What’s Happening?

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Americans are aghast. Parents want to know what went wrong? Psychologists want to understand what makes such young children’s minds turn so monstrous? Teachers want to know who’s responsible? Police are searching for a motive. Politicians are looking to pass laws that will end these shocking murders. And papers continue filling up their pages with stories of senseless killings that are being committed by kids barely out of their diapers.

Everyone is busy blaming it on everyone else. Some blame it on the gun culture while others say it’s all about the lack of moral teachings. Others blame it the “Nintendo fad” that teaches kids to kill en masse and claim it’s only a harmless game. Others point to movies, TV. and video shows that have surpassed even the morality of the Sedomites. It’s Johnny see, Johnny do! The line between fantasy and reality has become blurred and the seeds of violence continue to grow while the ages of those responsible seems to become lower. Few could have imagined kids shooting down their classmates 20 years ago, yet nowadays it seems routine. What’s happening?

Actually, it isn’t really necessary to spend millions of dollars for studies to know the answer. The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind… the answer is blowing in the wind!

Just tell me the last time you’ve heard of a Yeshivah or Hebrew Day School student arrested for the possession of knives, guns or any dangerous weapon? Have you ever seen metal detectors at the entrance? Is there a need for police guards walking the hallways? Must the teachers wear bullet-proof vests? The last I remember is a yeshiva boy being suspended from school for squirting a water gun at another boy during recess and another child suspended for chewing gum during class.

Just compare a Pirchei Siyum Mishnayos to lehavdil a gathering of youngsters at a rock concert. Compare a Purim to lehavdil their Halloween. While we may sometimes fail in teaching our students proper middos and derech eretz, we’re still light years away from the behavior exhibited by the “now generation”.

In an age where sinful diseases run rampant and people refuse to acknowledge the connection, what chance is there to get them to stop. To a generation that demands pills that stimulate and bring pleasure despite the knowledge that they are thereby killing themselves, how can life have any value or meaning?

When the superhighway is turned into a super-cesspool and modern technology is drowning in the sins of pleasure and decadence is it a wonder that an epidemic of violence erupts that threatens to bury us in its mud slide! With a President that sets lower and lower moral standards with each passing day how does one expect a ten year old to behave any better?

How thankful we therefore must be when we say each morning “Ashreinu Ma tov chelkeinu, u’ma no’im goraleinu, u’ma yafa ye’rushaseinu”.