Dec 30, 2015

More on Judging

In a letter to Mishpacha magazine, a person writes the following about young people who are off the derech:

"It is important for each one of us that encounters or has a connection to these children that we do not become judgmental or look down at their current way of life."

Why - is a life off the derech equivalent to a life on the derech?

" ... Each one of them has a story that reads: 'My Rebbi looked down at me and didn't want me in shiur.  My parents wouldn't allow me to sit at the Shabbos table as they thought I was a bad influence.  The people in shul stare at me with my long hair and non-Shabbosdig clothing.'"

And these individuals never stare at something unusual? Would they visit the White House wearing jeans and a T-shirt or would they dress for the occasion? Why then do they attend shul with long hair and non-Shabbosdig clothing? Is it a test they've devised - let's see how rude we can be and see if people will react or not?

"I am in no way an expert to understand the psychological issues and needs of off the derech children.  I do know, however, that we need to support, accept, and welcome all these children that are labeled off the derech and are searching for a way to be accepted back in.

" ... If we want these children to be chozer b'teshuva, we need to stop being judgmental and open our hearts and our minds to them."

Welcoming, yes.  But I hope it's clear to them that we think the derech of Torah and mitzvos are superior and the only true way.  If that's being judgmental, and of course it is, so be it.

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