The Bal Tschuve
The Bal Tschuve is the human being who regrets/ repents the “neveres" (sins or evil deeds) that he/she has committed and makes amends for his actions. In the Jewish faith, Hashem will recognize the return to justice, to kindness, to regret, and forgives those who have committed evil deeds. If G’d forgives, so must we as humans. The repentant one can be forgiven as close as one hour before his death.
all religions we find the proverbial BLACK SHEEP.
The individual who is self seeking, selfish, narcissistic and
“independent” for his own gains. He
carries out his lusts without consideration for his family, acquaintances or
otherwise. This person comes in
innumerable shapes and genders. No
one has an absolute answer for the whys and
wherefores of the creation
of these personalities. We can only
describe here the theories why the traits that make up the character disordered
us take one of the most well known examples of a psychopathic creature:
Adolf Hitler. He came from a
very strict, brutal father, from a family that was created illegitimately, the
standards of morality were poor. His father died before the boy was fully grown
and his mother raised her brood of children alone. Adolf grew up with deviant standards; he refused to complete
his education; he was frustrated because his ambition to become a painter was
rejected. The German art school
that he wanted to enter refused him. He
was frustrated in his ambitions. He
was determined to become almighty, a one man ruler over his world and the world
in which he found himself. He had
no scruples and his make believe friends were assassinated at his command if
they appeared to threaten his autonomy. He
had no feelings for people and only craved satisfaction for himself and himself
alone. He had no mercy for the
suffering of his victims and reveled in the pain that it caused them. He
accepted anything that was given him but felt no need for gratitude, let alone
reciprocity. The Jews who he later
annihilated had helped to support him, to buy his amateurish painted postcards,
fed him when he was in need of food. Adolf
had no conscience. Even in his last
hour in the bunker where he committed suicide with Eva Braun he had no remorse!
There is the child who is raised by a number of strangers, whose parents have in fact ignored her, and given her away. There are children who come from narcissistic, alcoholic parents, ones who do not know either mother or father; the child raised in the house of strangers, uncaring foster parents who are there for remuneration received by the caregivers, etc. There is the child who has no satisfactory identity, who does not know his roots, those who came before him. We can understand why such a child wants to please only himself, and nourish himself to the exclusion of his surroundings and the need of others.
group of individuals who ignore that which is acceptable, G’d fearing and
within decency limits are children who abandon that which was instilled in them
and given them “bechol, levovcho, uvchol nafshecho, uvchol meodecho”
(with full heart, soul and hand). We will here take one such example:
Boruch, a boy who attended day schools where he appeared happy, was a
very good student and had friends. His
parents were educated, supportive, and took care of his every whim.
Because he had a minor physical problem, his health care was the finest
and his deficit was unnoticed by his friends.
He attended an outstanding university of his choice and was independent
and praised by the rabbis / professors with whom he learned.
He was adored by his parents because he not only learned the biological
sciences but also the Hebrew and Jewish subjects, in which he seemed to gain
nurturance and satisfaction. He was
the first son in the family and his sisters and brother adored him.
There was nothing that was not done for him.
What he needed he received and more.
He became very orthodox during the period of attending the Talmud Torah
University. He was invited to the home of rabbis to share the Sabbath
meals, just as he had been used to enjoying at his parental home every Friday
eve before he left for the university. His
mother furnished him with airplane tickets so that he was
given the opportunity to return home for vacation and possible weekends.
After graduation he was fortunate in being accepted and entering medical
this young man’s personality changed. Boruch
became cynical, declared his “ecumenism,” his diversity. His religion seemed to mean nothing to him.
He became hostile toward his parents, and disagreed with everything that
had seemed to have so much meaning to him.
He forgot the fifth commandment and dishonored his parents and all that
they seemed to have meant to him. He
attempted to persuade his siblings that kashrut is meaningless.
To make matters worse, he injured his family most of all in that which
meant the most to them, that he should remain true to his religion and marry
within his own faith; to perpetuate that which was most close to their hearts: to live his life as a Jew,
“den geraden Derach” / the straight and moral path.
He threw away his culture, his heritage, and the respect and love of his
parents and family.
can ponder the whys and origins of the behaviors described.
We can say that the rejected child, the abused child, the pampered, overindulged child grows up as the potential
narcissist, character disordered or even the psychopathic personality.
We can understand the first two categories but the last is much more
difficult to comprehend. Does the creature who gets everything want a utopia that
cannot be achieved and does not exist? The
Rosche, like the evil son, in the Haggadah, is most difficult to understand and
the most difficult to accept.
a person seeks instant gratification. This
includes sexuality, drugs, money, or anything that will give him pleasure. He rarely thinks of consequences. When he does not receive what his “id” (impulses) needs,
he will hold others responsible for his fate and his frustrations.
If someone is in his way, he figuratively pushes them aside and would
step over their bodies if that would grant him his desires.
To the student of human behaviors there is no absolute in knowing the mechanisms that create the person thus described. What has developed in his psyche, his conscious or unconscious mind, is a puzzle. We can never know the totality of emotions, the anger or otherwise of the parents of a person thus developed. No one can totally look into the inner feelings, actions and psyches of a “Baruch,” nor can we in totality see the inner workings of the family structure and their interactions in raising such a human being.
Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.