MAILBAG: If You’re Putting Up Hostage Signs In Lakewood, Please Stop

The war in Eretz Yisroel has gripped all of us, and the plight of the hostages being held by Hamas and the other inhumane terrorists in Gaza is difficult to fathom. But, please, stop putting up signs about them around Lakewood.

The hostage situation is heartbreaking and should be publicized in general, but Lakewood doesn’t need it. Frum Jews represent the overwhelming majority of Lakewood – what exactly are we trying to gain by showing each other photos of “kidnapped” signs? We are all on the same page – the hostages must come home. All it is actually “accomplishing” is causing mental health issues among our children.

I am a teacher in a wonderful local school. The girls in my class are not old enough to properly digest the news and meaning of the abduction of 240 innocent people, let alone properly grieve the killing of 1,200 innocents in an unfathomably horrific terrorist attack. And I hear it from them, over and over. They are confused, they are afraid. They see these signs without context and fear that they are next. Some of them are already in therapy over the trauma it is causing them.

I am not, in any way, suggesting that we should make believe the hostages don’t exist. I’m not arguing that we, adults, should not be concerned about them, think about them, and daven for them. But Lakewood doesn’t need signs to remind it; we remember it because they are our brothers and sisters, our friends, neighbors, cousins.

All that we have done so far with the signs is traumatize little children. I’m sorry, but that’s the fact, and I see it daily with my own eyes.

So, put up hostage signs. Just don’t do it in Lakewood. It’s causing more harm than good.

Thank you,

A Concerned Teacher

The views expressed in this letter do not necessarily reflect those of Lakewood Alerts. Have an opinion you would like to share? Send it to us for review at Info@LakewoodAlerts.com

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25 COMMENTS

    • Absolutely. It doesn’t raise awareness to preach to the choir so there’s no benefit anyone and it’s not advancing any cause, and it’s damaging the mental health of Jewish children. Don’t you agree?

    • IpchahMistavra we should never know of such things but putting up signs in Lakewood isn’t going to help get the hostages back any sooner. And she does have a strong point about the effects it’s having on the children…..

      • Bring your kids here to isrealso they can feel it..you are wrong yes put up sighns all over the world there are little kids there .. it is your job as a parent to sit your kids down amd tell them or the school dont hide it under the table over 1450 ppl were butchered up. Im not saying to tell the kids the glory info but yes basic

  1. We are not all for the exchange of the hostages. Inasmuch as it may seem cruel, the war cannot be won if we reduce it to :The Hostages Must Come Home.” Sometimes sacrifices need to be made for there to be a victory. Maharam Rottenberg paskened it was assur to ransom him because the precedent it would set would encourage further ransomings and endanger more Jewish lives. Must I remind you that the October 7 massacre was the brainchild of ONE terrorist of the many that were exchanged for the release of Gilad Shalit.

  2. I don’t see how Lkwd children are any different from any other children in any other neighborhood
    Should Israel stop putting up signs because of its children??
    Anyone with a bit of common sense (you don’t need too much)should be able to explain these issues in a child age appropriate way
    This is no difference then Chas vesholom a young child loosing a parent
    If the children in your class are traumatized and you can’t figure it out on your own perhaps get in touch with chai lifeline as they are equipped and can walk you thru how to talk and explain it to the children in your class but that’s not a reason not to put up signs Lakewood should put up more signs I haven’t seen any in my neighborhood
    what does this say about us =lakewooders that people drive by and don’t see any signs at all are we ignoring the whole tragedy? Of course we say tehilim after each tefila
    but what does the non Jew or non religious Jew think to himself when he drives thru Lakewood and theirs barely a sign the whole route 9 was theirs not 1 sign!
    It’s a CHILUL HASHEM!
    Go out and get your signs and put it all over
    How do we expect the world to be concerned when we look as if we don’t care ?

  3. I understand your concerns about the impact of hostage signs in Lakewood, particularly on our children. However, we must recognize that the discomfort caused by these signs pales in comparison to the suffering of the hostages and their families.

    Avoiding the issue doesn’t make it go away. These signs serve as a reminder that our community stands united against terrorism, and we won’t turn a blind eye to the atrocities being committed. While I sympathize with the emotional toll on our children, shielding them from reality won’t prepare them for the world we live in.

    Perhaps instead of advocating for silence, we should focus on providing age-appropriate explanations and support systems for our children. The trauma caused by these signs is nothing compared to the trauma suffered by the victims. Let’s not prioritize our comfort over the urgency of addressing a dire situation affecting real people.

  4. While I understand the concern for the mental well-being of our community, living in a bubble of comfort won’t shield us from the harsh realities of the world. Avoiding the display of hostage signs in Lakewood because it makes us uncomfortable is a disservice to the gravity of the situation.

    Our children may be sheltered from the immediate context, but they’ll eventually confront the complexities of the world we live in. Ignorance doesn’t protect them; it hinders their ability to develop resilience and understanding.

    Rather than perpetuating a bubble mentality, let’s use this opportunity to teach our children about compassion, and the importance of standing up against injustice. We can find age-appropriate ways to educate them while still acknowledging the severity of the hostage situation.

    It’s time to burst the bubble and recognize that our community is part of a broader world. Confronting uncomfortable truths is a necessary step towards building empathy and contributing to positive change, both within and beyond the borders of Lakewood

  5. “Some of them are already in therapy”

    I’m sorry, but if that’s true, then I feel like those girls already had pre-existing mental health issues.

  6. I really don’t agree. All children know that there are hostages. If ur a teacher u should should b trying ur best to answer any questions that these children might have on a kid level. kids know a lot and don’t ask cuz they might b scared of not getting an answer. Thats much worse.

  7. Stop sheltering kids start, instead of help them process things they have to understand. Don’t think that them not seeing those signs is going to make them feel any better. They’re still gonna hear the adults around them speak about it, maybe sometimes in a hushed tones but they’re gonna hear it regardless.
    The kids that know they’re being kept in the dark, are the ones that get hurt the most as opposed to the ones that the parents are more open with them.

  8. How heartless of you? If you are an educator you should give your students the context. Yes, they should fear what can come to Lakewood too and therefore having an awareness is important.
    Why not have your girls wrote letters to your congressional representatives on behalf of the hostages who can’t. Why not give them a name to say tehillim for?
    If it happened in America, I am sure no one in Israel would express what you did. Shame on you.

  9. I appreciate that you actually believe that children are unable to process the hostage situation as well as adults. In reality children are able to process tragedy much better than adults and living through difficulties creates shock absorbers that will be use as adults.
    We are highly mistaken when we think that undulating our kids is helpful. The opposite is true.

  10. What a Chilul Hashem for you to disgustingly tell people not to put up flyers of the kidnapped hostages. What kind of person are you? How would you feel if any of the kidnapped were your family or friends. Shame on you. Don’t like them, then don’t bloody look at them😼

    • I’m appalled that so many people posting here feel compelled to insult a Jewish woman who deserves “dan l’kav schus” with unrestrained, maligning, vicious, personally insulting, degrading and abusive language. You may disagree with this teacher’s suggestion, but when did it start becoming acceptabl- When did speaking in public with such hatred to a fellow Jew become mutar?

      Is this self-hatred not the root of our exile? If you’re unable to speak civilly —ie, without ad hominem attack– to peoplewith whom you disagree, you shouldn’t speak until you’re more in control of the deep-seated anger that elicits this socially unacceptable behavior.

      Please. Before publicly trashing a Jew, ask yourself if you’d be proud to have your children, your friends, your parents, your Rabbonim, Chazal—hear you speaking this way to a fellow Jew—a chelek elokah mi’maal. Do these insults give H’KBH nachas?

      Has anyone who has spewed vulgar, offensive personal invective here has posted their name? That’s likely not a coincidence. Do our attempts to abuse a Jew with insulting, degrading, language come from the sitra d’kedusha or—or Rchmna Litzman–the opposite ?

      Ahavas Yisrael. Ahavas Yisrael. Ahavas Yisrael

  11. BSD Should we just hide the hostages? Pretend they don’t exist? Hiding cruelty will not end cruelty! This is an opportunity to teach our children about the realities of life, of being a Yid in 5784/21st century. Use this as an educational time. Not a time to hide. If your children or students are stressed, can you imagine what the child hostages are experiencing? Their families!

  12. WE ARE THEIR ONLY ADVOCATES! THESE ARE INNOCENT PEOPLE WHO HAD THEIR FREEDOM STRIPPED AWAY.

    WAKE UP!!

    IF NOT US, THEN WHO?
    IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?

    AM YISRAEL NEEDS TO STAND UNITED.

    TRY EXPLAINING TO YOUR STUDENTS HOW JEWS AROUND THE GLOBE ARE BEING ATTACKED. SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE JEWISH – JUST LIKE THE HOLOCAUST!

    WE NEED TO BE INFORMED & SPREAD AWARENESS, IF WE WANT TO STAY SAFE & PREVENT FURTHER LOSSES.

    TAKING DOWN HOSTAGE POSTERS MAKES YOU A PART OF THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION.

    LAKEWOOD IS NOT IMMUNE TO ANTISEMITISM.

    STAY SAFE – השם ישמור

    🇮🇱עם ישראל חי🇮🇱

  13. Rebbitzin Ostrich with no qualifications in mental health, wants to bury her students heads in the charedi sand, lest they become encouraged to write letters to Congressmen, Senators and become pro-Jewish activists in a public manner. It’s not good for shidduchim!

  14. I think this article should be taken down! I’m appalled at the lack of sensitivity by this writer!! My children see the signs in Lakewood daily & I’m glad that they are davening more intensely for the hostages as the signs serve as a reminder. I find it extremely hard to believe that her students are in therapy due to the signs. And FYI the signs are everywhere not only Lakewood

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