Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

RabbiHorowitz.com

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
iPod
touch
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.


Defining Deviancy Down - Part Two
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

  Rated by 1 user   |   Viewed 8473 times since 11/27/06   |   1 Comment
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend
   

11/27/06
Defining Deviancy Down (Part 2)

By: Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

ANSWERING OUR CALL

As I prepare to close this series of columns, and move to teen parenting articles, I keep thinking of the ramifications of the transformation of New York City as it relates to the teen-smoking-alcohol-drug issue. I am not chas v’shalom (G-d forbid) implying that we have mass lawlessness, which needs to be cleaned up. I am saying, however, that we have defined deviancy downward very significantly over the past decade or so. I am suggesting that we may be lulled into a false sense of security by the outstanding successes of our Yeshiva and Beis Yakov system. And we may be numbed by repeated exposure to observing teen drinking and smoking, in the timeless words of our chazal, “avar ve'shana na'aseis lo k'heter” (loosely translated to mean that one becomes numbed by repeated sins to the point that they almost appear to the sinner as a mitzvah).

We are winking at the alarming, growing rate of drinking and smoking among our teens – while at the same time denying them access to healthy hobbies and sports opportunities in our schools and communities. We are subjecting our boys (and girls) to longer and longer school days with mounting pressure – while at the same time ignoring behaviors (smoking and drinking) that we would never have tolerated years ago.

What is most frightening to me is our tolerance level to this phenomenon. It is as if we have “No Radio” signs on our homes. There may be a problem with smoking or drinking or drugs in Eretz Yisroel and the States, but at least it is not our son or daughter (We hope).

Two months ago in this space, I ran excerpts from an article by a menahel of a Yeshiva about his recent trip to Eretz Yisroel. He wrote about observing dozens of frum teens openly smoking marijuana in the streets of Yerushalayim. I hunkered down and waited for the barrage of emails and letters accusing me of over-dramatization and yeshiva bashing. Never happened. Its as if the collective response was, “Nice article Yankie – please pass the salt.”

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

There is a tremendous dichotomy over the protectiveness that we exhibit with our children: we scrutinize our younger children’s playmates and ban children who use bathroom language from our homes – while we act as if we are powerless to stop the thugs who are pushing drugs to our teenage kids.

Bulletin!!! There is a gambling establishment located above one of the more popular restaurants in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. It is run and operated by non-religious people from the former Soviet Union and is almost exclusively frequented by frum, white-shirted kids. (A frum therapist informed me that he is treating several couples that lost their entire savings and wedding gifts at similar establishments that cater to frum teens and young adults.) It is common knowledge that if you want to play a good game of “Texas” Poker, that is the place to go. The entrance to this establishment is several feet from where hundreds of frum parents walk each day. WHY IS THE PLACE STILL OPEN? I heard about it from the kids weeks ago. If a 40-something, charedi Menahel with a day job like myself found out about this, why couldn’t you, my readers, do the same? Why aren’t we pressuring our elected officials to crack down on substance abuse? Are we concerned about making a chilul Hashem? Are we afraid to make waves? I have had conversations with quite a number of well-placed individuals over the years. The police and elected officials are of the opinion that our community has neither the stomach nor the desire to clean up our streets. And, off the record, they feel that if there is an arrest of a (frum) drug pusher, “We will get calls from the rabbis” to release him.

A TIME FOR ACTION

These programs will cost considerable money, but I do believe that there is enough money out there for good and vitally important things to happen. This must however be predicated by our desire to raise the bar of acceptable norms in our community and an open refusal to continue to define deviancy down.

© 2003 Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, all rights reserved



To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.


Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:              Rated by 1 user    (1 comment)
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)

Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


1. Where?     1/3/07 - 9:05 AM
Anonymous

Why not say exactly where this gambling establishment is? I live in Boro Park and have no idea where it is. Hard to protest with vague information.

  Rate & Write a Comment!
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at admin@RabbiHorowitz.com and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.



Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593
email: email@kosherjewishparenting.com


Advertisements