Halachic Child

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6 Responses

  1. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “To be sure, I am the product of many years of intensive Yeshivah and Kollel education, yet I did not begin my development in the same type of family or schooling to which they are exposed… We are fortunate to live in a Jewish community where we can provide our children with an outstanding, balanced education…cholent to Tchaikovsky”

    It’s good chinuch to train children at a young a age to see the world in terms of halacha or other parts of Torah; the examples of R. Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz and R. Mendel Kaplan come to my mind, who were known for an appreciation for the world at large. Vacations and outings can be good opportunities to integrate Torah subjects with one’s environment(I remember on a trip to Niagra Falls led by one of my rebbeim, a discussion ensuing about the halchaos of chalitzah-shoes, as we were changing into water-resistant sandals).

    As far as the differences in generation, one can indeed point to growth in successive generations in the American Torah world(Yaakov Rosenblatt wrote on Cross Currents about this in December, 2006 in “Chiddush in our Beis Midrash”). To many, the fact that current American Bnei Torah may know less than their parents about the NBA or Tchaikovsky(l’havdil), the exact degree, differing with different personalities and Yeshivos, is seen as a byproduct of a better Torah education.

    However, I think that the previous generation had its strong points as well. Although ideally, a more self-contained Torah education should always make it easier to obtain completion in all areas, the previous generations may have benefited in some ways from being exposed to the broader world, such as by having an appreciation for the positive that exists in different people and in secular knowledge(true, parts of our surrounding culture have been progressively descending). If so, even as we focus inward, we need to be sure that we continue to find ways within an inner-focused education, to still maintain the previous generation’s strengths regarding their outlook on the outside world.

  2. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    A number of years ago I read that a psychologist tested a hareidi child and suggested he was psychotic because of his response to a comparison of various fruits and vegetables. I don’t remember what the “right” answer was supposed to be, but the child classified them by bracha. Halachic child.
    Excellent post. Once again, sign up Rabbi Belovski as a regular. Not to suggest any criticism of the current regulars, but putting him on the bill will only increase the quality and prestige of the site. I recommend it to all I encounter.

  3. Steve Brizel says:

    RSZA was well known for being interested in and appreciating the possible halachic ramifications of technological developments of all kinds and availing himself of a circle of Talmidie Chachamim with secular education in these areas.

  4. barry says:

    Friends of ours reported visiting Israel with their then very young children. During a hail storm, unusual enough in Israel, one of the kids was heard to remark to the others on his fear of getting burned by the hail–a reference to the midrash about the only other hail
    ‘experience’ the children had–the miraculous ‘fire and ice’ makka of barad in Egypt.

  5. easterner says:

    to still maintain the previous generation’s strengths regarding their outlook on the outside world.

    is that to be accomplished by surrendering the outside world to baalei teshuva? [leaving it assur to everyone else, except mmaybe a few sacrificial lambs?]

  6. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “is that to be accomplished by surrendering the outside world to baalei teshuva?’

    That’s a separate question, about how insular or worldly a community should be(see for example the discussion in “These and Those” by R. Schwab). I was pointing out that if one indeed chooses to have less to do with the sourrounding culture, then such people should at the same time be careful to acknowledge what good exists elsewhere, as in chochma b’goyim taamin.

    The opposite is true as well. One doesn’t have to fully be a “Halachic Child” to sometimes, at least, see the world through the prisim of Torah and halacha.

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