April 14th, 2010
On Monday, there was a robbery at a Bank of America in Darien, Connecticut. Was the robber wearing a ski mask? Nope. A stocking on his face? Guess again. Our “It” felon really made a fashion forward decision and sported a yarmulke.
For my gentile readers, a yarmulke(kippah) is a thin, slightly-rounded skullcap traditionally worn at all times by observant Jewish men and sometimes by both men and women in Reform and Conservative communities. Today it’s also common for non-religious Jews and non-Jews to wear a yarmulke to cover their heads as a sign of respect when attending a religious service or Jewish site.
Anyone who has spent 5 to 6 hours a week in Hebrew school is probably not surprised that there is a yarmulke wearing bank robber among us.
To put it quite simply: Hebrew School serves as the opportunity for young generations of Jews to test boundaries. IN BEING BAD.
There just wasn’t time to absorb knowledge of Jewish rituals, customs and gain a better understanding of our people’s history. I’m reluctant to admit that a hefty portion of our time was utilized making fun of, harassing and borderline torturing our teachers, each other and any other reprehensible behavior that was pent up from not expressing our mystified hormonal angst in other aspects of our lives.
Perhaps if our subject matters were more intriguing to easily distracted prepubescents, the Hebrew School experience could have been more harmonious. For all involved.
I briefly offered an online Hebrew school course for students who naturally crave to hone in on their unkosher tendencies. Topics included:
• Strict Adherence to the Laws of the Torah and Felonies
• Gefilte Fish and Cyanide
• What Roles Have Rabbinic Sages Played in Aggravated Assault?
• A Jewish Approach to White-Collar Crime
• How to Carry Out Motor Vehicle Theft in Your Synagogue Parking Lot
• Chanukah –8 Nights of Burning Candles. And Arson
I only had one student…the yarmulke wearing Connecticut bank robber.
It warms your heart when the student has become the teacher.