One Mom’s Nasty Whatsapp

One Mom’s Nasty Whatsapp

The parents from my son’s class have a WhatsApp group. I’m not into WhatsApp. But another mother told me about a horrible interaction that took place in the group during the first week of school. And even though I didn’t read the back-and-forth myself, I cannot get it out of my head.
On one of the first days of school, one worried mother posted, “It’s already 5:30 and my son’s not home! School ended an hour ago…Are your sons already back home?”
And another mother responded, “If I was living as far away from the school as you do, I wouldn’t send my son there! What were you thinking?!”

And then today, at the shuk, I was picking out mangoes when I glanced over at the woman standing next to me. She looked like, how can I put this? Like the Baba Sali’s mother. Not a strand of hair peeking out from under her thick floral headscarf, over 90, under 5 feet. The kind of savta that recites the book of Psalms all day, and then continues in her sleep.
The young seller seemed to know this savta. And he said, “Oh, savta, you got new teeth!”And I looked at her and saw that she did, in fact, have beautiful teeth. Which, I guess, were newly purchased dentures.
And the seller continued, “Savta, I didn’t even recognize you! I thought you were your daughter!”
I wish you could have also seen that Savta’s beaming smile! When was the last time she felt so beautiful? Probably not since the Yom Kippur War…Or possibly the War of Independence?
And I thought, why destroy a person’s day like the critical WhatsApp mom when, like the mango seller, we can make a person’s day instead?

7 comments

  1. WhatsApp is such a tricky platform. Hashem should guard our tongues!

    What a sweet story about that savta. Not a strand of hair peeking out really hit my nerve – so much to work on. Thanks!!!

  2. So True! Words can make a person, or break a person!Thanx for sharing.

  3. I’ve left several WhatsApp groups for similar reasons. They also allow for spreading of misinformation and fake news that scare people unnecessarily or mislead parents or contribute to untrue gossip eg about businesses. I think people don’t realise it’s an interaction like any other, you can hurt people just as much as you can if you said it to their face. I’m so glad you brought this up.

  4. I left all my kids class WhatsApp groups. I don’t need to hear about how one mother’s daughter forgot her hw and can we please post the hw. I keep thinking , her daughter just got home from school and already has it “all together” and wants to do hw. While mine isn’t anywhere near doing hw, she’s just chilling out. I don’t need this anxiety. Also, I want my daughter to call her friend and find out what the hw is, why should I have to do it? I did my hw for many years, it’s her turn ;)I keep hearing rabbi nivins voice telling us how we need to minimize the “noise”. I want to be proud of my kids, and whatever hw they do I will be proud of.

    • I’ve never heard rabbi nivin mention the “noise”–could you please explain? eager to hear what that means…

  5. I’m hoping that the writer of the “nasty” response was really trying to say something like “If I was living as far away from the school as you do, I wouldn’t send my son there! I would be a bundle of nerves all day! How do you do it? What were you thinking? Please teach me! I envy your emunah in Hashem and relationship with your child! ” etc…

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