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Tuesday, 19 Av, 5779
  |  August 20, 2019
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    No Mitzva to Scare a Child

    From the COLlive inbox: Do you know what it feels like to be afraid to walk home because of scary stories about Shin Daleds your counselor or learning teacher told you in camp? Full Story

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    Unfortunately
    Guest
    Unfortunately

    Too true

    true
    Guest
    true

    100 % true
    we should educate this staff to have more toichen to teach.

    when i was a kid
    Guest
    when i was a kid

    they told scarey (non true) stories around the camp fire. i never forgot them – it really scared me in a real way. not pleasant.
    cut out the scary stories

    from a learning teacher
    Guest
    from a learning teacher

    which camp?

    nos
    Guest
    nos

    i agree fully there is also the problem the untrue stories generally dont have toichen

    oh please!
    Guest
    oh please!
    gr8 Op Ed
    Guest
    gr8 Op Ed

    Could not agree with you more. I am a counselor in camp and juts today one of the campers asked me to say a story about Shin Daleds and I clearly said I DON’T say stories about Shin Daleds. I hope more teachers and counselors would do the same. A number of years ago I was asked to substitute a class. Towards the end of the day I was told to but on a “Jewish” story tape. I put on the class room tape recorder and was horrified at the content that was playing on the so called Jewish story!

    very well written! :)
    Guest
    very well written! :)
    Shin Dalid
    Guest
    Shin Dalid

    When I was 10 ,38 years ago another girl scared me about shin dalids up in the Catskill mountains. I still remember the fear of walking home and being unable to sleep for months. We must be very careful

    i forgive you,
    Guest
    i forgive you,

    What’s your name?

    agree with #6
    Guest
    agree with #6

    oh cmon! although it is true..

    still scared
    Guest
    still scared

    im 17 and still scared but ive got 2 say those stories were thrilling i loved them 🙂

    From personal experience, This is no joke.
    Guest
    From personal experience, This is no joke.

    Thanks for pointing this out. These stories effect lives for many years to come. Not only children suffer from these stories. From personal experience, I can testify that this fear can lasts long after marriage. My wife is petrified during the night – afraid almost every single night because of stories of shin daleds — stories told in camps (and maybe school). Even to spend a single night home alone without her spouse (or some other adult family member present), is unbearable. These stories might be fun for the counsellors during camp, but they too often leave lasting psychological trauma.… Read more »

    That parent should sue the camp!
    Guest
    That parent should sue the camp!

    I don’t blame them!

    wooohooo
    Guest
    wooohooo

    I love shin daled stories!! They are so cool!! my best memory of camp was telling those shin daled stories getting all scared and all sleeping ineach others bed!

    I agree with you, But!
    Guest
    I agree with you, But!

    “The Rebbe was against telling untrue stories to children.”

    When I was a staff member there was this safer going around that had a bunch of true Saidim story’s.

    “Spend a few extra minutes before camp becoming more fluent with Likkutei Dibburim.”

    Did you know that there is a shaidim story in Likkutei Dibburim!

    I must say that when I think back to my camper days one of the things that stuck out is the shaidim story’s. I LOVED THEM!

    (Except that it was not about my bunk house, It was about the other camp 🙂

    Because of scary stories...
    Guest
    Because of scary stories...

    I am scared of the dark. Please help prevent other children from having this same fear.

    CH MOM
    Guest
    CH MOM

    The same goes for the ridiculous concept of telling kids scary things for colorwar breakout – e.g the water in camp was poisoned. Why should colorwar be preceded by terrifying children?

    Color war breakout
    Guest
    Color war breakout

    And doing a color war breakout with half the camp supposed dead is equally pointless, disturbing, traumatic and without any heter in halacha.

    While camp is still going on
    Guest
    While camp is still going on

    Very true. I hope the camp administrations are reading this article and will covey the idea of this article to their staff now while camp is still going on.

    please
    Guest
    please

    shin daled stories are a integral part of camp. all kids know and want those stories and if campers are too afraid they can always ask a counselor to stop

    detroit
    Guest
    detroit

    this would not happen in DETROIT! as you are not aloud to scare campers in a play or stories they have had this rule for over 15 years

    Agreed
    Guest
    Agreed

    Lets focus on the real monsters in the jewish community…

    Although we knew of shin daleds from shelomo hamelech book when we were 7

    counselour
    Guest
    counselour

    you know if you dont want counselours to say scary stories by the bonfire then maybe you should make a little book of coool stories to say by the bunfire

    and no mitzvah to
    Guest
    and no mitzvah to

    make scary plays either… such as the “beis din shel maala” etc.

    So true!
    Guest
    So true!

    I was traumatyzed for 5 long years because of ONE particular story about “Shin Daleds” I was told of! Icouldn’t sleep by night, so I was sleeping in class! B’H, I recovered from that, and I had brilliant Rabbinical studies which culminated with a Smicha.

    Be careful about what you tell chidren.

    totally and completely
    Guest
    totally and completely

    and the same goes for staff plays. I never understood the concept of like competing with last year staff plays scaryness

    wooohhhhhoooooo
    Guest
    wooohhhhhoooooo

    can someone tell us here a shin daled atory so we can know what we.re talking about?please..?

    A dose of Reality
    Guest
    A dose of Reality

    There are three types of kids: Normal Kids: The one’s who love Shin Daled stories (and precisely because they’re scary). These kids are about 65% of camp Normal and sensitive kids: The ones who get terrified from such stories, and follow their parents advice not to listen to them. Such kids are 30% of the average camp. Party pooper precious snowflakes with helicopter parents: These are the kids who know they are going to have their wits freaked out, but listen to the stories anyways, and then run crying to their mommies that they’re scared. This is the last 5%… Read more »

    undecided camper
    Guest
    undecided camper

    sorry but i love these stories although when i was in camp last yr the colour war break out was that there were shin daleds in our bunkhouses and shul and some campers were rly scared and cried the whole night..

    Number 6
    Guest
    Number 6

    Number 6 . . .the fact that you are tho ONE and only who said “Oh please”, as opposed to 25 comments who felt exactly the same as the writer . . . I guess you’ve never had to handle kids who have ”gone thru” Shin Daled nightmare stories!!
    I think one should not comment if you havent experienced their trauma, first hand! I am the 26th who totally agrees with the writer and every single camp leader should be strongly warned againest it, Thank you for bringing it out into the open

    100% right
    Guest
    100% right

    I totally agree 100% with the article, the consequences are for years and there is no need to scare kids like that

    To #6
    Guest
    To #6

    I AGREE WITH YOU.
    1) the guy who wrote this article made up the 99 % of kids don’t like scary story statistic. Did you poll every kid in camp? why are you speaking for 99 % of people.
    2) “The Rebbe was against telling untrue stories to children.” Where is the source for this???

    Mom
    Guest
    Mom

    I agree with #29. My kids have been going to camp for a good number of years and look forward to that crazy scary stuff. They know how to separate reality from fantasy. There’s a reason why horror flicks rake in millions of $$$$$$$. People like them.
    My boys actually become more independent in camp.

    Who knows, maybe they don’t tell them so scary where I send them.
    Bottom line, if the author has a problem he should contact the head staff of his kid’s camp. The fact that he writes an op-Ed about kinda makes me thinks he’s a wuss.

    Aaron
    Guest
    Aaron

    BS:D yes as a 9 or 10 year old I went on a 2 week ym_a camp.One night they took us into the woods built a camp fire and told scary stories with added scary effects.50 years later when it comes to mind it gives me the shivers.The bunks had no bathrooms, there was separate building with the bathrooms, but after that everyone was too scared to go out at night.

    ....
    Guest
    ....

    I’m sorry but I couldn’t stop laughing after reading this

    from reading the comments....
    Guest
    from reading the comments....

    it appears that more harm is done than good, that more people have fears from these stories than they do inspiration. Therefore, find another way to entertain your campers…thats why you are paid/tipped (hopefully.) I’ve been a counselor many summers and never had to rely on a scary story to get the camp going, they had fun from other fun stories, funny skits, and plenty of activities.

    Go Detroit!!
    Guest
    Go Detroit!!

    I so happy to be sending my child to a camp that is sensitive about these these things . b”h

    lets calm down
    Guest
    lets calm down

    Nothing wrong with a scary story here and there … maybe sometimes some go over the top, and I agree, lets not get too graphic or personal (using the actual bunkhouse the kid is sleeping in may be too far) but lets not create a generation of PC over protected kids.

    By the way, how can anyone accept your apology for your own scar(r)ing if you dont give your name??

    Agree
    Guest
    Agree

    Funny, I was thinking about posting a similar article not about scary stories but about the colorwar and bogwar breakouts. Why scare the kids for such a fun thing? Why can’t they do something totally out of character confusing the campers and then breakout? Camps should take note. Kids do NOT like to be scared out of their minds.

    sadism
    Guest
    sadism

    It seems that some counselors have sadistic streaks – and this is their way of playing out on it.

    The fact is that not every person who is a counselor should be a counselor.

    shin daleds 101
    Guest
    shin daleds 101

    if you put it out of your mind
    say brochos
    have a mezuza etc
    in other words, lead a good jewish life
    there should be no problem, right?
    is this true.
    from what i remember from these stories,
    the ppl who were effected were weak in their observance
    am i right?
    need some Sh-D 101 education here!

    Educatiing the Imagination
    Guest
    Educatiing the Imagination

    What is happening to our communities that this article has received as much positive attention as it has already? The Rebbe never said that telling untrue stories was not allowed. Many of the stories we read as kids, and were approved by Merkos, were not fully true (many were based on true events but were predominantly fictional). Think of the Marcus Lehman (translated by Nissan Mindel) novels. They were historical FICTION! Another point to address is that there is very much positive value in these Shaidim stories. I agree that if the story gets to violent or graphic then there… Read more »

    Hahahahahahajajahahha
    Guest
    Hahahahahahajajahahha

    All I rememeber from camp is my bunk begging my councilor to say these stories…. And when we misbehaved he would skip the stories put us to sleep then go down to canteen have a BBQ ….. That is the life of a councilor ( what do u expect from a 18-19 yr old bochur)…..than once him and another councilor would come back to the bunk wake us all up and scream pop corn party…. Than we would go running in the forest in what was called survivor….anyone get where I’m going with this? This is what camp is all… Read more »

    Disney
    Guest
    Disney

    Are Disney stories and movies for children, any less scary?

    I'm 30 years old and still scared of the dark.
    Guest
    I'm 30 years old and still scared of the dark.

    I’m 30 years old and still scared of the dark.

    ei deioseyhen shavos
    Guest
    ei deioseyhen shavos

    Judging by the varied of comments here it is clear that different children respond differently. The job of a camp is to allow for kids to grow emotionally and spiritually in a FUN in a SAFE environment. If it does not achieve that for ALL kids that it is failing at its main mission. As a head staff many years ago, the older teenage “bunk” did a play about the story of R’ Gavriel and his wife and the dybbuks from Zichronos. We made a huge mistake of not vetting it properly and of allowing the younger bunks to watch… Read more »

    DETROIT!
    Guest
    DETROIT!

    Yaaaaaay, no scary storys!

    (but the camp isnt great)

    Goo Goo Ga GA
    Guest
    Goo Goo Ga GA

    Why are parent such a bunch of babies nowadays….
    We are turning our jewish kids into the same kind of bleeding heart *&%#$ like the new york Goyim!!!!

    kuddos #10
    Guest
    kuddos #10

    You are asking mechila, but you don’t sign your name?
    Is that mechila?

    thank but no thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Guest
    thank but no thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i dont agree with you

    to 31 from 6
    Guest
    to 31 from 6

    wrong! this is my seventh year working with kids, sixth overnight camp, five of them as a counselor. i’ve worked in these places long enough to know what the kids love and hate, they love these types of stories and beg to have them told. and i had case with a boy in my bunk who was scared of monsters under his bed, hiding in his closet, etc. so i spoke with him for a while, and he was fine for the rest of his stay in camp. he actually had a blast! these stories of kids being scared is… Read more »

    att comment 48
    Guest
    att comment 48

    that is not true a) we do say scary stores and the camp is gr8

    40 years old and still remember
    Guest
    40 years old and still remember

    Amazing how this story has garnered so much attention. I am 40, I went to camp for many years as a camper, and frankly, I still have certain fears because of those stories told by sadistic counselors who somehow got a thrill out of scaring kids. I was a staff member for many years, and I NEVER did that. As I got older I realize that these staff members who engaged in this, unfortunately are dealing with a lot of other issues. This is a sick behavior that should not be taken lightly. I really applaude the author for raising… Read more »

    Scary camp stories
    Guest
    Scary camp stories

    This is a part of camp–telling scary stories around a campfire. I remember, years ago, an album of Golem stories including the scary “Dogs of Gehenom!” My sons loved it and listened to it over and over, and shared it with their bunkmates at camp. I heard scary stories at camp 50 years ago. My kids heard scary stories 20 years ago, and now their kids are being entertained by scary camp stories. It is a part of growing up! If there are some kids who are really scared by this (to the point of crying, wetting the bed) then… Read more »

    Do you know what is much more scary than "shin dalid" stories?
    Guest
    Do you know what is much more scary than "shin dalid" stories?

    HOLOCAUST stories!

    #6, 11, 16
    Guest
    #6, 11, 16

    what u write just shows immaturaty. why ruin a perfectly true and honest article by putting in thos comments

    #55
    Guest
    #55

    excuse me! chutzpa!

    urgent!!!!
    Guest
    urgent!!!!

    guys come on please. weather it 99% or 1 kid or if the story’s are fun or the kids are “Party pooper precious snowflakes with helicopter parents” IT DOS NOT MATTER. IF EVEN ONE KID CAN WALK AWAY HARMED OR “DAMEGED” UNHAPPY AND EVEN ONLY CRY JUST FOR 5 MIN. AND GET OVER IT, IT IS PLAIN AND SIMPLE WRONG. WE CAN NEVER KNOW WHO THAT KID IS SO WE SHOULD NOT TELL THOSE STORYS YES ITS FUN AND EXITEING BUT ON WHOS EXPENS????? STOP MAKING FUN AND PUTTING DOWN SENSETIVE PEOPLE, THEY EXSIST AND THEY ARE PEOPLE AND SHOULD… Read more »

    buba doll
    Guest
    buba doll

    i fully agree i told a really scary story countless times untill s/1 left camp because of it, i ask mechilla,

    Check your Mezuzah
    Guest
    Check your Mezuzah

    43% of 3 year old kids (who never went to camp) and still have dreams and nighmares of monsters under the bed, or in the closet. They don’t watch TV either. Maybe they know about such things from the Gemarra.

    AGREE
    Guest
    AGREE

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH 42!!!

    DO NOT AGREE
    Guest
    DO NOT AGREE

    when i was camper and i would here these scary stories i would get scared for that night but the next day i was over it. no matter how scared i would get at the moment, i had fun listening to them. its a part of the camp life, and most campers (including me) beg for it. and to what #59 said- i dont agree. why should the kids who want it- which is the majority- not get it because of one or 2 kids. those kids dont need to listen if its going to “scar them for life.” they… Read more »

    to#59
    Guest
    to#59

    yes we certainly have to take into account the feelings of children who are more sensitive but there must also be a balance.the problem is that many of todays parents are so over protective that they actually criple their children emotionally.

    There is good and bad in eveything
    Guest
    There is good and bad in eveything

    The Lubavitcher Rebbes memoirs the best book ever written!

    The problem is
    Guest
    The problem is

    The problem is, those capmers who do get scarred for life, many of them also ‘beg’ for these stories. They are fun (read arousing-, fear arousal) at the time. But the (arousal) fear can last many years. And even though at the time its ‘fun’, many kids suffer phobias for years.

    lets get this staright
    Guest
    lets get this staright

    Allot of kids enjoy these scary stories, ‘this is what camp is’. – But is that is a good enough reason a minority should suffer for fears and phobias for YEARS? In order some kids should have the right to a thrill that lasts a few minutes – this should outweigh the damage of other kids that last many YEARS?
    A thrill for a few minutes – OTWEIGHS- Fear and phobias that last for many YEARS?

    Seriously???
    Guest
    Seriously???

    What’s next, a demand to censor the stories of Moshke bring thrown into a pit but the Paritz?

    Or maybe not disclosing the fact that Yud Beis Tammuz is a yomtov because the Freidiker Rebbe sat in a very scary jail and murderous people wanted him killed?

    Life is not a ferry tail, tell your boy to grow up because reality is much more harsh than those semi-scary stories he heard in camp.

    “a bissel seichel“

    #68
    Guest
    #68

    were not talking about ‘prison’ stories.
    we are talking about ‘shin daled’ stories. Big difference.
    prison stories don’t create phobias. Shin daled stories (most of which are not even true) do.

    WHERE IS THE LEARNING? WHERE IS CHINUCH?
    Guest
    WHERE IS THE LEARNING? WHERE IS CHINUCH?

    Why aren’t the counselors LEARNING with the kids instead of telling stories?! The Rebbe was SCREAMING at a farbrengen of yud bais tammuz 5745-1985 – that it’s ah vilde zach! He was referring to the fact that Yeshivos shut down for the summer, and kids go to “camps” tzu zach tzuvilderen for TWO WHOLE MONTHS – instead of sitting and learning?! Does all the sick and perverted things that are happening now, not send a clear and simple message of what kids should be doing during the summer?! First they tell them stories, then they give them mashke, then they… Read more »

    Totally Agree
    Guest
    Totally Agree

    I have learnt a lot from this article about what goes on in a GAN YISROEL CAMP. And frankly i am SHOCKED. My children are now young adults and we never sent them to camp – we prefered family vacations together and reading this I am so happy we did that. Children don’t have to be made frightened to have fun. There is enough things in real life to be frightened of than adding fear in totally unnecessary ways. A Camp Gan Israel – which should cater for EVERY TYPE OF CHILD – not just the toughies, is meant for… Read more »

    to #69
    Guest
    to #69

    I had a counselor who knew to make us shiver from a simple walking in the woods story – without mentioning a single shein daled

    The point is, either you teach you child to grow up or he will be a baby all his life

    #70
    Guest
    #70

    Can you repeat that but in civilsed language? You have a good point. Why ruin it with uncivlised language?

    Be scared of the really scary stuff
    Guest
    Be scared of the really scary stuff

    If kids can’t even listen to imaginary campfire stories, how are they supposed to learn about truly frightening TRUE stories, like the Holocaust?

    camp
    Guest
    camp

    I believe that kids really grow and learn and gain significantly by attending overnight camps. There is a certain independence and ability that is acquired over the time away from home- usually and hopefully positive. Usually lasting. It helps kids become mature and savvy- in a good way.

    slightly humouros
    Guest
    slightly humouros

    This had me thinking it was quite comical, its one of those issues that everyone has but no one pays enough attention to to bring up…glad to see crown heights is suffering through this together LOL. But very true point, I must say.

    Is camp for one type of kid ? Or is Ahavas Yisroel really not an issue ?
    Guest
    Is camp for one type of kid ? Or is Ahavas Yisroel really not an issue ?

    After carefully reading all comments on here, two things have striked me. First one, is. Are they really people who think that only some type of kids not be allowed on camps? Should more sensitive kids not be allowed in? or should they go, listen to these storyes, develop fears, and keep them inside, for the benefit of the others? There are many things that people do not realize, but are crucial points, among them there are the facts, that all type of kids, are found everywere, including camps, that is not something that could be stopped, and it is… Read more »

    no more color war break outs
    Guest
    no more color war break outs

    not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not not

    u guys have nothing better to do?
    Guest
    u guys have nothing better to do?

    seriously people- cud u kindly stop squabbling if the stories are scarey and u cud say them or not?! u really have nothing better to do than vent at each other and read thru 70 comments and detroit pride?! go do something worthwhile. maybe go read your kids a (chassishe) story.

    #4 and everyone
    Guest
    #4 and everyone

    #4- I think you know if you told a child a scary story.
    everyone- whether or not your afraid of scary stories, think of the childrens lives your changing. Your going to work in a camp- make a good influence. dont make the kid come back from camp scared of hid own shadow! This mother is obviously just showing her concern to her child and i think its disgusting and obnoxious that some people put her down for doing so. Maybe your immature now but when it comes to your own children, I think you would do the same.
    Thank you.

    personal true shin daled stories
    Guest
    personal true shin daled stories

    Of course shouldn’t tell kids made up stories about ghosts and haunted houses and the like, but sometimes a true story can teach us a lesson. I personally lived in a house that had spirits and was “haunted,” things happening on their own, hearing voices etc. we went to a kabbalist who said there are neshamas trapped in our house and we need to add in tzedaka and make a shiur in our house so they can go back up. thus we don’t portray it the same as the world does, “ooooh, spoooooky!” but understanding the underlying existence that’s here… Read more »

    to # 70
    Guest
    to # 70

    the rebbe was FOR camps. he visited gan yisrael and emunah. dont say he was against it.

    to 82
    Guest
    to 82

    What he was “for” was giving yiddishkeit to kids who did not have it a whole year – that’s why it was started in the first place. What he was against – was that frum kids, who ALREADY know about yiddishkeit, should LEAVE a Yeshiva for TWO WHOLE MONTHS, go to a place where they DON’T SIT AND LEARN for as much time as they do during the winter, and worst of all – they participate in VILDEKEIT and disgusting goyishe activities instead of learning torah!? I was there by the Farbrengen, I heard the Rebbe say “S’IZ AH VILDE… Read more »

    Be Careful!!!
    Guest
    Be Careful!!!

    Obviously from the comments people get scarred for life.Ask yourself:Do YOU want to be responsible?This is NO joke!!!

    I agree with number 77
    Guest
    I agree with number 77
    Thank You!
    Guest
    Thank You!

    This is what counselours need! A little bit of education. They arnt sadistic or anything they just do what their counselours did when they were campers. If u see something say something. if you see something not good youre child got from camp, write it up and tell people about it.

    dont panic
    Guest
    dont panic

    its not a reason not to go to camp

    X