Children on a Kibbutz

I was reminded this morning of a charming incident that occurred while I was living on kibbutz and working in a childrens' house with 3-year olds.

The children were asked to describe what growing-up was like on kibbutz. One by one, each child gave us his input:
  1. You are born and then you go to live in the baby house.
  2. When you get older, you move into the childrens' house.
  3. When you get even older, you go to live and study at the regional high school.
  4. After finishing high school, you go into the army.
  5. After the army, you return to kibbutz.
  6. You get married.
  7. You have children.
  8. You grow old and start speaking Yiddish.

The reasoning behind #7 was obvious to us. Practically all of the older members of the kibbutz were from eastern Europe and their "mama loshen" was Yiddish, which none of the younger members understood. However, for my 3-year olds, speaking Yiddish was just part of the natural life cycle on kibbutz - when you grow old, you start speaking Yiddish!

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