We have all seen it before, your next door neighbors kid, fresh off the boat from his year in Israel. The different yarmulke, maybe the longer tzitzis, that kissing of his hand after he shakes yours (maybe it’s an immunity thing), his harder more violent kavannah filled shuckeling and the talk of Hashem’s beauty and trying to convince everyone to move to Israel. Or what about the girls who back in skirts and throw all their pants, tank tops and secular music in the garbage without thinking twice.
For all of those who don’t know what I’m talking about, the “year in Israel” thing has been going on for sometime and this is the typical route for a wide rang of kids who grow up orthodox. Usually, after high school many Orthodox teenagers will take a year off before college to go “learn” in Israel. I put learn in quotes, because typically the first half of the year is spent partying, while the second half of the year is spent “flipping out”. Flipping Out was a term coined in the 90′s to describe the then new phenomena of kids going to Israel and flipping out by becoming super religious in a very short amount of time.
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