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Power of Youth

Although the word cocoon does not quite seem to be a fitting description for teenagehood, the truth is that adolescence is a time when the younger self or the child questions everything. They reject whatever does not fit their idea of truth and emerge as their own beautiful grown up. Although this may not happen in the teenage years we all go through our own adolescence in our relationship with G-d, our Judaism and the Torah. This can be most clearly marked by questioning whatever it is that our parents taught us or passed down as our heritage. Even if there isn't a rebellious stage and a child becomes an adult while accepting what they've been taught by their parents and teachers there is still a critical stage of taking ownership. Then we move into a stage of our lives where we are making our own decisions and creating the life that we want to live.

Youth can get a bad rap especially when they stand up to authority and their elders. The Rebbe often spoken about the positive power of youth who refused to accept the status quo. They are agents for change.

During the rise of the hippie movement, the Rebbe pointed out that many of the Jews have very Jewish sounding names, they grew out their hair or beards, as well as having a distinct style of dress. He paralleled this with the Jews in Egypt, which kept them distinguished from Egyptian culture. The hippie movement had the positive aspect of standing up to what was always accepted as the norm and creating something more authentic and truthful. Throughout our lives this power can be called forth. This adolescence is the next step in creating a genuine relationship and connection with G-d and the Torah.

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