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Peace in Triplicate - Family

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Topic: Baalei Teshuvah Schools in Jerusalem for Women

Name@Withheld from Mexico wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Hi! Well, I have two questions: I'm a ba'alat teshuva for almost two years and my parents are not very happy now. Because I just finished high school in a Jewish secular school here in Mexico and I think it's time to study Torah full time. I'm sure that the best place is Israel, in Jerusalem. But my parents don't want me to go there. But I want to go! What can I do? How can I get their permission? Because I don't want to go without their permission; it will be very difficult for me and also for them. And the other question is: Where can I go? Do you have a school for girls? If you do, please, I beg you to send me all the information as soon as possible. Thank you very much.

Dear Name@Withheld,

It is wonderful that you want to study Torah, and to do so in Israel. Israel may definitely be the best place for you to study.

You asked: "How can I get my parents' permission?" I guess this is going to sound pretty obvious, but the only way to "get" your parents permission is for them to "give" it to you. And the only way you can possibly hope for them to give their permission is through clear and mature communication. You need to understand clearly why they object to your going to Israel.

Are they afraid that it's not safe in Israel? Are they worried that you will not be in a supervised environment? Or are they afraid that you will like Israel and decide to live here, far away from them? Perhaps they are afraid that in Israel you will become "more religious" and therefore you won't love them as much because they are "less religious"?

Try to find out the real underlying reason they don't want you to come. If their main fear is that their "little girl" is growing up and becoming her own woman, you need to reassure them that wherever you go and whatever path you take, you will continue to love and respect them.

Is there is a Rabbi who you know and whom your parents respect? If so, perhaps your parents would be willing to get together with him and talk things over.

Do research and find out which school or schools you might wish to attend. If you have brochures and information about a school in Israel, perhaps your parents will feel better about it.

Do you want a Spanish-speaking program or an English-speaking program? I suggest the following two schools: Spanish-speaking - Ayelet Hashachar, Mrs. Rivka Trop -972-2-582-5036; English-speaking - Neve Yerushalayim, Rabbi Chalkovsky - 972-2-651-9276. If you want brochures from these schools, send me your mailing address and I will mail them to you.

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