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Sunday, August 06, 2006

I always thought that death was something that only G-D could bring. If this is true, how is it possible to commit suicide?


The idea that if somethng is destined to happen to you it will happen anyway is false. If that would be true, you may as well jump off the roof and say if youre dewstined to die it would havehappened anyway! We are instructed by the Torah to take care of our safety and well being, and if we dont, then our blood is on our own hands. Yes - Hashem has your future "planned out" but only if you cooperate. If you insist on putting yourself in danger, then Hashem's plan "changes" and He c"v leaves nature to take its course.
As far as suicide goes, there is probbaly a machlokes between the Gemora and the ZOhar about this (I say probably because if you really want, you can reinterpret things and reconcile them b'dochek). The Zohar explains the Torah's statment that Reuven "saved Yosef from their hands" - meaning his brothers who wanted to sell him - by lowering him into a pit of snakes and scorpions, even though it would seem that he just made if worse for Yosef, that human beings are more dangerous than snakes and scorpions, since snakes and scoprions are not baalei bechirah and can therefore only harm someone when G-d decrees it; as opposed to humans, who are baalei bechirah and can therefore harm someone even if G-d did nto decree that he should be harmed.
In other words, G-d gave humans the power to hurt someone who was not destined to be hurt, since they have bechirah and can choose to do even what G-d would not otherwise have done.
The Ohr HaChaim on the spot follows the Zohar's commentary without attirbution. Many Chasidishe seforim, such as the B'er Mayim Chaim, follow this principle, that humans have the ability to harm others even without a decree from Hashem.
Tosfos seems to follow the Zohar as well. He comments on the Gemora in Kesuvos that says "everything is in G-d's hands except injury from heat and cold", that if a person carelessly allows himlsef to be put in danger, any harm that comes to him is his own doing - that was not G-d's decree; but if he tried his best to protect himself and he was hurt anyway, then it was G-d's decree.
Clearly, he is saying that a person has the ability to harm himself. If Tosfos was following the Zohar, this makes perfect sense.
However, the Gemora seems to disagree. Commenting on the posuk in Mishpatim, v'rapoh yerapeh, the Gemora says that permission for a doctor to cure is necessary, since it was Hashem that caused the person to be hurt, and therefore one might say that doctors have no right to change Hashem's decree.
The Chofetz Chaim points out that the means by which the ailing person in the posuk got hurt was, as the posuk says clearly, by being hit on purpose by another person. You see from here, he says, that even if someone willingly strikes someone else, the Gemora considers his injury "coming from Hashem."
The Chovos Halevovos clearly says that if someone harms someone else it was decreed so in heaven; the Sefer HaChinuch says the same thing regarding the prohibition of taking revenge: why would you want to take revenge, he says, if you would have gotten hurt anyway, since its obvious that G-d decreed that you be hurt?
In any case, everyone agrees that it is prohibited to put yourself in harm's way.

Well, any time Hashem does anything it is a direct cause-and-effect reaction to our actions. Especially when suffering comes our way Chazal tell us Im yesurim baim alav yepashpesh b'maasav - when we suffer we have to audit our actions to see what we are doing wrong and need to correct.
It's not always easy to figure out what the root cause of suffering is in our actions, but it is clearly doable, and even expected of us, because if we dont know what to fix then what's the point of Hashem sending us a message to fix it?
It's like a father who slaps a kid and the kid says "I have no idea why my father slapped me, but I trust that he has a reason." Makes no sense, and it just forces the father to teach the kid whatever lesson he had in mind for him another way.
So if we know what's good for us,we had better learn our lesson.
There are formulas that we employ to decipher Hashem's messages. Midah k'neged midah is one of them. The meforshim say that the reason Hashem punishes in a manner-for-manner fashion is to enable us to figure out what He is punishing for. There are other formulas as well.
In this particular case, of Arab terrorism, I can only tell you what Rav Shach ZTL said long ago regarding the Yom Kippur war, and his words were echoed recently by Rav Moshe Shapiro regarding today's situation in EY.
The issue is "kochi v'otzem yadi," the attitude that the Israeli army will protect us form our enemies, that we are strong now that we have the IDF, and that we are a match for the Goyim.
This attitude is poison, completely against the Torah, and the way Hashem teaches us that it is not so, is by showing that no, you are not as strong as you think, and not as safe as you think.
Chazal teach us that the Jews in golus are like a lone sheep among 70 wolves. We need to always be cognizant of this and never, ever think that we Jews have a snowball's chance in Miami Beach of defeating our gentile enemies while we are in Golus. This is not merely an issue of realizing that Hashem is the One Who fights for us as oppsoed to our own strength - it's an issue of accepting what Hashem has told us, that in Golus the way to survive is NOT by fighting the nations of the world, for militarily we have no chance. Esav received the Brachah of b'chrbechah sichyeh; as opposed to us - we live mital hashamayim. This is not an issue of relying on a miracle. On the contrary - it would be a miracle for us to face the our opponents militarily and emerge victorious. But Hashem has told us that we should not expect such miracles. Instead, He taught us in His Torah that the way to survuive when confronted by non-Jewish animosity is to appease and mollify the opponent, the way Yaakov did to Esav (and the Ramban says that when Yaakov also prepared for "war", it meant to fend off Esav long enugh for Yaakov to run away if necessary!).
How many people - you can see the sentiment on this site even - think that "now, finally that we have a medinah, and army, and a nation, we finally are able to be strong and not go k'tzon ltevach!? That attitude is the problem. And how does Hashem respond? By teaching us to stop being idiots and think that a sheep in wolf's clothing is no longer a sheep.
We have survived for 2,000 years, better than all the othe nations, because we have followed the military strategy of our General in Heaven. Over and over the Jews were faced with danger, and an opportunity to rise up and try to beat the oppressing nations, but the Gedolim of the generations have told us that that will lead to disaster - and so we survived. Wounded, hurt, but we survived, which is more than you can say for all the other nations who opposed us. The goyim talk about the "secret of survival" of the Jews. Well, the secret is that the Jewish nation gets its military strategy from the Master of the World, Who told us that in Golus, we do not win wars.
It's liek the advice you would give your children when confronted by an armed mugger on a Harlem street corner.
"Give him whatever he wants," you would say.
"What if he wants all my money? Shouldnt I fight back?" he asks.
"No," you would answer. "If he wants your miney, give him your moiney; if he wants your shirt, give him your shirt; if he wants your pants, give him your pants. Do not confront an armed assailant. The main thing is that you escape with your life."
That is what you would say.
And when your son objects, and telsl oyu that he feels like an idiot getitng stepped on by the mugger, and why shouldnt he defend himself like a man, you will tell him not to be a fool.
And when your son enrolls in Karate school to defend himself, the first thing he will learn is not to fight back if he can escape. He will earn to avoid confrontation if possible, and if accosted by an armed assailant, give him whatever he wants.
Even if there is a 90% chance of you winning, its not worth the fight. Pacify the assilant if you can, and run if need be.
In golus, we live in Harlem. And our assailants are stronger than us.
So Rav Shach ZTL says that the reason the Yom Kippur war came is in order to show that Israel is weak. The idea that the IDF is an undefeated army was shattered. (Even though through chasdei hashem the Arabs retreted, that was not because of the strength of Isral's forces. Israel was positioned for a humiliating defeat - the Arabs were just stupid and made terrible errors and ran. Its like if someone beats you up and youre on the floor waiting to be shot, then your assailant slips on a banana peel and knocks himlsef out. So Hashem saved the Jews and at the same time showed Israel that they are weak.)
He said that "there is no quesiton" to him that the Yom Kippur war came because of the attitude of Kochi v'otzem yadi - the attitude that Israel is strong. Hashem was showing us that we are weak.
Rav Moshe Shapiro shlita said the same thing regarding the current terrorism in Israel. He said it was due to the attitude of Kochi v'otzem yadi. The idea that we are safe in Israel, because they have security, an army, a police force, whatever. The idea that finally we can, al pi derech hatevah, stand up to the nations because we have tanks or planes or whatveer.
Whenever you hear someone say that finally we can live proudly, or safely, or we can finally "stand up to" the goyim, they are putitng Jewish lives in danger, because what they are expressing is kochi votzem yadi asa li es hachayil hazeh. They are kivyachol causing Hashem to show us that no, we can NOT stand up to the goyim, and even though you may be dressed in wolf's clothing with your own wolf's tanks and planes, youre still a sheep, and the umos haolan are wolves. We dare not forget that.
And if we do, Hashem will remind us.
There is another thing too.
All of the above is from a spiritual perspective. From a tevah perspective, there is the obvious. The Arabs do not want us there. They haveb ene saying so for the past hundred years. They said that if we go there, they will kill us, r"l. The Zionists said no, they will take care of the Arabs. Some Zionists said, and still say, that we will kick all the Arabs out of the land by force, and kill those who start up with us. Yet this war over the land is 100 years old, and Jews are still being slaughtered. Of course, they should havli listened to the Torah. Or, at least, to reason. As the Brisker Rav ZTL said, if they make a State of Israel, it will be the most dangerous place in the world for Jews to live, because "what do they think? that the Arabs will just let them do this?"
Al pi derech hatevah, Israel is a dangerous place for Jews to live, so long as the war with the Arabs continues. Arab terrorists have been around for a century and continue their murderous ways. Unfortunately, people are perpetuating the myth that Israel is "the safest place for Jews to live", when the simple fact is that more Jews were killed in Israel since its inception than in the rest of the world put together - about 25,000 to be precise. And that is despite the fact that the majority of Jews live and lived outside of EY. This means that the minority of Jews in Israel have the majority of Jewish deaths.
When we realize that we ARE vulnerable, that we ARE weak, that we ARE NOT safe just because Israel has an army, the message that Hashem is trying to send us will be received, and perhaps perhaps there will no longer be any need for us to learn the hard way.
Of course, all of the above is only an exposition on the statements of Rav Shach ZTL and ybd"l Rav Moshe Shapiro. There could be other authorities with other messages for us in this respect, though (a) I am not aware of any and (b) these are quite authoritative, and easy to understand and accept, since they follow seamlessly the rules we have for understanding such tragedies r"l.

Why can't girls say kaddish? Isn't it an important part of Judaism?

Kaddish is not "such an important part" of Judaism. It is actually a custom - not one of the 613 Mitzvos, not even a Rabbinic MItzvah, and surely not one of the 13 Fundamentals of the religion.
AMong the non-religious, Kaddish became liek the most importasnt part of Judaism, and that is because the non-religious Jews used to have religious parents, and when those religious parents died, the non-religious children figured they'd do somethign nice and honorable for them religious-wise in their honor, sicne the parents always believed in the religion anyway. So Kaddish became it.
Of course, where the custom applies, it is considered honoring one's parents to say the Kaddish. That means if you do nnot have a minyan, or if you are a woman, or a slew of other circumstances as well.
Women do not say Kaddish because a custom, by definition, is followed according to its established methods, and when Kaddish was instituted, it was explicit that women do not say it.
The reasons it was imstituted that way could be many: dont forget - if you read the words of Kaddish, you will find not a single mention of death, deceased relatives, honoring the dead, or anythgin at all that would motivate someone to say this prayer in honor of or in memory of a deceased relative. In fact, the main part of Kaddish - yehai shemei rabbah - is merely an Aramaic translation of the prayer "boruch shem kevod malchose l'olam vaed", which we all say twice a day anyway, women included, and even without a Minyan.
The kabbalistically-aware sages who instituted this custom did so becase as per to Jewish mysticism, this prayer, when recited in a certain way (with a minyan), at a certian time (after the aleinu prayer, and sometimes some other places, during the davening, for the first 11 months after the death of certian - not all - relatives, and on the anniversary of their death thereafter), and by certina people (men), if is of benefit to the soul of thedeceased. WHen said not under the specific designated conditions, it does nothing for the soul, and for all we know can perhaps even be harmful.
There are times and circumstances that the Kaddish is optional; ther e are timeswhen the Kaddish is mandatory; and there are times when the Kaddish is prohibited. All of this is based on the original, kabbalah-based reasons for the kaddish in the first place.
But as I said, Kaddish is NOT a main part of Judaism at all, and it is not to even the main way to honor deceased parents. The main way to do that is available to males and females both - if the chidlren follwo the Torah's path, it is a greater merit and honor for the soul of the decesased than 1,000 times saying Kaddish.
That is what Orhtodox Judaism says - if you want to honor and commemorate your parents after they are gone from this world, let your behavior be proper, do Hashem's will, and let your parents be proud of you.
The Kaddish is only a custom.

A "jewish chaplain" told me "It's okay to be angry at G-d." Is this true?

The chaplain was wrong. Anger at Hashem implies a reason to be angry, which contradicts the belief that what Hashem does is good. If someone did you a favor, you wouldnt be angry. If youre angry that means you believe the erson did somethgin wrong.
To believe Hashem did something wrong is Apikursos. Everythign He does is benevolence, so how can you be angry?
If anything, be angry at the chaplain for teaching you such things.

Since everything Hashem does is for the best, then the only way you can be angry is if you misunderstand what Hashem is doing. If you ask a lifeguard to let you swim but he refuses you may be angry at him, until you see that there were sharks swimming in the water. then you're not mad anymore - you're thankful!
Same thing with Hashem. You can only be mad by mistake - not if you realize that everythign he does is for your best.

Death is a very emotional topic, esp if it happens to someone close. And so ti shard to reason about it, but to properly answer such questions, we need to try to put aside aside our emotions, just a little, and just for a moment, till we can digest the concepts.
You need to sort out the feelings into those you feel for your friend, versus those you for yourself.
You lost a friend. So you are hurting. Thats perfectly fine, and it is neither possible nor necessary to take that pain away. Hashem wants us to love people, especially those close to us. And when you lose somene like that the hurt is proportionate to the love.
But then there is the grieving that comes because your friend suffered. He died young, and you say "he didnt deserve" that.
In reality, we all live forever - in this world a little, then for a lot longer in the next. The level of consciousness and awareness - the level of "life" - is nto diminished in the next world. On the contrary, it is increased infinitely. Then, of course, there is Techiyas Hameisim.
In this world we are only travelers, passing by to do our job. When our job is up, it is time to "go home." The Ramchal writes that when a person dies young it does not mean his job in this world was less important or less substantial. All it means is it took less time.
When a traveler goes across the globe away from his family to do business, he may makes friends in the foreign land, and get attached to them. He may even get used to the place, and miss it when he has to go home. And when the day does come for him to return to his home and his family, the new friends he made are gonna miss him dearly. They may feel bad for themselves cuz they'll miss him, but nobody will feel bad for him, since they know hes going home.
The same thing with a Neshomah. It comes here to do a job. It makes friends, it gets used to it. And when it's time to go "home", its sad, true. But its not bad for him.
So its OK to grieve, cuz your friend went home. But you should know its not bad for him ....
And one day, IYH, we'll all be together again, all of us, when Moshiach comes BB"A.

The problem often is that people do not distinguish between being happy, and having fun. There is a big difference.
When you have fun, the pleasure ends when the fun is over (that's not not counting hangovers). If the only pleaure you know how to have is "fun", then whenever you are NOT busy with fun, you will not have any pleasure, except for looking forward to tomorrow's fun or remembering yesterday's.
You always need more.
Going to clubs, hanging out, and partying are "fun". The pleasure ends when the party is over and everyone is going home. Right away it's "When's the next party?".
"Fun" feels good because you're doing something pleasurable NOW. If you want to enoy your whole life that way, you are going to have to attend many, many parties.
And you have to make sure you don't get bored. Because we have a tendency to build up a resistance to "fun" -- eventually you get bored doing the same thing day in and day out. So you need something different or bigger or better or cooler. But whatever, you always need your "fun".
"Happiness" is different. Happiness is where you do something which after you do it, the happiness lasts. This way, the pleausre doesn't end, but has an accumulative affect. Whereas more and more fun does not add up but merely repeats, more and more happiness makes a more and more happy person.
Accomplishment, fulfilling goals, finishing something, creating something, all give a feeling of satisfaction that lasts long after you have reached your goal.
"Happiness" may not always be as pleasurable as "fun" while you're doing it, but it will be more pleasurable since you will attain a happiness that lasts.
It's like the difference between pigging out while on a diet, versus sticking to it. Pigging out is more fun, but only while you're pigging. Afterwards the fun is over. Sticking to the diet is not so much fun, but you will be happier with the results.
Being constructive makes a human being happy.
G-d made human beings with an emptiness in them. They are constantly yearning for something. This emptiness is the result of a soul which is not so comfortable in a physical body. Souls like accomplishment. Bodies like fun. Souls are eternal. So they like pleasure that lasts. Bodies are here only for a while. Then they become dirt. They like pleasure NOW -- bodies don't know what "forever" means.
Animals have no souls. Thats why they dont enjoy accomplishment. Humans have souls, so for them fun is not enough.
The reason people are not happy is because they pursue fun instead of happiness. Maybe they dont know the difference. Its like we're in this world on a diet, and they think pigging out will make them feel good. It will, for a while. But the soul just gets more and more frustrated. To be happy, meaning to be a happy person, you need to accomplish.
Of course, some fun is ok. It's even, ah, necessary. We sometimes need just a bit of ice cream so we dont go crazy while dieting. But only a little. Too much fun and we start to lose it.
Teenagers are often more into "fun" than "happiness" because they haven't been around long enough to have been able to accumulate a lot of happiness, so they don't know what it feels like.
Now the question is, what is considered accomplishment? What do I have to do to be happy as opposed to "having fun"?

Hashem loves us so much - so why so many yissurim?

It is our yissurim that cause us to grow.
When we go up to shamayim and watch the "movie" of our lives, what will be our only complaint to Hashem?
WHY DIDN'T YOU TEST ME MORE?
Imagine! In the olam ha'emes, we'll complain that we didn't get enough yissurim, enough nisyonos! Obviously, they are what cause us to grow--and therefore by definition, they are for our benefit.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The amount of Bitachon vs. Hishtadlus a person must have depends on his level. A person on a higher level is obligated to have more Bitachon. Yosef HaTzadik was held responsible for not having more Bitachon since he was on such a high level it should naturally have occured to him that Hashem would help him out.
We regular people, however, are not obligated to behave like Yosef HaTzadik. For us, we should pursue our needs in a normal fashion, as if they depended on us. Bitachon in our context means to realize that everything that happens to us is Hashem's doing, regardless of how much effort is seems that we put into it, and that whatever did happen to us, since it is from Hashem, is for the best.

Mom
Posted - 30 May 2002 17:02
What can I do about my daughter who refuses to tell me where she's been (she was with good friends but left for somewhere else), who's she's been with, and what she's been doing. She did not call, we had no idea where she was, and she got back very late. Help (if possible). Thanks.
MODERATOR
Posted - 30 May 2002 17:26
The odds are the reason she doesnt want to tell you where she is is because either (a) shes doing somethign or being somewhere you wouldnt approve, or (b) she considers you, and has done so for a long time, an invasive, nosy parent who breathes down her back, seemingly as if you dont trust her.
That may be totally untrue, of course, and just merely her perception, but for our purposes, no difference.
Even if you try to reduce the things that she feels are invasive (usually questions like, "Who were you talking to on the phone?", "What did she say?", "WHat happened to you? You were suppsoed to be at Elisheva's house and I called and she said you werent there!" etc), that will not be enough to undo the effect. The rule is (this is a quote form the Ramchal): "Someone who was burnt by hot water will be cared of lukewarm."
In other words, if I slap you in the face till your face is red, then even if I touch you lightly it will hurt, cuz the place is sore.
Same thing with emotions. If you keep slapping her till shes so sensitive about your inquiries, shes gonna get annoyed even when youre reasonable.
If thats the case, you have to (a) have a talk with her, making sure to say the right thing, and (b) go to the other extreme till her "wound" heals.
Thats whats probably happening, but you didnt give me nay info so its still just a guess. The asner to your question is, you have to identify the reason your daughter is so distant and address that. Her behavior is a symptom, an effect, not the problem, not a cause.
So what I need to know is, why is your daughter acting this way? To make the question easier, and less assertive: If I were to ask your daughter why she is this way, what would she say?

It is definitely possible to marry the wrong person. Proof: If a Kohen marries a divorced woman, which is prohibited but happens, it is obviously not a shidduch that Hashem arranged.
Whether it is better to stay divorced or not, depends on the sitch. In general, divorce is a last resort. Even the Mizbeach cries, Chazal say, when a couple gets divorced.
I dont think it is possible to have proof that anybody is "the right one". Not even after youre married 30 years. Rather, you have to find "a" guy who you are convinced is going to be "a" right partner for you. If you think to yourself "maybe someone else out there is better" or "this guy would be great but maybe hes not the 'best' " for me, you will likely pass by a wonderful marriage partner.
If you honestly look for a guy whos going to help you reach your potential, and has the qualities that you are looking for in a guy, you pray to Hashem for siyata d'shmaya that things work the way we want them to.
There is no other - or better - way to guarantee a successful marriage. These things are sooooo in Hashem's hands.


Do you think that the Mizbe'ach does not cry when a couple is estranged but not
divorced?? Living together and fighting and making home (the whole
mishkan) a living Gehenom.
When a couple can't live in
peace they are "over" countless issurim every day and the fact that the
Mizbae'ach cries is not a valid reason not to get divorced when it would be
better for their children.
The Yeshiva's and BY should stress more working on
ones middos not just learning Musser and doing Chessed. Without working on
Middos a person is little more than an animal ( I think the Gemara says a little
less) and it is no wonder why people who get married to be on the receiving end
of a relationship get divorced.

Moderator:

Depends how estranged they are.
Divorce is not only due to couples being at constant war. Many divorces happen when couples outgrow each other, when the marriage is no longer "fulfilling", when the couple just doesnt feel a certina way about the other, or whatever. They can still live together unsatisfyingly and not violate any issurim. Happens all the time.
I said divorce is a last resort, not prohibited.
yeshovis do talk abotu Middos. Some mussar seforim deal exclusively with Middos and nothing else. Orchos Tzadikim immediatly comes to mind, which is taught in just about every Yeshiva in the world.
The problem is, a successful rlationship needs skill, not just good Midos. People need to be taught how to live with each other and how to nurture each other.
And more. They need to learn how to understand themselves (which the Baalei Mussar say is the goal of Mussar). If a guy gets married at 23 or even 25 or 27, by the time he's 40 he can be a totally different person. Meanimte, his wife married the previous version, not the current one. Now you have a bad shiduch, regardless of Midos.
If peopel would really know who they really are inside, and therefore what they are likely to be, it would prevent a lot of this form happening.

Its a Mitzvah only if a person decides he wants to do it. Its still a last resort. Sholom is the better choice. Each case has to judged on its own merits, as there is no measuring stick to quantify at what point a divorce is called for.

The halachah is that the D'oraisa halachah of Kibud Av v'em only applies ot things that pertain to your parents - NOT to aggravation they get because of things that you do in your own life. However, the inyan is still not to cause your parents pain, which is a good policy to follow even without any Halachic obligations.
That having been said, both the halachos of Kibud av as well as the simple menshlichkeit involed does not change one iota whether you live in their house or not. It is sometimes advisable, though, and this advice comes form the Rishonim, that if there is friction in the home, and the parents (as well as children) cannot get along, the children should consider moving out of the house in order not to violate kibud by fighting and such.

What can I repond to a teen's complaints about how his parents have no "shaychus" to him and don't know what is best for him?

MODERATOR
Posted - 11 June 2001 19:24
It's hard to answer that without knowing the guy himself, but your best bet is to see if you can explain to him that the gap between him and his parents may not be totally due to their outdatedness but to his synthetically created "needs".
In other words, a certian amount of responsibility lies on the shoulders of the teenager not create new and unnecessary needs and then expect his parents to figure them out.
There used to be no such things as a "teen culture". Teenagers were younger and different than their paretns of course, but there was no mysterious "needs" that they had that were mind-boggling to adults.
But because teenagers in America became a market for fashion designers, sports paraphanalia sellers, rock stars, fast food places and various other money makers, an artificial "teen culture" was created that changes every few years.
Obvisouly, there is no way parents can be expected to be part of this. Teens, on the other hand, can be expected to understand that, if they willingly choose to become part of the teen culture, that they may, to that extent, distance themselves from their parents' culture.
Teens think that their distance form their parents is due to their natural needs. not always. And not completely. Often its due to the teens' artificially created subculture.
Like if I join a gang, can I expect my parents - or anyone else for that matter - to know the culture of my gang, and if they dont understand it, does that makes them outdated?
Its not outdated that your friends pparents are, its "unaffected" by the Madison Avenue Teen Traps.
So your friend and his parents need to work TOGETHER to understand what your friends "needs" are - and his "desires". Parents cant be expected to know things through Ruach haKodesh. You have to explain it to them. Its not as comfortable as if the parents knew about the teen world themsleves, but it can be done. The parents are not outdated, they are uninformed. That can change.

Posted - 23 November 2001 17:01
You should develop a relationship with an adult who is willing and able to speak to your father when problems arise. A rabbi or principal in your school will do.
You should confide in this person, explaining to him what's going on in your home. You can show him your post if you like. You want this person at least to be able to intervene between you and your father when things flare up, and hopefully he will help your father get some help. I doubt talking to your mother will accomplish anything, since your mother for sure knows about the sitch and its still the way it is. I dont see what you can add to what she already surely knows.
Next. Try to put as much distance between you and your father as possible. The advice given in our Seforim is that if a parent is impossible to live with, the child should stay away forom that parent as much as possible, even moving out of the house, if that is a viable option (usually with teenagers in todays society this is not a viable option).