It is a delight for me to report my re-newed great joy and hope for klal Yisrael.
Let me explain.
I (not so) recently went to a shiur a while ago for chinnuch. Sitting nice and snug and waiting for the class to begin, I imagined they'd talk about children, discipline, maybe a kiddie story or two. I even hoped I could interject with a story of my own little ones.
So, the class began. Well and good, but as it progressed, the topic became pride in yiddishkeit. To prove how proud one ought to be, the rabbi began to use words like shiksa, shaygitz, and even the dreaded shvartze!
Much to my consternation, no one batted an eye.
Don't get me wrong. I knew such things were said. It just seemed so much more harsh to actually see someone -someone seemingly so well loved- saying such things. I wasn't sure how to react. So I raised my hand and said as much.
Apparently, they (the rabbi and the class) didn't know how to react to me. So, there we all were. Nobody knowing how to react to the other one. I wished I could torpedo out of the class and land davening / praying at the Kotel and pretend like this never happened. But there it was, and there I was.
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A few days later the rabbi called and apologized. I said no problem. But it did leave a hole in my heart. Truthfully, I had been bother a bit by some of the -I dare say- arrogance or behavior of superiority by certain people in the chareidi circles. It was not just directed at the goyim, but towards other jews as well. But I didn't know what to do with it so I swept it under the rug.
However, it all hit home, so to speak, once I heard the word "shiksa". That could've only meant that all the other "shlurs" were not too far off. Sure enough, it happened.
At first it felt like a slap in the face in a negative way. Then after much crying, contemplating, crying, Torah studying, studying my favorite Likutey Moharan, crying, davening, and crying some more, it became a slap in the face in a positive way.
It help me to see behind the superiority complex into the true insecurities that people had, it help me to repel from wanting to "fit in so badly" to only wanting to do Hashem's will and not worry too much about people, cuz, they's some crazy folks out there!
All in all, baruch Hashem, I think it made me a better, stronger person.
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After all this, I started surfing for blogs, religious or Jewish oriented blogs. Much to my joy, I found many other people in the blogoshere who are also tired of the superiority complex and yet they are still trying to be religious and righteous, etc.
This means, not everyone is caught up in that "i'm frummer than you" business. Now the trick is to know who's who....