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Daughters At Risk

Guest Comments

Many readers have shared feedback to Rabbi Moshe Grylak’s series on young girls who no longer feel welcome in their own homes. The following is a sampling of the responses to this painful, confusing scenario, offered from four different perspectives.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dear Rabbi Grylak… In your recent column, your conclusions made no sense to me. No sense at all. Forget about the fact that they made my bile rise so that I felt nauseous to the pit of my stomach. They were simply wrong. forward and tars us with the brush of assumptions. We have been judged in so many ways, and found lacking. It is astonishing how in this generation of diminished prophecy, people have the confidence to state without doubt exactly where and when we went wrong. As if we don’t judge ourselves enough without their kindly assistance. As if we don’t ask our own questions.

Still, I did not expect to read more of the same in a column of yours.

You cannot fathom how a girl finds herself on the streets, ostensibly abandoned by her parents… well, I can’t either. All I can state in our defense is that life is not sketched in black and white. And even though we often wish we had our answers all neatly wrapped up — sometimes we get handed a mess. A riddle so confoundingly complicated that we cannot begin to unravel the wrapping and get to the heart of the matter. We do the best we can.

One thing I declare with resounding clarity, and I say this on behalf of all those parents out there who are suffering a million torments, most probably lying awake, like I do, while the rest of the world slumbers: Revenge was never a motivating factor. Never!

We see the shame and disgrace as Heaven-sent, our daughter as Hashem’s shaliach. And while we have experienced a multitude of harsh feelings, they mingle in our heart with compassion, even love. As to our daughter not being our property to do with as we please — this became patently clear at the very first buds of rebellion.

It is time to display a little collective humility and realize that other peoples’ actions, both parents’ and their intransigent children’s, cannot always be easily explained. People are complex. Situations are complex. Factors vary from family to family. However much we crave having our answers down pat — such is life. In our own sorry saga, being ever more forgiving got us nowhere, while leaving our daughter no option but to take control of her own life has proven to be the beginning of her salvation.


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