Feb 17, 2017

The Wrong Address

I have been reading a diary that is printed weekly in Ami Living. A mother tells about her wonderful son who did beautifully in school through high school. Then he inexplicably began acting strangely. She says it is ten years now that she has been experiencing horrible situations with her son, his drug use, stealing, suicide attempts, outbursts, lack of religiosity.  For a while it was a mystery, until her son confided in her husband that he had watched inappropriate things (no further details about this). This is a letter that I wrote to the magazine which they have not published:

I have been following the tragic story of a woman's son's deterioration over the past many installments of Up the Down Escalator and I am perplexed.  What set the young man off was seeing inappropriate things. This led to consultations with psychologists, a social worker, and even medication and hospitalization.

But seeing inappropriate things is a spiritual problem! Out in the 'velt," seeing such things is not viewed as a problem! It would seem that the right person to consult about this would have been a rabbinic guide who could have provided a Torah perspective, direction in teshuva, and guidance in how to get back on track, spiritually.  

Wishing all of us yeshuos,

To me, it sounds like asking for a loaf of bread in a hardware store, shoes in a grocery story.  They may as well consult with a podiatrist; why a psychologist? These professionals were of no use and worse, the young man deteriorated under their care. It is painful to read how misdirected he was. They focused exclusively on his depression and other psychological symptoms and not on what got him in the mess in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. This is not unique to the Jewish world; it's the same in the Christian world, lehavdil. The "mental health professional" has completely replaced the spiritual guide in modern society. Rabbis are viewed as unprofessional, "unlicensed" charlatans, while "therapy" from "mental health professionals" and pills are always the solution to personal issues, and their rulings are final, authoritative, and unappealable on life-and-death matters, e.g., on whether a couple should get divorced or on whether a parent is fit. Disagreeing with this model is modern-day heresy.