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Unread 02-01-2003, 10:49 PM   #1
hishtatchus
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Nachas vs. Honesty?

I've seen a common dilemma among some teenagers today: Should I be open with my parents about where I'm really at, or should I hide it from them so they will be happy?

Case in point: A Bochur who is into all sorts of unsavory activities wears "Chassidishe dress" at home so his mother will be happy with him and not suspect what he does out of the house. I know it's a good thing that he wears the suit and hat, but is it fair to his mother to let her think she can shep Nachas when in fact she should be worrying about him?

Personally, I find being blunt good for me to cultivate my honesty level, but am I cheating my parents in some way? It would actually be very easy to tell them I said the whole Tehillim even if I didn't- and it they would be thrilled.

It's not like it's even a toss-up between my benefit (staying honest) and my parents' benefit (Nachas). Maybe it is good for my parents to know they should be concerned! And then again maybe it's good for me to feel guilty lying so maybe I'll change to fit the lie?
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Unread 02-01-2003, 11:02 PM   #2
Yankel Nosson
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Don't lie.
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Unread 02-01-2003, 11:11 PM   #3
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on your laurels
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Unread 02-01-2003, 11:30 PM   #4
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BS"D There's a Midrash (Shaloh, I think - masbir?)somewhere that says that a parent should punish a child for lying more severely than anything else. Then, the child will never misbehave, knowing that he would not want to admit to such a thing, and on the other hand, would not want to lie. The child is then left with no choice but not to sin in the first place!

Last edited by noahidelaws; 02-02-2003 at 07:52 PM.
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Unread 02-02-2003, 01:06 AM   #5
Shlucha
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But if it is to the point of the scenario that hishtatchus mentioned in post 1, I don't think severely punishing the child for lying (if the parents find out) is going to do much good-doesn't seem like the parents have much power.

A lot of times parents are in the dark about what their children are up to, adn when somebody says "take a good look at what your child is doing" it's too late for the parents to do anything.

Also, children who are doing things that are not so good (to say the least) are usually ashamed to tell their parents, (unless they really want to be helped), and wouldn't even think of telling them. And not all purposefully deceive them, like wearing chassidishe clothes around them, but some just don't make a point of going over to them each day and telling them exactly where they were and with who. So they aren't really lying to them.
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Unread 02-02-2003, 03:14 PM   #6
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frum a teens point of view..

why should you have to tell your parents EVERYTHING? if im not doing anything (realy) WRONG and i go hang out with some friends at night why shouldnt i just tell them that i went out to eat (which is partly true after all that was one of the things i did) instead of getting my parents upset and then they will nag me every time with complaints such as, you know i dont like when you hang out with those guys.. or that place realy isnt meant for CHASIDISHE buchrim you know so i dont think you should go there ect..

so do you realy think my parents have to know everything, im not saying i would lie to my parents, if they would confront me with a issue wich is bothering them i would tell them the truth (or at least i would realy try to!)

also im not going to try to say now that my parents are clue-less and dont know whatS flying in todays world.. but i realy feel that there are certain things which they just wouldnt understand me,like why i might think this way or why i might do this and this thing.. AND THATS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I HAVE A MASHPIA!
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Unread 02-02-2003, 08:32 PM   #7
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The only thing I'm gonna say is good for you that you have a mashpia!
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Unread 02-02-2003, 09:39 PM   #8
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thanx, i know how important it is to have a mashpia...
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Unread 02-03-2003, 12:54 AM   #9
hishtatchus
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Does your Mashpia know that your parents don't know? (curious, not accusing)
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Unread 02-03-2003, 03:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Does your Mashpia know that your parents don't know? (curious, not accusing)

as of now im a pretty good bochur b''h, and i dont have much to hide from my parents.
i was talking about doing things that my parents know i do (like hanging out with certains friends ect) but they dont realy aprove of it, so instead of telling my parents every time i go out and getting some comment back like oh i wish you wouldnt go there, or i wish you wouldnt hang out with him, ide just skip it and tell them i went out to eat and tell them the name of some guy that they wont ask questions about..
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Unread 02-03-2003, 03:43 PM   #11
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so its sorta like deceiving-half truth-white lie kinda thing

(that was a statement/question/rhetorical question)
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Unread 02-03-2003, 07:37 PM   #12
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i once heard that kids act in ways that are based more on emotions then logic.. i think parents are the same way acting on emotions instead of logic (not always but it does happen)

as some1 once told me " think about it, your parents work since you were born to bring you up in a certain way and then you might start doing things which are diffrent than THAT way, its very disapointing to them, bec they love you and care for you and want you to be perfect so to speak (in their way)
now i understand parents care and love their kids, but they dont see me from the OUTSIDE VIEW they know me as parents and therefore i dont think they understand certain things like someone from the outside might (mashpia, friend ect.)

also for that reason i dont think i can always tell them everything (things that might realy disapoint them ect.) becouse i dont think they will be able to see it from my perspective, they will see it as PARENTS.
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Unread 02-04-2003, 02:53 AM   #13
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There is definitely truth to what you say.

I saw a letter of the Rebbe to someone who was writing about a friend who was doing something he shouldn't. The Rebbe told him NOT to tell the parents, because their emotional involvement wouldn't be constructive.

I'm still in doubt though if its okay to lie, even if its a white one. But on the other hand Eisav did it and was rewarded for his honor of his Father (then again maybe Eisav is a bad example, and I don't know if his lying was part of it or not).

And another point is how good of a liar are you. Theyre bound to get suspicious, and if they find out you were lying it may make them more upset--it's disappointing if your child lies to you. This is one of the problems with lying: you end having to make up more and more lies to cover for you first ones. It's not a pretty cycle.
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Unread 02-04-2003, 07:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
And another point is how good of a liar are you. Theyre bound to get suspicious, and if they find out you were lying it may make them more upset--it's disappointing if your child lies to you. This is one of the problems with lying: you end having to make up more and more lies to cover for you first ones. It's not a pretty cycle.
dont you think there is a diffrence between 1. a tottal black lie 2.a white lie (sort of like only saying half the story, half lie and truth) 3. not mentioning anything altogether (they dont ask and you dont say)

i agree with you on a REAL lie that normaly it will only get worse,
(also and most of all "midbar sheker tirchak" the torah says dont lie) but a white lie or just not volunteering information sometimes it might be better of that way (for the reasons written in previous posts)

also as hishtatchus wrote
Quote:
And then again maybe it's good for me to feel guilty lying so maybe I'll change to fit the lie?
dont you think that can happen, i mean if you want to change and then you happen to lie about something maybe it will give you a boost and help you change..
the same is also by not volunteering info, someone might think hey the truth is i want to change, so why should i tell my parents and get them all ticked and maybe lose their trust ect. ill just give it time and imy'h hopefully some day in the near future ill change..
and then even if my parents will find out, ill just smile and say yes i know about that and im happy to tell you i have changed...
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Unread 02-04-2003, 08:01 PM   #15
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me thinking there is no difference between a 'black' lie and a 'white' lie. (except da color of course )
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Unread 02-04-2003, 11:53 PM   #16
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i meant white lie as in saying the truth (example i went out with this person) but leaving out the other half (the OTHER guy that was with us).. is that a lie?
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Unread 02-05-2003, 12:55 AM   #17
hishtatchus
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I think yes because you are purposely answering the question according to a different way of interpreting it. Like if my mother asks me if I said Tehillim and I say yes (well I did last month), I KNOW I'm not answering what she's asking. I'm not lying outright, because she didn't specifically say "Did you say Tehillim today?" Look at the Rashi on "Rochel Bitcha Haketana" (Bereishis 29:18)- says it much better than I can!
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Unread 02-05-2003, 08:48 AM   #18
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Re: Nachas vs. Honesty?

Quote:
Originally posted by hishtatchus
I've seen a common dilemma among some teenagers today: Should I be open with my parents about where I'm really at, or should I hide it from them so they will be happy?

Case in point: A Bochur who is into all sorts of unsavory activities wears "Chassidishe dress" at home so his mother will be happy with him and not suspect what he does out of the house. I know it's a good thing that he wears the suit and hat, but is it fair to his mother to let her think she can shep Nachas when in fact she should be worrying about him?
Perhaps the question should be, is he being fair to G-d and to the kahal? One must becareful not to bring reproach on G-d's name.

" lo tisah et-sheim- .... Elokecha l'shav ki lo ynecha .... et asher yisah et shemo l'shav."

As a Chosid he carries haShem with him where ever he goes. If he is involved "unsavory activities".., he carries [yisah] haShem in falsehood. The issue with his mother is temporary.., the issue with G-d is everlasting.
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Unread 02-09-2003, 05:29 AM   #19
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I think someone might lie, because they wish they had done something and so they said they did it. A person who "says chitas every day" still "says chitas every day" even if one (or more) day they forgot. If inside you feel one way, but you just forget or accidentally dont do it its different than if your are decieving without intention to do it. Saying they did will remind them to do it. Thats klipas noga, not good or bad.
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Unread 02-23-2003, 12:23 AM   #20
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i think its healthy not to share everything with ur parents once u hit a cetian age- no im not saying u should lie to ur parents...thats the worst thing u can do...but there is no reason to hurt them...if ur realy acting up, and u have a mashpia it will propably be more constructive to hear it from ur mashpia and if ur just doin normal teenage stuff..ull come around anyways!
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Unread 02-23-2003, 12:34 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by glad2bme
if ur just doin normal teenage stuff..ull come around anyways!
BS"D The problem is that nowadays the "standards" of "normal" teenage stuff are judged according to secular culture r"l, not Torah. Furthermore, some people do not come around.

I wonder, glad2bme - imagine you are the parent (scary thought, huh), would you want to know?
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Unread 02-23-2003, 01:32 AM   #22
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im not sure if i would...i mean if my kid is sneaking off to a movie its normal kind of rebellion...he'll deceid what he wants at the right time...if its a serious thing like drugs then ya i need to know i need to help them
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Unread 02-23-2003, 01:41 AM   #23
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BS"D The point is that no normal kid would tell his parents about either movies or drugs, for fear of 1) embarrassment and 2) punishment.

So the parents have to be sneaky in their surveillance of the child. Especially daughters. IIRC Chazal say that the posuk "veyishmerecha" (that we say in birkas Cohanim, brochos etc.) refers to daughters, for they need protection.
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Unread 02-23-2003, 09:11 PM   #24
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but being sneaky u just lose ur childs trust and thats the worst i think if ur open and honest with ur child and u dont sneak around shell/hell feel more comfortable to talk to you
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Unread 02-23-2003, 10:41 PM   #25
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BS"D The problem is that no "normal" teenager these days is trustworthy. "Ki yetser lev ha'adam ra mi'neurav" - "for the impulse of human's heart is evil from his youth." (Bereishis 8:21)

So parents must play a dual role: they must both befriend their children, so they can influence them in a pleasant manner, but be on the lookout for signs of misbehaviour and be ready to punish if necessary.
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