This past weekend I took my son to one of the area street festivals. We spent a few hours there on Sunday. As we were leaving, my son pointed out a shirt that was all in Hebrew. He was very excited to see it. I did not get a close enough, or long enough look, but I was under the impression it was a shirt supporting Jews for Jesus, or some other cult organization.
I find this scary and dangerous. Here my son is proud of his Jewish identity and all excited that he found someone wearing a “Hebrew Shirt”. To think that it could be someone looking to twist things around and try to get him to believe in things that are not “Jewish” is very frustrating.
Since I was not sure about the shirt, I simply did not say anything about it. Still, at some point in the future, we will certainly have the discussion about cults. At this point of his life, he knows to appreciate our religion and to enjoy it and also to enjoy other people enjoying their religion (Jewish or not). I firmly believe this is how must adults should view things.
Since, however, not everyone shares my philosophy, and there are those who do try to proselytize, and convert others, I cannot just ignore what does happen in society.
As I said, I find it scary and even sickening when others are going to try and convince my son that “Pure Judaism” is not the answer, and whether this individual was a member of a cult or not, at some point he will end up meeting someone trying to convert him.
It is important to ground today’s youngster strongly in Judaism, to give them a Jewish identity so they have a better chance of being able to ignore those who would try to convert them