By Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz
Read this report on Arutz Sheva titled Dangerous Youth in Bnei Brak and weep.
Weep for these kids who have been mislead to believe that anything less than full day learning is shameful.
Weep for their parents who did not have the courage to buck community pressure and do what was right for their “average” sons years ago.
And weep for our charedi tzibur that gave the green light for many years now to kanoim and extremists who have quashed all efforts in Bnei Brak and many other communities to create alternate programs and recreational activities for healthy, normal, mainstream children who so desperately are in need of them.
Several years ago, I had the zechus to be in the presence of Maran HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman shlit”a when he spoke at the Torah Umesorah Convention. Outside were dozens of kanoim, fiercely protesting his support of Nachal Charedi, (here are two columns that I wrote a while back about Nachal Charedi – Nachal Charedi #1 and Nachal Charedi #2), a wonderful program created for charedi boys who are not full-time learners.
Make no mistake about it. The ruined lives of these children, the tears of their parents, and the havoc these kids wreak on our kehilos are all on their hands.
My friends, Arutz Sheva got everything right but the title. The kids aren’t dangerous, they were just normal children driven to the streets by the dangerous kanoim who are destroying every facet of our kehillos.