web analytics
June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


I Am Saddened (Part Three)


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

In my last two columns I published a letter from a mother/grandmother who felt very saddened and discouraged at the shameless chutzpah that marks today’s parent-child relationship. In the first segment of her letter, she cited the disrespectful conduct of children, and in the second, she gave examples of the deplorable behavior of young adults – even married couples.

To be sure, there is a huge difference between the two. When children are chutzpadik, you hope that in time, they will learn, but when young adults are insolent, it is reprehensible – they should know better, but alas – it seems that they don’t. The following is my reply:

Dear Friend:

The chutzpah to which we are witness today should not surprise any of us. Long ago, our sages predicted that impudence and brazenness of the young would mark the pre-messianic period, referred to as “Ikvesa d’Moshicha.” We are into that generation. It is we who have been destined to witness the breakdown of our beautiful family life – the ignoble rebellion of the young against their elders. But that, in and of itself, should give us hope, for what we are witnessing are not random happenings, but the unfolding of prophesy.

Our Talmud relates that Rabbi Akiva, upon beholding the ruins of our Temple, smiled, while his colleagues wept. “How can you smile?” they asked.

“I smile,” he replied, because now that I see the prophesy of destruction fulfilled, I know that the prophesy of birth and redemption will also be realized.”

Similarly, we should take comfort in the knowledge that, even as we are witness to this intensification of chutzpah, so too, with the help of G-d, we will behold the time when Elijah the Prophet will come, reunite the generations and restore our people to their glorious past.

But this in no way means that we should countenance this chutzpah and regard this shameful behavior as acceptable. As Torah Jews, we have a manifest destiny to swim against the tide and battle the cultural waves that threaten us. Our ability to cling tenaciously to our Torah values has enabled us to overcome the vicissitudes of every generation and convert our homes into fortresses of Torah – fortresses in which the Word of G-d prevails and illuminates our families – We can do no less.

Recently, I was invited to speak for N’shei Agudas Israel on this very subject – “Enforcing and Enhancing the Mitzvah of Kibbud Av V’eim.” In my talk, I pointed out that if we are to address this issue in a meaningful manner, we must first identify the cultural manifestations of our 21st century, which condones and generates chutzpa vis-à-vis parents and elders. Therefore, before we even attempt to address this crisis, we would do well to expose the value system that gives license to this abhorrent attitude so that we may insulate our families from its ravishing effects. In the limited space of this column, it is impossible for me to cover everything that I discussed, but I will outline just a few points.

1) Being a Pal to Your Children – Ours is a culture that encourages friendship rather than respect between the generations. “I want my children to like me. I want to be their friend” is the popular mantra by which we raise our children. So it is that toddlers raise their hands against moms and dads without being reprimanded – that children horse around with their parents, even to the point where they call them by their first names and don’t hesitate to lecture them: “You don’t know what you are talking about” or they indicate the same through their body language…rolling their eyes in exasperation and giving a look that says, “I can’t believe that you’re so stupid!”

Some of these young people are so far removed from Torah that it doesn’t even occur to them that sitting in their parents’ seats or failing to rise in their honor is a violation of Torah ideals. Unfortunately, nowadays, such respectful conduct is regarded as archaic. How sad that we have lost our way.

I shared with my audience, that I, who belong to another generation, was raised with a different set of values. On Shabbos Eve, when before Kiddush, our parents bentsched – blessed – us, we rose in awe and gratitude and kissed their hands. To contradict our parents in any manner, shape or form would never have occurred to us…to refer to them as “he” or “she” was so alien a concept that we couldn’t ever conceive that Jewish children could speak of their parents in such a manner.

Moreover, when we visited our Zeide (of all my grandparents, only my maternal Zeide, HaRav HaGaon Tzvi Hirsh HaCohen,zt”l, survived the Holocaust), we children witnessed the reverence and love with which our parents related to him. The honor and love that they showed him remained forever engraved on our hearts. Sadly, this new generation has not been privileged to see such an example. Their frame of reference is one of disrespect and disregard. Too many parents mistreat their own mothers and fathers. Now, if this is the example that children see from their own parents, what can we possibly expect from them?

2) “Me Generation” – We live in a selfish, egocentric world in which sacrifice, devotion and commitment are rare. Parents are selfish, and they raise children who are even more selfish. “It’s coming to me!” – “You owe it to me!” they protest, but it never occurs to them that the reverse is true…. that it is they who “owe one!”…and it is they that it is they who are indebted!”

On what is this egocentric morality based?

(To Be Continued)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “I Am Saddened (Part Three)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
The new security fence is under construction along the Israel-Egypt border.
Israel to Extend Security Fence Along Eastern Border
Latest Judaism Stories
Staum-062615

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Perhaps on a deeper level, the mitzvah of parah adumah at this junction was not just to purify the body, but the spirit as well.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Halacha isn’t random; it’s a mechanism guiding individuals and society to a higher ethical plateau.

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

The greatest of men, Moshe, had to wait for Hashem to sprinkle purifying waters on Bnei Yisrael to mark the conclusion of the period of death.

My Plate, My Food
‘My Loaf Is Forbidden To You’
(Nedarim 34b)

Of Chukkim “Satan and the nations of the world made fun.” They may appear irrational & superstitious

I realized from this story that I was sent as a messenger from above. Hashem has many helpers in this world to help do his work.

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

Zaidie’s legacy of smiles and loving words was all but buried with him, now the family fights over $

Israel’s complaining frustrated Moshe, making it increasingly hard for him to lead effectively

Dovid’s musical Torah teachings were designed to penetrate the soul and the emotions.

It occurred to me, as my brain rattled in my skull on a two-hundred mile ride through rural Virginia, that our souls work in much the same way.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Zaidie’s legacy of smiles and loving words was all but buried with him, now the family fights over $

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

His mother called “Yoni, Yoni!” Her eyes, a moment earlier dark with pain, shone with joy and hope

Pesach bonds families and generations: “So that you may relate it to your son and your son’s son.

Amalek’s hate never dies; its descendants are eternal & omnipresent; Hashem is our only protection

I try to be observant, davening daily, but it hasn’t awakened my heart or my mind or changed my life

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/i-am-saddened-continued-from-last-week-2/2009/05/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: