Confronting the Past

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  • #591844
    Feif Un
    Participant

    When I was younger, I had a very bad experience with a Rebbe in my yeshiva. So much so, that it turned me away from Judaism for a while. Thankfully, I became a baal teshuva and am a frum Jew once again.

    A family member has recently urged me to confront this Rebbe over what he did to me. It wasn’t abuse or anything like that, let’s just say he didn’t believe in chanoch lanaar al pi darcho. What do people here think? I’m reluctant to meet him face to face or even to speak on the phone. I did write a letter, and I’m debating whether to send it or not.

    Opinions?

    #749052
    missme
    Member

    I’m sure you are 100% sure you are 100% right.

    And I’m sure he is 100% sure he is 100% right.

    And knowing that, you are still 100% you are right, with every fiber in your body and will write so in the letter.

    And reading that, he will still be 100% he is right, with every fiber in his body.

    #749053
    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    It all depends on what you plan on gaining.

    If you’re interested in an apology, let’s face it, you’re probably not going to get one.

    If you’re trying to get back at him, it’s not worth it, don’t bring yourself down to his level.

    If you think you might need to use him as a reference somewhere down the road, then maybe, but speak with a rov first.

    I was in a similar situation once and I asked my Rosh Hayeshiva what to do. He advised against making any contact but if I insist he will help me write a letter, but he guarantees that I will not receive a response. Sure enough I wrote the letter and didn’t receive any response.

    I then asked my mashgiach what to do and he also advised against making any contact. He did say though that if when I get married, have kids and a full time job I am still interested in making contact then I should feel free to. (I have no interest anymore.)

    Best of luck with whatever you decide.

    #749054
    mchemtob
    Member

    when I was in the 8th grade many yrs ago someone had mimcked a teacher during davening. This teacher was absolutely sure it was me. For once I wasn’t the one who did it. BUt the teacher refused to believe me. Later that day the Rosh Yeshiva pulls me out of class takes me into the office and tells me to fess up. so I reply It wasnt me. His answer was ” you did it, I know you did it, and nothing you say or do can change my mind” I was shocked but being in the 8th grade pushed it aside and went back to being a kid. On nights when I couldn’t sleep my mind would always jumo back to that incident many yrs ago I just couldnt shake it. I ran into the Rosh Yeshiva a few yrs ago and he asked how I was and I told him that the false accusation had stayed with me all these yrs. and I wasnt surprised that he didnt believe me but I was shocked that as a Rosh Yeshiva, Lamdan, Parent, Human he was so quick to accuse and condemn AND he wasnt even there when it happened. He apologized, not that I needed it but on night when I can’t sleep I don’t even think about that day. He might not apologize, he might not even acknowledge you, however if you let go you might achieve peace of mind on your pwn part regardless of his reaction. Hatzlacha.

    #749055
    oomis
    Participant

    My son’s rebbie accused him of something in fifth grade, that even when the real culprit admitted that he was the guilty party and that my son was absolutely innocent of any type of wrongdoing, the rebbie still kicked my son out of class (but not the other boy). Anyone who knows my son well, knows that a) he has a VERY strong sense of fair play and b) he takes his davening kavanah VERY seriously. This issue related to something the other child did during davening, which the rebbie mistakenly thought he saw my son doing. We were called down to the school, and after listening carefully to the rebbie’s complaint and what he had to say, we asked him what our son had said to him when accused. He basically mumbled that ALL boys say they “didn’t do it,” when confronted. So we asked him, “But is that true this time? Didn’t the boy who did it come forward immediately and admit it was he and not my son who had disrupted the davening?” By the end of the meeting, and to his credit, I will tell you the rebbie said he was sorry to my son and to us. But this affected my son’s entire feeling about the class, about learning Mishnayos and Gemarah from someone who was not FAIR and didn’t seem to even WANT to believe him. Throwing him out of class was an especially bad move.

    A rebbie has a tremendous achrayus. He can make or break a yeshivah child at a crucial age when he needs to be developing a love for Torah. If someone has hurt the poster, I say let him know how you feel, with derech eretz, and be prepared to hear the other side of the story, if the rebbie is willing to offer it after all this time (though I would not hold my breath). Sometimes, it is just good to vent on paper and tear it up afterwards.

    #749056
    artchill
    Participant

    Feif Un:

    Send him a letter explaining how his actions affected your life. It is a Bain Adam Lechavairo issue over here. He owes you one, but you have to let him know that you are owed. Once he knows where you stand it is up to him how to respond. A true yarei shomayim will swallow his pride and apologize.

    Mistakes happen in all industries. The mistakes that become public scandals are those where the party involved ignores or denies the mistake. To err is human, to deny is foolish!

    Last thing: Be thankful all you are dealing with is a poor chinuch decision and not real abuse. Hatzlacha!

    #749057

    i don’t think you should confront him at all. I had a horrible experience in 8th grade with a teacher. I won’t go into detail but it was VERY bad. I moved on, and completely put it behind me. Maybe the person shouldn’t have been teaching, maybe they were wrong, and probably i was also wrong. But why call them up now, so many yrs later and bring all the pain up again? what’s the use? unless you do need him for something. He is most likely not going to apologize.

    Another story with false accusation happened to someone very close to me, and yrs later if someone was choshed beksheirim this person, they would become SO hurt and bring up the story that happened when the teacher (that case a few teachers and also the PRINCIPAL) falsely accused them. Yes, mechanchim and mechanchos have a HUGE achryais, it’s very scary, and they need a lot of siyata dishmaya.

    I think – Just put it behind you, there’s no use in bringing it up again.

    #749058

    I’m in h.s. now and when I was in fourth grade a teacher, principal, and another student (along with all the people involved) wronged me terribly and I haven’t forgiven any of them. Every rosh hashana I debate what to do. The student said I did something and the teacher and principal believed them even though it didn’t make an ounce of sense and it was totally not true. My parents had a meeting with the staff and parent of the child before I was allowed back to school and because I was so mad at them I calculated that I lost some school time which totalled to be $22 that the school “owed” me. I think that much I got passed but I’m working on the rest. Poor chinuch disicions can be very devastating. It’s many years and these people aren’t forgiven. I’ve been told to send a letter to the people but I haven’t gathered the courage to do so.

    #749059
    Aura
    Participant

    What is chanoch lanaar al pi darcho?

    #749060
    myfriend
    Member

    chanoch lanaar al pi darcho means to train the child according to his individualized way.

    I don’t understand how a child’s perception of whether a teachers chinuch was right or wrong bears more weight than what the teacher deemed necessary. Some children need tough medicine sometimes, even if the child doesnt think he appreciates it.

    #749061
    blubluh
    Participant

    I think a person should simply learn to let go, as difficult as it might be. The world is a very large place and people we interact with at one point in our lives are often long gone at another.

    To insist on a subjective and elusive idea of “fairness” is to set one’s self up for disappointment. It’s far better in the long run to let go and move on.

    I think that’s the idea behind the tefilah zaka, customarily recited erev Yom Kippur.

    #749062

    You should only consider writing, talking to or meeting the person who wronged you if you can handle his potential refusal to acknowledge that he did anything wrong or to apologize.

    Otherwise, you are risking reopening an old wound by entrusting your happiness in the hands of another person who has already hurt you.

    #749063
    the.nurse
    Member

    IMHO, it sounds like you have not been able to forgive this person and forget this incident in your heart. It may be therapeutic and healing for you to be able to write down all the feelings you went through at the time. Simply opening up and writing it down may be enough for you. If you still feel like you want to mail it after, I think you should. When we harbor hurt in our hearts against another, Hashem takes that into account when judging them. Sending him a letter may open the lines of communication and bring you to forgive him.

    Disclaimer: I am NOT a therapist or a Rav. This is simply my humble opinion.

    #749064
    Feif Un
    Participant

    myfriend: At the time, my parents spoke to many chinuch experts (including the menahel of the yeshiva) about what was going on. They all agreed that the Rebbe was wrong (the menahel was very sick at the time, and wasn’t really doing that much in the yeshiva at the time, but he did agree with my parents). My parents took me out of the yeshiva after that year.

    If you want to read what I wrote, I’ll post it here (editing out names of course).

    #749065
    artchill
    Participant

    Sure, post it. You have only one shot at making a victim impact statement, give it your best shot.

    #749066

    Dear Feif Un, while I agree with most of the posts in this thread, I am just wondering why you would put this on YWN? This is a serious issue that should be dealt with seriously. IN life, you are bound to face more serious issues and dealing with them in a discreet and responsible manner in important. So is getting consistent advice from people you know and trust and who know you and your situation. It just seems immature to post such a thing here and make a decision from a blog….

    #749067
    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    Feif Un-

    I also don’t agree with myfriend. A gadol once told me that being in chinuch is like being a neurosurgeon with more responsibility. If a neurosurgeon make a mistake C”V the patients life can be lost, if a mechanech makes a mistake C”V not only can that talmid be lost but also all future generations.

    Just like before doing any surgery a doctor will get a second and third opinion and discuss the procedure with the patient and family, how much more so a mechanech should first discuss the “surgery” with other mechanchim and the parents.

    I’m not sure how much I can help you with the letter but I remember being told that one should emphasize more on the pain being felt than on attacking the one who caused it.

    Again, I wish you the best of luck.

    #749069
    artchill
    Participant

    Dr. Pepper:

    “One should emphasize more on the pain being felt than on attacking the one who caused it”.

    You are 1000% correct. The main reason is because the recipient hears and understands how YOU feel. They can’t argue that you’re NOT feeling that way, shouldn’t FEEL that way, or have to put your FEELINGS aside.

    If you go into attack mode the recipient feels the need to defend themself and an adverserial approach will be taken. This is because their FEELINGS are hurt and they can’t think about things from your perspective any longer.

    #749070
    laguy
    Member

    A very similar thing happened to me way back when hitting was still acceptable in the yeshiva system. To make the story short, I was accused of something I did not do and the rebbe felt I needed “petch”. Well I got it good, several of them, both the palm of his hand as well as the back of his hand while I was trying to deflect the hitting, which of course made him more angry.

    The point is that he was obviously not fit to be teaching nor had he received any sort of training. ALL our mechanchim should go through some sort of mandatory teacher training not just be someone that went to Kollel. By training I don’t mean just a seminar they may attend at the beginning of the school year, I mean real course work. There’s no reason a kollel can’t offer something like that, it is all for the cause of limud hatorah and can be conducted in classes with only men or women. It would also offer a chance for the Rosh Kollel to evaluate the mechanech prior to putting them in front of young impressionable minds.

    #749071
    aries2756
    Participant

    As a coach I would tell you to reread your letter and think of why you are writing it and what you wish the outcome to be. Firstly as an adult are you writing the letter with derech eretz? Secondly, are you writing the letter to let off steam or to let him know how what he did to you changed your life for the bad and it can have an effect on other children? Thirdly, what do wish the outcome to be? Do you want him to respond to you, or to just understand how he hurt you and not to do it to others?

    Once you write this letter and send it off, do you expect to feel productive and accomplished? Will it improve your self esteem because you feel you have given tochacha to someone who once hurt you and you might prevent him from harming others? Will you feel that you have closure on this issue and you can now move ahead with your life?

    If writing and sending the letter will be a positive experience and one that will give you closure to move ahead then by all means go for it. If for any reason you will regret sending it because you wrote it with bad intentions or you were rude or as hurtful as he was then don’t do it. Hashem is the ultimate scorekeeper so you can let go of it and don’t have to pay him back. Hashem takes care of punishing everyone for ALL their misdeeds and their victims do not have to even the score.

    Forgiving someone is the greatest gift one can give oneself. When we are angry at someone they don’t necessarily know it but what happens is we place ourselves in a prison of anger and resentment. We tense up when we see them or think of them. We constantly remind ourselves that we are angry at them and we repeat the experience in our minds and hearts. We victimize ourselves over and over again when we remind ourselves of the incident and we experience it over and over again while our abuser or victimizer goes about their lives not giving us a second thought. So who loses out and suffers when we hold a grudge and do not forgive? We do. So really, forgiving is a gift we give ourselves and it is a self healing accomplishment.

    #749072
    philosopher
    Member

    We victimize ourselves over and over again when we remind ourselves of the incident and we experience it over and over again while our abuser or victimizer goes about their lives not giving us a second thought.

    How true.

    So who loses out and suffers when we hold a grudge and do not forgive? We do. So really, forgiving is a gift we give ourselves and it is a self healing accomplishment.

    For one incident, I think it’s only fair to forgive someone as everyone is human and could make a mistake in judgement here or there. However abuse that was done continuously is harder to forgive and may take years of work.

    I think it’s easier to just let go and not delve on what was done too much. It’s important that we learn lessons from whatever was done to us i.e. how to be assertive etc. and then there’s no reason to be so focused on what happened years ago. It’s important to move on, otherwise the only person we keep on hurting is ourselves.

    #749073
    sms007
    Member

    First of all, for all those people saying to try and let go, and forget about it, it’s much harder than you think. I had some very bad childhood experiences in school, and try as I might to let go and move on, it was extremely difficult. It actually took years to even start forgetting it. People used to tell me to to just forget about it, and I would get upset and even more frustrated that it was all people were telling me, so what’s wrong with me that I can’t forget it! That was the way i felt anyway. Of course it IS important to move on, but keep in mind it’s waaaay harder said than done. I ask mechila from now if I hurt anyone who did write to try to move on, I just feel like people should know that it’s not as easy as it sounds, and hearing it too much can lead to much frustration (no one is helping me! they just say move one! why cant i just move on? is it me??) Secondly,if you do write the letter, I would recommend someone you trust read it over- I have experience in writing a letter and than reading it over once I moved on in life and thinking “oh my, did I really write that?!”. an unbiased view will make sure what you wanted to say came out in the right way, and with derech eretz. good luck!

    #749074

    sms007 – no one is saying its not hard to move on. It is. i’ve gone through experiences myself, and it seems many pple on this thread have also. Yes, time heals, but i still don’t see the use in bringing it up yrs later. It just revisits all the pain , why go there if you’re already past it?

    #749075
    aries2756
    Participant

    I think it is easier to forgive than forget. Because forgiving is something you do for yourself. When you forgive you no longer hold on to the anger and the bitterness and then it is easier to allow the memories to drift further and further into the past. Forgiving does not mean you have to go over to that person and tell them you forgive them, nor does it mean you have to have a relationship with them from that moment on. It means that in your heart you choose to forgive them and not hold on to the grudge, the bitterness and the anger any longer. If and when you see that person in the street you will no longer stare daggers at them or feel the need to spit at them, you will choose to pass them by as if you do not know who they are. Or if it is someone closer to you, in time you might choose to build a new relationship step by step.

    It is a matter of taking control back. You did not have control over what happened to you and the choice the other person made when they hurt you. However, you do have control over the choices you make today. YOU have the choice if you wish to stay angry and use your energies on that and you have control on whether you wish to choose to work on releasing that anger and using your energies on something more productive and enjoyable in your life. It is in YOUR control and it is YOUR choice how you wish to deal with each and every issue in your life.

    #749076
    philosopher
    Member

    I think it is easier to forgive than forget.

    This issue for me is not about trying to forget. It’s focusing on different things in life other than the seemingly bad things that happened in my life and moving on.

    For me, forgiving is harder than forgeting because I still have some sort of relationship that I’m trying to juggle with the person who hurt me. Although I’m not in a position where the person could hurt me, if I’m not on my toes not to be taken advantage of within the relationship and I slip up it’s frustrating and all the old anger and frustrations resurface. But I just don’t focus on the painful memories. What’s the point?

    #749077
    aries2756
    Participant

    Philosopher, the point is knowing how “YOU” need to be respected and understanding that others need to know that as well. YOU are just as important as the next person and if in any given relationship YOU are not being respected as you should be YOU need to review that relationship and take a real close look to see if it is working for YOU. In many relationships, even best friends and yes sometimes relatives the relationship works really well for one side because they gain so much from the “giver” but it doesn’t always work for the one who gives so much or gets taken advantage of. But until the “underdog” understands that they are allowing themselves to “be” the underdog by “accepting” unacceptable behavior, the cycle continues.

    When one realizes that they too are an important person and they too have the right to choose which relationships work for them and which are caustic for them, that is when the cycle of pain is broken. Again no one can change another person or control what THEY do, you can only change yourself and control what YOU do. But when WE change our own behavior people do react to our changes. So when we no longer accept unacceptable behavior and we expect others to “respect” us the way we “need” and deserve to be respected, others respond to the change in us. They will either understand and comply to the point that we have a more balanced relationship or they will fall by the wayside and will no longer be in our quality circle of friends and loved ones.

    We can choose to forgive someone because they are selfish and will never change or don’t even realize what they do, or because we don’t want to waste our energy on them. But then like in your case we need to also take a good hard look at the relationship and decide where we want to go with it. Are you getting hurt because they are selfish and you are allowing them to be because you are not standing up for yourself and letting them know that your needs are not being met in this relationship? Is it worth your time and energy to try and work on it and let them know what is and isn’t acceptable in this relationship? Or is it time for you to understand that you will never be respected in this relationship and give it up?

    Truly, the choices are yours to make. No one needs to be continuously hurt or have to be on their toes all the time to avoid being hurt by another person. Hatzlocha!

    #749078
    philosopher
    Member

    aries2756, thank you for your kind advice.

    As that person with whom I’m having “some sort of relationship” is a parent who verbally and emotionally abused me in my childhood and teenage years, because of the fact that kabod ov v’eim is part of the asserus hadibrus I cannot just lightly cut off all contact from that parent.

    Although I’m not saying that how I’m relating to my parent is the way it should usually be done as every case is different, in my case I feel as the Torah clearly obligates us to honor our parents I cannot refuse to cut off from that parent completely because as of today, I can keep enough of a distance not to get hurt, but as it goes with senseless people you are bound to become frustrated. But I think that since it’s such a great mitzvah and an obligation to honor one’s parent, I need to take that frustration into stride.

    As I said, this is “some sort of relationship” one cannot get too close with abusive people as they are bound to bite in the end (no matter how innocent they look), but I feel some infrequent contact is obligatory for me.

    I certainly don’t recommend a relationship with abuse people, whom I call sharks, in every case, but when one can handle it, then one is obligated to do so (I would think) in the case of a parent. However a “close” relationship with abusive people, whoever they might be, as absolute no-no.

    Being around sharks is dangerous -they can bite off huge chunks from their victim. You can only handle them if you’re the zookeeper.

    #749079
    aries2756
    Participant

    I understand what you are saying and I will share something with you. I had to make a decision many years ago. I lost a parent in 1992. I was not my other parent’s favorite as a child nor growing up and I did harbor resentment because every child needs to be loved and needs to feel that their parents love them the same and no different than their siblings. Every child needs to feel they are being treated the same and not different than their siblings.

    At any rate as my parent got older and needed more care and attention I felt that her children should share in the responsibilities and the “favorite” child who is also the oldest child should take most of the responsibility. But the favored is also the spoiled child and the good deeds my parent bestowed on the favored child were not reciprocated. The favored child did not feel the need to go out of the way or be inconvenienced in any way to assist, care for or accompany my parent and wound up hurting and insulting to boot. After not too long a time I just realized I had to put the past behind me forgive and give my parent the attention and care that was necessary and forget about sharing and being fair.

    I have for the past several years been the primary care giver and have taken most of the responsibility on myself while my other two siblings go off to work without a second thought. I took on the responsibility for my parent and a sibling of my parent and I know that I am doing the right thing. Nuch 120 I won’t have the should have’s or could have’s I will know that I did! Although when my parent chooses to complain or vent, it is not easy to listen and I know that when my sibling is subjected to the same the choice is usually to hang up and say someone is on the other line, I too understand the importance of kibud av v’em, but i do not allow myself to be abused in any way. IF it gets to be too much I keep my distance. IF my parent crosses the line in any way I take a break until I get a call with an apology or a call as if nothing happened so we are back on an even keel. I tell my parent I love you all the time and it is reciprocated. I will never have regrets that I didn’t say it, and I say it to my children and grandchildren every chance I get.

    What is my point? I could have held on to the pain and resentment. I could have said my parent deserves whatever my siblings do. But I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t do that to my live parent and I couldn’t do that to my parent that passed on. What have I gained from my choice? A new relationship with my parent and some amazing role modeling for my children and grandchildren.

    I am sure that our two situations are very different and we are probably at different stages in our lives. I am in the sandwich generation taking care of a parent who is b”ah 90, a husband, children and grandchildren b”h. But you might learn something from what I have already learned. Kibud Av v’em will apply not only now but in the future when your parents will really need you. Try to find your balance. It might be a good idea to speak to a professional to understand just how far your obligations go at this point and if it needs to go further than a couple of phone calls and letters, keeping yourself out of harms way. You need to be careful not to build resentment to a point that you won’t be able to fulfill your obligations to your mother when she will really need you. Hatzlocha Rabbah.

    #749080
    bpt
    Participant

    Heavy topic, Feif.

    Like you, I had my share of bad raps (some really bad in fact).

    What gave me loads of nechomah is the fact that I’ve come full circle and in many cases not only proved the nay-sayers and critics wrong, I’ve even acheived success beyond the wildest expectations.

    One example: I ran into trouble as a teen and the wife of the decision maker who sealed my doom way back then, is now in charge of the school that my son goes to, considered one of the “better” bklyn schools. Wether or not she told her husband that the teen he busted and tossed out into the cold (and he would have protected me, if I had enough famliy connections) now has a charming child in a top school is irrelevant. The fact is, I KNOW.

    Another example: many of my grade-school years biggest tormentors (yes, my growing up years were anything but fun) are now in no position to laugh at me or anyone for that matter. Either messed up families, kids, finacials, in / just out of jail. Whatever the case, I’M ABOVE ALL THIS JUNK, so who’s the winner, now that its in my past?

    Bottom line, you turned the corner and got past it by coming back and making a go of it, despite the bad past you endured. Don’t bother facing your rebbie; your current (and future) success is the best revenge!

    Be strong, and continued hatzlocha!

    Mischiefmaker – Wow do I feel for you. I’ve been in this seat before, so I know how bad it hurts. The fact that you wrestle with this each Rosh Hashonah shows just how big a person you are (despite your age). All I can say to you is with time, you will achieve bigger and better things and this will no longer hurt as bad. I had one incident where a camp cheated me out of $, and I can tell you, at the time (to a teen) it was a fortune. Know what? I earn that much now in a few days. Doesnt make it right, but it doesnt hurt as bad as it did then. And best of all? I’m still here, striving and succeding, and those ganivim? Who gives a hoot. I’m sure they got what they dished.

    At any rate, threads like this is what makes all the shtism in the CR worthwhile. Once we hear we are not alone, we move on feeling a little bit better.

    Hatzlocha to you too!

    #749081
    Feif Un
    Participant

    First off, I actually did mail the letter out.

    It’s been asked what I want to accomplish. One of the things I wrote in the letter was that I had no idea how many other students this Rebbe hurt. Only Hashem knows the answer to that. I wanted to let the Rebbe know exactly what he did for a few reasons. First of all, I do want to help other students of his. Second, I’d like to be able to forgive him. I haven’t yet been able to. I hope that his reading this letter will cause him to show some remorse. If he does, I think I’ll finally be able to forgive him for it.

    BP Totty: your line about connections is unfortunately very true. When I was in elementary school, a kid in my class had a father who was a Rebbe in the yeshiva’s high school. He didn’t like me very much, and once made up a story to get me in trouble. He claimed I did something to him which I didn’t. He even got some friends to back him up. I denied it, and the rebbe called me a liar and sent me to the kindergarten until I’d tell the truth. After a few days, one of the kids who backed him up went to the Rebbe and told him what had really happened, and I was allowed back into class. No apology from the Rebbe, and the boy who made up the story got nothing. In front of the whole class (as it had been when I was first punished), I told the Rebbe that I was publicly humiliated because this boy lied, and now nothing was happening to him. I said, “If my father was a Rebbe in the yeshiva, nothing would have happened to me at all. It’s only because his father is a Rebbe here that he’s getting away free.”

    I got punished again for my chutzpah.

    #749082

    feif un – for your sake i hope that the rebbe apoligizes sincerely. But brace yourself for the worst. Have low expectations, and hopefully you’ll be surprised.

    unfortunately i know of a story with rabbeim having pull and therefore being a rebbe. I’m almost sure i have the facts correct, but don’t take it for sure. The rebbe was found guilty of having abused some boys. They tried to cover it up and because he was related /distant cousin to the rebba of that chassidus no one had the courage to stand up against him. 2 people did, and other’s joined and he was almost fired, but than everyone said c’mon, he’s a rebbish einikel… the two people who had the courage to stand up left town. they weren’t interested in all the machlokes it became. now were not talking about anything simple were talking about ABUSE. There are many halachos regarding such a person. hameivin yavin

    #749083
    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    Feif Un-

    Shkoyach on sending out the letter- but like I was told years back- don’t hold your breath waiting for a response.

    In the era that I sent my letter the Internet was in its infancy and one couldn’t perform a simple Google search. Once I did a Google search on this person I felt much better that I wasn’t the only one on the receiving end of his uncontrollable temper and calculating revenge.

    Still, I’m not able to forgive this person with a full heart and every Erev Yom Kippur I put in a special request that he doesn’t get punished because of me (I just feel that it’s the right thing to do, and I wouldn’t want his kids to be affected).

    Ironically, it was my “special” connections that started this whole thing. Without getting into the connections- this person despised me that he wasn’t able to punish me and he plotted revenge. It ended up backfiring anyway.

    Over a decade later it ended up haunting him when he needed a new position and he tried to become the rov in a small community. His wife already had a job and his kids were enrolled in nearby schools. One of the members of the community- a former victim of his- rallied all the members to vote against him, even pleading that he would have to leave the community if the person was elected.

    One of the board members contacted me and asked if I had similar experiences. I had no interest in revenge, but I wanted to protect the community. Not knowing what to do I declined to answer. He lost the vote anyway. (In a different community he wanted to lead he lost the vote 93% to 7%.)

    #749084
    laguy
    Member

    All these stories are further to the point I made earlier. Rabbeim and Moros should have real training before they are given charge of a class full of children, no matter the age. We all talk about our kids being precious and the next generation, etc. how can we fail them by not properly training those we entrust to mold and teach them? For those of us that have had negative experiences, we KNOW how this affects us, be it at Yomim Noraim or in our everyday religious life.

    As soon as we take the teaching position as seriously as it is and demand accountability, we will see some changes to the positive and a bright future for our children.

    #749085

    Thanx BP Totty for ur sympathy!:)

    #749086
    Feif Un
    Participant

    I found this old thread and realized I never told you what happened.

    A few weeks after I mailed the letter, I got a reply from the Rebbe. He said that he never intended to cause me pain, apologized, and asked for my forgiveness.

    #749087
    yaff80
    Participant

    I had terrible experiences at high school. I was treated badly by many rebbes and hated every second of every day, to such an extent, that I left school early.

    Now I am a Rebbi myself, and I am very cautious in the way I treat my Talmidim. Knowing how I felt, I am conscious of the way I react to my pupils.

    The thought of the achrayos a rebbe has gets me nervous regularly. I only hope that I am never the cause of a talmid making the turn in life, and if c”v I have been, that the successes outweigh the failures, counterbalancing my future after 120!

    #749088
    always here
    Participant

    pardon my interjection, but yaff80, I would’ve figured, for sure, that you’re a ‘Yaffa’! .. ha ha on me.. now, selicha.

    #749089
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    One simple lesson to be learned is that you cannot jump to conclusions.

    Reb Yakov Kaminetsky related that as a child, while he was once on his way to Yeshiva, an old woman needed his help. He was always on time, but on this day he came late. When his Rebbi asked why he was late, he told him exactly what had transpired. The Rebbi refused to beleive him and he was punished. Reb Yakov said that this story always bothered him. Here was a boy that was known to always tell the truth and never came late. Why and how could the Rebbe punish him without knowing of any wrong?

    #749090
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    I read somewhere that children have a harder time beholding or accepting injustice than adults. Educators MUST adapt to this principle.

    #749091
    hanib
    Participant

    feif on – i’m so glad. how do you feel now?

    #749092

    When I was younger I was wronged by many teachers and principals. It all stayed with me. Now in H.S. about 6 years after most of it, I still cannot forgive them. I decided that if I still cannot forgive them by the time I graduate h.s. I will confront them. As of now, I’m a bit cold to them. Teachers can have a HUGE impact on a person. I went through a lot because of what was done. I’m still deeply hurt by them.

    Zeeskite-Totally true but adults don’t realize this. I’m a teenager but I can say that teachers can be SO insensitive.

    #749093
    aries2756
    Participant

    Feif Un, that’s amazing. How did you feel when you received the response. Did you think he would respond to you? Do you feel you have closure? Were you able to forgive him?

    #749094
    Feif Un
    Participant

    When I first received the response, I just sat and stared at it. I couldn’t forgive him yet, at the time. Then I was asked to daven Mussaf for the amud on Yom Kippur. I worked hard on myself to really forgive everyone who had wronged me, and that included him.

    #749095
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    mischiefmaker: Truly innocent? Name suggests … (Just kidding!!!)

    #749096
    aries2756
    Participant

    Mazal Tov! That is quite an accomplishment. I really respect you for that.

    #749097
    msseeker
    Member

    Those who lecture teachers about jumping to conclusions, yet themselves jumped to a negative conclusion about Fife Un’s teacher not responding, remind me of Obama.

    #749098
    guy-ocho
    Member

    Why can’t people get over such trivial things. Most of the stories I see here are events that were daily occurrences for me in school. Even when my Rosh Yeshiva ym”s called the police on me and falsely accused me, I knew he was wrong and there’s no reason to take it personally. I may have tougher skin than the average person, but at least for the small things just let them slide.

    #749099
    observanteen
    Member

    I had a very close friend (as I mentioned before) who REALLY has issues with Yiddishkeit. One of my teachers took charge of her situation. To make a long story short, I ended up dropping her (I have a very casual relationship with her now). This teacher really dealt very wrongly with me (she never contacted my parents to let them know I was befriending such a girl, convinced me to stay with her, NEVER cared abt me…and much more. I really am working very hard to totally forgive her (I forgave her, but I REALLY want to be her completely mochel). My question is: should I write her a letter, telling her that she made so many mistakes? My mother wants me to. I’ve no interest in doing so because A- I highly doubt she’ll ever admit to her wrongdoings B- I really am not up to refreshing the story and have her argue with me. It’s just that I want to protect other students from going through what I did. What do you think?

    #749100

    A lot of the stories here have been about teachers/principals and I have MANY of those but classmates can also be the cause of many things. I just heard a horrific story of a man who committed suicide because some boys in yeshiva decided to torture him. In such a case, it ruins a person for life. I sufferred for a long time because of classmates (and I had my otd story also) and I am still sufferring. Maybe if I knew that the people who wronged me did teshuva and changed in their ways I would forgive but the fact that now some other people are being tortured also makes me more upset. In cases where lives are ruined because of people, its REALLY hard to forgive. I go to therapy (depression) and many things that I didn’t realize were still nagging me were subconciously being brought to the surface when similar, smaller things happened. People can RUIN each other. They don’t realize what a few words can do. Just a lesson. I lost all my trust in adults, in fact in everyone. Such things cant be changed just like that and so forgiving can take a lifetime.

    #749101
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Hey guy,

    ‘Rosh Yeshiva ym”s’?? Doesn’t sound like you just brushed it off. BTW, it sounds like an interesting story; would you mind sharing it?

    observant,

    Feif’s letter had a reasonable effect, mainly because of his being grown up. I don’t think your letter will be taken as seriously. It would be a much better idea to wait until you are over twenty and married.

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