August 13, 2010 12:33 am at 12:33 am #1190093
but that is an EXTREMELY slippery slope.
I am not afraid of a slippery slope. I try to do what is correct. I hope when the next issue arises I will be able to decide that properly also. I will not lock myself into things which are wrong in order to never have to make difficult decisionsAugust 13, 2010 12:40 am at 12:40 am #1190094
So, with little alternative, I crouched down so we were eyeball to eyeballand told this little angel,(in my best deadpan,icy cold voice) “if you don’t stop hassling my son, I’m going to drag you into the forrest, tie you to a tree, and let the bears eat you”
I am horrified by this story. I cannot imagine anybody deliberately scaring a 7 year old in this manner. I wonder if this kid will one day be describing this to a therapist.
Why didn’t you just threaten the mother that if her kid didn’t stop you would spread lashon hara about her?August 13, 2010 12:50 am at 12:50 am #1190095lakwoodrMember
“but that is an EXTREMELY slippery slope.
I am not afraid of a slippery slope. I try to do what is correct. I hope when the next issue arises I will be able to decide that properly also. I will not lock myself into things which are wrong in order to never have to make difficult decisions”
True point. Maybe I should have made my point differently. If we say about any issue that times have changed and the Torah therefore means something different, than there is absolutely nothing absolute in the Torah. Why can we not say that Kashrus, Shabbos or any other mitzvah is irrelevant today (or means something totally different than what Judaism traditionally explains it to mean,) since times have changed? The only true response to that is that the Torah transcends time and was written to all generations.August 13, 2010 1:25 am at 1:25 am #1190096
I, for one, will abide by Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s opinion on this matter.
Popa, surprised you are not worried about the slippery slope, when all our gedolim are.
As far as psychologist, these con men are exactly why thousands of years of succesful parenting is being questioned.August 13, 2010 1:59 am at 1:59 am #1190097bombmaniacParticipant
how did we get to hitting out of love and for the sole purpose of chinuch to threatening kids with ridiculously horrifying tortures…is this supposed to be some kind of alternative…? like the black painted room?August 13, 2010 2:21 am at 2:21 am #1190098
Lakwdr: I agree. It is very difficult to say about anything that times have changed. It needs very big shoulders.
Helpful: My point was that we are not worried about the slope. We only worry about the action we are doing. If it is correct, we do it; if not, not.August 13, 2010 4:27 am at 4:27 am #1190099pet peeveMember
according to the idea that one cannot hit out of anger, but should only potch out of the desire to be mechanech, one who hits his child should be able to IMMEDIATELY give him a hug/kiss and say I love you. this is to convey that the child did something dangerous/wrong, is not violence (since there is no force behind it–in the case of anger, there is force), and leaves the child still feeling loved and safe. this is the proper way to administer potches.
if one is too worked up and cannot bring himself to hug his child after potching him, he can be sure that he was not mechanech correctly. no one ever said its ok to take your annoyance out on your child.August 13, 2010 5:41 am at 5:41 am #1190100Josh31Participant
“cannot bring himself to hug his child after potching him”
The child may decide the hug is worth the cost of a potch.August 13, 2010 1:08 pm at 1:08 pm #1190101
Is there ever a point where a parent doesn’t want to hug their child? That is awful in and of itself.August 13, 2010 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #1190102bombmaniacParticipant
got that rightAugust 13, 2010 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #1190103oomisParticipant
“Is there ever a point where a parent doesn’t want to hug their child? That is awful in and of itself.”
Unfortunately it is more common than you think. There are many abused kids out there, R”L.August 16, 2010 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm #1190105
Several people (some here, one in another thread) took issue with my “feed the kid to the bears” tactic. So let me reply to all points raised:
Long term trauma – Please. If this one incident puts this kid in therapy, then his childhood was anything less than ideal. I was told the boogeyman would come and get me if I did not behave. It kept me in line for 20 minutes, and then I moved on. Until the next time I was told, and soon after, I forgot about it. Rinse, wash, repeat. Why? Becuase my mother told me not to worry that narishkeit, and WORRY ABOUT THE POTCH I WOULD GET if I don’t stop picking on XYZs kid (or whatever the crime was).
Was the threat too harsh? Why did’nt I “talk” to the kids mother? Becuase she was too busy “talking” to her little mazik, and in the meanwhile, my kid was afraid to leave the portch. So.. should I have kept my kid indoors? Pack up and go home? Teach my kid to fight back? None of those seemed practical, so I went with plan B (which worked quite well, thank you very much).
Funny though was the comment to my “5 alarm code one” situation, where it was suggested that the out of control kid be “picked up and carried outside”.
Are you kidding? Lay hands on another persons child? A person no less, who has, shall we say, liberal, enlightened, ideas of parenting and social etiquette?
Can you spell LAWSUIT? No, I think that idea would not be in my top 10.. unless the kid had a pistol, and even then I’d try the ice-cold meanacing voice.( Come to think of it, if he had a pistol, he could use it on the bear!)August 16, 2010 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm #1190106
The suggestion to pick up the kid and carry him out of the store was in response to your statement- “A kid wreaking havoc in a store or terrorizing a classmate is a code red 5 alarm blaze and calls for quick, decisive action.”
I presumed you were talking about one’s own kid and was suggesting that the crisis could be solved by carrying said kid out of the store.
And you are correct, if someone hit my kid OR told him you would tie him up in the forest for the bears, I would call the police and my lawyer.August 16, 2010 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #1190107
If you threatened my kid tie him to a tree, and let the bears eat him, I would send you to criminal court.
Sec. 53a-62. Threatening in the second degree: Class A misdemeanor. (a) A person is guilty of threatening in the second degree when: (1) By physical threat, such person intentionally places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury, (2) such person threatens to commit any crime of violence with the intent to terrorize another person, or (3) such person threatens to commit such crime of violence in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror.
(b) Threatening in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.
(1969, P.A. 828, S. 63; Nov. 15 Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2, S. 8, 9; P.A. 02-97, S. 16.)August 16, 2010 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm #1190108Max WellMember
Then you would fall in the halachic category of “moser” and be subject to the treatment thereof. Of course the fate of mosrim tend not to be in the news since it happens off the radar. (If it does make the paper, its reported as some sort of “accident”.)August 16, 2010 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm #1190109
“place another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury”
Hmm. An arrest / conviction would send me to Rikers. If that’s not a threat of “serious physical injury” I don’t know what is.
I traumatized! I’ll send you the threapist’s bill.August 16, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #1190111
Besides, I think my “if you don’t stop hassling my kid” disclaimer would help me around the “imminent” loophole. (if he stops, the danger is not imminent)
See? All those Scott Turow novels paid off afterall!August 16, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #1190112
I think people who hit their children should see a therapist. If I had the resources, I would even be happy to help pay.August 17, 2010 12:16 am at 12:16 am #1190113
In line with proper parenting/disciplining, plain common sense, and indeed Jewish law, I think parents who do not hit their child when appropriate, should see a therapist. Otherwise their child will need therapy; in a good case scenerio.August 17, 2010 1:38 am at 1:38 am #1190114
Even if hitting were to be proper parenting, common sense and halacha , it would only be in situations where it is warranted. In any other case, someone would be a regular chovel . If someone ever hit a kid in a situation where there is no chiyuv chinuch , they are doing an issur d’oraisa .
So, if someone hit a kid because he is doing something obnoxious which he will not do as an adult, he did an issur d’oraisa . Or if there was a better way to teach him but someone hit him, he did an issur d’oraisa . Are we really such experts on chinuch that we are ready to decide on a safek issur d’oraisa ?
Or, if times really have changed and hitting is no longer warranted almost ever, he is doing many isurei d’oraisa !
How will we know what to do? There is negligent parenting in front of us and issurei d’oraisa behind us! That is why we have experts and poskim. How about posting some present day American sources. (verifiable ones please)
P.S. Hey everyone, look how good I got at italics! I’m so excited. It’s transforming my coffee room experience.
EDITEDAugust 17, 2010 1:46 pm at 1:46 pm #1190115
Thanks for getting this back on track, Poppa. OK, so its established that some parents do not hit. That’s their choice.
Then, there are some parents that do hit (on occasion, where warranted).
My question is, what do the parents who do hit, think about rebbeim / menahelim hitting? (again, on occasion, and only where warranted)
My vote is NO. What do others say?
P.S. – I was going to say “non-hitting parents are excused from this survey, but then I thought, maybe they feel that disiplcine is ok if it comes from an outside source, so it does not undermine the parent-child bond. If thats, the case, we’d love to hear from you too!August 17, 2010 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm #1190116
BP Totty, I think under NO circumstances should anyone threaten my child with violence nor actually carry it out. I slightly understand (though don’t agree) with a parent spanking their child, but no one loves your child like you do.
And Poppa, I wish we had a thumbs up emoticon!August 17, 2010 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #1190117
The Shulchan Aruch says a rebbi should potch when necessary, just as a parent.August 17, 2010 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #1190118
I think a parent can potch when needed but a rebbi doesnt do it out of 100% love.These days there are still MANY rebbeim that do potch.I think a kid wouldnt forgive his rebbe for a potch but will thank his parents.August 17, 2010 8:50 pm at 8:50 pm #1190119
What do you say about grandparents potching their aineklach??August 17, 2010 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #1190120
I completely disagree. A rebbi has the same status as a father, both halachicly AND practically, and loves a talmid like a son. He must not abdicate his responsibility to potch the child when necessary.
To do otherwise is destructive to the childs spiritual and emotional well-being.
About ainekelach I would tend to think of in the same status as children, but I would give it more thought before forming a firm opinion on the matter.August 17, 2010 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #1190121YW Moderator-80Member
What do you say about grandparents potching their aineklach??
i say: what do the parents say?August 17, 2010 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #1190122
I think that when a rebbi potches(wich is done in front of a full class)makes the kid feel real bad! unless the kid has done somthing crazy I dont think the rebbi should potch.helpful- rebbeim dont love the kids these days like their parents do.(and the kids know it)August 17, 2010 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #1190123
mod 80-you’re correct, it does depend on that:-)August 17, 2010 9:14 pm at 9:14 pm #1190124blinkyParticipant
I do not think it is appropriate for rebbeim to hit a child. Ever. If there is a problem, it should be discussed with a parent only and the Rebbe should not take such matters into their own hands.August 17, 2010 9:20 pm at 9:20 pm #1190125
blinky-I couldnt agree more!August 17, 2010 9:32 pm at 9:32 pm #1190126blinkyParticipant
Chayala- in regards to your previous statement about rebbeim not loving the kids- I have to disagree. There are many wonderful Rebbeim out there who DO love their students- maybe not all but you shouldn’t make such a general statement.August 17, 2010 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #1190127Pashuteh YidMember
I myself got a potch. I seemed to have been banned from the main YW news site for the better part of a year. The mods have not been able to help or verify.August 17, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm #1190128
I agree with blinky that any nomal rebbi loves his talmidim like his children.
He also has the same disciplinary duties as a father.August 17, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm #1190129
There’s a story linked on Drudge about a Southwest flight attendant who took a 1 year old baby from the parents because they were hitting her.
A one year old baby! What could she possibly have done?August 17, 2010 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm #1190130oomisParticipant
Any parent hitting a baby that young unless the baby is choking chalilah, SHOULD have the baby removed ASAP.August 17, 2010 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm #1190131
FTR, the child was returned to the parents prior to disembarking and the police at the airport questioned and allowed them to leave without charges.
The law allows potching, as does SA.August 17, 2010 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm #1190132
I would imagine that in the times of the Gemara, a rebbi was different than today. Back then you had much smaller classes and they stuck with their teacher throughout the years. Yes, I am sure they came to love their students (although parents still generally love their children more than anyone!).
In today’s situation where teachers have new students every year and classes are 20+ students, I do not think they love their students as their parents do. Unless you have very low standards of love for your children.
And this thread makes me so sad that parents would allow their children to be struck by their teachers.August 18, 2010 1:13 am at 1:13 am #1190133Sister BearMember
Maybe Rebbeim may love their students but that doesn’t mean the students feel the same way back or even see the love. (I had a principal whom all the teachers said truly loved every student but we never felt it, so what was the point of the love?)
But anyway, if a parent hits their kid (rarely and all) the kid automatically goes back crying to the parent. But if a teacher hits a kid, the kid could very well become resentful of the teacher, school…August 18, 2010 1:05 pm at 1:05 pm #1190134i love coffeParticipant
Disclaimer-I just joined this thread and didnt read all of the other posts yet.
I think that the main problem is in America. I dont have anything against America but i see a big differance from where i come from and America. I grew up in Europe (not long ago, im quite young) and my mother always potched me if I did something wrong. It was the norm in europe 20 years ago and now. I and my sibling still behave to this day (I remember some misbehaviour now and then as we were just “kids”).
Then, we came to America and my other younger siblings were a whole different story. It wasnt (and still isnt) normall to potch your kids here in America. I was behaved as a more “educated” person while my younger siblings just did whatever they wanted . It doesnt mean that my mother never put them in time-out but it is much different when you grow up in America now than growing up in Europe.
In America, if you potch your kids any neighbor walking by could call child services because you were potching the tush of the child who almost put his/her life in danger.
If you potch your kids for the above mentioned example the kid could be terrorized because you just potched him, even though you are his parent and you have every right to do so.
Its like the kid doesnt even belong to you. It belongs to the government and if you “ruin” government property you go to jail.August 18, 2010 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #1190135
Its like the kid doesnt even belong to you. It belongs to the government and if you “ruin” government property you go to jail.
The child is a human being. No one owns them. They are people. This attitude flabbergasts me. People aren’t property.August 18, 2010 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm #1190136Pashuteh YidMember
One thing I will say is that I believe a potch should only be used for chutzpah or defiance or emergency like running into the street.
I also do not believe that a Rebbe should potch except in extreme behavioral situations, if ever. I think in the past, it was common that if a child lost the place, or his mind drifted off or he did not know the answer, he was potched. This seems totally cruel and will likely turn off the child to learning for life.
Reb Shlomo Carlebach ZL had a brilliant insight. He asked why after the Holocaust did many gave up their Yiddishkeit and become totally non-frum, but others decided to hold onto it and raise their kids frum.
He answered that those kids who were potched by their parents or Rebbes for Yiddishkeit felt, I was potched enough by the Nazis, who needs additional potching for religious reasons.
But in those houses where Yiddishkeit was taught with warmth and happiness, the families said after the Holocaust, I can’t wait to teach my kids about the beauty of a Shabbos meal, having the family around the table, singing zemiros and eating delicious kugel.August 18, 2010 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm #1190137i love coffeParticipant
SJSinNYC- “People aren’t property.”
I know. That isnt what I meant though.
I mean that it is the parents responsibility to educate the child to behave in the right way. If the parent feels that in such a case its right to give a potch to the kid then the parent shouldnt feel afraid to do so afraid of what the child services might do because “you were potching the tush of the child who almost put his/her life in danger”.
I know people arent property, especially children. They are a gift from G-d and parents are instructed to raise them in the right way.
Sorry if you misunderstood me.August 19, 2010 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #1190138
helpful-The SA and many rabbanim allow potching-but not the law.August 19, 2010 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm #1190139
The law in all 50 states allows potching.
The airline story above is one such example.November 7, 2016 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #1190143JosephParticipant
(Translation by Rabbi D. Eidensohn)November 8, 2016 4:11 am at 4:11 am #1190144Lilmod UlelamaidParticipant
Story I heard from my teacher: When he was 12 years old, his Rebbe hit him for something. He wasn’t too bothered about it (he probably deserved it and knew it), but his father was really upset and called the Rebbe to complain. The Rebbe said, “Well, don’t you ever hit him?” Dad said, “Yes, but do you ever hug him?” Score one for Dad!November 8, 2016 9:48 pm at 9:48 pm #1190145The little I knowParticipant
This is a really old thread, but the subject deserves to be renewed and placed back on the table for at least occasional review.
Seemingly missing from this discussion is exactly what is permitted as a potch. Here’s my take (verified in countless discussions with rabbonim and gedolim). Virtually everything a rebbe does with a talmid MUST be educational. The rebbe is not a police officer, nor a judge. He is a teacher, one who must teach through speech and through his behavior. If he teaches a child to potch, he has failed his job miserably, and should find another career. This does not forbid the potch. It just recognizes that the potch is permitted under certain conditions. There are shelves of sforim that discuss chinuch, and the material is all easy to find to those interested in what our gedolim had to say.
Among the conditions is that there cannot be any anger at all. If yes, the rebbe is releasing his anger on a target, which is not only outside his job, but at substantial risk of teaching the wrong thing. The Brisker Rov ZT”L, for instance, stated that the first potch can occasionally be permitted, but the second one is “chovel”, an assault, and is Ossur Min Hatorah. The child must understand the potch. No “example making” is permitted. A rebbe who is unsure will not err by not potching. Discipline that is unwarranted is destructive. The inaction is not, even if it means a lesson opportunity was missed.
The SA arguments have all been chewed over. But I do not see much discussion about the result of the potch. If it backfires, it was obviously not warranted, and thus not permitted by SA. Does the average rebbe who uses the potch ever consult with a peer or superior? If not, the potch is reactive, and is not the permitted one.
Additionally, it was mentioned in a comment above, the potch is most often used in a public arena, in presence of others. There is a shame factor that is horribly destructive, even more than the smack itself. Was that part of the calculation? What rebbe is ready to assume the responsibility for ????? ??? ?????? They do take the action. But are they aware that this is not what was ever permitted?January 2, 2018 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #1441337lbrenningParticipant
It’s important to potch, but it’s equally important to be good at it. Ineffective potching emboldens them.
Me, I’ve got the hottest potch around. I also switch it up. Arm potches, leg potches, right potch, left potch, etc. I even busted out a spinning back potch the other day, you should’ve seen it. My kid was equal parts confused and terrified.January 3, 2018 11:44 am at 11:44 am #1441659The little I knowParticipant
After slumber, back to the front page of the CR.
When someone wishes to fulfill a mitzvah, it is often that the really frum someone will don a jacket and hat, wash their hands, and put on a gartel. After all, a mitzvah is G-d’s territory, and requires proper preparation and attire. Has anyone ever seen a rebbe do this in front of a class? I know of those rebbeim that return from the washroom, and demonstrate how they wash their hands and recite the brocho of Asher Yotzar wearing a hat. According to those who claim the potch to be such a great mitzvah, would they do this before engaging in it? I suspect that not, proving that this an emotional reaction on their part, and is not a true mitzvah. In fact, I believe this to be the same situation with all forms of discipline. that have been wrongly made into the mission of chinuch, at the expense of teachinig children to love Torah and Midos Tovos.
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