Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

The Million-Dollar Question: A Symposium

Yonoson Rosenblum / Rabbi Moshe Duvid Niederman / Rabbi Steven Weil / Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald / Rabbi Aharon Hersh Fried

We invited our panelists to address three questions: what they feel is the single most burning issue facing Jewry today; if they had a million dollars, what plan would they develop to solve it; and, even without that million-dollar grand scheme, what one action, insight, or change by the individual could actually help make our landscape a better place?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

moneyRabbi Zecharya Greenwald

What’s the single most burning issue of the day?

The greatest single issue facing us today is the self-esteem of our children. This is a pervasive issue that is the root of and goes way beyond the many children who are not doing well in our society. We are raising a generation of children who are scared, superficial, and trying to be something that has been created by people who hope that with rules and regulations we can control a generation of children to meet our expectations. I deal almost daily with men, women, and children who are sad and disenchanted because they do not believe they can ever be good enough to be worthy of Hashem’s love.

I recently met with 16-year-old, 11th grader from a prestigious school. She asked if I could give her an idea that would help make her “worth something.” A few minutes of discussion taught me that she is successful in school academically and socially, comes from a nice family and does not suffer from emotional or psychological disruptions. But in her mind she has something worse than all of those things: she has a yetzer hara! She is remorseful and convinced that she is going to a very bad place because she is drawn to things that she knows are not “good.” She seriously believes that she is “evil incarnate.” She would never discuss this with her principal or parents because, in her words, “they would think I’m a problem child.” She wants to be “good, not a problem.”

This pattern is consistent with a young person faced with expectations that are not related to her persona, individuality, and capability. She is a good girl trying hard to be a perfect girl and convinced that her inability to be such makes her worthless. 

 

 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message
ad
 
Fallen Idols
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Even the best of values can become idolatry
Declaring Bankruptcy
Yonoson Rosenblum The implosion of the Conservative movement
Something from Nothing
Eytan Kobre Israel should go for a bigger win than baseball
The Business Trip
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger Sometimes business trips aren’t strictly business
Take 5: John Sculley
Michal Stein The former CEO of Pepsi, Apple, and now RxAdvance on his...
Death and Taxes
Jacob L. Freedman Aliyah ups, downs, and all-arounds
Perspective Shift
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman Single, female, Orthodox, adult: not an oxymoron
Mission with Ambition
Faigy Peritzman The way you see her is what she will become
Drop the Nagging
Sarah Chana Radcliffe You can gain cooperation, but not by nagging
Trying Our Patience
Rebbetzin Aviva Feiner Savlanus isn’t just patience, it’s endurance
Redeeming Factor
Shoshana Itzkowitz “When was the last time we ate a meal behind the dryer?”