Going off the Derech

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  • #1183256
    SaysMe
    Member

    some things you’d think were common sense, but then you find out they just may not be. What is a rabbi thinking to tell the mother of a child going off the derech who moved out to live on his own, ‘I don’t want to worry you, but your child is in a bad makom’. Right, NOW she definitely won’t worry.

    #1183258
    SaysMe
    Member

    oh shrek- i agree with ur view on respecting vs criticizin rabbonim, and you’re right i am wrong to bash. But it was the mother who called this rabbi to see if he or someone could make contact, and for more info to pass along. Ending the conversation with that line above was not helpful in any way

    #1183259
    Oh Shreck!
    Participant

    SaysMe, You’re absolutely right about that.

    And to MOD or Editor

    You’re 100 percent right. It is your site, everything over here is exclusivity yours.

    #1183261
    a mamin
    Participant

    WOW: Please tell us some good news/ updates?

    #1183262
    write or wrong
    Participant

    a mamin- I don’t have any good news, unfortunately. Things are pretty much status quo. The saga continues. I will let you know once/if we see some light flickering at the end of this long, dark tunnel…

    #1183263
    a mamin
    Participant

    WOW: You and your family are in my thoughts and tefilos!

    #1183264
    write or wrong
    Participant

    a mamin-thanks for caring! Hashem should bless you and your family…

    #1183265
    smc
    Participant

    I want to tell you a story that might help the fighting with ur son and ur husband.

    A wise Rabbi whose daughter was at risk related that when things were really bad and every conversation she had involved cursing, his daughter would scream “I hate you! I hate you!” And he would reply, “I love you! I love you!” When she finally reached a point of desperation, and she wanted to climb back up and reconnect Jewishly, whom did she ask to help her? Her father, who clearly communicated that whatever she did, wherever she went, she was his daughter and he loved her.

    Also, when you do get a chance to speak to him, try asking him who he trusts. I know you asked him that before, but he didn’t give you a straight answer.

    I wish you much Hatzlacha!!

    #1183267
    a mamin
    Participant

    Wow: I’ve seen your post on another thread, please do let us know how you are doing? I think about you often….

    #1183269
    write or wrong
    Participant

    smc-Thanks for the story, point taken. I’m just wondering if it’s easier for an ‘opposite sex parent’ to give that sort of reaction to their child. It seems so much easier for me to react this way to my son than for my husband, but I will tell him this story. Funny thing is, when I ask my son who he trusts, he always says me. But that doesn’t stop him from hurting me. But mostly I am hurting bc I see him doing things that hurt himself. Thanks for your post and your well wishes. I’m surprised to see that there are such caring people who are still following this painful chapter of my life….I’m still hoping that it will have a happy ending.

    a mamin-nice to hear from you! Still going through ups and downs. I can’t believe it’s been over a year since my original post, and my son still seems so far from coming back. But it’s more obvious to me that he first needs to heal his inner pain before he’d be able to come back. Right now the focus is completely on healing, and Baruch Hashem, he is seeing someone.

    Every once in a while, I see a glimmer of hope by some comment he’ll make. But it’s not frequent. I only hope he continues to have the desire to help himself, and that he matures enough so that he can finally take off these rebellious ‘glasses’ and see how much we really love him…

    Thanks for thinking of me!

    #1183270
    smc
    Participant

    In my opinion, it is a very big step he is taking by seeing someone even if right now he isn’t making progress but the fact that he was willing to see someone is already progress.

    By the way, I understand exactly what you and your son are going through, because i am a victim of being a ‘at risk’ because abuse.

    #1183271
    Yitz6
    Member

    no one knows why

    #1183272
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Its not true nobody knows why

    Every case is different, but there is a reason

    #1183273
    mom12
    Participant

    WOW- I’m still following as well. You are in my thoughts, I empathize with you, on an american level. Besides for my first son that I discussed early in this thread I am desperately working on a younger one…following the same footsteps. Hope I could save him early enough!

    #1183274
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    One thing I have learned recently is people are different.

    You cant cookie cutter people. For example if someone hates learning Gemorah, Making them learn 10 hours a day is a recipe for disaster.

    You have to properly balance kids. If the bocher for example hates learning , begins to slack off and the Rebbe Slaps him. There is your road to OTD.

    If the Girl is dressed properly tzniut but told she cant laugh in public, hears something funny and then laughs and is publically humilated. You have sent someone on the road to OTD.

    Privately Im sure you can think of yourself. Speak to your kids try to figure out what borders are acceptable and what are not BEFORE everything collapses.

    #1183275
    write or wrong
    Participant

    smc-you are right, it was a big step for him to see someone, and I’m hoping it will help. If you were a victim of abuse, I hope you are getting some counseling to deal with the trauma. Otherwise the trauma just festers and causes other types of suffering both for you and for those who love you.

    Mom12-nice to hear from you! I understand what you’re going through, and I sincerely hope and pray that your younger son will hear you, and not follow in the painful footsteps of his brother. Maybe he is just testing you. Be strong, I am praying for you!

    zahavasdad-it’s really almost impossible to protect our children from those kind of scenarios that you described. Even if parents ‘get it right’, we can’t control what happens outside our homes. You really just need siyata d’Shmaya and a lot of tefillah

    #1183276

    Does this still matter when the person is independent?

    #1183277
    SaysMe
    Member

    does what still matter?

    #1183278

    @SaysMe

    My question is based off the title topic.

    #1183279
    SaysMe
    Member

    does it matter when an independant person or adult goes off the derech? Yes. Immensely.

    You’ve heard the stress made in kiruv how every single person matters and counts? Kal v’chomer for not losing a single person. Every person is a world. A single person turned off, disillusioned (tho i hesitate to use that term, because its no illusion), hurt, uninspired, lost, that’s a loss of a world. For himself. And for his future. And for his generations to come. A single piece missing ruins the entire puzzle. That void cannot be filled. Yes, it does matter. For a parent of a teen, its so hard because they are still responsible for their child, they see the child’s progress and failure and pain, their actions have to be weighed to help and not hurt, hold but not hinder. With an adult, no the family cannot directly impact him, but that loss is a chasm that won’t just fill. If he has family, the pain is just as intense, though the distance, the not seeing the changes, might make it less constant. But it hurts so deeply to know somewhere a mistake was made, somewhere a connection lost, and perhaps the chance to help overlooked. I think about it constantly. I cry for the adults lost, not just the children. Perhaps more, because the hope of it just being a rebellious stage or a push for independance, that with maturity or comprehension, they’ll see where their emotions took front stage, that hope is so weak with an adult. The pain or disenchantment or lack of understanding is much more cemented. Its much much harder to change in adulthood, its a fact. And the realization that the loss of someone as we knew them is something we have to work on accepting as a forever, to come to terms with it while never ever giving up hope, is immensely hard. Their life, their future, their chiyus, their simcha, their having something solid to call their base… What will be? Where will they turn?

    It matters to his family? Yes. But most of all it matters for him, for his sake.

    I’ve gotten lost in a rant, a cry, pain, a loss for words… Because i miss my brother, the brother i don’t feel i know anymore… I don’t know how much sense that made at all… Please, someone articulate, speak up!

    #1183280

    Who says the adults are lost? Humans are very complex. A herd mentality is not good for an individual. People do have free will to make their own choices, do they not?

    #1183281
    SaysMe
    Member

    absolutely. And no a herd mentality, empty actions, acting only out of habit, no not good. But thats because yiddishkeit has lost its chiyus, its excitement, its meaning to so so many. There used to be kids at risk, now there are adults at risk, those not understanding what judaism means for them. Its supposed to be an identity, a way of living, the meaning and purpose behind our actions and life. Instead for many, its the rules that restrict us and nothing more. Maybe in the past generation, following w/o asking was enough, but in this generation we need to understand, want and feel. Maybe there’s a different mindset today thats created a void in our understanding its role or significance in our life. where there wasnt in the past. I dont know. But judaism is who we are, it defines us. You are a male by birth, an american by birth, a brunette by birth, a Jew by birth. And all of those are part of our identity. Its not a hair style you can change, not an address you can move away from. Its the fiber of your being.

    Judaism’s not meant to be a herd mentality, and the rainbow of jews, the various types in personality, practice, beliefs, etc shows that. But we all have the same goals. Serve Hashem as best as we can and improve ourselves. The halachos are the guidebook to living productively. A society without laws would be disaster, and a life without direction would be too.

    Why should it be any less of a loss for an adult than a child? Is it less troubling when a 25 yr old starts drugs, hurting himself, or lives on the street than when a 15 yr old does? No, but there’s noone else responsible for his actions, its harder to help and impossible to control. Its only your decision though. But if i can be rude (and you can choose to not answer), why? There are answers to the questions. There is excitement and meaning to be found. There is tremendous return in the meaning and direction and purpose gained. Why throw it away? Why if you were born a prince, would you join the commoners?

    #1183282
    WIY
    Member

    Nigritude Ultramarine

    It says in the Torah numerous times that the Jewish nation is one people and we are compared to sheep “tzon mariso” many times. There is very openly in the Torah a concept that we are like a flock of sheep dutifully following Hashem its Shepherd.

    #1183283
    smc
    Participant

    A test to see whether your son enjoys or dislikes going to therapy is when he gets home after the therapy check if he is in a good mood or not.

    #1183284
    Vogue
    Member

    just be warm, caring and supportive, focus on a positive future with him.

    #1183285
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I found out recently the spouse of a good charedi friend of mine has been secretly attending meetings of a well known anti-kiruv organization.

    They seemed like such a nice couple and his devestation has become my devestation. I dont know what to say.

    I knew people before who had gone OTD before, but this one has hurt the most.

    #1183286
    write or wrong
    Participant

    smc-I don’t think my son is enjoying going to counseling, but he is trying to help himself. The indicator will be when the counseling ‘gets tough’, will he stick it out? I hope so.

    Vogue-we are trying to be warm and supportive, but he does still have a lot of anger and isn’t easy to live with. Taking it one day at a time…

    zahvasdad- sorry to hear about your friend’s spouse. I’m not familiar with anti-kiruv organizations, but I do know that there are a number of marriages that are just falling apart over here from various nisayonos that people just aren’t passing. There are terrible tests these days, not just for teenagers, but also for grown adults. I pray we all pass our tests, so that we’ll have the z’chus to greet Mashiach. Your friend should go speak to a Rav for chizuk and advice. Maybe someone close to her can reach her before things get worse…

    #1183287
    fkelly
    Member

    That’s not necessarily true smc. He may be in a bad mood because he spoke about something really painful. It could have nothing to do with if he likes it or not.

    #1183288
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    WOW, there is well known Anti-Kiruv organization here in NY. They help people “escape” Ultra Orthodoxy.

    From what I have been able to gather a rabbi wont help. it seems she was overwhelmed with the tough life some communities endure and the chumras overwhelmed her. She did go to a rabbi and he made it worse, the community is known to be one of the most right-wing and any diversion is seen as insubordiantion.

    I really think its a lost cause. Its really been bothering me for a while now.

    If you have ever watched some of my posts,I have generally rallied against going too far to the right. It has been my fear that people would get turned off to Judaism because of it. I had heard of people who left because of it, but its been mostly hearsay and I had not been able to verify it. This is the first person I know first hand.

    #1183289
    write or wrong
    Participant

    zahavasdad-don’t stop praying. People also come back.

    #1183290
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I think maybe 6 months ago, maybe there was a chance, but gasoline was poured on the fire.

    Had I known the truth I would have begged my friend to ease up on the chumras (at least for his wife, but instead she was told if you dont follow our commuiities “customs” aka chumras you might as well be a schvarzer in the street. She tried to keep up, but just gave up.

    Compromise has become a dirty word, people think if you compromise you are giving in, but when you take an all or nothing approach, it works sometimes and others it fails.

    #1183291
    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    ZD,

    It sounds more like your friend is not a decent person, nothing to do with chumras.

    #1183292
    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    No it sounds like a cult or something, dont judge b4 u r in their shoes.

    #1183293
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    It wasnt my friend who made that statement, It was the “Rav” they sent her to.

    #1183294
    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    ZD,

    “If you have ever watched some of my posts,I have generally rallied against going too far to the right.”

    It is very unclear as what you consider to the right, so that your definition of too far to the right can be understood.

    I will note, that there are many, many more who unfortunately have strayed because they have not set up gedarim and were michshal in all sorts of aveiros to the point that they were no longer observant at all.

    They also became so entrenched that they look down on anyone who is observant, because why not do whatever you feel like at any given moment.

    Many time there are gedarim that are instituted because, for the overwhelming majority, they serve a wonderful purpose and have saved many, unfortunately there have been a few for whom the geder was not good.

    Does that mean as a policy a community should not adopt gedarim which are very beneficial to the group as whole even though there may be a few korbonos? Who hopefully can be supported with individual intervention?

    All of medicine is predicated on this, as is all government policy.

    #1183295
    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    ZD,

    Sorry if I misunderstood your comment, the way it was written was unclear.

    #1183296
    Oh Shreck!
    Participant

    zd, a real, true Rav, one qualified and competent to deal with these issues would have felt around first, would have known what he’s dealing with, and wouldn’t have gone too far to the right. Either he’s not competent in that field, or possibly, maybe, could be, issues were not visible, hiding and not apparent even to a qualified Rav. Happens. Every one here (this earth) is human, every one can skip an essential bit that makes a difference. Especially if it was hidden. Again, I don’t know the details, just that to me it seems people aren’t inherently, intentionally bad.

    #1183297
    a mamin
    Participant

    WOW: I just wanted to wish you a Kesiva Vechasima Tova to you and your family! I pray this year brings you the yeshuos you so rightly deserve!

    #1183298
    write or wrong
    Participant

    a mamin- Thank-you so much! You too should have a Happy and Healthy New Year, and a Gmar Chatima Tova!

    May we all see yeshuos in the new year and may there be an end to all the suffering for all Am Yisrael!

    #1183299

    write or wrong

    I am so sorry that you are going through something like this. I would love to be of help and I actually know a family who went through something like this (the child eventually came back on bh) but the mother who went through so much is a great chizuk to other parents going through similar situations. If you would like to contact her please email me (you can get my email through the mods) and I would love to give you her number and she would also love to speak with you. I hope all this is in the past very soon and I am davening for you always.

    #1183300
    a mamin
    Participant

    Wow: OOHMEIN!!

    #1183301
    write or wrong
    Participant

    longing4israel-thanks, but I don’t think the mods would give me your email. Maybe she could write to me here!

    #1183302
    Shanifirst
    Member

    Has your son gone back on the Derech? Wish you much Hatzlacha and an easy way to get him back on the Derech!

    #1183303
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Shanifirst-No he hasn’t. I’ve learned that his going OTD was not a religious choice, but a response to trauma. He needs to heal first, and then maybe one day, b’ezras Hashem, he will come back. Still davening, hoping, crying.

    Thanks for asking..

    #1183304

    In my teenage years, I was also one of those OTD teenagers. Firstly having the most amazing people take me in under their wing that was a life savior for me. ( No I was not some junkie off the street)

    “Tatty” was always calm about the situation whatever it was. Never bashed me for doing x,y,z. Instead well I knew he disapproved.. but always showed me love, & was understanding Never forced me anything.

    “Mommy” pretty much the same- she would sometimes make comments bout tzniut or sm things like that.. yes as a teenager it annoyed me to some degree. but I am thankful now. ( I still get those comments here and there today! thats just the was she is)

    Also My Boyfriend at the time same thing. – and those who pick out at every word and make an issue out of it.. no, im not saying oh so let them find a boy/ girl friend.

    My point is I agree with many of the comments above that you need to show unconditional love, show them the beauty of Judaism- don’t get up in their face. They are more likely to return

    #1183305
    Shanifirst
    Member

    Daven for him and he will later in life regret it and i still don’t understand why someone would go OTD completely even when i use to be “OTD” i was only modern orthodox i ALWAYS wanted to keep Shabbos, Kosher and Tznius because i love it:)

    #1183306
    SaysMe
    Member

    shanifirst- you weren’t OTD, BH, and shouldn’t label yourself as such.

    #1183307

    Love the honesty by @Shanifirst

    We all know that the frum world views MO as a lesser form of OTD

    They are not considered members of Klal Yisroel in good standing.

    #1183308
    fkelly
    Member

    Maybe the frum world you’re in. Cuz where I live it’s not like that.

    #1183309

    Fkelly,

    Read the numerous posts decrying everything about the MO world (aside from their bankrolling of “charedi” institutions)

    They are likened to every enemy the Jewish people have ever had and are treated as such.

    That is until one of their own is considering leaving yiddishkeit..then out comes the love for their MO bretheren and they say things like “You dont need to give up everything! Just become MO!..no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater!!”

    But it’s too late, their child has heard their parents and teachers call MO people fake Jews, and therefore do not see MO as a viable life path.

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