Sunday, November 16, 2008
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
Orthodox Jews who become atheists seem to follow a fairly consistent pattern:
- Trauma. They experience some very painful incident or incidents. This means that in this person’s perception, the event was traumatic. Some people are much more sensitive than others are to the same experience.
- Medication. They use sex to console themselves and to distract themselves from their pain. This may be anything from flirting to masturbation to actual intercourse. Pornography is usually important; for girls, this means romance novels.
- Rationalization. In order not to feel guilty about their sexual misconduct, they deny the validity of the Torah and/or the existence of God.
This clarifies why explaining proofs of Torah to an ex-Orthodox atheist is never effective. He may claim that he is convinced of atheism because of philosophical reasons; however this is never the case. He needs the atheistic philosophy merely to remove the guilt which he would otherwise have to face.
To prevent atheism, the first step is to try and shelter your child from trauma. Some suggestions are:
- If you are married with children, do not divorce.
- If you do divorce, live nearby your former spouse.
- Do not become angry with your child. Discipline in a calm, well thought out way.
- Frequently show your child love and affection.
- Deal with any academic or social problems your child is having as quickly as possible. Stay in close contact with his teachers.
In addition to this, encourage Torah study as much as possible. I have yet to find an atheist who had learned in yeshiva more than a few years past age 20. The most solid foundation in Torah is vital. And obviously, avoid exposing your child to pornography. If you have Internet, you MUST have filtering software.
If the child has already reached the point of medicating his pain with sex, this is a crisis situation however all is not yet lost. Counseling and therapy, perhaps for the entire family, may be helpful. Perhaps the child can still be convinced to find more positive coping mechanisms. Obviously, a parent must be aware of a problem. Internet monitoring software may be very helpful. If a boy remains in bed until late in the morning this may be a sign that he is masturbating until late at night. A hidden camera with night vision in his bedroom might be helpful.
Once the child has reached the stage of rationalization, and has denied the Torah, then all hope is presumably lost. The child should be expelled from the home in order to avoid a bad influence on others. If he is under 18, then the parents are legally obligated to support him however they should do so by placing him in a boarding school. He should not be allowed contact with siblings.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 7:45 PM