[cont’d – one at-risk teen who made it back and his journey… You can see the last post about Yoilish in the Shakespeare in Yiddish episode many posts back.]
“Der Velt – the world – it loves to see us fail.” Yoilish was sitting at Uncle Dudu’s desk in the factory. Uncle Dudu was speaking to Schlossman the jobber. Yoilish always wondered if his uncle’s words made it anywhere to within Schlossman’s soul. Schlossman was the exact opposite of Dudu. Whereas Uncle Dudu toed the line in every step he walked in sight of an Almighty G-d, Schlossman worshipped the almighty dollar. Yet, the weird thing is that the jobber kept those dialogues going, he asked for these philosophy lectures each time he visited the factory, which is why Yoilish suspected there was a soul underneath all that materialism. Today, Uncle Dude was pontificating about a world that wanted to see Jews mess up.
“Ya think so?” Schlossman asked, unfurling that day’s newspaper with the blaring headline of the arrest of some Orthodox Jew. “Ya think it’s only because of wanting to see Jews fail at honesty that we have these headlines?”
“I know so. It’s as if the world then can say there is no good in this world from spirituality. ‘Hah, so much for morals’, is what they’d like to be able to say. That, they think, will then take them off the hook of having to be moral.”
“Ya think so?” asked Schlossman again.
“Schlossman, don’t be ahn idiot,” said Uncle. “Why else would they have to always say Orthodox by such a story? Do you ever see them write ‘Catholic man arrested.’ No, they don’t write such a thing. Only Jewish. Orthodox. Chassidish. They want to see US fail.”
“Ya have a point,” conceded Schlossman. He then clicked open his briefcase and pulled out the sweater of the day. Yoilish knew the conversation now would turn to pricing, sizing and delivery dates, and he floated off to the cutting floor.
As he walked away, Yoilish tried to summarize in his mind the difference between Uncle Dudu and most of the world. He respected his uncle beyond words. Here was life the way it should be lived. Yoilish once heard a rabbi give a lecture and explain that all of life can be Torah – eating, drinking, picking up a piece of garbage to make the neighborhood prettier. Everybody toils in this world. The farmer and the oxen both work hard. But the oxen have no focus or pleasure in the toil. The farmer does. It’s all about having the focus and knowing the reason why you are toiling that enables you to get the ah! pleasure of real living. Another example. The hubby who buys gifts to show off his wealth versus the one who buys gifts to delight his wife – same actions, different emotions, different feelings engendered. So Uncle went to work each day, slaving over his sweaters, but it was so sweet to watch him, for each day, each hour, each conversation, it was all G-d centered, it was all Torah.