web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



An Evil Son Or A Lost Soul?


Kupfer-041114

Soon Jews all over the world will be sitting at the Pesach Seder reciting the Hagaddah,  which in essence is a historical outline of the events that lead to the forming of Am Yisrael.

Close to the beginning of the narrative, the Hagaddah mentions the four “sons” who are representative of four types of Jews and their attitude to Yiddishkeit.

I have always been fascinated by the son designated as the “rasha” – the black sheep of the family.  The general view of him is that he is off the derech as he asks, “What is this service to you?”  By saying “you” and not “us” it would seem he has disassociated himself from the Jewish people in general and his parents and community in particular.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.  After all, he is physically in his home and thus aware of the beehive of activity that is part and parcel of Pesach, prompting him to ask, “What is this service to you?” Obviously he wants to be there and not in some other location like a pool hall or a bar.

Yes, he may be acting obnoxious and “pushing” his family’s buttons by his seemingly snide remarks and attitudes. But I think he is a child crying out for help and direction. People of all ages, but especially teens and young adults, behave in questionable ways in order to get attention. For them even negative attention is better than being ignored or invisible.   The rasha may deliberately come across as being confrontational in order to get noticed.

.           And perhaps he is asking because he is truly seeking an answer that will enable him to embrace what he truly wishes he could. Perhaps the “rasha” is confused about Yiddishkeit and is desperately searching for answers. It could be he was initially turned off because his questions were ignored or dismissed or the people whom he looked up to for guidance were contemptuous of him and his questions.

Perhaps when he asks, “What is this service to you?” he is hoping you will throw him a spiritual lifeline and what he really is saying is, “I know that you have retained your bitachon and emunah, you have faith and belief in Hashem. You have it, but I have lost mine, so please explain this service, and convince me of the faith that is eluding me so I may find it again. Show me the way back!”

Recently, The Jewish Press and other frum publications have featured articles that try to explain why so many kids are off the derech – statistics say it’s 20 percent.  In other words, in a family of five children, one can be expected to drop out of Yiddishkeit.

Some of the reasons given for this rejection are physical or emotional abuse, learning disabilities, social ineptness, broken homes or families that are dysfunctional or rejection by yeshivas due to financial issues.  No doubt these factors apply to many of the “drop-outs.”  They feel alienated and unwanted so they reject the community that treats them as second-class citizens.  To fill the emptiness they look for a place where they feel welcome, where they don’t feel inferior or left out.

But how do you explain young people who were raised in “good” families, and who are emotionally and socially well-adjusted, who do well in school academically and have “tons” of friends, but nonetheless struggle with remaining frum? They are not rebels nor do they have a chip on their shoulder.

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 “An Evil Son Or A Lost Soul?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Tekuma MKs Uri Ariel, Orit Strook and Zevulun Kalfa at a meeting Saturday night.
Jewish Home Unity Overcomes the ’Yesha Faction’
Latest Sections Stories
Games-121914

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

South-Florida-logo

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

South-Florida-logo

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Try these with your kids; there’s something for every age group and once all the recipes are made, dinner will be ready!

You children will build the country and you will help restore Israel to her former glory.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Kupfer-092614-Books

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

It is so hurtful to heighten people’s sense of inadequacy and guilt in a matzav that is already horrendous and difficult to bear.

Make no mistake: in the wrong hands cars are weapons of mass destruction.

Where once divorce in heimische communities was relatively uncommon, nowadays every family has a son, daughter, sibling cousin who is divorced – sometimes twice or even three times!

Many go about the business of living frum, observant lives, but they are only going through the motions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/on-our-own/an-evil-son-or-a-lost-soul/2014/04/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: