May 23, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm #779489
Ok, so what DO the Gedolim offer as advice to prevent kids from going OTD?
Lots of tefillos, lots of love.May 23, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm #779490
I can’t know what was on Fetter Shmelka’s mind, but what I hope he meant (and I would agree, but not phrased the same way) is women who, by choice, turn their back on the needs of their children (so they can shop, go to tzedoko parties, pursue a carrear, even though $ is not the issue), they (and their partner husbands) have done their kids a huge dis-service.
WADR, there is a BIG difference between “a huge dis-service” and a “crime against humanity.” People generally don’t get executed for the former.
The WolfMay 23, 2011 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm #779491
DYLots of tefillos, lots of love
True, but a decree is a decree. Im sure many davened and did all the Hishtadlus in many situations (Holocaust for one), and there were Nissim Gluyim, but all in all, what was meant to be, was.May 23, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #779492le7Member
Many of the kids are just in desperate need for attention others see thier friends getting all the attention when they are off so they deciede to follow themMay 23, 2011 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #779493
I was the “teen at risk”. I didn’t show it outwardly but in my heart and mind there were thoughts…lots of ’em. B”H, I am now a total “observant teen”. BUT it took some time to get to what I am today. I come from a very choshuv and frum family – with lots of restrictions. I go to a very frum school where questions regarding Emuna is like “huhhhh???” (I got ALL my answers elsewhere. The answers are there. If you’re sincere and truly want to find the emes, you will. Good school or not.) And yet, these WERE NOT THE REASONS TO MY (ALMOST)GOING OFF.
In my case, I had a friend who had a bad influence. And the friend? Why is she going OTD now? Cuz her parents are abusive, AND she is emotionaly unstable.
Abuse and restrictions are two completely different entities. When you do it leshem Shomayim, the kids stay frum. I’ve seen it happen many many times! There are people with WAYYY more restrictions than our’s and ALL their kids are doing fine.May 23, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm #779494R ShmuelMember
Not a correct comparison. More like all cases of plants drying out are from a lack of water.May 23, 2011 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm #779495
le7, I guarantee you not one OTD kid did it primarily to get attention, which they know will be negative attention. They’d much prefer getting positive attention than negative. IMHO it’s when theyre not accepted for not fitting the mold or things go very wrong for them that problems begin…..Very rarely do we see top kids who are doing well academically, socially and Mazel-wise, go OTD. They have no reason to. Life is good.May 23, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #779496
1st Timer: Your idea makes a lot of sense.
I heard from Rabbi Sapierman an interesting mashal regarding this issue. He says that when a teacher tests his students on say, grammar, and a kid asks for help with the spelling of a word, the teacher’ll help him out. However, if it’s a spelling test, the teacher certainly won’t help him out with the spelling.
In our time, Emuna is our great nisayon. Therefore, there is such a great “hester Panim”, and unclarity in this area. It is a very tough test which takes work and energy to pass.May 23, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #779497
True, but a decree is a decree. Im sure many davened and did all the Hishtadlus in many situations (Holocaust for one), and there were Nissim Gluyim, but all in all, what was meant to be, was.
Nobody ever gave any guarantees.May 23, 2011 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm #779498
observanteen makes a very good point (based on her personal experience.) Many people go OTD because they have bad influences and bad friends.
Parent’s need to control who their children are friends with, and not allow bad influences.May 24, 2011 2:46 am at 2:46 am #779499
observanteen: You’re begging the question. If people go off the derech because of bad friends (and plenty do, everyone in our age group knows at least one Hashem Yerachem) what made the first group go off? There’s always more than one cause.May 24, 2011 3:42 am at 3:42 am #779500sm29Participant
There are many different reasons why people go off. I had a class on it at Touro La, and we discussed the different reasons.
One of them is being influenced by others like peers.
Another one is the home environment Not being enjoyable and so they don’t see the beauty in their heritage and they look for something different. To fix this, we should be sure to add some warmth and joy to the environment.
There’s also those that feel like their questions aren’t being answered and so they feel intellectually frustrated. For this, we should take the time to talk to them and find information to help them.
Some individuals go to college and find out things that go against what they learned. If they don’t have a strong foundation, this can hurt them. One of my classmates suggested that before this person goes to college, they should be told beforehand what they might encounter, for example, “They believe in evolution where…..but we don’t because…..”
There are also teens that get turned off when they see a bad example of someone who should know better, and yet acts poorly. Obviously, we all make mistakes, but it still gives them a negative impression, which is why we need to be careful with middos and behavior.
Hope this helps 🙂May 24, 2011 4:19 am at 4:19 am #779501
Itche: I explained why she’s going off (her parents are abusive and she’s emotionally unstable). But it certainly isn’t because of “too many restrictions” or because she “didn’t fit the mold” (she’s probably the brightest kid I ever met). Her parents are hypocrites. They do pretty bad stuff while focusing on “stupid” chumra’s. THAT’S why she’s turned off. But if the kids FEEL you’re sincere and you yourself keep the chumras and you don’t “put up a show” for everyone while doing kol davar assur at home, the kids stay frum. (As most frum parents are since you see most kids stay frum)If only she WOULD get some REAL VALID restrictions.May 24, 2011 4:41 am at 4:41 am #779502
Feter Shmelka – “The OTD crisis is directly attributable to the two-income family that takes the Mother out of the home and away from the family.”
While a lot of people agree with this type of thinking, I don’t know why this has anything to do with OTD kids. There is a science called statistics, were a person has a hypothesis and then tests out their hypothesis with a study to see if it’s true. You have a hypothesis, but because you want to be right, you just say your right without any proof. I haven’t done any studies, but just from my family alone I know your hypothesis isn’t true. I come from a family were both parents were working parents and none of the kids are OTD, but I have a cousin whose mother never ever worked a job and he is OTD! I like the theory of abuse and actually there are a lot of professionals who agree to this hypothesis.May 24, 2011 5:54 am at 5:54 am #779503Josh31Participant
For girls I can see one desire driving many of them OTD. It is the desire to always be able to grow their hair long and not have to shave it every month like a Nazir and Metzorah (for Nazir / Metzorah – a one shot shaving).
Perhaps I am in error, and no woman is ever forced to shave her head to be part of a community???
For those who can not fit in one community, are all attempts made to find them a “home” in another shomer Torah and Mitzvos community???May 24, 2011 6:05 am at 6:05 am #779504
Health, I like the theory of abuse and actually there are a lot of professionals who agree to this hypothesis.
Wo, are we in BIG trouble as a community!
With growing numbers of OTD kids and “orthoprax” kids/adults who are essentially OTD as well (percentage of cases per age group is frightening and increasing), if your supposition is true, and abuse is the chief cause of going OTD, we have to quickly evaluate and reeducate all our children before they become parents and inflict the same damage on their children. They say abuse is a continuous pattern in families. If there’s that much abuse going on in our community (youre saying that every OTD case is a direct result of and therefore goes hand in hand with abusive parenting or Chinuch), we as a community need very serious problem solving in all areas. Its an emergency! How can anyone be proud to be part of a community with regularly increasing cases of abuse/OTD? It might not be me or you, but its our relatives, friends and neighbors, is it not?
Whatever bothers you more, the OTD statistics or the abuse statistics-which you claim are one and the same, it’s stemming from our community and we’d better do something about it really quickly!May 24, 2011 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #779505
observanteen: In my experience it is the brightest kids who don’t fit the mold because their minds need to move, which the “system” doesn’t let. The smartest person I know is off the derech for that reason.
Josh: That’s part of the problem. If you switch communities you are off the derech to many people.May 24, 2011 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #779506bptParticipant
“WADR, there is a BIG difference “
Like I said in a different thread, the CR, and certain CR members in particular, have taught me how to state things so the point gets across clearly without stomping on anyones toes. Can’t know for sure what Fetter meant, but most likely, it was just a figure of speech
You, and the kids like like you(both back from the brink and those still fighting their way back) are the reason I take such a stand against labeling.
Its not fair, and it undermines the hard work that people have put in to get to the point they’re at now.
Keep it up!May 24, 2011 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #779507
Can’t know for sure what Fetter meant, but most likely, it was just a figure of speech
I find “crime against humanity” to be a very strange “figure of speech.” There are plenty of ways you can say that you believe single parenthood is wrong without using the phrase “crimes against humanity” – a phrase normally reserved for the worst of crimes (genocide and the like).
The WolfMay 24, 2011 4:11 pm at 4:11 pm #779508bptParticipant
(At the risk of sounding like a defender), There are those who would argue that creating conditions that will produce kids who will not be able to abide by the rules that the society in which they are expected to live in, is indeed genocide. Sort of like the way intermarraige is viewed as a threat to our existence. No one is getting shot, but it does pose a real threat to who we are.
Its not to say that all families with an absentee parent produce problem kids, but it should make one stop and think about the consequences that bad parenting choices (the willful ones)usually bring as a resultMay 24, 2011 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #779509aries2756Participant
Honestly if you truly want to know whats with the OTD teens talk to them directly and stop talking about them. Stop assuming, stop thinking you know why, stop looking in from the outside. Go have a sit down, offer them dinner or lunch and ask them why is this happening. Most of them will give it to you in a one word sentence “HYPOCRISY”.May 24, 2011 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #779510
aries: One of the teens posted above. She said it was from being influenced by a bad friend. As parents, we need to make sure we know who our children’s friends are, and keep the bad influences away.May 24, 2011 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #779511MDGParticipant
It was her friend that viewed hypocrisy that brought her friend down and almost brought her down.May 24, 2011 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #779512
Exactly MDG. So having a bad friend can, and in her case almost did, cause one to go OTD. Perhaps it is the largest reason in fact.May 24, 2011 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #779513
aries, ask them why is this happening. Most of them will give it to you in a one word sentence “HYPOCRISY”.
IMHO, definitely a very large part of it! Now what do we do about it? I think by and large, the common folk is trying their best, with all the koichos they have, to be the best role models they can possibly be. What’s your opinion about those who are not the common folk’s (role models other than family members) hypochrisy and how it can be improved? I think thats crucial.May 24, 2011 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #779514
I think I have one valuable piece of advice for role models such as Mechanchim (not really hypochrisy related though, unless we consider embarassing a student hypochrisy, so maybe it is after all):
Never ever call a child an Apikores for asking a question about Emunah, etc. as mentioned by R’ Pinchas Young so eloquently! It will not yield good results E V E R!May 24, 2011 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #779515adorableParticipant
i think its a hard balance- to make sure they are friends with the right ppl and hanging around stable good girls but to make sure not to “squash” themMay 24, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #779516
bpt: Thank you.
aries: I agree. Hypocracy IS very often the reason to go OTD.
Itche: She is NOT going off because of her brilliance. She has PLENTY of space to “move”. (The library is still open). She KNOWS all the answers to Yiddishkeit. But the example of Yiddishkeit she’s seen by her parents is not the emes. They’re hypocrites and she views Yiddishkeit like that. AND, as I already mentioned before, she is emotionally sick. AND her “mentor” is as messed up as her who makes matters worse. (BTW, in spite of her brilliance she has zero common sense.)
I’ve no doubt your friend didn’t go OTD because he’s bright. How many frum bright people do you know? (Not to mention the previous gedolim like the Rambam etc.)May 25, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am #779517
not have to shave it every month like a Nazir
Minor nitpick — a Nazir/Nezirah only has to shave every month if they make a vow of multiple terms of Nezirus each for a month. If not, they have to let their hair grow until the end of their term (however long it is, with a minimum term of 30 days), until they can go to the Bais HaMikdash and bring their sacrifices.
This would not apply nowadays. Since a person cannot bring sacrifices today, a Nazir/Nezirah cannot complete his/her first term. As a result, even if a person made a vow for multiple monthly terms, they would not be able to shave after the end of the first month (unless, of course, the Bais HaMikdash is rebuilt before then). They would have to let their hair grow indefinitely until they could complete their first term.
The WolfMay 25, 2011 12:15 am at 12:15 am #779518apushatayidParticipant
I think observanteens friend would have been turned off to yiddishkeit even if she was not abused by her parents and was emotionally stable. She actually said so herself when stating she saw hypocrytical behavior on the part of her parents. One need not be an einstein to spot a hypocrite.
I do think that “bad influences” are only legitimate threats if the one exposed has a poor foundation. Someone with a good foundation won’t feel threatened by the perceived peer pressure. The problem is, the peer pressure is enticing because there is the niggling doubt that perhaps those friends are not wrong. If a teen has no place to go with those little doubts he or she might decide to test out the water by figuratively sticking in a couple of toes first to try and get the answer on their own. Once that happens, all bets are off. As good an any yeshiva or bais yackov might be, how many of those students will admit to feeling comfortable approaching a rebbe or morah and asking straight out, how do I know the galach down the block is wrong when he asserts xyz? How many can actually answer that question if approached by the galach for an explanation why he was wrong?May 25, 2011 2:11 am at 2:11 am #779521
apy: I happen to have very strong foundation. As I stated before, I come from a choshuv family and my mom’s VERY openminded and ready and willing to listen to anything I have to say. It doesn’t take much though, to turn an innocent teen against her parents and against the Torah. It’s pretty easy to convince any teen who has some questions (which I believe every sane person does question their beliefs) to leave the “narrow minded” and “sheltered” world and enter a sophisticated world of immorality, freedom and fun.May 25, 2011 4:01 am at 4:01 am #779522
I think we’ve all seen hypocrisy, and yet most of us have b”H stayed on the D. I don’t think there’s a simple, one-size-fits-all answer to this troubling issue.
Also, I don’t think many of our youth with emunah issues are enticed by the galach. I think kefirah is a much bigger issue.May 25, 2011 4:25 am at 4:25 am #779524
Ofcourse -The abuse, of course! When people say hypocrisy, I think that it’s not just the hypocrisy, but how it affects the teen. In other words -abuse. Kids see plenty of hypocrisy in the Goyish world, eg. white collar crimes can get you life imprisonment, but if you kill someone -you can sometimes get away with only a few years. But they aren’t turned off by it.
I’ll give an example and it’s Not based on any real event: A yeshiva has a Rebbe who abuses kids. The yeshiva gets complaints, but tends to ignore them. The same yeshiva finds out that a kid watches movies at home and throws the kid out. Not only will the kid thrown out be disillusioned, but so will all his peers. It’s not per se that the problem comes from hypocrisy, but such a kind of hypocrisy is abuse. The kids realize they are less of a person than this Rebbe. They are treated differently. So people are saying hypocrisy is the main reason, but it’s not really the hypocrisy, it’s how they are treated differently than others (abuse). If a person thinks into what I’m saying, they will realize that I have a point! Abuse has many forms and it can come from the home or the school! I think everyone knows all the different forms!May 25, 2011 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #779526goldenkintMember
how can anyone think that there is one reason for otd kids. as many people as there are there are different reasons for each. that beingsaid ,it is important for schools, parents and society to deal with children who have learning disabilities and help them feel that they are valued and valuable members of society. if society demands something of you that you are incapable of then you will leave that society and find another society where you don’t feel so bad about yourself.
Another issue is abuse. children who have been abused often leave the fold if the abuser was/is frum and wasn’t ostracised. who knows what these kids went through or still go through. sometimes it’s parents or close relatives who are the abusers.
May Hashem help all of these children return to the Derech, and may all of Klal Yisrael merit to see the Geula , b’karov.May 26, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am #779527
observanteen: As cliched as it sounds, I know someone who went OTD whose Rosh Yeshiva described him as “a mind you find once in a generation.” He now works a low end retail job and has no intellectual pursuits in kodesh or chol.May 26, 2011 2:07 am at 2:07 am #779528
ItcheSrulik: Did he go off BECAUSE of his brilliance? (I’m sure there’s a LOT more space in his current challenging and intellectual job to “move”;))May 29, 2011 4:38 am at 4:38 am #779529
Goldekint – “Another issue is abuse. children who have been abused often leave the fold if the abuser was/is frum and wasn’t ostracised. who knows what these kids went through or still go through. sometimes it’s parents or close relatives who are the abusers.”
Your last line -is this an oversight or you didn’t mention them on purpose? A good portion of the time the kids are abused by Mechanchim or teachers!May 29, 2011 4:47 am at 4:47 am #779530EzratHashemMember
Brilliant minds must be nurtured and valued, unfortunately in yeshiva if the brilliance is not in kodesh, it is often ignored and becomes dull; until the child will find a new environment outside of yeshiva where it is once again encouraged.May 29, 2011 5:07 am at 5:07 am #779531aries2756Participant
What do you think will happen with kids sitting on the fence right now after the Agudah’s declaration to the mental health community? Number one don’t trust Rabbis, Number two don’t trust therapists.
What do you think they will feel about anyone who agrees with Zweibel?May 29, 2011 5:42 am at 5:42 am #779532shlishiMember
Agudah has Daas Torah, under the direction of the Moetzei Gedolei HaTorah.
And it is Rabbi Zweibel. Where do you get the nerve to call him like that?May 29, 2011 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #779533
Aries – Could you explain your post? I didn’t hear any declaration from Agudah. What are you talking about?June 16, 2011 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #779534cokeMember
its so sad…. the world is such a dark cold place for these kids. it hurts my heart when i see them…..June 16, 2011 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #779535600 Kilo BearMember
The only communities in which women must shave their hair are Hungarian Chassidishe communities. Claiming that is a reason for OTD is spurious at best considering how low the OTD rate is among women in these communities (as opposed to men who are less sheltered).June 16, 2011 8:19 pm at 8:19 pm #779536Huyde LaHashemMember
i still stick to my opinion that if everyone would feel true closeness to hashem even once, tht itself would cause them to rethink ant decisions for the negative they might make. nobody is saying they wont fall, but at least there is the struggle, on one side hashem and not wanting to let him down ,the other, cheep desiresJune 17, 2011 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm #779537Raphael KaufmanMember
You know, everybody has an opinion about the causes of OTD and most, if not all, of them are correct in any given case but the funny thing is that a lot of those “OTD” guys you see hanging out will grow up to be fine, frum baalei battim who will send their kids to yeshiva, support mosdos and complain how the next generation is in OTD trouble.June 17, 2011 1:51 pm at 1:51 pm #779538
I recently listened to a shiur on Torahanytime by Rabbi Bentzion Shafier “Teaching Yirat Shamayim”. He says our Chinuch system is “building castles on sand”. We’re focusing on how to be frum to the letter (Halacha) and not why we have to be frum and what our goals in life should be, how it enriches our lives and the Gadlus of Hashem and belief in Hashem.
He says the typical good Yeshiva student when asked if they had a choice of being a Goy in public school, free to do as they please, or a Yid in the Yeshivah system, with many rules, hesitates, and worse, often answers honestly, the former. This is after many years of school.
We’re in denial about the true love of Yiddishkeit among our “good” youth. He says he gets asked regularly by “good” kids and “good” young adults (not with emotional problems or histories) “Do we really have to follow all the Mitzvos?” “How do we know?” “Why?” He feels these questions should have been answered early on in school and reviewed.
He says the basic questions that are answered which a Baal Teshuva hears in his first Kiruv class, arent touched on in twelve years of school. Then we wonder why are youth walks around clueless and aimless, and doing things by rote (I add, sometimes only publicly, unfortunately, as with the Orthoprax). Rabbi Rietti has spoken similarly, giving over necessary facts and figures that crystallize the validity of the Torah (a can of worms, an unwanted topic in many frum schools), that twelve years of school sadly never focused on.
We assume that our children understand the purpose of Jews, the validity of the Torah, and those in Chinuch gloss over it, and focus on the minutae of how to be frum and not the feelings behind it.June 17, 2011 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #779539
Ofcourse -I’d like to add -your post should be in the topic of “chumras” because a lot of chumras people do is because s/o else is doing it. Not only do people do the Torah & mitzvos by rote they also do chumras the same way and have no clue why they are doing them!June 17, 2011 6:21 pm at 6:21 pm #779540
Health, your post should be in the topic of “chumras”
My post mainly adresses the problem that we have amongst us, MANY 12 years plus Yeshivah educated kids, who are cold, clueless and blase about Yiddishkeit, some nevertheless observing Mitzvos, some not, never mind Chumras. This is not according to me, it’s according to the well known speakers who are trying to be Mekarev them.June 22, 2011 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #779541Huyde LaHashemMember
i dont know who sed it, but someone said the smartest go offf the derech.
I beg to differ.
the smartest are sitting in yeshiva (yes, along with hypocrits who dont understand, bla bla) because a smart person will see the smartest, most logical, beautiful thing in the world-Hashem and Torah. The ones who go off may be inquisitive and searching and may not get the right answers, but they are not the smartest.
Even in the past generation where the intelectuals went off. if they were all that smart, they would come to see the true light, not all the ‘brilliant’ isms. They might be struggling or have weak characters that makes them indulge in desires.
No, it is not the smartest ones who go off.June 22, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm #779542mischiefmakerMember
I really don’t have patience to read the whole thread but I just want to point out one thing. (someone might have said this though)
People tend to pity the parents and families of these children and think of the children as horrible. Being that I was at risk myself and b”h returned, I want to say that the pain is excrutiating *spelling lol* for those who are in it. Every time I would do something I knew was wrong but felt that I needed to do it I would just cry and cry after. I knew Hashem was there but I just was angry. And yes, the smartest do go off. People go through intense hardships that you just may not even believe but I can’t say always but definitely most of the OTD kids had some trouble in school or at home. Many times it has to do with parents and then the parents are the ones who are pitied when they’re the ones at fault-NOT always the case thought.
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