Readers’ Scoop: Rejected On Purim

Readers-Scoop-Logo smallDear TLS,
I am taking the time to write this because although I did have a very enjoyable Purim b”h, there was one incident that I found truly disturbing. I was driving around a group of high school aged boys. We arrived at someone’s house where I stopped the car because the boys wanted to get out and go in. There were a lot of boys from the same yeshiva there and they were all friends. Besides one boy.

This one boy, we’ll call him Moshe. Moshe is so to say, socially challenged. He was in the Purim spirit and singing and dancing and trying to be part of the group of boys. He was so happy to see boys from his yeshiva that he goes to and maybe now he would have a chance to be in with the group. But, no. The boys started yelling at him to get out of the way and they actually started physically moving him out of the way. I did tell them to stop but they couldn’t care less. The boys being so used to rejecting Moshe, didn’t even feel like they did anything wrong. They pushed him to the side. I turned to take a look at his face and it broke my heart.

The smile and cheer quickly faded from his face and he withdrew and remained quiet.

I turned to one of the boys and asked why are you all so not nice to Moshe? All I got back was like “oh he’s so annoying”.


Is this what we teach our children? That they can only be nice to their group of friends? What about being nice to the boy who isn’t so popular? They boy who isn’t so smart? The boy who yes, may be socially challenged and may be annoying?

We spend so much time on learning Shmiras Haloshon, there are those who are makpid to say “amen” a 100 times a day, those who head Chesed organizations, and those who start Tznius organizations, etc etc. Those are all fine and dandy.

But have we forgotten to teach our children plain Middos (and manners)?

Hashem didn’t bring the churban because the Jews were lacking in the areas mentioned above. Hashem brought the Churban because the Jews lacked BEIN ADAM L’CHAVEIRO!

Anyone could have witnessed this incident and forgotten about it because we live in a world where it is “cool” to be a “snob”. (A side point is that in most secular movies, the characters mainly act as “snobs” and this is one example of the outside world affecting us! Besides for the fact that it is assur according to most Rabbanim to watch movies).

Being that I am a very soft person by nature, this tugged at my heart. Imagine this poor boy going to yeshiva every day and being treated like this each and every day!!! Do we understand what ramifications this can have on a child???! No one deserves to be treated badly especially if they are not doing anything wrong. We all have a Tzelem Elokim and by treating others in an unkind manner, we are going against Hashem’s Torah.

Thank you very much for listening.

If there can be one less child like “Moshe” in this world because of what I wrote, this would have accomplished its ‘tafkid’.

I Remain,

Heavy Hearted

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  1. This letter hit close to home. Bullying has started very very early on in the schools. My daughter is being picked on in school very very badly this year and she is only 9. there are a group of girls in her class that baisically get the whole class against her. Nothing has been done, these girls have not been punished and their parents do not care. So these girls will continue on being the “cool” kids, and nothing will be done. Middos in our “ir hakodesh” are basically non exsistent. The schools are not stressing derech eretz enough and the parents are definitley not either. When these girls bother and torment my daughter, she walks away, but let me tell you, it hurts a lot inside. I
    I feel for this boy “moishy” because i know its so hard to not be accepted. I hope the schools read this because even though middos come from the home as well, they must come from the school too!!!!

  2. one of two issues here. either the bullies were completely drunk and had no idea what they were doing, OR they are not taught respect by their parents/yeshivahs, so any mitzvah they thought they were getting that purim is null and void.

    either way, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior.

  3. My son is now in fourth grade. The bullying started in first grade and has only been reinforced by the principal. Any time something happens in the class my son is always blamed. He is an easy target because he never defended himself, just took the punishment and went on. When I would try to speak to the principal and tell him that my son was not at fault he would explain that a boy doesn’t get punished and not say anything, obviously he’s guilty. The boys in the class caught on and whenever something happens in the class the popular/cool group of kids goes to the principal to say it was my son. This year he has an excellent Rebbe b”H who realized what was going on. My son was very sad and the principal told us that either we put him on medication or he’s out of school. We took him to speak to a child psychologist who made a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. The principal was very shaken, not realizing the ramifications of what he was doing. B”H things are looking up but it’s a long road for a child to regain trust in the adults and children who hurt him.

  4. I agree with number 1, this should be brought up with his teachers and parents. This story is very unusual, so either its being exaggerated or there is more to this story that needs to be discussed with the appropriate parties

  5. Chinuch begins at home and all of us parents need to ensure that our children’s socially challenged classmates be included in out of school activities. Once the children are taught at home to be inclusive, the Rebbe/Teacher can build on this with children that come to school with a properly ingrained inner attitude. Children/Bachurim will poke fun and exclude, but can be reminded and guided if they have caring feelings, which must begin at home, for such peers. We parents can change the lives of these socially challenged children by encouraging our children to be inclusive and build up the self-confidence of their challenged classmates, neighbors and acquaintances.

  6. This story and some of the comments shake me to the core. I think it is definitly true that the schools do not make enough of an effort with regard to this issue.

    These are yiddishe neshomas that are being broken by classmates that are not really at fault because they are children themselves and have not been taught by their schools that this is so wrong.

  7. Dear, Heartbroken Parent

    As I am a professional social worker with experiences I had my self when I was a kid. You should take your kid out of the school and make the principles name public. #2 u should contact a rabbi. I would think rabbi shmuel Kamenetsky would be a good person to talk to . And in regard to the meds u should not put our kid on meds. Meds is not the answer.


  8. I am going to take the other side of the debate here. as a parent of many children i will admit that bullying goes on and that rabbeim / techers have to do more , but if you look at the GOOD schools, my meaning is those with experiance in dealing with children , you will see that most of what was said here fo far is both untrue and an incorrect assessment.

    i know many schools that have special needs / socially chalanged / ect children , that the schools have worked worderful programs , and the other children have treated this individual beyond belief. they have been patiant and accepting of these children more than adults are.

    THE PROBLEM arises when the “socially challanged ” is the one who is the agressor. it takes a professional to pinpiont it , but many bullies are socially challanged. do his pairs have to accept it? . you have to look where its starting and the roots of the issue but when a child who is socially challanged is technacially the aggressor , so much so that no individual child can take him on alone , in many cases the rest will “gang up” on him. you cannot blame the kids for protecting themselves. in so many cases the teacher will tell the parants that your child is the instigater. and they will answer . my little tzaddik ? he cant instigate. and they will blame the other kids and keep on complaining . and yes it may reach a point where thier child is being picked on , but it started out as a protective measure from the other children protecting themselves against the agressor. i have seen this many many times.

    it doesnt mean that every child being bullied is that way , many are bullied for no reason . but i have seen such support for “hypo” socially challanged children in lakewood from the classmates that i believe that making these blanket accusations are dead wrong.

  9. reading all of this angers me,saddens me and panics me. all of you experiencing these problems must take action immediately! your child is losing the happiness and companionship that is usually enjoyed at this age. this pain and lonliness lasts forever. other remarks are certainly true regarding the potential “at risk” possibility. one [if not the most] dangerous reaction is the child may turn his/her pain on himself. this may manifest in many ways, reclusiveness,eating disorders,and other mental disorders too numerous to list. basically, your child will learn to not trust the world she/he lives in. please act now and save these souls. thank you writer for bringing up this incident.

  10. its an embarresment to the yeshiva as well as to the parents who are raising such children but instead of writing this into the scoop you should call the hanahala of the yeshiva as well as the parents of these individual kids their is a vort which basically is a true lesson in life one can get higher by raising himself or by stepping on someone else unfortunatly many choose the 2nd way by stepping on others to feel good themselves and act superior and haughty to raise themselves

  11. besides the parents fault i blame the school the most, this would never happen in my childs school because they raise nice children there, which is Tashbar. every kid is brought up this way to have Middos. after all most of a childs chinuch is the schools job not the parents thats where they are most of their lives, so yes if a rebbi see’s someone being picked on and its not taken care of right away that school is worthless. Why this kids parents are keeping him there is beyond me! this is what happends when schools are more worried about accepting kids only if the father wears a white shirt instead of worring about what kind of mentch do these parents raise and to that i say R’ Hertz is an expert every kid in his school has sweeter middos than the next

  12. To #12 jajaajja: It’s extremely difficult to believe that you are an educated social worker based on your pathetic spelling, grammar, punctuation and advice. Social workers understand that medication is prescribed by mental health professional doctors with education far beyond the scope of social work and behavioral therapy. This is done with a full assessment of the patient. “Heartbroken Parent” has not provided enough information above to determine whether medication would be proper for the child. Medication has helped many, sometimes with a minimal dosage. Yet, at the same time it is not the answer to all problems. This forum is a nice and helpful place to share opinions but not to misrepresent oneself.

  13. While it is very sad that this person’s feelings were hurt, it is foolish to suggest that as a society we should be more tolerant of annoying people. The less we acknowledge them and the more we ignore them, the quicker they will stop behaving the way they do. The only reason foolishness and stupidity is so rampant, is because we legitimize such behavior by allowing it to fester in our midst.

  14. hey,
    i just wanted to stick in my little opinion here because it’s bugging me that everyone is getting riled up. when something hits you hard, and you start bashing because of it, it usually means you’re lookin in the mirror. i think the kids who are bullies, or “snobs”, did not come up with the mentality on their own. don’t give them that much credit. don’t you people know the psychology of humans? don’t you realize you were once a kid too, and don’t you see all the mannerisms you’ve obtained growing up? where do you think most of your manners came from? kids pick up from parents, and it’s sad, but i must be truthful, this town’s adults are not that much better than the kids.. ADULTS: don’t just try to teach your kids to accept everyone and include people. why should they listen if they see you do the opposite? EVERYONE LOOK IN THE MIRROR! if there’s a real situation, call the principal, and make sure your voice is heard.. or call your local orthodox rabbi.. lower your self image for a minute and look into your minds and erase your bad thoughts and feelings towards others and maybe your kids will do the same! good luck.. and daven. Hashem is the only one who can help, by sending His messengers, which may be you!!

  15. My dear freind you will not change teenagers. Adolesence is a difficult parsha. The boys parents should help him by obtaining a social skills therapist / rebbe. Send him to camp, arrange for him to go to others for a shabbos, and in general give him chizuk. You area sensitive soul to have noticed his difficulties.

  16. Children learn what they see. Since when is it the teachers or the rabbi’s responsibilty to teach standards to our kids. Why is it always someone elses fault when wrong is done. Why has accountability for our actions gone by the wayside.

  17. This story is heartbreaking. As a parent, I have seen kids as young as 5-6 years old bullying and parents are either in denial or clueless how to act, or aren’t even around to see their child’s behavior.
    I have a rule in my house “no leaving out” and EVERYONE can play. I drill it in from very young. Whether or not you find someone “annoying” we as yidden must teach our kids a sense if ahavas yisroel.
    Maybe there’s needs to be some sort of “bullying asifa” to raise public awareness about the realities of bullying in our community and appropriate techniques how parents and teachers need to deal.

  18. its horrable what’s going on in (all) schools today.,My son is not best in learning or sports .The “choshever” kids labeled him a “neb” so the the few friends he had dropped him also.On shabbos he sits by the window watching his classmates getting together and passing by our house ignoring he exsists.The only time he is included religously is to chip in for some other kids presents for birthday etc.God forbid if he doesn’t bring it in the next day.It goes without saying for him they never got anything.

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