Monday, August 2, 2010

Haredi Baale'i Teshuva parents with secular Children


Last Shabbat, I was invited for two Shabbat meals to the ultra - Orthodox Mea Shearim neighbourhood in Jerusalem. For both meals a friend of the host showed up with her daughter. The friend has one daughter and is married. They live near Tel Aviv and became religious some time ago. Not too long ago because the approx. six year old daughter is not following the frum path of the parents and you can see that from far away. Not only because the daughter was bored during the Shabbat meal but she was a stranger in the room who wanted to go out with ordinary children and play. Her mother said she and her husband need lots of patience and after the summer vacation, the daughter is going to enter the haredi girl's school "Beit Yaakov". Maybe the teacher will change her.

I very much hope for the mother that everything works out because the daughter doesn't look at all like Beit Yaakov and if she is not happy in that kind of education system, I would take her out. However, it was incredible seeing the mother taking care of her daughter with such great understanding.

It is not easy for older children when suddenly the parents become religious and even haredi. In Jerusalem, we have many of those children hanging around in parks and sleeping in the streets because their newly religious parents threw them out of the house. Who wants a secular problem child when the parents are suddenly so "holy" ?

Nevertheless, the Jerusalem Municipality is very much aware of this problem and offers psychological help.


  1. A six-year-old is not capable of making a lifestyle decision.

  2. B"H

    This is very true but, somehow, haredi society always wants a kinds of an adjustment. When you are in Beit Yaakov, the school expects you to behave in a certain way. I was just wondering if it is not too early sending the girl right into Beit Yaakov.