Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Israel Reflections

Posted: January 8, 2012 in Israel
Tags: , , , , ,

Jaffa Gate. I took this photo on one of my many walk through the area.

I sit here now on the F train at 5am. I just finished shooting for 4 days, the last of 9 days of principal photography for a film I played lead in. As is always when completing a large, intense project I feel exhilarated, exhausted and most of all reflective. Listening now to some of the music I listened to often in Israel, my thoughts turn to that time in my life.

Admittedly it was a time of intense change, thought and confusion, but most of all it was the birth place of a dream. A dream so vague, so wonderful, yet so unattainable. I remember going to visit my friend from Venezuela who at the time was learning in Chevron. We’d meet up at his dorm, go catch a movie where I’d learned that if a movie had Deniro or Al Pacino in it yes, we’d go see it. (We saw Righteous Kill.)

I’d watch as he flirted with the cute cashier, experiencing my first taste of freedom. Of something different. We’d go back and chill at his dorm, chain smoking and generally bullshitting the night away.

The walk back to the bus at 7am. I’d be listening to the music that I have on now and I’d realize I just wanted to be somebody. I wanted to express myself.

I had an urge, a desire for something better.

I had a will for life. To really live, for the first time.

It was the time of intense yearning for something I could not have. Or could I? Years later it makes for some pleasant memories. Surprisingly so. While I spent 6 months depressed over a girl chainwatching movies on my iPod touch and was overall highly emo, I became – well I became…me.
And for that, I am thankful.

When I first started this blog, I simply was looking for a way to express myself, perhaps find a few readers or cause a laugh now and again. As time went on it became important to me to convey my feelings as I underwent a transformation from a religious teen, to a rationally thinking young adult. It was at that point, perhaps after I wrote the post Get With the Program in the summer of 2010, that I began to feel a need to explain my viewpoint. At that point I’d gone from someone confused about what means something to them, to someone who knows what doesn’t and what does. In any argument, the idea is always to convince others of your viewpoint, not to prove them wrong.

We don’t care about his viewpoint, only that he care about ours. I noticed at some point that whenever I spoke to someone religious about religion, unlike that of a typical argument, I’d walk away frustrated. I felt that I was talking to someone, who instead of believing he was right but respecting that I believed in my argument as strongly as he believed in his, I instead felt belittled for my beliefs. Many blog posts after followed, in which I spoke about the normal life, and tried to convey in a broad sense that the life I chose to live was normal, very much fulfilling and in no means foolish.

“And here I begin to feel irrationally angry with her. I believe YU is a vital organ of the Orthodox Jewish community and to publish such a guilt-ridden, neurotic article in one of their publications perpetuates a toxic culture for the whole of it. It’s irresponsible. When she writes about her shame and YU students respond in kind, I see it becoming that much harder for me, and others who have chosen a path other than that of Orthodox Judaism, to be taken seriously in our choices, to be thought of as mature adults making decisions based on well-thought out ideological differences, and thus, it makes it harder for us to maintain healthy relationships with our families and friends, because they think we’re on some kind of Rumspringa-style bender and need to be brought back into the fold.

So I want to make this clear to you, brothers and sisters (in the college-student-camaraderie sense, at the very least) – this is not what it means to leave Orthodox Judaism. This is what happens when we perpetually shut down discussions about alternative paths and alternative lifestyles. We are forced to communicate in these tragic half-truths in anonymous posts. I have lost friends because of my choices and I don’t believe that had to happen. It leaves a terrible taste in my mouth about the Orthodox world that I do not want to be there. Though I experienced some closed mindedness in my Orthodox upbringing, I have no illusions that those kinds of people are exclusive to Orthodox Jewry. I do believe they are not the majority there. I believe that the people who showed me friendship, love, and acceptance all my life did so not because I was a Jew, but because they were good people, good friends, and so was I.”

This article was a response to the original article published in The Beacon, YU’s newpaper, which made waves in the Jewish community. I felt that noone quite expressed so succinctly the ideas and feelings I had in regards to the misunderstanding between myself and many religious people.

I showed someone, a religious relative of mine from LA, and the response was something between a murmur of acknowledgement that the above excerpt isn’t foolish, I disagree with what you’ve showed me. When confronted with something so blatantly saying what they feel, and a perfect response to how we feel as mature adults, what else is there to say? And so I thank the writer of that article, whoever she may be, for enlightening others, and helping clarify myself.

There was once a blog. That blogger released too much sensitive info of girls he fucked, so he shut it down. Luckily it was all copied beforehand, so we can all read his writings of genius here at solomonreborn.wordpress.com

This post expresses everything wrong, and by default kinda awesome, about American girls. One of the best posts I have ever read. I included the comments. be sure to read comment #3.

Drive Thru Boyfriends

Posted on March 21, 2011 by Dalrock

Fall 2010 by Solomon II

“Welcome to McFling’s.  My name is Solomon II.  May I take your order?”

“Uh, yes.  I’ll have the three months of meaningless sex from the Boyfriend Lite menu, add extra self respect.  Hold the judgment and consequences please.

“I’m sorry; we’re all out of self respect.  Would you like to add a side of rationalization for only $1 more?”

“Yeah.  That’s fine.  Super size it please.”

“Thank you.  Please pull up to the window for your total.”

There she is driving down the road of life at her own pace.  She’s young, independent, beautiful and has all the time in the world.  When she’s horny, she swings into the closest drive thru and places her order.  She does the same thing when she’s sad, lonely, happy, up, down, in, out, excited, needy, afraid, strong, weak, depressed, moody, joyful, exhilarated, stressed, etc. Any and every reason is valid because she’s being “true to herself”. Every three months on average she swings into McFling’s and orders up the best looking or most exciting thing on the menu (because she’s sooo selective).  There’s also a couple of late night snack runs thrown in there for good measure, but not as many as some other girls, so you have no right to judge her.  She’s young and her metabolism is firing on all cylinders, so now is the time for her to gorge herself with no consequences.

At the age of 27, she starts to notice that her steady diet of junk food relationships isn’t as satisfying as it once was.  Sure the bright lights, flashy signs, fast service and cheap satisfaction made for great fun, but now she’s starving for wholesome affection and beginning to show signs of emotional malnutrition.  There has to be something better out there.  Something more substantive.

All of a sudden she decides to make a change.  No more drive thru boyfriends.  Certainly everyone understands that her junk food relationship binge wasn’t her fault since it’s the bulk of what society offers.  It’s our culture.  These greasy high calorie drive thru boyfriend establishments are on every corner, advertised on every channel, glamorized in the media, and no one really told her how bad they could be for her health.  It’s society’s fault.  It’s the franchise’s fault. All the girls she knows are doing it, so how could she possibly be expected to know any better?

So now she wants steak, and by God she’s convinced that she deserves it from a five star restaurant.

She takes a shower hoping the stench of her decade long habit of frequenting McFling’s won’t be as noticeable.  She may not know how to act properly at the new fancy steakhouse she’s going to try tonight, but it’s ok.  Men always give her a pass on her behavior since she’s beautiful and an easy lay adventurous.

When she’s all done getting ready and is confident that she can look and act like the type of girl who has been eating healthy all along, she heads out for the best steakhouse in town.  Why not the best?  She deserves it, and her friend Michelle ate there last week (and she’s totally not even pretty).

With all the undeserved self confidence in the world and an advanced case of juvenile egocentrism, she pulls into the parking lot of the steakhouse.  She notices there are dozens of people standing in line.  She doesn’t understand.  The stupid bitch at the hostess desk asked her if she had a reservation.  A reservation?!  How rude!  She has a vagina and that’s always been sufficient before, so what gives?  It seems the steakhouse is completely booked for months.

Now she’s pissed off.  How could the upscale steakhouse refuse to seat her?  So what if she showed up right at prime dinner time (27 years old o’clock) and demanded the best seat in the house.  She deserves it.  She’s waited so long for it… well, not really, but in theory anyway.  She always knew the steakhouse was there, she just never took the time to plan ahead for reservations.  It’s not her fault.

As she drives away, she realizes she has another problem.  She’s still hungry.  She pulls in to yet another McFling’s, this time disgusted to be there.  But she’s changed, so she decides to try something different.

“Welcome to McFling’s.  My name is Solomon II.  May I take your order?”

“Uh, yes.  I’ll have the steak please.”

“We don’t serve steak.  Show me your tits.”

“I’m not like that anymore.  Steak please.”

“I can offer you the three months of meaningless sex from the Boyfriend Lite menu, and pretend to hold the judgment and consequences if you’d like.”

“Steak please.”

“Bitch, would you like me to serve you the three months of meaningless sex from the Boyfriend Lite menu, pretend to hold the judgment and consequences, and just *tell you* it’s steak?”

“Steak please.”

“Fine.  Please pull up to the first window.  I’ll have your total and a treat for your hamster.”

This cycle continues until she turns 30 and realizes that she’ll never get in to the steakhouse.  She’s waited much too long to make reservations, so she settles for a Beta male who takes her to Chili’s on 2 for 1 night in his minivan.  Hey, it’s not the steakhouse she deserves, but it’s better than that asshole Solomon II at the drive thru boyfriend joint.  At least Chili’s has real silverware.

That night she stumbles upon a blog with a post entitled “Drive Thru Boyfriends” and gets righteously annoyed.  That’s not her at all.  That was never her intention.  She’s different, special, and unique.  What gives the author the right to assume that he knows her or can determine what she’s been through in her AMAZING life?  He doesn’t know her story.  He doesn’t know her heart.  He can’t judge her actions based on what other girls do simply because she did the same things and ended up in the same situation they did.  He can’t tell her what kind of person she is, or what her fate will be.  She’s different than the rest.  She’s strong, independent and wise beyond her years.

In her rage she hits the road again, confused by what has happened to her and angry that she didn’t get what she deserved out of life.  With her Beta boyfriend wondering where the hell she is, she drives past the steakhouse which is closed for the night.  Blinded by fury and driven by emotion, she decides to make yet another change.  A real and meaningful change this time.  This time she’ll get it right and enjoy what she deserves for being an amazing woman.  Her rationalization hamster helps out with navigation and leads her to a brand new place.  Somewhere she’s never been.  This is it!  This is what she needs.  This time she’s confident she’ll get what she deserves.

And she does.

“Welcome to McFling’s.  My name is Solomon II.  May I take your order?”

“Steak, please…”

Suggested Reading: Commitment as a Form of Female Investment by Dalrock.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

About Solomon II
As iron sharpeneth iron, so one man sharpeneth another. Proverbs 27:17

One blogger likes this post.
Dalrock

16 Responses to Drive Thru Boyfriends

  1.  Penguin says:

    The last couple of posts are great. You’re on fire!

  2.  HappilyMarriedButJustGotLucky says:

    Agree with Penguin. Quite creative and enjoyable!

  3.  Days of Broken Arrows says:

    …and then one day she turned 42. And she realized few people wanted to serve her McBurgers anymore. The steak had never really come her way, but McBurgers always came easy. Now even that was hard to come by. So she went driving into the night until it became morning.

    Sunday morning.

    That’s when she found the mega-church, or the McChurch. She also found McJesus in the McPastor’s McSermons which weren’t really from scripture, but a McReading of the scripture to appeal to the McPeople who filled the McChurch. The Dr. Phil platitudes of the McPreacher allowed her to feel self-righteous and pass judgment on everyone else. Sure, she might have screwed anything that walked, but now she was a McVirgin. Surely, she was a cut above those sinners who didn’t find the McWord, wasn’t she?

    Male attention had ceased, but it came around again when she began posting McPlatitudes on her Facebook page. Things like “If God brings you to it, then God will get you through it.” Now guys were practically high five-ing her online, since that was what they thought they were supposed to do, knowing nothing better in their empty American McLives of football’n’McJesus. And she began responding to people with “God loves you!” Instead of a simple “Bye!” or “Hello!” That got attention. Her breasts were sagging, but her HolyMcSpirit was high. It also made it easier to block out the cries she heard of all the McBabies she never did have (or the ones that wound up washed in pieces in the McDoctor’s drain).

    Like all TRUE stories, this one has a moral.

    Women who use sex in their twenties to get power and fulfillment use religion in their forties when the sex well runs dry. Of course, it’s all McPower — not the real thing, but a low-budget simulation.

  4.  Solomon II says:

    @Days: Beautifully done, and so true. As the son of a Baptist Minister, I can confirm 100%. Church is the last refuge of many a whore. That’s why I laugh when men say they want to go to church to meet a good girl.

    @ Penguin and Happily: Thanks! I really appreciate your feedback.

  5.  finndistan says:

    That was one of the best ways the concept has been written about.

    Btw,

    It is not just wanting to eat steak at a restaurant, it is also wanting the restaurant to pay them for eating the steak; and even pay for the open tabs of the past McFlings.

    And due all the additives (i.e. sodium glutamate, sweeteners, preservatives…) , the taste buds are almost dead, so the steak will never taste like a pumped um McFling with cream on top.

  6.  Solomon II says:

    @finndistan: It’s amazing how this analogy could go on and on forever and still hold true.

  7. Pingback: Commitment as a form of female investment. | Dalrock
  8.  Thag Jones says:

    He can’t judge her actions based on what other girls do simply because she did the same things and ended up in the same situation they did.

    I lol’d. That’s a good one!

  9.  dalrock says:

    “We don’t serve steak. Show me your tits.”

    One of the funniest things I’ve read in a long, long time!

    Thanks for your link back and putting me on your blogroll! I’ve added you to mine as well not so much out of reciprocation, but because I want to be able to read your latest posts easily. I’ve only read your most recent four posts, but I’m hooked.

    One question though, who is Darlock? :)

    [Damn it. Give me a sec.]

  10. Pingback: Linkage is Good for You: You Know What the Pattern Is Edition
  11.  Bronckin’ Buckeye says:

    Is this the customer you’re talking about?

    http://40daysandengaged.tumblr.com/

    It’s a must read.

    “Flirting with the laws of attraction. As single (and choosy) girls ——— and —– have decided to put their beliefs in the Law of Attraction to the test to attract the men of their dreams…. We will be wearing engagement rings for 40 days to send signals to the universe that we have found what we are looking for. By doing this we are hoping that in response to those signals we are sending out we will actually receive what we are looking for.
    We will be following some rules through this experiment.
    1. The ring must be worn during every public outting
    2. If a possible “love interest” questions the ring and asks if we are engaged we must answer “Yes, to myself.”
    3. No dating (or similar extra curricular activities) during the 40 day period.
    4. We must go “out” and socialize at least once per weekend
    *Rules are subject to change at our discretion*”

    [S2 Says: Christ, man. Women are fucking delusional. I should quit picking on them and start a foundation or something.]

  12.  Squared says:

    Hey Solomon, just found your blog earlier today. I’ve gone back in your archives and have read about a dozen of your posts already, and I find myself short of superlatives. Absolutely brilliant stuff all around. You definitely have what it takes to become the new king of this part of the blogosphere.

    I’ll be checking this one regularly, keep it up!

  13.  Steve says:

    Funny shit bro.

I was recently thinking about how cell phones, texting and technology in general has cheapened our existence, lessened the importance of a gesture, ruined the meaning of romance. In contrast to the world of film, where every action must be properly blocked, every word understoood, listened to, and respected. Evey moment of silence valued, every second of utmost importance. Every element of your surrounding set up to make the most of that moment in time, preserving it forever on film.

The scene is set in rural America somewhere. The year is 1979. The set lit with a musty afternoon light. A young college student returns home for a bit of R&R after the death of his long time girlfriend Emily. He was a quarterback, she, a cheerleader. He walks into the room, drops his duffelbag on his bed. A poster of Farah Fawcett hangs on the wall. He turns to peer out the window, at the children playing innocently up the road, noticing the simplicity of their world, wishing things could be different, when he notices a picture on his dresser. Brushing off the dust, it’s a picture of him and Emily. It was right after they met, in senior year of high school. They’d had a fight, each said hurtful things, she finally storming out in tears. Realizing the stupidity of their argument he’d asked her roommate what her favorite flowers were, gone to her house, gotten past her Dad, and given her the flowers. She threw them on the floor chasing him out of the house. Before she slammed the door on him, he apologized, told her he loved her and if she can get past their differences, she should meet him a the Shane O’Leary Memorial Field behind their school the next evening at 7, otherwise she should never see him again.

She showed up.

Today, in 2011, that scene would’ve been interrupted with some annoying sorority friend of hers telling her what to do via text. Even worse, it couldn’t have happened, because nothing is certain. Everything would’ve been arranged through texting, and either party could’ve do continue

Came across this on a blog. I couldn’t agree more.

A Proposal: Let’s Stop Making ‘Wedding’ One of Life’s Key Check Marks.

by Joy Engel on April 27, 2011

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you that I’m officially interested in the Royal Wedding.

I tried to keep the cynicism alive, I really did. But it’s hard to be anti-Royal Wedding while also being friends with Chiara and communicating daily with a colleague in London. And once I realized that being interested in the Royal Wedding essentially means day drinking and talking about fancy hats (two of my favorite pastimes), I was all on board.

Like all short-lived obsessions, I’ve thrown myself into this. I watched the Lifetime movie, I read some articles about their history and crowned myself an expert on Wills and Kate. I think they’re nice. I think they actually love each other. I think she has glorious hair. And that’s a lot for me to think about a couple I will never actually meet. Let’s have some more champagne.

My wedding enthusiasm is (more…)

or is it one and the same.

The energy overtakes me. I am overtaken by a sense of certainty. Certainty for the things that must be in my future, for without them – without my dreams, aspirations, hopes – what am I but another pawn of the vast, cold, cruel reality we live in.

It’s a heartless place and it’s up to each person to warm it up. I fill myself up, saturate my very being, with the knowledge that my dreams are already Reality, albeit in a future realm, a future time, which is my Present. Blending hopes and reality, keeping them steadfastly entwined one another, yet knowing (more…)

This just sums it up about right!

Guest Post by idiedtryin:
There are many different kind of drunks. People who drink for all sorts of reasons. I recently met this girl and she asked me what my plans were for the night, I told her “getting wasted” was number one on my agenda, she said I find that its sad you need alcohol to have fun. I told her back, do you like going to amusement parks? Yes. Would u say that amusement parks are fun? Yes.  My answer then was, I find it sad you need roller coasters to have fun!

Some people drink to take away pain, and not feel anything.  To get that numbness. I drink for sheer fun, and the fun that comes with the drinking. Usually when I drink there are many foggy hazy memories I have when I wake up.

Now my main topic: hangovers. I often hear people complaining about hangovers…how brutal it is and how they can barely function, for me a hangover means one thing: the night was a great success.  I can honestly say that except for one time in my life I woke up the next morning regretting it. A hangover to me is a friendly and awesome reminder of my previous fun I had the night before.

What does a hangover mean to you?


I just got off the phone with my cousin from out of town. He’s very bright, intelligent, and all around awesome. And he is religious. There. I said it.

He asked me why I wasn’t religious. I said it started off as “I don’t give a shit”, but gradually transformed into “It’s complete bullox.” Reason being because it can’t be that God cares about trivial things like (more…)

People ask me why I’m training to be an actor. “Why am I interested?” is the question I get most often. The answer is simple. I like acting. I like having to get into an emotional state of mind that the lines call me to. I feel free from the constraints of the problems and issues I face in my own daily life while I throw myself into the mind of my character. And at the end I feel exhilarated, exhausted and happy.

But there are other reasons too. Firstly, its a way to incorporate a lifestyle into a career. Too many people I know are so caught up in making that last dollar, removing the last violation on their property, closing another deal, negotiating another contract, trading another stock, that they don’t have time to live.

For those who enjoy that, it’s a whole other ballpark. But many in those fields are in it just for the money. Somehow to be an actor opens up a world of other possibilities. There’s acting itself, which isn’t looked at like a chore by ANYONE in the business, otherwise they wouldn’t have chosen it. Then there’s also the events surrounding the profession. Obviously each stage of ones career has its own events, but even for a group of actors writing their own plays and producing them off-off Broadway, as I had a few friends do, there’s the promotion events, celebrations thrown by friends and family at every step of the way, post production parties. The list goes on. Just meeting up for dinner with a few actor friends and talking about possibilities for their next venture, or opportunities they haven’t yet employed as far as making connections or getting their name out there all become social events necessary to survive as an actor. Obviously as one advances, and begins acting for major networks, or moves past no-budget films, there are the screenings, premieres and the like. Similar in a way to someone raising investment capital who is always meeting others for business purposes, but unless the person doing business enjoys his profession, it will likely take over his life instead of being what life was about for him all along.

Another reason: I have always loved the spotlight. Stuck up? Maybe, but I’d love the recognition. Shallow I know. I’m just being honest.

And then there’s the potential money of course. I’d very much like to make my money as a professional, not as a business man. I’d like to do my thing, and get paid for it. Once I do my thing often enough, more opportunities come one’s way, and before you know it you can “accidentally” release a sex tape and become a national celebrity. Or maybe that’s only after you achieve celebrity status. Either way I’m not a girl, so sex tapes are out. Next.

But in all seriousness, I see my boss, a rich business man, and all he owns is a house and minivan. If I had the amount of money he had I’d own a yacht and 2 very nice homes on the coasts, for starters. I’d understand if he simpky weren’t interested in those things. But he’s gotta be interested in something. He’s the most boring person I’ve met, and everyone seems to have the same opinion of him. He has no interests. At all. What about it makes him like that? Is it religion? I’d venture to say so, feel free to disagree. I heard from an Israeli Chiloni coworker and his very not religious, very never was religious American girlfriend, that all the Big Boss talks about by his Shabbos meal is technical issues he has with the city in regards to his business. I mean, if you’re going to be boring because of your religion, at least be an extremist in regards to not speaking about business matters on Shabbos….just sayin’.

I have a friend who told me that “When I was a kid I begged my parents to let me go to acting school for classes but they didn’t let for Jewish reasons. But they said that I would be miserable.” That’s part of the reason I hate religion, they supress anything creative. ANYTHING. If I would’ve been a regular kid I would’ve  been a child actor. But I grew up without exposure to movies so barely knew what an actor was. From the moment I watched my first movie at a late age, my passion to get on camera grew. But life goes on, and I’ll do my best from here on out.

One thing I noticed is that religious people are very skeptical of my plans. Because their vision has been hammered and hammered narrower and narrower until we have religious girls whose life ambition is to support a husband in Kollel, work at an office job for 15 yrs getting $400 a week. I’m talking past college age. 30 year olds making 2k a month  pushing paprers and changing diapers and happy (?) about it. I put the question mark there because it’s hard for me to see that as happiness. I’d say it’s more bliss. Blissfully unaware of the world of opportunities out there. Of course there are challenges, but that’s part of the thrill of pursuing dreams. But many of these people have no ambition, no creativity. Its so hard to find religious people who are well rounded. The ones practicing religion are often closed minded, and the ones who aren’t anymore, only know how to drink and go to hooka bars. Of course there are different types of religious people, and I’m referring mainly to those in the Yeshivish circles or the Brooklyn types. Not to stereo type…

This same friend of mine told me it was tough to just start acting as a kid, because her parents would’ve simply cut her off financially. Personally I’m trying to set myself up financially, so that I wont be left hanging out to dry….and I’m not talking about my balls.

But again, I’ll stress, the main reason is simply because I’m doing what I love, and if not for that, I wouldn’t be involved in it at all.

 

 

What?

 

 

This pic has nothing to do with the article...it was just too awesome not to post it!

Ever heard the expression “foot in mouth”? This guy has his foot stuffed in there. The whole goddam thing.

Here is an article from Matzav.com I came across. Words cannot be sufficient in pointing out the authors blatant ignorance and utter stupidity, so instead I’ll show the areas in red where he makes sure to clearly let us know just how cult-like he sounds. I’ll add my comment in blue.

By Elisha Ferber, Matzav.com

I address this to Matzav.com readers for their thoughts on the ever disturbing trend of kids in our communities going off the derech.

There is a misnomer, I believe, when it comes to analyzing the trend of kids going off the derech. I have heard many people, including so-called educators and some commenters on Matzav.com, claim that the more sheltered children are, the more prone they are to go off the derech. I agree that there are people who are driving kids off the derech. These are the people – to take one recent example – who are telling girls not to wear makeup on their wedding day (see the story from yesterday here onMatzav.com.) These are the people who prefer to forbid everything in sight, as opposed to presenting Yiddishkeit as the beautiful lifestyle it is. (It is? Or can be?) There are people and yeshivos that aren’t recognizing the needs of our kids and responding appropriately to them. (No shit, Watson!) There are those who just don’t get it.

But then there are those who do. We do have people who are sterling role models and can imbue our kids with the right message and attitude (The right one, if only life would be that easy.) My nephew was fortunate to attend the Philadelphia Yeshiva where he witnessed the hanhagos of the rosh hayeshiva, Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, and his son, Rav Shalom Kamenetsky. His father always told him, “Watch Rav Shmuel, and watch Rav Shalom. These are the people you should try to emulate. They are true representations of Torah and what Hashem wants us to be.” (They for sure know what God wants)

But I digress, dear Matzav.com readers.

Getting back to kids going off the derech… I have heard so many times that it’s the “yeshivishe” kids who go off the derech. (Others say it’s the chassidishe kids, but I will not comment on that, because, being Litvish myself, I have limited knowledge of the trends in thechassidishe kehillos.)

To be clear, the claim that yeshivishe kids go off the derech more than, say, Modern Orthodox kids do is simply misleading for numerous reasons. The main reason is because those who go off thederech do what any Modern Orthodox kid does “beheter.”

A good friend of mine, a social worker of our community, attended a conference of Orthodox therapists. She was surprised to learn that problems with off-the-derech kids are much, much worse in Modern Orthodox communities. Whereas our unhappy boys mostly rebel by wearing colored shirts and sneakers, or even going to the malls or the movies, the Modern Orthodox kids aren’t satisfied until they’ve sunken into drugs and more. (Because wearing colored shirts and – gasp – sneakers, is a gross sin) And you know what those kids, who were raised on TV, unlimited internet, etc., say to their therapists? That their parents were so terribly restrictive, so fanatical and old-fashioned, that they had no choice but to rebel.

Of the very few yeshivish or chassidish off-the-derech kids who went all the way, so to speak, with chillul Shabbos and tarfos r”l and otheraveiros chamuros, most did teshuvah after a few years and settled down on a Modern Orthodox level or came back all the way (MO isn’t ALL THE WAY enough for them. You have to wear shoes and white shirts to be fully religious.) One reason is because they’re unequipped to deal with the world out there. I’d say that at least 90% of them are kids from broken homes or boys with learning disabilities that weren’t adequately addressed. Their secular education is almost non-existent and they’re not smart enough to get ahead. So they come back to our communities. (Read: We know that the only way to keep children from becoming secular is to make sure they are unequipped to deal with the real world, and have no choice to return to the cult called Yeshivish Judaism.)

A smart kid from a good home in our communities going off-the-derech is almost unheard of. (Because it isn’t Judaism itself that’s flawed, it always needs to be blamed on something else.) Can it happen? Yes. But it is rare. The overall off-the-derech rate is a small percentage. Granted, every boy who leaves our path is one too many, but in the vast majority of cases, their rebellion stemmed from a family problem, a learning disability, abuse, or something of that sort.

So when we discuss the issue of teens at risk and kids going off thederech, let’s keep this all in perspective. (ignorance is bliss).

{Matzav.com Newscenter} (News is objective. An opinion column is subjective. My blog isn’t news. Apparently neither is Matzav.com)