October 27, 2010 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #592797
I am reading a Mishpacha Magazine article that basically blames all of the teens going OTD that we are seeing on the internet and specificly improper images.
I personally don’t really understand the conclusion of the article, which is that improper images not only cause the teen to be Over on Lo Sasuru, but that almost automaticly makes them lose interest for Yiddishkeit.
Why should Shmiras Ainayim be any different in this reagrd than other Avairos, such as Lashon Hara or Gezel? We don’t see children who gossip or steal going off “automaticly”, or even in large quantities?
Is there a Chazal regarding this concept that I am unaware of?
Thanks for your help.October 27, 2010 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #707324
GAW- i would imagine once you see s/t innapropriate its harder to delete the image away from your mind then if you hear something…October 27, 2010 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #707325
I read that article, and I thought it was great!
(partially because the Yeshiva movement was finally *minimally* taking some blame)
I dont know about any proofs, and i dont know if its automatic. But, I do think its a factor.October 27, 2010 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #707326
sof davar hakol nishmaMember
gat, i don’t know exactly why it works this way, but it does, we are told by our gedolim that improper images leave a deep stain on the neshama, they come up in a persons mind when davening, and trying to concentrate in learning. It makes a lot of sense, its the pure tumah in the world that they saw, looked at etc. which has an effect on their learning, davening…basically ruchnius
although it doesn’t do the same thing to a girl, it does leave a stain on their neshamos too, and the images do stay etched in their minds. (i’ve read about this)
no one can come and say, “this is why kids go OTD” there’s no blatant rule however it is an idea, the article did have a point. Remember, all articles have to be taken with a grain of salt.October 27, 2010 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #707327
I know that sifrei kabbalah say that the eyes are the entranceway to the soul. Any image on sees becomes a part of them whether good or bad. Its nearly impossible to erase an image that one has seen and therefore if one has seen many inappropriate things, that has a very powerful effect on their neshama.October 27, 2010 7:23 pm at 7:23 pm #707328
I read the article and thought it was asinine.
This idea in particular, that shemiras haeinayim is connected to people going off, I find to be very shallow.October 27, 2010 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #707329
GAW, if people think that the only hold Judaism has on kids today is segregation, then they obviously don’t think Judaism is worth much.
I think they also don’t understand that seeing improper pictures is a symptom not a cause.October 27, 2010 7:27 pm at 7:27 pm #707330
The pull – is overwhelming. The feeling of disgust – is overwhelming. They weren’t merely speaking of shemiras einayim, but of the resulting addictions. It’s an epidemic. And yes, it’s a major, major cause of OTD – in all ages.October 27, 2010 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #707331
I am reading a Mishpacha Magazine article that basically blames all of the teens going OTD that we are seeing on the internet and specificly improper images.
Anyone who points to one cause (i.e. blames all) for OTD (whatever that one cause is) is terribly oversimplifying a very complex issue and clearly has not done due diligence.
The WolfOctober 27, 2010 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #707332
I did not read the article and I am not going to necessarily disagree with what others here are saying. However, I personally know of several of my classmates that went OTD, long before internet was a prevalent as it is today.
There is no hard a fast rule as to why kids go OTD, and internet MAY be a factor in some of them. Yet the internet can also be a factor in bringing people back.
I personally think the reason we’re seeing more and more of this is because of the quality of the education kids get in school and the non-availability of parents at home as we have to work much harder to make it financially. In regard to the schooling, the Yeshiva system and Rabbeim have not kept up with the times and generally have no idea what they’re really up against. because there is so much more information available to kids today, they are more savvy and can see through most of the old way of teaching.October 27, 2010 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #707334
I believe that watching the hypocricy of those who are supposed to be our teachers and leaders leave an even worse stain on our souls. And that is the worst cause of OTD.October 27, 2010 7:48 pm at 7:48 pm #707335
The article did not say that OTD is only because of improper images. It pointed out SO MANY factors, this was just one of them.
Besides, this wasnt even the point of the article!October 27, 2010 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #707337
I read it too. Nothing I have’nt read or heard before.
IMHO, the main cause of kids going off (or worse, feeling dead, disconected) is when they see / hear inconsistancies.
If they hear from the pulpit “movies are bad” yet mom rents DVDs to watch on the home computer, or they read “stealing / lying is bad” but they see big bro’ earning $ off the books so he can get Fetteh Shmiel to pay the rent, that gives a teen a mixed message.
So who screams louder? Hands down, Madison Ave, which tells you, forget yashrus, there’s no justice anyhow.. live for today, and do what you want.
That sends kids into a tailspin.October 27, 2010 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm #707338
There is some truth to the idea that these images ruin a person’s ruchniyus. One requires a geshmak and full immersion in his learning to succeed, and a feeling of Ashreinu mah tov chelkeinu when in front of a gemara. If a person sees these images, they become so addicting that his mind is on when will seder end so I can see the next one. This makes learning completely irritating and boring. One never develops a proper love of the gemara.
Nevertheless, one must realize that as hard as Yiddishkeit is, the world outside is very alluring, but in fact is often a cold, lonely place. People constantly insult and torture each other with cruel comments. Most Jewish kids have happy memories of high school, and very few incidents where they were insulted by classmates. In the world at large, many dread their reunion because of all the torture they experienced in school, both verbally and physically. if these kids would know what they are running away from, and what they are running towards, they would come back in a minute. They are under an illusion. This is the power of addiction.
Even parents have their nisyonos. In the last year, the internet has become far worse than it ever was. I am the last person to say the internet doesn’t have many great uses, and incredible knowledge is available at a click. But kids must be kept as far away as possible. I have the K9 filter, and I am still nervous when they go on. It is very hard being a parent these days.October 28, 2010 12:30 am at 12:30 am #707339
You are right. In fact I think any kid who looks like hes going a bad way and says stuff like “I want to go off the derech” Or I dont want to be Jewish…” his parents should take him to a public school and let him spend a day there, if he is still in one piece at days end, he will come galloping back to Yiddishkiet and his Jewish classmates!
The non Jewish world has nothing real to offer.October 28, 2010 1:31 am at 1:31 am #707340
Thanks, Pashuta Yid. Very powerfull.
Other than focusing on the reasons for going off, which are as many as there are people, we can focus on the routes to going OTD. Either Emuna starts to go or interest in the outside world gains a bigger and bigger place in the mind or the Taava.
Each of these things target different situations. What makes someone susceptible to any of these could be anything, but the challenges available are pretty specific, and can be addressed. The Gemara does say about the Taava of Arayos that it takes the person till the end. It doesn’t say about Lashon Harra that thinking about it is worse than doing it.October 28, 2010 1:33 pm at 1:33 pm #707341
IMHO, the main cause of kids going off (or worse, feeling dead, disconected) is when they see / hear inconsistancies.
I have thought so as well, which is also mentioned in the article.
Sacrilege: you are correct, but the large section about internet seemed to claim that it is the main, if not only cause:
tell me or another mentor that he inexplicably has
discover that he has become addicted to inappropriate
I would also like to quote Rav Moshe Schapira (from the article)
them what they perceive to be an easy, enjoyable life, you
must bring proof for why they should be following the Torah
This is what SJS is saying.October 28, 2010 1:47 pm at 1:47 pm #707342
The non Jewish world has nothing real to offer.
That is a pretty naive thing to say. I know plenty of non-Jews who live happy, fulfilled lifestyles. They may not be Torah observant but they have plenty of “real” things to offer.October 28, 2010 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #707343
I agree, Hashem created everyone and everything for a purpose.October 28, 2010 2:19 pm at 2:19 pm #707344
I also agree that all peoples were created for a purpose. But I believe the Jewish community is the most close-knit and has the most warmth. We take it for granted. Note that when a Jew goes missing R”L, you will have 2,000 volunteers on short notice scouring the area. When there is one of these internet contests for most votes, the Jewish community will rally around the cause, and be way up there in numbers, even though we are actually so few. This is because we are one big family, and everybody feels that way. The rest of the world would love to learn from us about chesed and warmth, and they don’t realize what they are missing. Our job is to make a kiddush hashem with menschlachkeit. Unfortunately, kids who leave the fold think that the rest of the world has the advantages we have, and also is having great fun. But their lifestyles are not compatible with this warmth. Chesed means I must give up my pleasure for the greater good. One packs Tomchei Shabbos packages instead of indulging himself in his tayvos. One can’t have it both ways. If one becomes self-absorbed, then he is out of the parsha of chesed, and the world becomes colder and more selfish. A Jewish kid wants the warmth and closeness of his friends, even though they may be hanging out in the pool hall, and thinks he can have it both ways in that lifestyle. In reality, he can’t. He won’t be able to concentrate enough even to earn a living for his family. This creates tension, and out goes the simchas hachaim and the fun carefree life he thought he would have.
The Torah was not meant to be a burden, but a guide on how to have the most enjoyable life, which is to achieve goals and raise a nice and warm family. This requires putting aside one’s pleasure, as in staying up with a sick child. The Torah is trying to teach us maturity which means we can’t act on every whim.October 28, 2010 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #707345
Everyone wants and needs something enjoyable. If we can’t explain or show how torah and yiddishkeit can fill these wants and needs, the outside world is ready to jump in and do just that. They are often way better prepared to make their case.October 28, 2010 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #707346
SjS: Yes, many Non Jews may live happily fulfilled lives as they derive fulfillment from choosing good over evil in the bein adam l’cheveiro/social part of their lives. However, aside from their belief in God, they hardly lead spiritual lives, and definitely don’t feel connection to God on a daily basis. This is because most Non Jews don’t have at all any concept of Good/Evil in the bein adam l’makom area of human life. And, even the religious Non jews who do believe/understand that certain acts are immoral, they still don’t believe that by the virtual act of refraining from certain acts, a person connects himself with God/gets rewarded in Heaven for it; so therefore they don’t derive any feelings of elevation from that act, which is the core of the motivation and feelings of spiritual fulfillment that drive us Frum Jews throughout our lives.
If you were a man, and if you would have a deeper understanding in Judaism; then Yes, you would understand very well that looking at immoral images and then acting upon them/doing a certain forbidden act, definitely exacts a toll on the individual’s motivation/yearning for spiritual fulfillment that us Frum Jews are accustomed to needinf to fulfill in our lives. I take it that you are a women, and that you don’t understand well the concept that Segregation stands at the core of psyche of a man feeling spiritual and connected to God!October 28, 2010 3:20 pm at 3:20 pm #707347
On the one hand we preach about the importance of Midos being of supreme importance, and then in most Frum classrooms, the top students, often with top egos, whether they have top Midos or not, are the ones who the teachers relate best with and give the bulk of their attention to. We’re too much into scholastic achievement. This leaves the less superior students aching. In our circles, there are less avenues where a Baal/Baalas Midos, who is not a top student, can find respect and satisfaction. Even with the most supportive parents confidence is permanently shattered. Our schools very much need revamping, but they’re too busy focusing on the top students to analyze, to realize, to care. So…………October 28, 2010 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #707348
Lomed, your statement about non-Jews it ignorant. Propogating ignorant statements is a huge factor in the OTD crisis. “The outside world has nothing real to offer” and “People don’t connect to G-d” are false, false, false. If the kid goes searching and sees there are people with real, fulfilling lives and those who are close to G-d without keeping halacha, are they really going to believe you?
I’m laughing at “if I had a deeper understanding of Judaism” – I do have a deeper understanding. That’s why I understand kids who go OTD for intellectual reasons. Why? The Torah cannot be proven 100%. It takes faith. If you don’t acknowledge that, they will start googling and find a wealth of information that tears apart the “proofs.”
No one goes OTD for seeing improper images. They may use it as an excuse “Well, I want to watch pornography so let me go OTD” but in reality, there are men out there watching it while married or single (don’t believe me, check out the many threads on imamother.com about it) and still frum.
Its normal to struggle with a taivah. But people don’t break away from Judaism because of it.October 28, 2010 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm #707349
A very respected Israeli professor once had a discussion with the previous Gerrer Rebbe Pnei Menachem ztzl about this issue. The professor asked the Rebbe, why do chareidi Jews have such a strong opposition to pictures of women not completely dressed? You must be very perverted if you have bad thoughts. That never happens to me. The Rebbe answered him. Can you walk bare foot in the desert? The prof answered, no, the hot sand would burn my feet. Asked the Rebbe, but the Arabs have no problem walking in the hot desert sands? The prof answered, that’s because their feet have become so hardened and used to it. My feet are sensitive. Said the Rebbe, yes and that’s how your soul has become, hardened and insensitive to inapproriate pictures, while the souls of chareidi yidden are sensitive to this.
Everyone knows that these pictures corrupt a person’s mind and soul. How anyone can say that it doesn’t is beyond me. I guess their souls have also become so used to this that they are hardened and insensitive. I for one would not hold myself proud that these pictures have no effect.
These kids don’t break away from yiddishkeit only due to inappropriate pictures. But it starts the ball rolling. It’s a catalyst for disaster. It makes the soul insensitive to yiddishkeit and a fertile breeding ground for the Yetzer Hora.October 28, 2010 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #707350
Somehow I find it VERY hard to imagine that after years of satisfaction from Frumkeit, seeing unsavory images would change a person’s outlook on religion and make him want to sway. If the person is not experiencing satisfaction from Frumkeit, that’s different.October 28, 2010 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #707351
I wanted to add, that from what I’ve read and heard there is a great quanity among us who are walking the walk and talking the talk of Frumkeit, but not really gaining satisfaction from religion, as it is today, and this must be addressed.October 28, 2010 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm #707352
as the prof said
it is a CATALYST
it can START the ball rolling down a slope
this is a well documented classical nature of human beingsOctober 28, 2010 4:27 pm at 4:27 pm #707353
can you make a radio out of coconuts?October 28, 2010 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #707354
Kedusha is Middas Ha”yasod”October 28, 2010 4:36 pm at 4:36 pm #707355
SJS: Sorry for getting you excited. I’m actually a realist, and my realization that Frum Jews live a more spiritually elevated lives than Non Jews, derives from an inner perception of my psyche, and from my natural/unbiased analysis of the psyche of the fellow Non Jews that surround me. Since you have difficulty in coming to the same realization as me, I postulate that this may be because you are lacking somewhat in your own emotional feelings of spiritual elevation/fulfillment. (This may be because of hashkafic/behavioral influences from Some MO circles which you identify with).
You must however agree with me, that Motivation for Frum Judaism is not generated solely from Faith. There has to be some real feelings/truth that Frum Jews feel/identify with, which is the cause for them to be deeply committed to their lifestyle despite the worldly influences.
And as far as our Faith is concerned, no logical person will say we need Proof of the Authentic of Judaism. If it cannot be Proven that there is definitely No God and/or that Torah was Definitely Not given on Har Sinai, then we all might as well stay with the Torah out of the fear/concern that Maybe it is all true/authentic. Especially since we all feel internally the physiological truth as an effect of our belief in the Torah.
And as far as OTD is concerned, I respectfully, disagree with you. OTD is hardly caused from intellectual reasons. OTD is almost always behavioral. Usually from the need to rebel on authority which the individual associates with the religion of his upbringing. And the forces of rebellion to secure their ego, overrides the inner desire within themselves to fulfill their natural desire for spiritual satisfaction.
Lastly, the issue being discussed on this thread is actually not OTD, but rather Motivation loss of Frum Jewish boys who do externally stay within the fold. And this phenomenon is usually caused by spiritual pitfalls experienced by the boys, which in turn caused them to become discouraged from their desire to fulfill their spiritual satisfaction needs; although they definitely still feel that there is something they are Missing; to the contrary, (that’s why they are depressed until they give up and adjust themselves to their failureOctober 28, 2010 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #707356
Aside from weaknesses in our educational system that I mentioned above that are being ignored,I think we’re skirting the real issue. Based on what I’ve read and heard, many in the community are walking the walk and talking the talk of Frumkeit, but are not really feeling true satisfaction from it in their hearts. Children can sense the parents’ true, uppermost goals and dreams. Thats when negative external things have an especially great impact.October 28, 2010 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #707357
Lomed, LOL because I’m MO I don’t connect to Hashem? Really? ROFL (anyone else laughing with this sentament?). I don’t even think Joseph would make a statement like that.
I understand your thoughts about non-Jews because I used to think that way too. Then I met a Christian woman who has more faith in her pinky than almost anyone I’ve ever met. She is protestant so doesn’t “need to do works” according to her religion but believes that those who believe in G-d will want to follow in his path. She is an amazing person who does more charitable work, gossips less and is a much finer person than most Jews I know. She is pure in her faith. [Granted, I disagree with her choice of religion, but not all halachic authorities agree on whether Christianity is idolatry or not]
Anyway, moving on. There are many reasons people are motivated to be frum Jews – a major one is belief that Hashem gave us the Torah and commanded us to follow it. That’s a huge one. Then there are the societal aspects – family pressure, familiarity in your environment, not wanting to make waves, the possibility of losing “everything” if you are percieved as not being 100%…but people absolutely want proof or some version of it. Otherwise, why would you care if you ripped some letters on Shabbos? Why would you take your clothing to be checked for shatnez? If its all mumbo-jumbo, why would you do it?
If you think many people don’t go OTD for intellectual reasons, you may not have known many people who go OTD. There is a large contingency who go searching for answers and just can’t find them. They are looking for logical proofs of the Torah. Just search on the blogosphere and you’ll find a few. I personally know a few people who went OTD for intellectual reasons.
Sure there are some kids who go OTD as a rebellion. But most kids understand that going OTD means losing their families, abandoning their comfort zone and travelling into the world by themselves with no support. Its not an easy choice, even if frum Jews pretend it is.
And, according to the OP, the thread is about teens going OTD so I’m not sure what you are referencing.October 28, 2010 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #707358
In today’s day and age it is difficult to hide from the secular world when it is thrown in our faces ads,clothing ….
there really needs to be more communication between the schools and parents and especially our children because they are really crying out for help.October 28, 2010 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm #707359
Girls don’t have a say in this matter. They have no idea about how a mans mind reacts to women.October 28, 2010 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #707360
Lomed Mikol Adam, I must disagree that MO has anything to do with it. Please look at the picture of the soldier on the tank with the lulav and esrog in the Yom Kippur war and tell me he is not totally ruchniyusdig, despite that he is not Chareidi. SJS does have a point that there are problems with the Chinuch in the Chareidi world today. In Israel, they do not even learn any secular studies past 7th or 8th grade.
We have a problem on our hands. How do we create students who are prepared for the outside world, are well-educated, come across respectfully, and yet stay away from bad influences. The Chareidi world’s answer is avoid the secular world completely. Not even math or English. Dress completely differently, so you will stand out and look different than anybody else. The internet is completely off-limits. Even concerts are forbidden, etc.
The MO approach is to be involved with everything, but they have trouble drawing the line between necessary involvement, and mere entertainment. They may go to inappropriate movies, etc. where there is no real need. They use the internet because it has many necessary things on it and much wisdom. All the scientific journals are on-line. Nobody ever photocopies them at libraries any more. However, there are pitfalls with this free exposure.
The American Chareidi world is really a hybrid, since most use internet, and read newspapers and go to concerts. Unfortunately, most of their schools make a joke out of secular studies, or give the boys no time to do HW and absorb. They discourage college, even the frum ones like YU and Touro. They often mock Zionism and the Medinah which in reality is close to all Jews’ hearts, whether or not they want to admit it. No tefila for the Medina or IDF soldiers.
Neither side has an answer to the problem of how to take what is good and necessary from the secular world, and stay away from the bad stuff. This has many kids totally confused. When they hear a Rebbe mocking the State of Israel, they know deep down he is wrong, and that although the founders were secular, they did a superb job for the entire klal.
I believe the answer is to create Chareidi schools with top-notch secular and scientific programs with real research opportunities, not just passing the Regents. Keep the kids so involved in learning and yishuv haolam that they have no time for straying or improper sites. Teach the kids to design radar systems that will protect against scud missiles. Help them cure cancer. Stress chesed. Don’t keep knocking the secular world; show them how to excel in it without falling. Make them top-notch learners who never waste a minute. Show them how each moment can be used prodcutively. Help them keep a log of their minutes. Don’t preach at them; motivate them to set huge goals and accomplish.October 28, 2010 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #707361
OK, Lets say the problem is bad images on the web, and it’s good bochurim without any other problems going OTD so what are they giving as a solution. Obvoiusly Assering the web is not helping, maybe it’s time to teach teenagers how to use the web safley? If the problem is with teenagers with family or learning disability or other problems, and as a reuslt of not feeling good with themselves they are…. then blaming the internet won’t help.October 28, 2010 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #707362
If we’d do our “School” work and our “Home” work more lovingly and intensively, the negative images, etc. wouldnt have anywhere near the effect that they do. Until we clean up our acts, we’re not going to help anyone, anywhere. Negative images are here to stay and are not the root cause of going OTD, they’re merely one of many symptoms.October 28, 2010 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm #707363
Over and over again, I see a pattern of teens not getting the attention that they need/want and therefore start looking elsewhere for satisfaction. If the yeshivas/schools would start incorporating more stimulating activities into the agenda so that not only the scholastic kids are getting what they need, I’m SURE we’d see a positive change. Why can’t the schools incorporate more chessed activities (boys can package Tomchei Shabbos or visit men in nursing homes….even some kiruv functions in their yeshivos)? A teen that helps someone will feel a sense of accomplishment, especially if he/she is not doing well academically. I’m not even suggesting a daily change, how about once a week, or maybe even on Rosh Chodesh-it will give these kids motivation and something to look foward to.October 28, 2010 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #707364
Sjs: I’m hardly interested in knocking you, what I stated about hashkafic influences in ‘Some’ parts of MO world is actually reality (as poshuta yid is also in agreement with), no matter how much you would like to be in denial.
Getting back to the point, I don’t have any interest in knocking Non Jews either; I stated clearly that Non Jews might very well excel in Middos/Good at Bein Adam L’chaveiro, like the good examples of your Protestant friend (gossip, charitable, fine person), however it is almost impossible for them to reach feelings of spiritual elevation through their Faith alone, since Christianity lacks the core belief that doing good deeds and/or refraining from doing certain deeds creates angels that ascend to Heaven and bring upon an actual closeness to God himself. This belief conveyed to us throughout the Torah is the catalyst for us Frum Jews to create within ourselves (from our youth) a spiritual dimension, which gives us feelings of spiritual elevation and satisfaction throughout our lives when we do a mitzvah/refrain from doing an aveira.
Your post clearly leaves out any recognition of the spiritual feelings/satisfaction that all frum Jews feel to one extent or another. The truth is one’s FEELINGS not KNOWLEDGE are at the core for the motivation of all Frum Jews to Believe in Judaism and the Torah. For all those people that you know, who claim that their intellectual pursuit is what drives them OTD, I herby claim with all confidence, that the real reason for their confusion is actually the weakening of their spiritual motivation, caused by too much exposure to the secular world and harmful spiritual pitfalls that occurred to them thereafter (yes, segregation related!).
I do however agree with you that the chareidi world can use allot of perfection in the middos/bein adam l’chaveiro area. However, to disregard/negate the area of bein adam l’makom/spiritual elevated lifestyle that the Charedi world excel in, is simply a very biased and untruthful judgment.
Poshuta Yid: I agree with you that the Chareidi world can do better in college educating more segments of their population.October 28, 2010 6:46 pm at 6:46 pm #707365
‘Says Who’ – No. Good bochurim will not go OTD from just bad images. If their basic family life and if their peer support is good, they will generally do teshuva and thats the end. I said that bad images are a catalyst to a process. If a chemical catalyst has nothing to work with, it won’t begin a chemical process. Kids who have problems will be exacerbated by this stuff. The answer is not assering internet, that can’t be done. That approach is obviously bankrupt, it hasn’t worked at all, no matter what the establishment gedolim have done. The answer to any educational problem is education. Explaining the dangers, telling them horror stories. even naming names if need be. The kids should understand clearly that there are dangers. A good educator can tell on a kid what’s going on inside. Every kid has hot steam inside. If its channeled to Torah, then the kid becomes Torah’dik. If not, the kid starts cooking with Yetzer Hora. If you see a kid who is not cooking Torah, then this kid must be given a vent for the steam. The answer is kosher vents. Some outside educational study that will keep the mind busy. Then the kid will be able to do both – Torah study and anything else. There’s a huge fallacy being callously spread in our community. That all our boys are top of the line and the girls want them. And that means that if at 15 a boy realizes he isn’t top of the line, this boy is now at risk. Because all he hears from rebbeim and roshei yeshiva is that the tachlis is to be top of the line. And if you aren’t, then you aren’t good. Hey thinks the boy, if I’m not good anyway, what do I care. Add in some disaffected attitude at home, some inappropriate internet and bingo OTD. On the other hand, give this boy a reason to think that he can become a great baal habos, and you haven’t lost him. Education people that’s the answer to it all. And our “educators” don’t get it.October 28, 2010 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm #707366
tp1: And our “educators” don’t get it.
I think its a miracle we dont have way more kids going OTD, or worse! Our schools are pressure-cookers (do this or else and dont ask too many questions..). Chasdei Hashem!October 28, 2010 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm #707367
“Good bochurim will not go OTD from just bad images.”
One Image, probably not. A porn addiction? good chance yes.
Or maybe not. And this is what the article WAS about! LOOKING frum ACTING frum but going through life an Yiddishkeit meaning nothing! You may not look OTD but just as easily when no one is looking it will be very easy to flip that light switch on Shabbos.October 28, 2010 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #707368
I agree with youOctober 28, 2010 7:44 pm at 7:44 pm #707369
Most young adults go OTD not out of choice but out of pain. They are usually pushed or shoved OTD by abuse (sexual, verbal or physical), dysfunctial families, loss of a parent or sibling (or someone else close to them) or a dysfunctial school situation. Others who make it through HS go OTD afterward because they followed the rule “fake it till you make it” and those are the ones that didn’t get answers to their questions and found that by the time they graduated they felt like an empty shell filled with useless information. How does this happen?
Mechanchim are not trained to “watch out for” or “notice” kids who are not eager to learn, excited in the subject, participating in the conversations. All they are interested in is that the girls are tznius and the boys have their tzizus out and wear a hat and jacket for davening. The rest involves spitting out what was fed to them. Oh, I almost forgot, wearing their uniform or get sent home for not doing so. Would you like to take a guess as to how many girls are sent home without even the concern that a parent is home when they do? What would happen if that girl never makes it home?
Mechanchim are also not given a Staff Handbook on how they are supposed to “Behave” towards the students, what to look out for, and what to report. Mechanchim are usually not trained in any way and they are not working at this job because they love it or devoted to it. They are working at this job mostly because of its convenience. Part time, close to home, convenient hours, etc.
Ok, I am speaking about most, not ALL because there are absolutely some excellent mechanchim out there, but I have not had the experience of meeting most of you as I have advocated and worked with so many at-risk children in the past, as well as my own childrens’ teachers. Those of you who are excellent mechanchim would sit and cry with me if you heard the stories I could tell you. And not ALL the kids I know or know of have recovered or returned to Yiddishket.
One mother just called this week and told me that her daughter, now 20 with a baby, asked if she married a goy would her mother come to the wedding. Now this young girl at 17 was turned away both by an at-risk institution in my local neighborhood when the Rabbi lied and said that ALL his girls were Shomer Shabbat and a program in Israel which she was sent home from with no return on her $20,000 investment. Both had the opportunity to work with this girl who was so eager at that time to work on herself and change (ripe for the picking as I said) but they wouldn’t give her a second chance. Each of these mechanchim have a huge achrius in her yeridah in the birth of her daughter and what happens to both of them.
So again I say, they can’t judge their achievements by their success they have to also account for their failures.October 28, 2010 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #707370
“I think we’re skirting the real issue. Based on what I’ve read and heard, many in the community are walking the walk and talking the talk of Frumkeit, but are not really feeling true satisfaction from it in their hearts.”
I agree with statement 100%.
Did the article address the level of satisfaction with yiddishkeit (or with themselves as frum yidden) these “OTD” kids felt prior to their first exposure to whatever it is the article didn’t like?October 28, 2010 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #707371
Sacrilege yes. And yes to flipping the switch. The Yetzer Hora will not come to a ben torah and say flip the switch, big deal. But the yetzer will come to a person already just a shell of a yid and say big deal, make the coffee or tea. And then take it from there. Porn addiction,which can often come from that first image, will quickly turn a ben or bas torah (although rarely females) into a burnt out shell of a yid. He’ll daven, eat kosher, maybe even cholov yisroel. For a while. Then those too will start eroding. The yetzer doesn’t care how you dress or what you do in terms of mitzvos. Buy a $180 esrog, eat in the succah, whatever. It knows when it has the person. And this is an unusually bad issue. Before WW2 the people who were OTD were completely off. No yiddishkeit at all. Today we can fool ourselves. Wear a black hat big deal, wear a shtreimel big deal. Yetzer Hora whispers – hey guy/girl, all I need is a small aveirele, miss a mincha, eat some salad in the Korean salad bar, and make sure you stick to your porn regimen. I’ve got you.October 28, 2010 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #707372
Today we can fool ourselves. Wear a black hat big deal, wear a shtreimel big deal.
By the same token, does that not mean that today we can fool others, as well- i.e. don’t wear a black hat, don’t wear a shtreimel, and yet be a perfect Jew?October 28, 2010 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #707373
The “costume” that one wears doesn’t make anyone a better Jew or a better person, for that matter. The “uniform” merely identifies to others what team you are “playing” for. We came into this world naked and basically, except for a shroud, that is how we leave it. It is how we live our lives that makes the person.October 28, 2010 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm #707374
Lomed and SjS: you are skirting the truth but not getting there. Parts of what you say are contributory to the problem. First of all, Emuna does translate exactly to “faith”, but rather it means ‘to establish the truth’. We have intellectual tools to prove that there is a Higher being, and that there is a way to obey and relate to him. This is not being taught to our children. How many of the little boys that go up on erev shabbos to say Yigdal have any concept of the meanings therin. Why is Hashkafa from valid old sources not taught at all as children mature to think for themselves at say 12,13, 14? If the Ramban devoted a chapter to Yesodei Hadas, why is it ignored? It is not always an intellectual challenge that sends a kit otd, it is usually emotional wound that is sustained when small, and without the tools to proccess the seeming controversy intellectually, and divide between the abuser and the system, the emotional pain becomes too much to bear, and they break away from the system that inflicted it. This is not really somthing new. I can tell you horror stories going way back, and the culprit is often an unskilled or heartless educator, and an even more heartless system. The system has grown, and so has the problem.
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