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I just heard about Faigy’s suicide. What a frikking tragedy.
This girl left her hasidic community and committed suicide.
I must share that I’ve spoken to two people recently, one boy one girl, whose fathers are shluchim. Now these young adults are what you would call very very modern and they’re also pretty frum. Shabbas, kashrus and more. And yet, one of them told me her father calls her up to tell her that it is killing him how short her skirts are. The other one told me, “Berry, do you know that my father tells me like once a month how bad it is that I’m so modern…it depressed the s—t outta me.”
Now, I’m not saying a father can’t value long skirts and can’t tell his daughter about his values. Look, this shliach loves his daughter. No no hang on …..he LOVESSSSSSSS his daughter. If he got present to just how much he’d be balling his eyes out for days. What a crybaby.
So I asked the guy permission to call his dad the shliach. I got permission. I called.
After asking permission to speak to him about his son…we had a conversation.
At one point he tells, “Look mr. berry schwartz, I know what I have to do…I have to stop caring about her choices so much…”
Me: LOL good luck with that. You crazy?! You’re gonna stop caring about your son’s yiddishkeit. DUDE DON’T BE A CRAZY PERSON. You’ve given your entire life to yiddishkeit and the rebbe and god. Your OWN son is not so into it and you’re gonna make yourself not care?!?!
Him: So what do I do?
Me: Tell your son what’s there for you! Just be straight.
[I never make it easy for people. Easy come easy go.]
Him: I don’t know how to do that.
Me: You have a mouth?
Me: You have a brain?
Me: Great. Start with those two! Just tell him what’s there for you!
Him: Well, if I tell him that, I’ll have to tell him how much I want him to be frum!
Me: Great. So do that. And why do you want him to be frum? Make sure he knows why.
Him: Because it’s everything. It’s life!! And how could he —
Me: No no …don’t go there. Stay with the life thing…it’s not about ur anger…this is about your love and concern for him. Sure there’s anger there but that’s not what this is REALLY about. You love this kid don’t you? I mean like crazy in love with him huh. I can hear it.
Him: [Guardedly] yes I suppose I do.
Me: Great so come from that love. And just tell him how much you love him and that precisely because you love him so much you want the best for him and you believe with all your bones that yiddishkeit is the truth and the best thing in the world!
Him: But then he hates that. And then I feel bad and upset so I yell at him and the whole cycle repeats.
Me: Great. Ready to break the cycle? Just tell him all THAT. Say, ” Listen yossi, I am hesitant to even tell you all this because I don’t want you to feel upset with me.”
Him: But he’ll feel like it’s all a ploy just to get him to become more frum.
Me: Awesome. SO you can even say something like this: “Yossi, I want to have conversations with you about yiddishkeit and its importance but I don’t want you to feel like my love for you is conditional. So just know that I love you regardless. And that I get that it can sound like you’re only worthy to me if you’re frum so I really don’t know how to engage in this conversation with you without you feeling invalidated. Can you tell me what would work for YOU? Can you tell me what I could do to show that unconditional love? Can you tell me what would make a difference for you?”
Him: …Ok MAYBE I’ll try that.
He calls me the next day. He had the conversation. His kid said, “So you’re asking me how to parent me. That is so weird.”
Then ten minutes later his kid came downstairs and asked to go on a walk with him and just hang out. Which never happened. MIRACLES.
Sometimes it’s “just” a communications issue.
We need to empower frum people to be able to speak their hearts clearly and with power. When they do…the only thing they can get out through chocked up tears and throats is how frikkin much they LOVE their children.