web analytics
August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Judaism » Torah »

Losing Our Children (Part III) Who Are They?

Freiman-032913

Where can such real life situations meld with the kedushah of a Torah life? Rashi tells us that kedushah means separation, separation from things that are not holy. That is the theme of Havdalah on Saturday night. When we leave the holiness of Shabbos, a day where we separated ourselves form the world in a unique way, we thank Hashem for separating the Jewish people from the profane, from the mundane week, from the ways of the nations of the world. We pray that we should be able to bring the separation of Shabbos into the week as well. We live in the “real world,” but we recognize that all this progressive world offers us may be enticing, but does not mesh with the fabric of Torah values.

We want our kids to be Jewish and stay within our fold, but we also realize that forcing insularity may backfire and not give them the tools to succeed in the American world of 2013 in which they live. I propose three tools to help bridge the gap.

First, we must be extra patient and loving to our children so that we become trusted resources and guides. We must gain their trust, be their parents, disciplinarians, and loving educators. The tough love and physical discipline of years past is not as effective in the environment in which we are raising our children. It must be replaced with a greater understanding of who our children are and the challenges they are facing. Their shoes will never fit you. They are growing up in a different world than you grew up in, and even if you are technologically savvy, you are not a child growing up in this world (and never will be). Try to understand what is best for your child today, not what was good enough for you yesterday. Learn to understand, rather than impose.

Second, with the recognition that children will eventually be exposed to the world in many ways, whether we like it or not, I believe that every child must learn to be a Torah warrior at a young age. I believe that we should limit early childhood exposure to the secular world as much as possible in order to create a strong, emotional passion for Torah. Torah sells itself, and if young children develop a love for Torah and its teachings, there is a greater chance that will continue. Like any building, the foundation must be strong. Children who have an insular but loving early childhood foundation have a greater chance of withstanding the exposure that invariably occurs in the teen years. The excitement of the siddur party in kindergarten is moving, but it must be followed up during the subsequent years with a passion for Torah ethics and values. Children are not capable of understanding the conflicting ideals of the Torah and the world at large, so we must make sure their foundation in Torah is solid. Chazal tell us that a strong foundation of Torah, chesed, and prayer cannot easily be broken, but we must be sure if its strength before it is put to life’s tests.

Third, when the children are invariably exposed to the world at large, usually in their teen years, we have to turn this exposure into a learning experience. If we automatically say no to everything, then children will find ways to do things on their own. Each child has different interests, talents, and desires and we must find kosher outlets for them – if we want to quench these desires without losing our children. Additionally, we must try to educate our children, who by now have a strong foundation of Torah values, with the proper perspective for viewing the world. During this exploratory journey, they need guidance in showing restraint and retaining their underlying values. Many parents feel that since their teens are not really under their control anyway, they can allow them to make their own decisions. If our children trust us and see us as allies instead of gatekeepers keeping out the enticing, exciting world, then we can still be involved in their lives and decisions at this crucial stage. As active parents, we can help them use their Torah foundations to guide their teen decisions. Teenagers must be made to understand that their parents are also battling comparable challenges and can guide them based on their own life experiences. Ultimately, the process of guiding our children as they navigate the world must be done through the lenses of Torah. The alternative is a teen-led tour whereby they believe that that they must choose between the Torah values of their youth and the compelling secular influences and experiences.

About the Author: Rabbi Gil Frieman is the pulpit Rabbi of Jewish Center Nachlat Zion, the home of Ohr Naava. He is certified as a shochet, sofer, and has given lectures in the United States, Canada, and throughout Eretz Yisroel. Rabbi Frieman is currently the American Director of seminaries Darchei Binah, Afikei Torah, and Chochmas Lev in Eretz Yisroel, and teaches in Nefesh High School, Camp Tubby during the summers, and lectures weekly at Ohr Naava. In addition, Rabbi Frieman teaches all tracks in Ateres Naava Seminary. He is a highly anticipated speaker on TorahAnytime.com where he speaks live most Wednesday nights at 9:00pm EST.


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 “Losing Our Children (Part III) Who Are They?

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US President Barack Obama speaking on the phone last month aboard Air Force One.
US Reveals Failed Summer Mission to Rescue Captured Journalist
Latest Judaism Stories
Azrielli Tower - Shema Yisrael

It is words that connect the individuals in a society and it is words that give that society its animating spirit. It is words that define its potential. People are a nation’s cells. Land is its body. But words give it life, animation and purpose. It is words that those who lay siege to Münster […]

Leff-081514

“When a mother plays with her child there is an acute awareness of the child. But even when the mother works at a job or is distracted by some other activity, there is a natural, latent awareness of her child’s existence.

Business-Halacha-logo

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

The-Shmuz

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

An Outcast
‘He Shall Dwell Outside His Tent’
(Moed Katan 7b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

Based on the opinion of the Ramban, the Territorial School believes that leaving any territory of the Land of Israel in the possession of non-Jews is a violation of a biblical mandate.

“But they told me to come in today,” she said. They gave me this date months ago. It’s not my fault if it’s the wrong day.”

Tosafos there takes issue with Rashi’s view that the letters that are formed in the knots of the tefillin are considered part of the name of Hashem.

Blind obedience is not a virtue in Judaism. God wants us to understand the laws He has commanded us

What does Hashem want of us? That we should protect each other and the awesome heritage He gave us.

Israel is the only place where we have the potential to fulfill our mandate as the chosen people.

The innkeeper smiled and replied, “Why do you think we are dancing? We are dancing because G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash!”

One of the manifestations of the immature person is a sense of entitlement.

More Articles from Rabbi Gil Frieman
Freiman-092013

While we wish the nations of the world success and prosperity, we realize that this feeling has not always been reciprocated.

Torah-Anytime-logo

I watch my children use blocks to build a large structure, observing the trepidation with which they add each block. As the structure becomes larger there is a greater risk of it collapsing, thus bringing an end to an hour of playful labor. I anticipate what will happen when one child adds a block to the top floor, compromising the integrity of the building and resulting in the collapse of the entire structure. The argument that ensues is predictable, as each child blames the other for “ruining” the fun. As an adult, I wonder about the need to attribute blame. Will assigning blame be instrumental in rebuilding the structure?

Kids today… that’s not the way we behaved when we were younger!! That is the mantra I hear repeated as parents bemoan the spoiled nature and lack of responsibility of today’s children. The problem is – it is not a fair comparison.

My family and I had recently enjoyed an outing to the bowling alley, courtesy of our friend, the owner. Children of all ages enjoy this weatherproof sport, and even preschoolers can easily score strike after strike as bumpers support the heavy ball as it creeps its way towards the pins at the end of the lane.

We all yearn to feel that we are part of something special. We all seek respect and acceptance for simply being who we are.

A congregant once told me that he was spending a large amount of time trying to explain Judaism to a coworker. His colleague thought that all Jewish holidays had the same theme, and he proudly summarized this theme at his family’s two-minute Seder: “They tried to kill us, Hashem saved us, we won, now let’s eat!!” He proudly bragged that this sentence was the family’s personal, abbreviated Haggadah.

Many trees upstate were damaged by the hurricane that swept through the East Coast at the end of last summer, and I was involved in finding the safest equipment to clean up the mess. I love trees and found the chore of cutting them down very difficult, especially knowing that the stately 60 year old trees would be impossible to replace. Even though we planted new trees, I don’t know whether I will be there to enjoy these new saplings when they are 60 years old.

I rarely take the extended warranty when purchasing new electronics. I figure that this warranty must not be worth much if they feel the need to pressure me into buying it. They must know what I have learned the hard way: there is no such thing as a real guarantee. In my more naive days, I purchased this “peace of mind,” as they call it, but never cashed in. Usually, by the time the item broke, I had forgotten about the extended warranty and purchased a replacement.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/torah/losing-our-children-part-iii-who-are-they/2013/03/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: