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Rabbi Twerski story...."You love yourself"

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Feb 14 2021, 3:13 pm
I was listening to some of the brilliant thoughts and speeches from Rabbi Twerski this past week and he told the following story. A rebbe sees a man eating fish and asks him why he's eating fish. The man replies it's because he loves fish. The rebbe tells him that he took the fish out of water, killed and cooked it, and is now chewing and swallowing it. Of course it's not the fish he loves, but himself.


I've been stuck on this story since I heard it and it makes me sad. I've been applying it to so many situations in real life and it's awful. Here's one:


My older son is brilliant. He's a straight A student with a great personality. When we applied for high schools for him a few years ago we were greeted warmly. The yeshivos were welcoming and were eager to partner with us on his journey. They loved him! He had his choice of several yeshivos who were all eager for him to choose them. When my daughter applied to high school last year it was the opposite experience. We got waitlisted every time. We had to ask everyone we knew who might have some pull to beg them to accept her. And it got me thinking. Did the yeshivos love my son? I realize they didn't. They love themselves. They want quality boys because the students are a reflection of the yeshiva and top students make the yeshivos and administrators look good. The same yeshivos that were smiling at my son were slamming the door at weaker students who weren't a good asset to the yeshiva.

And sadly I realize that's what our children are. Assets. Some are better assets if they are top learners, have big yichus, or from wealthy families. If an applicant lacks all of those, they are a weak asset. Below average student, no family money, and not from a prestigious family? Why would we partner with you if we could get a better asset?


Is this way of thinking accurate? Am I missing something?
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proudmomma




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 14 2021, 3:22 pm
This is an accurate yet bleak depiction of our current yeshiva system. It wasn't always like this. After the Holocaust every Jewish child was a treasure! Many children from irreligious homes were accepted with open arms and went on to raise beautiful religious families. It's really sad how far we've fallen.
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amother




Mustard
 

Post Sun, Feb 14 2021, 3:29 pm
The way I see it, accepting the "best" bachurim is cheating. It's a way to manipulate stats without getting the job done.
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groisamomma




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 14 2021, 3:29 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Is this way of thinking accurate? Am I missing something?


When I heard the story many years ago it made me think whether the things I wanted for my children was because I liked myself and wanted it to be good for my reflection and reputation but I guess we can choose to use the story to look outward at others and their failings, too.
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amother




Slateblue
 

Post Sun, Feb 14 2021, 3:37 pm
What an important story and insight. Thank you for sharing.
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amother




Yellow
 

Post Sun, Feb 14 2021, 5:56 pm
I think many of us, without realizing it, act as if our children are our assets or a reflection on us, the parents.

We want them to do well, get into good schools, find a nice spouse. For them. But also for us.

It's a constant necessity to remind ourselves that our child is his/her own person. We love them despite their faults. We love them despite their religious level. We love them despite their failures and despite how other people/entities/system value them or don't value them.
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