Jan 24, 2016

A Parent's Influence

In a passionate talk given by R' Meisels, he tells the story of someone who contacted him to learn with him.  By now, this man he calls Barry, has learned through half of Shas, puts on tefillin daily, keeps Shabbos most of the time and kosher most of the time.

R' Meisels believes that to become frum nowadays is so outlandish that it can only happen with zechus avos and he usually finds out what it is.

In this case, this successful attorney Barry told him what happened.  He was raised by communist-atheist parents who observed nothing, not Yom Kippur, not a Pesach seder.  When he went to college, he met a girl he liked.  When he told his parents about her, his mother said, that's not a Jewish name!Barry said, she isn't Jewish.

His mother said, you're not marrying a shiksa! He said, what's that? She explained and he said, who cares? We don't do anything Jewish anyway.  His mother insisted it was out of the question.  He thought she'd come around and he married the girl.  His father attended the wedding and his mother did not.

He thought she'd come around when he produced grandchildren.  When he had his first, he sent a picture of her to his mother.  What grandma wouldn't melt? She sent it back to him torn up.

She did not answer the phone in her house.  It was the days before caller ID and she did not want to pick up if her son called.  He only spoke to her husband.

There was a simcha which they both attended and he heard someone say to his mother, "Marilyn, Barry is here!" She said, "He had better not say hello!"

They resumed contact when he divorced his wife twenty years later.

And this, R' Meisels thinks, is what made an impact on Barry so now he is taking an interest in Judaism.

I wonder what would have happened if the father would have been united with the mother on this and also did not attend the wedding and refused to speak to his son.  Would Barry have married the girl? Would he have divorced sooner?

No comments:

Post a Comment