Connecting to my Son

Reb - New York, New York
Entered on April 7, 2009

I believe people should have compassion for others.

I have a son and when he was younger I would read books to him about the Jewish community dying. But my son’s reaction wasn’t normal. He didn’t cry and he wasn’t sad; he was happy. Being a Hasidic Jew I knew that something wasn’t right. I thought to the Master of the Universe and myself, why am I the man with a brilliant son? And why am I not proud of him? Everyone’s American dream is to have a smart kid that will go off to college and one day does whatever they want to do. But I am different. As a Hasid I believe that my son should learn the Talmud and read only Jewish text, he shouldn’t go to college because he will have to change his appearance.

I have an enormous amount of compassion for people. I am a tzaddick. My job is to help people connect with God and to help solve their problems. I have lost my entire family but now I have a new family and my son needs to learn about compassion. I do not talk to my son unless we are studying the Talmud. My silence gives my son the emotion and compassion, respect and empathy for others and an awareness of the suffering of others.

A majority of people would say I am a terrible father.

Now I wouldn’t disagree with them if I were an outsider looking in. I understand how a father not speaking to his son would look, one might be curious but other’s might believe I am foolish. But I have learned that what is important is that my son understands why I am silent to him.

My son is the greatest thing that has happened to me. Without him I don’t know where I would be. There would be no more Talmud battles, no one I can count on and most importantly no more point in living life.

I believe the fact that one can cry and show emotion and compassion enables us to be strong and live a life worth living.