web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



REBBETZIN'S VIEWPOINT

Brokenhearted Mother: ‘Time to Stop the Meanness’

The challenge you posed – How much chesed do our children see in their homes and in their schools? – should make every one of us stop and think.
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Share Button

My recent columns on compassion touched many hearts. I’ve received numerous letters in response. I feel it’s important to share the following one with readers:

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis,

If I could, I would have every school principal and teacher, every father and mother, read your columns, especially those on the true meaning of rachamim. The challenge you posed – How much chesed do our children see in their homes and in their schools? – should make every one of us stop and think.

I am of European background. My parents were survivors of the concentration camps. I was born in a displaced persons camp after the war. When we came to the Unites States I experienced a culture shock for which I was totally unprepared. My parents enrolled me in a Jewish school. I thought surely that in such an environment everyone would be friendly and kind, but my disillusionment came quickly.

I was a foreigner. My English was difficult to understand and many of the girls were warned by their parents not to get too involved with me for fear I might tell them nightmarish stories of the Holocaust. Thanks to my strong and loving family I did not fall apart and eventually integrated and became part of the school.

Never would I have imagined that when my own daughter would start school she too would be tormented and rejected by her peers. And yet that is exactly what happened. The girls in my daughter’s class were very “clicky” and “catty.” They called her a nerd and other uncomplimentary names. She was always left out of social events. Seldom was she asked by her classmates to participate in Shabbos afternoon get-togethers. She would sit home and when she looked out the window and saw her classmates passing by on their way to a get-together, her hurt was beyond words.

I went to the school to speak to her teachers and pleaded with them to do something. They listened politely but there was no help forthcoming. The girls were never put in their place. They were never told this was not the Torah way and that such conduct was a heinous sin.

Soon my daughter developed behavioral problems. Very often she would “act out.” I guess that was her way of trying to get attention. Whenever something went wrong the finger was always pointed at her. She became even more depressed, angry and rebellious. Not once but many times I went to the principal. I begged for help but instead of helping her they labeled her a “troubled child.”

My husband and I were called to the school and told we had to take our daughter for intensive therapy. Having no option, we complied – but it was all futile. She was deeply scarred. Her heart was shattered. She felt disconnected, abandoned and alone. She gave up on life. Again and again I asked, “What is the point of telling a child who was hurting, who needed some love, some guidance, to go out and stand in the hallway or to sit in the principal’s office?”

I wondered why a teacher couldn’t talk to her after class. Even a little smile would have given her hope but she saw and heard only anger, rejection and admonishment.

To be honest, I never had any illusions. Nowadays most teachers just do not make this effort. It is so much easier to send a student out of class and label her a “troublemaker.”

My daughter started to cut classes. She hung out on the streets and of course found the worse element to associate with. One day the principal of the school asked that my husband and I come to see him. With trepidation in our hearts we went to his office and were told we had to find our daughter a new school.

I don’t know how many of your readers have experienced the agony of searching for a school that would agree to take their child – a child whose references shouted “problems” and “disturbed.” It seemed that every door was shut to us. Finally we did find a place out of town, far away. It was a school for “troubled” girls. We hesitated. We feared that under the influence of her peers who were also “troubled” she would deteriorate further. But having no options and despite her objections, we sent her.

Our worst fears were realized. We soon found out she was smoking and had managed to sneak out of the dormitory at night. Soon we were told that even this school would not keep her. What to do? Where could we possibly send her? The suffering my husband and I have had and continue to have is beyond description. Now we had no choice but to send her to a public high school where her Torah observance came to a complete end.

In time she went on to college where she met a boy who was agonistic and sarcastic about our Torah. Thank G-d he was a Jew, but he didn’t act like one. They got married and now are raising a daughter, a sweet little girl but a tragic victim of their completely irreligious lifestyle.

I think about this all the time and about how easily it could have been avoided with just a little chesed and rachmanus. What an amazing asset she could have been to our people and our family. What great nachas she could have been to my broken parents who are now in their late eighties and were hoping to see Yiddishe simchas.

My daughter carries the name of my grandmother who perished in Auschwitz. To have a granddaughter who carries the name of your mother who was murdered by the Nazis and to see that granddaughter reject everything her grandmother lived and died for – can there be anything more painful?

Please share my letter with your readers so that people can realize how the cruelty of children and the indifference of adults can forever scar and shatter not just one life but generations. It’s time to stop the meanness that is all around us and that has invaded the sanctuary of our homes and our schools.

Rebbetzin, when and where will this self-destruction end?

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Brokenhearted Mother: ‘Time to Stop the Meanness’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.
Autism in the IDF: Uniquely Talented Soldiers
Latest Judaism Stories

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

Haggadah used at the Passover Seder

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

Rabbi Sacks

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Marror is the reliving of the bitter enslavement and matzah is the under-eighteen-minutes redemption.

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim argues it is time for Ashkenazim to abandon the prohibition against Kitnyot. What do you think?

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

We have windows of history, of Yom Tovim, but the dust continues to obscure our vision.

On Shabbos Zachor the Torah commands us to “Remember what Amalek did to you.”

We should invite divorced people into our homes for Shabbas and Yom tov.

I attended the recent Shabboton for frum divorced people and listened to your talk. You gave me hope to go on. I was very despondent when I came and went home considerably more upbeat. It was all due to your focus on “being a blessing.”

One can sigh with relief when the divorce is finalized but the heart is full and it aches with pain. Yes, there were conflicts. Yes, there was a cold war that made for a frigid atmosphere in the home. But loneliness is a very difficult thing to bear.

My ex despises me and is bent on destroying me. He has done everything to torture me.

The Torah tells us that ancient Egypt had 49 levels of contaminating impurities and Hashem wanted us out before the fiftieth would become viral.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/time-to-stop-the-meanness-letter-from-a-brokenhearted-mother/2013/01/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: