Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Out-of-Town Living: Not the End of the World

Barbara Bensoussan

The boundaries of the Jewish world have expanded in recent decades. How far out is “out-of-town” today? A sampling of families who are living Torah lives regardless of where they have chosen to settle.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

OOT living

Many children have read Aesop’s fable of the city mouse and the country mouse. The city mouse, visiting his country cousin, is disappointed by the plain, simple kernels of corn and berries his cousin serves him. “Come to my mansion in the city!” he tells his cousin. “There you’ll see what real living is all about!”

The country mouse, tempted by the offer, follows him back to the big city. He indeed finds a luxurious house, where choice wines, imported cheeses, and white loaves of fine bread are left out on a massive table. The two mice start regaling themselves on big-city delicacies. Suddenly, an enormous cat leaps onto the table, and the terrified mice run for their lives. After they finally reach safety in the mouse-hole and collapse, panting from exhaustion, the country mouse says, “You can keep your fancy food. I’d rather eat my grains of corn in the country, in peace!”

This simple child’s tale encapsulates a deeper truth about human lifestyle choices. Do we opt for a simpler, quieter life, whose comforts are less grandiose? Or do we seek the excitement and high living of big-city life, even though it may mean paying a high price in stress? For a Jewish person, the decision is about ruchniyus as much as it is about gashmiyus. Are you drawn to a large center of Yiddishkeit, where there lies before you a plethora of choices of yeshivos, minyanim, shidduch opportunities, shiurim, all waiting for you to take your pick? Or are there greater benefits to be derived from living in an environment where you may have to build your own yeshivah or minyan? Or, in the absence of that shiur you’d like to attend, maybe give that shiur yourself?

Some of us are city mice by nature, preferring the bustle and activity of large urban areas; others are country mice who like a slow, easy pace and the luxury of finding parking absolutely everywhere. Then there are city mice who find themselves transplanted to the country, or vice versa, as the winds of destiny blow them in unexpected directions. Those of us who have lived life on both sides are especially well-qualified to comment on the challenges, joys, and trade-offs of big-city life versus life in smaller, “out-of-town” communities.

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War.
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchak Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript.
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child.
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
Zivia Reischer and D. Himy "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"