Israel: Suicide of Chareidi Youth Raises Questions

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‘Y’, a child of a Yerushalayim chareidi family took his own life R”L. Family members blame the school he attended as a young child, apparently the victim of abuse.

According to an exclusive Kikar Shabbat report, Y attended the reputable chareidi school five years ago. His father was hospitalized with a serious illness during the same time period. Apparently the directors and staff of the yeshiva simply ignored the child’s difficult situation at home, and this is when the child’s situation began to deteriorate.

Y’s parents however remained determined to do their best for their son and they tried to get Y into another school. This during the time period the father was still hospitalized but nevertheless he learned with Y to assist in preparing him for the change of schools.

When the other school informed the family that Y was accepted they felt there was finally a ray of sunshine, a new hope. Unfortunately, the simcha was short lived as they learned that a principle of the old school phoned the new one, informing them the child is “very problematic” and the acceptance into the school became a rejection.

At this point, Y’s condition began to deteriorate more rapidly, and it was not too long until he moved to the north. It is pointed out that despite his change of venue he remained in touch with his parents and the family. Two weeks ago, Y, now 19, called and asked if he can come home for Shabbos. His parents were thrilled and they all enjoyed the special Shabbos. Y was singing zmiros and even got up for davening on Shabbos morning.

After davening he asked his father to open the Aron Kodesh and he placed his head inside between the sifrei torah and spoke to HKBH as he wept bitterly, as the family described the event. Two weeks later he was gone, taking his own life. The teen left a note which he wrote two days earlier.

At the levaya, one of the maspedim, HaRav Binayahu Shmueli spoke. “Woe is to us that teachers destroy talmidim and now we see the result. I personally know the deceased and the family. The problem is that today, anyone looking to earn a livelihood becomes a teacher. Today, not every teacher understands educations, and it is most unfortunate because of the failed system he fell”.

In a conversation with Kikar, a brother is quoted as adding “His rabbonim killed him. I learned in the same school and I know the situation first hand. The teachers killed him. I remember that period very well, when he wanted to come back to school and they did not permit him to. Even if a child is a joker and troublemaker, they must know how to deal with him and not to break him”.

“Perhaps our tragedy will shake the tzibur, awaken someone, and that everyone seeking to earn a living will not be hired as a teacher”.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)




33 COMMENTS

  1. My heart bleeds for this neshama and the family. May this be the last such story, and may HKBH inspire our entire community to grow btshuva or b’ahava.

  2. Its feels better to have someone to blame. However, I would not be so quick to blame educators. The behavior of some of these kids can cause a teacher to commit suicide!

  3. This is a horrible tragedy to a most Heilige Neshoma!! Through no fault of his, he suffered unbearably. Hashem will punish these people as they are harming innocent Neshomos! Hashem’s punishment for this is forever!!! Our children would be spared of the harm they do onto others.

  4. Education isn’t just about “book knowledge” it’s about “life knowledge”. The most important job that a teacher has is to impart a sense of personal value/self esteem to each of their students. When we believe in our children (students as well) they believe in themselves.

  5. In my opinion, this is the real problem of Jewish frum youth today; rejection by our schools; administrators and Rosh Yesiivos.
    This is what the upcoming Asifah should address. There would be no Internet crises or Children At Risk crises if the schools would be accepting and show love rather than rejection. Self-esteem, happinees and joy with oneself; these are the underlying words which would go a long way to cure much of our ills…not closing weaker classes in yeshivos. Ivdu Es Hashem B’simcha; all else fails.
    So don’t give me any eitzas at an Agudah convention that skirts around the real issue. It’s a halacha in the Rambam; rejection is Assur. We are the enemy.

  6. I have witnesed my well adjusted 40 year old spouse freeze up with repulsion upon seeing a teacher that had been extremely demeaning to the kids in class.

  7. I remember from High school how a friend of mine was thinking of suicide bc he was bullied upon and when he told the principle that he was being bullied the principle did nothing about it and added “watch out bc they will beat you up again”. How sad…..besides for his genius torah brain and his yichus, he wasn’t fit to be a Rebbe let alone a Principle !!!!!!!!!

  8. #4, I might be wrong but I don’t think you have a right to speak so harshly against the teachers! They probably didnt even realize his situation! You have to be Dan likav zechus!!!

  9. R”L THIS IS HAPPENING NOWDAYS THAT THE SCHOOLS THAT ARE SOMETIMES TAKING KIDS RELUCTANTLY THEN THOSE KIDS GET ABUSED BY THE OTHER KIDS AS THEY CAN FEEL IN THE AIR WHEN THE TEACHERS DONT WANT TO TEACH SUCH A KID THE SCHOOLS SHOULD BE OPENING THERE ARMS AND HELPING THESE KIDS AND NOT NOT ACCEPTING THEM AS QUTODED BY MORNU RAV ARYEH LEIB STIENMAN SHLITA THE SCHOOLS WHO DONT ACCEPT KIDS ARE DOING OUT OF GAVVAH WERE TOO GOOD FOR THEM HASHEM YARACHEM
    MAY WE BE ZOCEH TO SEE THE COMING OF MOSIACH BIMHARO VYOMENU OMEN

  10. The principal of the old school phoned the new one to discourage them from accepting the boy. Why? Jealousy? Gaiva? How many are guilty of the same type of phone call which ruins a life?

  11. You claim.”abuse” in the first paragraph, but then it is never substantiated.
    I have been on both sides of the family/school debate, and IMHO it is the family’s responsibility when a child goes off. Stop blaming the schools; unless there is mamash physical abuse, the onus isn’t there.

  12. I know of another case where a kid was bullied or abused by his rebbi and when he wanted to change yeshivas the princibal called up the other school and told them not to accept him because another brother uses the net. Now that kid isn’t religious anymore.

  13. This is so painful. Having just been through something completely and totally minor in comparison with my child (and in playgroup…) chas v’shalom that I am comparing! but just understanding a little bit how judging and mean some people in education are … I can’t stop crying for this family, may HKBH send them a nechama… when are we going to wake up and understand that we have to love our fellow Jew? In mainstream society this is not unusual… but we are Yidden!!! I am a very energetic and b’simcha person but it has become difficult to stay that way with so much tzuris around!!! Mamash we should be crying for Moshiach every minute and LOVING another Jew just like we love and accept our own foibles, our children’s, and our spouses’!! We are all brothers and sisters!! Oy oy this story hurts TOO much! It has become intolerable! Anyone with a brain and a Yiddishe heart knows what I mean! Please daven! Hashem Yerachem!

  14. OOOOHHH veys mir……

    How precious every neshema is, all children of hashem, words and actions are like knives in the chest to children, particularly sensitive ones who are suffering from personal problems…

  15. when i was eleven i changed schools
    my new rebbe never liked the previous school that i went to as his chasidus was against the previous schools chasidus
    from the first day in school i was beaten daily
    the principal of the school turned a blind eye because the rebbe was a holocast survivor.

  16. Tragic story but a very one sided and unfair article.

    Notice how there is no attempt to contact the Principals or schools for comment.

    People always look to blame others for their own shortcomings and/or tzaros. For parents, Teachers and Principles provide an easy target.

    Teachers can sometimes be at fault but so can parents, sholom bayis factors and the childs own mental health. None of these factors are addressed in this biased article.

  17. R’L.

    As with this article as all others that show issues with Klal Yisrael, we must have one reactions besides sadness and tefilla. That is: What am I going to do about it? Is this going on in my community with certain kids who could use an extra defender? Am I teaching my children properly to be understanding of problem kids or at times kids that are just slightly different than oneself? At least when I get in conversation and there are those that argue against more open and understanding chinuch will I defend the correct opinion of rov gedolim that you can’t unless in the most extraordinary circumstances give up on a Jewish child.

    Blaming is nice, easy, and great for those who don’t feel like leaving the chair when checking the web. It gets nothing done. If every story like this garnered 50 REAL comments to real people, it’d have a good purpose. It’d save lives.

    May G-d help us help ourselves.

    DQB

  18. i don’t know any more what to think! its so hart braking what is going on todays days hashem yerachaim plss help us!!!! this is not a joke we playing with its a child a yideshe neshuma

  19. I belive in chazal ben 5 lemikro ben 10 lemishna ben 15…. if we would learn our children the way chazal tought us, we would not have so many unhappy neshomes, and all yiddishe kinderlech would know the complete toire mishna and gemore even the not so clever 1…if not baal pe..then inside they would know it, and all would have confidence in themselves and they would be proud to be a jew a erlicher yid.

  20. This is terrible! A yeshiva has no right to turn away a child (unless C”V he is abusive to others). So many of the same type of stories Ive heard lately. And yeshivos only accepting Aleph and Baiz students now and closing up the Gimmel shir? Who do they think they are?? Are all their children metzuyanim? Will they be badly influenced by a Gimmel boy? Do the Gimmel boys have nothing to offer? What do these boys feel like not being accepted to their own yeshiva for high school when they’ve spent the last 10 years in the elementary school. I was personally told by 1 such yeshiva (when asking if they would provide a room for a special ed class) that we dont want “this type of boy”. What’s “this type of boy”? A boy that comes from a wonderful family, a boy with excellent middos, a boy that is frum, a boy that has some learning difficulties that just needs a smaller and slower paced and maybe a bit more visual and interesting Rebbi and atmosphere. I could go on and on. How are the boys supposed to learn ahavas Torah and derech eretz if they don’t see it in yeshiva where they spend most of their waking hours.

  21. This is so tragic… but such treatment is nothing new. I don’t know how or if everyone is oblivious to such things (bullying by school authority), or everyone just turns a blind eye to avoid dealing with this problem. Why do we need such a terrible incident to shed light on this ongoing issue?? I’ve had a teacher call me an “apikores” for asking a question about Yiddishkeit. That’s just one example of many. For those of us who do survive the frum schools’ messed up system, you don’t really forget such things… and these remarks sure don’t help anyone be / stay frum. It is so heartbreaking that we had to lose another one.

  22. If there is ever any case of abuse that one knows about never hesitate to call the police. Don’t have false Rachmonus on the perpetrator have REAL rochmonus on the victims which may increase every day the perpetrator is not behind bars. If someone is not able to control theselves that way they are a Rodef, and the best place for them to be for their own sake too is behind bars.

  23. I’m not surprised. One of my more innocent friends (never saw a movie or listened to a goyish song) got thrown out of yeshiva for having a cellphone, way back when all cell phones were kosher by default. He ended up going way off the derech, living a life of drugs and whatnot before he finally returned. And my other friend was forced to wear a white shirt on shabbos or else they would have thrown his sister out of school. Abuse for the heck of it.

  24. Why are the yeshivas killing our children? Every time they turn away a kid because he doesn’t fit the exact criteria to be in their yeshiva theyre putting another kid in a sakana. I was once told by a menahel (when I requested a room to house a specia Ed class) that “we don’t want boys like this”. What does that mean? Boys that are trying their best, with fine middos, dress nicely, come from balabatish homes, but are not Aleph students! Don’t they deserve to be treated like their friends? If you’re not in the business to help all children, then “get out of the business, QUICK!

  25. this news is tragic but a little help from parents would do wonders take your child after school and do some homework or learning with them even just a shmooz and it will do wonders for them it is YOUR PRECIOUS NESHOMO and you care the most for your child I have a problem child in my class when I asked him when his father learned with him last he couldn’t remember Please spend time with your children this will give them the boost they need

  26. #5, you’re wrong. Teachers aren’t magicians. Some students can be impossible. Try being that good mentor when there are 20-30 other people in the class and a student is out of control. I agree with # 19.

  27. Too many problems and not enough problem solvers. This story is tragic on so many levels. We can speculate all we want whose fault it is, at the end of the day the Principles and Rebbeim can’t be so stoic as to think his suicide is not partially their fault. It’s your fault, and my fault for allowing their egos to determine a child’s spiritual growth- it’s not Das Torah. From this article it seems like “Y” was thrown away like damaged goods. How many “Y’s” do we know of in New York? What are YOU now going to do about this?

  28. Unfortunately this is a “just so” story. It has may everyone fell justified and thus is popular even among those who are appalled by the story. I decline to believe the story as presented. If it hasn’t been picked up by the mainstream media, it is unlikely to be true. And please don’t give me the loshon hara excuse for concealing the biographical details, there is enough laitanus, loshon hara, sinas hinam in the story and comments to fuel Gehinnom’s fires for the next few days.

  29. This is very painful issue where the parents are made to feel helpless and everyone funnels through the principal. Despite giving them the benefit of the doubt, this is their RESPONSIBILITY just like any other job! How can they keep their jobs when the BOSS (HaShem) requies them to take care of this charges especially when their charges are not a client’s account but rather Jewish souls and future generations!

    Question: what happened to the oath we all swear at Har Sinai to be responsibile for each other especially in this Galus surrounded by ever increasing anti-Semitism?

    Question: What happened to not throwing our children and making them OTD by the way they are treating through this process?

    Question: What happened to these individuals, who push themselves as being role models, to actually being role models and ensuring that no child is told no and rather yes to their #2 or #3 option?

    Question: What happened to the idea of Chillel HaShem in that we are treating our most treasured gift as rags for disposal if they “don’t fit in” or some other untangible rational?

    Question: How many of your children’s Rebbe davening for their students every day not you know of?

    A few thoughts to await your respond.

  30. A very close friend of mine lives next door to this family and he spent the day of the levaya supporting the father. He said the person fainted into his arms several times. There is no question in my mind that the Rebbeim and Menahalim involved in this and all of these cases are Rotzchim ! We see many statements in Chazal which equate embarrasing a person in public with murder, is it any different when a student is shamed in from of his peers ? My own son has suffered terribly due to the fact that he is a “C” stream boy. He is actually brilliant but he has severe reading problems as well as ADHD and therefore doesn’t “fit in” to the mold which the average boys fit into. He is only 13 and we are bending over backward to give him love and support and with H’s help we will find a path for him. However, the “cheder” he went to did tremendous damage to him simply through neglect and conditioning which subconciously gave him the message that he is a “nothing” because he is not in the mainstream. I agree with the comment that this is the burning issue facing the Klal and should be the subjet of this Kinus.
    As for the comment about the unblalanced nature of the article, anyone who has been where I have will understand the tipshus of suggesting that someone should have interviewed the Rebbe and the Menahel.