It was a little over a year ago when Yidparenting began. Originally meant for a small group of parents, it has, Baruch Hashem, blossomed into an article read by many people weekly. However, over the past few months, I’ve noticed a certain disturbing trend which I would like to address.
There are many types of Jews. Some men wear a Gartel when they Daven, some don’t even wear a hat. Some women wear a sheitel, some a tichel, and some don’t cover their hair at all. Nonetheless, they’re all still Jews.
Sometimes we need to take a step back and understand that we’re all on the same team. You might be wondering why I’m bringing this up. Allow me to explain. About three months ago, I began receiving emails that really bothered me. Here’s a sample of a few of them:
“I am greatly confused about your Shul article. Who cares if the kids go to Shul? Half of the adults don’t Daven. This is a non-issue. People need to chill out a bit, being overly religious becomes fanatical.”
“I can’t believe you’re advocating kids having smart phones. They are tools of the Yetzer Hara! I’m quite disgusted!”
“Please write an article about girls dressing more Tzniusdik in the street. It’s really horrible!”
“I’m writing regarding your article about music. Do you really think it’s a bad thing for kids to listen to non-Jewish music? What’s the problem with it? What’s next – wearing a shtreimel?”
My Bubby, A”H, used to tell me, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” If other Jews are not 100% like you, does that make them wrong? Aren’t we supposed to be understanding? I have seen Gedolai Yisrael talking to Jews that were not religious. They didn’t seem to be judging them. Does sending your son to a particular Yeshiva make him a better Jew?
On the flip side, if there is a Jew that wants his son to wear a black hat, why does it bother you? I was flabbergasted when I got a call last week from a friend who told me, “Frummies are taking over the 5 towns!”
How does this relate to parenting, you might ask? It’s pretty simple. Good parents don’t judge other people. They teach their children to be tolerant of others, and they lead by example. Making a comment, or even rolling your eyes when someone is different than you, is a horrible idea.
Let’s work together, in unity, to bring Moshiach. Being understanding of others is a great starting point, and smart parenting. Next week, the article will address a fascinating question about Shabbos activities. I hope you all enjoy.
Have a great Shabbos
Rabbi Yitzie Ross is a Rebbe and has been working with parents and kids for many years. You can read more about him in the "about" section.