August 12, 2013 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm #972744OhTeeDeeParticipant
I love some of the things I read here, great advice. Smile E Face and wallflower…just brilliant
Kids are all different. They can’t be all treated to the same cookie cutter education, the same school uniforms and the same monotonous education year in and year out. It breeds resentment. Having children express themselves in what they wear, the people they look up to and the like is what makes them children!
Once they start looking, there is no hiding the internet. Nor should there be anything to hide if you think you have the Truth in being frum. Kids, as always, think the grass is greener on the other side.
Ultimately, if parents and educators do a good enough job in having the children follow because the frum life is tradition and sets us apart from umois ha’oilum – while not asking too many tough questions (i had many go unanswered) – they won’t want to wander to the other side.
But children are all different. They are not all wired to believe blindly, no matter what you throw at em. I know because I fit that bill.August 16, 2013 4:59 pm at 4:59 pm #972745
Bringing in someone like Rabbi Mechanic won’t help kids who actually have doubts. If you have a kid (like in the “why I’m still frum” thread) who has logical problems with Judaism, it’ll take a lot longer than one speech because the kid, in a search for answers (and yes, the kids WANT answers, in many cases- it’s not just trying to be rebellious), has already heard it all.August 17, 2013 9:35 pm at 9:35 pm #972747
-Mods it doesn’t allow me to edit my original post. Please post this instead.-
This is part of a letter I just sent to my high school principal.
The school does try to teach a lot of hashkafa. However there was in my day a big discrepancy between torah and hashkafa. The reality is that torah and hashkafa are the same; torah essentially IS hashkafa, hashkafa Is Torah. One is not better than the other because they are one and the same. However it comes across that there is one or the other. If something is Torah, it is not hashkafic and if something is hashkafa then although it is Judaic, it is not actually Torah. One thing the school can do is when the Chumash class gets sidetracked and most of the period turns into hashkafa, the teacher should not complain that they didn’t ‘cover enough ground’. Such a response teaches the students that it is not ideal that the Torah should feel too personal nor that it should have too much relevance to their lives. I remember leaving such classes thinking that Torah is just a text and, not only that it didn’t but that it actually shouldn’t be something I could connect to on a personal level. When I left bais yaakov I decided that the Torah is entirely outdated and had no relevance to my life. Seminary thank God changed that for me. If I hadn’t gone to my seminary (not bais yaakov by any stretch) and had my amazing Chumash teacher, I would likely not be observant. This teacher made the Torah so down to earth that I felt like the Torah was written this year, for me specifically.
Another thing they can do is widen their hashkafot. (To be clear i dont mean that they should lessen their standards; they should be very firm on their standards.) For example the school is litvish and when they mentioned hashkafa that was more in line with chassidus it was told over in a way that implied strongly ‘this is not us’. Although they would say the words ‘it is okay if you are not cookie cutter’ when they are teaching in such a judgmental fashion that if your hashkafa is a little different then ‘you are no longer one of us’ it sends the message that if I can’t connect with Judaism in the same way as my teachers, for the rest of my life I either have to fake it or be ostracized. I personally connect more with chassidus but I hadn’t known there was an option. The way I was taught it seemed that in order to connect to Hashem through the teachings of the Baal Shem and others, I would have to dress different and declare that I am not part of the community. However a teenager who has the courage to make such steps to leave the community and is going to be ridiculed may as well leave the community for other venues, not such holy ones. They should allow the girls to discover that there are many routes to serve God and that dress is just dress. The heart is what counts and whether you connect through the kuzari, arizal, rav hirsh, rav elyashiv or, dare I say the Baal hatanya or rabi nachman, it is all torah and all their derachim are acceptable if they bring you closer to hashem. They should allow the students to discover that there are many acceptable hashkafas as long as it is line with Halacha.August 18, 2013 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #972748
interjection: What sem did you go to?
(I’m a high school senior)August 19, 2013 8:29 am at 8:29 am #972749
The teacher is mrs Solomon. I went to baer miriam but my year she also taught in ateres. It’s possible she teaches in more places.August 19, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am #972750OneOfManyParticipant
She teaches in Machon Raaya too. ^_^August 19, 2013 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #972751
interjection- I’m wondering if you’re someone I know… 🙂
OOM- The number of people I know who are going to Machon Raaya defies description. (Okay, so it’s fourteen, but still.) I have no idea whether they’re Pratchettians, but I’ll probably apply anyway, so chill :).
Happens to be that I do love my high school, but if I do go to sem I want to USE it.August 20, 2013 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #972752anewyummycupcakeParticipant
well, like i said in another thread, i’ve been to quite a few speeches lately…so here’s what i have to say- from a rabbi we all know and love. People need to be recognized, acknowledged, they want to know they are noticed. He gave the example of Boaz and Rus. Rus was a moavi and she was in the field and Boaz saw her and naomi and the first thing he said to them was “Hashem should be with you” and then he asked naomi who the other girl was, and when she said who she was, boaz called rus “my daughter”. and he told her he wouldn’t let anyone touch her….and in the end rus ended up being zoche to be the grandmother of Dovid Hamelech, ultimately, of mashiach. Because she told boaz “because you recognized me, because you care about me, i’m going to work so hard to become the best i can be…” and she obviously did. So what the Rabbi was saying- first of all, can you imagine how much nicer life would be if we started our day telling ppl “Hashem should be with you” whether parents to children, rebbeim and teachers to student, children to parents and rebbeim- whoever it is, can you imagine how good that feels as opposed to “ok class take our your textbooks, ur gonna be tested on this” or “moishy you forgot your homework, where’s your lunch?????? k bye” as a kid is running out of the house?? Don’t you think it means something to a child when the last thing you say as he walks out the door is “mommy loves you, and Hashem should be with you all day and He should protect you and watch over you.” It makes a huge difference in their lives if you really mean that. And secondly- ppl have to stop making yiddishkeit a bunch of rules. the way the rabbi explained it- he said a girl came to him and said she was finished being religious its just rules…so basically two meshalim he gave were: A) just like in driving there are many rules/ways to show you how to get from point a to point b safely, so too the Torah. It’s a means of getting our neshama from the day we are born, to the day we die, safely and securely, so that we can go straight up to our place next to Hashem, with a beautiful neshama. and B) he told a story of a father sending his daughter off to sem, he bought her 300 candles and told her to light one every night. she thought it was really weird but they made a deal that she would do it cuz that’s the only way he’d let her go to sem and she did it, even tho her new friends all thought she was really strange. then when she came home she asked her father, why couldn’t you just tell me to call you or something? why b’davka the candles? so he told her that he knew she would call sometimes, and other times she would be too busy for a long conversation…but for sure she would be able to find two seconds to light her candle every day, thereby making sure to think of her father even for two seconds a day. Basically- a lot of the halachos we have, we don’t always understand, and even the ones we do, sometimes they seem annoying- but why do we do them? Hashem just wants us to remember Him, even if it’s only for two seconds a day. It’s for our connection to Him. To strengthen that connection. Another thing that the Rabbi said is we have to stop separating students by academic level- it’s disgusting. how can you give a kid a test that says MODIFIED- you are telling the kid that just because he is ADD or ADHD or just doesn’t have the capacity to hold so much information in his head- ur telling him “YOU ARE MODIFIED. YOU ARE NOT AS GOOD AS THE OTHERS” SERIOUSLY HOW DO YOU THINK YOU MAKE THAT KID FEEL???? AND WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? G-D??? HASHEM GAVE HIM HIS NISYONOS, AND YOU ARE ADDING PAIN TO THE PAIN HE ALREADY SUFFERS FROM? DO YOU THINK THAT’LL MAKE HIM FEEL LOVED AND WANT TO STAY ON THE DERECH??? but guess what, when Hashem chose Moshe to go speak to Bnei Yisrael and Moshe refused 7 times because of his speech defects, Hashem made him go. and only him. because Hashem only wanted to talk through someone who had that, to show him Hashem is there with him. IF HASHEM WOULD COME IN TO YOUR CLASSROOM TO TALK TO ONE OF THE STUDENTS, HE WOULD TALK TO THE ONE WHO HAS ADD, ADHD. NOT THE KIDS WHO HAVE NONE OF THOSE PROBLEMS. problem is this rabbi spoke to many teachers and said we have to do away with grades, and the teachers said “no one would send their kid to my school if we didn’t give grades” horrible! Hashem didn’t make the chumash the nevi’im the kesuvi, the gemara so that kids could get big red 60s on them!!!!!!!!!!! He gave it to us as a guide, a way of life. WHO ARE WE TO GRADE PPL ON THAT???? i think that rabbi hit it right on the spot…August 26, 2013 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #972753SanityIsOverratedParticipant
Personally, I think schools should spend more time working on Middos. Most OTD friends of mine have pointed to the behavior and hypocrisy of those professing the true religion. Also, it may help to show the weak points in Judiasm instead of the strong. Not just the Tzaddikim who were born great, but those who struggled. I grew up always looking for this unattainable perfection. It’s easier for teenagers to relate to when they see that everyone is born imperfect. How can the students relate, if their teachers appear on such a lofty level? Kids who come home to abuse, or even just a home with bad values, will have a hard time bridging this discrepancy of a lofty Judiasm that is supposed to bring happiness, and the despicable behaviors they see at home. Mostly, just love, love, love, our children. Don’t judge their behavior, but try to understand where they are coming from. You want to know what yeshivos and girls schools should do? Ask the ones they failed. They can tell you what went wrong. Listen between the harsh judgement they have towards the frum community, as it’s root is the pain of a lost neshamah.August 27, 2013 4:08 am at 4:08 am #972754sharpMember
What can Yeshivos and girls’ schools do to prevent students’ OTD feelings?
Hiring competent, caring, warm and *qualified* staff would be a nice start. Amen.August 27, 2013 5:40 am at 5:40 am #972755jbaldy22Member
I also love wallflowers answer
unfortunately sometimes there is rot at the top of the food chain which prevents proper hiring from being implemented.
The concept (which has become commonplace these days) of throwing kids out of yeshivas/beis yaakovs or otherwise letting them fall through the cracks is terrible and contrary to halacha. Mechanchim either need to get a sense of achrayus or quit.
They should also drop their g-d/infallibility complex. To this day I can remember my 1st grade rebbi apologize to a kid because the rebbe had spoken to the kid sarcastically. He did this in front of the class. This only increased my respect for him.August 27, 2013 8:13 pm at 8:13 pm #972756
Smaller classes, well trained and vetted staff who are sincere in their Yiddishkiet. I know of Rabbeim who talk the whole Davening, including chazaras hashatz and kaddish, if you don’t really believe in this religion how dare you teach it to the next generation?! What we propose will never happen though.August 28, 2013 7:58 am at 7:58 am #972757
” I know of Rabbeim who talk the whole Davening, including chazaras hashatz and kaddish,”
You know that they didn’t daven beforehand? If not I find it hard to believe.August 28, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm #972758
You want names?August 28, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm #972759SanityIsOverratedParticipant
It’s not hard to believe. It’s human. Guess what? Rabbis have a hard time keeping Mitzvos too. It doesn’t mean they don’t believe in the religion. No-one ever said being Jewish was easy. Some people have an easier time learning, others have an easier time doing. It’s hard to see someone you respect doing the wrong thing. I remember discovering a Rabbi I really respect turned out to have a hard core addiction. We’re all human, with a Yetzer Hora. They say the bigger the Tzaddik, the bigger the Yetzer Hora.September 1, 2013 5:21 am at 5:21 am #972760barneystinsonParticipant
i think its actually insanely impressive how many kids stay on the derech, its astounding that there aren’t more kids going offSeptember 1, 2013 6:07 am at 6:07 am #972761
Amongs the kids on the derech, how many are really on the derech, understand what yiddishkiet is about and are inspired by the life we are supposed to be living?September 1, 2013 7:40 pm at 7:40 pm #972762jbaldy22Member
Was listening to jroot radio at night last week and one of the callers who claimed to be “involved in the system at many levels” thought that the yeshiva system is a “bed of roses” and that the numbers of kids going otd is greatly exaggerated. He thought that the yeshiva system was perfectly fine the way it is. Unfortunately I think this typifies the feelings of a decent amount of mechanchim.September 2, 2013 1:07 am at 1:07 am #972763OURtorahParticipant
I wanted to bring a new concept to the floor- sometimes kids who are off the derech, might not be doing goyish tendancies, but doing the tendancies of other sects of judasim.
I personally have become more frum while my family is modern orthodox, and to them I am the crazy one so to speak “OTD” from how I grew up. While to me this is def not OTD, i understand what it is like for any parent from any level of observance to see their kid become different.
coming from the other perspective, although when your children go off, it is scary and unknown, if they are only doing MO tendancies, although your rabbi/family hashkafa is different, keep embracing your child, because hopefully they will come to realize that lifestyle is not for them. and if it is, as long as you put in the effort to make them love yiddishkeit, maybe the learning lifstyle, or the pressures were too much for them. and maybe its a good time for each of us to introspect and see if we were pushing our kids too much in a certain direction and not catching the red flags that it was too much for them! Hatzlacha and ksiva vechasima tova!
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