I was discussing the concept of the past with my students.
I opened the floor for comments on how my students think they should perceive and respond to the past. I called on one student and she said.
“Umm…is this my perspective or the Jewish perspective?”
She said this lightly, with a wry smile, but she was serious.
I asked her where she thought her perspective diverged from Jewish thought. She responded robotically,
“I’m supposed to learn from my past, to enable myself to do mitzvos and maasim tovim to serve Hashem better than before.”
I laughed and told her they taught her well.
“And what do you think?” I prompted…and she responded with an answer that actually matched up with the “Jewish” perspective without the “do mitzvos and serve Hashem” part.
The learning, and having your past motivate and form a person made sense to her. She just rejected the religion because she had an automated response. She knew what she was supposed to say and think, but then she thought on her own, and she was so adverse to the indoctrination, she didn’t even see that her own independent thought was aligned with the rote response.
What are we going to do with education system?
She’s a good kid. She’s smart enough to realize she’s being indoctrinated, but not wise enough to realize that while indoctrination isn’t a good thing, the ideas it promotes may be.
So now she thinks she’s a secret rebel, when all she really is, is right.