Reply To: Cause For Teens At Risk?

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I’m not sure if this was mentioned, but Rav Dessler discusses Behirah in depth and he develops a concept called the Behira point. Meaning anything above it is too difficult and anything below is too easy so the only place a person is challenged is at that Behira point. If the choice the person makes is not at their Behira point its not a Behira decision. If I chose chocolate ice cream over vanilla that is NOT Behira. If someone from a normal background chose not to kill someone that’s below his behira point so its NOT Behira. If someone chose to speak Avak Loshon Hara most likely its above ones Behira point so that’s NOT Behira. For some of these OTD kids it is certainly possible that going off was above their Behira point. I’m not saying always or even most of the time but there is ample room for such a possibility. I would say that certain extreme factors remove a persons Behira or severely impact the Behira point. If a child is physically, sexually or even emotionally abused by his Rebbi, teacher, parent, relative…how can he take the religion seriously? He figures of authority especially religious authority such as Rabbeim making a mockery of Judaism by abusing him. He(or she) can’t possibly take the religion seriously when it is so undermined by one in authority. Additionally, the child will associate the hurt with Rabbi meaning Judaism means abuse. The only logical and safe thing for him to do is run away from the religion. So technically leaving Yiddishkeit is not Behira for them. They had no choice.