When Your Child Says Goodbye to Religion

28 Apr 2015

You send your child to the best day school or yeshiva; celebrate Shabbat and chagim joyously. But one day, your child announces that he or she is no longer religiously observant. It’s painful. How do you understand your child’s decision to leave behind something that means so much to you? How do you relate to your child when you don’t speak the same language?

This is a challenge that far too many parents face, and they deal with it in a variety of different ways. What follows is a remarkably candid letter by one such mother. We welcome responses to the letter in order to facilitate a constructive exchange of ideas to help guide parents who are dealing with similar situations.

HaDassah Sabo Milner, “a Welsh Jew who lives in Monsey,” writes on her blog about the experience of one of her sons telling her that he was no longer Torah observant.

“The day my son told me he was no longer religious is one that will live forever in my memory. He was no longer living at home and was thousands of miles away when he felt ready to break the news to us… And here was one of my precious children rejecting his religious upbringing, and it felt like he was rejecting me. I felt my heart shatter into a thousand pieces.”

Read the full piece here.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.