I sit here with a ball in the pit of my stomach because of two things that happened this past week.
The first occurred at a simcha when my friend showed me a beautiful picture of her new grandson. “Oh, I didn’t know your daughter got married. When was the wedding?” Her quick whispered reply as she hastily hid the picture as if she had snuck in contraband was, “She didn’t, she was married by the justice of the people. The father isn’t Jewish…”
The second was when I got another summer camp rejection. Gone are the days when my only problem with getting kids accepted was coming up with the absolute fortune the camp wanted.
Gone were the days when everyone praised my child’s beautiful tznius and chassidishkeit. As soon as that child’s sister started to rebel; my family was tainted. I can scream to the world that she is a good girl, but her dress and choice of music says different.
Now, even baal tshuvah camps won’t accept her. Their mission is to bring kids to Yiddishkeit and you can’t mix kids going up with kids going down, they say. Then why do we do kiruv in the first place? Why don’t our incredibly intelligent husbands line the benches of a Kollel – because the Rebbe says that “the house is on fire.”
In many of the finest houses of Crown Heights, there is one child who is rebelling. The house is on fire folks. If the boys marry out, their kids are lost to the Jewish community forever. And everyone knows the statistics of babies – like my friend’s grandson actually becoming a Baal tshuvah. The numbers are not high people.
So what do we do?
If we would organize kiruv type programs for kids who are rebelling maybe we could save the next generation. The Rebbe always supported overnight camps and their ability to effect change for the better. We need to make sure that there is a camp spot for every single Jewish child who wants one – especially children who were born frum.
We have to stop saying this is someone else’s problem. The house is burning, people. Do you sit back? Or do you grab a hose and help?