Going off the Derech

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    WOW, right now you are just an observer in his life. He doesn’t want your applause and he doesn’t want your approval. He just wants you to love him no matter what. Kol Nidrei night it is possible that the yetzer horah got to him or that he even went with his chevra to a minyan for boys like them and maybe he didn’t like it. For Neilah, the Yetzer tov got to him and he felt a need or a stirring or whatever and it was his choice to do what he did. In addition it was very possible that he and his friends discussed keeping Yom Kippur both before and after. Just take a step back and see what develops without judgment one way or the other. Give him some slack and let him guide you.


    write or wrong

    aries2756-but he keeps bouncing from one direction to another. Now, he took off the tsitsis AND the kipa, and went out with some other kids.

    He went to Neilah bc he heard that it would erase all his aveiros, which is fine. But then only a few hours later, he’s right back to doing them. I should just be completely quiet and not say anything?


    WOW, It is not up to you to judge how he feels. The truth is you just don’t know, you are just assuming by the way he acts. In truth, you have no way of knowing what he truly feels or what he is truly thinking. He is giving off an aura of “I don’t care, you don’t care, the world doesn’t care, etc.” Therefore the best thing to do is take two deep breathes and thing before speaking. You might just answer “I hear you” which is non judgmental and non-committal. That might not tick him off while giving you the opportunity to acknowledge that you heard him.

    It is a good sign that he has “told” you that he is NOT happy with his chevra life. That is NOT a normal thing for a child to do if he doesn’t trust his parents’ love for him. He is tenderly reaching out but still wants to make his own choices. Right now it would seem that he just wants to be heard and not guided. So please just “listen” to understand. Maybe there will be an opportunity down the road in the not too distant future when you will be able to say “In what way can I offer you support with that?” or “how can I support you with that?” Right now he doesn’t seem ready to hear that.

    write or wrong

    aries2756-thank-you once again for your sage advice. I hear you and agree with you.

    Last night, my son was out all night, coming home only this afternoon. Needless to say, I was beside myself. I can’t help but worry, each and every time. Especially bc the kids he went out with were different, and he took off his kipa. When he came home, he joked and laughed about how the police came, and interrogated his friend, looking for drugs. I was mortified. He was laughing, like it was a game, without any sensitivity to the seriousness of what happened. What should I have said, nothing? At what point should I break the silence? The truth is, I did say something. I just said, “That was fun to you?”. To which he kept laughing, and then went to bed.


    WOW, he was testing your reaction. Obviously it wasn’t fun for him, but it was interesting that he told you about it. I wonder why he did it. Probably because it scared the heck out of him. Maybe he wanted to know your reaction because he was wondering what would have happened had the cops took them to jail. Maybe your reaction should have been “looks like you were lucky last night, maybe next time you won’t be as lucky and you might be hauled off to jail. You might not like staying out all night if it means keeping company with the cops.” Had YOU said that calmly without over reacting and then walk away, it would have given HIM something to think about. Seriously think about because it still wouldn’t have solved his curiosity as to what would happen. Would you go get him or not. He would have to plain out ask you what you would do. Don’t offer him an answer unless he asks you outright and you should be prepared to give him the “right” answer.

    write or wrong

    Shabbos was better. He was so tired from having stayed out so late the night before, that he couldn’t get up ’til past midnight. His chevra apparently had been looking for him, but when they couldn’t find him, they left without him. He actually went out looking for them, but came back after he couldn’t find them. It gave us a chance to talk a little, which was nice…


    Wow stuff sounds intense…one thing i want to add is there is never anyway to tell how our teenager minds work and what the yetzer hara tells us…dont try getting into your sons motives and thought processes usually it doesnt make sense!

    So last year it was elul and the whole vibe just got to me and i decided talking to guys is wrong. I call up the guy who frankly i had my life planned out with and had a very long conversation about it and ended pur relationship. Somehow succos came and suddenly i found myself at his house. But i’m a good girl i dont talk to him and it was on and off. Evryother month it was yes or no.

    I cant even describe the feeling. I had a bad day and just want to talk to him but i wont. And im lying in bed and my yetzer hara is like “who are you kidding you know you want to talk to him. You did it to yourself just call him whats the big deal??” And the hardest part is trying to answer that when honestly you have no answer.

    There are so many things going on in a teenagers mind its so hard to do the right thing and thats not an excuse but if he came for neillah that means that was the one second his yetzer tov answered back well…it means he has something hot and fiery inside flickering and yearning to grow into a hige flame but at the same time theres too manny winds smoldering the little sparks.

    Every fire is fed with twigs and then gradually bigger pieces of wood…dont throw a log too big at once…obviously there is something inside so let him e the one to feed the fire…just show you let him play with matches and support him no matter what

    Guess what, i havent spoken to that guy since purim time! Thats a long stretch! Why? Because im in a different place right now…im not a lonely girl in love but im a girl with values and a reason to live! With a connection to a religion!

    Give him a little time…its so hard and i cant inagine what its like and i daven for your son and the many other people in the same situation!


    Ok this is random but are there really ppl out there who truly believe Torah and being Jewish is beautiful and the ultimate truth or are they rly just scared of punishment


    Hocked, it is so sad that you even the need to ask the question. Yes I truly believe in the Torah and I am very proud to be a Jew. I find that Yiddishkeit and serving Hashem, doing his bidding is beautiful and is the ultimate truth and I have Yiras Shamayim. But I grew up in a different generation.

    I am second generation Holocaust survivor. I was taught in a different manner. I was a valued child, when children were a commodity and not taken for granted, especially a “Frum” child in the hot new world of assimilation. Yes we had respect for our teachers, but they in turn as well as the school administration had respect for OUR parents. They were begging parents to send children to Frum schools and NOT to public school. Every child that went to Yeshiva was a “prize”! Every single talmid or talmidah was a win and a hot commodity. No child was thrown away like it is done today without a care. No child or parent is treated as shabbily as they are today. The school functioned with the success of the children in mind, and not with the success of the Administration. Yes every school wanted to be the best and have top notch students, but they also accommodated other levels as long as they worked to meet their own individual potentials and followed the rules. They hired teachers to work within the framework at the level of each class.

    If you broke the rules or failed for lack of effort then you were assisted in transferring to another school. No one was thrown out on the street. It was quite different from what kids experience today. We had good reason to trust our teachers at least in the schools that I went to. Our principals were honest upstanding individuals and our board of directors were made of prominent individuals as well as members of the parent body.

    It was also not so common for members of the community to be such poor role models in general. It was a big BUSHA to be a called a ganuv, or to be caught cheating on your spouse, or to be called unethical in any way. People were not forgiving at that time and held a person responsible and accountable for their actions. If a person went to jail, no one wanted to mingle with him or be mishadech with his family. Today it is looked upon as if someone went on vacation, or a rite of passage. Look at the world today. When someone is ousted as a molester, the community rallies behind him instead of the victim.

    It is no wonder you would ask such a question when it seems like the world has turned upside down. But do you know why this has happened? Because people are NOT close to the Torah. They have devised chumrahs upon chumrahs upon chumrahs till they forgot what the original inyan in the Torah was. They want to out-Torah the Torah! They are no longer connected to the Torah only to the chumrahs they created to protect the Torah and therefor are NOT close to Hashem nor are they involved in the mitzvos they are supposed to be doing. They have forgotten the simplicity of just plain doing the mistzva b’simcha because they made it so complicated and confusing. And then they look for loopholes to outsmart and outfox the Torah because they have to be smarter than the Torah. This is where they get into the worst trouble.

    If I cheat in the name of Tzaddaka then it is really a mitzva that I am doing because it is for Tzedaka not for myself, oh but if I am working for the organization and I am supposed to get paid a commission and I cheat to make more money for the organization, as a perk I make more money too. But the intent is not to cheat for myself to make more money, it is to make more tzadaka money so then it must be allowed because it is a mitzvah to collect Tzadakah. So you see how you get into trouble when you look for loopholes to twist the Torah around to make it work for you instead of you working to serve Hashem through Torah and Mitzvos?

    When you learn Torah, and practice it even at its simplest form, and follow the guidelines simply, honestly, with joy and simcha, without the complications you enjoy the purist forms of satisfaction and happiness. Your life is less complicated because you trust in Hashem and give your problems over to him as you do his bidding and serve him. What can be more truthful and honest tan that?


    Hey write or wrong, I’ve only read the last two pages of posts, but I think I have the general idea of what’s going on.

    I’m already married a few years, but I spent a number of years as a teenager and beyond in what seems to be a similar position as your son. I also left yeshivah, and walked down the path your son is describing to you to its logical conclusion. But B’H I eventually found my way to a better conclusion after that. I think that our backgrounds are different as my path took place in America and the culture of the OTD in America is slightly different, but I’m very familiar with the intense anger and abandon that characterizes many Israeli boys who go off.

    The best advice that I can give you is to keep the tears private and show your boy a face of trust, love and most importantly- validation. As a teenager, when my parents were trying to be emotional with me as a means of convincing me to “behave”, I turned myself off to the pain that I really did feel deep inside and got angry at them for making me feel that way.

    It’s a delicate balance between not being over-bearing but showing love. But provide him with positive reinforcement for all the little things that he does. Show him that you think he’s an “adult” capable of making his own decisions, something that’s very important to a young teenager.

    Just to give you an example:

    You said that when you ask him if he wants to eat he yells at you for nudging him.

    What is likely happening is that he feels guilty because you are showing that you really do love him so much and he knows he isn’t treating you the same way. But his way of dealing with guilt is to get angry at you for making him feel this way.

    Instead, try preparing food for him and letting him know that when he’s hungry you have xyz for him to take whenever he wants.

    What you are doing this way is:

    -giving him the space he thinks he wants

    -showing him that you still love him by preparing his foods

    -showing him that you respect him as mature enough to make his own decisions, even though its really something trivial

    Another idea that might be effective is to tell him that you love him and that the important thing to you is to ensure a strong relationship with him no matter what, and so you’d like to ________ (take a walk around the block, go out to eat at a restaurant, etc,) once a week with him, where you can just talk about neutral topics. The idea is to talk to him as a confidant, a friend that you trust, not a teary-eyed desperate parent (which hopefully you really are). In this way you can rebuild a relationship with him that will hopefully bring him to a place where he can eventually share his thoughts- when he figures out what they are.

    At the end of the day, your son will gravitate towards whoever is providing him with the unconditional trust, love and validation that he so desperately craves- for better or worse. Think about how chinuch professionals bring back so many boys- they love their talmidim but treat them as “adults”. Not by crying over the problems but by establishing connections through common ground. The crying they save for their tefillos.

    All this is based on my own experience between the ages of about 13-20. All the things I saw that my parents did wrong to push me away and that conversely my Rebbeim later in life did right to bring me back. I am not yet in your stage of life with grown children, and I can’t begin to put myself in your shoes. But I offer the insight of hindsight. Sorry for its length. I wish much hatzlacha for you and your son.


    wow: Every time I read your posts I feel like I should tell you that you are a really good mother and he knows it too. Keep strong! He doesn’t seem like a bad kid. He will straighten out!

    aries: Everything you have to say is brilliant but especially with the above…

    hocked: I’ve always been thinker, always overanalyzing into everything, usually outsmarting my teachers. What turned me off to Judaism was pretty much as aries said. (I come from a really yeshivish background and was not shomer mitzvot for a couple years as a teenager) NOT to say anything bad about the yeshivish community as they definitely do a lot of good and there is definitely a lot of truth in it, but where I came from everyone seemed to out frum each other. There were definite situations that would turn me off when I saw a clear disregard of the halacha because the person was so midakdek in their mishugas chumra. They were so afraid of anyone breaking halacha that they would pile chumras everywhere to protect the halacha til they forgot what halacha they were trying to protect. They say the MO pick and choose halacha, but I saw them (still do see them) picking and choosing also, but the halachot the MO keep look more secular and the halachot the yeshivish community appear more yeshivish. Neither have God especially at the forefront. They also taught with so many mefurshim they forgot the pshat and everything could be challenged and disproved.

    There’s a lot more to it but suffice it to say that I left the system with obscene anger for having been duped my whole life to believe all the hypocrisy. I hated everything Jewish until I went to Israel and for whatever reason I decided to try to have people teach me Torah from its source. I recognized the Torah for what it is, brilliant and perfect. There is nothing that makes me happier than when I know I am fulfilling the Torah properly. There is no freedom in the world greater than being a proper Torah Jew. Instead, the system is so afraid of losing people that they make the Torah lose its appeal; they make Torah not livable. I feel such a thrill when I daven, it’s better than any drug, I promise. If you had actually been taught Torah for what it is, you would actually know (not just ‘believe’) that Torah is absolute truth. Torah is perfect! Torah doesn’t need any of our human enhancements. Torah is inherently awesome the way it is.

    write or wrong

    ultimateskier-so how do I fan the fire so the winds of the yetser hara don’t put it out? What helped you to get to ‘a different place’ so that you could let go and do the right thing? Was it friends, parents? I’m sure it wasn’t easy for you…yashar koach…

    write or wrong

    David Hamelech-Thanks for your insight and suggestions. I’d like to be able to do some of the things you mentioned, but my son is so rarely home, there’s almost no opportunity to do things with him. What helped you to come back?

    write or wrong

    interjection-thank you for your compliment, although I don’t know where you’re getting your information from. I read your post to hocked, and feel that everything you wrote, unfortunately, is so painfully true. But what’s the solution????



    There is no solutuon, Unfortunatly the solution must come from leadership and we really dont have leadership anymore. Until we get real leadership this will continue.

    Oh Shreck!

    Aries, I don’t think it’s the proper time and place to take a general swipe at people who want to be medakdek in mitzvohs. Agreed one who tries to out-do the Torah is ?? ?? ???? ????, people following (and trying to follow) in footsteps of the great of yesteryear, to be totally and wholly connected to HaShem and His Torah, are to be commended, not frowned upon.

    Do you take a ????? That’s a chumra. You take it on the second day too? That’s a chumra upon a chumra!!

    So there’s a difference, of course, of why one is doing, or not doing the issue at hand. It’s the motivation that counts.

    I forgot, we are bidden by chazal, to make fences, ??? ????, just it has to come from a Torah standpoint as mentioned earlier, else it’s ?? ?? ???? ????.

    Gotta get back to my chumra of building a sukka (I could really eat in someone else’s, maybe I’m not even chayev, maybe I could be yotze with someone else…)


    Well i wasnt nearly as off and many other people who have answered similar kinds of posts sound like they were

    .1) I was still in a bais yaakov and most of my friends were bais yaakov girls. That was one of the amazing aspects. I had friends who cheered me kn for thr tiniest things i did. From 9th grade till now, looking back i was no tzadiekes though they made me feel like i was the best person they knew. But b”H there were times when they were honest and harsh but its always different coming from a friend vs a parent.

    2) i still was OPEN to hearing it…see i find amongst some of mu friends that they ask and challenge not bc they are looking for an amswer but because they want to prove it wrong. So when my teacher stTts answering they dont even listen of think about what shes saying. Many teens have some hashkafa problem but they dont neccasarily want to fix it=> the problem sort of valiadates them not doing it and if they do get it answered then they will have to stop.

    So i wasnt scared of hearing the answers. That was another saving grace. My friend reccomended me a rav and i emailed him. My major “problem” was boys and not really a question if belief, as the guys i talked too. Youd be surprised how muh hashkafa they learnt from me. My rav sort of helped me through the whole stage. It was LONG i was on and off from elul through purim (with the main guys) and then till shvuos with another one who i just kept rationalizing as “doesnt count”

    I wasnt scared to read the books and hear the speeches, but i know many people are, i thibk i posted this before but someone in school said “im afriad they are going to inspire me.” AFRAID!

    And i just got so caught up in te shuirim and sforim and i sort of had less time for the movies and tv- no i didnt just stop it just wasnt a priority. And i eas thibkibg about it this elul and came to the conclusion if uts not a priorty and i can go so ling without it without noticing till im sick in bed and bored then what do i need it fir at all? And the music i stopped bc i was on my way home from a shuir and listening to music and it felt wrong to listen to this shtus right after such an amazing teshuva drasha so i had recorded the speech on my phone so i listened to it the whole subway ride and the next thing i knew i deleted my entire itune lubrary amd stared over…

    Im not sure how the whole fire thing works bottom line, bc there were times i couldnt control my yetzer hara but its still in me now though i feel like the taayvos for all the past things it drove me to are gone…but then there are so many ither areas it tries tripping me up.

    So i dont know and really it wont be something you can do.

    My parents had little to do with it they just started to realize what i was doing now that i stopped…

    I dont think this really helps since my situation is sooooo different but alll i want to say is that the yetzer hara can be defeated as long as theres a will inside to fight it…and u cant put the will inside your son he has to put it in himself

    Have a restful Sukkos and you are so lucky to be in Eretz Yisroel for the yom tov!!!


    New Kid on the Block, this is NOT a general discussion about Chumras. This was a response to someone who was asking about “if anyone still believed in Torah and if Yiddishkeit is still beautiful”

    There is a Yiddishe Neshoma here on this thread who is so hurt and feels so down that had a need to ask this question. I had a need to respond to it. An honest and sincere response to someone who obviously feels very disconnected. If you disagree, that is your right, but this is NOT the place to have a discussion about it. It is NOT the thread for that, it is however the thread for answering those in pain about their issues and addressing their pain. Do YOU get that? Is it possible for YOU to understand that?

    I have chosen to come back into the CR specifically in this thread to help the OP here with her issue, a very serious and painful one. I have further chosen to stay out of the rest of the CR and the rest of the machlokes and discussions because i found them distasteful and insincere in the past. I have no intention of debating you or anyone else, nor justifying my position or my beliefs to you or anyone else on this subject or any other. So far, we have managed to maintain this thread with the proper respect and sincerity it deserves, because of the subject matter and because of the pain the OP and others reading it and experiencing the same situation are going through. The entire thread has been nothing less than individuals offering sincere advice and chizuk and those who have entered have had the decency to understand this was NOT a general discussion on OTD, the causes or a place for opinions on the subjects. Those who normally join those threads and wondered in respectfully chose to exit quietly.

    I hope that you are getting the gist of my message. I don’t know who you are, but respectfully remind you that this particular thread has served a great purpose here and it is in the best interest of the OP that it remains that way and does not detour into anything other than that what it was meant to be and what it has been for months. If you were offended by my post then it was obviously not meant for your eyes but for another’s heart.

    Kol Hakovod to you for following in your own way, participating in the chumros that you choose to follow and being the Frum Jew that you enjoy being, and to all the rest who do it their own way. Hashem loves you and will always love you and be at your side to guide you and help you. A gut Yur to all.


    write or wrong:

    For me, I came back because after high school I went to a yeshivah in E”Y that I believe provided me with the things I’d craved for so long. Namely, caring and validation in a relaxed framework.

    With all the emotional turmoil that has gone on between your son and both his parents, think about the atmosphere that he perceives is there in your house. Maybe he sees it as being very tense and depressing and feels guilty about it because he knows deep inside its his fault, so he tries to avoid that atmosphere as much as possible.

    Maybe you can start slow. The next time he is home ask him to sit with you over his favorite cake/cookies or something like that. Tell him that you obviously love him and you know that despite everything going on he really does love you and your family. But with all the turmoil the important thing- a relationship with the son you love has been put under incredible strain. So maybe he would be willing to be home once a week at a certain time to go out with you shopping or eating or whatever where you can just talk about regular things.

    I think if you can approach him with this without breaking down but as a friend that you’d like to get to know better, he’ll respond positively. He might not be so consistent every week, but if he does have a cell and you text him a few hours before hand that you’re looking forward/excited to be going to xyz later with him, it might help him in that.

    The important thing is to get him to think that you’ve come around to his side. Not because you’re trying to trick him, but because you think the problem has been that you were having trouble seeing him as the adult he is becoming. You believe in him and trust him to find his way and you will support him (not necessarily monetarily where he might take advantage of you, but emotionally), so that he can learn to trust you again.

    When you go out, talk to him as though you were talking to your best friend in the whole world. Get excited with him, joke with him again, have fun with him. Reinforce positive feelings as much as you can within the current framework of your relationship so that it can expand. Your son is attracted to no-strings-attached happiness which he is pretending to see by his friends. Show him that its even better by you (without looking like you’re throwing yourself at his feet).

    I would suggest you take time out for each of your children individually, to schmooze with them in a relaxed environment. The Tolne Rebbe of Yerushalayim once told me that spending individual time with my children is a very good idea. But it will also prevent your son from thinking you are giving him special treatment that he might feel guilty about.

    Another thing is that I wonder what your husband’s reaction to this has been? Does he have difficulty expressing his emotion and lashing out in anger? Is he indifferent? The love of a mother can conquer much, but validity from his idol -your husband- can help tremendously. The question is whether he is capable of providing that.

    It’s a hard dance on a thin line of thin ice and my heart is with you on that. But be comforted knowing that the test is indicative of the potential- both in you and in your son. No child can go wrong until the end, with a mother who loves them and is willing to do whatever it takes, like you have done. I am 100% sure that one day he will be giving you hugs and kisses again.


    Dear WOW we have tried to tell us our thoughts and opinions for whatever little they were worth, but at this time, the situation is way too complex and delicate to dare speaking. Your son may need one kind of approach or the opposite kind of approach. No one can advice unless they know him very well.

    Chag Sameach to you all, gmar chatima tova.

    write or wrong

    ultimateskier-how old are you? You sound mature, and perhaps a certain maturity is needed in order to make the decisions you made. I don’t think my son is there yet.

    Derech Hamelech-thanks for your wise suggestions. My husband is also in terrible pain over my son, but he deals with it differently. He is angry with him for what he’s doing. I just cry.

    daniela-we are in kesher with a Rav, and have direction. But it helps tremendously to hear from others who have gone/are going through this or who have some experience in dealing with this.

    As I write all this, I realize that you all have a 2 day Yom Tov (we have only 1). It’s a mitzvah to be happy at this time, and we are really trying to be happy, even though we have hardly seen our son. It is truly a nisayon. It drizzled a little on Sukkos, and I’m hoping that as the rainy season comes, my son will spend more time at home. Chag Sameach to all..


    Ultimateskier -it’s cool 2 read ur posts cuz I’m sort of in the same situation. The difference is that ur over it. My main problem is boys. But it’s also about belief. I’m also in a bais yaakov skl were most of my friends r good girls ( they’re not perfect but they basically stopped talking 2 boys and deleted there fb). They’re always encouraging me Wich helps. My parents don’t push yiddishkite down my throat ,and my mothers actually really cool. I stopped talking 2 my bf agen rite b4 sukkos. Right now I Jst need 2 fully believe. My problem is that I thought 2 much and now I have 2 many questions 2 fully believe. But I can’t ask those questions and my friends don’t no the answers either. If I ask a teacher in my skl then they’ll think that I’m off. Wat helped u stop???? Wat made u change???? Thanx;)


    Wow- im 16 actually…but its different maturity wise with girls…

    S1- k so heres my theory: we are all so aguanst “yeshivish” ppl..whats their crime? Being CLOSE MINDED! So my theory is that your religous level and close mindedness dont have to corralate… So in realty, arent we bein so closeminded of them???? We have to see where they are coming from and we hve to be open to hearing their side of it and we have to be open to listen.

    What helped me change? Well honestly i said this beforebut it was actually asking! I decided i have nothing to lose if i ask all those questions and guess what it helped!

    I have dedicated a lot of my time to help friends in similar situations… I always tell girls that taking on a kabbala such as “i am no longer going to talk to guys” is plain stupid. The yetzer hara LOVES situations like that. He knows where we are weak and its basiaclly like going on a no carb diet which works for a few weel amd suddenly youre off and gain it all back!

    You’re stopping the little effects of the true root of the problem. Theres a root much deeper amd it results in us talking to guys, listening to not jewish music, watching movies, etc. Stopping those wont help since the actual problem isnt THAT! The problem is a lack of connection and a lack of belief.

    I stopped talking to guys like 80 times. It didnt work a million times. What changed?

    So at one point last year i was already bein called “rebbetzin” but i noticed at some point i sort of platoued…i got to a point but wasnt going higher anymore…then i got into a mess with the guy i was talking to and i stopped tlking to him…and magic! I started to grow more. And now whe. The yetzer hara creeps into my mind at night saying “wasnt that a joke u wudve txtd him?” Im like “yeah but as much as i could just go find his number i dont want to cuz wen i talk to him hes basiaclly a spiritual barrier and hes holding me down at a certain level” theres NOOO way to grown past a certain poin if you talk to him. The meas is all cleaned up and amd any day i could text him but i dont even want to…

    See just stopping cuz i was caught up in the whole elul spirit is t enough… If you want to fully understand how the yetzer hara plays mind games with you i would really reccomend to reach “bate plans” by rebbetzin tziporah heller and sara yocheved rigler.

    Emunah issues are a normal thing for girls our age…its not thinking too deaply its just cLled having your head skrewed on! I dont know whats normal in your school, mine is pretty open so asking these questikns dusnt get you in trouble. Most schools have Rabbi Mechanic come in 11yh grade and he answers basic questions like “how do we know we are right and theyre wrong?” “How do we know God exists?” So if you are in 11th grade the. Look foward! I am deinately excited!!! If youre past that then review your notes or maybe his approach wasnt it and there are ither rabbanim with different answers…for me my rav did it for me because hes not your typical long beard rabbi. He is so full of personality and life and can relate to everyone and he was just a ray of light cuz i realized being frum doesnt equal being in a box… If youre younger than me im just gonna say that around 10/11th gr we really grow up, by that point if you still tlk to guys youre probably going to continue and i you stop its cuz u rlly changed. Most my friends did the guy thing in 9/10th but by the end of 10th either stopped or are off completely or from modern families…

    You seem to WANT the truth so thats good…wanting to want is. Huge step and ur past that alreay!



    I dont want to take this thread off topic but as a general rule its a bad idea to make sweeping judgements about large segments or groups within any society. There are closed minded people in all walks of life and all sectors of Orthodoxy. I know of Yeshivish people that are open minded. Being open minded has a lot to do with what you have been exposed to so obviously there will be many closed minded yeshivish people because they havent been exposed to much else but there are plenty of open minded yeshivish people today. The world is changing and people are not in their little box as much as they used to be.

    Oh Shreck!

    Aries: could have said that w/o such a sting. I’m outta this place!


    In my school you get killed for asking a question so I really have no one to go to….in my head I keep on making up these answers to try satisfy myself but i know I am just fooling myself and it doesn’t help…..if I go to speak to a rabbi it is always about sniyus or things like that guys and stuff but I now think that there are no answers cos even when I have asked they have come up with stupid answerss


    Ultimateskier -thanx that really helped. But I actually do have s/t agenst the ” yeshivish” ppl. Some cld be really nice I gess ,but b4 I started doing ny thing they were always so quick 2 judge. If s/o told them loshen hara on a girl they Jst believed it w/o act. Looking in 2 it. Then I was such a good girl never did ny thing rong and they called down my parents. 4 wat?!?! 4 lies that s/o told them about me ” talking about movies ,tznius problems” and watev. Else and they were so quick 2 judge w/o looking in 2 it. At the end s/o from the hanhala sort if believed me and they x kik me out.

    Boys is a problem. Cuz Jst last nite he texted me agen. Then I also have a friend Hos ” x counted” Jst cuz were x together. But my biggest problem is emuna cuz if I fully believed I cld be a better ppl. Thanx;)


    In the Frum world it has become idolized what a “Frum” person is.

    WOW mentioned her 13 year old son is learning 12 hours a day. When is there down time. I was talking over the Yom Tov about Bein Hazmanim. Bein Hazmanin is becoming shorter and shorter and you are supposed to learn 8 hours a day during bein Hazamin instead of 12 hours a day.

    Its a bit hard for me to read the “textspeak” of S1. But she is a teenage girl. Without seeming to condone the behavior, thats what teenagers do. It isnt the end of the world. It seems she is having the choice of the guy or god. She can like the guy and god too.

    Think about it, How many people say Dayenu and say, if I have to learn 12 hours a day, cant have summer vacation , cant hang out with members of the opposite gender. Cant use the internet, cant read books, Cant have a smartphone etc.

    Many people would say they would give up all those things, But there are plenty given the choice, Do you want to be frum or watch movies and use the internet will make that choice.


    You know what I’m just through with all this….I’ve tried I really have but at the end of the day I don’t really care so I’m through…..all this things that the rabbis wanna help is not true cos they don’t they just wanna no everything I don’t care anymore


    True when it comes to those kind of questions the answers arent so satisfactory…as i said beause really if you just take away all the results of te problem theres no way to actually fix it properly…if you get killed for asking a question ask rabbanim these questions about emunah, they have great answers for that…

    And WIY what i was saying what as teens thats our biggests thing agianst that because its a rationalization and that its not right aince at the end if the day we are being close minded, not saying anything about what any ine actually is and as you said it is off topic



    I have no clue what you just said. Please be clearer. Thanks.


    When one asks a question the person you ask it of has to consider who you are and why you are asking it. An answer can’t just be given like a slap on the face. I has to be given as for example one gives change for a dollar. Does the person need quarters, nickels and dimes or does she need 100 pennies. There are different ways to make change and there are different ways to go about answering a question. There are also different ways to go about changing one’s behavior for that matter.

    Everything must be considered when speaking to another individual especially a vulnerable person, especially one who is searching for answers. As an adult, when another adult asks a question and is on a similar level, one can answer on the same level. If a child asks a question of an adult , an adult must remember that they are NOT on the same level and must answer with compassion and generosity. A yes or no answer may not be sufficient and may not draw that child closer to Hashem nor closer to yiddishkeit. An explanation of the answer or the rule is more appropriate and a mashal might also be more palpable.

    So if a child asks “is this permitted, or what is the rule in this regard?” one must understand where the question is coming from and why it is being asked. The answer must be delivered in such a way that the child can swallow and digest it. Not in a way that the child will shudder from the response as if he /she were burnt by it.

    write or wrong

    zahavasdad-It was my 16 year old who was learning about 12 hours a day. My 13 year old learns about10 hours a day

    write or wrong

    I think those of you who have questions, whether it’s about Hashem, His Torah, emunah or anything else, you need to speak to someone one on one, someone who knows you, someone you trust to open up to. There are loads of resources including books, shiurim, seminars and Rebbes/Rebbetzins who have the sensitivity and expertise to deal with any kind of question. Or, you could start a thread asking questions, and see if you get the answers you seek..:)


    The problem with the questions is in many cases the people in Chinuch shouldnt be there, They did not get the job via merit but rather nepotism.

    And people are unwilling to question the Rabbi because its “Not Kavod” and the problems fester.

    There is a major difference between respect and awe.


    The thing is I don’t feel like the rabbis wanna help there is no one in my school or community who can help….I’m on my own

    write or wrong

    Chloqueen-then you must be speaking to the wrong Rabbis. If you don’t feel there is anyone in your community you can ask, then you can even go to websites like Chabad, Breslov, or Aish (I’m sure there are others)and click on “Ask the Rabbi”. Then you can ask any question you want.


    Chloqueen- check out rabbiyy.com or theshmuz.com those are two rabbanim i know for a fact care about their students! They both will take time out of their busy schedules and talk to you as much as you need. Email them that you want to talk and im sure they will answer you. I am in touch with both.


    Maybe a Rabbi is NOT the person you need to ask the questions of. Maybe you can ask the question in this safe environment and one of us can see if we have the answers you are seeking.


    S1: It’s not true, having stronger belief in Hashem won’t make it easier for you to stop talking to boys. I was there (in the opposite way), I know. But for one thing, why don’t you try reading some books or listening to some shiurim about emunah? There are tons of interesting speeches out there on TorahAnytime and SimpleToRemember on Emunah and Bitachon. For another thing, when you decide to stop talking to boys, do you actually let them know so that they could respect your decision and make it easier on yourself? Put yourself in a place where it will be easier on you for a while and after a few months pass, it will be so much easier.

    chloqueen: I see that a lot of people have this problem with noticing that there are Jewish people out there that aren’t being very Jewish. And when these people are people we expect to be role models, it can be a real let down. I was in Eretz Yisroel for a really long time in great communities with really amazing people. Coming back to America I saw with my own eyes things that frum people were doing that I would never have believed was possible. But the answer is that this is galus and its hard for everyone. The areas in your life that you find easy are hard for others and that’s why you feel let down when they fail it- because it so easy for you! For them its a terrible nisayon- the same like emunah is for you! But you’re a strong girl, you can find the answers on your own. There are tons of shiurim on Emunah that are online. And in a year or two from now, you might see a BY girl struggling with these same problems and you’ll be able to give her the answers to the questions.


    this is the first time that i came on to this thread and i briefly skimmed what was happening.

    I personally think that real life situations such as this shouldnt be discussed on ywn. nobody here is qualified to advise on such a matter.

    What does ANYONE here know???????

    speak to a rav, posek, experienced rebbe, your husbands rebbe, your sons rebbe, but you should not make decisions abt how to respond based on the shnooks in ywncr


    write or wrong:

    I hear what you are saying about your husband. The truth is that both you and your husband remind me of how my own parents reacted to me. Let me just tell you a few things.

    Of all my uncles, I have only one who ever took me aside. He told me that he saw my problem and he offered to do whatever I needed to help. He was the first person to give me some validation in the problems I was struggling with and show that he cared without being pushy. Granted he didn’t really know how to go about helping me, but its been over 15 years later and that short one hour talk is still with me. To me its no coincidence that despite having very wild kids, they all grew up with barely a thought to leaving the derech of their father.

    A story I heard second hand from someone who knows the family, is that there was a chassidishe boy from Boro Park who went OTD. One Shabbos he was watching TV and a neighbor walked in. Within the year he was back in Yeshivah, because as he said, he was so afraid of hurting his father from going off.

    For men, it can be very easy to not learn how to show our true feelings. But as in these two cases, the dividends of being able to show the love that a father feels in the face of pain, can pay off a thousandfold.


    Why is my post being delayed? The site I recommended is manned by a choshuveh Rov by the name of Rabbi Shapiro. I think that website can save her Yiddishkiet please post thanks.

    write or wrong

    Derech Hamelech-I wish I knew their secret, bc when I look back at our situation, I can’t figure out why my son doesn’t feel like that, why doesn’t he feel that he can’t hurt his parents? I always had a great relationship with my son, we used to talk a lot, and he confided in me. My husband and I are very loving to our children, affectionate, communicating…what went wrong? A part of me still can’t believe that this happened, when we seemed to have such a good realtionship with him. I keep thinking he’s going to wake up one morning, and be back to the way he was. I miss him so much. I don’t just miss his look, I miss my son’s personality, his smile, his wisdom, spending time with him. I could never have done/said some of the things he does/says to my parents in a million years! The chutzpah has no limit and no remorse. My husband said it’s ‘the generation’, a sign of the times. We know families that get the same chutzpah/disrespect from their kids that we get. I just know, that I could NEVER have hurt my parents like this. I even had guilt moving to Israel, bc I didn’t want to hurt my parents. I actually asked for their consent (and mechila) to move here (I was already married with kids) bc I couldn’t bear the guilt.

    write or wrong

    aries2756-Maybe they should start a different thread asking those questions, bc it will attract people who might also share those questions, and Rabbonim/Educators who might have the answers.


    Ultimateskier thanks for that but I’m not from the states…


    I’ve been catching up on this thread (which…wow…its STILL here!!!) and there’s just one point I wanted to bring up because I obviously can’t address everything everyone said here. I’m so sorry that you have to see your son going through this. I know how heartbreaking it can be. I work with kids like your son and every time I see the next level it hurts me very much, emotionally and even physically–and I’m not the parent, so I can’t even imagine the pain you must feel. I hope your son finds his way and that you and your family never have cause to feel pain or cry again.

    That being said, I think it was Aries who mentioned above that your son is on a dark journey that can’t really be reduced to a projected timeline. I don’t know what prompted the change in your son (maybe you mentioned it and I just didn’t read it) but whatever it is he’s unfortunately set on a path that ultimately only he can find his way out of. That doesn’t mean that he can’t be influenced by other people positively, but any decision he makes to change will ultimately be his decision alone.

    Someone else mentioned the effect that your love will have on him. You said how painful it is to constantly love him but see no change, but I think there is an effect, or at least I see it in the kids I work with. We love them unconditionally but they don’t necessarily stop taking drugs, having “relationships” with girls, dealing, clubbing, partying, etc. But what usually happens, is that when they make the decision to change, when they decide that that life is no longer for them, they know exactly where they can go and to whom they can return. They remember that love and it helps them heal.

    There was a kid who was hanging out with a fellow staff member and for months he didn’t change. One night we were in a car on the way home, me this other staff member, this kid and two of his friends, and he just starts saying over and over again about how he can’t keep living like this, that he needs to change, go back to yeshiva, and turn his life around. For a while I didn’t see him, and then I saw him outside a yeshiva dressed like a regular bachur and I said hi to him and he seemed genuinely happy. I talked to some people, including this staff member, and he had come to them for help and they had gotten him into this yeshiva. Despite anyone’es best efforts it had taken HIS decision to change. and when he wanted to, he knew where to go.

    So I know it’s hard, and I know that you’re in a lot of pain right now, but please hold on, for his sake and yours…please hold on. When he decides to turn his life around, he’ll know where he can go.


    Good to see you back Soliek and dont let some people get you down


    write or wrong:

    I’m not saying that parents’ love will protect a child from going OTD. What I was trying to say is that if you’re husband can find it in himself to let go of the anger and show the love and validation that your son really needs now, then like soliek said, when you’re son is IY”H one day ready, he will turn back to you.

    I know about the chutzpah, its especially horrible in E”Y I’m sorry to say, even in the little children. My wife had an especially hard time dealing with that.

    I don’t think you should feel guilty about your son going OTD. First of all, without him to really think about it, its impossible to say what really caused it. Maybe he had a problem with a Rebbe, maybe it was the culture shock of moving, maybe he saw something that seemed in contradiction to what he was taught or didn’t learn enough about emunah- an affliction that so many kids today are complaining about.

    But second of all, as hard as it is, you should accept that your adult son is going through Hashem’s special nisayon for him. Whatever it is that brought him to where he is, its what Hashem wanted him to go through. Not something that you could have avoided had you done something different- because you couldn’t. Don’t make your family’s life revolve around him. Cry for him, yes. Daven for him, yes. But also have confidence in Hashem and in your son that everything will be for the best.

    I always think that those that go off are those that the yetzer hara gives an extra hard nisayon because kol hagadol mechaveiro yitzro gadol haimenu. From what you’ve said, I can tell that your son is special- very sensitive and caring. Clearly he has the potential to reach higher levels in yiddishkeit than others or the yetzer hara wouldn’t be struggling so hard with him.

    But he is still your child and a child can always detect the emotions of the parent. Especially one as sensitive at heart as yours. When he sees you happy and he is ready to be happy again, he will know where to find his own happiness. Be strong, don’t give up and keep davening for him. And when its his time, he will come back to you.


    I strongly second poster “WIY”‘s referral to Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro, who has had tremendous success saving countless young yiddishe neshomos. He runs an amazing site; google “Jews with Questions”

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