Going off the Derech

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  • #1182658

    write or wrong
    Participant

    zahvasdad-my older son knows the whole thing, it was his chevra that pulled my son away from this man’s wrath!! Anyway, the Rav didn’t say he was a Talmid Chacham, but it does seem to be how most people view him. The Rav was actually appalled by this man’s behavior, and didn’t defend him in the least. He even offered to meet with my son in order to show empathy, restore his emunah, and voice his disapproval over this man’s behavior

    #1182659

    aries2756
    Participant

    Zahavasdad, no you can’t separate the kids in this, WOW said one of his chevrah came to help the younger son. This is a group issue with both sets of kids and they all have to be in this discussion of what to do and how to go about it. It is a lesson for all of them and maybe and opportunity they all need to undo or heal some of the issues of the past!

    What would you have said to your “bully” if you had the opportunity? What do you want to say to this one? Let everyone write their own letter to him. They have all learned Torah in the past. They are NOT amharatzim. They can still look things up and bring examples. They can sit with your husband and find the examples they are looking for. Your oldest certainly knows how and where to find them. This is a very productive way of teaching this Talmid Chochom a lesson and allowing all these kids to do something productive and positive with their pain!

    #1182660

    write or wrong
    Participant
    #1182662

    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-the idea about writing letters to this bully would never sit with my older son and his chevra. They HATE people like him, and want NOTHING to do with them! You have to know that these are wounded kids, who aren’t looking to make peace with these people. And people like this man, are not receptive to tochecha, especially from teenagers!! You’re mistaken if you think anyone could teach him a lesson. Even the Rav said that people like this don’t listen to anyone, including Rabbonim!

    #1182663

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, everything you do, you do for your kids. If it makes a difference to your kids well being and it makes them feel vindicated then do it. No one knows what will happen to the other party. Will it ignite something in him. Will he listen to the mussar maybe not, maybe he might learn from it. Even a gadol can learn from a child. Or he can ignore it. That is not your issue. What he learns from this lesson is not really your concern. Your concern is what your children learn from this lesson. That is called parenting!

    #1182664

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, you can’t know what the kids will choose to do until you give them the option. They never before had this option. Never before did anyone encourage them to write to anyone in authority especially any Frum person in authority and truly let them know how they feel and why they went off the derech. Now is their chance. And maybe after they write to him, they might find the courage to write to those who actually did the deed. No one ever, told them or even allowed them to speak from their hearts and target their pain, anger and frustration.

    #1182665

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I’m not sure if writing a hate filled letter to someone who was not involved in their pain has the same therapeutic value as a letter that ‘speaks from the heart and targets their pain anger and frustration’ being sent to the right party.

    As you see from peoples posts, some people are just angry and hateful. They may have good reason to feel that way but they are still at the spewing stage. If the kids are ready to bare their angry hearts, they should do so, but why encourage writing hate filled letters to an unrelated subject, or transposing their anger from one abuser to another.

    This man should definitely pay for his abuse, and I don’t get how anyone in the community could dare interfere, but I hear our own personal anger toward other types of abusers being projected here and for WOW’s sake we need to be clearer.

    #1182666

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I have ZERO tolenrance for abusers, Whether its a Catholic Priest, A Penn State Coach or a “Talmud Chacham”.

    #1182667

    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-I will discuss it with my son and see if it’s something he’d be willing to do. I do agree with you that it would be very healing/therapeutic for him and his chevra if they would agree to do it. Perhaps, noting Syag Lchochma’s comments, they could each write a letter to their aggressor, and my younger son could write the letter to this man. For the older boys, it doesn’t really matter if the letter ever really gets to their aggressor, what matters is that they vent and get it out, rather than letting it brew inside them, and cause them to ultimately hurt themselves. I like the idea.

    zahavasdad-I agree with you, although I am more saddened by the Talmid Chacham who gets it wrong, bc of the terrible abuse of his title, and the resulting chilul Hashem.

    #1182668

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    It also saddens me how I see charedim being bullied by other Charedim. It shouldnt be that WOW is scared to go to the police and intimidated from doing so.

    If the man had robbed your house, would you go to the Rav or go to the Police. If he robbed your house you would not have the kids write a letter.

    I am sorry to say this , but I would leave the community if I was forced to allow an abuser to run free and imimidated by other community members not to punish them.

    If the man was a “Talmud Chacham” and owned a butcher that was caught selling trief, would you buy from it or write him a letter.

    #1182670

    aries2756
    Participant

    Syag, let me be clear. I never said anyone should write a hate filled letter. I said they should write about what happened to them and why they are hurting, or quote from the Torah and Talmud to give over Tochecha.

    #1182671

    write or wrong
    Participant

    My husband spoke to his Rav, who told him we should take this man to a Beis Din.

    In the meantime, my older son has been home now for almost a week. He says he’s receptive to going to a dorm, bc apparently, a few of his friends were accepted. We’ll see what happens.

    #1182672

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    aries2756 – I’m sorry if you thought I was implying that you recommended they should do so. I thought I was clearer. Though they may be asked to write a letter from their hearts expressing the pain they have been put through, some people are likely to just spew hatred to any frum person in their wake. Not cuz they were asked to, just because that is all they have the strength/self awareness for.

    WOW – Hashem should give you strength. And Baruch Hashem your husband is being joined with you in this mission. Hatzlacha.

    #1182673

    Imma613
    Participant

    I think a dorm may work wonders for your older son (though he won’t change overnight, obviously) and I hope that he and you will find the right place. I mentioned ACE as a place to look into several months ago and there’s also KESHER which advertises on YWN as well as YESOD – an Ohr Somayach program. I know of an OTD boy in YESOD who is baruch Hashem doing very well there…

    In terms of the situation with your other son, I was discussing the story with my husband who said that in E”Y you have to be very careful with a person like that man. Before going to the police you have to have the Rav on board or the community could end up turning against you and your family. Going to beis din is (hopefully) a very good idea and will (again hopefully) help your son to feel that something is being done.

    To all of the naysayers – WOW has to deal with the reality of where she lives. Yes in the US we would not hesitate to report an assailant like that man to the cops, but in E”Y WOW has to play her cards right in order to garner community support against this man and not to let HIM make himself into a victim (which, by the way, is a more creative form of bullying ultimately).

    WOW, may HKB”H continue to give you the strength to handle every twist and turn and may you have hatzlacha in this and every challenge.

    Thinking of you from this side of the ocean…

    #1182674

    smc
    Participant

    While he is at home can you speak to him, for example, ask him “What is bothering him?” or something like that?

    #1182675

    write or wrong
    Participant

    zahavasdad-I don’t want to minimze what this man did to my son, but at the same time, I wouldn’t label him as an ‘abuser’. The word ‘abuser’ has a more sinister and ongoing connotation, and whether he is or not, I have no idea. It is sufficient for me to say that he lost control of his emotions, or he is misguided in what he thinks the Torah tells him to do, or both.

    Regarding your comments about calling the police vs going to a Rav, I am reminded of a saying I once heard: “It is more important to be smart than right”. I may have reason to go to the police, and if this were more than just a (known) isolated event, I probably would. But at this point, I think it is sufficient to take him to a Beis Din.

    Syag Lchochma- Thanks!

    #1182676

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imma613-your husband is 100% right, and that’s what I’ve been trying to convey. Living in Israel is completely different from living in NY, there are different rules here.

    I checked out the Yeshivas you mentioned. If I remember correctly, I think some might be for American Boys coming to study for a year in Israel. The bottom line is that my son won’t go anywhere without his chevra. So he is not really receptive to any suggestion I make. Thanks for your advice and blessings…from your side of the ocean:)

    smc-I do try to start those kinds of conversations, but haven’t had too much success yet..

    #1182677

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Don’t know why, and I’m not asking any questions, but my son put on tefillin yesterday. Perhaps it’s the light of Hanukah trying to break through!

    #1182678

    aries2756
    Participant

    Maybe he is praying that he will get into the Dorm Yeshiva with his friends. Don’t say anything. If you make a fuss over it he will stop.

    #1182679

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    maybe he is trying to let you know that underneath it all he really does love you and wants you to be happy.

    #1182680

    write or wrong
    Participant

    He already did (and I didn’t say anything)

    #1182681

    aries2756
    Participant

    Great, so maybe he is thanking Hashem!!! When does he start?

    #1182682

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Syag Lchochma/aries2756-I don’t know why he stopped (I don’t know why he started either). I know that he took a tiny break from staying out all night with his chevra, and then suddenly he told me to remind him to put on tefillin. But now he stopped. Should I do anything, or just keep quiet?

    #1182683

    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-No…’he already did’ stop putting tefillin (and I didn’t make a fuss). It seems that now he’s back to hanging out, and without being in school, he just has too much time on his hands…

    WIshing everyone a Good Shabbos, and Hanukah Sameach!

    #1182684

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, I think it is best that you just follow his lead right now. The key point in your story is that he took a break from his friends and he ASKED you to remind him to put on the tefillin.

    Even though he stopped already and went back to the friends, who you said got into the Dorm Yeshiva (?), he did relate to you, communicate with you, trust you, etc. That is a step in the right direction. Baby steps are good no matter how long they last, they are good!

    #1182685

    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-you are right, I’ll take the baby steps over no steps at all. Another baby step is that he’s been coming home at night, (maybe bc it’s getting cold), but I’m happy nonetheless…

    #1182686

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    aries – are you still available online somewhere? Not that you can give that info out here . . .

    #1182687

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    I thought he would start to come home at night when the weather turned cold.

    #1182689

    aries2756
    Participant

    Syag, I left the coffee room for very obvious reasons. I peeked in and found this thread months ago and offered my help. Honestly, I am not interested in debating anyone. If you need my help I will tell you how to find me.

    #1182690

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaofthree-you were right. Only, it’s not cold enough!

    I’m just wondering if there’s something I could do to ‘speed up’ my son’s desire to go to a dorm yeshiva. He doesn’t seem to be in any rush, he’s happy sleeping all day, and going out at night…

    #1182691

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, you truly need the patience of a saint to deal with this parsha. You showed your sons that you love them and honor them, and that you are fierce to stand up for them. You showed both your sons and their chevra that you are worthy of their respect. Everything happens for a reason. Let Hashem run the show. Don’t push it, do your job and watch it play out. Maybe the sehlichim or doing their job as well.

    #1182693

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I do remember you leaving but have retained no memories. I post/read very selectively myself. I hope your comment about debating wasn’t in answer to me, I hadn’t intended debate, I could use your advice but don’t want to hijack this thread anymore than I am already doing with this post.

    (sorry WOW for the diversion

    #1182694

    aries2756
    Participant

    Syag, you can ask the moderators to put you in touch with me, or ask Rabbi Yanky Horowitz. I have been posting on his website this past week because of the trial. You can also ask Avi Fishof from Home Sweet Home or Twisted Parenting. He can put you in touch with me. You can also write the editor of Adkanenough.com. Let me know if you write to her, I will let her know to give you my email address.

    #1182695

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    Write or Wrong: I am not thrilled with the idea of your son going into a dorm and picking up bad things from other boys. Be careful with that.

    #1182696

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaofthree-I hear what you’re saying, and I had this conversation with my husband recently. He seems to think that the streets can’t be any better, and he’s pretty much been exposed to almost everything. The advantage to a dorm is that it will get him off the street, and give him some structure, which he badly needs. Maybe he will also start to feel better about himself if he starts to learn something. It’s true that I don’t know who he’ll meet in a dorm, but I don’t exactly know who he’s meeting outside either. Also, a dorm might stop him from hanging out with girls, which his chevra is doing. Right now, he’s home with nothing to do, he sleeps all day, and stays out all night. A dorm is the only thing I can think of that will change that. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’m listening….

    #1182697

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    Has to be a dorm with very good supervision. And are trained and equipped to deal with kids that are off the derech.

    By the way, what does your son do for money? He gets an allowance?

    #1182698

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaofthree-no, he doesn’t get an allowamce. He has some money from when he used to study during vacation, and the school paid them. He also got some Hanukah/birthday money. But basically, since he as SO MUCH time on his hands, we’ve told him that if he isn’t in school, then perhaps he should work and earn extra money. The truth is, he’d probably spend a large part of it on cigarettes unfortunately…

    #1182699

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    There are worse things than cigarettes unfortunately. Maybe you could look into finding different job options for him. Maybe a friend of yours is an electrician or a plumber and needs a helper and would do you a big chessed by hiring him and getting him off the streets.

    #1182700

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, you can only help him find jobs if he wants you to. You can ask in such a way “Remember how you asked me to “help” remind you to put on tefilin when you chose to do that for a while, would you be interested in me helping you find a job?, If there is anything you would like me to help you with, or you want to talk to me about. I’m here for you and ready to listen”.

    In that way you are NOT forcing your ideas on him, or pushing jobs on him, you are just asking him if he is interested in your help.

    #1182701

    aries2756
    Participant

    BTW, I just peeked into the other topics on the CR list. I have been following the trial from the beginning of the story. I want to point out to all of you the importance of listening to your kids and supporting them through their very, very difficult journeys. The outcome of this story would have been a totally different one, had the family not supported her so fully and completely. Lets all learn a lesson from this. Our children are our children no matter what, no matter their choices, if we don’t love them and protect them, we are basically throwing them to the wolves.

    #1182702

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    Of course not force into a job….you can’t force him to do anything!

    #1182703

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaofthree-he keeps saying that he will either go to a dorm, or find a job. But so far, he hasn’t done anything to make either of those things happen. I like the idea of finding someone who might need a helper, but so far, we haven’t found any leads.

    aries2756-But what if your kids don’t open up bc their personality is to be private?

    #1182704

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, you have to open the path. When he wanted you to remind him about the tefilin he found a way to tell him. Open a path and let him find his own way to travel on it.

    #1182705

    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-I have to tread very carefully. I already know that certain topics are taboo, and that if I am lucky enough to get a question answered, which is rare, I can’t expect that he’ll answer a second question. And if I ask him if he wants my help, for sure he will say no. Even when I mention something non chalantly about applying to a school with a dorm, he gets angry at me for mentioning it. I think, everything is going to have to come from him, or his chevra. It’s just that I was hoping he’d start a new school right after Hanukah, but he hasn’t even begun to look…

    #1182706

    interjection
    Participant

    YOu ask about him opening up to you. For the years I went through my thing my mom would take me on countless walks and each ended in a fight, in retrospect probably all of which were my fault. She tried getting things out of me but i hate exposing myself so I avoided telling her much. Yet she still would try to reach Out to me and if not for that, there’s not a chance our relationship would be where it is today. It needed maturity on my part but if she hadn’t persevered its likely I wouldn’t be frum.

    #1182707

    smc
    Participant

    How about taking him to a amusement park or something like that were he would enjoy himself, then asking him to express himself?

    #1182708

    EzratHashem
    Member

    Just a word of caution on the idea of finding a plumber/electrician etc. to hire as a chesed: very important to make sure the person who hires an OTD has his heart in the right place. Unfortunately, some will take advantage of the young person’s situation and cause more problems. If, however, someone with a good heart will hire him, it can go a long way to helping him mature and feel worthy.

    #1182709

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, you known him best and so you will have to use your own judgment just how to make the approach…”Chaim you haven’t mentioned whether you have found a job or a dorm yet. I just want you to know that if you would like my help doing research for either just let me know and I will do my best to assist”

    Or you might want to go a different way. “Chaim, I haven’t heard anything from you in regard to either a dorm or a job.. Are you having trouble deciding what you want to do?” Whichever way you choose, be calm and speak in a very non confrontational manner.

    #1182710

    write or wrong
    Participant

    interjection-So are you saying that I should keep trying to reach out to my son, even though he gets very angry? I think my son feels like you did, he even says that he hates talking. But I do keep asking him things, not to be controling, but bc I love him and I truly want to know what’s going on his life. But it’s like he’s inside a place with a huge wall around him, and he wants me to be on the other side of the wall. Every once in a while, I see a tiny crack, and I try to reach out to him. But those cracks are far and few betweeen. And any other time I try to talk to him, he just gets angry.

    #1182711

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, anger fades much faster than pain. Do you think he would be more hurt than angry if he thought you were ignoring him or you didn’t care? There is a fine line between giving a kid space and not caring or ignoring. Sometimes for a child that line gets blurred.

    Lets face it he needs you. He doesn’t want to, and he for sure doesn’t know he does nor does he want to admit it. But if you stop reaching out, even if he shows anger, which by the way he probably doesn’t even mean, he might think you stopped caring. Would you rather take the bite, or would you rather him feel you stopped caring to feed him?

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