Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Proper Education

On the way home from the park today, after a most successful Shavuot play date, I witnessed four religious boys (wearing large black velvet kippot) abusing two street cats.  I walked over, Raphaela in the stroller, and started shouting at them (in Hebrew) "Stop what you are doing this instant! Stop torturing these cats! They are living beings and they deserve respect and kindness."

One of the boys, a lanky obnoxious thing, began to make fun of my American accent, and I restated my position, "I don't care if you mock me, but don't you dare think that your actions are OK on any level.  As a religious person, you are even more accountable for your actions."

He responded by waving around his kippah and said, "This old thing?  I wear it just for show."  To which I said, "Clearly!"  A proper education and system of values starts and ends in the home...

Once we got past that street corner, I explained to Raphaela that Mommy was yelling because the boys were not treating the cats well, and that if we see someone acting badly, we say "No no no!"  I wanted to be sure that Raphaela knew that I was not angry with her, and that she learn on some level that if you believe in something important, you must stand up proudly and fight for it.

It also reinforces her self-confidence to assert herself if other children behave inappropriately, in Gan or at the park.

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