Thursday, August 14, 2008

Parallel Worlds

video

This is #1 grandson and this video was made because he was so proud of having learned to dive into the pool head first. Well, how can Savta share in this achievement if she can't come to the pool to witness it? I suggested perhaps coming and looking in from the entrance. No good. Woman just aren't allowed. OK, I said, you'll take my camera and someone will photograph you diving into the pool. And so it was...

At his age (almost 7) I could take his dad down to the Kinneret (we lived in Ramat Hagolan at the time) and find a spot for the whole family to sit under a tree and play in the water. Sometimes we organized a bus and mothers and their kids all went down to swim in the Kinneret.

I am sad because my grandson is growing up in an environment where girls and boys (and of course men and women) live in increasingly separate environments. Two years ago his kindergarten and (also his sister's kindergarten) marked Friday by having a 'kabalat shabbat' with an 'abba' and 'ima'. The abba made kiddush and the ima lit candles. No more. The kindergartens are now single gendered.

So, although there is a nice shady picnic area adjacent to the pool in Mitzpe Ramon, I can not come, fully clothed, and watch my grandson dive into the pool. If his dad is away doing reserve duty (as he was for most of July) he can't go swimming. Dads can't teach their little girls to swim. How do they play 'house' in these kindergartens?

It isn't that I question the need for modest dress and behavior. I know that these are important concepts. But all of us, old and young, men and women should be developing tools and patterns for living and working together when we can. Cutting ourselves off from each other cuts off possibilities for growth and development.

9 comments:

mother in israel said...

The importance of separate swimming used to be obvious to me. But as the mother of two genders worth of children, it causes a lack of opportunities for swimming.

mother in israel said...

And causes logistical problems.

Anonymous said...

Hello. You're grandson is a smooth diver! I'm a resident of Mitzpe, and I read your comment with interest. Seperate swimming is quite popular here especially among members of the growing yeshiva community, but most of the hours at the municipal are open. So your family in Mitzpe has made a choice to participate in strictly seperate swimming hours.
Amy of Mitzpe

Risa said...

Hi Amy,
Definitely the choice was theirs. I'm glad the lovely pool in Mitzpe has some hours set aside so my son's community can use the pool. I just miss being able to swim together as a family.

Anonymous said...

A very wise woman once said "the tide goes in, the tide goes out"

An extremely wise man once said "Son, every generation thinks they discovered sex"


a man of some, but much lesser wisdom once said :"the older you get, the tighter you need to keep your seatbelt on to avoid being thrown by paradigm shifts in the road"

KT
amerbro

Risa said...

Oh, my aching' metaphor!

Anonymous said...

I'm curious if your son sees any other aspirational differences between the religious zionists and charedim other than the role of the State (e.g. role of mada)
KT
amerbro

Batya said...

I do like the separate swimming. Ned used to be a poolbabysitter for a neighbor's son.

But I don't like the separation in pre-school. The separation makes for unrealistic playing and not learning about how to be just friends with the opposite sex.

Anonymous said...

Batya,
Please refer back to my question, aiui the aspirational vision in charei Israel is complete separation except for husband and wife (e.g. mehadrin busses) so why need for learning to interact(perhaps it's a mesayea laveirah)?
KT
amerbro

Related Posts with Thumbnails