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Thursday, 15 Nisan, 5780
  |  April 9, 2020

Root Cause of The Community Issue

Response op-ed: A bochur shares his perspective on the discussion about depression among young people and points out what was missing from the comments on COLlive.com. Full Story

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I disagree!
Guest
I disagree!

I believe that our schools and yeshivos are doing a great job teaching the value of Yiddishkeit to our kids. Our Mosdos teach Chassidus, the Rebbe’s Sichos etc. Even the worst teacher can’t mess that up! The Rebbe’s messages of the beauty of Yiddishkeit get through to everyone. The real issue at hand is that while we’re 10 steps ahead of the world when it comes to purpose, meaning, mission etc. We are 10 steps behind the world when it comes to mental health, self esteem, emotional intelligence and emotional awareness. We think chassidus has all the answers, when there’s… Read more »

chassidus applied
Guest
chassidus applied

Chassidus is the manufacterer’s handbook of the neshama.
When used with the help of a proper mashpia it will work wonders…

Baruch Shalom
Guest
Baruch Shalom

I couldn’t disagree with you more. Do you personally know any mashpi’im? i do. they are usually regular people who are experienced only in dealing with peoples religious issues, not their mental health struggles.
also, the suggestion that chassidus solves all problems is remarkably naive. nobody believes that chaddidus can solve autims spectrum disorder. likewise, chassidus cant necessarily solve other issues like suicide

hard work
Guest
hard work

Chassidus doesnt “solve problems” . People can learn chassidus and then apply it to solve problems. Learning chassidus wont give you a cure for cancer or autism. But it can teach you how to act and react if you or someone you know is diagnosed. What learning Chassidus does is teach you about using your mind. How to be in control of your emotional and mental state. (What the article is talking about). Theres a famous story of Napoleon rushing R Moshe Meisels and telling him that he was a spy and then feeling his heart and finding that he wasnt… Read more »

Excellent points...
Guest
Excellent points...

Re: Mental health. Some kids have a temperament that chafes at obedience, which may approach ADHD-oppositional defiance sub type. Why are there no planson how to work with/educate non-compliant kids?? An I.E.P.-Individual Educational Plan should be offered to all parents of struggling kids. Secondly, some kids are naturally indifferent to abstract ideals, just like some people are tone deaf. We all need Si’yata Shamayim.

some of the locals schools in Crown Heights
Guest
some of the locals schools in Crown Heights

treat children with behavior and learning difficulties almost like the kids chose to be like that, offer very little support systems, and are very happy to ask the child to leave the school unless they magically change by themselves without much needed support

there are solutions
Guest
there are solutions

If your child is non compliant, then at any time you can self refer them to the board of ed and get them evaluated for something called “emotional disturbance” . If your child truly qualifies, he will get an iep and counseling. Do your homework and get a good counselour who will work with your child. Alternatively, see if your insinsurance covers counseling. Its very “in” these days. Theres only so much the school can do with so many kids in each class. Im sure your childs teacher has no idea what to do about the behaviour. Get your child… Read more »

You can both be right
Guest
You can both be right

I find the article to be 100% true.
You are also right about your point but try reading the article again to understand what he’s actually saying… if I ask you to prove the existence of G-D, why is Judaism/Chasidism not a cult, why does G-D care what we do, why create a world with Little pawns that need to follow his whims… would you be able to answer?? Please be honest with yourself..

YESSSSS
Guest
YESSSSS

I agree!! Wow! THANKS FOR PUTTING IT SO CLEARLY!

Um...
Guest
Um...

Actually I do have answers to your questions… You make it sound like there are no answers. There are answers, buddy. For starters, you can look up: The rational approach to the Divine origin of the Torah (video) 100 reasons why evolution is stupid (video) Many common questions are answered on stumptherabbi.org, and if not yet answered, ask your question there, they are constantly posting new content. I’ve found a lot of answers on chabad.org And of course, you can get answers by asking smart people. When I was a Zal Bochur I took the approach that there must be… Read more »

Duh..
Guest
Duh..

Good for you! So you can say this article doesn’t apply to you. Doesn’t take away from the fact that this rings true to a lot of our youth…

Nope
Guest
Nope

Maybe clinical things are one thing. But half of our issues wouldn’t even EXIST if actually learn chassidus etc (do what this bachur was saying would solve all of our issues). Imagine these bachurim or whoever actually originally felt a sense of mission, fulfillment and purpose (and much more btw)… these issues probably wouldn’t come up so quickly.

curing problems
Guest
curing problems

chassidus has the answers when someone is struggling with keeping the Torah and having a connection with Hashem. But if someone is struggling with life itself then that person needs to see a doctor or some other health professional. The solution should not be to try to turn every mechanech into a health professional…they will never be able to notice any problems which is why PARENTS have to make sure their kids are checked out by the people that will notice any issues.

All has to do with connection to hashem
Guest
All has to do with connection to hashem

Everything in a persons life is from hashem. Everything is in the hand of heaven except fear of heaven. Mental health issues connect to observance of torah and mitzvos too.

bingo!
Guest
bingo!

In two words kids need to “learn chassidus” . Not just ramble off tanya baal peh that they dont understand or never learn any maamorim besides baasi ligani and viateh titzaveh.

bingo!
Guest
bingo!

And Learn chassidus from teachers who live it!

Erhm
Guest
Erhm

Just because you never had any teachers who basked in Chassidus, doesn’t everyone else didn’t.

Dear Author of this article
Guest
Dear Author of this article

This was a much-needed article. please don’t stop and continue to make content on this topic. I think it’s very important.

Great powerful and meaningful article
Guest
Great powerful and meaningful article

Thanks so much for expressing the root of the problem. But will the parents/teachers do anything about, now that they know🤷‍♀️
Parents have to practice what they preach. They have to live by chassidic teachings not just preach. A child can go off just because it’s common sense- My parents/teachers don’t practice what they preach so why should i?

Easy for you to say
Guest
Easy for you to say

From a comment made from your bed. I teach sweat day in day out. Most teachers try to do this… we dont live in the 80s anymore..

Replying:The truth hurts sorry
Guest
Replying:The truth hurts sorry

But I’m a teacher myself – lol!children live by our example. we have a responsibility!If they misbehave and it comes to “haunt ” us later, we have no one to blame but ourselves!

True
Guest
True

Its very sad a kid can have perfect parents and then go through the education system – get molested or get abused in some other way and become suicidal Something needs to be done about our education system – there are solutions and we are committed to creating change. As chabad we gave gifts that the whole world wants- we can just cash it in and apply what we have. We are an example to three rest of the world – let’s just open up our own seforim and live it. We are good poeple – let’s just be true… Read more »

But
Guest
But

Many children are abused at home by friends and relatives. Those ‘perfect parents’ are very often not perfect, and sometimes quite far from it, despite how they appear in public. I speak from personal experience unfortunately.

Bingo!
Guest
Bingo!

and live Chasidus from parents that live it!

The real issue
Guest
The real issue

Is the rampant child abuse, and I’m talking about all kinds of abuse including physical and emotional child abuse which get little attention despite how widespread they are.

Yes yes yes
Guest
Yes yes yes

100% true. I believe almost All teens today can relate to this article and find truth in it. I personally do. I don’t want to blame or point fingers, but this article shows EXACTLY what the root cause is.. Yiddishkeit is often given over in a way about rules, do this, do that.. It’s no wonder that teenagers don’t want to do it. And most of them, it’s not because they want to be or trying to be rebellious. They are just simply unhappy. They aren’t bad. They are simply unhappy. Also, the neshamos of this generation are very special.… Read more »

Yes!!
Guest
Yes!!

Parents and educators should try not to push rules of yiddishkeit to teenagers. I personally needed some freedom and eventually found my connection to Hashem with a deeper meaning.

As a side note, I stopped daavening and got turned off after being graded a C in my high school report card in Tefillah. What message does a failure in Daavening send to a student? I cannot understand how a Lubavitch school can grade/judge a student’s connection to Hashem?

100%
Guest
100%

Any of my OTD or disenchanted frum friends who are just going through the motions have all stated that the most underlying issue for them leaving the community or faking it is abuse. All kinds from verbal to physical. I’m seriously lucky enough to have never experienced abuse, and its serious luck! As an adult, I learned how many classmates experienced abuse and it horrified me to know that this was going on in-home or in school and that I never knew. So when you look at the statistics I do count myself lucky. Yes, abuse happens everywhere but we… Read more »

True, but it’s more than that
Guest
True, but it’s more than that

There are many good comments made already, so I will just add that “the system” isn’t truly ready to accept the current realities, and that we still remain somewhat of a culture club, defined by externalities. The irony is that, “retail storefront Chabad” is just what the “insider system Chabad” needs. One day…

Sima
Guest
Sima

My thoughts exaclty!!!

Mechanical Judaism
Guest
Mechanical Judaism

Chassidiskeit isn’t a culture. The more depressed, sad and cold you are, doesn’t make you more chassidish. If you wear black and white doesn’t make you more frum. Practice what you preach, you’re kids learn after what they see not what you tell them. Don’t discuss politics ever, and definitely not in front of your kids. Dear Author, whoever you are, you beautifully composed the issues at hand, especially being so close to the issues as a bochur today. Use your gift to speak to those around you who are struggling with these issues, and encourage them to keep asking… Read more »

100%
Guest
100%

As R’ Manis says: “Religion is bad for you.” We don’t do Yiddishkeit because we need to but because we’re needed to. Hashem needs us to do our part in making this world a Dira, and only we can do our portion. This is Chassidus! It is very possible to translate Chassidus the wrong way. Look no further than the intro to Tanya. All I was told while going through Mesivta was that I don’t matter because of Bitul and Kabalos Ol, and that if i wasn’t perfect, i.e. keeping Seder, following dress code etc, i wasn’t good enough. Thank… Read more »

Yes!
Guest
Yes!

But one thing… it’s not that we dont have to follow seder, no kabalos ol, no rules etc. We have to have both. Naase and Nishma. One without the other is…

The WHY of tznius
Guest
The WHY of tznius

I say this all the time that specifically why we have an issue with our girls and tznius is that they don’t truly know why!!!!

Really?
Guest
Really?

Who hasn’t heard the WHYs of Tznius 100 times??
Taavos are taavos and logic can’t solve everything

Passionate. I love it.
Guest
Passionate. I love it.

I resonate with the deep care of this writer. There are many points that pull on the pintele yid, AND, I invite to consider this: in the example of the father passing down the wealth for his son to carry – I can slip past the mystery treasure that such examples typically focus on to not four year olds children, but healthy young men, young bucks in their prime – here now, what if the son takes a peek into the bag and recognizes what is called this treasure, and says I choose to live without this treasure … Just… Read more »

confused: you speak about pintele Yid, and then ..
Guest
confused: you speak about pintele Yid, and then ..

you write: “Just think, is that a tragedy or may that be the beginning of an empowered young man?”

If you point out that at our core, we all know the truth of Hashem being the only Truth (pintele Yid), then the word “empowered” should be replaced by “sadly confused and misguided”.

We are not empowered when we choose to go away from the way of the Torah, in whatever way that is. We are very very sadly “confused, misguided” or just don’t have the strength or stamina to do what is right.

Perspective.
Guest
Perspective.

I pointed out the pintele yid as an expression for context – yes, the writing of the article hits home because I understand the emotion within narrative, not to be confused with we all know “the truth”. Truth as I understand it, is that we all have a special and unique perspective designed in just this way. From there we are each pencils in the eyes of God. Empowered meaning, becoming stronger and more confident by taking control of his/her life, and claiming their rights. Should you see it another way then that’s the way it will appear to you… Read more »

"No one ever bothered to explain to them"
Guest
"No one ever bothered to explain to them"

not true there is much that is taught B”H and obviously more that can but please do not write “No one ever bothered to explain to them the true contents of this bag” There’s a reason why the Alter Rebbe did not want Napolean liberal environment is very destructive the world right now is a very liberal place and this is very detrimental to many even worse is the hours people spend on their phones or in front of a screen of any kind and this applies to adults just as much as the youth! all of this makes it… Read more »

a different parable
Guest
a different parable

Father gives the child the bag of stones, just like before. Child is curious, he opens the bag and…it’s actually just a bag of ordinary stones at least as far as he can understand. But he still lovingly cares for this bag of rocks, not because he understands what is so special about a bunch of rocks but because they are his FATHER’S stones, he loves his father, realizes that those stones must be very important to him…so because he wants to do anything that will make his father happy he gladly takes care of the bag of stones.

Man's Search for Meaning
Guest
Man's Search for Meaning

Dr Victor Frankel’s approach is very popular today in the fields of coaching and motivational teachings. It’s based on the premise that there’s a human need for meaning and purpose, to live for, in order to be happy and motivated… My understanding is that this is also the point of this article. When we have meaning and purpose, then most really serious psychological issues don’t develop to begin with. Also true that when there are issues, then we do need to deal with them and get the professional help that’s needed. Another point, many aren’t aware of, is that drugs… Read more »

Learning from the politically conservative pundits
Guest
Learning from the politically conservative pundits

One of the things politically conservative pundits like Dennis Prager, Andrew Klavan, and others are good at, are showing how values and thought processes lead to various outcomes. As an example, they show us the wisdom of the Founding Fathers of the USA, who wrote that our rights come from God and not from government. When rights come from God, government can’t take them from you (without trampling on your rights) but when right come from government, they can take them and then poof – your “right” never existed… All this shows the average citizen how important God is in… Read more »

nonsense
Guest
nonsense

we have overindulged our kids emotionally , havient given them coping skills , given them way too much , way too good a life and this is what we are left with !
kids that can’t cope with any disappointment , kids who expect everything easy which results in no purpose , no sense of accomplishment or direction .
They are too exposed too.

you misunderstood the author
Guest
you misunderstood the author

he wasnt talking about depression that comes from a different source and therefore needs a medical doctor. nor was he talking about the one that results from abuse. he was talking about the one that comes from this source. and why? because so often the suicide notes quote this source, not the intrinsic medical one, nor the other one.

ML -Chinuch in the 'alte tzeiten'!
Guest
ML -Chinuch in the 'alte tzeiten'!

I have a friend whose mother attended Beis Yaakov in Vienna. She told her that they learnt far less than today, but they knew it far better. Perhaps the pressure of hours of homework, tests and quantity over in-depth and a slightly less demanding and relaxed atmosphere is not helping. As a grandmother, I do not remember mental health being an issue in my youth, but could it be the food we are eating, the air we are breathing? So many cars on the road, far less exercise, obesity. I look at my old school photos compared to grandchildren’s and… Read more »

I agree fully but there is more
Guest
I agree fully but there is more

Years back we lived and breathed our connection to hashem. We had the rebbe giving fabrengens wand everything revolved around following what the rebbe taught. Everything was connected to yiddishkeit. Politics was discussed by the rebbe in line with torah and showing how hashem runs the world. That love of hashem and torah is lost on so many

Beautiful article
Guest
Beautiful article

Being that I’m a regular Bochur as well I couldn’t agree more with the author. I want to point out something that I feel we all struggle with the system in place today. Each boy or girl must feel that they are frum chassidishe Jews because they want to do it and it makes sense to them. Not because their parents are pressuring them or they are doing it because they are scared to leave.

Rabbi Abraham Twersky
Guest
Rabbi Abraham Twersky
True Points.
Guest
True Points.

True Points, however being that this article is in response to the issues of Suicide, I’m not sure that it is completely relevant. It’s possible that the concepts mentioned increases feelings of loss to have someone turn to suicide, but the actual causes are most likely due to clinical depression, or side effects etc… However I do agree with the concepts he mentions, As I am in my thirties and still struggle with it, now I have my own kids to raise, unfortunately I am not connected enough myself to hand over, I know Aleph so I try to teach… Read more »

Zal bochur
Guest
Zal bochur

As a bochur in zal this article hit deep but this this isn’t news, literally every farbrengen we have in yeshiva is about the issues mentioned in this article, but just because I have a device or am on social media or watch movies doesn’t mean I have no feelings towards yiddishkeit. Yes it’s a distraction yes it keeps you up at night yes it’s a problem almost every bochur has but that doesn’t mean I feel that yiddishkeit is a bunch of do’s and don’ts being forced on me, it doesn’t mean I’m just going through the motions, I… Read more »

What’s really missing
Guest
What’s really missing

A lot of these conversations are hurtful. The thing people people need most after air water food and proper temperature is respect. Please think speak and act toward and about all people with respect, as human beings with agency. This is especially important for people who are suffering emotionally as they most likely have been mistreated in the past, whether severe abuse or casually and ‘insignificantly’- like these conversations. Peace and love to all!

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