Friday, September 01, 2006

The Whole World's Jewish

Driving in the car today down Toronto's "Jewish" street -- Bathurst Street -- I was with my two younger children. My youngest, who'll be entering grade 1 next week, G-d willing, is actively reading anything and everything, including signs.

Out of the blue, he announces to his sister and me, "The whole world's Jewish."

Both his sister and I say no. She explains nicely that not everyone is Jewish; people go to church and not just synagogues.

The little guy was adamant but gave in after a while. "Okay, maybe not the whole world. But all of Toronto is Jewish."

I said, "I don't think so... Yes, there are a lot of Jews here, but neither the whole world or all of Toronto is Jewish."And his sister also tried to convince him of the fact.

He relented. "Okay, but some of the people are Jewish."And with his next announcement, I understood from where this entire dialogue had materialized.

"But I saw the sign that said:"

(cross-posted on Our Kids Speak)


Neil said...

Growing up in a Jewish neighborhood, I was also under the impression that 95% of the world was Jewish.

cruisin-mom said...

me too...
and that album...we listened to it over and over when I was a kid!

kasamba said...

Love the photo!

Jeremayakovka said...

Touching post.

That's one of the reasons I moved away from NYC - to remind myself that the whole world isn't Jewish. :-)

But seriously: what matters most is not teaching your child that the whole world is not Jewish, what matters most is teaching him to discover (or apply) Judaism to the whole world.

Danny said...

Since I have a million Jewish relatives in Toronto, I always thought exactly the same thing! Loved those albums, too. Funny that one of the stars, Arlene Golonka, later became the ultimate shiksa on "Mayberry RFD." And then when she couldn't do the second album, she recommended her non-Jewish roommate, Valerie Harper, which helped Valerie land the part of Jewish Rhoda Morgenstern.

torontopearl said...

Neil, I didn't grow up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood at all, but I wore a strong Jewish identity nonetheless.

CM, I also love that album. In high school, a bunch of us would get together and play the album.

Kasamba, thanks for commenting.

Jeremiah, I love the last bit of your comment--rings true.

Danny, you are a walking encyclopedia! And I'd love to see if you ever visit those millions of relatives in Toronto. ;)

Rhea said...

I grew up in a small New Jersey town that USA Today once ranked as the smallest place in the U.S. where the most different languages were spoken! Thus, I never thought the whole world was Jewish. But it's kinda cool to grow up thinking it is!