Thursday, January 28, 2016

options | potential | possibility

I just finished reading "All Who Go Do Not Return" by Shulem Deen.

The book blurb reads: A moving and revealing exploration of Hasidic life and one man's 
struggles with faith, family, and community.

While it offers an intriguing peek into the secretive world of one of the most restrictive sects of the Hasidim, I was struck more by the parallels and similarities this world shared with our provincial equatorial hometown half a world away. 

We were schooled by German Benedictine nuns and raised by strict well intentioned war baby parents from a generation too removed, straining against the dynamics and demands of six growing children. 

Interesting how our small town insular island lives mirrored much of the descriptions Deen wrote about in this book. 

Whether it was funny little things like not knowing what the F-word meant or bringing home my daughter and using a drawer as her first bassinet.

Or heavier issues like judging others by strict dress codes and lemming behavior or ganging up against anyone exhibiting the slightest trace of being different.

Puritanical laws dictating already restricted interactions. Laws outdated long ago and far away. Taboo topics that lead to such inept ignorance, hilarious situations, or often hysterical complications.

Life can be complex and overwhelming even when we are nurtured and cushioned as we negotiate our way through new territory and discover new aspects of our self.

It is an incredible testament to any human being's resilience when they survive and overcome under the most crippling odds.

So heart felt and heart breaking. The road to hell truly can be paved with the best intentions. Yet it is all redeeming and redeemable.

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