About a week ago Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, a well regarded MO rabbi from New Jersey, referenced on his site a new study that finds that 50% of the graduates of Modern Orthodox high schools are no longer Shabbos or Kashrus observant within two years of their graduation. This shocking statistic came only a year after another study found that 25% of those graduates who attend secular colleges assimilate during college and completely abandon Torah and mitzvos.
Rabbi Pruzansky advises these families and the parents that to find blame they need to look in the mirror. He mentions activities that contribute to this crisis include talking (socializing) in shul, only going to shul one day a week, not being kovea itim to learn Torah, not having the proper Shabbos atmosphere (discussing sports and having chitchats rather than saying over Divrei Torah and singing Zmiros), and not dressing children in Bigdei Shabbos.
He quotes Koheles 4:9,12 “for the three-ply cord is not easily severed”, saying that the “chut hameshulash” – the “three-ply cord” of our world is Torah, Tefila and Shabbos. He ends saying that parents have to convey to their children beginning in infancy a sense of Hashem’s immanence, a sense of the godly in life, and a Jewish identity that is rooted in the Torah from Moshe M'Sinai -- and we must reduce our expectations to the simple – what we want for our children, our greatest priority – is the summation of our lives: not that they should attend Columbia, Harvard or Yale, or become doctors, lawyers, rabbis, or businessmen, but rather Torah, Tefila and Shabbos.
When we speak with pride not of “my son the doctor” or “my daughter the lawyer” but find our true pride in “my son the Yiras Shamayim” and “my daughter the Shomeres Mitzvos”.