MAILBAG: Hi, It’s Me. Yes, I’m Complaining Again

At this time last year, I voiced my chagrin at bochurim calling me on Superbowl Sunday and requesting that I sponsor their seder during the game.

I noted, correctly, that when I was a bochur “never once did I or my yeshivas ever ask for someone to donate to them because we kept regular sedarim.”

For some reason, this got some people up in arms. “You sound like you are very bitter at the Yeshivas and Rosh Yeshivas,” one commenter wrote. Another said that “nobody asked you. Go back to ur mothers basement.”

Putting aside the fact that these retorts to a serious letter are childish, they miss the point completely.

If you could rewind time to about 15-20 years ago, you might be surprised at what Lakewood looked like on Superbowl Sunday. Stores didn’t have “Superbowl Platters” or “Touchdown Platters” and whatever else they’re calling them nowadays. In yeshivos themselves, the Superbowl wasn’t a matter that was taken into account by the hanhala. Of course everyone knew about it, but there was an understanding that it didn’t matter and that we have spiritual pursuits to tend to.

But now, it’s bad enough that food establishments find it acceptable – and even necessary! – to make Superbowl menus. But what’s worse is that this day, this event, is a day of note in our yeshivos – inside our spiritual teivah! It is so much an event that matters in yeshivos that it’s “normal” for bochurim to be calling people to ask for money so that they don’t watch the game! It’s insane!

You can attack me all you want, but we are facing a reality where the outside world that we try to shelter our children from has seeped into our societal consciousness to the point that we don’t even realize that something is going on.

Bochurim asking me for a donation so they can party while not watching the Superbowl is deeply indicative of that problem. It’s a symptom of a much larger issue that we are all choosing to sweep under the rug.

S.M.

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS LETTER DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THOSE OF LAKEWOOD ALERTS. HAVE AN OPINION YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? SEND IT TO US FOR REVIEW AT INFO@LAKEWOODALERTS.COM

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you!! I agree with you 100%!!
    When we give something a space in our world, we ultimately are saying it’s ok, or even worse, it’s important. It should not be on the table. It should not be a topic. It is beneath us.

    • Playing sports is a good outlet. Watching sports is because you want to watch and you think it’s cool to watch with your kid or your kid will think you’re the coolest dad. Your kid shouldn’t be your best friend he should look up to you as a parent and you should have enough sechel to guide him properly

  2. Let me start with the disclaimer that not all change is good. But for good and for not that good the world is a different place than it was 20 years ago. Complaining won’t bring back the old Lakewood that you remember and yearn for. Those are the realities. Now, what action will you take that has a chance of possibly working to improve the reality???

  3. Do not agree because they are not asking to party their trying to do extra learning and chizik seder when theres tumah or distractions out of the bais medresh so they can totaly ask for sponsors and its not a problem.

  4. By blocking thing like the superbowl or other events that are harmless. It push’s our youths away from Torah. Many family’s contain Baal Tshuvahs or people who came from Morden orthodox backgrounds and are being pushed away from life. The life of Torah, but everyone knows what is going on in the world instead of push our people away we need to teach our community how to handle things like the Super Bowl and relate it to why and what the Torah says and gently move away from these things. I work with OTD people I see couples who go out of town to hide from the community to do these there are much more important things then the Super Bowl like drugs, cigarettes, vape and more which is more dangerous. Most yeshiva burchorim don’t know Nachach the history of the Torah of the worlds. are you away that 11% of religious Jews marry out of our faith. Why they are pushed and need love from there families their friend and from the rabbiam. Think about it you hard ways are turning people off. Teach derahceritz. Help save a Jew because this Jew can be part of your family. I know tons of kids and young adults who run away and have kids from our community. Black and white may not always be the answer love is teaching what is going on it is better for our kids to learn about from us not someone else.

  5. I was going for the 49ers. It felt like the days between pesach and shavuos would win. The food wasn’t good either. Chicken got dried out.

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