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  • in reply to: Should we be medicating our kids? #1757418


    To add more of my “cents” in…
    A pharmacological solution is not, in of itself, a solution. Any person, but especially a child who has the need for pharmacological assistance, needs to be cognizant that medication is an “assist”. It is not a solution. A child needs to understand that he or she has the ability to have control over his or her behavior. The medication will not “fix” the behavior problem, rather, it will give the individual time to “pause” and consider what would be best behavior choice.
    Medication should never be used on its own. It should be used in conjunction with a mental health professional.

    in reply to: Mental Health and Judaism #1749099


    You are obviously educated, which is great to have an intelligent conversation, debate or dialog with.

    The Torah also (as far as I can recall) does not state that one does NOT get PTSD or any other challenges, after killing EVEN if doing so because G-d said to do it. Being unaffected by killing a human, is a sign of something else entirely.

    in reply to: Mental Health and Judaism #1748086


    Actually, I know that @rational was speaking tongue in cheek, and thought it was rather amusing… but..then again, weird things tend to entertain me.

    in reply to: Mental Health and Judaism #1748085


    1. To Mentsch1
    Going through my divorce I also came to STRONGLY realize that many “ravs” are pressured to and often do succumb to the political and financial pressures of making sure that they do not “offend” the wallet to which they are succumbing. Granted, this occurs more often in smaller towns and cities, but not everyone has the luxury of nebach living in NYC or Lakeood Eyr Hakodesh (please note the extreme sarcasm which I have added for my own entertainment). A respected, educated,good, honest, ethical rav is hard to find. So is a respected, educated good, honest, ethical mental health provider. For the record, you can find a respected, good therapist or psychologist that is female, you will be hard pressed to find a respected female “rav”. There is an ENTIRE gender out there that is overlooked when it comes to needing certain things. During the years I was single, married, divorced, etc., I came across a significant number of women who simply were not comfortable talking to a male rav. And why should she? Her entire childhood was structured so that she was kept away from boys, sex and boys were considered taboo subjects. They were never discussed. And then, one day, she turns 18 and suddenly, she’s dating for about 4 minutes, she still knows nothing about the opposite gender, and she’s thrown into the role of wife. She is never taught about how to communicate with the opposite gender, she is likely never going to be comfortable speaking to a rav in private as he is not her husband (whom she barely knows anyhow).. and I am barely scratching the surface.
    Boys are the same way BTW. They essentially talk to their shtender for 18 years, and the shtender never talks back. Then he gets married after 20 minutes of knowing this foreign person… and OMG, she talks back! He has no idea how to talk to her, he has no idea how to communicate with each other.
    This is so irresponsible I can’t even begin to describe the number of problems it has caused within communities.

    Oh, and BTW, I will work with almost anyone. I have worked with children, adults, and almost every felon population known to man. I have worked with law enforcement officers primarily for the past 10 years (almost). I work with sex offenders, murderers, drug dealers and gang bangers. But I REFUSE to do marriage counseling. It is my personal belief that marriage counseling causes more harm than good, and I believe that to be true regardless of whether it’s a good rav or a good psychologist. Every individual who does counseling makes mistakes, we all do.

    However, I will tell you this. ANY PERSON who carries a weapon that kills in today’s world HAS to be fully prepared for the chance that they will take a life. Perhaps in the times of the Beis Hamikdash mental status was different. But in today’s world, even drawing one’s weapon against another person has an irreversible impact on a person. And, as a former law enforcement officer, though my time on the job was short, the concept that I may have had to take a human life was NOT an easy one to swallow. God may be infallible, but he made HUMANS fallible. Yes, he created us, but he also created mental and physical illnesses that cause harm to us. If God created us to be without harm, why would He have created the things that cause harm? It is contradictory.

    I will say this. I HAVE been in that situation… and it creates something in my mind, that demon, or ghost, or memory (everyone has different words for it) comes to visit at night when I sleep. And many times, it’s not worth it to go to sleep knowing the terrors that visit when my eyes close. And that doesn’t include the night terrors from the years of abuse at the hands of family… trauma does terrible things to the brain.
    Because of MY personal experiences, I would trust a good PERSON, regardless if they are a rav or a psychologist, any day.

    Second, with regards to diseases and disorders now being created by the APA… well, I can’t argue with you about that. I happen to agree with you. I believe this latest gender dysmorphia to be complete garbage. There are two genders, not 12 or 16 or whatever number they have now come up with. Just because a person identifies as a penguin does not mean he is a penguin. And I understand that basic halachah doesn’t change, but with the advancement of technology, certain halachos have to either be adapted, or adopted
    (how would a religious astronaut keep shabbos on board the shuttle?)

    But enough of me rambling… These are topics I could talk about forever…

    with respect to @rational
    I can generally tell when a person is being something akin to a donkey… and I either play with them merely because I am entertained (I have been told numerous times to stop playing with my food), or I ignore them, because they aren’t worth the energy. But, thank you 🙂

    in reply to: Mental Health and Judaism #1747916


    To Laskern

    Interesting point you bring up… but not all teachers are like that rebbe BUT…
    My children attended a school while we were going through some very difficult things as a family. Because of the importance and unfortunately trauma of these issues, the school had to be aware of what was going on, and so were the teachers. These issues went on for several years, but, we insisted and instructed each and every teacher that the expectation of the child should not, under ANY circumstances be lowered. In spite of what we as a family were dealing with, our children had a tremendous amount of love, support and stability, and the children received mental health assistance as well. They had a solid and warm support system.

    In spite of that, several of my eldest child’s teachers told us that they were treating our child differently, because they had sympathy for the situation and did not want to put added stress or pressure on the child. Thus, they significantly lowered their expectations, causing the child abject misery for the remainder of their educational career

    Another child, who happens to have special needs was placed in the mainstream class with the rest of their classmates. Unfortunately, the city that we were living in, did not (at that time) have any “official” services for students with this child’s type of need (long story). So, the child received an “aide” to assist them with their studies.
    The “aide” was a newly married, fresh faced from Israel individual who knew virtually nothing about education short of what they had seen when they were in school. Ironically, I was this individual’s teacher for one year, during my extremely long educational career before I switched careers. Throughout the school year, I would receive several disrespectful emails (maybe got three over the course of the year) from the “aide” regarding my child’s actions and education, progress or lack thereof and so on. The emails were short, did not address any true nor accurate information, and essentially stated that my child would never succeed and the aide did not know why they were wasting their time.

    This was not ONE email. This was the tone of EVERY email. In response, I very civilly sent back curt, but kind emails thanking this “aide” for all they did… whatever that was. My child LOVED this aide. I suspect it was because the aide did not require anything from my child, and left my child to their own devices. For my child, it was books and reading.. so, that’s what they did, all during class, all during recess, they never went outside and played, did not play during gym, did not play with other children, did nothing but read for an entire year. This, as you can imagine, thrilled and delighted me, but unfortunately, I was extremely limited in how I could handle the situation.

    At the end of the school year I contacted this aide and had a frank conversation with them. I asked the aide if they LIKED my child.
    Of course, the immediate response was yes.
    I then asked about the emails, the few and far between once, and the tone within. From this aide, whom I had taught well over 20 years before when they were in 2nd grade, had the nerve to say to me “Parents have to respect me. It is not my job to contact parents, if they need something, they have to contact me. You should feel lucky I sent you anything at all” I will respect YWN by NOT repeating what I said to the aide after that.
    Then I asked the aide again, if they LIKED my child. Again, the immediate response was yes. I responded with the following (and this is actually the point of my story).
    “All teachers will not like all their students. I am well aware that you do not like my child. The tones of your email and your disrespectful attitude throughout this conversation clearly reflect that. It is OK for a teacher not to like a child It is something that happens, and you are NOT going to like every child that comes your way. I KNOW you don’t like my child, and that’s OK. What is NEVER OK is for either the parents OR the child to EVER know that you do not like them. EVER.”

    Children with special needs or labels frequently have lower expectations required of them, and are often the target of bullies in school. It’s sad that some of those bullies are the adults.

    in reply to: Mental Health and Judaism #1747909


    I’m going to ignore whatever Neville says because it is obvious he has little to no education in the background of psychology.


    @rebyid: You are absolutely right. Most cases of PTSD are preventable.



    That, is how most cases of PTSD can be prevented.

    in reply to: Mental Health and Judaism #1747840


    @The Little I know.
    1. Thank you.
    2. I am going to ramble, and go from subject to subject, and probably lose you a few times because I have MANY squirrel moments as I like to call them. I am SEVERELY ADHD AND ADD, but still managed to stay focused enough to get my many worthless pieces of expensive paper without drugs.
    3. I both agree and disagree with some of what you wrote. You are correct that the yeshivos and even the public schools are filled to beyond capacity. However, the interplay between discipline and education often don’t work because the rebbeim and teachers are not taught HOW to teach. Often they are people who need jobs within that community, and poof, instant teacher. But they are not teachers nor instructors. In the “days of old” you had rebbeim and teachers smacking or hitting the students with rulers or even worse, with their hands, causing the children to fear both going to school and learning. This caused generations of students not only to hate learning, but to harbor decades and decades of resentment towards schools, religion, families, and so on, only causing more pain, which often then manifested more abuse, whether in families or in communities.

    Sadly, violence often begets violence, and cycles perpetuate themselves unless consciously broken (which is a very difficult thing to do).

    These days, there are more educated rebbeim and teachers and morahs even, but it’s rare to find any of these people holding valid state teachers licenses. It’s not like college or university is strongly encouraged. But when it comes to educating our children, education of the teachers should be TOP priority, and it’s really not.

    There is a blatant lack of respect that is almost subconsciously encouraged by the schools in how their “English” or General Studies teachers are treated. Regardless if that teacher is frum or not, the English and General Studies teachers are often paid far less, not treated the same with regards to “Bonuses” at yomim tovim or summer break, and left out at Chanukah time because they are (as I was told for many years) “just an English teacher” (even though for quite a large number of years I was the ONLY teacher in the entire school to hold a valid teachers license). Children see that, and learn from it.

    Keep in mind btw, that because I was “just an English teacher” I was not entitled to maternity/paternity leave when my children were born, causing terrible financial hardship. But again, that did not matter because I was “just an English teacher”. But I digress… going back to your comment….

    A well trained teacher or rebbe knows exactly how to handle both education and discipline in his/her classroom, and can do so without interrupting the flow of the class. A really good teacher/rebbe will keep the ‘troublemaker’ in class, and will adapt his/her teaching style to those of the children in his/her class. For example, a teacher might teach the same unit in visual, audible, and tactile styles, ensuring that all the learning styles of the class are met. And a teacher for older students will ask their students how they learn best, since by high school most children know in what way the information sticks with them. A VERY good teacher will make sure to adapt his or her lessons each year to ensure that the material does not get boring, and that the students will actually learn something year to year. The teacher cannot be bored with his or her lesson either, because that will translate to the students getting bored. The first year I taught, I leaned against the door jam as I was lecturing, and essentially bored myself to sleep. I realized that if I was bored enough to fall asleep WHILE talking/teaching, my students were even more so. I immediately changed everything about the way that I taught.

    Teaching and educational methods, along with ways to ensure that lessons work, how to evaluate those lessons, and how to deal with children with behavioral needs, special needs, ADHD and ADD children, even children on the pervasive development scale, could all have those needs met in a multi stage and mainstream classroom, but these methods that are taught, and often taught WELL in college. But, college educated teachers are far and few between in yeshivos and day schools.

    3. You are absolutely correct about cookie cutter lessons, but again, there are ways for a creative teacher to “spice” those lessons up, and change them, even slightly, from year to year. What unfortunately does not change, is that schools that get any money from the government for any reasons, are required to have their students take state exams of some kind, all of which are standardized. Thus, the teacher finds him or herself teaching to a test, which is basically a lot of useless information that the children will never, ever use.

    Additionally, there are a large number of extremely bright, intelligent children, who do not test well, and therefore, are then labeled and stuck in classes that are not good for them, often boring, etc. (which can then cause additional problems), all because of an asinine test that hasn’t changed since its inception, and is essentially a tool that sets many children up for failure. And those children, because they have been improperly labeled or tagged, will therefore never have their true educational needs met.

    Norms, as you state, are a very very dangerous thing. By definition, and of course statistically, a child that doesn’t meet that specified percentage of the “norm”, or doesn’t quite meet the required numbers, is then statistically set up for failure each and every year post that first test. The first failure that a child becomes vitally aware of, will be the measurement that both they, and the schools, will measure them for the remainder of their academic career. Making a predetermined norm is likely one of the most destructive things that schools, as well as diagnosticians could have possibly done.

    I could give an individual an assessment and if that individual scores a 31 or higher on certain scales, they would be “predetermined” to be a psychopath, exhibit psychopathic behaviors, etc. If that individual becomes aware of their score, they then have an excuse to behave in an inexcusable manner, saying “well, this is what I am because someone told me that this is what I am. Take it up with them”. If the person has no knowledge of where he or she falls on the psychopathy checklist, he or she could end up becoming something brilliant and amazing. Perhaps he or she goes on to cure cancer. That person never takes advantage of his potential situation just because they might fall on a scale set up by a person or group of people who think one way and one way only.

    And, it is in my personal opinion, that conforming to any predetermined norm has the potential to be very dangerous. People become sheeple instead of potential leaders, children with exceptional imaginations have them lectured or beaten out of them, when the imagination could have created something amazing. Conformation… is dangerous if not done correctly. We are not encouraging our children to be something amazing and wonderful, something different. We are telling them to do exactly what the rest of the children do. So, if the rest of the children act like vilde chayas, then we are telling our child, conform to that, that’s the way to do it. If as adults, the general norm is to cheat and lie on one’s taxes, and then use HUD, Welfare, Medicaid and food stamps… that’s the norm that we anticipate out children will conform to. But it’s still not right, even if everyone else is doing it.
    Additionally, I want to add something that is “hinted to” but not stated outright. Just because a child is different in how he or she thinks, or that individual questions G-d, or even his or her religious observance, does not mean that this person is mentally ill or unstable. And, it is exceptionally important in today’s day and age, that we not immediately insist that people who act differently, perhaps not as “expected” or a person does not “conform” to something he or she is morally, ethically, or simply just opposed to, immediately run to seek mental health assistance. We do a tremendous disservice to people when we take someone who does not conform, and stick them with a mentally ill tag.

    in reply to: Mental Health and Judaism #1747819


    Oh, and another thing… to Rabbi of Crawly…

    PTSD is actually a clear and rather significant mental disorder in today’s world The sheer amount of trauma that law enforcement officers, fire service officers, emergency medical services, doctors and nurses, as well as military veterans, especially those that have seen combat, takes its toll on the brain.

    The human brain is not designed to take a life without some form of consequence. There is a reason why the homicide, suicide, divorce and addiction rates among police officers especially, are so high. And it’s not because some doctor or some psychiatrist somewhere told these individuals that there was something wrong with them. Quite the contrary. Individual counselors and medical doctors who are fully aware of the lifestyle of people who lose lives or take lives will tell you that it causes irreparable damage to the human psyche. But those that have never had any experience or exposure to what first responders deal with, would be happy to say some of the same ignorant and irresponsible things that you have stated. And ANY of us that experience mild, moderate or even severe Post Traumatic Stress, will tell you that it is very VERY real.

    And, for the record, stress (as a simple definition) is merely the body’s reaction to change. Stress by itself is neutral, the cause of that stress is what determines whether the stress is good or bad, and how the body will respond to it. For example, having a baby causes stress on both the mother and the father, but it is a positive source of stress. Having a four year old die in your arms also causes stress, but it is a very negative stress. Both examples will cause a change in lifestyle, but one is going to be positive (hopefully) and one will always be negative, though both will cause years of change to that person.

    in reply to: Mental Health and Judaism #1747793


    @Syag Lchochma

    Thank you. Interestingly enough, I’m anything but. I won’t put my name, Hebrew or otherwise on here, but.. if you daven.. please keep me in mind.


    in reply to: Mental Health and Judaism #1747750


    Just to add my two cents in…
    I am a PhD and worked with children for several decades…
    There is a VAST difference between legitimate Attention and Attention Deficient/Hyperactivity Disorders and conduct disorders or behavioral disorders. Children will generally act out in school if there is something going on at home that they cannot control, if they are bored in class, or if they haven’t had adequate sleep or nutrition. There are studies that show a direct correlation between ADHD and lack of sleep or even sleep disorders in children. In today’s world, unfortunately, children are not getting the same amount of sleep, play time outside or nutrition.

    A Vitamin D deficiency in people will frequently start when children are young, and do not get enough sunshine. Lack of Vitamin D can lead to all sorts of medical issues (especially in men) as people get older.
    ADHD and ADD can be treated with appropriate medication. If the child is “zombied out” in class or at home, they are either on the wrong medication or their dosage is way too high. ADHD and ADD medication should never be used in order to control behavior. Children who may display symptoms of ADD and ADHD should be seen by a Child Psychiatrist as well as their primary care physician prior to taking any psychotropic medication, and the child should be carefully monitored after taking such medications. However, it is also encouraged that children taking psychotropic medications should be seen by a therapist, licensed social worker, counselor or psychologist for cognitive behavioral therapy. The child would need to learn to control his behavior WITH the medication, the medication should not be expected to fix, or cure, the child. Thus, when a child misbehaves, it can’t be blamed on whether or not he or she took their daily medication, but the child needs to understand that the medication is only one step of the process, they also have to be invested in their behaviors.

    If the child does not have ADD or ADHD, but they are just acting out or severely misbehaving, regardless of the reason, their actions should be controlled through CBT or DBT, NOT through medications. The child has to learn appropriate behaviors in and out of public or they are in danger of developing a conduct disorder.

    Conduct disorders can lead directly to psychopathic behaviors as they get older. If a child with a behavior or conduct disorder is medicated, the underlying problem is never resolved, all you would have is a child that is such a zombie, he is physically unable to do anything, not school work, not play time, nothing. So all you essentially have is a chemically lobotomized child, who will never learn the right way to behave in public or in various situations.

    Again, just my two cents, education and years of experience talking…

    in reply to: Footsteps, ?????? ?????? #1166073


    Sparkly and Thinking out Loud..

    two things. I worked in kiruv for many years. That in of itself should tell you something. One thing that I learned in high school, which I believed but never believed… was that when you sweep the floor, the floor gets cleaned up, but no matter how good the broom is, it will get dirty. and two, NCSY is great for teenagers. What about those of us in the ADULT population? Like thirties, forties and up?

    in reply to: Footsteps, ?????? ?????? #1166064


    You know, zahava’s dad..

    I’ve followed your posts for years… I agreed with some, I disagreed with others, but you’ve always remained respectful, something that many in the coffee room have shown an inability to do.

    I respect you greatly for that. I now have more respect for you. You’ve made my point in a cleaner way than I ever could have. I’ve been told that I’m well versed in the art of diplomacy, but you’re the master. Thank you for that, it’s lovely to see. Zahava (whomever she may be, may she be long lived and healthy) is a lucky young woman. I’m only sorry my father doesn’t have as much pride in his own children.

    Thank you.

    in reply to: Footsteps, ?????? ?????? #1166061


    Hi Ben Levi,

    Thank you for your response. Allow me to counterpoint…

    1. I was in the same boat as you. Instead of being rushed to the Emergency Room, I was maligned and told that there was no other excuse for my behavior other than to be addicted to narcotics.

    It took me passing out, being misdiagnosed and then wrongly medicated, having my heart stop, and extreme measures taken (Thank goodness my DNR was overlooked, too) for me to get the medical attention I desperately needed. I was then diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness that has taken me years to deal with having and getting somewhat under control.

    Does that mean that I no longer see doctors? Does it mean I no longer see people? Of course not. In fact, I have made my living serving others. However, I no longer see THOSE doctors or go to THAT hospital, and I am significantly more wary, suspicious and hesitant to see any medical professional that I don’t fully and completely trust unless I feel that my life is in danger, in which case I immediately request an ombudsman from the hospital or a medical advocate to speak with and for me.

    2. I realize that this is a widely unpopular opinion, but your OPINION is that Torah is the road map for the map of life. If/when someone gets lost, they can pull over and stop their trip, they can take a break and regroup or they can ask for directions. IF when they ask for directions, they are again and again given the wrong directions, at some point, they will stop asking.

    Regardless, thank you for your comments.

    in reply to: Footsteps, ?????? ?????? #1166057



    You are very kind. Thank you. I have a lot of grievances towards the family that I was part of at one point. But one thing I can honestly say I have tremendous gratitude for is that the years of abuse made me a very strong woman.

    Have an easy fast.

    in reply to: Footsteps, ?????? ?????? #1166056


    Syag Lchochma,

    I am doing very well thank you. I don’t know what blog you are referring to… But I am more than happy to communicate privately with you if the Moderators are willing to mediate an email address exchange.

    That’s entirely up to them.

    I have thrived. I’m no longer part of the abusive community or family I was. I am thank god far far away and happy that way.

    I won’t tell you that there arent things from the past that I don’t miss, because that would be a lie, and one thing that I promised myself I would not do any longer is play into the “lies, manipulations and word games” that were perpetrated in the community I was part of once upon a time, however, what I do not miss, and never will, is the shaming part that went along with trying to get someone to come back to the “fold”. Shaming someone will only push the person further away, and at the end of the day, the fact is IF that person comes back it’s because they can’t make it on their own, not necessarily because they wish to.

    That’s not a reason to be religious.

    in reply to: Footsteps, ?????? ?????? #1166051


    I’m sure I will get attacked over this.. but I’m going to do it for “knowledge” sake. So I’m guessing I’m going to be labeled an “eruv rav” by what I’m going to state:

    I am not religious. I made this choice as an educated, mentally stable, not criminal adult. My reasons are personal and I will not discuss them here. It should be noted that those that choose to not live a frum lifestyle are not necessarily criminally insane or mentally unstable. As one poster said, some of us suffered so much trauma at the hands of “supposed” G-d fearing individuals, and people who claim to be “frum” and “yeshivish” that we were simply unwilling to remain frum. And claiming to be G-d fearing, and yet abusing your children or your spouse, is completely the antithesis of what Yiddishkeit is supposed to be.

    Additionally, I want to note that a jew that chooses to live a not frum lifestyle, no matter the extent, is NOT a goy. You can claim that they are lost, off the derech (which is another term I don’t like, because if we compare ourselves to generations past, we are ALL off the derech), but we are not goyim. I was born a Jew, and whether or not I live as a Jew, I will die as a Jew.

    Someone actually had the nerve to tell my son that his mother (me) was a goy because I was not frum anymore. My son thought that because I was a “goy” according to this person, that he was one also. One should be very very careful what terms they use.

    I contacted Footsteps when I first got out, because I needed help processing what I was dealing with. The abuse, alcoholism, neglect, and then public shaming, the humiliating shunning, the lack of any support and the sheer volumes of rechilus and lashon hora spoken by the RABONNIM of the community, let alone my own “family” almost killed me. Footsteps was referred to me by someone who wanted to help.

    To say that Footsteps was not a help would be a significant understatement. There was no encouragement, and if I wanted or needed help, I would have to go into the city, which was not an easy feat.

    They would not speak with me over the telephone, and the only resource they would give me was one where again, I would have to go into the city to speak with them. That’s not to say they weren’t going to help me, but again (I’m stressing this for a reason) they would not help unless I was there in person.

    I managed to make it, survive, and thrive even, in spite of their not being willing to help or provide counsel over the phone or via email. But, I wouldn’t refer them to anyone who desperately needed assistance. It was a worthless experience, and a waste of previous time and energy.

    I’ve done my research into Footsteps. While I personally believe that Joseph is being a little contradictory using words like “yemach shemo” and essentially shaming those that use the Footsteps program, is a bit harsh, to say the least, I also believe that to some extent, he has a point. Footsteps is not the organization that they publicly claim to be.

    in reply to: Girl I want to get engaged to wants me to change my Rabbi #1047150


    Reb Dovid,bit sounds to me like you are looking for an excuse to break up with this girl. Give her her name so I can call her and warn her away from you. You sound archaic and selfish, not to mention absolutely and completely intolerant, and no one should have to live with that. I hope you and your rav are very happy together.

    in reply to: LIST THE HOUSES WHO DON'T SHOVEL HERE #1005306


    This thread is so inappropriate. If you see a house that doesn’t shovel, walk in the street near there. And before you all jump down my throat about how dangerous it is to walk in the street, I know, but most of you do it anyhow on the way to and from shul on shabbat. A thread like this is PURE malice… and considering how many threads I read about why tragic things occur to Jews, consider a thread like this.

    MODERATOR: Perhaps THIS thread you should remove?????

    in reply to: Going off the Derech #1183031


    I can’t understand why this thread is still up, and hasn’t been closed by the Moderator yet. All the other “OTD” threads get shut down, but this one? Still going? For what purpose?

    WOW, I feel for you, it’s hard to be a parent and think that you’ve done something wrong. BUT, I’m an OTD, and I can tell you, with certainty, that when a child goes OTD, it’s NOT always the fault of the parents. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it’s not. Go see a professional, a therapist (NOT a Life Coach. Aries, I respect what you do, but a Life Coach is not a licensed therapist) and the Coffee Room is far from professional.

    I can tell you from personal experience that in my case, it was the home, the school, the community… there were many many factors.

    Can we close this thread now so that the name calling and blame and fault stops?

    in reply to: cheap shalach manos #917737


    Give a lump sum to a food bank gemach, print out cards stating a donation has been made in lieu of Mishloach Manot because of the high hunger rate amongst Jews, and the necessity of feeding people (or something along those lines), send Mishloach Manot to one person with 2 food items with different brachot so that your halachic obligation is met, quit worrying about keeping up with the Jonses, Smiths, or anyone else. Food doesn’t get wasted, recycled, or thrown out. There isn’t a need to bake, cook or worry about a heksher, and a local tzedekah gets a much needed boost before Pesach.

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907328


    @Herr Himmell: I’ve already explained myself. If you are having difficuly with your comprehension, I suggest you get yourself tested. I will not respond to your poorly disguised attempts to pretend to act like an appropriate “frum” person again. Especially since I believe that you and Vochindik are one and the same. People with multiple personality disorders need to be heavily medicated, have you thought about seeing a psychiatrist?

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907319


    @groisnachas: There is only one thing I miss about being religious. My siblings.

    That is it. I can make my own food, my own shabbat, I can sing z’mirot, or whatever. I have never felt comfortable in shule, or in the community, regardless of where I have lived, and much like Runs With Scissors, with whom I can very much empathize, I am disillusioned, disappointed, disgusted, pick any of the multitude of “D” or other lettered adjectives that one chooses with frum judaism. Not because of God, but because of the people.

    The difference, is that I wanted to walk away for years and years, and when I finally made the ultimate decision to do so, I was so glad that I did. I have never in my life been more at peace. In terms of the situation in Israel, I may not consider myself religious anymore. That does not change the fact that I still very much consider myself a Jew. Born a Jew, Die a Jew. Period. And, my feelings regarding Israel have not changed. They are what they were 20 years ago, and 20 years before that. I love my children. They are the love and light of my life. However, should they come to me and state that they too have decided to not be religious, I would not love them any less, nor would I discourage them. Their choices are theirs and theirs alone. Never would I do to them what I see being done to other children all across the world. A child is a gift, and should be treated like one.

    @iced: I am pretty sure that one cannot equate being irreligious with being an alcoholic or a drug addict. I know, unfortunately, quite a number of “frum, black hat, yeshivish” individuals who are alcoholics, abusive, pedophiles, and drug addicts. And yet, they are welcomed into the loving arms of the frum community because they act and dress the part. I have only three words for that. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907317

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907307



    The moment I put on pants for the first time, in spite of the fact that my kashrut and shabbat observance were impeccable, I became trash in the eyes of the community and my family. Less “strict” or another form wouldn’t have mattered. A step away is a step away. And again, I’m quite content where I am. It doesn’t matter how many times I’m questioned, that’s not going to change.

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907306


    @Groisnachas: I have a considerable amount to say with regards to parenting. However, at this time, I am unable to do so, simply because I believe that it would give away entirely too much as to who I am, and where I was raised. I am unwilling to do that at this time. What I will say is this.

    Jeffrey Dahmer, a noted psychopath, whose very behaviors were so immoral that he himself was killed in prison, had parents that loved and cared for him in spite of his “character flaws”. So did David Berkowitz (Son of Sam), amongst others.

    One thing stands out, though publicly decrying their son’s behavior, Dahmer’s father and step mother also publicly stated that while they did not in any way shape or form condone their son’s behavior, he was, and always would be their son (not step son, not killer or pervert, but “son”, and for that reason, they would always love him and support him in any way they could without supporting his criminal actions.

    With all that being said, how many children and adults that go frei have parents and families that can say the same things to and about them, simply because they have chosen to not keep shabbat or kosher?

    That, in of itself, should be a lesson in parenting.

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907297



    I simply could not agree more. I come to this site to “Stay Connected”.

    I am not sure why I keep coming back. I must have a sadomasochistic streak, because the more I come here, the less I have the urge to return to “the fold”.


    I am denying to acquiesce with your position regarding your statement paying a heavy price for those that are OTD (in the yeshivish world of that particular definition).

    So tell me, whose sins are worse?

    Again, I am opening myself up for questions. If you would like to know, ask, but I will do my best not to lower myself to hypocrites and vendettas, and I will attempt to not respond to stupidities.

    If you have nothing constructive to say or ask, than say nothing at all.

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907291



    Thank you for that.

    Sometimes I wish I still had some faith in people left. Unfortunately, the rabbonim of which you speak must live in some other cities, because the ones in the cities in which I dealt with were worth nothing.

    And, for the kindness with which you are treating me, may YOU have much nachas from those around you.

    @ready now: What makes your advice “good” versus “bad”? Is your advice good because you’re the one giving it? I joined in this conversation for the same reason that the other poster did; in order to give input that was asked for, not for advice, and not for other reasons. I’ve given good and bad advice. I’ve been the receipient of good and bad advice, but I would never say that my advice is good simply because I am the one giving it. Narcissistic much?

    If one chooses to name other reigions by name, they will. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. That’s a choice that you are more than welcome to make, just as we all have choices. There are choices in every day life that people make, and my firm and strong belief is that the heavy criticism that extra narrow minded judgemental and even hypocrtical individuals such as (insert name here) push people such as myself, further away.

    I’ve made mention of Faranuk Margolis’ book before, it’s a supreme read, and quite on the mark, but I will go ahead and mention it again. I suggest for any of you that are really curious, as opposed to those of you that are merely here to “lovingly” inform those of us that have made our choices, that we are going to hell,to read this book. It will open your eyes.

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907286


    Just a thought.. by the way.

    Any one person who does not follow EXACTLY as their parents, and their parents before them, and their parents before them, and their parents before them, etc., have ALL gone “off the derech” so to speak.

    Additionally, unless each and every one of you know the exact specific details of why an individual has gone frei, secular, irreligious atheist or otherwise, it is certainly not your place to determine whether or not one is going to hell.

    Some of us have lived in hell most of our “religious” lives.

    And, to answer a question that I erronously did not respond to earlier, I have great faith in God, just none in people. Having read a majority of the forums on this website, I am sure that many of you can garner a small glimpse into why. I am not an atheist, just not religious.

    By the way, there are a great many “frum” psychotherapists. I put “frum” in quotations because I do not believe that any one person is still living exactly k’halacha. Some of our sins may be more obvious than others, but none of us can state with clarity that we live exactly as we should. And before any of you deny this, read the posts that call others’ on here names, state that they are going to burn, harass others, or speak lashon horah. Perhaps some of you choose not to follow a certain tradition, mayhaps did something that not have asked forgiveness for it, did not pray with enough concentration once, or so on, cheated the government on taxes or perhaps took food stamps, medicaid or other benefits when one was certainly not entitled to them because one could have worked, but chose not to, did not take care of their body, smoked (which could be looked at as a slow form of suicide?), did not give their 10% of all income every time, did not pay their taxes,took money under the table, cheated or mistreated another Jew, embarassed someone, did something without asking rabinnical counsel (and the Yeshiva World is NOT rabinnical counsel), was disrespectful to a child, did not always act “al kiddush hashem”…need I go on?

    I said that I would be open to answering questions, what I will not do, is justify my actions to the likes of individuals on here who will attempt, poorly, to shame me into pretending to feel bad for the lifestyle that I have chosen.

    I do not feel shame nor regret. I have never in my life hit another, certainly not in anger. But not a single member of my immediate family, including my decesased father, could have said that, and that includes my ex husband, who beat me, and continues to lay hands on my children in anger. That, is not what Torah intended. And, for a “rav” to state with clarity that I may have done something to “deserve” that, is also completely uncalled for, and does not deserve the title that his smicha paper is written on.

    Just a thought.

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907279


    To Clarify:

    Which I am happy to do (by the way). My ex husband and I shared a yeshivaworld account. When we were married, he posted here, and we could not afford basic necessities. He spent all day online, did not look for work, chose not to in fact, and he drank, a lot. All the money that we had, from me working, went towards my schooling, our yeshiva tuition for our children, and his drinking binges.

    NOW, I am divorced, I have finished my education, and yes, I live well, and I have changed the password on this account, and it is mine. If he wants an account, he can figure out how to get one on his own.

    In terms of me being a status symbol, it is exactly as it sounds. My family saw me as a status symbol, not as a child. When I did something right, they took the credit for it. When not, they threw me in the trash, as they saw I belonged (Vochindik, feel free to add your comment here, I am sure you will anyhow).

    No, I am not a troll, no, the Moderators are not confused. I am now divorced, I do not drink, nor do I do drugs. The money that I have is either invested (well) or I spend it on my children. I live well because I don’t waste like my ex did. I cannot, nor will I take responsibility for the posts that he put up. I also will not apologize for what he wrote. I can’t.

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907262

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907261


    1. I have the “warm fuzzies” for anyone who is harassed in any of these forums, solely because they believe differently than the vast majority.

    2. Willing to be open towards answering questions, does not mean willing to be open towards entertaining the idea of returning to frum judaism and dealing with the likes of closeminded *&^% like some of the people here.

    3. Pizza Pizza, I am so sorry, but no, you’re so far off the mark. I was raised with delicious food, lots of d’vrei torah, lots of singing and so on.

    4. I do not believe in organized religion and I do not attend any Jewish services at all at this time. The time may come when I might change my mind on that, but right now, that is not going to happen.

    5. I was raised in a very “Yeshivish” but not chasidish community. It was not anti college, and not pro college. It just was. My reasons for making the decision to go where I went has more to do with the people involved in the religion (see above) than the religion itself.

    6 @groisanachas:

    I cannot respond fairly to your question, because I do not feel that my parents ever love/loved me.

    I was a status symbol. Nothing more, nothing less.

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907253


    Oh. And all, please ignore “vochindik”, who takes a perverse pleasure in following me from forum to forum harassing me. He is one of many reasons I will never return to Yiddishkeit. If I will burn in hell, I will at least have neighbors that I know well. Vochindik, your lease is signed, sealed and delivered.

    Whoops, I guess I lowered myself. That won’t happen again.

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907251


    Good afternoon all,

    Several responses to all of you. First of all, I have never “done drugs”, I have never “partied” nor have I drank heavily, or lived a lifestyle such as that. I did not choose to become frei in order to live an immoral lifestyle. I never did, nor do I act in an immoral fashion, I don’t run around, nor act in a promiscuous fashion. I was raised in a neglectful home, and essentially was treated differently than my siblings, but that is not why I went frei. I still have respect for my family, and respect their choices, though they have little to none for mine, and that is their prerogative. I do not hate nor resent them, and before my father died, I forgave him, though I am sure he passed hating me, I will never know, and frankly, it’s sad, but I made my peace with his indifference towards me long ago.

    I am the only successful member of my family. I have an education (Ph.d) and a successful career, both of which I acheived on my own, and live quite well, in spite of the many hateful emails I am still receiving from the members of the “god fearing, religious, frum” members of the former community in which I used to live, telling me that I should just kill myself and make everyone happy (that’s one of the nicer ones), and in spite of the fact that it has been close to 3 years since I made my choice. I do not dress like a streetwalker, I do not look like a prostitute, nor do I dress like one. I make a point to dress with modesty, not because of religion, but because I prefer not to “show my wares” to everyone.

    I will not give out my entire story, because again, had I wished to be continuously attacked, I would have stayed within the community that I had originally lived. Second of all, I did make the choice to become not frum. It was a choice, pure and simple, and one that I made with complete and total clarity after weighing all my options (not that I felt I had too many after years of abuse and neglect).

    I would like I state with clarity however, that to compare someone becoming not frum and someone committing suicide are two completely different things. The American Psychological Society (of which I am a member) does not condone suicide because they feel that suicide, while debated amongst psychological professionals as ethical or otherwise, should be one’s choice only if it is a full informed decision. Since one is unable to make that determination because one is never aware of what actually occurs after death, one is physically or emotionally able to make a fully comprehensive informed decision about the finality of the decision of suicide.

    Now, as to the remained of your questions: I read one comment about a menahelet making certain inappropriate comments to students that she removed from her school about them being scum and so on, well, I had that in my school, to students who were still in the school, primarily to students that were not amongst the wealthy and priviledged (or deemed intelligent enough). But that’s not the reason I chose to make the decision I did.

    I will answer specific questions. BUT, because of how I was treated in other threads, and by other members in other threads, I will not tell my story, and I will not respond to one single member whom I feel is disrespectful or dismissive. I will not lower myself to their standards. And, by the way, to the one member who made the comment about going off the derech being an emotional decision rather than an informed one, I have to state, with clarity, that this is completely erronous. The decision I made was both INFORMED and EMOTIONAL. But, please don’t think for one second, that I did not think it through thoroughly. I was very well aware of what I was giving up. And I was well informed, both before and after, by everyone involved, through nasty telephone calls, hate mail, hate email, things thrown at my home, and other “messages”.

    My view of yiddishkeit, is not that it is “the best”. Quite the opposite.

    in reply to: BDE because of obama #906251



    Not disagreeing. One should have respect for the president of the country in which they live. Their fates are in his/her hands.

    in reply to: OTD Phenomenom #907211


    I am OTD. I would be happy to respond to questions as to why, as an adult (and yes, I am an adult, and did not go OTD until I was well into adulthood) I chose to become not frum (yes, it was a choice).

    But, the only way I would do so, is if I was not attacked here. And since I doubt that this would happen, since I often see the moderators allowing many posts that allow these attacks to take place, I am not sure that my input would matter.

    in reply to: Shocking Study of Modern Orthodox OTD Rate #941617


    @ Health,

    Topic, not You Chas V’shalom. I personally, attempt not to harass any one specific person in general unless attacked first. Thus, if you felt attacked, I whole heartedly apologize.

    in reply to: BDE because of obama #906245


    You know, it would be prudent to remember that we as Jews live in this country at the will and mercy of non Jews, and that we still have to have respect for the President of the United States, whether we like, or appreciate his attitudes, or morals, or not. Putting this sort of vitrole online for all to see is wrong.

    in reply to: Shocking Study of Modern Orthodox OTD Rate #941596


    This topic disgusts me..

    @health you stated to Dolphina that “I got news for you, it’s not Frum people’s job to make everybody Frum, but it is their job to speak the truth.”

    I don’t know one single person in this world, frum or otherwise who always speaks the truth. It is absolutely not a frum person’s job to speak the truth. It is a frum person’s job to serve their creator. How that person chooses to do that is between that person, and his/her creator.

    Come Yom Kippur, every individual is required to ask mechilah from those that they may have wronged, on the internet, in public, in private, or anywhere else before we can ask mechilah from the one above. There is a reason for that, and is is not ok to go around bashing others, and being all self righteous, judgemental. And yes, for those of you that want to tell me that I am being condescending (you’re entitled to your opinion, and I’m certainly not going to take that away from you, since I most definitely have my opinions of you, that may be, but what these threads do are WRONG.

    There is NO VALUE to them. NONE.

    All they do is breed hate, prejudice, distaste, dislike, disgust, and intolerance for one another.

    These threads are NOT a replacement for a rav. They are not replacements for friends. They are not replacements for a therapist! All these threads do is BREED HATRED. No Wonder Mochiach hasn’t come yet! He’s reading these threads and saying “I don’t want to be down there!”

    in reply to: A Wife’s Obligation Towards Her Husband & Kids #902293


    Regardless of whether or not the Moderators are 100 percent certain that that that one poster is another, wouldn’t it be better just to delete their posts or not post them at all, than to humiliate another in public?

    I’m appalled and frankly, saddened at the fact that the posts in the “Yeshiva World” coffee room (which really should just be called the “New York/New Jersey Coffee Room” are permitted to attack pretty much anyone who doesn’t agree with the standards of anyone else, and yes, I will include myself in this (before anyone else jumps on me here). But for a Moderator to do it, is completely uncalled for. A moderator should moderate, facilitate, host, whatever definition one wants to use, but to jump on the bandwagon of attacking another in public doesn’t exactly bring about the warm and fuzzy feelings towards jews in any way shape or form. Regardless of who is reading the posts. If a poster is a problem, delete his/her accounts or posts, or whatever, but to humiliate them is wrong, and frankly a waste of time, because if that person’s point is to bring attention to themselves, then all the moderator is doing, is giving that person exactly what they want.

    in reply to: A Wife’s Obligation Towards Her Husband & Kids #902286


    I’m not sure what disturbs me more, some of the comments in some of these threads, or the fact that the Moderator carelessly comments in such a nasty fashion, thus humiliating another in public.

    in reply to: Dr. Phil, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, mom from LKWD #901125



    I realize that I’m going against what I said about not posting again, but I am going to add one thing to here.

    You stated something about my “own father” in an earlier post. I would like to inform you, kindly, that my father is deceased. But allow me to thank you for rubbing salt in a very open wound. Again, you’ve done a beautiful job of making my point for me. Something you must have learned from your own obviously holy parents. They must be so very proud. Good for you.

    in reply to: Who Should be Giving Tochecho to Whom? #908177


    Just out of curiosity,

    Why is this bickering, name calling, nasty and pettyness any less of an aveyrah than say.. oh, not keeping kosher or shabbat?

    From what I understand, shaming someone, publicly or otherwise, bringing blood to their face, is akin to murder, so wouldn’t that mean that those of you that are being just so kind and nice to one another are just as sinful as the Modern Orthodox, Frei, or irreligious that you are always harping on?

    You may now all jump down my throat and attack me. Go right ahead…. waiting.. waiting… waiting…

    in reply to: Suicide (R"L) #901798



    I can’t tell you how nice it is that you are doing this. I recognize that there are those that would tell you that you are doing wrong, but considering that you were fired by this man, you are doing a wonderful thing for learning for his neshomah.

    There should be more yidden like you in this world. In the merit of what YOU are doing, may we see more joy in this world.

    in reply to: Shocking Study of Modern Orthodox OTD Rate #941531



    Brava (Bravo?)

    Thank you.

    in reply to: Dr. Phil, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, mom from LKWD #901116


    Thank you to those that have responded positively. To those that have nothing nice to say, I am not shocked. You probably learned that from your parents.

    In the interest of saving myself any more grief, I will not be responding to any more posts in this thread.

    in reply to: Dr. Phil, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, mom from LKWD #901102


    1. yes, I used to share the account with my ex. Still, not the point.

    2. Many of you are doing a beautiful job of making my point for me, so thank you for that.

    3. My life choices are not up for debate. Whether you believe me or not, is not a care of mine. The point is, abuse is rampant in the frum community. Believe it or not, you can deny deny deny, but it IS out there.

    4. “Rabbi” or “Mr” Boteach, is disgusting. The fact is, frum or not, no matter who or what some of you think I am, I would not discuss my sex life with anyone in public, whether I had a title in front of my name or not. I did not go on national television and discuss with Roseanne Barr, Madonna, or Michael Jackson how to live and have a better sex life, in order to make a holy dollar. Shmuely Boteach did. The Torah is supposed to be a guideline for modesty. This may come as a shock, but it is possible to be modest and not frum. It is also possible to claim to be God fearing and still be abusive, neglectful, vindictive, petty, mean and nasty (as some of you are doing a fabulous job of showing, so thanks again).

    I did not join this discussion to be further abused by more “frum” Jews. I could have stayed firmly in the community I used to live in for that. I will say this: Again, many of you have done a great job of affirming my thoughts of frumkeit.

    Moderator: Please consider leaving this post up. I will not be joining in this discussion further. I have had enough abuse from the Frumma Yidden in here, but perhaps this will cause some “very holy” people in here to realize that pushing someone who has already had enough abuse, further away, is not going to gain them a seat next to anyone Holy after 120 years.

    FYI: Faranuk Margolis wrote an excellent book called “Off the Derech” Some of you holy people should consider reading it.

    in reply to: Dr. Phil, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, mom from LKWD #901082



    I do not care one way or the other if you believe me or not.

    The story is what it is. A community does not need to support someone, but they should not be saying things to his/her children, or about them in front of their children.

    I am not a BUM (as you’ve so eloquently put it) because I have chosen not to be frum. Name calling however, does clearly make both my point, as well as Ms. Pearl’s. The TORAH does not permit name calling, regardless of your thoughts. You do not have the right to call me names because you do not like my choices. Aside from the fact that it is a violation of the “Coffee Room” Rules, it is also a Torah violation. But, that doesn’t seem to bother you too much, hmmm?

    My family has disowned me, and did take my abusive ex in. However, they did so PRIOR to me becoming non religious. And, my choice in not being frum was in part, due to their choice in taking him in. And it was the greatest gift they could have ever given me, and I thank God for it daily.

    I am not frum at all, which was, frankly, not the point of my post. The point of my post, was that what this woman went through is not an isolated incident. The fact is, that this occurs all the time, and many women are afraid to say something because they are afraid of losing everything they have.

    You can stick your head in the sand all you want. It does not change the facts that are there. Period.

    in reply to: Dr. Phil, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, mom from LKWD #901064


    I am relatively sure that the moderator will remove this comment, though I hope not, since this is important…

    I am going through the same thing as this “model mom”, though not in NYC, and not in public, and I will never go public, since it’s a huge chillul hashem, and I do not believe in that.

    From some of the therapists and experts that I have been dealing with, some of the frum, this is NOT an isolated incident, and this happens far more than it should.

    I will say, that I watched the program, and it was rather disturbing and disgusting on ALL levels. A few things that were said that I can agree with: Mr. Boteach is a disgusting human being, and Ms. Pearl stated that while Judaism is a beautiful thing, there are corruptions in the system, that often result in corruptions in personality. That, is absolutely true. She did state that the Torah is not meant to be lived like this, and I cannot help but agree. The way a lot of formerly frum women are being treated is a huge reason why so many are chased away from the lifestyle.

    MODERATOR: I sincerely hope that you will leave the post up. It really is important.

    in reply to: Pranks I wouldn't do on my worst enemy #988844


    Putting visene in someone’s “anything” is illegal, and can be prosecutable by the law, depending on how ill the person became. If the person becomes sick enough, you could be gacing attempted murder charges; at the very least malicious intent.

    And, why would you want to pull pranks on anyone? If they are your worst enemy, you should not bother giving them the time of day.

    in reply to: Disinheriting an OTD Child #893425


    Perhaps the child went OTD because of the parent and the child wants nothing to do with the parent.

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