Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Conversation #4: Only one path

We’re somewhere in Crown Heights, just talking.

My friend is experiencing some qualms about her living situation.

She says: I need to be around people who are on the same derech (path) as me.

Her wording caught me offgaurd and I say: Same derech? All Jews are on the same derech.

She thinks I'm just being poetic and replied: Eh…not really.

For me, this is an essential and practical thing.

I say: Yea, that’s what being a Jew is. Our whole nation, we’re all on the same derech.

She sees what I mean underneath, but her experiences keep her from being convinced.

I say: We’ve just all been given different cars. But we’re all going to the same place, driving on the same road. Really.

She says: I guess so.


The conversation was quick, fleeting. But it left me thinking.

I don’t sit well with the idea of Jews being on different paths.

When I think of the essence, sparks, redemption, G-dliness, our often unrevealed wants - I really do feel we’re all on the same road.

But then we look outside, see differences, an array of styles and habits, struggles and hopes and dreams.

But so what?

Why can’t we all just be around each other and not care about the car we’re driving?

Maimonides says that friends are two people headed in the same direction. So, sure, it’s hard to be around people who are going somewhere else. How can you be one if you’re not going in the same place? Yea, I get that. And so, the thing with Jews is that we’re all headed in the same place. Buried underneath every Jew is the same map. I strongly believe that. I’ve seen it. I can’t think otherwise, for it just doesn’t make sense.

Even those Jews who want to be on a different path are still on the same path as every other Jew. It’s unavoidable. If two Jews can be “on different derechs,” then how can we call ourselves a nation?

I believe that Jews are a nation, a family – we have oneness.

This world owns one real path.

I don’t’ care what my friends are driving.

Ultimately, we’re all in the same traffic.


I guess I’ve just never thought about other Jews being on any other path but, you know, the Jewish one.


Dovid said...

Does your roomates' observance mean nothing to you?

Mimi said...

The conversation was not so much about what my friend should do practically. It's about the word usage, and the underlying attitude.

Clashes between roommates, of whatever nature, should be dealt with, of course.

But that doesn't go against my sentiments here.

And, hey, perhaps part of staying on the same path (and showing it) would actually be to find a new place, a new crowd.

Either way, it's about a core level here. Observance is to be considered, sure. But, if you see what I'm saying - it's aside from the "derech" we're all actually on.

Dovid said...


Anonymous said...

Yeah we're all headed in the same place with that undercover map, but there are many many different WAYS to get there. Thanks to the Rebbe and Chassidus, we have a great route.

Anonymous said...

"Ultimately, we’re all in the same traffic."
Yep, and we're wondering how much longer we'll have to sit through this traffic and why aren't we there yet?? Ad mosai?!
Great Post!

anonym00kie said...

can't we be going in the same direction, but on different paths, or at least differnet lanes?

Mimi said...

To me, the path is the direction. When I say that all Jews are on the same path, I mean direction - sure.

I am meaning to get at the way a lot of Jews use this "derech" term. I think it shoud be eliminated, for it breeds an atitude that our nation,well, just can't afford.

Chasidishe Shaigitz said...

You mean you have never noticed any of those misdirected or confused vehicles on the highway, driving AGAINST traffic?

True we cant call them lost, they are still on the highway, all they need is some guidance, to help them realize their way of driving is no good "even for them" and hopefully they will turn their vehicles around and follow the true path.

-y- said...

I'm not certain i 100% agree, but I do know that this made me smile, which is worth at least as much. Thanks.

yoniQua said...

just wanted to let u know that im thinking... on what u posted.. good stuff.

Anonymous said...

i saw this blog:
sounds like a new way of thinking

Anonymous said...

Well tis aint so simple.. In my apartment in jerusalem I have had various roomates in various stages of religious observance.

But I have changed alot and have no right to make them change. Moving out is not a option, as long as they keep shabbos, kosher etc.. which they do.. then we just learn to get along with each other in harmony :)

litzo said...

have yet to view another blog as thought provoking. hats off to mimi for her sincere expression and to all the commentators who take it to a whole new level.
when you believe in someone they will deliver. in agreement with the original statement: when we believe (without hesitation) that we are all on the right path and that we are heading toward our ultimate goal, this in itself allows for us to achieve it. for we unite through this knowlege that everyone is out for one another and that together we will greet Moshiach

SRF said...

Incredible post. I happened to have just walked in from a walk home discussing exactly the idea you have mentioned... the conversation was troubling and I found myself frustrated asking how each path could be correct, or how we could be certain that "our path" is the right one. Little thought did I give to the idea that it may all be the same path, just in a different mode of transport to get me there. Its not a question of being right or wrong, sure or unsure, rather the things I'm doing and the idea that this is the way I needed to go in order to arrive at our final destination.