Friday, April 1, 2011

A Word from the Director: 4/1/2011

Last night was the Shloshim of our dear friend Ori, O.B.M. His younger brother made a Siyum Mishnayis in his memory. It was an evening of inspiration and tremendous Chizuk for all. His mom asked me to share a Facebook message that she received from one of Ori’s friends. It is a very clear message that has been on the forefront as of late, and is being addressed by prestigious individuals, including the President of the United States. The names of individuals are left out in order to protect the innocent:
It’s been about a month now and I still think about Ori everyday. Unfortunately, I don't have the best memories of Ori. I think about the harassment he would go through on a daily basis. He definitely did not have it easy at school. I think of how hard it must have been to be picked on constantly, and to be publicly humiliated on a daily basis at school. I still can’t imagine….just how hard it was for him.

I wish I could go back in time and maybe I could have made a difference when we were in a school together. But being an adult now, I know that can’t happen, so I need to use this situation as a lesson to be learned. A lesson on how bullying can destroy a kids self esteem and cause great harm to a kids life down the line. I have learned a huge lesson from this experience and know I will act differently if I see young kids teasing others. G-d willing, I will teach my kids not to bully other kids and to reach out and defend a kid if he is being bullied. Reaching out to a kid like Ori could have made all the difference and I will regret that I did not do more forever.

It’s kind of interesting the day I heard the tragic news about Ori I immediately knew it was from the bullying. I called my mom the morning of the funeral and I told my mom to tell her class not to bully. I told her to tell her class that this tragedy was a direct result of someone picked on as a kid. It took me until now to realize that was the message.

I am really so sorry for your loss.
I believe that this is a very strong message. Bullying occurs daily in every school, in every system, unfortunately even within our community. The effects of bullying must be brought to the forefront in our schools and given the attention it deserves.

Have a good Shabbos

Rabbi Gavriel Hershoff

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