October 14, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am #605191simcha613Participant
How does one answer difficult questions to their kids about their grandparents (like: how come grandma can wear pants but I can’t? How come you cover your hair but grandma doesn’t? How come I have to go to shul for minyan by grandpa doesn’t?) without making the grandparents look like resha’im (“because they’re not following halacha”) or making halacha seem optional (“that’s the way they do things”)?October 14, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am #899646akupermaParticipant
Until recently, the typical problem were grandparents
complaining they could not eat or drink anything at their
children’s houses (“not even the water, unless they get
a paper cup”) and seeing their grandchildren grow up acting
like (or even being) goyim.
Just tell the kids that the family is moving upwards, and their
job will be to reach even higher level of yiddishkeit.October 14, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am #899647more_2Member
Say “Grandma and Grandpa grew up in circumstances where they were not privileged to learn about the beauty in following Halacha. But there are many things that you can learn from grandma and grandpa. You can emphasize on her midot tovot hachnasa orchim or Wht ever good that she does. And you say that’s how her parents raised her to be.. In other words: saying the way we raise you is the way you are supposed to be…October 14, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am #899648Menachem MelamedParticipant
Your questions are very important. I suggest that you speak to people who have similar experiences as well as people involved in kiruv. You may get some good answers in this forum, but on the other hand they might not be appropriate for your particular circumstances.
1) Some families have been able to explain to the grandparent generation how much better it would be for the relationship with the grandchildren if they would demonstrate respect for halocha in their presense. 2) If you perform mitzvos with joy it will make it easier for your children to deal with the challenge.October 14, 2012 1:02 am at 1:02 am #899649abcd2Participant
A) were they raised here or Europe
B)are they holocaust survivors
C)age range of kids
will have simple answers that you might want useOctober 14, 2012 1:08 am at 1:08 am #899650Torah613TorahParticipant
They should be asking why doesn’t grandpa go to shul and totty does?October 14, 2012 4:46 am at 4:46 am #899651
I would tread very carefully here. Just because the Grandmother wears pants or does not cover her hair does not make her irreligious. Some people do not observe all the mitzvos in exactly the same way as their children. And many kids coming back from a year or so of learning in E”Y come back following a differnet shittah from their own (religious) parents. The ikker is to teach respect for ALL people involved, while explaining that we are always trying to bring ourselves closer to HaShem, and the derech we follow teaches us to do those things that some family members do not do. But we still love and respect them, and so too Hashem loves them.
The issue of grandpa and Totty in shul is a more difficult one. When my father-in-law O”H, who was not frum, came to visit us frequently, he ALWAYS wore a kippah and he always went to Shul with us, even though he could only daven in English. My kids knew he was not religious, but they adored him, and he adored them, and every word of Torah out of their mouths was gold to him. If the kids are taught Derech Eretz from Day One, they will not be likely to ask those questions in a derogatory manner, either.October 14, 2012 5:04 am at 5:04 am #899652
oomis: A married woman not covering her hair in public is a violation of the Torah according to all sources.October 14, 2012 5:19 am at 5:19 am #899653
So are you saying that a Jewish married woman who does not cover her hair is irreligious? Hmmmn, a lot of those women are supporting YOUR Yeshivos. And Litvishe K”Y, I know the halacha. Not ALL sources agree, though it is clear that most do. There are well-known frum women who did not cover their hair decades ago. No one would dare to suggest they were not frum.
I personally cover my hair publicly and privately. That does not mean that the Shomer Shabbos, Kosher, mikvah-going woman who lives next door to me is frei. And if you believe she is, it speaks to an issue that is far more egregious than covering or not covering one’s hair.October 14, 2012 5:37 am at 5:37 am #899654
I don’t know what religious or irreligious/frei means. (In fact, those terms have no meaning, are irrelevant and should not be utilized.) What I know is that all sources say that the Torah requires a married woman to cover her hair in public. And anyone who didn’t, whether decades ago or today, is most certainly in violation of the Torah.October 14, 2012 7:05 am at 7:05 am #899655Sam2Participant
TLKY: When you say words like “all”, and italicize them, you should be sure that you are right. Which you’re not. There’s a famous SHU”T Sh’vus Yaakov on this (I am not saying he’s accepted by anyone-he’s not; but he is a more than legitimate source and he does disagree).October 14, 2012 7:18 am at 7:18 am #899656takahmamashParticipant
I don’t know what religious or irreligious/frei means. (In fact, those terms have no meaning, are irrelevant and should not be utilized.) What I know is that all sources say that the Torah requires a married woman to cover her hair in public. And anyone who didn’t, whether decades ago or today, is most certainly in violation of the Torah.
This kind of answer is exactly why the OP should go and ask his Rav, and not depend on anonymous internet posters who see the world only as black and white without any gray. While you may know halacha, you obviously don’t know how to apply it in real world situations.October 14, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #899657morahmomParticipant
LKY – We are all in violation of many halachos, unfortunatley, and we have a way better education and understanding than these We never speak Loshon Horah? Are we ever guilty of Onaas Devorim, or even Onaas Mamon? How up-to date are we on hilchos Shabbos? Or even something basic like Kashrus? I don’t think that the answer to this question is to be sitting so high and mighty about how much frumer we are than our grandparents were. Whether they came from Europe or America, their chinuch was not what ours is. On the other hand, their middos and Emunah Pshuta can in so many cases put us to shame.October 14, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm #899658
Sam: First of all, the Shvus Yaakov is talking about a besula who was attacked — not a married woman. Furthermore, he prefaces his commentary with “ee lav demistafina miperush Rashi… vehaRambam…” This means that while he thinks he has a good pshat, he does NOT put it forth as a psak. Additionally, when he concludes the tshuva he brings the proofs according to the accepted pshatim, and then adds “ve’af lefi ma shekosavti…”, which shows further that even he considers his pshat as a theoretical pshat and not a psak. The Shvus Yaakov did NOT rule Halacha lemaaseh that a married woman is permitted to go with hair uncovered.October 14, 2012 1:09 pm at 1:09 pm #899659funnyboneParticipant
I have similar issues, but not to the same degree.
1. Are your children asking these questions, or are you concerned that they will? Children are usually very accepting, especially of someone that they love.
2. I believe that it’s okay to tell children that grandma and grandpa aren’t as religious as we are. You can explain why you feel religion is important and that you live in a community where you and your children can have friends with similar religious values. Grandma and grandpa grew up in a different environment, went to different schools, didn’t have such a great community etc., but cared very much that their children should be more religious than them.October 14, 2012 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #899660golferParticipant
What is “frum” oomis? It’s just a Yiddish word that has developed into some sort of popular term– for what, exactly??
If we are discussing Halacha, a married woman must cover her hair. However, as morahm pointed out, there are a lot of other mitzvos out there. Grandparents, or anyone we love and are close with, may be in violation of any or many of them. How to explain this to our children can be tricky, but may be necessary. Waiting until they ask is not always advisable as in the case of, shall we say, blatant disregard of Hilchos Shabbos, or Kashrus. The best place to start is by showing that we love and respect the relatives in question. We also love our Creator, and His Torah, which we accept as an extraordinary gift and privilege. We can express the fact, in an age appropriate, nonjudgmental, way, that some people may not have been as privileged as us in opportunities for studying Torah, and that we ourselves continuously try to improve our knowledge and observance (Tatti leaves early / comes home late every day, because… etc).October 14, 2012 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm #899661tahiniMember
thank you for your post oomis1105! Beautifully put.
On Yom kippur we atone for so many different sins, we cannot look at another and judge them, it simply is beyond our means.
The more secular amongst my family have always spoken of utmost respect about the dati leumi and yeshivish in their midst
and vice versa. Differences of opinion do not need to mean divided families if handled delicately. At times discord can arise from two different frum groups refusing to yield or compromise, where a grandparent has a more secular take, it can in fact be easier to explain differences and create respectful tolerance from both sides. At the end of the day, if parents are respectfully treated they are more likely to respect the wishes of their children. One can explain how different family members observe different halachot, one cannot explain downright rudeness or hurtful behaviour.October 14, 2012 8:42 pm at 8:42 pm #899662golferParticipant
Yes, tahini, “one can explain how different family members observe different halachot”. The problems arise when family members are transgressing, instead of observing, halachot. While rudeness is certainly uncalled for, it is wrong and harmful to teach our children to be accepting and approving of all behaviour, including behaviour that is contrary to Halacha. Respect, love, -Yes. Tolerance and acceptance of improper behaviour, -No.October 14, 2012 9:21 pm at 9:21 pm #899663yaakov doeParticipant
Perhaps explaining that the grandparents grew up in a different time and didn’t have the advantage of a yeshiva education will suffice.October 14, 2012 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #899664
I have vey basic criteria for whether or not I believe someone is frum. Does he/she keep Shabbos properly, keep a strictly and unquestionably kosher home (though it might not be the specific hechsher that I hold by), does the man daven every day (even if it is b’yechidus, though minyan is the proper thing to do), and does the woman keep Taharas Hamishpacha? Of course, one hopes they dress and act tznuim, send the kids to Yeshivah, and follow the Torah, but if they are doing these things they are still fulfilling Ratzon Hashem.
If you want to nitpick, you may, but I said, “frum” not Yeshivish, Litvish, Chassidish or any other “ish” except to be mishtadel l’hiyos one.October 14, 2012 9:50 pm at 9:50 pm #899665
My “frei” (for the benefit of LKY, that means religiously non-observant) in-laws were extremely respectful and PROUD of their son’s religious observance. They saw how much respect we showed THEM, as well as my parents, who WERE religious. Because we never treated them negatively, and went out of our way to show kovod and love, their appreciation for their grandchildren’s upbringing led them to a greater aprpeciation for religious life in genereal. Though it did not influence them to be frum, it enable them to shep real nachas from the Aleph pluses their grandsons brought home in Gemarah, from my youngest son being the Limudei Kodesh Valedictorian in High School, from the siddur and chumash parties my daughters invited them to, and for every yom tov that my dear father-in-law O”H spent with us after my beloved mother-in-law was gone. You bring kids up to have love and derech eretz for their non-religious Bubby and Zaydy, no matter what. The dividends will be astronomical in teaching them about what a real Yid is supposed to be. Kovod habrios is an important aspect of Kovod HaTorah.October 14, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm #899666NechomahParticipant
I would say that the most important thing that will influence how you handle this situation is how your parents interact with you and your children. Do they respect you (despite the fact that you went off their derech, so to speak)? How far away from them are you and how often will you be seeing them. Will there ever be instances that they will be with you and your family on Shabbos/YT?
I was very fortunate in that my parents, while not willing to change their lives, were supportive of what I did with my life and I was extremely fortunate that my 2 sisters also became BT with their families and so basically it was all of my parents children who were shomrei Torah umitzvos. When my father was with us, he always wore a kippa, but he did not dress yeshivish at all. My mother would cover her hair – interestingly only for me and my children but not for my sisters, perhaps because they grew into yiddishkeit in the same city as my parents and my parents were with them all through the process, but I became frum more or less in EY and went even further than my sisters did.
My mother was much more supportive than my father, but he still would go to shul with my brothers-in-law and nephews. He was not able to walk distances in his later years, so he did drive, but tried to hide it from people, especially the children. I don’t know if he fooled anybody, but at least it wasn’t “in your face”. My mother would stay with us on Shabbos when I came to visit and she would always make sure that anything questionable she did (like put on makeup), she did in private.
So I think that how you will tell your children will depend on what your parents are willing to do at least for appearances when they are with you. No one is telling them to change their lives, but maybe they’ll do little things for the sake of their grandchildren.October 15, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am #899667
Again, there is no such thing as “frum” or “frei” or “religious” or irreligious”. A Jew is a Jew. If a Jew is negligent in kashrus or covering her hair or in Shabbos or in tznius, they are still a Jew. Just a sinful Jew who has every opportunity to repent.October 15, 2012 1:13 am at 1:13 am #899668simcha613Participant
This is getting a bit off topic, please start a new topic called “definition of frum.” For all those who answered my question- thank you so much. I just wanted to comment on one of the answers I saw by funnybone-
” I believe that it’s okay to tell children that grandma and grandpa aren’t as religious as we are. You can explain why you feel religion is important and that you live in a community where you and your children can have friends with similar religious values. Grandma and grandpa grew up in a different environment, went to different schools, didn’t have such a great community etc., but cared very much that their children should be more religious than them.”
When I say I don’t want to give an answer that makes the grandparents look like resha’im, it’s not only because I want the children to respect them (which is also very important). It’s also because, to put it bluntly, kids have big mouths. And things you say to the kids about grandparents may end up getting back to them. I wouldn’t want the grandparents to be insulted by things that are said to the kids. Implying that the grandparents aren’t so religious, when they think they are, may be hurtful to them, even if you could say it in a way that the children understand.October 15, 2012 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #899669funnyboneParticipant
I don’t understand; don’t the grandparents realize that you are more religious (or frum, or litvish or chassidish or yekkish or more traditional) than them? Isn’t there a term that you can use for your children that can explain the differences?October 16, 2012 2:45 am at 2:45 am #899670golden momMember
To litvish kiras yoel I would love to have the source of where in the torah it says a women has to cover their hair I been trying to find it for yrs it only alludes to it does not say outright the halacha
And back on topic what is worse is when granparents apear to be “frum” and then kids have questions why the do things that r not so frum or don’t follow the halacha. And “we learned the halacha in school”… So go explain that it is soo much harder.
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