LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Will Banning Really Solve the Problem?


Dear VINnews,

Recently, Gedolim have been speaking out against harmful behaviors that have become widespread, even among “Yeshivishe” families.

Smartphones and devices are rampant, and even if they’re “kosher” can be harmful and a huge waste of time. If they’re not kosher, they can break up marriages and drive kids off the derech. Drinking at kiddushes, extravagant simchas, immodest attire — are all major issues. Even marijuana use is more widespread than anyone is willing to admit. Recently, there was a frum concert in which boys and girls engaged in inappropriate dancing, standing right near each other.

Our response is usually to crack down and “ban” bad behavior. And while that may be correct, in my opinion, it does not address the root problem. (It may even exacerbate the problem.)

Sure, we can ban smartphones, concerts, social media. But the real cause of the problem is that the people engaging in these behaviors feel emotionally empty. They are good, pure people, but have a ruchniyus vacuum. Yiddishkeit is lacking in fulfillment, so they turn to other outlets for the “fix” they desperately need.

Some people don’t know why they keep Shabbos or Kashrus, or learn Torah all day. So they go to a concert and push boundaries, thinking “at least I’m at a Jewish concert, not a goyish one”. Or they get plastered at a kiddush, thinking “at least I’m getting to shul, which I find boring and painful.”

Sure, many people DO feel fulfilled. That said, some good, ehrliche people simply don’t connect. They are frum to fit in, but feel a deep void. Maybe we need to do a better job of showing them why being a frum Yid is the most fulfilling and pleasurable way of life.

I’m not chas V’Shalom questioning the Gedolim or suggesting that we should not ban things.

I’m merely saying that we can ban everything under the sun, yet it will not solve the problem of people seeking the next “thrilling adrenaline rush.”

– A concerned Yid

NOTE: The views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of VINNews.

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