Sunday, September 22, 2019

An Email "To Rabbi Yehuda Shain"

No clue as to why I am writing this to you but something pushed me to write this letter and send it to you.

I grew up in Boro Park and come from a great religious family I went to 2 great yeshivas and my parents are seriously great true people as well as my 2 sisters and brothers.

I was raised with no TV, no video, no magazines, the most id hear about the outside world would be a small amount of radio.

When I was approx. 12 years old I really started to feel the urge to leave the whole religion, seriously I would cry and wonder what is wrong with me, I would wonder what's pushing me to do bad things, and when I spoke to my close friend about it right before my bar mitzvah he told me he had the same feelings.

Now I started thinking its normal and even the Mashgiach told me its normal but what I didn’t get is why could I not win the inner fight, why was I so weak, why even with the support of my parents my family my friends I just couldn’t help myself and I got worse and worse.

By age 16 I started trimming my beard something that was a serious NO NO, the side curls I had got shorter monthly, at one point it was 3 inches past shoulder length.

A month after my 16th birthday I went to Israel with the supervision of my aunt and uncle and while we where there he decided to make an appointment with a Mikubul Rabbi Yitzchuk Kadiri.

I saw him in his private office full of holy books and I started crying and told him my problem, I explained to him I want to be a good Jew, I want to follow the Jewish laws, I want to be just like my parents my grandparents etc. but I just can’t, I try so hard but its like I feel powerless, he asked me multiple times if I am careful about kashruth, If I am careful about what I eat and how I eat, I said yeah.

At the time I ate either at home my mother would cook or we would every other week maybe order from a local restaurant or a pizza store here and there, He spoke for 10 minutes non stop about the importance of being careful what you eat, I don’t remember exactly what he told me because to be honest I was thinking to myself this guy is full of it, I mean tell me to stop looking at women clothing catalogs we would get in the mail, tell me to stop listening to bad radio stations late night but please don’t tell me “keep kosher” and “watch what I eat”.

Seriously all these years went by and I never even thought about my meeting with Rabbi kaduri.

Today I don’t keep anything no kosher no nothing, I don’t look Jewish and don’t keep the holidays, I am not happy about it at all.

The class that I was in approx 12 other kids turned out just like me and my situation of turning complete off the way (derech) has unfortunately become very very common.

A few days ago im listening to a interview (4th interview) you did regarding the recent kashrus situation in the Jewish community, and you threw in some words that to many people wouldn’t mean much but to me it meant so much, you said “and then they wonder why the kids go off “le-tarbas rue” (off the way)”.
Hearing you say this even thou you said those words rather quick in the interview just threw an image of my head of Rabbi kadiri stressing for over 10 minutes to me about being careful what I eat.

Yes I am to blame for my actions but seriously I feel the food that I ate in Yeshivah growing up was not kosher like it should be, the yeshivah just cares about money and that’s where I ate most of my meals too, and that in turn didn’t give me the proper strength to fight off the bad thought and ways.

For the sake of those kids who are still innocent and for the sake of the true people who just want to eat kosher food continue the fight and expose the liars who will do anything for money.

There is no doubt in my head that the food issue is in part what is contributing to the huge increase of kids that go off the way.
Yeah I'm sure the internet and the society as a whole don’t help, but please myself and the so many others in my class and others I know had no internet, what we did have is food that wasn't made for a kid that wants to be a strong Jew.

I call the hotline or as Rabbi Goldman calls it the cold line every few weeks I grew up speaking Yiddish 99% of the day even thou I don’t talk with my family that much because of the huge amount of friends I have just like me we I still speak lots of Yiddish maybe I shouldn’t.

This chol hamoyed sukkus I was at a rest stop in Connecticut at a McDonalds I see 4 yeshivah bouchrim there eating inside they still have the curls the clothing everything, so I walk up to them (they have no clue im jewish or anything) and I ask them politely why is it that my co-worker wont eat from m'cdonalds he says Jews can't eat it and here I see they are eating, they started laughing and saying how its all the same Jews just charge more money for non kosher meat because they add a little sticker they told me the story about finkle and claimed almost everything is corrupt.

I mean seeing hassidic people in nightclubs in these days is the norm, wouldn’t surprise me if one of those guys I see in the clubs with the long beared and side curls if for a living he gives “hechshers”.

My grandmother was a WWII survivor I remember going with her as a young boy a few times to the butcher he sometimes shechted the chicken right there she would take it home and make it kosher herself etc a long very tedious process, but I would do all that work today myself not to be where I am today spiritually.

I hope one day to be the nice Jewish boy I was once.


Anonymous said...

The problem is that even people who eat only kosher also sometimes go off the deep derech.

Anonymous said...

So - what was the purpose of this?
What will you do for this kid? What have you ever done in Kiruv work?
Obviously, the approaches that were used in the past were not adequate. We have to have a new generation of teachers that have training in different aspects of human behavior, not just a kid who thinks that chinuch is a way to have a parnossa.

Anonymous said...

We know what their agendas are when troublemakers come on the blog to mock R' Yudel for making a big deal about kashrus.

They may as well also make fun of Rav Kadouri and the frierdik gedolim who say the same thing like the Aruch Hashulchan and the Pri Chodosh, that bad kashrus makes kids go bad.

Gut Moed said...

The kashrus at Chol Hamoed events is a disaster. Rabbonim should sign that no one should eat from them unless there is a hashgocho from an agency or rov of a kehillah who is willing to take achrayus.

Remember Yudelstake was mefarsem a few years ago on an event falsely advertising KJ hashgocho? It gets much worse than that.

This Sukkos a 'kiruv' yeshiva rented a large non-Jewish facility to host a community wide event. The facility still allowed outside goyim to pay to get in and when it was after public school hours they started blasting goyishe music instead of Yiddishe music at was advertised as an exclusively heimishe event in the spirit of Yom Tov.

The kiruv yeshiva was running a single concession for milchdik pizza & fleishdik burgers & hot dogs. It was mainly goyim working the food with the occasional Russian helping out, with or without a yarmulka. The workers were handling the food without gloves, handling multiple orders which means pizza & burgers - both davar cham & davar mefapaya - without washing hands or any other hefsek.

I believe that the oven for reheating the pizza & grill for cooking the meats may have very possibly been made treif so to say.

A musmach of a major yeshiva complained to a yeshivishe looking rabbi in charge of the kiruv yeshiva's event. He said thank you for bringing it to our attention - "I will look into it". We stood out there for a long time but the rabbi did not emerge to investigate.

There was also a petting zoo within 25 feet of the concession. Both the goyish & Jewish food workers were going & petting the shepselach & tzigelach and then just went back to the handling the food, again all without gloves. Not only is that filthy & disgusting but

Petting zoos are pools of bacteria & viruses that often cause major outbreaks of disease.

Anonymous said...

I witnessed this petting zoo next to the kashrus mix ups. A rebbitzen yelled at some chassidishe bochurim that were cruelly mistreating the goats. Then an adult wearing a staff badge came in the pen and did the same thing! A sickening display of tzaar baalei chaim. We had to leave early because everyone was hungry and it was klor we could not eat there.

Anonymous said...

If and i mean if the letter is true, believe me i have serious doubts, i feel bad for the kid but bottom line is, HE is responsible for himself. To blame it on others is childish and irresponsible.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Barley Cholent with Cheek Meat said...

Not once in the letter does the writer blame anybody; on the contrary, he says straight out that he is responsible for his own actions.
He is just pointing out that he now realizes that R' Kaduri was right and that the problem still exists today.

Anonymous said...

This boy is obviously very sad and blaming his school for what he did because he is ashamed of himself and it's always eaiser to shift the blame.
In the old days ppl didn't go off because They ate school food , their teacher said something that hurt them or better yet bec they were molested.
Kids get away with everything these days. Stop being so nice and kids should pay the price for what they do! People are responsible for themselves!!

Anonymous said...


The article above is obviously written by someone who is honestly troubled and racked with guilt-ridden feelings; bemoaning the enormous gap between where he actually is and where he "ought to be". The one constant theme which I get from his letter (which was NOT all that
easy for me to have read) is his impeccable honesty in blowing off the smokescreen - in an area which others would be afraid to venture.

If the writer himself wishes to hear my take on this uneasy topic, I will say thus:

We're all living in the final days before Mashiach, and Chaza"l specifically delineated that these troubled times would yet befall us.
"The watchman said 'Morning has come and also night; if you seek,seek; return and come" (Yeshiah 23:12)
You say that you were born and raised in a heimish home and school,and that you spoke Yiddish as your mother tongue. If you seek to merely re-connect with that setting then I cannot help you. In our wild era you will see many yiddish-speaking chassidim acting and
thinking like proper goyim; - just without dropping their facial features as you yourself have done.
But if your true interest is in finding the way to serving Hkb"h from your troubled history - from the inside out; then you should know that you're just "one of the bunch".
(By contrast, you will also see many well-committed and determined people from all different backgrounds [i.e. rednecks, jeans w/T-shirts, long hair w/dark sunglasses] whom are seriously looking to live devoted proper lives - would they ever know how to do so...)

"If you seek, then SEEK!" This turmoil is all a necessary prerequisite for the world of Tikkun which Mashiach will usher in, and a person's initial background doesn't exclusively determine for him the pattern of his life. "Many will be sorted out and refined, and the
r'shaim will act wickedly" (Daniel 12:10) Nobody - based upon background today is either "assured" nor "rejected"; but when that grand shofar blows this opportunity will be forever gone!

In terms of practical advice: The Gr"a zatza"l says (Mishlei 20:18) that in order to follow darchei Hashem one must follow the aitzos of the chachamim; however, milchemes hayeitzer cannot be done with this alone - one must find his own stratagems as well. In short, every
person's yeitzer hara takes on a different form, thus there is no "silver bullet" to win this battle. You need to use your own creativity.

(Several years ago I witnessed a Sefardi Jew with a trim beard "giving it over the head" to another clean-shaven Sefardi with a knitted kipah as the latter was skimming on his I-phone. "Don't you know what filth there is in an I-phone! etc..." On and on he went, as the latter listened quietly without responding. Afterwards I went over to the poor guy and told him, "I cannot be judgemental or know for sure how to guage the extent of anybody's yeitzer hara; I simply bless you that you become able to hate anything which has to do with znus!" [He liked that blessing which I gave him!])

So, if you're truly "one of the bunch" and find this seemingly unsurmountable obstacle in finding your way back to Torah, then I would advise in general terms:

Anonymous said...

1. Be exceptionally careful to stay away from "polished" chareidim and chasiddim whose external features betray their inner desires (such as those "bochurim" fressing at MacDonalds in Conneticut). These people are your enemies - not your friends - even if they do speak yiddish!

Don't talk about them, don't listen to any "news" about their latest activities; just stay away! These are the guys who've led you and others down into the quagmire; they'll certainly not lead you out of it! At least you're not faking away your life the way they are!

2. This one may be a bit harder. The shot itself is only a minor prick, but the subsequent injection is usually more painful: Train yourself to absolutely HATE anything that has to do with pornography and sexual immorality; pictures, literature, fashion, polluted music,
etc. (This is something which you can never overcome entirely.

See Seifer Hachasidim 161 about Dovid Hamelech. But you have to constantly do battle with this form of yeitzer hara. We all do.) Today's society is sick and perverted with this stench, and chareidim are certainly not "immune" to this, even in their own communities. I myself find the "heimishe" vibren with their sheitels (close to 100% courtesy of the idolatrous offerings from the Turamala Temple in Tirupati!) and make-up even more sickly alluring than the typical goyishe (lack of) garb. It stinks like a rotten carcass! Learn to HATE all that filth!!!
What else will we all answer dear Mashiach when his time comes to redeem us from all this pervasive stench???

3. Make sure to put on tefillin every day! Tefillin has a special power to permeate kdushah in your mind and in your heart, and we in fact say in its preliminary tfillah "and from the radiance of the mitzvah of tefillin should come to me 'shefa kodesh umachashavos
kedoshos bli hirhur cheit v'avon klall, v'shelo yifatenu vlo yisgareh banu yeitzer hara, v'yanicheinu la'avod es Hashem ka'asher im l'vaveinu". Even if you're afraid that your long hair might pose as a "chatzitzah" to your tefillin shel rosh - put it on anyway - you won't
lose! If you're afraid of brochah l'vatalah then follow the Gr"a (as I do, incidentally) and say a brachah only on the shel yad. But don't give up this Mitzvah for anything in the world!

Again, I can't fully assess anybody's form of yeitzer hara! Nobody can! but the main thing is by all means FIGHT BACK! That's exactly what we came in this dark pre-messianic world to do!

Wishing you (and the rest of Klal Yisrael) hatzlachah, and Ksivah Vachasima Tovah!