Forum Replies Created
Gitty: If I didn’t realize you were female and responding to Shindy, I would have thought you were my own child, the experiences are so parallel. Shindy: I have been in the parsha a long time and unfortunately the empty chair at the seudas stings as badly now as it did in the beginning. But on a positive note, the parent/child relationship definitely can improve after the child moves out, when they no longer feel they have to defend themselves daily. Also, as you said, personally and communally we are beginning to look with more sensitivity and understanding at the whole Off the Derech problem.
As an aside, Arutz 7 website posted yesterday that there is a kiruv group now attempting to reach out to “formerly frum” singles, to address their specific needs. When someone goes off the derech and is of “shidduch age” there are important areas of assistance they might need to make sure they at least will marry Jewish, if not frum. Shindy, it sounds like you are relatively new to this situation (1 year) but if you are interested in speaking personally please let me know if there is a way to contact you.
Would like to hear from someone who saw the PETA video filmed secretly at Agriproccessors. The film objected to frum Jews calling the slaughter humane, when the footage showed cows who were obviously still alive and trying (sometimes succeeding) to stand up and walk after being slit and having contents removed. Granted, footage at any slaughterhouse would be very disturbing to the uninitiated, however, this film seemed to clearly support their accusation. Would appreciate if only those who have seen the video would respond.
I hear you and know the situation; I am also trying to nurture a child who was rejected and is now OTD try to pick up the pieces of his life. I have a question for you. You say you are waiting eagerly for the day when you no longer have to deal with yeshivas. What about your future grandchildren? What advice would you give your children if they one day are facing yeshiva with their own children? I have been thinking about this for a while, as I fear I would no longer be able to honestly guide my children to send their children to yeshiva. That doesn’t mean there is anything better out there; maybe just the lesser of bad choices.
FeifUn: Hope you will turn this around and try to help others going through it! Especially those who have not yet reached the point of return. Your message is more powerful than many kiruv professionals.
My heart breaks for the writer of this letter, and for all of the kids who have been broken. The silver lining here, though, is that your letter made it through the editing process and appears at all in a public forum. A few years back it would have simply been ignored and labeled “yeshiva bashing”. So not only did the families suffer the injustices, but there was nowhere to bring the problem to the public…If we will ever find solutions, at least we have to first discuss the problem in all of its dimensions, from 1)who are the mechanchim that are hired, and why are they hired? 2)accountability to parents and willingness to work in a partnership 3) changes in the arrogance that assumes so many precious neshamas are unworthy, etc….I do wonder, though, why the parents who have been victims have yet to get organized? This has been going on a long time.
Is it possible for people familiar with smaller towns outside of the NY metro area to mention them here? Specifically towns that are less exclusive and intolerant, but with a kehilla large enough to meet the needs of a frum family?
It is one thing to say a community’s yeshivas are bursting at the seams and new schools need to be built. It is quite another to forbid Jewish children entry into the existing yeshivas, although crowded, while waiting for the new yeshivas to be built. The students who are suffering immense pain due to this rejection have taken their first step toward Off the Derech. The communities should be smart and not let them get to step 2.
Just a thought, from one who has been in this parsha for a while: the real heros of kiruv are those working with the off the derech young people. Rabbi Shimon Russel, addressing a conference on Off the Derech, said that the whole inyan of OTD was to cause the klal to do teshuvah. I understand this better as time passes. When we do kiruv with this population, unlike the kiruv with tinokos she’nishba, we must in the process face our own shortcomings, face what is wrong with us that caused the young people to leave yiddishkeit.
If a child leaves yiddishkeit and has never heard, from home nor school, of any other options in the non-frum world, then they will likely fall into a delinquint lifestyle. The problem is the lack of options offered to address all of the unique gifts that each Jew has been endowed with. If the only options are either star learner or worthless, it is hard for an OTD kid to pick up the pieces and figure out what to do next. It is the frum parents, communities and schools that have to widen our vision and accommodate all of HKB”H’s Jews, with all of their various talents and inclinations, and channel them correctly so that we don’t have such a delinquency crisis.
Any teenager who is the victim of a parent who beats them as described above, should not be afraid to reach out for help in the community. There are people who can help, such as M.A.S.K. hotline. They should not be afraid of their abuser’s privacy or status–if a child is being physically abused they should speak out and try to protect themselves from further abuse.