The most painful problem in the Jewish world today is the "Off the Derech" (off the path, at risk) youth who grew up in "religious" homes yet ultimately forsook observant Judaism. Without the Torah, mitzvoth and especially emuna to protect them, they lose all spiritual strength and are quickly swallowed up in the riptide of assimilation.
My esteemed and beloved teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush shlit”a writes repeatedly in his classic The Garden of Education that education of a child begins with the parent's educating him/herself. Children not only mirror their parents but tend to amplify parental traits. In other words, when a parent makes compromises in Halacha or in any aspect of Jewish observance, children will continue the compromise; like the proverbial snowball at the top of the hill, once it begins rolling downward, it becomes a dangerous avalanche. We know how it starts, but we don't know how it will end…
On the other hand, when parents strengthen themselves in Jewish observance, especially emuna, children will become doubly strong. This is a predominant theme in the Megilla of Esther, as you'll see in The Non-Negotiable Knee, my feature article in this week's Purim issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.
Also featured this week:
Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Gratitude Notebook
Dr. Zev Ballen - The Power of Pretending
Racheli Reckles - The Coffee Snob
Yehudit Channen - Unsettled Settler
Dennis Rosen - No Prayer Left Behind
Lori Steiner - The Power of a Mitzva
Dovber Halevi - War on Pleasure
Important Notice: Rabbi Shalom Arush can be your shaliach (representative) in fulfilling the mitzvoth of Zecher Machtzit Hashekel (commemoration of the mitzva of giving the half shekel) and Matanot L'evyonim (gifts to the poor) on the day of Purim. Simply Donate to Emuna Outreach during the coming days before Purim and Rabbi Arush will make sure that the money will be distributed on the day of Purim.
Blessings for a fantastic new week and glee-filled Purim preparations!