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Assuming Identities in a Community

             Community, it is a body of people living in the same place and having common rights, privileges, and interests. The community or culture with which one associates himself is a composition of education, family life, and ideologies. Community is a powerful force behind the development of an individual, yet at the same time can suppress another from his true self. The social construction of the Bedouin society and the construction of the American society in Boyarin's essay are very similarly connected. Both authors in turn try to point out that living on the marginalities of a society can shape and mold an individual, giving him more will power and strength to move on and prosper.
             From the time one is born, his family plays a powerful role in the development of his identity. These people become the first teachers of the young child, who is fascinated by the world and willing to absorb all forms of knowledge. Members of family surround the child twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week, making the teachings of the family the backbone and foundation of the child's life. The family establishes the basic knowledge, a foundation, for the child: basis for the values and ideals to develop. The family teaches the child religion, traditional customs, manners, and "right" from "wrong." .
             In the both of the essays, the authors write a great deal about family and childhood. In "Waiting for a Jew," Boyarin constantly has feelings of nostalgia of the "perfect" Farmingdale, the hometown of Boyarin and setting of the childhood. As Boyarin reminisces about his family and the life of his younger years, he lets the notion of family's tradition and religion guide him throughout his life. The influence of family on Kamla, as Lila Abu-Lughod writes, will stay with her forever. "She was governed by the customs and traditions that the Bedouin families followed." Abu-Lughod quotes Kamla by writing, "She has sense and preserves her family's reputation.

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