To each her own

I read with interest the informative and meaningful story of Ms. Frieda Vizel and about her journey (“Distancing and returning,” August 12). No doubt, the pressure for social conformity amongst groups is not novel to society. One just has to be alert and tuned in to the social norms of their own community to see it. I would speculate that much of what we do in our individual lives, regardless of the enlightened community in which we find ourselves, is often a product of conformity to norms, spoken or otherwise, irrespective of whether we are consciously aware of it. Nonetheless, a society without expectations likely produces a mediocre result.

Every group has social norms and those norms do not always work well for certain individuals in the group. Hence, the good fortune of living in a society where adults have the freedom to find something different.

As I believe Ms. Vizel recognizes in the telling her story , we must be mindful of the significant contributions we have obtained from the Satmar community. The worldwide Hatzalah movement, from which an entire society has benefited, was founded by a Satmar chasid in the 1960s. Till this day, Bikur Cholim is often synonymous with the Satmar movement. Kudos to Ms. Vizel for the courage to find the life she wants. And kudos to the Satmar movement who have contributed much toward a better world.

Jeffrey Bernstein
North Bergen

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