Another off the derech thread

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    I was reading recently this account of someone who had a negative experience growing up. He was just told what to do but not why, and so it didn’t have much meaning. Plus, there were many things that bothered him like reconciling science and philosophy with Judaism. People urged him to keep trying and stay with a Torah life so he tried, but it didn’t work, his negative experience turned him off.

    In College, the concepts were very powerful and he wasn’t prepared to fight it. With his shaky foundation and the information from these courses, it was downhill. However, we shouldn’t stop college totally. We just need to better prepare people for it. Give them a strong Jewish foundation. If someone wants or needs to understand something on a Jewish topic, we should give them as much information as we can. And if we don’t know the answer, we should look into it and then let them know. They should have the feel that the answers are there, and feel free to explore. Obviously,

    some things are beyond our human comprehension, but there are still many things we can generally understand.

    If an individual is about to go to college, let them know what they might encounter so it’s not a shock. For example, we could say something like, they believe this….. but we believe this….

    This way, they are prepared, have a strong foundation, and can earn a degree for their occupation.


    Another factor is love and joy. Some people are not shown enough love, but a lot of strictness instead. In order for people to enjoy their heritage, they have to feel the joy and see the beauty of it. This way, they don’t just see rituals, but tools to help them connect to Hashem.

    If it’s just fear of punishment, then when they do something wrong and nothing happens, they feel it’s nonsense. Instead, we should teach them how our actions impact our connection to Hashem whether positively or negatively.

    This way, it’s about keeping our relationship and neshamah healthy.

    Of course there are many other factors like religious individuals who are bad apples. Or different individuals putting others down because they are different. There’s a lot to improve on with good middos, ethics and achdus, so our children can have a good environment to grow up in and keep growing. We can do it with G-d’s help

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