MOChassid

The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @ aol.com

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Playing Ball With Rebbes, Class Trips and Other Horrible Things

I wasn't at the TU conference and I didn't hear what was said or not about playing ball, class trips or abuse.

To the extent gedolim said things that we can't understand, I attribute it to their exististing in a different reality from us, by us meaning those not in the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox world.

For what it's worth (not much), this is what I think:

Child Abuse: The machers at the TU conference should have gotten up and said, mefurash, that TU has a zero tolerance policy and that we will examine strategies for policing and reporting it. It should have been said clearly and forcefully. Period, end of story. Ain Mah L'daber.

Class Trips: I just sent OYD on her class trip to Washington. As a graduating 8th grader, the alternative to taking this trip is wasting yet another two beautiful May days in class with nothing at stake, simply waiting for the year to end. Instead, she will have two wonderful days with her friends, in her case a last opportunity to hang with her classmates since she will be attending a different high school next year. I have to admit, I just don't get what's wrong with this.

Playing Ball With Rebbes: It is pashut that it is increasingly more difficult for teachers to relate to teenaged boys, especially in the MO world. There are way too many things pulling them in different directions. If a Rebbe can shoot some hoops with the boys during recess or discuss the latest Yankees game, his stature goes up in their eyes, not down. We are simply not holding by yiras haRebbe so we have to find what works. (It is so difficult to understand what was allegedly said at the TU conference because this is so pashut in our circles.)

(Let me go further. What about the girls? In my experience (2 daughters), it seems that morot who dress fashionably or seem to be 'in touch' also have a much better chance at relating to their students than teachers who are remote or out of touch. That's another one that isn't too difficult to understand.)

Bottom Line: In the chareidi educational circles there is way too much emphasis on Sur Mai Rah and not nearly enough on Asei Tov. There is an overwhelming fear of the outside world but not enough confidence in the beauty of Torah and Yiddishkeit. Consequently, we hear about restriction after restriction rather than discussions about inspiring our children. This is tragic.

More about this later.

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2 Comments:

  • At 10:59 AM, Blogger Just Passing Through said…

    Bottom Line: In the chareidi educational circles there is way too much emphasis on Sur Mai Rah and not nearly enough on Asei Tov. There is an overwhelming fear of the outside world but not enough confidence in the beauty of Torah and Yiddishkeit. Consequently, we hear about restriction after restriction rather than discussions about inspiring our children. This is tragic.

    Well said! I've been pushing the same thought for a while -after hearing from who I presume was the same source as you did.

    As R' Kook said:

    The pure Zaddikim do not complain about evil, but increase justice; do not complain about lack of faith, but increase faith; do not complain about ignorance, but increase wisdom.

     
  • At 5:29 PM, Anonymous The People's Champ said…

    I agree 100% with you. Growing up in the Modern Orthodox world of the 70's and 80's, one of the main reasons I am religious today is due to a High School Rebbe who happened to be insightful enough to not listen to the then current establishment and do what was needed, whether that was donning a soccer jersey and competing against his talmidim, listening to old Sam Cooke or Beach Boys tunes or marveling at the Tzidkus of the past Skverer rebbe.
    I think this is a main reason why so many of the youger MO Rebbe's are succesful. they can relate better to the kids than past generation.

     

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