Is it the Rebbeim’s Fault?

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4 Responses

  1. 1.5 opinions says:

    I disagree with one aspect of R’ Menken’s analysis. I do not agree that the balance between middot and outward religious behaviors has so much to do with the time spent in Yeshiva, kiruv or otherwise. I would put forth that it has more to do with the very basic value and emphasis placed on each. It could come back to the basic argument, as old as our tradition itself it seems, as to what extent the halachic practice exists to teach us lessons and improve us. From my experience, many BT yeshivot teach behavior and study l’shem shemayim. But certainly, the navi Micah, Hillel, and Rabbi Akiva, all expressed, in some way or another, the primacy of middot. Perhaps, it is not that BT yeshivot stress religious action too much, but that they fail to send the message that such actions without the appropriate middot can be meaningless. When teaching the “right way” to study, the “right way” to daven, and the “right way” to have Shabbat, etc., they should include the middot that go along with those mitzvot.

  2. Steve Brizel says:

    Is it really relevant whether Abramoff is a FFB or BT? There are Psukim, Sugyos and Halachos that talk in rather explicit form about Kiddush HaShem and Chillul HaShem. Perhaps, the fault lies in viewing the subject’s lack of compliance as one involving “midos” as opposed to halachos, which as far as I know , apply to all Jews-BT, FFB or not yet frum.

  3. mycroft says:

    I agree with Steve-unfortunately I don’t see it as a matter of BT or FFB. An interesting week
    last May when in a couple of days a leading Satmar was convicted I believe of engaging in arsoand a “musmach”
    who went to Torah Vaddaath and then YU was sentenced for insurance fraud. Neither was a BT. Was the nursing home scandal based on BT? Sadly, Orthodoxy no longer necessarily connotes to the average person-correctly or incorrectly the idea that one is necessarily an ethical person.
    As long as Yahadus education emphasizes Brachot and davening to the apparent exclusion of everything else this type of Chillul Hashem will continue. BTW I certainly have nothing against Brachot-in 1/2 an hour I have a Gemarrah Brachot shiur to go to.

  4. Michoel says:

    “At least in my experience, Kiruv Rabbonim and Yeshivos do a superlative job guiding the self-improvement process with a host of different individuals with many different issues—given backgrounds far more varied than one finds in the typical collection of yeshiva high school graduates.”

    Yaakov,
    I’m happy that has been your experience. There are many rebbeim that are superb and there are many that are far less then superb. It seems that those that know what they are getting into and are really dedicated to working with BTs do a good job. Those that needed a shtellar after kollel but don’t necessarily make the effort to get inside BT phsycology can cause problems. “Just learn hard and that will solve everything” works for a fairly small percentage of BTs yet there are a lot of rebbeim in some of the yeshivos that don’t know to take a different approach. I think the main, well know yeshivos, Ohr Someach (both branches), Aish, Machon Shlomo, generally do a good job. The same is true for Neve. Some places have a deserved reputation as a being a bit of personallity cults, with a Rosh Yeshiva or Rebbetzin that is a big baal shita. It can be very problematic.

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