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High There

High there!

If you are a parent you should know the following information. If you are an educator you should also be aware of this. If you are or have been a student in the last few years you already know. There is a very high percentage of drug use amongst students in Modern Orthodox Yeshiva High Schools in the New York, New Jersey area. I live in Yerushalayim but this is what I am told by many, many people. I have never heard anyone claim otherwise. If a boy goes to high school and does NOT use drugs he is in the MINORITY! I know that some will be angry at me for publicly airing the dirty laundry but this is so well known without me that I am saying nothing new. I write in order to ask the following question. IS ANYONE DOING ANYTHING ABOUT THIS EPIDEMIC? By the way, it doesn't necessarily stop when the student comes to Israel. Vi'hamaivin Yavin....

I don't have a solution to the problem. My expertise is giving tourists directions in the Old City ["Excuse me do you understand English?" "If you speak slowly." "How do you get to the Kotel?" "Sorry, never been there..."] not solving rampant drug use. But I have a thought. I have never met anybody who was deeply involved in learning Torah who was the slightest bit interested in drugs. The "high" one gets from thinking of a chiddush in Torah is far more exhilarating and meaningful than any foreign substance.

So I think that part of the answer is to give our youth deep spiritual experiences and then they won't have to graze in foreign pastures. But alas the message that our youth is getting is "Life is about having fun - just don't get caught if what you are doing is illegal. And don't take Judaism too seriously lest you end up like the son of Mr. So and So who [G-D save us] never went to college [a cardinal sin in the eyes of many] and is learning in some kollel in Israel. Parasite. Be like So and So who went to Harvard and is now earning six figures." I am feeling so nauseous quoting the popular rhetoric that I must end this post soon and thus prevent myself from vomiting.

If you think that my impression is wrong I would love to hear from you.

Peace and Brotherhood from the Highest and Holiest City!

When I was in high school, I found that the people who you are talking about were those who had issues at home - mainly with their parents... that is not to say that anyone who has loving and supportive parents is immune from these influences but taking a real interest in your child and not letting them be raised on "cruise control" really helps. My parents were very involved in my life and encouraged me to pursue my healthy interests (while not pushing their own!) and warned me of the unhealthy ones...Though I agree with Rav Ally that Torah would be a great hobby to choose instead of drugs - most teenagers need to do something "cool" so if the people they look up to like their parents or teachers (Rebbeim) are encouraging healthy "cool" things and then slip some Torah in there, who knows - Torah may become the "cool" thing

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Thanks Doctor!

I wonder if "aweisstuch" has children. It sounds like he really knows what he is talking about.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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