Wednesday, September 21, 2005
הערט אויס א קלוגער איד
I believe the following comment is worthy of it's own post. I took the liberty of editing for grammar, not content, במחילת כבודו
History will one day show that the downfall of most Chassidic groups started when they entered the field of Jewish elementary education, post high school education is a completely different matter.
In Eastern Europe not one chassidic group had their own Chedorim or Talmud Teyre. Ger, a huge Chassidus, did not run chedorim in Warsaw, Lodz, Bendin or Plotzk. Belz had no Talmud Teyre schools in Cracow or Lemberg, all chassidic kids learned and studied together. This encouraged a sense of klal rather than sectarian feelings and loyalty. Schools were run by groups like the Agudah, Mizrachi, or baalei batim or concerned parents, not Chassidic courts.
More importantly Chassidic Rebbes did not have to cover the huge educational budgets of their movements, a senior Yeshiva is not the most expensive מוסד to run. But we all know that primary and secondary schools are very cost prohibitive.
Thus, today all Rebbes are primarily CEO's of their movements or, at best hold a position like a University president whose chief responsibility is fund raising. Imagine a Chassidus where the Rebbe ran no schools except for a kibbutz for 18-19 year olds and a kibbutz for a dozen yungeleit. The Rebbe's concentration would be on "עניני רוחניות." But alas, since they are not פועלי ישועה they have to do something.
Pshhvorsk in Belgium has no Mosdos, except for the classic Beis Medrash, Hekdesh and free kitchen. Thus, Reb Itzikel did not get involved in chinuch. There are plenty of Ba'alei Batim and Melamdim who can run better schools than a Chassidic movement.
Imagine a world where students of different backgrounds studied together. Stoliner , Lubavitcher, Gerer, Breslover and Slonimer studying together , and learning to tolerate different Minhogim and viewpoints.