Saturday, October 11, 2008

Am I a Stranger?

Today I went to the park with my little sister. When we got to the entrance I saw some kids I recognized from shul playing outside in the dirt by the street. So I went over to the kid and started talking to him. There didn’t seem to be any adults with him, so I asked him if he came with his parents, he didn’t answer.

Meanwhile, there were 2 other kids I didn’t know there, and they started talking to me. One was telling me a story of how a few days ago a person went into a store and shot the store owner and then a helicopter came with police man. Then his sister asked me what my name was. I told her my name and asked her what her name was, she told me her name. Then I asked her what her last name was, wondering if I perhaps have heard of it before, she said it in a low voice, so I asked her again, but then it wasn’t clear.

So then I was talking to the kids I knew from my shul and I mentioned how his father did a great job davening for Yom Kippur, and he said “yea, my father davens for the amud”. Then this man comes over, and he comes to the 2 kids I didn’t know and tells them to come back into the park. All the kids go back in, so as I was going back into the park, I saw the father of the kids bring over his son and tell him that he’s not allowed to talk to strangers.

I found the whole thing ridiculous, I never considered myself a “stranger” before. Plus he wasn’t watching his kids, so he should be thankful to me for watching them, making sure that they didn’t go in the street and that they were supervised. But then I thought, perhaps he is right, his kids didn’t know me, so they really shouldn’t have told me so much information. I mean what if I hadn’t been a good person.

I always wondered if the kids differentiate between Jewish people or not, do they know to trust me because they could tell I’m a frum girl? or would they just trust anyone? Or is everyone they don’t know considered to be a stranger? but then how do you ever get to know anyone if you can’t ever talk to them?

But I do suppose the kids aren’t being trained enough not to talk to strangers. The other day I was walking home and I saw this little kid outside crying. I asked her “what’s the matter?” and she just continued crying. Then she cried out “mommy” so I asked her where her Mommy is, and she said she’s in the house. So I asked her if her Mommy knew that she was outside, and she said “yes”. So I figured I would wait outside, just to make sure someone comes out for her. So I was waiting there, then she calmed down from crying. Then after a few minutes she just went into her house. Then a different day I pass down the block and again I see her outside by herself, and she went into a different house while holding a Sippy cup, so she couldn’t be more than 3 years old. That seemed like a young age to have a kid alone outside.


  1. Sometimes I don't even recognize myself in the mirror. Though I still can't help talking to myself. :)

  2. Yes. three is way too young to be left alone.

    And yes, you are a stranger!

  3. you are a stranger. Even if you look nice, you're still "strange" to them, because they don't know you.

    When I'm in the park with kids, I always have other little kids run over to me.

    I'm paranoid. So unlike hte parents I dont just sit on the bench and talk to other parents, I actually walk around the park with them. I give the kids space and such, but when i see they are climbing, I'll awlk over to make sure I can stop them before they do anything dumb...

    Eitherway..since I'm always around the kid(s) I'm with, the other kids see that, and begin to tell me stories.

    I love it. But i keep my distance so the parents don't flip out. I dont let the kids hand me their toys or anything.

  4. In my opinion the kids in Flatbush are comfortable with any girl as long as she's 'frum' (being that a lot of minority non-Jews hang out in the parks too. ..though I'm proud to see an improved level of mutual diplomacy and friendly interactions/play between the Jewish kids and the other minority kids in some of the Flatbush parks.

    What happened to the other blog by the way?

  5. ChildIsh: took me a while, but very funny, I didn't mean it that way.

    Ricki'sMom: I think your right, I am a stranger.

    FrumSkeptic: True.

    I was actually just thinking about that the other day, I always noticed how all the parents or nannies would just sit on the bench and talk while the children ran all over the place, and I could never do that, I always ran after them. Then I realized why the name is "babysitter" cause most just sit, they don't actively follow the kids.

    right, so perhaps I've kept a natural distance that I wasn't aware of. I really don't know, since I'm always so trusting of people, I automatically think that their trusting of me, so I never really stopped to think that they would mind and get freaked out. I should be more careful with that.

    Shlomo: different people would have different opinions towards that, not all parents would be happy to see their kids playing with non Jewish kids. I actually saw a whole group of teen Jewish boys playing with a bunch of teen non Jews, and I didn't think so highly of it. It looked like they were trying to be cool by hanging out with them, but then it lessons their shabbos observance and everything by trying to fit in, process of assimilation.

    See the previous post and comments for the answer to that, about the other blog.

  6. Agreed three is way to young. You are a stranger to some but not the ones from your shul, than you are considered non stranger.

  7. (Just wanted to say thank you for the add on your blogroll. :) )

  8. MikeInMidwood: right I wouldn't consider myself a stranger to the people from my shul.

    Rachel: Your welcome! :-)

  9. I like your blog and I'm glad I found it.

    Yes, I find that Frum people and I am frum trust are trusting of each other and that is good. However, you were a stranger to the kids. What if you looked Frum to them, but you were not. People lie if they are crimals.

    It was good that you were there for the kids. If I were the parent of those kids I would talk to them about stranger danger again and I would have thanked you. You did watch them and showed that you are one of the good people, you didn't lie, you are what you showed yourself to be. You are a member of their community. The kids didn't know that for sure.

    You can find my blog by going to

  10. Jew in the Suburbs: Thanx, I appreciate that!

    You made a good point, people can be to trusting of other frum people and then look what happens with the molesters.


    I'll check out your blog.


Now using inline comments, instead of the check box, Click the "Subscribe" link to receive follow up e-mails with comments.