If our children are struggling with spirituality (“The struggle for teen spirituality,” Oct. 28), then we need to look at the parents, teachers, and the greater surroundings in which we have placed our children. Spirituality is a learned behavior. Belief in God begins as an internal spark, but if it is not kept lit by the people around us, each one of us will struggle to keep it alive in ourselves and in others.
Spirituality for a child must start the moment a pregnancy begins. We say that God works through nature, but how many of us have internalized this concept? How many of us have given this over to our children and students? Math, reading, science, and history are all part of God’s world. But we have separated it out so that subjects of learning, including “sacred studies,” are somehow distinct and different from God’s world.
Our schools, synagogues, and homes are filled with non-believers in the classic sense – they practice religion but do not necessarily believe in God. A quick anonymous vote would prove that, I believe.
Rabbi Yaakov Glasser is quoted in the article as saying, “My most important goal is to reveal to parents…the questions that are bothering kids about Judaism, what is it they’re struggling with.” Maybe the parents are struggling, too. It is time to talk about the gorilla in the room; this crisis is not just about our teens.