Don't send your kids to Crown Heights without a program
Therefore, I urge all parents, with love and caution, not to send your teens to Crown Heights for Tishrei unless they have a full program every day of the week, 24 hours a day.
Rabbi Shea Hecht
As we approach Tishrei - of a Shnas Hakhel- many families are considering sending their teenage sons and daughters (sometimes even younger) to Crown Heights for Yom Tov in order to draw from the deep well of Chabad richness - the Rebbe's Shul, the Sukkah, the Ohel and the streets of the Schunah.
Undoubtedly, many parents feel that the time spent in Crown Heights is a time to charge or recharge the batteries of our children to help them tackle a year of learning, Mivtzoim and success.
There is no Kedushah in the world like Crown Heights in Tishrei, however, a cornerstone of Chabad philosophy is "Zeh LeUmas Zeh Asah Elokim" and therefore great caution is necessary.
The fact is that over the past few years, I have seen and heard about teens that have come to Crown Heights for the month of Tishrei and were seriously harmed B'Gashmius and B'Ruchnius. They were lost to their family and lost to their community. Leaving teens on their own - without supervision - is never a good idea.
Therefore, I urge all parents, with love and caution, not to send your teens to Crown Heights for Tishrei unless they have a full program every day of the week, 24 hours a day. Your children need where to eat, sleep, daaven and learn. Aditionally, there should be an adult supervising their living accommodations. Every moment should be formatted in a way that your child will only be able to draw from the light and not get blinded.
A teenager needs a full schedule. Anything less will cause a problem. If a teen is not in a constructive program, they're in a destructive program. And if teens are not in a constructive mode they're in a destructive mode.
Our children are our most precious commodity. Parents are first and foremost responsible for their own children. Many times they are the only ones who care for their child.
To the wonderful community of Crown Heights I say this: "If you see something, say something." If you see teens involved in negative activities such as purposeless drinking, hanging around, or not in a productive mode, please say something. That's what we would want others to do for our children. Let's do it for theirs.
In the Zechus of caring for each others children may we be blessed with a K'siva, V'Chasima Tova and a Gut Gebensht Yar.
May we be Zocheh to see Nachas from our children.
16 Elul 5768