Monday, October 27, 2008

A Truly Tragic Story

There's a lot going on right now on both the National (Think Chevron, Elections) and Global level (Think more elections), however I wanted to focus on a local Modi'in story that was published this week in the Yediot Modi'in newspaper which is publish by Yediot Achronot and distributed to all houses in Modi'in.

A summary of the story was published on YNet although the original story in print is much longer.

The story is the tragic tale of how a family in Modi'in lost their 16 year old son. How did they loose him, well it seems that he started attending classes at a local Beit Knesset (Migdal David) which was near there home. As a result of these classes he started becoming more observant, started keeping kosher and Shabbat. At first the family went along with it, but when he started wearing a kippa and Tzitizt they knew that things were getting out of hand. He even spent his entire summer learning in a Yeshiva when he could have been out doing "normal" things with his friends (hate to think what "normal" things 16 year olds get up to in Modi'in).

Anyway, the family decided that enough was enough and did what any loving rational family would do: confiscated his Tefillin, locked him in the house so that he couldn't sneak out to Beit Knesset, and took out a court order to prevent him going to the Yeshiva or being on contact with any of the Rabbis there.

However, in spite of this clear warm show of support and affection, the son sent a loving letter to his parents and ran away (in spite of being locked in the house without a key).
The mother did take the time to call the Rosh Yeshiva to lecture him that Honouring ones parents was the most important Mitzva in the Torah. The Rabbi seemed to agree that there was such a Mitzva, but for some reason didn't support her in her effort to confiscate the boy's Tefilin.

What was mind boggling to me is that the local media give the story 5 pages (as well as a full front-page picture), and are totally sympathetic to the mother without even asking her whether she thinks that she could have done anything else to show her love and support for her son, even if she didn't agree with his lifestyle choices.

Well, at least you can't argue that the local media aren't living up to their anti-religious reputation.


Rafi G. said...

all of the sudden they are so religious that they demand certain mitzvos (honoring parents) be kept?

Michael Sedley said...

You're right.

The article even asked her if she (the mother) considers herself anti-religious, she was shocked by the question - she loves religion and Judaism, just not the way it's being practiced by her extremest son (did I mention that the kippa was black - can you evem imagine the horror).

Couldn't we have more religion without things like Tefillin, Kashrut, Shabbat - but lots and lots of honoring parents to make up for it.