Accepting Differences

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I am Danny, a Hasidic Jew. When I was younger I went through a struggle with religion and my relationship with my father. Although my father, a Rabbi, wanted me to be a Rabbi when I get older, I wanted to be a psychologist. I memorized large portions of the Torah, however I was not sure what I believed. I loved baseball, and my father let me practice it as long as I study the Torah every day. He didn’t care about anything but Judaism. He didn’t even talk to me. Every time I go to temple, my father quizzes me on the Torah. I always get the answer right because I have a photographic memory. He makes mistakes on purpose, and then asks me in front of everyone what they were. I hate the silence I always have to face, and I’m constantly angry. I could never yell at my father, and never tell him how angry I am, which made me even angrier. One time my baseball team of Hasidic Jews played an orthodox team. We started to play the game and I imagined killing their best player, Reuven Malter. My father knew Reuven’s father, and I wanted nothing to do with him. I got up to bat and ended up hitting a ball directly at Reuven’s eye. I expected him to duck, however he didn’t. His glasses shattered and he complained of his eye hurting. He sat out the rest of the game. Soon however, the situation got worse. Reuven’s eye was seriously hurt. He went to the hospital, and it turned out he needed surgery. I started to feel really bad about it. I visited him in the hospital to apologize, but he was angry at me and refused to accept my apology. I left, but then came back and refused to leave until he accepted my apology. We became friends after that. Reuven became my best friend, and despite my original dislike for him and his religious views, he had some really good ideas. He started to make me feel more at peace with my religion, and even my father liked him. I almost lost it with my father, however if I had never had enough dislike of Reuven to hit a ball at him, I would have never...
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