Wherever the Road Leads

Israelis, Mennonites and the Army

Rules for Living

Doing laundry the other day here at the RV Park, I borrowed a book from the lending library, “Sanctuary”, written by Faye Kellerman. Typically, I avoid books written by women as, as I have written about in the past, when they compose their story about a man’s reaction to a particular incident, they describe how a woman would react. I’m sure that a man writing about a woman’s reaction to an incident would be similarly inaccurate. The premise looked interesting so I grabbed it anyway.

The story revolved around the diamond business, the characters were almost all Jewish, including our hero, the formerly Protestant police detective who had converted to Judaism prior to marrying his Jewish wife. The action begins in Los Angeles then moves to Israel. The whodunit was good in and of itself but the book was very interesting as it described the varying levels of Orthodoxy in the Jewish religion and the degrees of religiousness in everyday life.

I remember seeing in Montreal groups of black-hatted, black-coated, white-shirted men with ringlets down the side of their temples with their modestly-attired wife and children in tow. To me, that garb alone would imply a great deal of devoutness, however apparently there levels of faith and looser or stricter rules for living within Judaism.

Having finished the book, a movie caught my eye called, “The Women’s Balcony”. It was a story that “started with a bar mitzvah and ended with a wedding”. This story involved conflict over degrees of Jewishness and perfectly piggybacked my lending library novel.. My Hebrew is not what it once was so yes, I had to turn on the subtitles. The ‘women’s balcony’ refers to an area in the synagogue where the women sit, apart from the men.

The book and the movie brought me to the same place I was at last year after reading a couple of books about Mennonite life… there has to be rules in life. We need structure and boundaries to be successful. The army has not lasted as long as it has as an institution by allowing people to not make their beds if they don’t feel like it, not clean their weapons if they don’t feel like it or not respect the chain of command.

Somewhere between Leave It To Beaver and South Park, we lost our way.

“But why-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-?????”

“Because I said so.”

What was wrong with that answer? If told by a parent, a police officer or a teacher, why did the perhaps lengthy explanation need to be given so that their tender feelings might not be hurt.

I once read that the difference between conservatives/Republicans and liberals/Democrats is that a conservative believes people are basically evil and a liberal believes that people are basically good. Liberals implement some noble social programs to help say, the poor, which conservatives are convinced are going to be taken advantage of… Welfare, Food Stamps and Disability programs for example. All noble programs. However, as the preacher at the Townsend Church of God once said, “You don’t have to teach a child to misbehave.”

I used to watch “The Five” on Fox News Channel. The program is a round-table of four conservatives and a liberal. Being discussed was illegitimate births and unwed mothers. The liberal, somewhat in frustration, asked the others, “What are we supposed to do, throw the baby out into the street?” Well, no, of course not. But more must be done beyond increasing that single mother’s welfare entitlement. Somehow, addressing the issue of ‘just have more children, it doesn’t matter, the government will take care of you.’ must happen as well.

There are no negative consequences. No one is held accountable. What do people learn? That getting married decreases your government benefits check. No marriage, no commitment, things go wrong, buh-bye. Another single parent environment and decreased structure and boundaries.

This fellow who killed the seventeen students in a Florida school has the liberals all crying ‘gun control’. But like throwing the baby into the street, they are attacking the issue from the wrong end. Yes, tightening accessibility to guns by younger folk should be looked at but it wasn’t the gun that created the deranged killer. He appears to be from a non-traditional family.

As an aside, I love how liberals are all for laws to be tightened in an already strictly-regulated gun industry but don’t believe the laws should even be enforced when it comes to immigration.

Without taking sides, I was very impressed with the Facebook post by, and with thanks to, Janet Scroggins Holmes, who attends Faith Baptist Church in Monroe, Georgia where I used to go. It sums the situation up well…

I have waited to weigh in on this, listening to all the arguments and I have come to this conclusion…

The problem in this country is a heart problem. We can blame the guns, the President, the politicians, the government, the laws and as long as we place the blame elsewhere we do not have to look at ourselves and our society. We have become a nation of anger, hate and greed. We have devalued life through our movies, music and literature.

We kill our unborn, parents abuse/neglect and kill their children, children kill their parents, parents are scared of their children, teachers are verbally and physically assaulted, groups call for the murder of our police officers, everyday we are saturated with news pundits, late night “comedians” and celebrities shredding and verbally attacking those they disagree with yet we teach our children it is not good to bully.

Some kids have bullied and harassed other students to the point of suicide. We call for the assassination of our President and people applaud. If someone cuts us off in traffic then shoot them. Children are raised by the internet, tv and videos instead of discipline, principles and consequence.

We cannot reasonably expect every child to be the same, some come from poverty, neglect and abuse. Then they go to school only to be bullied, ridiculed and shunned. Then tragedy strikes and we look to the government to solve all our problems without looking into ourselves and our community and society.

More laws, more slogans and more marches are not going to solve the problem. No government can govern a heart. ” A nation without God’s guidance is a nation without order”

And so here we are.

Well said.

My books from a year ago about the Mennonites and the recent stories about the Jews seem to indicate that Faith with its rules and Family with its structure might be the keys to a more successful society than worrying about the rights and feelings of the transgendered, whoever they may be.

We need rules, structure, boundaries, consequences and accountability… all found in religion, sadly, no longer allowed in schools these days.

Last year after reading about Mennonite families and their structure, when I returned to Canada for the summer, I started attending a Mennonite Church. This coming summer… a synagogue?

Shalom.

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