Joel Rebibo’s article, “Not All Or Nothing” (“On Second Thought,” June 26, 2019), was both inspirational and refreshing. There are, unfortunately, so many parents suffering from the test of challenging children. I find that we focus so much on the pain of our wayward youth that the pain of their parents is left invalidated. Mr. Rebibo acknowledges the frustration of parents who have invested so much and empowers them with his encouraging words.
I would like to add that such parents must reap much greater reward for the tireless efforts they invest in the rest of their children. Once a parent experiences firsthand the reality that any child can, at any moment, become estranged from their family and/or faith, they could possibly become discouraged. Yet we see that these parents do continue to raise their other children with devotion. These heroic parents should know that their fellow Jews have shed their judgmental views. By now, we all know that this phenomenon can occur even in the most wholesome and loving home. These parents should know that we are looking at them in awe and admiration for every bit of effort that they invest in all of their children. We admire how they keep the door open, awaiting the day that their child will return.
Please know that your efforts are a kiddush Hashem and that we are davening for you to reap nachas from all of your children.
Mr. Rebibo responds:
Thank you for the kind feedback and for sharing your beautiful insights. May the column, enhanced immeasurably by your letter, be a source of comfort to those you correctly call heroic parents, and assist the community at large to better understand and support them.