of your particular environment, not your own decision and who you are as a person, they are not responsible for their drinking - it's their seminaries' fault, society's fault, someone else's but not their own. Because if a good girl from a good seminary might become a drunken floozy just because she's in college, we are all clearly weak weak people who are easily led astray by any temptation around us. How can we be held responsibe.
Does this make sense?

7/28/2006 9:55 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


Yeah, that does make sense!
And all the insistence in some communities on going to extreme lengths to avoid any kind of potential temptation goes into that.

7/28/2006 10:24 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Oh, and don't worry about knowing me. You don't need to know me to read or comment, what do you think this is — LiveJournal? ;-)

7/28/2006 10:25 AM  
Blogger Drew_Kaplan said...

hilarious - good call

7/28/2006 1:30 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Even knowing that there is such a thing as the opposite sex leads to immorality and depravity.

The existence of gender differentiation is untzniusdik.

I say we demand action.

7/28/2006 4:42 PM  
Anonymous BMM said...

Think about the children!

Won't somebody PLEASE think about the children?!?!

7/28/2006 4:44 PM  
Blogger Shai said...


I have the feeling that her not going to college is only for the best.

7/29/2006 4:57 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...



Back of the Hill:

Action? Isn't that what they're trying to avoid? ;-)


I was thinking about the children! The drunk, smoking and hypocritical ones in the back of the sheirut... :-P


Good point!

7/29/2006 2:03 PM  
Blogger Lipman said...

They were all very into mashiahh, I wonder what schools they went to.

Spiritual ones.

7/29/2006 6:05 PM  
Blogger Shoshana said...

I think everyone, despite what they are doing, wants to point out that there could be something worse - I think this chick probably felt that while she was hanging out and doing whatever with guys, it would be worse if she was at college - who knows what might happen there (G-d forbid she get educated). No matter how bad it gets, we all want to point fingers to those who are doing things that we can point to and say "at least I'm not doing that."

7/30/2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

I'm just going to say two words..

I hope I have the right two words.

Reish Lakish

7/30/2006 6:54 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

What does Reish Laqish have to do with it?

7/31/2006 4:31 PM  
Blogger Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

Irviner--do you mean that people change? What I thought of was the Chasidic story of the rebbe--is it Levi Yitzchak?--who assures everyone that the kids who play cards and stay out all night are just practicing going without sleep to study. Sure, and these kids may well get their acts together, just like (I insist), they would if they'd been sent to college. I'd like to point out, though, that Resh Lakish was aware he was not a model character. He KNEW he was a hood.

In this case, it's a bit more as if Resh Lakish (robbing tourists in a subway station, maybe?) had refused to meet Yochanan's sister because she went to Stern College. A bit off, somehow.

8/04/2006 1:17 AM  

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