Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Search

Straight Man: I need to figure out where I want to spend my semester abroad.
Erachet: Um, you just had your semester abroad. It's called a year and a half in Israel.
Straight Man: Well, I want to take another one! I need to...find myself.
Ima: [Snort] What were you doing in Israel?
Straight Man: That was my spiritual self! I need to find my mental self.
Erachet: Maybe your mental self is in Queens [college]?
Straight Man: I dunno, I was just there the other day...I couldn't even find parking.


Ezzie said...


Clearly, nobody's mental self is in New York. (Unless we mean mental as in "seriously mental".)

Josh M. said...

It would appear that a large number of the problems within contemporary frum society stem from the dichotomy that people tend to draw between their spiritual identity and their mental identity (and, for that matter, between their American identity and their Israeli identity).

Erachet said...

Ezzie - I knew you'd say something like that. :P

Josh - I hear that. My brother was just kidding around here, but I definitely see what you're saying. Do you mean like people who ignore their intellectual capabilities to focus more on their "spiritual self" or, on the flip side, ignore their "spiritual self" to focus more on secular intellectualism when really both can be combined?

Josh M. said...

Both are valid points, but I was focusing more on the general phenomenon of temporal compartmentalization. Ideally, the year in Israel should both strengthen a framework that was laid in high school and lay the foundation for continued growth through one's adult life, but it too often pans out as a "life-changing" experience that attempts to make up for lost time in high school while failing to adequately provide a path moving forward that builds upon the growth experienced in Israel (as I've seen from my own experience in a secular college).

I wasn't suggesting that your brother falls under either category, but his wording just struck me as interesting.