Corporal punishment must remain an option for teachers

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  • #1653010

    Uri22
    Participant

    @catchyourself I’m well aware of the Maharal’s understanding of the Torah’s civil justice system, however, I very much doubt we would feel comfortable using public flogging, beheading and pouring lead down a person’s throat as a government policy used as a scare tactic that is seldom applied. The fact is that the sensitivities we have in the current era are extremely sensitive to physical punishment. I feel I must reiterate that I don’t believe in corporal punishment, similarly to the view of most mechanchim. However i am mature enough to understand that this is a result of growing up in a very sensitive culture that doesn’t reflect the Torah’s view on these issues.

    #1653031

    Phil
    Participant

    “However i am mature enough to understand that this is a result of growing up in a very sensitive culture that doesn’t reflect the Torah’s view on these issues.”

    Uri22,

    The Torah’s view on corporal punishment in the classroom has been clearly expressed by the gedolim of our generation and the overwhelming majority are against it.

    #1653045

    Uri22
    Participant

    @phil the great halachic leaders of the past had no issue with it (Shulchan Aruch, Ramah, Rambam) and the current stance of today’s mechanchim are opposed to it. It’s a fluid issue.

    #1653065

    Phil
    Participant

    Uri22,

    Please concentrate; the topic of this thread is whether corporal punishment is permitted nowadays in the classroom. We are talking about the children of this generation, not previous generations.

    #1653116

    catch yourself
    Participant

    Uri22,

    “However i am mature enough to understand that this is a result of growing up in a very sensitive culture that doesn’t reflect the Torah’s view on these issues.”

    Was this meant as a thinly veiled insult? If so, it is self-contradictory. If not, it is very poor writing.
    Either way, it is illustrative of the attitude that you know better than everyone else in the room, including many Gedolim. Rav Wolbe and all the others did not bemoan our unwillingness to practice this Halacha properly.

    You may well “be aware of the Maharal’s understanding…,” but it does not seem to me that you understood it well. There is a profound difference between a value statement and a deterrent (or, what you would call a “scare tactic”).

    It would hardly be the effective scare tactic which can be circumvented by simply ignoring the Hasraah (instead of responding with a positive affirmation, or קבלת התראה), and which Beis Din is invested in avoiding, to the point of deliberately tripping up the witnesses.

    Rav Hirsch goes to great lengths to show that, in all but three cases, the punishments which the Torah prescribes are NOT intended as deterrents, but as statements of values. [The exceptional cases of זקן ממרא, בן סורר ומורה, and מסית ומדיח requiring deterrent punishment precisely because the offense is more dangerous than is superficially apparent].

    As a “value”, I think it is quite obvious that the Torah approves of corporal punishment by both parents and Rebbeim. However, this approval is not in a vacuum. The Torah presumes a certain contextual relationship within which such punishment would be meted out. Gedolim of recent decades as well as our contemporary leaders have made it clear (and, honestly, anyone who works with kids for a few days should know this on their own) that we are not able to establish such resonant relationships with our students in today’s society, and that therefore corporal punishment is impracticable.

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