August 10, 2017 3:17 am at 3:17 am #1335522
There’s been a lot of school bashing recently in relation to the increase in drug use in the frum community. What hasn’t been mentioned is the crucial role parents have in protecting their children from ruining their lives with opioids.
In addition, we have completely exonerated these teens for knowingly taking their parents money & purchasing & ingesting an illegal deathly substance. These are teenagers responsible for all the mitzvos of the Torah including “Vinishmartem” they are ultimately responsible for the decision to ruin their lives.
As a society, we should do everything we can to encourage young people to make smart decisions & support them emotionally as well, but this blaming everyone but the perpetrator smacks of a non Jewish influence that has crept in. There’s a lot of pain in our world & schools were no picnic in the 80’s either but personal responsibility was expected regardless of how bad we felt. In today’s psycho-babbled world iner city kids are excused by judges for murder do to the harsh environment they grew up in, & we are beginning to excuse drug use & OTD behavior due to an insensitive teacher. I’m not excusing the teacher, but neither should we excuse poor parenting or poor choices made by an intelligent mind.August 10, 2017 8:37 am at 8:37 am #1335538
Haimy, buckle your seatbelt. What you said is absolutely true and correct. But in this topsy turvy world we live in today you will now find yourself under fire for daring to have spoken such unspeakable truths that hurt when many are looking to find someone — other than themselves — to blame.
Now wait and watch as the verbal missles are about to be lodged at you and/or your OP.August 10, 2017 8:39 am at 8:39 am #1335539
The little I knowParticipant
You miss the point completely. Of course the drug using teen has personal responsibility. But the turn to drugs occurred in a context, and it is grossly ignorant to exclude this from any discussion. With all the blame we might heap on the parents, yeshivos, etc., the kid himself/herself is the one that needs to go to treatment/rehab. No one is forgetting that piece.
However, the escapism we are observing is not just a bad kid doing bad things. These kids are not drop outs – they are “throw outs”. Whatever issues they began with, they were subjected to rejection, when we needed to work with them. Whether these issues were emotional, academic, behavioral, or whatever. We have a wealth of resources that can be utilized to help. But we have tended to watch these become cash cows, not helping services. The kid who refuses to dress appropriately is “bad”. NO! He is in pain. Why? I will never know until I connect. And most of us feel we will be somehow ashamed of associating with him, and avoid it to protect ourselves. All the while, the kid in pain suffers more.
The suicides we watched in horror this year are not suicides, but murders. We, as a community, have failed them, and consistently at that. Don’t we wish to present HKB”H with a gift? How about bringing back a lost neshomoh?
The very title of this post is sad. It implies that we throw the full responsibility of a kid going OTD on the kid himself, as if that whitewashes the rest of us. “Not my problem.” “It’s not us yeshivos – it’s the parents and family.” “It’s the yeshivos.” “It’s the bad friends.” This shifting of the responsibility is garden variety “blaming others”. How about if we just grow up a little, and look for ways to include these kids, welcome them, embrace them? How about if we worked hard to modify our presentation of Yiddishkeit so that they will see the beauty of it, not the stern, threatening G-d.
This weeks parsha makes specific reference to Hashem’s strictness with us: כאשר ייסר איש את בנו ה’ אלקיך מיסרך. It is not the punishing G-d that is exacting revenge for violating His mitzvos, but the Loving Father that seeks to bring the child into the fold of shmiras mitzvos. Do we treat our youth as a loving father?
No one is absolving the OTD kids of their responsibility. But we also cannot fault them for running away from us. We cannot simply put the blame on them. We are in denial, and that is healthy for no one.August 10, 2017 8:58 am at 8:58 am #1335550
we are ALL at fault for letting these innocent OTD people fall off & down the bridge of yiddishkeit into the ocean, We watch them going from bad to worse long before they are gone but do nothing to stop them from getting worse. From parents to teachers & rabbonim etc… to just neighbors on the street who see them everyday but do nothing. Ever heard of Kol Yisroel areiivim….? yes we are ALL responsible for each other & if someone sins because we didnt stop them with mussar then we get punished too for the sin he did. The same applies to children who went OTD & could have been saved by us loving yidden to save our brothers from going lost.August 10, 2017 9:10 am at 9:10 am #1335557
TLIK, you totally misread Haimy’s post, then did the same thing he did in reverse.
Neither of you exonerated anybody. He’s bemoaning what he perceived as the kids being totally exonerated, but explicitly not letting the teachers off the hook.
You just flipped it that he’s letting everyone but the kids off the hook (which he clearly didn’t), and bemoaning that.
You both agree that everyone is to blame.August 10, 2017 9:12 am at 9:12 am #1335560
I will ask Haimy one question though; okay, you’re right. We’ve seemingly left bechirah out of it. How does that change how we deal with it?August 10, 2017 9:46 am at 9:46 am #1335583
OTD is not the same things as drugs, but I think it can be argued that people on drugs lose some of their free will.August 10, 2017 9:53 am at 9:53 am #1335606
RY, people who commit suicide also lose their free will after that act.August 10, 2017 10:05 am at 10:05 am #1335624
According to Tosafos Nida 16b, did Menashe have free will all his life?August 10, 2017 10:11 am at 10:11 am #1335628
People turn to drugs as a means to fill something they are missing in their life. Perhaps to temper pain that they feel. Perhaps because someone told them it is the cure all to all their misery. Whatever the reason, that is a result of a chain of events that happened prior to that. The recent case being publicised seems to lay the blame for all that happened prior to the addiction squarely on the school system. while it may not be perfect, and they do have flaws that need to be addressed, they are not the “bad guys” who should be blamed for all societies ills. there is a show that investigates airplane, train and other disasters (not natural), their opening line (to paraphrase) is that a disaster is the culimination of a series of events. Investigating the entire series of events, one can learn where the weak points and failures are and how to correct them so that it wont happen again. Simply blaming “boeing” for the plane crash or “the yeshiva administrator” for a drug overdose is careless, and reckless.August 10, 2017 10:12 am at 10:12 am #1335648
Haimy -“we are beginning to excuse drug use & OTD behavior due to an insensitive teacher”
i don’t think anybody is excusing the kids themselves, but in our generation it’s getting harder to raise kids! Just look at our gov. – there are states that legalize pot.
Now in NJ they are about to legalize pot. We have to get rid of these politicians and get normal ones!
It doesn’t matter how much money they give to Yeshivos.August 10, 2017 10:35 am at 10:35 am #1335692
The recent case being publicised seems to lay the blame for all that happened prior to the addiction squarely on the school system. while it may not be perfect, and they do have flaws that need to be addressed, they are not the “bad guys” who should be blamed for all societies ills.
Just want to point out that from everything I have listened to and read, even if they were placing blame 100% on the school system, which I don’t think they did, they did not blame all societies ills”, they spoke of their situation, specifically. And honestly, even though the system is clearly NOT to blame for all societies ills, that doesn’t mean that there are not situations , very specific situations, where they might be all of the problem. Most of the time the comment you opened with probably applies, that it is a result of a series of events. It would just be much easier to swallow if our school system wasn’t such a big part of either the source or the final blows.August 10, 2017 10:42 am at 10:42 am #1335709
Pot should be legal. You shouldn’t get to tell other people what to do. It’s a waste of resources to jail people for it.August 10, 2017 11:07 am at 11:07 am #1335724
“You shouldn’t get to tell other people what to do”
That is what the shulchan aruch is for. There is a famous teshuva from rav moshe about recreational drug use that was written in the 60s or 70s. What he wrote (or other rabbonim wrote or write) is what we should do. THEY have every “right” to tell us what to do.August 10, 2017 11:08 am at 11:08 am #1335722
syag. I didnt intend to write that the specific case blamed all societies ills on yeshivas. If it came out that way it is because I was careless. Of course, I apologize to them and to everyone else.
I DID intend to write that they appear to be blaming their specific case on the school system, and I do think they are being reckless with that claim. I make this statement after reading their letters on ywn and elsewhere and watching the interviews they have done. Are the schools she attended PART of the problem? Likely. Were they the ONLY part of the problem, likely not.August 10, 2017 11:43 am at 11:43 am #1335743
The little I knowParticipant
To clarify just a bit, the drug using/OTD kid has some free will. However, he has the responsibility of having forfeited much of it by assuming an addiction. The others in the environment that affect the situation have presumably not lost any of their own bechirah.
While I am not advocating absolving a drug user of his responsibility, I will also look to the broader picture for the other contributing factors.
Meanwhile, the kid often gets into treatment, rehab, therapy, etc. The parents often participate in treatment and therapy. Yeshivos have hardly changed or been willing to look at themselves and their systems to make needed changes. That’s the ire of so many commenters.August 10, 2017 11:46 am at 11:46 am #1335738
The shulchan aruch is not for goyim.August 10, 2017 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm #1335796
TLIK: Where is your evidence that “The suicides we watched in horror this year are not suicides, but murders”? You have proof that each and every case that Amudim speaks about is a case like Malky Friedman?August 10, 2017 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm #1335760
Yeshivas are not rehab centers, nor should they try to be.August 10, 2017 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm #1335759
“The shulchan aruch is not for goyim.”
OTD kids are not goyim either. Isnt this what the thread is about?August 10, 2017 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #1335868
No, everything is about politics.August 10, 2017 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm #1335984
The Secular world makes an assumption that people wouldn’t make bad decisions if they hadn’t been a victim themselves. So every pathology is rooted in an earlier vulnerability caused by someone else.
The Torah approach is Ki yetzer Lev Hoadom ra minurov, at every moment the Soton seeks that we self destruct ourselves, Spiritually & physically.
We do our teens a disservice by blaming others for misfortunes that occurred due to bad choices made by their peers. The most empowering message we can give them is that they alone hold the keys to the best choices in life. No one can take that away from them.August 10, 2017 1:40 pm at 1:40 pm #1336102
As a former child, I can tell you that children are often not only made to feel personally responsible for themselves, but they are made to feel responsible for everything from their principal’s general well being to the national debt.August 10, 2017 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #1336911
I have also listened to the Klein interview and my takeaway was that he was being honest and open, including slightly critical of himself for not being aware that they were pushing her too much to succeed acedemically.
He is understandably hurt, and the truth is that some of those that harmed her were intentionally callous, while the parents were not aware of the extent of her feelings, until way too late.
He is trying to help other kids in similar situations, not simply playing the blame game. We need this information so we are not the clueless parents, and to know how to successfully help others.
When I grew up many moons ago we had about 2 literally failing girls in our class, yet they were moved up year after year and are successful wives and mothers. Perhaps more could have been done to help them succeed at the time, but it’s also possible that the lack of pressure in our school may have saved them.
The acedemic level of our girls’ schools (I can only speak for those I’m familiar with) is going up, however it’s coupled with more extra-curricular activities. In my days, school was dead boring and I hated it most of the time. The brighter the kid, the more bored she was. So I understand the parents that want a challenging curriculum – it’s not simply because of status.
The tough judgement call is when to cut kids some slack, and when to demand they put in more effort. It’s definitely not a one size fits all.
I specifically didn’t mention the elephant in the room about the pickiness of some schools, because it’s almost a non-issue in the Chasidic schools I’m discussing – except when it comes to parents that disregard certain rules.August 10, 2017 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #1337045
I’m not convinced that all the OTD kids who take drugs are doing so because use have been “pushed out”, rejected, abused, etc. I don’t deny that that’s how some of them ended up where they unfortunately are, but I think it’s an oversimplification to claim that this is the primary or even only way kids end up on drugs. Many kids try drugs just to experiment, or because they fell in with the wrong crowd, and end up addicted.August 10, 2017 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #1337079
Haimy – there are two points here:
1) What is the ultimate Emess which will be reflected in Hashem’s judgement of the OTD person and everyone who had any effect on them
2) What is a helpful attitude to have to help these kids and try to prevent it happening.
You are right as far as point 1 is concerned. However point 1 is something we must remember and tremble and do teshuva for our own aveiros and not blame them on the effect others have had on us. Practically however, the accepted mehalech is that pointing out and (over)emphasising the shortcomings of the parents/teachers etc of the OTD person, while unpleasant for them, makes the OTD person more likely to return, and puts a greater responsibility on those parents/teachers etc to prevent it from happening.
(I think this is what DaasYochid meant “How does that change how we deal with it?”).August 10, 2017 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #1337076
@mw13 what you fail to see is why a kid would experiment or “fall in with the wrong crowd”….ask any kid why they tried drugs or drinking for the first time and they will tell you the same thing , peer pressure….now why would a kid succumb to peer pressure? its because they want to feel accepted which then goes deeper into why they dont feel accepted which leads to much deeper issues that can be caused by a number of different things…abuse, ect……so to respond it’s not just because they experimented, they experimented because they were looking for an answer…..this needs honesty to see but it all leads the same way.it doesn’t mean everyone who experiments will now become an addict but it does mean anyone who is an addict found what they thought they were looking for in that experiment.August 10, 2017 7:21 pm at 7:21 pm #1337148
There are different types of addiction.August 10, 2017 8:03 pm at 8:03 pm #1337182
Teens are going on drugs (& OTD) in the wealthiest progressive Modern Orthodox communities where the schools cater to every child’s talents & teams of social workers sooth their feelings. They live in opulent homes with few siblings to compete with.
Personal responsibility & maturity is what will stop a child from ruining their life, let’s be good role models & stop looking for whom to blame, it will not help our children.August 10, 2017 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #1337193
It is not a contradiction one can only heal if they take personal responsibility, yet the fact that one comes from a broken home plays a huge role in there drug addiction, and when the child understands this it can really help them heal.
Also this concept of a broken home damaging a child is said in many places in Torah, here are some of them.
Rosh to Nedarim 66d
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