No one can deny it: Raising religious Jewish children in 2021 is harder than ever before. Mainstream culture grows farther and farther from traditional morality. Every kid with a phone has access to the entire world in the palm of their hand. And with the disruption and chaos of coronavirus, last year had devastating effects on the emotional health of students worldwide.
Experts noted during the lockdowns that children in abusive and dysfunctional homes were suffering without the option of school as a safe haven. Others lost loved ones, and saw their family torn apart by grief. Jewish educators know: Emotional health is spiritual health.
If parents & teachers are going to reverse the damage and influences done to Jewish children in the coming school year, they will need a plan.
Rosh Yeshiva Rav Binyamin Finkel shlit”a has a fascinating recommendation: “midah k’neged midah,” measure for measure, those who help the children who have lost parents, will merit to have nachas from their own kids. This month, a group of 45 orphaned brides & grooms in Israel will get married. Each of the couples is confirmed to be in a state of serious financial struggle. They need help to make a simple celebration, and to furnish the small apartments they will call home.
Rav Finkel wrote a powerful letter on behalf of the young men & women who have suffered so immensely, and blesses all those who donate to Vaad HaRabbanim on their behalf that their children should have success in the coming school year as well.
One day, each of us will pass away and leave our children behind. For some of us, it will be younger than we would have hoped. One can only hope that in that situation, someone else would step up into a parental role. Those who do this via Vaad HaRabbanim’s Av Orphan Campaign can rest assured that they are helping not only someone else’s children, but their own as well.