Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
This past Sunday evening I received a frantic call from a close friend, a 52-year-old father and grandfather who has spent the past 27 summers in the Monticello area. He pleaded with me to inform the frum public of what his eyes had seen – and his heart simply did not want to believe.
These are his words:
This past Motzoei Shabbos, July 28, I received a phone call from a Brooklyn Rav asking me to gather some friends and their wives and go to Broadway (the main street) in Monticello in order to provide some adult supervision and responsible sets of eyes to the “scene” in front of a pool hall situated there.
I got there at about 12:45 a.m. – at least fifteen minutes before any of our friends arrived. As I was the only Orthodox adult present at the time, I got an unvarnished look at the proceedings. What I saw was beyond my wildest nightmares. Inside the pool hall and spilling out into the street were hundreds of frum boys and girls hanging out, cavorting, drinking, and snorting drugs.
The kids ran the full range of Orthodox Jewry – children from very chassidish to Modern Orthodox homes. The behavior of the boys and the dress code of the girls were simply beyond belief. In fact, it was hard to believe that these were frum kids – until you spoke to them.
Please don’t think for a moment that this was a gathering of only “at-risk kids.” Dozens of cars stopped by, and what you would call mainstream boys and girls got out to see what was going on. Many of them joined the party, at least as observers. A few of the kids told us that they and their friends rented bungalows in non-Jewish colonies or rooms in hotels throughout the Catskills where they party from Thursday night until Monday morning – including Shabbos.
We circulated among the kids and tried talking to them, begging them to come home with us. We offered them a place to stay and some food to eat – for the night, or perhaps an invitation for the coming Shabbos. It was most painful to see that underneath the bravado and in-your-face mannerisms were scared kids and tortured Yiddishe neshamos.
Rabbi Horowitz, please beg each and every parent of unmarried children who are in the Catskills and not in a structured, supervised camp setting to make 110 percent certain of their whereabouts, particularly on Motzoei Shabbasos – even if their kids say they are going for a slice of pizza or bowling with some friends. What might begin as an innocent night of fun may turn tragic – physically and spiritually.
Over the past generation, the number of our sons and daughters achieving success in our community has grown exponentially. However, our teens-at-risk population has been growing at least as rapidly. And along with their swelling ranks comes a sense of camaraderie and boldness.
Thirty years ago, mischief for the vast majority of our kids was a camp prank or raid. Ten years ago, kids were hanging out and experimenting with the boundaries that our community would tolerate. Today, our disenfranchised children are forming their own community.
Do you know where your children are?
About the Author: Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is founder and dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam and founder and director of Agudath Israel's Project Y.E.S.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Corbyn leading the Britain’s Labour Party polls, describes Hamas & Hizbullah as England’s “friends.”
The convicted murderer was released from Israeli prison with more than two dozen other sociopaths
JCF is a donor/supporter of The New Israel Fund which supports BDS & wants IDF soldiers prosecuted
The conundrum for US Labor Zionists: Lobbying for Iran deal while Israel’s Left lobby’s against it.
What does the Torah want from our small nation described as “they who struggle with God & with men”?
Mr. Nadler’s support for the deal is a naked political gift to a president who has defied logic in his quest to reinvent international affairs according to his ideological inclinations.
In practical terms, the proclamation surely makes a compelling argument:
BDS activists are not shy about discriminating against Israelis simply because they are Israelis –
A Federal Ct Judge ordered the PA to post JUST $10 million due to interfering letter from State Dept
Osakwe, like many other students at the CAMERA conference, described an extremely hostile campus environment when it comes to the issue of Israel.
Many people view a letter or manuscript by a chassidic rebbe or the Chofetz Chaim as intrinsically holy.
Key Iran Lobby figures had been major donors to both Biden and Kerry when they were in the Senate,
Those of us familiar with the do’s and don’ts of accepted practice in the mental health profession saw similar blaring warning lights in our minds, as should have occurred when the facts were made public regarding the accusations against Nehemia Weberman. This case may very well be our community’s most important abuse trial during our lifetimes. It is imperative that we have a huge turnout in support of the victim, a courageous young lady who, may she be gezunt andge’bentched, is determined to see this through to the end so others won’t suffer like she did.
These lines are written in loving memory of our dear father, Reb Shlomo Zev ben Reb Baruch Yehudah Nutovic, a”h, whose first yahrzeit is 7 Menachem Av. May the positive lessons learned from this essay be a zechus for his neshamah.
All responsible leaders in our community have roundly condemned the recent violence in Beit Shemesh and Meah Shearim.
A surefire way to gauge the generation in which a person was raised is to have him or her fill in the following sentence: Where were you when ?”
Baby Boomers would ask, “When President Kennedy was shot?” Thirtysomethings would respond, “When the space shuttle exploded?” Today’s teenagers would reply, “On 9/11?”
One week ago on my website I announced my intention to attend the next court appearance of a man who was arrested last year and is now standing trial on 10 felony charges of child abuse.
Dear Rabbi Horowitz:
We were taken aback when our 18-year-old son just called us from Eretz Yisrael (we live in Europe) and told us that he was coming home and wants to immediately go to work. He said that he is wasting his time in yeshiva, and just can’t take it anymore. He said that he will “run away from home” if we don’t allow him to go to work.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/its-one-a-m-do-you-know-where-your-children-are/2007/08/01/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: