The tragic suicide of Faigy Mayer, among other recent tragedies (more than the public is aware of), has brought to the fore many critical questions.
What anguish would cause someone to take their own life? How should we be dealing with our troubled youth? Is there anyone to blame? How responsible are parents, family and our school systems? What role does mental illness —and the way we do or don’t deal with it – play in all this? Are we properly handling mental illness, especially considering the deep stigma and shame associated with it?
Families and communities are being vilified for not creating a nurturing environment for our young people facing challenges. But is this accurate, or just a scapegoating campaign? With much talk about what’s lacking in the community and causing youth to leave yiddishkeit, what about the other end of the spectrum: Are the organizations and support groups for these people creating a healthy environment for them, helping them build functional lives or are they simply perpetuating the negative sentiments they harbor?
In this episode of MyLife Rabbi Simon Jacobson will begin addressing these thorny and complex issues.
Where do we draw the line between the mitzvah of “rebuking your neighbor” and inappropriately criticizing others? Why are people mixing into other people’s business?
“I have been to several homes where the topic of conversation at the Shabbos table, in the presence of all the kids, is not on the Parsha or a chassidishe story or hergesh, but about the flaws of others. Can you please address this and its negative effects.”
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in the MyLife: Chassidus Applied contest: “Productive Self-Evaluation” by Menachem Mendel Chalili, “Controlling One’s Feelings by Separating them from the Facts” by Esther Gur, and “The Power of Persistent Positive Thought” by Chana Kalachi. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/mylife/contest/.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week (our new feature): I don’t fully see the difference between Kabolas ol, Iskafya and Mesiras Nefesh (mesiras ratzon). Can you please explain the different approaches? Thank you.
This hour-long dose of insights is meant to inform, inspire and empower us by applying the teachings of Chassidus to help us face practical and emotional challenges and difficulties in our personal lives and relationships. To have your question addressed, please submit it at www.meaningfullife.com/mylife.
Questions may be submitted anonymously at www.meaningfullife.com/mylifelive.