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Life of Yeshiva Guys in Israel: Walk of Shame

Life of Yeshiva Guys in Israel

A Pictorial, Vidorial, and Textorial Panorama of the Life of Yeshiva Guys in Eretz Yisroel (Israel). Join us as we discover Eretz Yisroel and all it has to offer Yeshiva Bochurim.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Walk of Shame

I'm walking down the street in Tel Aviv, dressed to the nines in khakis and a white cotton T-shirt. Aside from my watch, I could've purchased my entire wardrobe for a C-note.
And I'm feeling right at home. I blend right in with my environment. I feel completely indigenous. Like I've been walking these streets my whole life. Like I've been born to the
beat and pulse of the big city- disgusting though I know it is.

Often, when in my Yeshivishe garb, strolling down King George, Yaffo, or a street in Manhattan, I feel out of place. Similar to the way a chayal must feel in Zichron Moshe. Incongruous.
Black hats, pants, and a white shirt may make me look like a penguin, but it doesn't do too much to help me blend in with the immodestly dressed pedestrians of secular Jerusalem.
And I'm sorry to say that in this regard, our Holy City is far too close to Manhattan or Tel Aviv.

And that is the way it should be. Feeling out of place, I mean. A yeshiva bochur shouldn't feel at home in the streets. So why do I feel so comfortable now?
Shouldn't I be feeling some disconnect, no- some nervousness- with these secular surroundings? Shouldn't I be racing to get of here?

But I continue my slow walk down the street, enjoying the surroundings. Admiring the buildings. The people. The cars.
And I realize, that if only once in a while, I need some secular "culture". Like a druggie's fix, it is something I've come to crave.
No doubt, if I were to ask a Rabbi type, he'd tell me that I'm fooling myself. Fooling myself into thinking that I need it, when in reality,
it's precisely what I don't need- what I need to get away from.

But there's the funny thing about us. Sometimes we don't ask. And we choose to, as Nike so aptly puts it, "Just Do It".
We, in the above context, covers the entire gamut of yeshiva guys; Briskers, Mir guys, and Bais/Medrash types. We all do things without asking,
knowing the answer we'd get would be a NO.

So I keep walking. As always, feeling guilty about something. I need to learn how to walk without shame.

Or maybe I just need to stop walking.

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