December 26, 2013 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #611673
My wife and I went on a small vacation recently to the same resort I mentioned last year in this thread: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/be-nice
While we were eating dinner, there was a couple one table over from us, who noticed our kosher food (it took a while to undo the double wrapping, and it was loud from all the foil!) The guy commented on our bringing kosher food with us, and seemed to know the rules involved with double wrapping, etc. He was eating the hotel’s food, which was obviously not kosher.
He told me, “Don’t be surprised that I know the rules! I’m Jewish! I went to yeshiva as a kid! Wanna guess which ones?” He then named 5 or 6 well-known yeshivos in Brooklyn. He continued, “I went to all of those, and got thrown out of all of them, because they decided they couldn’t handle me, and the difficult background I came from.” (He told me his parents couldn’t have children, so they adopted him. His biological parents were not Jewish. His adoptive parents then had a child naturally. I didn’t get details, but it did cause some issues with him.)
“I went away to a yeshiva for high school, and lasted a little while there, but ended up getting thrown out in the end. I never actually graduated high school. Now I have my own business, and thankfully do well – but I’ll never be Orthodox again!”
My wife and I spoke with him and his girlfriend (who, thankfully, has a Jewish mother) for a while – just to get friendly. It turned out that we have a lot of mutual friends. We ended up inviting them to us for a Shabbos. I’m hoping that if they see a nice Shabbos meal, with singing zemiros, it can have a positive impact on them.
But this is the result of throwing kids out of yeshiva! I heard from my Rosh Yeshiva, R’ Bender, how his Rebbe, R’ Shmuel Berenbaum, reacted when someone suggested a kid should be thrown out – he yelled at the guy! He said you don’t know the harm that can be caused by doing that! I was saddened by this guy’s story. I don’t envy the responsibility that the schools who threw him out have on their shoulders. When the hanhalah are judged after 120 years, this will be part of what is brought up.December 26, 2013 7:07 pm at 7:07 pm #996262
I agree with you 100%. I must say, tho, that I can tell you some equally horrific stories about people who were classmates to children who “should have” been thrown out but weren’t. Though I DO agree with you, it needs to be discussed with the reality of both sides.December 26, 2013 7:07 pm at 7:07 pm #996263Little FroggieMember
It’s been chewed here, regurgitated, re-chewed, over and over.
I don’t know the details. Maybe you don’t either. Sometimes one limb has to be amputated to save a life. Sometimes one child must be thrown out to save the rest. It’s dinei nifashos, in earnest. I’ve heard of a principal who refused his morning meal, fasted the day he had to decide on expelling a girl from school – as do Sanhedrin on the day they decide on a capital crime.
Yes, it is a grave decision. Hanhalah must answer either way they proceed. Say this one stays and ends up corrupting the rest – a most grave consequence – actually worse than if only one ends up ?????? ???.
So yes, there are two sides to be looked upon, with grave, earnest importance and weight.December 26, 2013 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #996264🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
I wonder if he was ever told that he doesn’t have to stay jewish if he doesn’t want to.December 26, 2013 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #996265
they ask at the bar mitzvah. if he said yes back then, he would be hard-pressed to find a way out now. I know someone who went through that.December 26, 2013 8:42 pm at 8:42 pm #996266streekgeekParticipant
Yup, they ask at bar/bas mitzva age. I believe it’s a whole ritual in beis din. I know someone who went through that too.
And forget about kicking out of schools, how about the kids who don’t even get in to school because the hanhala believes it’s pointless cuz anyways s/he will be kicked out in a few weeks??? Oh, so they’re giving off the message that the streets are a better place for people like you. Much better.December 26, 2013 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #996267
they aren’t giving that message, I think their intent is for you to look for a place that is a better fit.December 26, 2013 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #996268streekgeekParticipant
Syag – What you’re saying is true, but I was actually referring to a specific case that I know. This was seriously the intent. You’re not good enough for any of us.December 26, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #996269🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
I know they’re supposed to ask by the bar mitzvah. The question is whether they did. I have already heard of cases where they never asked and the child was allowed to make the choice later on.December 26, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm #996270fkellyMember
If a school feels they need a student to leave the least they can do is help them find a better school for the child.December 27, 2013 12:19 am at 12:19 am #996271squeakParticipant
Theres always a unifying theme to every post by an MO bleep.December 27, 2013 2:25 am at 2:25 am #996272
squeak: I’m not sure who you’re referring to, but you shouldn’t post where people are from. Mods, isn’t that giving out personal information?December 27, 2013 3:58 am at 3:58 am #996273squeakParticipant
Its a mindset, not a location. That aside, I do appreciate what the mod did, it conveys my initial reaction far better than I actually did.December 27, 2013 4:42 am at 4:42 am #996274
I hate to tell you people but the hanhalas motives in a lot of cases are not so pure. I heard a shiur on the radio once which crystallized this point. After the bochur is thrown out of a yeshiva and it is no longer a cheshbon of him against the yeshiva does the hanhala keep up with him, help him find him a new yeshiva, inquire about his chavrusas etc.? usually not. tzei ulemad from avraham and yishmael. vhamiavin yavin.December 30, 2013 3:34 am at 3:34 am #996275golferParticipant
Jbald, I guess the answer to your question is- sometimes. There are caring Rabbayim out there who will stay in contact. My favorite story was of a 9th grade Rebbi who had a student who was asked not to return for 10th. (And yes, the hanhala was involved in finding him a more suitable place.) The Rebbi gave his student his whole collection of old hard cover Hardy Boy books that he had from when he was young as a parting gift and to maintain a friendship.December 30, 2013 3:45 am at 3:45 am #996276
Those are unfortunately are a very small minority. I have seen plenty of cases where the rebbeim/menahalim held grudges years later and refused to go over to those bochurim by simchas even to see how they were doing. I guess it is tough for the rabbonim/manhegai hador to speak about it without stepping on peoples (and yeshivas) toes but in my humble opinion it is an issue which needs to be addressed.December 30, 2013 6:07 am at 6:07 am #996277cvParticipant
“After the bochur is thrown out of a yeshiva and it is no longer a cheshbon of him against the yeshiva does the hanhala keep up with him, help him find him a new yeshiva, inquire about his chavrusas etc.? usually not.”
No, they don’t help to find a new yeshiva. But they keep sending letters to grandparents and asking to support their yeshiva.December 30, 2013 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #996279
I think it is great that you and your wife were friendly with this gentleman and his friend, and that you invited them for Shabbos. The fact that he approached you after seeing you unwrapping kosher food indicates that he still feels a connection to Judaism, even if there is a lot of hurt.
I disagree, however, with the blanket judgement you passed on the Yeshivos after hearing his story. I do not see how you could have gleaned sufficient information from restaurant chatter to be able to pass such judgement with “after 120 years” type language.
He then named 5 or 6 well-known yeshivos in Brooklyn. He continued, “I went to all of those, and got thrown out of all of them, because they decided they couldn’t handle me, and the difficult background I came from.”
To get thrown out of 5 or 6 schools, plus an “away” yeshiva, is quite a feat. Couldn’t handle me? At what point do we move beyond your stereotype of kid victim and heartless hanhalas, and consider the possibility that sometimes a young person’s behavior can be dangerous to himself or others, and that expulsion may be a necessary, albeit highly unfortunate, course of action? When do we stop blaming our circumstances on others, and start taking personal responsibility for our actions?
But this is the result of throwing kids out of yeshiva!
Or maybe, just maybe, it was the result of his bad choices and his bad behavior.
I heard from my Rosh Yeshiva, R’ Bender, how his Rebbe, R’ Shmuel Berenbaum, reacted when someone suggested a kid should be thrown out – he yelled at the guy! He said you don’t know the harm that can be caused by doing that!
That is a nice story, and I’m sure that R’ Berenbaum’s reaction was totally appropriate given the specific situation. I’m not sure that it is appropriate to project one situation into another, however. Sometimes a rock should be struck, and sometimes it should be spoken to.
I was saddened by this guy’s story. I don’t envy the responsibility that the schools who threw him out have on their shoulders. When the hanhalah are judged after 120 years, this will be part of what is brought up.
Would you be sad if a yeshiva expelled a student who repeatedly beat up your child? What about a child who brought a gun to school? Or pressured your child to use drugs? Should he be allowed to stay and sit next to your child every day, because cv’s he might go OTD if he’s expelled?December 30, 2013 6:46 pm at 6:46 pm #996280
Avram in MD: So it just so happens that one of my children did have an issue with a kid in their school who was violent. We spoke to the hanhalah about it. We weren’t the only parents who did. While the Hanhalah (rightfully) didn’t give us details on the steps they were taking with the kid, they did address it, and the child is no longer in the school. I do know, however, that the kid wasn’t just tossed out. The school found an appropriate place for him, and worked with the new school to get him settled in. That is how it should be handled.December 30, 2013 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #996281
@Avram in MD
I agree that it may have been warranted in that situation. However the fact is that yeshivos tend to be very trigger happy with problem kids and do not tend to follow up afterwards (as I stated before). The yeshivos do share a large part of the blame – running a yeshiva requires a sense of achrayus which unfortunately many menahalim do not have. Whether the yeshivos were right in this case or not was not (I dont think) damoshe’s point. I fear that many rabbonim/menahalim will be in for a very rude awakening after 120 for the poor decisions they have made. Olam Hafuch Raeisi comes to mind.December 30, 2013 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm #996282zahavasdadParticipant
There is a difference between a kid who is violent who a kid who maybe shouldnt be learning 14 hours a day and is acting out because of it.December 30, 2013 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #996283
Thanks for your response.
I do know, however, that the kid wasn’t just tossed out. The school found an appropriate place for him, and worked with the new school to get him settled in. That is how it should be handled.
Are you sure that the yeshivos mentioned in your OP didn’t do anything similar?
I hope that this child you mentioned thrives in his new environment, but suppose as a thought experiment he became violent again at the new school and needed to get moved to a third school, and then a fourth, and a fifth, and a sixth, and then to a Yeshiva in a different town? And some years later, that child with a violent past, now a man managing a business, tells a frum man in a resort dining hall that he was kicked out of 7 yeshivos that couldn’t handle him, and he will never be Orthodox because of that. Should that frum man imply that your school’s hanhala will face hellfire for the way he handled the violent kid?December 30, 2013 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #996284
Whether the yeshivos were right in this case or not was not (I dont think) damoshe’s point.
I think it was his point, otherwise why would he bring up this story, declare it sad, and say that he doesn’t envy the cheshbon of the schools who threw “him” out?December 30, 2013 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #996285WIYMember
I do want to add that a “bad” kid 20 years ago or even 10 is no comparison to today. If you have a bad kid in a high school or even 7th 8th grade today often means the kid has unfiltered internet devices with who knows what on them and he shows it to other boys. You want to tell me that you cant throw out such a boy? He is killing other kids mamish killing because we know what that shmutz does. It wrecks lives. So what should we do exactly? It would be great if we could put this boy in isolation and try to work with him but in a yeshivah that is not possible. Such a boy can’t be allowed to stay.December 30, 2013 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #996286Torah613TorahParticipant
Good point, squeak.
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