(We will return to regularly scheduled programming after this message, bli neder).
As my readers who have been around from the start know, I believe we have a "Parenting Crisis" on our hands. This letter appears in this week's Yated. A father sends his son out of town to attend a Yeshiva. The son has is being called a "harry" (a term the father does not know the meaning of) and has had a change in personality.
The father's concerns:
*Will the label "harry" affect his son's chances of getting into future yeshivas?
*Will this affect his chance of getting a shidduch?
Like Wolf (link), I'm not convinced there is a "Shidduch Crisis," but I know (without a shadow of a doubt) that we have a "Parenting Crisis" on our hands. Should the father see this post, I offer the advice. . . stop worrying about your son's future learning opportunities and his future shidduch possibilities and get down to the bottom of his change in personality, which won't be easy since he is a teenager and doesn't live in your home. Priorities please!
Read on [emphasis added]:
This year, my son began attending an out-of-town high school yeshiva. For the most part, it has been a wonderful experience. His rabbeim are dedicated to their heilige work, and he has made many outstanding friends. Recently, however, I began noticing that my son was a bit subdued. After much probing and prodding, I finally dislodged what was bothering him: the boys in his yeshiva had labeled him a “harry.” At first, I figured it had become fashionable to call people by their English names, so I encouraged him to divulge to his classmates his correct secular name. I since came to realize that “harry” was not being used as a noun by these children, but rather as a verb. I began to make inquiries: What exactly is the meaning of “harry”? What sort of person constitutes a “harry”? To date, I have not received any satisfactory explanation or answer. So I turn to your readers and ask, what is a “harry”? Will this label affect my son’s status in regard to which
yeshiva will accept him? Will this affect which girl will be redd to him? I am at my wits’ end and beg anybody with knowledge of this matter to write in and explain it.
A Concerned Father