The Matzav Shmoooze: When Will Parents Wake Up?

43

kidsDear readers,

This afternoon, a young boy, I would speculate under the age of 8, stopped by my home. He knocked so lightly that you could hardly hear his knock. I answered the door, he mumbled that he is collecting for a particular fund. I asked him to repeat it and he did, but still not audibly. I gave him my contribution which he took and said thank you and he was off on his bike.

Parents, please wake up. Do you know where your child is every moment of the day? This may not be New York or the likes, but we are not immune to problems. How can we allow our children to knock on strangers’ doors? How can we allow our children to roam freely unsupervised? When swimming, we have a buddy system. Why not do this in general when outside the home unsupervised. Do you not have any concern about the safety of your child?

You allow your children to go to shul “B” while you attend shul “A”. You allow your children to roam the streets unsupervised. What happened to old time chinuch when a parent walked with his child to shul, hold his hand. You will take your child to a sporting event and hold his hand, make him sit next to you, take him to the bathroom. Don’t you think it would be most appropriate and find favor in the eyes of the Bashefer if you walked lovingly with your child to shul and sat with him during davening. Teach by example not by hollow words. How can your child learn from you if he is in another shul unsupervised and seeing inappropriate behavior in shul. It says in Keriyas Shema, “v’shinntom levonecho, v’dibarto bom, bshivtecho bveiseicho, uvlectecho vaderech, uvshochbcho uvkumecho.” “Teach them thoroughly to your children and speak to them while you sit in your home, while you walk on the way, when you retire and when you rise”.

On another note, how can you allow your child to collect for a tzedoka without credentials? We ask meshulochim for credentials. Where is the puska for the child to carry with him / her? What if the child is mugged by nisht fin inzere? What about bike safety?

To the tzedokos that enlist the children and the schools and youth groups that encourage it, don’t you have any shame, any achrieus for putting these precious children in harm’s way, ch”v? It is one thing to allow the children to collect in shul, if the parent brings them to shul and takes them home, but alone on the streets?

Learn to love the precious gift from the Bashefer. Learn to carry out your sacred obligation to protect and watch over these precious children entrusted to you by the Bashefer.

Signed,
A concerned and worried grandparent

{Local Jewish News}

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The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on Matzav.com that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to editor@matzav.com.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}

43 COMMENTS

  1. Mugged by “nisht fin inzere”? Unwittingly, the author reveals that he or she doesn’t get it, either. As we learned all too painfully, predators also come from within.

  2. Dear Worried Grandpa,

    Perhaps your children allow you to lock up your grandchildren behind bars, but normal civil people allow their children to walk around and develop normally and freely. Otherwise your children and grandchildren will be needing the assistance of physciatrist for the remainder of their restricted lives due to the abuse of being locked up.

    Secondly, training our precious children and their holy neshomas in the mitzvah of all mitzvos — collecting tzedakah for the less fortunate — is something that must begin at a very young age and we will not be giving it up because of your irrational fears and rants.

  3. we need more ahavas yisroel, more family gatherings, more school programs. the children need activities. in NY it is really hard on the parents and the children. look how they live in the midwest, much easier

  4. I have heard from more than one odom choshuv that we should not be terrorizing our children about threats to their wellbeing even after what has happened. We are maaminim and whatever happens to us is hashgacha. The streets are still safe for us to walk in, at least in our own neighborhoods. We risk more by chaining our children in the basement than by letting them get out in the world.

    I’m also not sure why the writer assumes the child’s parents didn’t know where he was. Maybe he lives around the block?

  5. MAAMIN #3
    IT’S VERY NICE THAT YOU BELIEVE, BUT DO YOU ALSO BELIEVE THAT ONE MUST ALSO FOLLOW -VNISHMARTEM ES NOFSHOSAICHEM- ONE MUST NOT PLACE THEIR CHILD IN HARMS WAY!!!!
    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THE WRITER!!!!
    THANK YOU FOR EXPRESSING MY INNERMOST FEELINGS ABOUT THIS ISSUE. IF YOU ARE SO EAGER TO SEND YOUR CHILDREN OUT COLLECTING DO SO WITH A GROUP OF CHILDREN OR HAVE TWO OTHER SIBLINGS COME ALONG. I HAVE A LARGE FAMILY AND MANAGE TO TEACH MY CHILDREN THE CHASHIVOS OF TZEDAKA ALONG WITH SAFETY!!!! I ALSO ENCOURAGE MY CHILDREN TO GO ALONG WITH THEIR FATHER OR AN OLDER SIBLING TO SHUL TO COLLECT. YOUR CONCERN ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN DEVELOPING NORMALLY IS ABSOLUTELY REDICULOUS!!!
    WHY NOT JUST LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN AT HOME UNATTENDED,WITH ALL THE WINDOWS OPEN? I GUARANTEE YOU CERTAINLY WONT NEED A SHRINK FOR THEM!!! IF THAT’S YOUR ONLY CONCERN!!!!

  6. he has a point we must watch our children ore diligently, they need more dicipline, children are developing problems because they have no structure and therefore do not know how to deal with life’s problems because they always did whatever they felt like.
    it catches up to you.

  7. A parent could let an 8 year old go collecting…but only to those houses of people he knows! There is no reason to knock on any stanger’s door…You can learn tzedakah by collecting from your freinds. Besides, people are more likly to donate to a child that they know more than a random kid knocking on their door for money.

  8. Your right!
    It is one thing for kids to collect in Shul, but to knock on a strangers house? What happens if the guy decides to grab the boy? I cant even think about it.

  9. You do have all means to worry, but to keep your children under such tight strains makes them go behind your back. just keep boundries. only let your kids collect in the neighborhood or allow them to go to a different shul with a friend or the one closest to home if your child enjoys their davening. theres no reason to be over protective but of course theres always boundries and limits to protect our children and keep them safe. just make sure that when u put down rules that may seem harsh explain to your children thats its for their safety and benefit.

  10. Because parents place too much responsibility on children too young to deserve it, the children create a culture of status amongst themselves, of who is trusted by the parents to do grown-up jobs, like babysitting their younger siblings when they are really much too young themselves.
    Sending children to stranger’s doors for ANY reason is irresponsible.

  11. Anon77-he could be collecting for a swim-a-thon for chai lifeline which many kids do. In my community its normal for kids 6 and up to collect for chai lifeline. If they are of younger age they stay on the block or go with an older sibling. if they are older they go themselves. It could be this mother gave this boy permission to go around the block. No one knows.
    The writer here needs to judge this mother favorably because maybe she spoke to her child about the recent tragedy and he knows what he can and cant do etc. Yes its sad it was another jew who commited such heinous crime. but to tell kids not to collect tzeddakah or that they can go to the local store by themselves puts a child in more fear. You teach your child not to go into the house, or not to accept food or drink unless of course its very hot and the mother offers the collector a water bottle etc. its all about how you properly teach your child of what to do and what not to do. I am in total agreement with Maamin! you hit it on the ball!

  12. all of you brought up good points, and there are people who can bring good points exactly the opposite. the point is, there is no single right way, stop thinking that its “kochi v’otzem yadi”-that you are the one controlling events. Be a maamin, do whats right, do your part, and leave the rest to HKB”H, cause thats all you CAN do. and for answers to arguments like above, SEEK DAAS TORAH,then you will have SIYATA D’SHMAYA,and everything will be good. TZADIK B’EMUNASO YICHYEH!

  13. Dear Mr. Maamin (#2),

    Are you kidding me?! Irrational fears and rants?? Have you been around listening to anything going on recently?
    No one is telling you to lock up your kids and not allow them to grow up. No one is telling you to not educate your kids on the importance of collecting and giving tzedakah. Why is it that you can’t get the point?
    Little kids are out running around the streets unsupervised, crossing streets without looking carefully, and not being alert to what’s going on around them. You call yourself a Maamin, why, because you believe that your kids could go wherever they please because you have emunah that nothing will happen. That’s not emunah buddy. When you go away for a shabbos, do you also leave your house unlocked because you have emunah?! No because that’s rediculous!
    So as a concerned grandparent who knows what’s going on in the world, the author of this letter is just taking some of his/her time to bring to your intention as well as so many others to what goes on around us. Stop taking the wrong points and start trying to accept reality.
    No one is telling you to lock up your kids. Just to have some sensibility and responsibility and know where your kids, who you raise, feed, and should care about a little more, are throughout the day.

  14. Sorry #2, as a mother and grandmother I couldn’t let your comment pass. A little seichel is needed here. Supervising our children until they are old enough and mature enough to be out and about alone will not necessitate psychiatric intervention. If anything it will eventually lead to the knowledge that they are loved and cared for. As #1 correctly points out there are all kinds of people out there, good, kind people who are “nisht fun inzere”, and psychopaths who are dressed like fine frum yidden. Even an adult cannot easily distinguish who is who. Please watch your children and don’t leave them on the street by themselves! As for teaching them about tzedaka- most young children do not have a real concept of the value of money. It is far better to teach the meaning of Chessed: being kind to their peers, not leaving children out of the group, sharing toys, not hurting feelings of others, being careful not to hurt smaller children, and even smaller living creatures they may come across (tzaar baalei chayim).

  15. The op wrote “You allow your children to roam the streets unsupervised. What happened to old time chinuch when a parent….”

    I am curious? Is this not the a self contridiction….

    In old times people did not hesitate to allow children to roam.

    Roaming is very healthy. Chanuch Lna’ar al pi darko.

    The one who knows what is very best for a child is ONLY his or her parent.

    Not some observer or even some other relative, surely not op-ed authors or out of town grandparents.

    There is a Great God above who believe it or not still to this day watches so, so carefully over his beloved children.

    Be caring, and giving, the way Hashem wants,and Hashem will surely treat Klal Yisroel accordingly.

  16. What is wrong with this grandparent/ Why can’t a child be given freedom and let them walk around a block or two? “mugged by nisht fin inzerer”, is a stupid statement. Look at the past few months and you will discover “inzerer” committing horiffic crimes. Get a grip of yourself and stop hacking shtuyot and worry about the real problems facing klal yisrael

  17. You know what? Everyone has points this way and that but for goodness sake the author has a very valid point. You don’t need to lock child up. Going to the same shul is the responsible way to go. Letting your child roam freely, go to a different shul, etc is not freedom – it’s irresponsible. I mean the kid could barely talk, that’s how timid he was. I see this all the time. There ate plenty of ways to teach your children the mitzvah of charity without sending him off alone to knock on strangers doors. Seriously, stop picking on the authors every other word just take the point of the article and submit your own if you have different opinion.

  18. #2

    Don’t be black and white. She was simply saying to be responsible.

    Also, who said the kid was collecting for charity? Maybe he was lying and wanted to by ices?

  19. This author is making a great point! And no child will end up in a psych office for the rest of their life, because he or she was protected and guarded and guided accordingly. Great point, and well truthfully an 8 year old cannot go collecting for any moisid on their own, if they go with a friend that is fine. But credentials when collecting is a must. And even adult mishuluchim should never go collecting without credentials. It is such a chutzpa and lack of respect from them to expect to be given money when if all I know they could bogus and fakers.

  20. I understand the concerns of this grandparent, and think it awfully inconsiderate to dismiss his concerns as “irrational fears and rants”.

    Knowing where one’s children are, who they are with, and upon whose doors they plan to knock is a far cry from “lock[ing] up your grandchildren behind bars.”

    As for training them in the mitzvah of tzedakah, this is a debate that has been years in the running – to what degree, if any, does this “minhag” of recruiting young children to collect in this streets really inculcate them with the importance of the mitzvah of tzedakah.

  21. #2, You are no expert on what is normal.

    There are other ways to have children participate in tzedaka without having them go house to house.

    Many educational institutions have adopted safer ways to fundraise. Utility companies have special training for their technicians who have to enter the homes of strangers.

    What you espouse is actually child endangerment.

    It is absurd to think the concept of tzedaka is properly inculcated in our children by having them knock on doors on street after street, by themselves.

  22. in todays generation chinuch & yiddishkeit is not #1 as it used to be & should be when it came to CHILDREN. in todays society first comes enjoying myself in whatever way-forgetting the children & spending time to show love to them & raise their self-esteem & self-image-today everyone R”L forgets the children & just gets a babysitter. forgetting to appreciate these tzelem Elokim that Hashem put in their hands to take care of UNTIL c”v its too late & the child is gone C”V

  23. Parents and Yeshivos train eight year olds in all mitzvos, including the great mitzvah of tzedaka, by giving them a pushka to collect for the less fortunate.

  24. These Organizations that go around to our Day Camps & bamboozel our gullible kids to go around collecting for them, is a disgusting outrage! I’ve contacted one such Organization the day after Lieby was murdered & was told, pretty much, to mind my own business! These Organizations who engage in such outrageous tactits aught to be put out of business! Their big fancy leaders who wen’t around after the murder lecturing us about how to deal with the after affects, are the same Organizations who are promulgating this dangerous behaviour! Can I safely assume that Matzav will right away go into “cover up” mode & not print my heartfelt comment?

  25. They children are not collecting tzedekah for the mitxvah. They are doing it b/c organizations are offering them prizes as a reward. The mitzvah itself should be the reward. These tzedakah organizations are teaching our children to do things only if there is reward associated with it. Not a great message IMHO.

  26. I can not fathom what “being a Maamin” has anything to do with being careful about a child;’s safety. I have absolute emunah, based on Rambam’s Yud Gimmel Ikarei Emunah. Last time I checked (this morning, after shachris), it did not say “Ani Maamin that my child will be safe no matter what”.

    Yes, Hashem runs the world. Hashem runs a world with trees, snakes, highways with speeding cars, and even R’shoyim. Hashem gave us the achrayus to be aware of falling trees, poisonous snakes, dangerous highways and yes, R’shoyim.

    Please don;t confuse Emunah with turning a blind eye or sticking your head in the sand. That makes a person an ostrich, not a maamin.

  27. ??? ??????? ??? 100% ?????? ??? ???? ?????? ????? ???? ?????? ?? ?? ?????? ??? ??? ???? ????????? ??? ???? ???? ????? ???? ??????

  28. In collecting for tzadaka, even grown ups are meant to go in pairs….what is wrong in teaching children at a young age the right way to collect, by going with a partner

  29. The vast majority of child abuse happens within the confines of private homes. I would like all readers to consider the following questions very closely.

    (1) How many incidents of child abuse do you think have happened in the world since 1948 ?

    (a) Zero
    (b) 1 to 1,000
    (c) 1,000 to 100,000
    (d) 100,000 to 1,000,000
    (e) 1,000,000 to 10,000,000
    (f) 10,000,000 to 100 million
    (g) 100 million to 1 billion
    (h) 1 billion plus

    (2) If Jews constitute just 0.23% of the current global population is the rate of CSA in their communities less, more or about the same as the general population ?

  30. We must all have a Goisser Yasher Koach – a real hearty “Thank You” to Mr. and Mrs. “A concerned and worried grandparent” for this extremely, EXTREMELY excellent article.

    I have posted this remark at this news site many times and will place it again here now, for it is extremely important.

    I was once privileged to stay at the house of the Chabad Shaliach in Boulder, Colorado. While there, I saw a few of the videos that his children were playing. One of them was about rules of safety. The opening scene of the little skit showed a tall man who was dressed up like a clown walking by a swimming pool. In a happy sounding voice, he announced:

    “I’M MOSHE THE CLOWN!”

    “BUT WHEN IT COMES TO SAFETY,”

    “THERE’S NO CLOWNING AROUND!!!!”

    That’s right;

    “When it comes to safety,” THERE CAN BE —

    “NO CLOWNING AROUND”!!!!!!!

    There is absolutely nothing whatsoever to discuss!!

    We must, we absolutely MUST keep ourselves and our children absolutely totally safe!! Period!!

  31. (continuation of my previous comment)

    For far, far, far, too long, many people have let their doors be open and/or their children run around by themselves in the street with the logic of:

    “Oh, THIS is a good neighborhood!”

    “Oh, THIS is a frum area!”

    “Oh, he is just going ‘down the block’!”

    “Oh, he is just ‘two blocks away’!”

    “Aw, nobody is going to do this!”

    “Aw, nobody is going to do that!”

    “Aw, my kid is ‘older’!”

    “Aw, my kid is ‘grown up’!”

    “Aw, my kid ‘knows’ not to do this!”

    “Aw, my kid ‘knows’ not to do that!”

    “I’m running in ‘just for a minute’!”

    “I’m letting him do it ‘just this one time’!”

    ALL of these arguments are COMPLETELY WORTHLESS!!

    “Nobody is going to do this!”
    “Nobody is going to do that!”
    “Nobody is going to do this or that!”

    BUT THEY DID!! THEY DID!!! I REPEAT, THEY DID!!!!

    JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO — RIGHT IN THE HEART OF BORO PARK — WITH MR. LEIB KLETZKY, ZICHRONO LIVRACHA, HASHEM YINAKEM DAMO, THEY DID!!!!!!!

  32. (continuation of my previous comment)

    Again, we absolutely must keep ourselves and our children totally safe!! ALL children at ALL times must have full ADULT supervision!!

    Of course, of course, we are NOT saying in any way or form at all that they should be locked up or tied up or not allowed to live or not allowed to have any fun. Totally on the contrary, we certainly DO want them to be free and live and have fun — a very tremendous amount of fun — and fully grow up and become fully functioning independent people. But THE WAY that they will be able to be free and live and have fun — a very tremendous amount of fun — and fully grow up and become fully functioning independent people IS by them being safe!!!!!!!

    And the plain facts of the conditions of children’s situations are such that being safe requires having constant proper adult supervision!!

  33. Thank you to the concerned grandparent.I have noticed that sometimes when people react vehemently, the information hits too close to home. Parents are tired and may feel overwhelmed. And it is not right to make excuses for not thinking about their child’s safety. I know personally of one pedophile in our community [how many more are there?] Who do you think he may have more access to, the child in shul with a parent , or the one who is ” visiting” another shul and wandering around the hallways/basement/ corners? One child he abused was running around at a simcha. I observed one very young girl by herself on the main street of our community. A man stooped down to her eye level and spoke quietly to her and she ran quickly to a house half a block away, I assume her home. I asked the man what he said and he told me that he told her that her Mommy wants her to go home. A stranger to her, he was very concerned for her safety. You see how easily someone could walk or drive up and take a small child away.[please do not change this into ‘why don’t you stop the pedophile’-the parents won’t press charges and do you want us to keep tabs on him or hound him out so that he can come anonymously into your community where no one is, yet, aware of his problem?]

  34. Now, the following question will be asked:

    “Until what age do children need this adult supervison??”

    The answer to this question is quite simple and quite blunt:

    “Until what age do children need to have adult supervison??”

    “UNTIL THEY THEMSELVES ARE ADULTS!!!!”

    That’s right! Yes, you heard me correctly! As you may find it a biy shocking though, I will repeat it:

    “CHILDREN REQUIRE THE CONSTANT SUPERVISION OF AN ADULT UP UNTIL THE TIME WHEN THEY THEMSELVES ARE ADULTS!!”

    As I explained above, all of the arguments like:

    “My kid is ‘older’!”

    “My kid is ‘grown up’!”

    “My kid is ‘strong’!”

    “My kid is ‘smart’!”

    “My kid is ‘mature for his age’!”

    “My kid ‘knows Karate’!”

    “My kid ‘knows’ to do this!”

    “My kid ‘knows’ to do that!”

    “My kid ‘knows’ not to do this!”

    “My kid ‘knows’ not to do that!”

    Are all simply claims that are all TOTALLY WORTHLESS!!

  35. (continuation of my previous comment #42)

    A few months ago, in the issues for 2-25-11, 3-4-11, and 3-11-11, the newspaper “Yated Neeman,” in its feature “Zaidy’s Mayselech” by Shaya Gottlieb, ran a three part story titled “The Chappers.” The narrative was about a boy — a very strong boy, a very STRONG MINDED boy, a boy who was very mature for his age, a boy who already had LEADERSHIP qualities, a boy who was not fazed by the wicked slime bagged fiends around him and (virtually) bluntly told them: “OK! GO AHEAD; SHOOT!!” — this boy, this “strong” boy WAS KIDNAPPED!!

    How old was this boy who was kidnapped? Was he ten years old? Was he seven years old? Was he nine years old? Was he six years old? Was he eight years old? Was he four years old?

    It just so happened that the incident took place on the afternoon of the Erev Shabbos of the Shabbos of THE BOY’S BAR MITZVAH! In other words, the boy was THIRTEEN YEARS OLD!! Yes, I will repeat that: He was (plus or minus a couple of days) thirteen years old.

    Now, late in the afternoon of that Erev Shabbos, the boy’s father gave him a little money and asked him to go buy something at a store that was “just down the street.” As he was walking, as this “mature,” “smart,” “strong” THIRTEEN YEAR OLD boy was walking down the street, a severely wicked Meshumad Jew pulled up by the boy, tricked him to get into his vehicle, and shot off!

    Yes, get copies of those issues of the Yated and read the story. (Along with the printed newspaper, they have an online sent by email version of each issue. Their telephone number is 845-369-1600.)

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