There are things that I never understood, still don’t understand, and perhaps never will understand.
For instance –
Why is it okay for Obama (insert name of current U.S. president) to drop bombs on Iran, Syria, and whoever else he wants – and are not even distant neighbors – but it’s not okay for us to bomb Gaza?
Why is the world silent about all the inhumane things happening in Syria, but an attempt at humane fighting in Gaza – in self-defense, so that we can have some security and live normally – causes an uproar?
Why is it okay for our civilians to be bombed, but not okay for us to bomb a terrorist organization that uses its own civilians as human shields?
Why does the world expect us to make peace with people who don’t respect or value life, even that of their own people?
Why is it not obvious that security breaches would not occur if countries would use racial profiling? Why is it taboo to say that a Middle-eastern, young, unmarried, Arabic-speaking man is more of a security risk than a 76 year old Jewish grandmother traveling with two grandkids?
Why does it seem like Kuala Lumpur keeps coming up in connection with terrorism?
Why can’t Israel stand up for itself, ever?
Why are children born to people who don’t know how to take care of them and don’t care to take care of them, while I know really good, responsible people who waited five years or more for their first child?
Why do adoption agencies make so much money off both sides of the equation? Why not just have an agency that takes unwanted, neglected, or abused kids and places them with people who want kids? (Israel, by the way, works that way: You pay a 2000 shekel fee for psychological testing to make sure you’re going to be a decent parent, 400 shekel for the court fee, and the rest is free.)
Why do people get married thinking that they can change the other person?
Why do people have kids just to leave them in daycare from the age of three months? And why is it forbidden to ask that question?
Why is the mother’s happiness more important than the baby’s health? Why is it not obvious to everyone that rooming in and nursing until the baby is at least a year are desirable choices, and being separated from the baby and formula feeding are extremely undesirable choices that can negatively influence the baby’s health later on?
Why is it okay to feed your child liquid plastic in public but not okay to nurse in public?
Why does it matter if you’re not obligated to use a carseat in a taxi? Does it change the safety problem? Are taxis inherently safer than private cars?
Why does it matter if you’re allowed to leave a six year old at home in charge of a two year old? Does it mean that it’s safe to do so?
Why can’t people use logic?
Why are people so influenced by peer pressure? Who cares what other people do?
Why is it so important to have a degree? It doesn’t even promise you a good job anymore.
Why is it taboo to write that homosexual men have a much higher rate of colon cancer (and other things) than anyone else?
Why is it taboo to write that intelligence is on the X chromosome? Why is it not obvious?
Why is it taboo to say what you think? Why does everyone look at me odd for doing what I believe in?
What’s wrong with saying that not everyone can sit and learn Talmud, or become a rabbi?
What’s wrong with saying that some kids will never finish college?
What’s wrong with saying that not every kid has the capacity to become a doctor, lawyer, or millionaire?
Why do people put so much time, energy, and money into making sure they look nice?
Who says looking nice means being skinny, wearing designer clothes, and painting your face with makeup?
Why does perfume always stink to high heaven?
Who wants to buy clothes or furniture that will go out of style in five years?
Who invented fashion and what’s the point of it?
Why do people consider fashion to be important?
Why bother buying expensive brands of clothing for kids, who will just stain them?
Why drive kids nuts over stains on their clothing?
Why does everyone have so much STUFF?
Why do people fall for ‘this toy makes kids smarter’ nonsense?
Why does everyone’s kid have to be the smartest, most advanced, in their class?
Why do people buy expensive birthday presents and waste so much time and energy on fancy parties?
Why do people waste so much time and energy on ANY party?
Why does it seem like everything turns into a status issue?
Why don’t parents talk to each other instead of getting a divorce?
Why is it so hard for people to admit that they made a mistake, say sorry, and try to correct it? We’re only human, after all.
Why does it seem like so many divorcees blame the other and make their kids’ lives miserable?
Why do so many divorcees make the same mistakes the second time around?
Why do people ask obvious questions after the answer was written in an obvious place and explained three times?
Why is it so important to have a large circle of acquaintances?
What’s this thing called ‘entertaining’ and why do people do it?
What’s wrong with a kid having one close friend and not wanting to play with anyone else? What’s wrong with being shy, or an introvert?
Why do people get married?
What IS marriage, anyways? [Answer: A social institution designed to protect the wife from being left without an income and with a bunch of kids; and designed to protect the kids by committing both parents to their welfare. Therefore, gay marriage is pretty pointless, because kids don’t come naturally, nor will one be left without an income because they are busy taking care of the house, since both partners are of the same gender.]
Why do people want kids?
Why do people have kids without marrying or intending to marry?
What logic is there in making the word ‘spouse’ taboo and using the word ‘partner’ instead? Gimme a break.
Why do people divorce only to get back together, or get back in bed together (sorry little sister Shira, just pretend you didn’t read that), even if they’re not back together? Why not just work on the relationship, or give it up?
Why do teachers not like the questions that I ask? Why do they think it’s off topic?
Why do I seem to intimidate people who are supposedly in a superior position to me? Rabbis, teachers, potential or real bosses; I even scared my first date (by saying I was learning something that I was told not to mention, but what was I supposed to say?). And – surprise surprise – Yitzchak does the same thing. But it’s different because he’s a guy. Guys are allowed to know a lot; girls aren’t. And while I’m extremely grateful that Yitzchak has it better than me – why is it not okay for girls to know anything?
Why is it that people comment on what a cute little boy I have until he pulls out his doll, and then people start to say what a cute little girl he is? Does a man become a woman because he’s holding a baby?
Are we really a liberal-minded society? [Answer: No. We just pretend that we are and make outcasts of anyone who dares to question if the emperor is really naked. And he is.]
Why does no one know how to answer my questions?
Why is it forbidden to ask why?
* * * * *
Yitzchak and I used to play the “Why Game”. He would say something benign such as, “Can you clear the table?” or “Maybe you should work on your assignments,” and I would ask why. He would give the reason, “Because it’s dirty,” or, “Because you want your degree,” and I would ask why. And it would go on and on for half an hour, maybe more, until we were both racking our brains, me to come up with a question and him to come up with an answer. Sometimes his answers got really complicated and scientific; usually when that happened I would sit through two or three answers and then just get tired.
It’s a fun game. He’s the only one who ever had, or has, patience for my questions.
But we don’t play that game so often anymore, probably because we’re more tired and have less time, energy, and patience for such things. We should, though.