Mordechai understands that, just because someone is being michallel Shabbat (desecrating the Sabbath or doing an activity prohibited to do on the Sabbath), does not mean that they're not Jewish. They could very well be Jewish but not religious. (I refer, of course, to major prohibitions not a case where people "hold" differently.) Since we live in New York, there's plenty of that. Our next door neighbors in our building are a good (glaring) example. When we're off to go to shul, we often meet them in the hall waiting for or coming out of the elevator. Mordechai's questions: Why don't they keep the Torah? Don't they know what a special present it is? And if they don't, why not? Is it a secret?
I tell him that, no, of course it's not a secret. They simply weren't taught about how special Torah-life is by their parents. That's the part that is obvious. It gets sticky though after that. Well, if we tell them, why don't they listen? How do I explain that, to them, Orthodoxy is irrational, restrictive, oppressive? Or that, they don't believe the Torah was given by G-d?
I haven't been terribly coherent in this post but it's a cofusing topic to explain to a child, at least for me. I need some help here. Anyone?