Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The terrorism of Off the Derech children in Bnei Brak


 In response to RaP's comment:

There are organization dealing with this. In fact when I was in Boro Park this past year - at least once a week an appeal was made for such organizations in the shul of Rav Menashe Klein where I davened every day. They were specifically for chassidic youth.

Workers in these programs in American told me that 70-80 per cent of the members of these programs have been abused.

There are programs here in Israel also. I remember once - several years ago - a rav who runs one of these organizations made an appeal in Rav Sternbuch's shul and noted that the Chazon Ish said that it is not necessarily the nebach but in fact it was the brightest and best adjusted who went off the Derech.

I also once was visiting Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach with a friend of mine whose father was a very prominent rosh yeshiva in America - but he had become a Breslavor chasid. When Rav Shlomo Zalman heard the name of his father he literally jumped out of his seat. I later asked my friend why he had reacted that way. He said, of the yeshiva class of Rav Shlomo Zalman at Eitz Chaim - most of his classmates when off the derech.  It upset him to see that I had not followed in my father's path - not that he had a problem with Breslov itsef. 

Finally Rav Menachem Porush's son - who is involved in politics and social action - once mentioned at a conference on the subject the following.
"It is not that we have more drop outs than in previous years. The issue is that in previous years the drop out left the community - 'he went to visit his aunt in California.' However today the drop outs are kept in the yeshivos and beis yaakov's and where they are a corrosive element to the others students."
A friend of mine noted that Meah Sharim has retained basically the same number of apartments for a hundred years - despite the fact that they have always had large families. He said this was primarily due to the children going off the derech in large numbers and leaving the community.

So yes there are families who kick out there children when they go off the derech- but there are also many who try to keep them in - sending them to special yeshivos to try to help them. Har Nof itself has a number of seminaries and yeshivos which deal specifically with this problem.

BTW Rabbi Greenwald - as well as his sons are recognized experts in dealing with this problem in the Chareidi world and their services are definitely being used.

40 comments :

  1. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    At the end of this video, the residents complain that they call the police to help them but that the police do nothing. Surprise, surprise! If you have Charedim who yell "Nazi, Nazi" at the Israeli police, whey should they then come and help the Charedim? It's the old tale of "The boy who cried wolf" and the Charedim have only themselves to blame.

    Recently, Rabbi Ronny Greenwald wrote an article in the English Mishpacha magazine that he was shocked to overhear Charedi parents wish that their off-the-derech kids should rather die and that this was the wrong attitude. In the next issue readers actually took exception with Rabbi Greenwald and said he was "wrong" and that the Charedi parents with the death wish for the non-frum kids were bizarrely justified. The latest Mishpacha then had an article from Rabbi Greenwald's two sons amazingly having to defend their father's valid critiques and observations.

    Charedi rabbonim also hate psychotherapy and preach against it. This is like the person who shoots himself in the foot or cuts off his nose to spite his own face because there are so many good and capable Orthodox mental health professionals that could ameliorate and heal so much of this social discord in Charedi society. No one is giving love to the kids that get thrown out. There are large families and as soon as one kid starts acting up, they are classed as "rodef" and thrown out to the wolves on the streets. Why are there no frum organizations geared to deal with this? Answer: The frum are ashamed to admit they have this problem. They would rather their kid was dead than to have people know that they have a kid in professional rehab or not like them by becoming modern or secular.

    As long as Charedi society functions as a conglomeration of cults then they should not be surprised that Charedi young people will break away in an open and democratic society because Jews are now out of Czarist Eastern Europe and need to face the challenges of modern life.

    There has been great success with kiruv rechokim in America and Israel and Russia, and there are plenty of kiruv experts, like Rabbi Ronny Greenwald, who could give expert advice and help, if only the Charedi leaders would be humble enough to recognize their own faults and look for help, not from the Israeli police whom they denigrate all the time, but from more gentle and expert kiruv, mental health professionals and Jewish outreach workers that are to be found everywhere.

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  2. As long as they are picking up the fruit that falls off the tree without addressing the core problem of the tree being sick, these efforts are good, but not the answer.

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  3. This reminds of Rav Dessler in MM volume three where he says that the Torah only approach produces many Korbanos relative to the Torah im DE approach, but that that's just price we pay for Gedolim. It may not be pleasant to say it, but the same system that produces the likes of the CI is also going to nebech produce shababninkim.

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  4. Rabbi Schwab strongly disagreed with Rav Dessler. See the following link. He asserted that there was no forumula for producing gedolim - they just happened - and not because of sacrificing the ordinary student

    http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2010/07/12/a-response-to-rav-dessler-regarding-secular-study/

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  5. http://www.leimanlibrary.com/texts_of_publications/71.%20Rabbi%20Shimon%20Schwab%20A%20Letter%20Regarding%20the%20Frankfurt%20Approach.pdf

    This is a translation of Rabbi Schwab's anonymous letter that appeared in Tradition

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  6. There's a reason that Chazal say to take the middle path, and to not be extreme. They may not have understood the laws of physics, but they certainly understood the principle that every action has an equal but opposite reaction. The more Chumros that the "Charedim" invent, the more of their own they will drive away.

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  7. Avi said...

    There's a reason that Chazal say to take the middle path, and to not be extreme. They may not have understood the laws of physics, but they certainly understood the principle that every action has an equal but opposite reaction. The more Chumros that the "Charedim" invent, the more of their own they will drive away.
    ===
    as far as I recall there is no such Chazal - it is the view of the Rambam. The traditional view is that expressed by the Chazon Ish here


    Chazon Ish (Letters 3:61): Just as the unvarnished facts and truth are synonymous so are uncompromising perfectionism and greatness. Perfectionism means to develop something to the ultimate degree. One who advocates moderation and despises perfectionism, his lot is with the frauds or with those lacking understanding. Without perfectionism, there can be no completion and if there is no perfection, there is no beginning. The beginning is with constant questions and replies. The perfecter is the brilliant respondent who orders everything in its rightful place. We regularly hear announcements from well known groups that they have nothing to do with uncompromising perfectionists. They nevertheless describe themselves as being the true Jews with appropriate faith to Torah. We simply note, however, that just as there is no such thing amongst lovers of wisdom as love for minimum knowledge and hate for the very wise there is similarly no such thing as loving Torah and mitzvos moderately and hating the uncompromising perfectionists. All the foundations of emuna, the 13 principles and their derivatives, are inherently incompatible with the lightweight wisdom and superficial life that exists in this world. In contrast clear recognition, energetic involvement; high precision in emuna is the hallmark of the perfectionist. Those who proudly testify on themselves that they have not tasted the sweetness of uncompromising perfection are simultaneously testifying that they are missing emuna in the foundation of religion both intellectually and emotionally. Their attachment is only lukewarm. The perfectionists, who despite their genuine wish to have pity on these doctrinaire moderates, do not honor and respect their opponents. The yawning abyss that separates them is naturally only widened as the result of the disputes that occur when they interact with each other. The only true moderation that can exist is that which results naturally to those who love the perfection and strive towards it and educate their children to strive for the peak. In contrast how unfortunate are those “moderates” who cast aspersions on the perfectionists. The obligation of our education is to perfection. The only genuine protection of the educational system is to be contemptuous and to ridicule those who denigrate perfection. However given the burning spirit of youth it is not appropriate to strongly condemn specific individuals amongst the unfortunates. Instead, the youth should be developed to have true love of Torah that requires personal effort and heavenly pleasantness and they should not have obstacles placed on this road. Those schools that are labeled as moderate schools, they are not successful because of the fraud that is inherent in moderation…

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  8. Reb Daniel, try this link:
    http://www.leimanlibrary.com/texts_of_publications/71. Rabbi Shimon Schwab A Letter Regarding the Frankfurt Approach.pdf

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  9. Re Chazon Ish's letter:

    It is obviously laudable to strive for personal perfection. I take exception, however, with the idea that adding new "Chumros" is a step towards perfection. I see nothing in the letter that espouses such a view, though obviously many "Charedim" believe it.

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  10. Avi is your personal right to object to chumros - but you have not explained what your problem with them is. The Chazon Ish was advocating extremism - which by defintion includes chumros which are often just minority opinions which are adapted to fulfill all views.

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  11. I do not have a problem with Chumros at all, so of course I have not explained my objections. I don't have any objections.

    A Chumra taken on in order to give something of one's self to Avodas Hashem will improve his relationship with Hashem. One aspect of love is giving without expectation of return. Taking on a Chumra is akin to giving up something to better serve Hashem. It is a gift precisely because it is not demanded or required.

    Taking on a Chumra to better one's self has to be a personal decision. If it is imposed from on high, it is done out of a sense of duty. That has its own merits, but it's not the same as forging a personal relationship with Hashem.

    Taking on a Chumra and then attempting to force it on others is simply Rish'us (evil).

    In reference to the letter, I would add that uncompromising dedication to Torah U'Mitzvos need not imply that the stringent opinion must be followed. Following a lenient opinion, when it is the majority opinion, is still following Halachah! (Following a lenient opinion that is a minority may indeed be a compromise.)

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  12. An important read is "The Dangers of Chumros" by Rav Wolpe zt"l. It is part of his well-read sefer, Alei Shur.

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  13. There is a well-known piece by Rav Shlomo Wolpe zt"l on the 'dangers of CHUMROS', part of his sefer of 'Alei Shur'.

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  14. The law-abiding residents of Bnei Brak hide their faces on TV, because they are afraid of a bunch of punks.

    I don't see how the problem is going to get any better if nobody has the courage to do anything about it.

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  15. Avi, you raise a good question of what Chazon Ish was referring to -- perfection in ritual observance, perfection in character traits, perfection in belief, perfection in "spiritual" mitzvot like loving Hashem or bitachon, etc.? I should read the newly translated Emuna U'Bitachon by the Chazon Ish -- maybe I'll find out.

    Even if the term moderation itself is not used by Chazal, there are plenty of statements that advocate some kind of moderation: "Do not be overly righteous or excessively wise" (Kohelet 7:16), Derech Eretz precedes Torah (Vayikra Rabbah 9:3), Avot 2:2 (imperative of balancing work and Torah study), Avot 1:15 (balance strictness, like set schedules for Torah study and not speaking too much, with being nice to everyone), Avot 2:5 (don't bee too shy but don't be too short-tempered either), Avot 2:4 (don't separate yourself from the community -- don't be an extremist), Avot 4:2 (appreciate that everyone and everything has its place).

    People think they're doing the right thing by adopting chumrot in ritual matters (and bringing their whole community along with them) but isn't there anyone trying to be stringent with ahavat Israel, derekh eretz precedes Torah, when there is no man be a man, loving peace and pursuing peace, etc.? Is no one scrupulous about the mitzvah of not adding to the Torah (negative mitzvah #159)? Are there no fences around that mitzvah, putting some limit on the move toward stringencies? Perhaps the task for our generation is to construct a fence or two.

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  16. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 23, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    Is there a problem with your font being much bigger now due to an adjustment you made to your blogger settings because the last few days your pages are not fitting on my screen? It now reads like a book printed with extra-large print for the elderly or near blind.

    Are others also having this technical problem?

    Can you please re-set and go back to your previous blogger setting as of about one week ago. Thanks.

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  17. Recipients and Publicity said...

    Is there a problem with your font being much bigger now due to an adjustment you made to your blogger settings because the last few days your pages are not fitting on my screen? It now reads like a book printed with extra-large print for the elderly or near blind.

    Are others also having this technical problem?

    Can you please re-set and go back to your previous blogger setting as of about one week ago. Thanks.
    ==============
    reset it to default thanks

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  18. Caren May said...

    There is a well-known piece by Rav Shlomo Wolpe zt"l on the 'dangers of CHUMROS', part of his sefer of 'Alei Shur'.
    ================
    could you summarize what he says? I remember a chapter on the dangers of frumkeit - but not chumros. Don't have access to my copy to see.

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  19. The piece on frumkeit was presented in this post

    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2010/05/frumkeit-self-centered-religious.html

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  20. "Rabbi Schwab strongly disagreed with Rav Dessler."
    I've seen the letter in Hamaayan and Professor Shnayer Z Leiman's translation. I don't claim to know who's right. But what I found so shocking was Rav Desslers' hodaas baal din'. The average Chareidi would strangle you if you tried to suggest that their heilige system has any inherent flaws.

    "He asserted that there was no forumula for producing gedolim - they just happened - and not because of sacrificing the ordinary student"

    This point is crucial. He didn't disagree about the Shababnikim, he disagreed about whether the upside to Rav Dessler's approach (although see his article These and Those).
    It's important for people to stop telling Hirschians that Hirsch was a horaas shaah, or bedieved.

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  21. This was almost humorous, except for the desecration of the shul and it's holy contents.

    Did these boys read DF's book or are they trying to write their own (with violence)?

    Why the extreme reaction by those OTD? That is what these communities should be asking. Why the hateful actions by these kids?

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  22. J.A.M. said...

    This was almost humorous, except for the desecration of the shul and it's holy contents.

    Did these boys read DF's book or are they trying to write their own (with violence)?

    Why the extreme reaction by those OTD? That is what these communities should be asking. Why the hateful actions by these kids?
    =================
    Obviously they didn't read the book - it was even written when this video was made. However the book shares the same destructive hate full elements against the family and community.

    You are right that the hateful actions need to be understood - but the answer is not as simple as you seem to think.

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  23. Why doesn't someone sit these kids down and ask them (interview them) to find out what's going on. I had this question for years we have 1000's of OTD and At Risk kids. Why not someone take down as many stories as possible until we get to the bottom of what we are doing wrong in each community?

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  24. comments are not published with name of anonymous

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  25. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 24, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    One important observation and response to RDE comments that he subsequently added to this post... and that is that all the programs mentioned are based on the false assumption that "somehow or other" the OTD kids and young adults can be *magically* "FIXED" if "just the right" *MAGICAL FORMULA* of Torah and Mitzvos (the very thing the OTDs are dumping and running away from) is found to again "somehow or other" bring them back "On To the good ol' 'derech' of Torah Umitzvos" -- and it ain't gonna work!

    Reasons being: the mindset of those running these programs and more crucially the stultified and calcified and even cynical RABBINIC "advisers" have no clue that they are part of what is being rejected, they are perhaps (?) PART OF THE PROBLEM in this scenario, and that no amount of what is perceived to be "communist-style" so-called *'OFFICIALLY SANCTIONED' RE-EDUCATION CAMPS & PROGRAMS* will "cure" or "solve" anything because the OTD kids and young adults want the democratic FREEDOMS (and it may be simple lusts, let's face it, and work with that) they see all around them in an open and free democratic society with all its lures and seeming glitter!

    Would any Chasidic Rebbe or Charedi Rosh yeshiva live in peace with himself that maybe tens of thousands of the teens in their communities want to be "more modern" and maybe they should be accepted as no less than NCSY-type kiruv candidates? Or that maybe these kids want to party and have a fun yet still keep kosher and shabbos (like many MOs), would they be accepted in Chasidic and Yeshivish communities when at the same time the Chasidic and Yeshiva heads are lambasting and cursing the "outside world" as being "treif, goyish, shmutz etc etc" -- so do you see the problem here?

    The OTD population needs to be treated with RESPECT not with CONDESCENSION and the old paradigms of how to be "mechanech" and "madrich" them is an entirely new language that the average yeshiva man and Chosid are told to shun, so how can they be called in to fix that? It would be like calling in professors or stundents of theoretical sciences to fix pot-holes, do heavy-lifting and shovel dirt, it just won't work.

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  26. Recipients and Publicity said...

    One important observation and response to RDE comments that he subsequently added to this post... and that is that all the programs mentioned are based on the false assumption that "somehow or other" the OTD kids and young adults can be *magically* "FIXED" if "just the right" *MAGICAL FORMULA* of Torah and Mitzvos (the very thing the OTDs are dumping and running away from) is found to again "somehow or other" bring them back "On To the good ol' 'derech' of Torah Umitzvos" -- and it ain't gonna work!
    ===========
    RaP I am really surprised at your gross simplification of a complex issue.

    Sometimes these programs work. They don't claim any magic answer. Each case is different.

    Sometimes just growing a bit older helps. Sometimes there is a learning issue. Sometimes they need a different chevra. Sometimes they need greater self-esteem. Sometimes they need greater intellectual freedom and stimulation. Sometimes they need someone to give them attention Sometimes they need to switch from Litvak to Chassidic and vice versa. etc etc.

    It is hard to see where giving someone who is a bum - an addict, who is sleeping with every girl he can, who is ridiculing yiddishkeit etc - respect. And evven if he is "just" violating Shabbos - on basis do you give him/her respect when they are not respecting their parents and families?

    It is interesting to note that the Torah's approach to off the derech behavior is not giving respect - it is capital punishment! These are not tinoch shenishba.

    One program that I know of that makes sense is one that identifies boys and girls who are risk - and gives them extra attention before they go off the derech. The children are never labeled as at risk - but are strengthened to prevent them going off the derech. Sometimes they get extra time from a rebbe or a sensitive tutor or even extra curricular activity which relieves pressure.

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  27. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  28. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 24, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  29. Recipients and Publicity said...

    Response: You know Rabbi Eidensohn I am really surprised, did you even bother to listen to the FULL 30+ minutes of the above Rabbi Greenwald speaks about the OTD problem at Agudah convention that you yourself posted and where his position is totally not like yours?
    ============
    RaP I think we are speaking past each other. Yes I listened to the video that I posted. I agree with what he says - but it is not the total picture. I know him and his sons well and yet there are times when they would expel students who are destructive to the other students.

    I went to Shor Yoshuv in the old days when many of the students had or were recovering from these issues. Rabbi Friefeld did on occasion expel students that he wasn't successful with or whose behavior was harming the yeshiva.

    There is clearly a need to be more inclusive - but there is clearly a need to limit and restrict interaction when it comes down to the well being of the other children or other student vs. the OTD student or child. That was not addressed by Rabbi Greenwald.

    I don't buy your blanket statements such as "the frum community/establishment is 100% wrong on almost every point of the OTD issue..." People have been going off the derech since the beginning.

    I agree that changes are needed but that the issue is much more nuanced than you are acknowledging

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  30. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    "[RDE:] I went to Shor Yoshuv in the old days when many of the students had or were recovering from these issues. Rabbi Friefeld did on occasion expel students that he wasn't successful with or whose behavior was harming the yeshiva."

    You know this is beginning to remind me of that old syndrome that if a Jewish mother couldn't get he son to become a doctor then they viewed it as a "catastrophe" that nebech he would have to become a dentist, or accountant, or lawyer. This is all part of the problem, everything is viewed from and through the "intellectual prism" and this uniquely Jewish obeisance to "intellectualism & submission-ubber-alles" is the root of the problem.

    If kids are still in ANY Jewish educational institution that is not what I am talking about. If any sort of educational institution, from yeshiva to Talmud Torah will be up to the job of handling the full range of kids, fine, they are saved, we do not worry about that, that is why there are chinuch professionals.

    The OTD issue, the so-called Shababniks who are now CRIMINALS and outlaws is about kids who have DROPPED OUT of the system entirely. They have dropped out Yiddishkeit, they have dropped out of morality. They are at the bottom of the barrel. I am shocked you refer to them as "bums" -- how could a doctor refer to sick people in not dignified terms, when his job is to CURE them and not assassinate them? -- because it is precisely the thousands of frum OTD male and female teen and young adult bums who are the focus of R. Greenwald. As he said he opened a frum school for OTD girls who did not want to be in either a school or be frum! So how to deal with that? A true dialectical paradox for the ages. A thing and its opposite!

    It's all about recognizing the problem for what it is and working backwards from its roots there. The kids who are simmering below the surface and are showing signs of OTD are much harder to work with because they are below the radar. It takes astute eyes to pick up on that and work with them.

    But what do you do with the pregnant teens, the suicidal, the drug addicts all from frum homes, there is no known game plan to work with them. The main strategy right now is to write them off and lock them out. Disown them. Treat them like pariahs the proverbial "rodef" that deserves the death sentence, chas vesholom. Is that the 2,000 year old Yiddishskeit of our Bobbas and Zeidas or is that the worst sort of Nietzscheinism, Aryanism, Talibanism and the results of Ayatollahs Khomeinism?

    How did Avrhom Avinu wean people off avoda zora, ask yourself. He spat at them or mekareved them?

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  31. As an OTD adult -ok, so I'm MO now, but you'd still call that OTD, I can tell you that your community wont be able to fix the reason why the kids go OTD nor why they are so hate filled. The gaivah and control and extreme social pressure is just too much a part of your culture that to take any one of them away, the community would crumble.

    Rabbi Greenwald stresses how special it is that these kids still have that spark of yiddishkeit in them. Why does he have to go there, why does it matter so much? Can't you (the community) get past your fears of everything not-frum, and see these kids as human beings. Not as OTD, not as possible BTs, but just as human beings, young people in terrible pain. Hurt, betrayed, and then rejected by their community, who seems only to care about their kippah.

    The only solution is for parents to grab up their at risk kids in both arms, and with their whole family in tow, run far away from the charedi community. Then they should immerse into a normal mainstream MO world, and just start over.

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  32. The Baal Shem Tov had a better idea, unlike today's krum, corrupt, selfish and cruel spittin' and punchin' and cursin' "Chasidim" -- he was humble, was a poor wagon driver, took care of and taught little children, and when the Frankist kefira was at its peak he did NOT condemn them but instead took them on in debates and tried to mekarev them back to Yiddishkeit even though they had already apostatized and were living immoral lives. But no one knows this or practices this today. It's every man and woman for themselves and if one's own kid rebels, then out they go because they are a "rodef" and deserve "being killed" out on the streets or "should die" as Rabbi Greenwald overheard the father say about their own OTD kid.
    =============
    mixing apples and oranges. There is no automatic option of playing the Baal Shem Tov. Not clear that he would have continued his path with the establishment of Chasidus as an institution. It is always easier as an outsider or when everything has collapse - see the Meshech Chochma on Buchukosai.

    Bottom line is that most people can't deal with these issues. They don't have the skills or emotional distance. It is nice that Rabbi Greenwald is there to dispense first aid - but there are not that many Rabbi Greenwalds in the world.

    In sum I am simply presenting the issue as an ongoing dialectic i.e. right hand pulls close left hand pushes away - which is how Chazal described the situation. Sometimes it works but not always.

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  33. Recipients and Publicity said...

    How did Avrhom Avinu wean people off avoda zora, ask yourself. He spat at them or mekareved them?
    ==============
    very interesting question - and I am surpise you don't know the answer. He as great in kiruv for outsiders - but what did he do with Yishmael. What did he do with his children that he had later with Hagar? - He sent them away! He removed them from his household so that they would not be a bad influence.

    So the answer is clearly that someone people you can deal with my giving attention - etc etc - but I will reiterate - there are some you let go of.

    BTW this seems to be the same argument that G-d had with Moshe about the eiruv rav.

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  34. J.A.M. said...

    As an OTD adult -ok, so I'm MO now, but you'd still call that OTD, I can tell you that your community wont be able to fix the reason why the kids go OTD nor why they are so hate filled. The gaivah and control and extreme social pressure is just too much a part of your culture that to take any one of them away, the community would crumble.
    ===============
    o.k. Thank you for sharing this personal information. Now I think I can better understand your underlying bitterness to the chareidi world.

    I agree that your description fits many of the chareidim who go OTD - but it doesn't explain the many more modern orthodox who either go off the derech or who become chareidi!

    You obviously are oblivious to the many heart rending cases in the Modern Orthodox world.

    You can't say well lets remove the evil of religion and become secular - because the secular community is worse off.

    So we are stuck with trying to do our best to remove the pain and strengthen our communities - there are no easy solutions. Hatred and fear of differences is clearly something that needs to be worked on in all groups.

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  35. FWIW, I'm with RaP and JAM here... As someone with exposure over the years to both the MO and Charedei worlds, as well as working in the secular world for many years with all kinds of people, some of the worst rishus and gaivah I've seen were in the Chareidei world.

    I don't really know what the solution is, but it should be obvious that more of the same is just not going to work.

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  36. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 26, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    1 of 2:

    "Daas Torah said...Recipients and Publicity said...How did Avrhom Avinu wean people off avoda zora, ask yourself. He spat at them or mekareved them?
    ==============
    very interesting question - and I am surpise you don't know the answer. He as great in kiruv for outsiders - but what did he do with Yishmael. What did he do with his children that he had later with Hagar? - He sent them away! He removed them from his household so that they would not be a bad influence."

    RaP: Avrohom did NOT want to send Yishmael away, it was Sarah's wish, and it took God himself to intervene and tell Avrohom, to listen to Sarah, in spite of Avrohom's better instincts. Meaning, he did this just as he did the Akeidah which God had to command him to do.

    Thus Avrohom did NOT want to either send Yishmael away nor did he want to kill his son Yitzchok, he only followed God's commands. While Yitzchak was given a reprieve, in the case of Yishmael God intervened as well as did not allow Yishmael to die but saved him miraculously too. There are Oral Torah sources that Avraham never gave up on Yishmael and would leave his home to check up on him, and there are Oral Torah teachings that Yishmael, unlike Eisav, did teshuva before he died and that at the end of days the Yishmaelim (Muslims) will do teshuva as well.

    As for the children of Ketura-Hagar, Avrohom sent them away on his own judgmnent for a different reason, it was because he wanted to ensure that his YERUSHA ("inheritance") would only go to Yitzchak, and therefore he sent away the Bnei Ketura "Kedmah" nevertheless giving them compensation "matanos" which Rashi says are "sheimos tumah" seemingly the source of the Oriental religions that they still practice today.

    So it's more complicated than that, since in the case of Avraham, on the one hand he did start bringing the outside so called "non-Jewish" world close, but on the other hand, his true seed was only going to go through one person, and that was Yitzchak a kind of first "FFB" who had not just Avrohom for a father but Sarah for a mother, the others he mekareved were outsiders, and Yishmael was only "half" his by Hagar.

    But Avrohom's operating principle was to LECHATCHILA mekarev everyone, even the wayward Yishmael, but today, one has intense %1000 frum Charedi Torah true JEWS with large families adhering to a VERY rigid social code that often has NOTHING to do with the core principles of Yiddishkeit, rejecting their young and not having the tools to deal with the slightest deviations and out of ignorance, convenience and often just plain cruelty, throw out their OWN nonconformist kids without trying a more humane solution.

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  37. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 26, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    2 of 2:

    "So the answer is clearly that someone people you can deal with my giving attention - etc etc - but I will reiterate - there are some you let go of."

    RaP: First of all it depends who the "you" is that one is talking about. As we can see now, if it is die-hard Chareidi fanatics or even set-in-their-ways true blu MOs, they then they will let go people who defy their authority (cheating below the covers is allowed as long as the outward garb is worn and going through the superficial motions of frumkeit/religiosity without believing a scintilla of it is ignored). If the "you" is a more compassionate open-minded caring religious person, let's use the Ronny Greenwald types as an example, then "you" will have a far higher threshold of tolerance and will enage in pro-actvism to save as many OTD kids and young adults no matter how way out and whacked out. Or, if the "you" is a non-judgmental Orthodox mental health professional or outreach worker then they would try to help anyone they could possible reach or gets in touch with them. Obviously, at some point, not everyone can be reached, just as not every patient in a hospital can be save, but that does not detract that the hospital of Yiddishkeit must and does aim to save every Yid. Thus the "you" is always relative!

    "BTW this seems to be the same argument that G-d had with Moshe about the eiruv rav."

    RaP: So we are back to that old debate. As you may recall, we discussed this before, and Moshe never apologized for taking out the erev rav, and it is a very dangerous theory of "racial selection" or even of "natural selection" to assume or surmise that an OTD child or person is from the "erev rav" otherwise may as well practice a kind of "social euthanasia" for Jews we don't like, meaning anyone not like the given group one imagines they owe allegiance to ubber alles.

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  38. RaP so we seem to agree on the basics but it is simply a question of to how high to raise the bar before a child is ejected/rejected. You are saying what should be done and I am focusing on what can be done at present.

    I agree that if you had Rabbi Greenwald handling the situation that greater patience would be shown but most people don't have his sensitivity and patience. I agree that if schools had unlimited resources things wold be handled differently.

    However most schools can not tolerate deviant students who are messing up others with their behavior and attitutde.
    What can be done is to provide the parents with help and to provide programs to give the individual attention these children have as well as segregate them from others.

    Bottom line there is a limit - even according to Rabbi Greenwald.

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  39. Recipients and Publicity said...

    1 of 2:

    "Daas Torah said...Recipients and Publicity said...How did Avrhom Avinu wean people off avoda zora, ask yourself. He spat at them or mekareved them?
    ==============
    very interesting question - and I am surpise you don't know the answer. He as great in kiruv for outsiders - but what did he do with Yishmael. What did he do with his children that he had later with Hagar? - He sent them away! He removed them from his household so that they would not be a bad influence."

    RaP: Avrohom did NOT want to send Yishmael away, it was Sarah's wish, and it took God himself to intervene and tell Avrohom, to listen to Sarah, in spite of Avrohom's better instincts. Meaning, he did this just as he did the Akeidah which God had to command him to do.

    Thus Avrohom did NOT want to either send Yishmael away nor did he want to kill his son Yitzchok, he only followed God's commands. While Yitzchak was given a reprieve, in the case of Yishmael God intervened as well as did not allow Yishmael to die but saved him miraculously too. There are Oral Torah sources that Avraham never gave up on Yishmael and would leave his home to check up on him, and there are Oral Torah teachings that Yishmael, unlike Eisav, did teshuva before he died and that at the end of days the Yishmaelim (Muslims) will do teshuva as well.
    =============
    why does Avraham's instinctive love serve as a more relevant guide to our behavior than Sarah's response which was guided by G-d? The Zohar mentions that Avraham had too much unqualified love and that is why he had a son Yishmael.

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  40. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 26, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    "why does Avraham's instinctive love serve as a more relevant guide to our behavior than Sarah's response which was guided by G-d? The Zohar mentions that Avraham had too much unqualified love and that is why he had a son Yishmael."

    RaP: And the answer should be very self-evident because it all boils down to which key midda of HKB"H to use:

    Should we go by the Middas HaDin the attribute of strict JUSTICE that is epitomized by the name ELOKIM?

    or

    Should we go the Middas HaRachamim the attribute of MERCY that is epitomized by the name YKVK?

    This has been the basic see-saw of how God runs his Universe as revealed to us in the Torah. Breishis Bara ELOKIM, it was a pure world based on DIN-JUSTICE, but then after Adam and Chava eat from the Tree of Knowledge, the Torah then recounts it in terms of YKV"K because Hashem had MERCY on them. Like wise when Kayin murders Hevel, pretty serious, yet Hasheem has mercy on him.

    Too much of Elokim and the world cannot stand for long, and too much of YKVK and the world has no boundaries and loses itself.

    That is the symbolism of the scales of justice held by the theoretical "lady liberty" and it is an art, requiring shikkul hadaas and cannot be formulated. Yaakov is the symbol of the balance and that is why his midda is EMMES (TRUTH). So yes, there must be a balance, but when there is excessive cruelty it cannot be justified with any "frumkeit" at all.

    Avrohom is true to his midda of Chesed, of showing and acting according to LOVING-KINDNESS and it is totally against his core essence to expel a Yishmael let alone cut the throat of his own son Yitzchak. That is why the Akeida is such a true TEST for him, he was only doing it because Hashem demanded it of him.

    But Sarah, the mother of Yitzchak who embodies the attribute of DIN (Judgement) cannot brook her husband's rachmonus, she issues the decree to expel Yishmael, Avrahom is torn and conflicted and only when HKB"H intervenes and issues the immortal words to "listen to Sarah your wife" that he submits. BUT he does not lose hope, he continues with his outreach work to Yishmael ON THE OUTSIDE, seeking him out periodically, checking up on him and wanting to see him mend his ways and return to the fold (as mentioned in Zohar).

    Avrohom's efforts pay off when (Breishis 25:9) Yishmael JOINS Yitschak in burying their father Avrahom and from that Rashi cites Bava Basra 16b that Yishmael did TESHUVA and that Yishamel died RIGHTEOUS (Breishis 25:17). This is mentioned by some as the "maaseh avos siman lebanim" that some time in future the Bnai Yishmael will also do teshuva, perhaps why they have been so "successful" at converting so many pagans to their brand of monotheism derived from Avraham.

    As the lotto slogan says: "Hey, you never know!"

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