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Hope you did not expect guidance in treating eczema. This is the first time I have visited the Bnei Akiva branch. I wanted to share the story with you.

Concerned parents approached me about their son, Israel, an only child. They said that when he was born, the house was filled with light. A cute, beautiful and smiling boy, developed great, graceful, swallowed all the education that educated him. Dad would tell him about the great men of Israel.

"Once at night," the father said, "I went into little Israel's room and the boy was gone. We searched until we found him under the couch in the room I was studying with.

The father goes on to describe, "I asked him, Israel, what are you doing there? And sweet Israel replied, "I am not Israel, I am old Hillel."

"Another time, when someone came to visit and we were not at home, Israel kindly received him and seated him and served him a bowl with all the goodies."

'We only got good reports from school, a loving and loving investor boy. At a parents' meeting, they told how Israel wanted to save his friend and took responsibility for a bad deed he did not do at all, do not do his friend who planted stink bombs. "

"The neighbor, heavy-legged, told us how Israel always helps him carry the shopping home and..." The father fell silent.

Israel's mother wiped a tear from her face and said, 'It's over, it's all over, as if a demon had entered it. He became irritable and silent, he could shut himself in a room and stare for hours at the ceiling. Everything that was alive and interesting no longer interests him. He, little by little, stopped progressing in school, stopped studying. Instead of the sounds of the Torah - ethnics and foreign music. He stopped going to synagogue, stopped putting on tefillin, he does not speak. When asked 'what bothers you?' He answers 'nothing' sometimes not at all. We were told... 'The mother could no longer speak.

The father said: "See him go into some disco with a girl ...".

What to do? What would you answer?

There is order in the world and there is development and progress. True, when he was little he was very charming and liked, but how many imaginations and illusions he built, how much he studied Torah to be liked, to stand out, for a million reasons, and now he is growing up and he is disgusted for all reasons, he wants to be himself.

"What do you mean?" The father asks, "all the Torah and the mitzvos and the good of childhood, is not it?"

Sure it's all that good, but he's living it artificially. He must live it himself, in a great and true way. To study Torah because it is good for God to come down from heaven, to keep mitzvos, not to find favor, but because of the deep desire to do good, and in recognition that every mitzvah brings blessing and light and goodness to the world, and every transgression brings sadness and destruction and pain to many creatures.

Cried the mother, 'but he does the exact opposite. He does not study Torah for its own sake, he does not do acts of kindness for its own sake. He left everything. '

True, he meanwhile feels the artificiality of childhood and he dislikes it, he can no longer with it, he is ready for a bigger, more real life. But he's still a kid, he's childish. He is neither a child nor an adult, he is an adolescent. He had abandoned his innocent childhood and had not yet reached adulthood. And it hurts. And there are wounds.

"I'm beginning to understand," said the father, "but what can we do?"

you? You are parents, you should not despair or get upset. You need to know the truth, to know that everything you knew from the good in the little boy - everything is real, but much much more than that.

And all the debauchery of now, it's remnants of childhood that fights birth and should not be admired. Like labor pains and those who sit on the crisis and accompany, love and support. Not that they support, God forbid, evil, selfishness and impurity, but know them for what they are, a fleeting cloud that allows a clearer sunrise of the sun.

And why did I tell you this whole story? All this was not and was not created, but was a parable. And what is the parable? Who is the child? Not the child Israel, but the people of Israel.

At the beginning of the national revival the people awoke with a lot of vigor to build and settle, fight and plant, to build the national body, homeland songs, tremendous enthusiasm and devotion.

Now - coming down from the land, despising Zionism, statehood, disgusted in the land will ask. The main thing is the hedonism of the moment, selfishness.

And what does that mean? All the childish enthusiasm was not real. We are now supervised. The second reversal - the mind versus the emotion. Or rather, the whole first period was real, but superficial. We came to Israel because we fled anti-Semitism, because we were enthusiastic about other national movements, and so on.

The time has come for adolescence. One has to live all this good in a real, holy and independent way. And meanwhile, the transition period, which belittles the whole past, makes it ridiculous, and so on.

What is the role of the young men, Torah scholars in the generation? Do not despair, but constantly find out, first of all for ourselves, what is the meaning of our hold on this land? Not just security reasons, etc., but to get to know and deepen constantly, and in doing so bring about the revolution that is leading to adulthood. In the meantime, endure the wounds and overcome them.

Rabbi Eli Horowitz

From a conversation at the Bnei Akiva branch in Rehovot


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