Interesting Thing That Happened To Me; Is Geography Really That Difficult?
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- This topic has 20 replies, 14 voices, and was last updated 10 years ago by yytz.
March 11, 2013 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm #608553Yserbius123Participant
Yesterday I had about ten different meshulachim from Eretz Yisroel come to my door. In the last group of three men, one of them was collecting for Kiruv in Belarus and part of his prepared speech (in Eastern European accented English) was that “It’s not just a city, it’s a whole country!”.
As I was writing out the checks, I told him that yes, I happen to know that Belarus was a country and was surprised that he has to mention this. He looked at me, surprised himself, and said that he didn’t expect me to know that. He turned to his colleagues and translated the conversation in Hebrew for them, adding in something about “All Americans study in University”. A bit annoyed, I told them that I had known about Belarus since I was a kid and had nothing to do with my college education, and besides (I continued), I do not agree with the Chareidi aversion to university education and find it a bit puzzling. For didn’t Rabi Yishmael know the streets of Punpedisa? Why should this be any different?
Anyways, just wanted to get CRs opinion on this thing.March 11, 2013 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm #936612realtalkMember
I officially learned geography in school and I still dont know all the 50 states and where they are and their capitals- that’s just not one of my strong points. But I dont think that there is a problem if someone does know.March 11, 2013 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #936613shnitzyMember
So, there you have it. Their speech is for people like realtalk.March 11, 2013 9:13 pm at 9:13 pm #936614
I have heard frum people say:
“Isn’t Germany next to Eretz Yisroel?”
“The Netherlands is part of the USA, right?”
“I thought Scotland is in Australia.”
Being quite fond of maps myself, I do find it shocking. There is nothing wrong with learning basic geography. Not learning it make us look like a bunch of idiots.
(For the record, I’m not saying those who don’t know anything about geography are idiots – because they know plenty of other things. But we do look like idiots that way.)
Even as a child I used to spend hours studying atlases and maps for fun. Now, still, I love Google Earth/Maps. I dare to say I know the USA (which I have never visited) better than many frum Americans.March 11, 2013 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #936615zahavasdadParticipant
I think its an american thing, I met someone from Wales in Italy. He was shocked I knew the capital of Wales was Cardiff. Americans arent supposed to know thatMarch 11, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm #936616🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
I’ve heard people say, “America? Isn’t that next to New York?”March 12, 2013 12:38 am at 12:38 am #936617shnitzyMember
PffftMarch 12, 2013 1:29 am at 1:29 am #936618
The 5 Boros of New York: Williamsburg, Boro Park, Flatbush, Monsey and Kiryas Yoel.March 12, 2013 3:31 am at 3:31 am #936619Torah613TorahParticipant
Who needs to know? Just google it.
(jk – geography is really important. Try traveling without knowing it!)March 12, 2013 4:44 am at 4:44 am #936620Yserbius123Participant
Also, one of the guys made a comment along the lines of “Rav Shteinman and Rav Kanievsky don’t know these things” to which I retorted, “Rav Shteinman wasn’t born in B’nei Brak!”
All limudei chol of derech eretz is important, from grammar to history to geography.March 12, 2013 5:00 am at 5:00 am #936621
No, not all. There’s a lot of krum stuff out there, much more than you realize.March 12, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm #936622squeakParticipant
Isn’t Bnei Brak in Palestine? Or is that Jerusalem? Who knows these things anywayMarch 12, 2013 2:13 pm at 2:13 pm #936623sw33tMember
that’s so embaressing.
As a nation, we should want to present ourselves as knowledgable and educated- not ignorant.March 12, 2013 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #936624sammy16Member
I have a European friend who can tell me where each state is. Something I don’t know to well.March 12, 2013 9:23 pm at 9:23 pm #936625realtalkMember
Hey what about the annoyingly common mistake of 52 states!!!!!!!!!!!!!! at least I know their are 50 even if I cant seem to remember where they all are.March 14, 2013 5:16 am at 5:16 am #936626sammy16Member
how bout knowing that puerto rico is part of america?March 14, 2013 2:28 pm at 2:28 pm #936627
Obama thought there were at least 57 states and now he’s the president. So there you go.March 14, 2013 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #936628sw33tMember
“Obama thought there were at least 57 states and now he’s the president. So there you go. “
LOLMarch 14, 2013 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm #936629SpiderJerusalemParticipant
Everyone on this board needs to see Idiocracy, directed by Mike Judge.March 14, 2013 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm #936630🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
I learned the states and capitals in fourth grade and the countries and capitals in fourth. I’m probably one of the only ones in my grade who remember it though…March 14, 2013 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm #936631yytzParticipant
Gateshead, that’s crazy — I don’t believe people said such things. Like you, I’ve always loved maps, so I don’t understand it.
But I know that many people here in America have no clue where anything is. Even my wife (despite having traveled to various countries, including Belarus) often is unsure about where particular US states are on the map, at least until recently, when we started going over maps with our kids.
I would guess that 90% of Americans have no idea that Belarus is a country. Jews are more likely to know it’s a country, since many have ancestors from there.
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