A Reader Writes The Yated Ne'eman....
Dear Yated Editor,
I address this to the parents of the children who are caught up in the problem with gedolim cards.
Dear suffering parents,
Remember your goals, which are to raise kinderlach al derech haTorah. The photographers and marketers of these cards do not share your goals. They are in it to make money, which is why these cards are printed, attractively packaged, and sold with the plan to withhold certain cards, which in turn, ensures more sales - and not necessarily more ahavas haTorah.
Please understand that any leader in any field (social, community, business, religious, etc.) has become a leader because he/she thinks “outside of the box.” This means that the person has unusual thinking patterns, which sometimes (not always) results in unusual success.
Abusers also think “outside of the box.” This is what sustains their positions as leaders, even in the face of acute distress of those that they are taking advantage of. Their trick is to “out-think” the person or people that they are trying to manipulate. The trick to getting out from under a problem, is to out-think even those who think outside of the box by thinking outside of the box yourself.
Firstly, hang on to your goal of raising good, frum, emesdike kinderlach. While you keep that goal in mind, whatever you come up with must be different than what you have been doing until now, since the same type of thinking that got you into the problem is not going to get you out of it! So change how you approach the ideal of raising your child. Think of new ways to do it.
Here is one “outside of the box” solution. Call up Torah Umesorah, Artscroll, the Agudah, and your local Hebrew Library - whatever - and get any article, essay, etc. that has a photo of your child’s “missing” gadol. Get a copy of it and present it to your son. Do they need a face from the actual set? No, they need the missing face, because the goal is to see the faces of our great leaders. Get any photo. If they are sorry about this paltry replacement (because they want it to match the set), remind them what the overall goal is, and how it can be accomplished in more ways than one.
Alternatively, get a list of the gedolim, and collect your own photos from numerous sources! I myself have a “Tzaddik Album” at home where I paste in whatever nice photos of gedolim come along. This hobby has no parameters. It just unfolds with time and is kept among the family albums.
Remember that people who abuse the system get away with their behaviors because they confuse and frustrate the rest of the world who walk on more common ground. In order to stop them, it will not help to “speak to the hanhala” or take any normal, common action. Normal, common actions is what makes abusers laugh. They expect “normal” and base their game-plan on the well-meaning, generally innocent masses.
To get back control of your own children you, too, must think outside of the box. Take your sanity, pocketbook and child back from the grips of a phenomenon that has simply gotten out of control.
Thanks Pinky, I could not have said it better myself!