Is it ever appropiate to talk back to a Rebbi?

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    Like in a case where a kid has been verbally abused over and over again?


    If a kid is abused, it is appropriate to take legal action.


    I agree with Rebyidd.

    If a rebbe is verbally or otherwise abusing the kids, he is not a rebbe at all, and does not deserve the respect that comes with the position. The kids are entitled to, and should, do and say whatever they feel is necessary to protect themselves–certainly including talking back.


    If a Rebbe ever were to mistreat me, I would report him right after shiur on the first offence. I would also not consider him my Rebbe because he is not domeh l’malach.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    it is probably more appropriate to report him than to talk back.


    Is there any clear halacha i can use as a basis as of now the school has suspended my son until he APOLOGIZES TO HIS ABUSER

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    since i don’t know you, this comment is not to indicate i don’t believe you. if you know for a fact that he rebbe is being abusive and that you are not exaggerating the facts due to emotion (could be both), you may want to tell the menahel that either:

    1) Your son will apologize for chutzpah ONLY AFTER the rebbe apologizes for his abusive comments


    2) your son will apologize for the chutzpah ONLY AFTER the rebbe admits to you what was said, and apologizes to you for the way your son was treated.

    But don’t forget I’m from out of town so things work differently around here . . .

    Hatzlocho, I feel your pain and I wish you a swift and complete yeshua for your son and you from this painful experience.


    I agree with syag.

    The little I know

    This scenario is unfortunately very far from uncommon. Our current chinuch system believes that is a behavior that is best treated with discipline, punishment, etc. This is a myth. Even Shlomo Hamelech made passing mention about discipline as something that should not be abandoned, not as an ideal or a staple of chinuch. On the contrary, he concludes that famous, overused posuk ???? ???? ???? ??? with the ending ?????? ???? ????. Thus, even the ??? ??? ??? guides us to be the loving rebbe (and parent), not the punishing one. No, I’m not making this up. Please refer to the brilliant words by Rav Wolbe ZT”L on this subject.

    Bottom line is that the kid who is talking back to the rebbi is communicating a critical message. That rebbi’s responsibility is not to modify the behavior through consequences, but to explore it. Why is this kid upset. Am I claiming that the rebbi has the role of a therapist? Sort of. When that rebbi will understand what makes this kid tick, the child will feel understood, and won’t need to resort to chutzpah.

    I am not condoning unacceptable behavior. But I think poorly of the rebbi who resorts to punishment or other forms of discipline at almost any provocation. Kids are kids, and punishing them just make them have why to rebel.

    Here comes a controversial statement. If one studies the backgrounds of kids who are OTD, one of the glaring commonalities is that they have been disciplined, often too harshly, often unfairly or undeserving of it, but always in a way that was personally rejecting by a rebbi who had zero training how to address the kid. I fault the mosdos for hiring the untrained faculty, and I fault the parents for allowing such treatment of their kids to continue. Discipline has its place, but there is no mechanech alive who can match wits with Shlomo Hamelech who made discipline a last resort.

    There are yeshivos who boast having rebbeiim who will find an excuse to smack up talmidim towards the beginning of the school year to “show who is boss”. They then lie about how the rest of the class idolizes that rebbi years later. Such behavior is against halacha. Torah was not intended to be crammed in a child who would then reject it revengefully. In fact, the best method of teaching is modeling. The rebbe taking harsh action instead of addressing the kids’ needs is poor teaching, probably malpractice, and against halacha. For those wishing to attack my controversial statements, I ask one thing. Study the many seforim on chinuch (available at many seforim stores), the ones authored by (or compiled from the writings and shiurim of) many Gedolei Yisroel, such as Rav Shach, the Nesivos Shalom, Rav Wolbe,Rav Zilberstein, Rav Aharon Friedman, Pinsk-Karlin Rebbe, Rav Gamliel Rabinovitch, Rav Glikman, and many others. Then when we have these Torah sources that are totally opposed to the approach that is so commonplace in our yeshivos, we will debate. No one is taking me on. The opposition is this array of Gedolim.



    The menahel may feel that it is not appropriate for a student to talk back to a rebbi, regardless of circumstance. (It’s certainly not a student’s place to make a judgment about whether a rebbi deserves his position or the respect due one in that position.)

    Whether it is reasonable to expect of a verbally abused

    student not to respond is a different matter. Those who

    “hear their shame but do not answer” are considered to be

    on a high level…

    So, I would say that your son should apologize, assuming he is willing.

    This will get him back into class without further conflict.

    Once that is achieved, if there is a problem with the way the rebbi addresses your son, go ahead and take it up with the menahel,

    but I think it would be best not to mix the two issues

    if possible (or, if you already think of it as one issue, to split it).


    The simple answer to your question is no.

    Maltreatment doesn’t justify return maltreatment. The appropriate response to maltreatment is either distancing oneself from the perpetrator (when one is able), “calling” someone out on his behavior (pointing it out), and/or reporting it.

    Apologizing in this scenario seems counterintuitive because the rebbi wronged him. However, two wrongs don’t make a right. You need to hold your son accountable for his behavior while, at the same time, insisting that the school hold their rebbeim accountable for theirs.

    The verbal abuse and chutzpah that you describe both seem to stem from inappropriate ways of managing/expressing anger. However, although they both seem related, your son is in school to learn, whereas the rebbi was hired to teach. I would point this out to the school to remind them that Torah is a living Torah, something to be embodied in our every day lives, not just learned/taught from a book.

    old man

    I suggest following the minhag hamakom as practiced in the Ponovizhe Yeshiva.

    The little I know

    One point I made above deserves additional emphasis. Modeling. That’s the most effective, powerful means of teaching, and it is incumbent on every rebbe or teacher to use this. It goes way beyond the best mussar lectures.

    To teach a talmid to apologize – the rebbe should apologize. This rebbe has zero obligation to wait for the talmid to do so first. This is not a bein odom lachaveiro issue, which might be the case if we were dealing with peers. It is rebbe-talmid. If this rebbe is worth keeping in a classroom, he should display the behavior of asking mechilah. This has nothing with who did it first or any other excuses. In order to teach someone to be a mentch, just show him how to be a mentch. If I hear any excuses about kavod haTorah to justify the rebbe not apologizing, I’ll throw up my breakfast.


    the little I know:

    (You’re assuming that the rebbi has indeed done something wrong. Anyway:)

    What’s this about obligation to wait for the other person to apologize first? (I’ve never heard of such a thing…)

    What about obligation to apologize first?

    Would it be beyond reason to suggest that the person with a greater obligation to honor the other apologize first, namely, the student?

    Besides, in this case, the school/yeshiva has the power, and they want the boy to apologize. To start a you-go-first standoff seems counter-productive to me. (Call me a defeatist if you want to.)

    old man:

    The minhag hamakom, or the practice of the Ponevezh yeshiva?

    It can’t be both, unless either the makom is the Ponevezh yeshiva, or the practice of the Ponevezh yeshiva is to follow the minhag hamakom, which seems meaningless here.

    So, what exactly do you mean?


    By “talk back” do you mean to disagree or contradict, or rather do you mean to be rude, crude and sarcastic. The former is always acceptable if done correctly, and the latter (which seems to be the primary method of communication online) is never correct regardless of whom is speaking. I have met many gedolim and never heard them “talk back” even to an Am ha-Aretz, kal ve-homer, it is incorrect for an Am ha-Aretz (or talmid) in speaking to a “rebbe” (regardless of whether one means an elementary school teacher, or a gadol).

    The little I know


    You wrote: “Would it be beyond reason to suggest that the person with a greater obligation to honor the other apologize first, namely, the student?

    Besides, in this case, the school/yeshiva has the power, and they want the boy to apologize. To start a you-go-first standoff seems counter-productive to me. (Call me a defeatist if you want to.)”

    The honor issue is brought up all the time, and it is irrelevant. Whoever wronged another has the chiyuv to apologize. To exploit honor, with the expectation that the other has the obligation to give kavod and therefore must humble himself is purely ignorant. Because the rebbe has the chiyuv to be mechanech, if anyone needs to go first, it is him. The power thing is also irrelevant. Does the weaker one always need to bow in submission to the bully? What a bizayon!. Yet, that is the common occurence, and it is a shame that this has become the way of our yeshivos. The one with the chiyuv in yeshiva is the rebbe, not the talmid. That’s what chinuch is. These standoffs are regular occurrence, and they are directly correlated with the rebelliousness we see today.


    None of us know what really happend here. Im not even sure the father really knows.

    If The Rebbe abused the son in any way, then it IS appropriate to talk bad no matter what, there is never an excuse to berate or engage on corporal punishment.

    However if the boy did do the wrong thing and was appropriately punished (Doing the wrong thing does not mean the rebbe has the right to berate or hit for ANY reason) then he should apologize


    the little I know:

    (You assume that both rebbi and talmid are at equal fault here.)

    Would you argue with this? – “This talmid has no obligation to wait for the rebbi to do so first.”

    Or: On what basis do you insist to the talmid that he not go first?

    Is “the expectation that the other has the obligation to give kavod and therefore must humble himself” really a “purely ignorant” “exploit[ation of] honor?”

    You’re not even talking about the rebbi not apologizing at all,

    only him not going first. What’s the big deal?

    Please quote me instances from Chazal of a rebbi humbling himself

    before his talmid, seeing as you believe this to be the correct practice…

    You appear not to take the rebbi’s pride into account, which does not seem sensible. It’s well and good for you to argue your opinion, but what’s going to happen? Who has more face to save here?

    The power thing is also irrelevant. Does the weaker one always need to bow in submission to the bully? What a bizayon!

    Yes, it’s such a bizayon that the powerful are powerful, and the weak are not… I’m being sarcastic, of course. At the end of the day, for whom does it pay to be in the other’s good graces?

    Consider: Which side are we talking to, and whose obligations are you focusing on?

    Little Froggie

    “The Little I know”,

    To start, Shlomo Hamelech in his oft misconstrued, distorted words of true chochma and mussar, says explicitly to train, by use of the punishments where needed. Scratch that – even where NOT NEEDED!! Anyone who had a bit Gemarrah ‘reading’ will have come across ??? ?? ???? ?? ??? ???? ????? ??????. And they bring the wise words of Shlomo hamelech, not the ones so often misconstrued, but the saying ???? ??? ??????. And I suspect the Gemarrah is refereing to physical punishment – no one died from an extra scream. And to say Shlomo hamelech used that as a last resort, a last emergency option – well that’s just being foolish and distorting the Gemarah. Gemarrah actually says it’s a FIRST OPTION ??”? ?????. And then again, one can always distort ANYTHING written (oh, it’s the last resort, oh, there’s a new method, a new torah.. that’s from the dark ages…)

    You wanna say something about ????? ??????, today’s generation is weaker, cannot live up to the wise counsel of Shlomo hamelech, say it. But don’t misconstrue and falsify his timeless wise words.

    And I don’t think there are Yeshivos who “who boast having rebbeiim who will find an excuse to smack up talmidim towards the beginning of the school year to “show who is boss””. Aren’t you laying it on a bit?? Really?!? – smack up …to show who is boss.

    And if those that went off were a direct outcome of the system of old, doncha think there shoulda been a whole army of OTDs just STARTING to come to an END now, when we have our grand new methods?!? Hmm, just wondering.

    And I don’t really suspect today’s system has anything to brag about. Teaching children to challenge their elders, parents, teachers, Rebbeim etc.? I have a strong feeling that today’s generation of selfish, over indulged, arrogant, egotistical, insolent, brazen and disrespectful youth (and already some adults) is a direct consequence from the “child first” mentality. ?? ???? ??? ??? ????. “Lay your hands off the child”, “reward him” etc. Show him he’s in charge, show him how to disdain his elders, authority etc. What do you expect?

    I have no idea what went on in this particular case (for some reason they don’t seem to care for my sagacious advise), but this I do know – to TEACH a child chutzpah, any chutzpah, is to kill him for life! – ?? ???? ??????? A career of destruction.

    Could be I wrote about this one time, (true story). There was this famous mechanech (maybe Rosh Yeshiva, Rebbie?) in Eretz Yisroel who a father came literately crying to – his son rebelled, went off etc.

    So the Rabbi said “I know. And I’m waiting for you”


    Replied he, “You don’t recognize me, I do, however, recognize you. You were once with your son sitting on a bus, when an elderly man got on. Your son respectfully stood you and offered him his seat. You told your son to sit down, he got the seat first, no need to give it away, etc. You sowed the seeds with your own hands – now you’re reaping the fruits.”

    Teaching a child disrespect – the worst thing a parent could do.

    One more thing if I may, I’ve been around here (this globe, not this site) quite a few years, I’ve noticed that a home where Rabbonim, teachers, Morahs, Rebbeim are held in high esteem and reverence, children of that home are ?”? more or less OK. Homes where the Shabbos table is replete with derision of the above… ?’ ??????. AND I’VE SEEN IT, time and again.

    Parents – the future of your children is in your hands. It’s an easy game to blame this one and that. Oh he went OTD because of this Rebbe, that one potch… A lot (not all) boils down to what I wrote.

    oh, And blessed be my Rebbi’s hands (and stick) who tenderly, caringly, lovingly guided me on to the right path.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    LF – very respectfully stated but my guess (don’t know for sure) is that your kids are still young.

    Little Froggie

    SL, thank you!!

    And yes, some of my children are young. Esp. our new addition ?”? two months ago. But some .. suffice it to say a couple of them are “not young” anymore. (maybe, no definitely, I am)


    Has the issue ever been brought up before that the kid has been “abused again and again?”

    What exactly has the rebbe said? What has your son responded?

    The little I know


    I am sure that you have reviewed the references I mentioned above. Rav Wolbe clearly translates ???? as guidance, not punishment. He is not the first to do so, and far from the only one. In fact, I have yet to see who translates it as discipline. That ???? is certainly ??????, and is first choice. The discussion of ???? refers to when it was done and inflicted damage, whether there is responsibility.

    I am not preaching the Dr. Spock permissiveness or similar garbage. One must teach children boundaries and limits. Values are a main goal in chinuch, not the downloading of data, as is reflected in today’s yeshiva academics. Nothing here is a ?????. It would be foolish to reward a child for everything, and even dumber for misbehavior. In fact, my position is that learning by “consequence”, whether reward or punishment, is primitive, and only manipulates behavior. That is far from the main goal in chinuch. The main goal is more connected with transmitting Torah from the chain that began with ??? ??? ???? ????? and continues with this rebbi-talmid relationship. If this talmid is rejected, he will disconnect from that chain. “Oops, missed another one!” Every moment in yeshiva is an education moment, including those related to behavior. Don’t modify behavior, teach it.

    Putting the kid in charge is foolish. We agree. But bullying a kid into submission cannot be considered chinuch. One does not need to push for power to have the authority. The respect can be earned by being the loving teacher. Behavior is seldom a problem with a rebbi who has sucha relationship with his talmidim. Think back to your own yeshiva experience. That is universally true.

    Lastly, the child who exhibits is no better than the rebbi who does so. And, yes, a rebbi can be a ????? as well. The latter is not just degrading to the ????? himself, but it becomes a negative model for the children who see it, and the evil perpetuates ?”?. No part of me justifies the child who answers back to a rebbi. I would not reward it, nor put the kid in charge. Insinuating that is unfair and dishonest. I am simply noting that master mechanchim have spoken and written plenty, and none of them are obsessed with the need to punish (attributing such an approach to ???? ????). There are effective ways to intervene, and these involve some combination of the rebbi accepting responsibility for his own actions, and making clear gestures to embrace the child and have a loving relationship. The Chazon Ish ZT”L (niftar 1953) stated that the guidance of Chazal who stated that one should follow the derech of ???? ???? ????? ????? is not effective in today’s chinuch (the 1950’s), but that we now need to be ???? ????? as well. He understood quite well the children of his generation. Many of those are already great grandparents today. Times have not gotten better.

    One additional point. We assume that the discipline provided in yeshivos is fulfillment if the mitzvah of ???? ????? ?? ?????. That is a myth. The ???? ????? is extremely clear (Perek 20) that this mitzvah is contingent on the positive outcome. If the transgressor will not shape up, and might even reject, there is no mitzvah of tochacha, and the mitzvah is to remain silent. Not every behavior needs to be doled a consequence. What ultimately works for the child is the criteria for intervention, not what makes the rebbi’s life easier. Now, let’s just recall the Midrash where HKB”H asked Bnai Yisroel before ??? ???? for guarantors. The ???? and the ?????? were offered and rejected. When they suggested ????? ????? ?????, Hashem accepted the offer with expressions of enthusiasm. Learning/teaching is a task that has its value determined by the effectiveness for the children, not the rebbi. Our Gedolei Yisroel of the generations recognized that. They addressed it specifically. Check out their writings, instead of debating me. They spoke quite eloquently, and they bring more body to the message than I ever can.


    I remember once hearing a story of a teacher who made fun of something a Talmid said, and made fun of him by saying: ????? ?’ ?? ?? ?????

    The student responded: ????? ?? ????

    old man


    Clarification. The Ponovizhe Yeshiva has a minhag in how to deal with this issue. Check it out.


    old man:

    How? I don’t exactly live down the block…

    If it can be Googled, can you give me the words?


    Legal action against a teacher for “verbal abuse”, other than clearly illegal speech, is a dead end that will lead to nowhere other than wasting your time.


    Little Froggie:

    Beautifully and correctly said.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Everyone is right, but I think “the little I know” is the only one talking reality instead of theory.

    Yes, if your son stands for an old man and you tell him to sit down (which I believe is a very rare occurrence if it ever happened), you will be setting a bad stage. I feel the same way about the (less rare)”tell them you are only twelve, it will be cheaper” and “tell them he is your brother so he won’t have to pay”, or “tell them you are returning it because it didn’t fit, they can’t tell you wore it all shabbos” Those people are doing a horrible thing.

    The real reality, however, is that there are MANY, MANY, MANY parents who would not only have encouraged their child to give up their seat, but would have even offered to pay the old man’s ticket if need be. And invited him for shabbos as well. And those wonderful, middosdik, ehrlich parents who did NOT sow those bad seeds STILL ended up R”L with a child with serious questions. Or a child with chutzpah, or a child who ch”v turns away. You are correct that we need to do those right things, but you are wrong to think that it will have those results you dream of. Your job is to do what is right for your child, Hashem will put your child on the derech that is right for him.

    Regarding the schools, only in a dream. You are speaking of discipline, we are complaining about abuse. And no school is free of the abusive rebbes, some more, some less, but they are everywhere. Sorry, but they are. And not all children can shoulder or observe the abuse and come out strong. Even if 50 of their classmates did.

    My children have a wonderful Rebbe who was willing to acknowledge that the menahel was emotionally and verbally abusive to select students. He handled the situation by giving over very little information to the menahel, buffering the reports and handling all discipline directly with the parents. He was a life saver to several boys who were broken and battered. But one of those boys, who trusted this rebbe and no other, once caught rebbe on a bad day.

    One of the impulsive kids in the class got in his face and made fun of him about something personal. This boy told him to shut up. The impulsive boy RAN for the Rebbe to say, “so-and-so used bad language”. The Rebbe walked over to the boy and grabbed him by the shoulders and shoved him up against the wall and said something to him about not even being able to make it through a morning without bugging people. That was the end of this boys trust (this rebbe was the only one he trusted), the end of his effort, and the beginning of a difficult road. The Rebbe’s response over the next few weeks was to tell the mom that he put loads of work into the boy but I guess the boy is just beyond help. No idea the damage his own words did. And the mother was too embarrassed to speak up.

    And unfortunately, this story repeated itself with two to three boys in the class each year. And each time Rebbe would shake his head thinking that it was so sad that all the effort he put into the boy just didn’t help long term. Never a question to his own behavior.

    So is this abuse? Does this boy suffer from the “bad seeds” his parents sowed? Does this mother have a right to complain? Do you know that an apology from the Rebbe would have turned it all around for many of the boys (I can only speak for the one’s I have worked with).

    The theories are wonderful but the Rebbeim are over worked and underpaid. And not given the kavod they deserve. No question about that. But please don’t act like our boys don’t face humiliation constantly. Either they themselves, or their friends. And I DO believe that THAT chinuch has been the most damaging. Because the children will even opt to look up to crazy, materialistic, or overindulgent parents who are safe, over an ehrlich Rebbe who isn’t.

    catch yourself

    As long as people continue to perpetuate the myth that abusive Rebbeim (as described by TLIK and Syag, among others) are commonplace, the real solutions to the problems of kids at risk and OTD will remain elusive.

    The assertion that there are “schools which boast…” (I dare not repeat such words) is slanderous. It is a most egregious example of motzi shem ra, and should be removed from the post.

    As a Rebbe, I am greatly offended by the cavalier and careless manner in which I and my colleagues are so often maligned.

    The vast majority of today’s Rebbeim would never imagine the sort of abuse that has been described here as being possible. Personally, I have a hard time believing most of these stories. They are simply not realistic. The picture of a Rebbe who had invested so much into one student’s spiritual growth acting like an animal is completely incongruous, to say the least. That story sounds like something out of the pages of certain magazines which love to exaggerate and distort issues of abuse in the classroom and the home, ??? ?????? ??????.

    It’s a good thing this is an anonymous forum; otherwise, I would not be able to say the following, for fear of the appearance of self-serving arrogance:

    The Rebbeim in classrooms today are warm, caring, loving individuals whose concern for their students is very nearly equal to that for their own children. They live and breathe their talmidim’s welfare 24/7. They NEVER resort to corporal punishment, and rarely (if ever) say more than a harsh word to a student, and this only after many, many attempts to diffuse a situation before it gets that far.

    This is not to say that every Rebbe is perfect every day. When I have made mistakes in the management of my classroom, I have acknowledged as much to the class. I am not proud to say that this has happened once or twice over the years (and no, it never came near anything that anyone would label “abuse”). I am proud to say that when it did, I candidly admitted my mistake, and apologized publicly to the boy whom I had treated without the proper respect.

    Yes, as a Rebbe, I treat my students with respect. As the Rambam rules.

    I know many Rebbeim, in my own school, in the other schools in my community and in other communities throughout the country. All of them fit the description above. None of them would ever imagine abusing a student, physically or verbally.

    This is not to say that there are no bad apples; it is to say that the bad apples in today’s chinuch system are very few, and very far between.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Thank you, catch yourself, for injecting a dose of reason and reality to the discussion. Your perspective rings true to me. Sure, I’ve seen a few rebbeim who have had an occasional lapse of judgement, but it’s the minority even for them, and they are the minority. The vast majority of my sons’ rebbeim over the years have been wonderful, and the rebbeim I’ve seen from other vantage points have also been dedicated and caring – the farthest thing from abusive.


    catch yourself: +1. x1,000,000!

    Little Froggie


    (I suppose you were responding to me)

    I’m sorry you had such an experience. But know, that’s not the norm. At least not around here.

    Read what the Rebbe above wrote. I have the same feelings.

    And I wasn’t saying that OTD cannot come from other sources, only that a family which tolerated belittling, derision, scorn towards Rabbonim, Rebbes and Morahs will have ?”? an issue… (btw, it’s not my own words)

    And I wasn’t ?”? condoning abuse, or abusive educators. The problem with abusive educators can be even those who abuse verbally, a scar from a verbal attack can be very long in healing too.

    Again, (and I’m not going to be drawn and dragged down into debate) plain ???? and Gemarrah do warrant corporeal punishment, no amount of books, sefarim, sermons etc. can distort or falsify the sagacious advice of Shlomo hamelech himself. All later books and advice are NOT the intended words, rather an adaptation towards our generation. And as I’ve written above, today’s system has nothing special to show. Read Rabbi Miller’s approach to chinuch. Again, this is all about an approach for caring, devoted, rational, level-headed mechanchim. Those who act not upon impulse rather upon sound judgment and deliberation. I was not at all referring to the issue of abusive mechanchim.

    Again, I really feel bad for your terrible encounter with the system.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    No LF, I was not responding to you, I was resonding to the comments being posted. And BH it is not my child I spoke of. But how sad for those like you, DY and CY to wish so hard that it was rare that you would actually say so, even tho so many people can tell you it isn’t. And this was NOT one of the abusive rebbes. This was NOT the rebbe who is sharp and condescending, turning boys cheeks red with comebacks. This was the loving and caring Rebbe who was almost always there for his talmid.

    The Rebbes catch yourself spoke of are the gems, the ones we all know about and fight to have. In a school of 20 teachers, even if they are half, that still leaves hundreds of students who don’t have them.

    No, I don’t think that these rebbeim are the explanation for the OTD problem, I never made that claim, but to say these rebbes are RARE or not the norm is a joke. Would you really be so bold as to sweep this problem under the rug, and with it all those who have suffered? Is it possible (tho I don’t suspect so but how would I now) that you are a father who poo-poos your kids claims of being hurt by saying he just doesn’t understand discipline? I have seen parents respond that way to kids who are crumbling.

    Perhaps you are defining abuse so specifically that it cannot include the commonplace embarrassment, subtle put downs, dismissals that seem like nothing but dig into the child. And you are only thinking of horrible things that really and honestly would not be happening.

    Don’t be so quick to make all these hurting children invisible, it just adds to their pain. And since this can’t be a discussion when the people arguing it are telling me I made it up, it isn’t really happening (hmm, sounds familiar), I will keep myself out of it.


    The Rebbes catch yourself spoke of are not the gems; they are the norms. In schools of 20 teachers they probably average close to 19.


    If I was a good rebbe and I knew of a bad Rebbe, Id want him gone, Having 10 kids and no other Parnassah is no reason not to fire a bad rebbe. Not everyone is cut out to be a rebbe and If there is one bad Rebbe in a yeshiva of 20 Rebbes, that one Rebbe can spoil it for the rest.

    If that one bad Rebbe teaches the same grade every year it means most of the boys will have that Rebbe and the entire well is spoiled.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    No, Syag, I didn’t say you made it up, and I’ll thank you to not assume that just because in my experience it’s not common (although I don’t know if I’d use Lior’s numbers) I might be “a father who poo-poos your kids claims of being hurt by saying he just doesn’t understand discipline”.

    It’s not a matter of “sweeping the issue under the rug”. Such an issue did come up once, and and I’ll tell you, it was a very difficult balancing act to try to maintain my son’s sense of respect for rebbeim (because if he was told that he can be chutzpadik to this rebbe, he would likely maintain that attitude toward other rebbeim in the future) yet validating his legitimate sense of injustice at how the rebbe acted

    Yet, this was a relative rarity in my sons yeshiva, and a lapse in conduct by a rebbe (in an extremely difficult circumstance) who had an otherwise distinguished chinuch career.

    So if you don’t mind, I’ll express here my very legitimate perspective which despite not being Pollyannaish is an overall very positive one shared by many in my community with whom I’ve discussed this.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    If that one bad Rebbe teaches the same grade every year it means most of the boys will have that Rebbe and the entire well is spoiled.

    Even the worst rebbeim don’t usually have a negative impact on most of the class. The problem is usually limited to the more challenging students.


    Syag Lchochma-

    “Perhaps you are defining abuse so specifically that it cannot include the commonplace embarrassment, subtle put downs, dismissals that seem like nothing but dig into the child. And you are only thinking of horrible things that really and honestly would not be happening.”

    This particular paragraph speaks volumes of your understanding and outlook of Chinch.

    Do you really believe that a “offhand” remark is abuse? Subtle putdowns? Dismissals? All abuse? No wonder you see abuse everywhere.

    You are the perfect Ami reader. Congrats!

    Little Froggie

    No, SL, I mean it. I really do!! I’m pretty much involved in my children’s chinuch, all aspects. I can discern when one did have an issue that day just be the looks, I have an easy-going rapport with Rabbeim, teachers and principals.. Right you are, some of my children have had run ins… some have had issues.. still no abuse at all, in any shape or form. And in all my years of being a parent I cannot recall any complaint of a Rebbie or teacher who acted out of anger. All the one’s I’ve come across are well disciplined, Yerei Shamaim, caring and devoted. The future Posek Hador and Roshei Yeshiva of Brisk (my sons) are a product of their work.

    I don’t know where you live, maybe it’s time to emigrate to NY… (sure, you hear stories… but it’s NOT THE NORM – that’s why it’s a story)


    This whole thread is absurd. Is anyone here the head of Torah Umesorah? Then why is anyone talking as if they know what every single Jewish school is like? Everyone’s experience here is so limited and yet everyone is taking their limited experience and extrapolating it to everywhere. It’s possible (probable) that everyone commenting on “what schools are like” are correct in their own experience and yet very wrong because their own experience doesn’t extend to the hundreds (thousands?) of Jewish schools around the country and around the world.

    Patur Aval Assur


    I’m the head of TorahUmesorah. Go on, ask me my opinion.


    Whenever it comes to answering back or challenging authority, and sometimes there is a time for that, be careful not to do so in anger or rage. YOU are the example for your child! Ultimately, ur reaction this time will be your child’s reaction to you in a time of disagreement Or the way your child will lash out in camp when u r not there.


    I have no problem being very right wing in terms of just flat out making it assur to talk back. Kids do not have a right to talk back in a smart alecky way to their rebbi. It is just wrong for myriad reasons. I don’t think the topic was regarding “abuse.” I will tell you as a former teacher, that parents send their kids off for a form of sophisticated babysitting and are VERY defensive about what they hear, so much so that many resist calling. It is one of the hardest jobs there is. And education can be way down the list of the things you do in your work day.


    A child should never, ever, answer back a rebbi.

    If a need arises it is the parent who must take up the responsibility. And even they should ascertain beforehand with certainty the rebbi indeed was in the wrong rather than the child.

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