Letters I didn't write

Gone to climb on the shoulders of giants.
Don't worry. I'll be safe.

I'm safe but I can't un-climb.
Wish you were here.


Un-climb? You mean climb down?

What do you see from up there that she can't?

un-climb was quite deliberate--to emphasize the impossibility of the act. While a kid climbing on some physical object can climb down (or be assisted by an adult to climb down), a student climbing onto the shoulders of giants cannot ever do so.

The change in perspective is irreversible, so the only way that particular communication barrier can be removed is summarized: "Wish you were here."

You didn't answer my second question. Was that also deliberate?

But I don't want to try to enumerate the differences here. Suffice to say that there is a huge difference between how I see the world (from the shoulders of giants) and how my parents see the world (having not had the comfortable upbringing, tertiary education, richness of free time to self-educate etc., that they were able to provide for me).

Is there a similar gap between you and your parents?

"Is there a similar gap between you and your parents?"

Do you ask because you want to know, or are you trying to point out that I might not want to answer such a personal question? If the latter, let me apologize for asking it, but note that you did put your statement on a public blog to begin with. I was just curious about the details.

If the former, it's an easy question for me to answer: briefly, no. I could say a bit more, but I'm afraid that it might offend (although that would certainly not be my intention).

I am genuinely interested, and your "no" answer was sufficient. Had your answer been different, a simple "yes" answer would also be sufficient without including any details of what those differences may be. It lets me (and anyone else who is reading) know whether we're likely to be experiencing similar thoughts and emotions without holding up our parents' world views for criticism in their absence.

Yes, you could say a bit more if you wanted to. I am genuinely hard to offend, particularly if offense is not your intention. In fact, I'd prefer potentially offensive remarks revealed over veiled hints of undisclosed criticism. However, if I'm not the person you feel you might offend, then I'm content for you to remain silent on the subject.

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you on this. All I had in mind was: there's a strong tradition (not quite the word I want, but I can't think of the word I want) among Jews of respect for elders, particularly parents. 5th commandment, for one thing; aside from that, there's a general notion that the closer to the revelation of Sinai a generation is, the greater it is, in some sense. So, while I don't see eye-to-eye with my parents on everything (really, one can't see fully eye-to-eye with anyone, even if he is standing next to him), I wouldn't presume to say that my perspective is somehow higher than theirs.

Now that might be taken as an implied criticism of you--you don't have enough respect for your parents or something like that. That was why I hesitated to post it. I hope you won't take it that way, though.

No personal criticism taken, Judah. We come from completely different backgrounds (both due to culture and due to every family being different even within a culture), so it's interesting to compare notes.