I do not feel any ideological need to remove my family from the grid and go live in a trailer in the deep woods of Maine. However, at times I have the feeling that I have done so within the grid.
I live in a community that has many Jewish people. Some very active communities exist all around me. However these are assimilated Jews. Without your sleuthing skills or Jewdar you would not know most of these people are different from their neighbors in any way. As you can guess we are not talking about a tight knit orthodox community here.
My family however does practice most aspects of Judaism and we do it very openly. What this does is automatically make my children and my family different from our neighbors. It makes Jewish choices very difficult and sometimes at stark contrast to those around us. For example, I leave work at 4 so that I can get home to Shabbat dinner and get asked if I am taking a half day. My children have their friends, Jewish or not, over on Shabbat and they want to play their DS but it is not done in our house. Friends come over for a BBQ with hot dogs and hamburgers – no cheese or pork on our grill.
It is a struggle to have these differences and it is my desire to do these that keeps my family separated. We enjoy the rituals and I can see that my children appreciate the feeling of the experiences. I wonder when I read about Doc Paskowitz and Henry David Thoreau whether I am doing the same as them but rationalizing it behind my Jewish ways?