Rabbi Yakov Horowitz writes:
…We are deluding ourselves – and ignoring the lessons of history – if we think that we are somehow immune from another colossal tidal wave of children leaving Yiddishkeit [i.e., the haredi world] in the years to come.…
I keep getting calls from concerned parents from very charedi and chassidish homes asking me how to respond to their teenage children’s requests for IPOD’s. These are sheltered children from heimishe homes. Their parents are rightfully terrified of what the implications are for saying yes to the request, but correctly realize that saying no to the request without a good reason will be counterproductive. They also fully understand that their children can buy it without their permission if they really want to.
What is also unsettling is the fact that many of these parents have no idea what an IPOD is. So there you have it. Kids speaking a language that their parents don’t understand. Children acclimating to a new environment while their parents are like … well, immigrants. The last time we had that experience was on the Lower East Side. Do you have any idea what percentage of the kids left Yiddishkeit in that generation?…
I would argue Jews of that generation left haredism and Orthodoxy because of the combination of stagnant leadership and real theological challenges from science. The apparent impotance of God during the Holocaust (or His participation is same) didn’t help, either.
The problem isn’t iPods. The problem is rabbis and their failed policies.
Rabbi Horowitz is a good guy, fighting a good fight. But until the haredi world opts to choose good, nothing he says will really matter.