In comparing the books “Confession of the Jews” and “First Confession”,
I have found there to be similarities and differences. For example, “First
Confession” deals with a boy converting from a boy to a young man by going to
confession and telling his sins for the first time. “Conversion of the Jews”
deals with converting a boy into someone he has never really seen which was a
free thinker which only older people usually do.
In “Conversion of the Jews” Ozzie, who was the main character, had a
problem with getting along with the priest Rabbi Binder at Hebrew School. Rabbi
Binder didn’t really like Ozzie because he was always asking a lot of questions
and Rabbi Binder was always getting angry at him. In “First Confession” Jackie,
the main character, also had a problem. Jackies problem was similar to Ozzies,
but also different. Jackie had a problem with his sister Nora. Nora believed
that Jackie was always lying and being bad. On his confession day his mother
sent Nora go with Jackie. Nora ordered Jackie to tell all of his sins, including
how he was mean to the grandmother who lived with them.
Ozzie seemed troubled to Rabbi Binder in “Conversion of the Jews”. In
reality Jackie wasn’t bad at all, he was just a boy who wanted answers to his
questions. And that was proved when Ozzie asked a question in class and Rabbi
Binder went crazy and hit Ozzie because he thought Ozzie was trying to be a wise
guy. So Ozzie tried to prove a point to Rabbi Binder and his fellow classmates
by running to the roof and making believe he was going to jump. With Ozzie
being on the roof it gave Rabbi Binder a bigger belief that Ozzie was crazy and
troubled. Ozzie wasn’t really crazy, he was just trying to make a point that he
really wasn’t dumb. Ozzie just wanted to believe that there was really a Christ.
So with the point that Ozzie was trying to make helped to convert everyone and
Jackie, like Ozzie, was also troubled in “First Confession”. He was a
young boy who lived with his family, including the grandmother. Jackie believed
the grandmother didn’t like him very much, so he did mean things to her like
hide under the table when she cooked dinner. When it came time for his first
confession he went with his sister Nora. Nora tormented Jackie and scared him
into believing he was a sinner and he will pay for all of his sins. Jackie was
not as bad as Nora made him out to be, he was just being a normal young boy.
When Jackies turn was up to make his confession, he was unsure of what to do so
he did what he thought was right but messed up and ended up humiliating Nora.
In reality the priest did not find anything wrong with what Jackie did, the
priest actually found it to be very amusing. Jackie went ahead and told his
sins and ended up only having to say three hail Mary’s. Nora was in complete
shock and could not believe such a sinner got off with such an easy penance, but
Jackie did and also made good friends with the priest.
Religion was very important in both stories. “First Confession” deals
with being in church and telling sins to a priest which is what most Catholics
practice in a catholic church. In “Conversion of the Jews” the children went to
Hebrew School which was a way for the Jews to practice their religion. The two
stories are different in religion ways but they are the same for the ways they
preach and how it is taught.
In comparing the two boys, I would have to say that they are very
similar in ways of their conscience. Ozzie was scared to get in trouble and he
did not do it on purpose but it always happened that he did get in trouble. He
just wanted to be taught about his religion the right way but he felt he never
got the answers he needed to his questions which led him to the roof. He knew
it was not right for him to jump off the roof, so he just tormented everyone
into thinking he was going to jump. He had a guilty conscience because he knew
everyone was starting to worry, but he stayed until he proved his point. As for
Jackie, I believe his sister Nora gave him a conscience. She made him believe
he was very bad and only sinned all the time. He did not feel so bad when he
was doing the wrong things, but he did feel bad when it was time to confess.
Even though he had a conscience of believing he was bad, the priest did not
think he was so bad. By telling the priest all of his sins, Jackie was relieved
of his guilty conscience and was finally able to feel good about himself.
Not only was their conscience that made them similar, but also their
identity. Ozzie and Jackie both found who they were in the two stories. Ozzie
always believed he was just a trouble maker because that is what he always heard,
but I knew he really was not a trouble maker. Ozzie did what he did for a
purpose including going to the roof. Being on the roof helped him realize what
was going on around him. It helped him realize who he was and what he was
becoming. Ozzie was just a boy wanting to learn without getting into trouble.
Jackie found who he was while telling the priest his sins, all of them. Jackie
really was not bad, everyone just told him that he was all the time, so that is
what he started believing. He was just a boy doing and acting how young boys act.
All little kids, including girls, are not perfect, so how can anyone expect
Jackie to be perfect. Just because Nora believed she was perfect does not mean
Jackie is bad because he does not follow how Nora acts. Jackie found his true
self while telling the priest all of his sins, which made him feel he can
actually live with himself.
Reading both stories gave me a sense of what both religions are like.
I’m catholic and already know what it is like to go to confession, but I never
had an experience like Jackie. I am very familiar with the Jewish religion, but
never heard of Ozzies experience, not that it even happens in everyday life.