Apr 15, 2013

Rabbi Rubin Says: It's Unhappiness that's the Root Cause

From "A Rabbi's Journal 2" by Rabbi Rubin:

About children rebelling, becoming lost in the jaws of the newest source of moral destruction, the Internet - we must ask ourselves if it is the symptom or the cause.

Sefarim written before World War II cried out about the corrupting forces of those times. Let us not wax nostalgic about those days; before the war there was also terrible rebellion in the heimishe world. Yidden tell of whole households turning away from Torah in a matter of a few years. There were very few families that didn't have their own tragedies - girls leaving home, boys joining the Communists. Anti-Torah blasphemy was heard and read at every street corner.

What caused all this chaos? It wasn't the Internet, and it wasn't even television. It was unhappiness.

The young felt estranged from their family. Their parents were working all hours of the day just to have a bit of bread, and their children had no shared reality with them. At the end of the workday the father escaped to the shtiebel and the mother was left behind to weep alone while stark hunger walked the streets.

Outside, empty promises were being made of a better tomorrow. To the children of the poor these calls rang true. Their parents didn't understand them, they had no real teachers, and so they let themselves be drawn into the anarchy of the day.

Why were so many youngsters running to join the socialists with their anti-Torah stances? From where did the early Zionists get all their adherents?

The Torah home must be a place where a person can be at ease. Shabbos should be a light in a world grown cold and dark. Sing its songs and cherish the gifts Hashem has bestowed on you!

...The outside world must be kept away from the sensitive hearts of our maturing children and at the same time, the love from within the home must be preserved.

The point R' Rubin makes echoes what R' Weiss said (see post from March 13, 2013).  What he and R' Weiss and ... and ... and ... are saying is that when children are unhappy, when they don't find happiness in a Jewish home, they often leave.

As R' Moshe Feinstein z'l said, we lost a generation because parents said, "It's hard to be a Jew." It's hard? We aren't raised with the feeling of "ashreinu mah tov chelkeinu" (fortunate are we, how good is out lot)? Then who needs it? We're outta here.

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