Sunday, July 27, 2008
(Credit - YWN archives)
I'd like to apologize to my faithful readers for being slow in posting this week, there have been numerous impediments, most of which we've overcome, b"H. I hope to continue from now on a more steady pace.
In my humble opinion part of the growing-up process is readjusting many of your long-held beliefs. If it hasn't happened to you yet, and you think it should have, then you need to get out more and broaden your circle of friends. Just listening to nonchalant conversations can do wonders for you. Meeting different kinds of people helps too, as well as actually striking up conversations with them. The same goes for all of you too. One of those beliefs may have been that only you and your friends have ALL the right answers for every problem that may arise. Once you get out you may realize that surprisingly enough there are others that may have better solutions. In the realm of chinuch there are many different approaches when it comes to raising children, some more strict than others, all seemingly with the same end goal, yet with very different approaches and success rates.
In America, or at least in New York, the yeshivishe oylem has taken the approach that what can be taught mit shlechten can be taught mit gutten as well. There's no need to beat the fear of G-d into children when it can be done with love and respect. They've decided that the fact that a child is drawn to the more mundane doesn't mean that he won't outgrow it as an adult with just a nudge in the other direction. I dare say they have it right. They allow kids to be kids, and even when there is an issue later on allow him to be an adult. For some reason that has been lost on the Chassidishe/Hungarian crowd. I guess they see their record and deem it a success. The fact that they all dress the same is all it takes; that says it all. If only it were that simple. If not for the fact that mosdos today are afraid of the authorities who knows what would happen, kids might be just as terrified to go to yeshiva as they were 20 years ago.
There are signs that things are changing, and maybe not for the better. The Israeli influence has taken over and many parts and it now has become fashionable to go around screaming about infractions that we could look away at, since we knew that in the greater scheme of things they don't really matter.You may have read the blurb about the Tznius gathering in Lakewood at which hundreds and maybe thousands attended. The fact that they gather to discuss it is a good things, although it probably is one of the things which HaTznius Yofoh Lohem, but the tone and the "ideas" that came out of the meeting is what bothered me. Not to knock anybody personally, but the fact that brought Rabi Waxman from Monsey, a somewhat angry fellow, shows me that the undercurrent is one of anger, and that's never a good thing. People who are angry generally have ulterior motives or are insincere, it's not K'vod Shomayim they're after, and the whole idea is then for the all the wrong reaons. All that is beside the fact that it's mostly preaching to the choir.
This and other happenings tell me that all those years of bachurim (and meidlach) learning in Israel and feeling inferior to their brethren and sisteren (is that a word?) there has taken its toll, and the days of easy-going friendly chinuch in litvishe circles may be limited. I certainly hope not. I like the fact that the melamdim are friendly to the children while still imparting good values and maintaining the necessary between Rebbe and Talmid. It works wonders for children for years to come. If that were to change, and they'd become like the nervous Hungarian melamdim I had then we're in great trouble, because there would be no respite from the chinuch terror that goes in some places. Having said that, when it came to choosing a day camp for my son, I chose a yeshivishe place that I was very happy to see had good, frum, yet happy-go-lucky Rebbes and direcors. That's right. Hirshel Tzig's son is in a yeshivishe day camp. Chabad has no camp in my town. He'll survive with his Lubavitchkeit intact, G-d willing.