A Levayah is Not a Joke

21

By The Misaskim Board

אל תחטאו בילד

There is a story going around about using a levayah for a color war break out in Camp ________ this week. We wonder whose bright idea this was.

All of us involved when tragedy strikes our community are always looking for help on how to deal with the traumatic effect a levayah has on children and who could talk to the children before during and after. Who in the camp will accept responsibility for a child walking around, unbeknownst to anyone, traumatized by what took place, even though it ended in a joke?

What about when a child grows up and will have to attend a levayah and will be sitting next to someone and will say to the person, “Remember in camp when the niftar popped-out of the box”?

Is this what we want to teach our children? That a levayah is a joke? Or rather that when we go to a levayah, we stand with respect as this niftar is now in front of the Kisei Hakavod?

Let it be known that Misaskim didn’t give a truck for this. The camp used a made-up letterhead using Misaskim’s name (instead of which ever organization played along with this stunt). It was used without asking Misaskim permission.

If you believe that the kids didn’t know beforehand that this was a color war breakout, just ask the Misaskim staff. The day the signs went up, our phones rang off the hook, with the kids from camp asking if this was a breakout. After the first few calls, the office figured it out and told every kid that it was. So much so that a phone call was placed to the camp to have the kids stop calling the office.

Misaskim has received many complaints about this when word got out about “how low an organization can get.”

Let it be known that we don’t make mock levayos. We take it very serious and we had nothing to do with it. Any further comments should be directed to the camp.

{Matzav.com}

21 COMMENTS

  1. I agree completely with Misaskim (a wonderful organization that provides tremendous chessed shel emes to the niftar and chessed to the availim) about the inappropriateness of this stunt.

  2. P.S. – FWIW, I have long been against color war breakouts that traumatize, scare or upset the campers. It isn’t funny to have the kids believe someone was accidentally shot, their lives are endangered by an approaching flood (both of which were done) or similar stunts. For lack of a more sophisticated way of putting it, it’s just not nice.

  3. I basically agree with Misaskim but the gemora in Yevomos says if you hear children saying someone died and is having a Levoyah you can not assume the person actually died because maybe they were just playing. Rashi says it is normal for children to find a dead creature and play having a mock funeral.

  4. People really need to lighten up.

    I completely, understand that Misaskim needed to disavow this incident. Their name and branding was used without their consent and they needed to clarify to the general public that they a serious organization and do not participate in such frivolous activities.

    However, the rest of us need to refrain from condemning the camp. I am sure that some kids were shocked when the “nifter” jumped out of the coffin, just as kids are shocked when a roller coaster suddenly jolts or a “spookey monster’ lurches at them in a haunted house at an amusement park. Not every shock requires therapy. Sometimes, it’s what we call fun!!!

    I sincerely doubt, that any child who participated in this event, will have any less respect for a funeral in the future due this incident.

  5. I am curious as to what is the point of publicly humiliating a camp who did something in poor judgement. Is this not Loshon Hora? Misaskim would be better off contacting the Camp directly and having them apologize rather than being mevazer them boraibim. Just a thought , a few weeks after Tisha Baav and heading into elul

  6. When I heard about it
    I thought, is someone really that stupid
    Then I saw a pic of all the staff members standing by, and I asked am I the crazy one ???

    I don’t get it!!!!!

    How far did it go, who did they died?
    It is sick sick sick!!!

  7. Aah, come on. Get a life. They are allowed, like every other kid, to have some fun every now and then. No harm was done. DON’T BE A KILLJOY!!! What, we live in a police state, where every camp, yeshiva, organization, Shul, etc…has to have every action of their’s psychoanalysd by some holier than thou, anonymous writer???! Live and let live, dammit!

  8. repost:
    Would have been nice if matzav.com would have provided a little background to this story instead of leaving it to the uneducated speculations of the readers.
    Firstly, at the no point of this breakout were the boys traumatized in any way. It was not that the boys thought someone they know died and then it was a breakout. Story was, that the boys “found” a 40 year old matzeiva on the outskirts of camp that was planted there by the staff. Boys were told that the family, who were the original owners of the hotel located where camp is now, were looking for it. When found, the boys were told that the family wants to transfer her to Israel. A mock funeral was held for someone the kids didn’t know and who supposedly passed away 40 years ago. And then a counselor jumped out of the coffin and everyone had a great laugh.
    People who are not gifted with humor and are not in a camp setting will never understand this. The reaction from staff in other camps was very positive, but they actually work 24/7 and don’t don’t have time to comment here. This was by far more appropriate than many of the over the top breakouts that happen in camps which actually scare the kids. Kids had a great time and a great experience! Hats off to the creative and fun loving staff in this amazing camp!

    • That does help mitigate things somewhat. I still think the camp was completely out of bounds, and this will be a healthy wake-up call for everyone.
      Misaskim was TOTALLY within bounds in publicizing this, though of course publicizing the name of the camp itself is not necessary.

  9. All of you guys remind me of an article in yated a couple of years ago. A commentator sent in a letter regarding kosher “animal” cookies, How could we teach our children to eat non kosher animals! Then the article goes on complaining about our “lady fingers”. Really now! We are totally perfect and our only problem is this color war? We have people committing suicide, we have otd, we have drug issues, yet your only issue is the simchas hachayim without our consent? Do you already greet every yid with a smile and a good word? These people are doing a terrific job at bringing simcha to these campers which they will always associate with judaism. We should encourage happy moments for our youth (while we may disagree on an idea), not bash these wonderful people doing an amazing, terrific job. Ask their campers before you judge. and when rebuke is required, nobody should get it from each and every yid! one is more than enough!

    • Managed humility is good. I think that the campers are always happy if the good faith is in G-d. Specifically, if we do not hurt our own values, we keep the children in good spirit. The reality is their faith and trust must be our own eyes to see Hashem.

  10. For the record: At no point of this breakout were the boys traumatized in any way. It was not that the boys thought someone they know died and then it was a breakout. Story was, that the boys “found” a 40 year old matzeiva on the outskirts of camp that was planted there by the staff. Boys were told that the family, who were the original owners of the hotel located where camp is now, were looking for it. When found, the boys were told that the family wants to transfer the remains to Israel. A mock funeral was held for someone the kids didn’t know and who supposedly passed away 40 years ago at an advanced age etc. And then a counselor jumped out of the coffin and everyone had a great laugh.
    People who are not gifted with humor and are not in a camp setting will never understand this. The reaction from staff in other camps was very positive, but they actually work 24/7 and don’t don’t have time to comment here. This was by far more appropriate than many of the over the top breakouts that happen in camps which actually scare the kids. Kids had a great time and a great experience! Hats off to the creative and fun loving staff in this amazing camp!
    And btw, Misaskim did agree to lend their truck but couldn’t find a driver. They had no problem with it until it blew up on social media.

  11. To those who say it is not a big deal…
    What about the children who have already attended levayos?
    How do you think that made them feel?
    What do you think they were thinking of when they went to bed that night?

    this was uncaring, and insensitive
    Very much innaoropriate and irresponsible.

  12. Is nothing sacred anymore? Until today, I think everyone would have agreed that escorting a loved one to their final resting place was a sacred lifecycle event that should be treated with ultimate respect. Until today, I believe any rational thinking individual would have agreed that is this topic is not only unwise to joke about, but simply off-bounds.

    Today that all changed when some misguided individuals, whom parents relied upon to educate their children in a summer camp, lost their ethical compass and acted in a reprehensible manner. Not only did these ‘educators’ act extremely irresponsibly, but they taught our children that nothing is sacred.

    Dovid HaMmelech warms us at the outset of tehilim, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked, or stand in the way that sinners take, or sit in the company of mockers.

    Allowing our moral voices to stay silent is tantamount to condoning the ways of the wicked. With that in mind, I have raised my pen to scold the shameful heads of the camp who have acted with their unsavory agenda. Their lame judgement resulted in a permanent stain that will remain on the fabric of our society at large. Moreover, there has been no public apology by the camp for their shocking actions. Are they in denial? Do they believe that no wrong has been committed? I think it’s time for the children, parents and anyone that holds kavod HaMes dear to their hearts to take a stand and demand answers and change. Woe is to the generation that places their children’s education in the hands of the wicked, sinners, and mockers. Woe is to the generation that can rationalize as to why this event was ‘appropriate’ Himmel G’shrey!

  13. Mishiganas! The gold in the hand is more careful than the strings in the heart? What will Jerusalem be if the gold in the sky is just the arab sun? Redemption folks! Not a guy popping out of a fake coffin! This is mishiganas!

  14. It seems ,for the most part ,males have taken it stride , while women were horrified and/or outraged by this

    (For Students of Gender Studies: Men are more aware ,possibly,that there are all too few semi-permitted outlets besides somthing like this for frum males?)

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