December 14, 2010 5:25 am at 5:25 am #593473
It’s the year 2010. Is there any heter for a rebbi to smack a kid?December 14, 2010 5:41 am at 5:41 am #719514
Litvishe yeshiva or Chasidisha cheder?December 14, 2010 5:43 am at 5:43 am #719515
It’s up to the parents, to allow or not allow. I think most don’t allow it today.December 14, 2010 6:30 am at 6:30 am #719516
It depends on the state. In New Jersey it is illegal in all schools. In New York corporal punishment is legal in private schools but illegal in public schools.
There is no distinction between Litvish or Chasidish schools.December 14, 2010 7:29 am at 7:29 am #719517
Only if one is matir a despicable and disgusting practice.December 14, 2010 8:31 am at 8:31 am #719518
not allowed at all. you can give the child a time out, sit him in the principals office, but never use the hands.December 14, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am #719520
I’d rather send my children to public school than to a place where the teacher is allowed to smack a child – even very lightly.December 14, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am #719521
Obviously, the law of the state (if in the us) is the final say. Absent any law, what does the year 2010 have to do with it? Either you believe this is a valid expression of chinuch or you don’t.December 14, 2010 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm #719524
“valid expression of chinuch”
More like an expression of child abuse.December 14, 2010 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm #719526
Bezalel – It is more common in the chasidishe yeshivos rather than in the litveshe yishevos to smack kids, so Im saing is that it depends on the backround.December 14, 2010 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #719527
NO, NO, NO, NO ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! There is no excuse, none. If a Rebbe loves a talmid he can find another way to discipline a child. On the flip side, it is obvious if a Rebbe does NOT love the talmid he has no place at all potching a child because it is only done in anger. So that knocks ALL their excuses out right from the start.
It is “ABUSE” any which way you look at it. In this day and age, the rules of “don’t touch others’ children” are VERY, VERY clear. If a Rebbe hits your child he is out of control and does not belong in the classroom. And if he hit your child he has hit others before.
Many, many moons ago, when my boys were in elementary yeshiva in BP (actually a chasidish yeshiva) I was head of PTA. At any rate, I was carpooling the boys and one of the boys mentioned that the Rebbe swung his belt with the buckle out and knocked out a child’s tooth. This was the 4th grade. I was appalled. I dropped off the kids in the front of the building and went to park my car. I went back to the classroom and peeked in the window of the class. It was a zoo. The Rebbe could not get control of the class. It was obvious why he resorted to the dangerous tactics that he did and that he didn’t have the knowledge and training he needed to be a Rebbe for that age boys.
I knocked on the door and called him out to speak with him. I asked him about that incident. I asked him if he had ever touched my son? I told him that he is not allowed to touch any child. He told me that he would not hit my child again. I told him that he is lucky that the parents did not sue the Yeshiva for what he did and even more lucky that he only knocked out the child’s tooth and not his eye or bust his eardrum! I told him that he didn’t hear me correctly. That if I heard that he touched ANY child again, I personally would call the police and have him removed from the building.
My next stop was to the Rosh’s office to relay the events that just occurred. I warned the Rosh, who was a very warm and loving man, that they were at risk for a law suit because of this Rebbe and he needs to set him straight. I also repeated that if I hear that he touched another child I personally would call the police. The two of us had years of history and understood each other very well.December 14, 2010 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #719528
Aries – Is it any better for a parent to smack a child?December 14, 2010 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #719529
Homeowner. Is there a position I have taken on this topic that you disagree with?December 14, 2010 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #719530
If kids used to get hit in the shtetel why do you think kids today don’t deserve it?
Kids just get more and more obnoxious, mischevious and chutzpadik as the yrs go on!December 14, 2010 4:07 pm at 4:07 pm #719531
It is much worse for a parent to hit.
Parents are supposed to love their children unconditionally, so it is so much more hurtful when they sacrifice their child’s well being for some quiet on the telephone, or to not have a messy living room, or whatever is more important than the child.December 14, 2010 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm #719532
RB, C”V, no absolutely not, but that wasn’t the question presented, the question was about the Rebbe. In some instances depending on the age of the child a parent might find that a potch on the behind serves a purpose, like a child running into the street, where a discussion about the danger of doing so will have no effect. Again depending on the age of the child and circumstances.
And, RB, a potch on the behind for a dangerous circumstance is not equivalent to smacking a child which is only done in anger. A rule for parents is to take two deep breaths before reacting. If you try to calm down before reacting your reaction would be more logical and not physical. You would either remove yourself to calm down or tell your child to walk away till you calm down.
As far as the Rebbe is concerned, there was a great Rebbe in that yeshiva which both my boys had I think in the 5th grade I am not sure. The Rebbe I believe is still there. At any rate, whenever the boys did something wrong and needed discipline he would tell them “remind me later that I owe you a potch”. That was it. He got his message across without touching anyone. And this is the same Rebbe that played basketball, dodge ball and arranged trips for them. Did this Rebbe love his talmidim? Yes, every one of the them. And that’s why he is a Rebbe.December 14, 2010 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #719534
I know that in the UK the non jewish law prohibits itDecember 14, 2010 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #719535
Joe, that’s the law here as well!December 14, 2010 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #719537
OkDecember 14, 2010 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #719538
I dont think we are talking about law in this thread, I think we are handeling haskhaficky. Not everything that the law prohibits or approves is halachiklyhaskafikly correct.December 14, 2010 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #719539
One should not strike the Rebbi. There ARE other non-physical ways to get people back in line.
;December 14, 2010 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm #719541
yes but as far as i know the jews are meant to keep the non jewish lawDecember 14, 2010 5:28 pm at 5:28 pm #719543
My first post was just about the legalities, now I’ll discuss the practicalities. I don’t believe that a teacher smacking a child today with any regularity has any justification. (Would you allow a math teacher to smack a child? What is the difference.) Children today understand that there are many teaching styles and will view a teacher that smacks as a teacher that cannot control the students and resorts to violence. Regardless of the truth, a teacher that does not have the respect of the students cannot be an effective teacher.
If smacking were limited to extreme instances (not more than once per semester) and clearly demonstrated that the teacher was in full control a case can be made for its justification.December 14, 2010 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #719544
Not everything that the law prohibits or approves is halachiklyhaskafikly correct.
But we still need to take it into considuration.December 14, 2010 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #719546
joe1 – Oh really! Jews are required to keep the non jewish law when the torah (halacha-haskafa) says not like that?December 14, 2010 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #719547
Bezalel – If by the torah it is correct why in the world do you have to take it into consideration. I dont mean to say lets not be gores the non-jewish law. What I mean is if this is the proper way to be machanch kids, I dont think the non-jewish law should stop us.December 14, 2010 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #719548
Never. Period.December 14, 2010 6:16 pm at 6:16 pm #719550
Besides for Dina D’Malchusa, there is also an inyan of Naval Birshus Hatorah.
The Torah never condoned ABUSE of any type.
It’s tzedreiter logic to say, “If this is the proper way to be machanch kids, I dont think the non-jewish law should stop us”. There is a reason why Rav wolbe and others wrote and gave speeches on the proper interaction with children in the realm of chinuch.
The Mishnayos in Avos dictate what personality types should NOT be involved in chinuch.December 14, 2010 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #719551
Never, Ever, Ever. Nobody should ever lift a hand to anyone elses child i dont care who he is. Rebbe, counselor, anyone. Never. My father had a counselor who slapped him on the side of his head he busted his eardrum. Even after numerous surgeries he was never able to hear with that ear again.December 14, 2010 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #719552
Bezalel – If by the torah it is correct why in the world do you have to take it into consideration. I dont mean to say lets not be gores the non-jewish law. What I mean is if this is the proper way to be machanch kids, I dont think the non-jewish law should stop us.
Because the Torah itself instructs us to follow the government’s law. I know there are exceptions but I don’t beleive this instance is such an exception.December 14, 2010 6:21 pm at 6:21 pm #719553
It is no longer considered a good chinuch option. Nisktanu hadoros. Not just the kids, but the parents and teachers. Whenever potching has been done it was imperative that it was clear that the potcher loved and cared for the child. Children will pick that up more easily from their parents than their teachers. It was never supposed to be the most widely used tool in the arsenal.December 14, 2010 6:29 pm at 6:29 pm #719554
The Shulchan Oruch says not to hit like an enemy nor to hit cruelly; the rebbi or parent should hit the child with a small strap (Yorah Deah 245:10/Orach Chayim 551:18).December 14, 2010 6:38 pm at 6:38 pm #719555
The view of a Rebbe:
I am a Rebbi of Grade 6 boys. From my experience, boys like and respect a Rebbi/teacher who respects them. Its a mishna – “aizehu mechubod, hamechabeid es haberiyois”.
Talmidim resent tough approach. I see myself, when getting too tough, ie shouting yelling etc, the kids hate it, and close into themselves, dislike the rebbe/teacher, and it takes time to repair the relationship.
Talk to them in a caring way, explain to them why what they did was wrong, they are good people, and the expectations are higher, the kid will not want to let you down. By building that sort of relationship with the kid, you stand far more chance.
I have the type of relationship with my talmidim, where a mere look at them as though saying why, results in them choosing the correct behaviour, because they feel they dont want to let me down/ruin their relationship with me.
All this without raising a voice or finger at them!
Two things to remember:
1)They dont mean it personally when they misbehave. This avoids the anger issue. If you do feel anger, tell the child to see after the session. By then you should have calmed down, and deal with the issue sensibly.
2) When chastisng a child, tell him/her he/she is good etc, but they made the wrong choice this time. Explain why it was wrong and what they could do differently next time. (better still, have a discussion with the said pupil, in a way that they figure it out themselves. This helps their growth)
Hatzlacha to all mechanchim out there! Its tough, but the reward is immense – lefumm tzara agra!December 14, 2010 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #719556
Trying My Best: I dont think that Shulchan Oruch is applicable nowadays. Anyone that hits a child with a belt is going to have that child and all the rest of their children taken away from them. Social Services isnt very big on straps.December 14, 2010 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #719557
This is my 4th attempt to post on this thread.
Any time you do something which affects someone else, you need to ask two questions:
1. Is this a effective method to accomplish my goal?
2. Is this a justifiable method of accomplishing my goal?
So, you see, much depends on what the goal is.
If the goal is to help the kid himself, the second question may be satisfied, but I personally don’t think the first is.
If the goal is to help other kids, the second question is not satisfied, since one is not allowed to hurt one person to help another.
If the goal is anything else, the second question is clearly not satisfied.December 14, 2010 6:56 pm at 6:56 pm #719558
Bezalel mentioned that in New York parents and private-school teachers are legally allowed to hit children.December 14, 2010 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #719559
apushatayid, if you state your position, I can let you know if I agree or not.December 14, 2010 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #719560
According to Wikipedia, 48 U.S. States allow private schools to spank children, and 20 (mostly in the south) also allow public/state schools to spank children.
There is no conflict between the Shulchan Aruch saying to spank and secular law.December 14, 2010 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #719561
artchil, bezalel – You are not undestanding me correctly. I am not saying if its the right way to be mechanch or not. All I am saying is – Is that the non-jewish law shall NOT tell us how to be mechanech or not. (Im not saying potching is the right thing)December 14, 2010 7:35 pm at 7:35 pm #719562
there is a gmoro in gittin (did it in yr9) about a teacher mikri dardeki who rev acha made him make a neder in public not to teach cos he hit children too much and revina was mevatel the neder cos he was the best teacher.
so hitting children who are naughty is alright in small quantities and these people make the best teachers.
feed on that people.December 14, 2010 7:44 pm at 7:44 pm #719564
“so hitting children who are naughty is alright in small quantities and these people make the best teachers.”
As a Rebbe I disagree with you wholeheartedly.
Each Dor has its means and ways. Perhaps in the times of the Ravina etc, it worked.
Nowadays, you hit a kid, you risk being the cause of that child going off the derech.
Is it worth the risk?
Perhaps daas Torah would be in order, until then I am not prepared to take risk my dear Talmidim losing it!December 14, 2010 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #719565
blueprints i hear what you’re saying. Unfortunately nowadays not all teachers hit with that in mind. Most of them that do hit dont do it out of love to teach the child they do it out of anger. I had a principal hit my son and it was done with such anger he slammed him in the head and his head slammed into a metal locker. He was so dizzy the bus driver had to practically carry him onto the bus. The bus driver saw the whole thing and he flipped out. He couldnt believe thats what went on in Jewish schools. He said if we werent going to sue then he would report the principal himself! We convinced him that it was not normal and those kind of things dont happen in jewish schools, but we took all of our boys out of that school real fast! That is NOT being mechanech a child. That is child abuse.December 14, 2010 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #719566
I think if you need to hit the student, then you as a teacher have an issue. If you are respected, even if you are not liked, the students will respect you, and you dont need to hit them. Obviously kids will be kids and wont be perfect, but dont forget, children are extremely impressionable, and will NOT forget it.December 14, 2010 8:34 pm at 8:34 pm #719567
The law in New Jersey states that a teacher cannot hit a student.
The Torah says we must follow the state law.
Therefore (as I see it) the Torah is telling us that the proper way (for a teacher) to be mechanech in New Jersey is without hiting a student.December 14, 2010 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #719569
bezalel – And if the law in maine is that it is assur to do a bris milah on one son C”V, are you going to say the torah wants us to listen to the law?December 14, 2010 8:51 pm at 8:51 pm #719570
all of those people who say it’s wrong are so sure of themselves but jews have been doing it for some time no-one denies that maybe some people need a re-think (not that I know the right thing to do)December 14, 2010 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #719572
In your hypothetical Maine case, you have a direct controdiction and cannot fulfill both the mitzva and the law. There is no halacha that states that a teacher is obligated to hit a student.December 14, 2010 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #719573
Bezalel: Chosech Shivto Soneh Bno.December 14, 2010 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #719574
blue, do you have any idea how many kids grew up hating their parents and rebbeim for hitting them? And lets go a step further, do you know how many never got over it and haven’t forgiven them? I don’t have the statistics on this but there are many.December 14, 2010 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #719575
Trying my best:
I’m not talking about a parent, I’m talking about a teacher. And in case you were wondering, New Jersey law allows a parent to hit their child.
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