Should frum children have a library card? ✡️👪📚💳

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  • #1149603

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    But to let a child into a library unsupervised into a public library, with access to any all types of shmutz is inadvisable and asking for trouble.

    One can say the same thing about letting a teen go on their own to the grocery store, or summer camp, or anywhere outside your daled amos. The key is education and Tefilah, not restrictions and bans.

    #1149604

    I don’t teach my kids to swim, yet I let them go to the pool by themselves, because anyhow they go out in the rain.

    #1149605

    The Queen
    Participant

    gavra, going to a location which is full of tamah like a public library is not comparable to the grocery store. Tefilla and education is important and restrictions also.

    Dy, it is a mitzva to teach your children to swim.

    #1149606

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I don’t teach my kids to swim, yet I let them go to the pool by themselves, because anyhow they go out in the rain.

    Keddushin 29a:

    ????? ??? ??”? ??? ???? ???? ????? ??????? ?????? ???? ??????? ??? ?????? ?????? ??”? ?? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ???? ?? ????? ???? ?? ??? ?????? ????? ??????

    Not surprising, since Frum people B’shitah ignore Chazal regarding ??????, they also ignore Chazal regarding ?????? ????

    ;-p

    Seriously, I’m not suggesting taking your children to Times Square. It is a matter of degree (as you seem to admit), and the question is where to draw the line. As explained earlier, it has to be dependent on the child him/her-self. The child can just as easily walk/bike into the library on their own if they so desire.

    #1149607

    Queen, gavra, obviously I’m making a point. The reason Chazal said to teach to swim is because it’s dangerous to go in the water. It’s also dangerous to go to the library.

    Yes, the child can walk into the library on their own. They can also walk into McDonald’s on their own. If you allow them to go to the library, you are essentially being mechanech them that the library is a kosher place to be, and if not, that it’s not a kosher place to be.

    Will they listen? Hopefully, if you have a good relationship with them, and they know your Yiddishkeit is sincere and real, they will want to please you and emulate your values.

    #1149608

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    If you allow them to go to the library, you are essentially being mechanech them that the library is a kosher place to be, and if not, that it’s not a kosher place to be.

    If you take your child to Jewel, are you being mechanech them that everything there is Kosher as well? If you take them to the zoo, are you being mechanech them the concession stands are kosher?

    Once again, the key is education. Restrictions can also work in limited scenarios, after explanation. I don’t see the public library (even with Harry Potter books, of all horrors) as the place to draw the line, but admit it is subjective to the parent and the child.

    #1149609

    If you allow them to go to the library, you are essentially being mechanech them that the library is a kosher place to be, and if not, that it’s not a kosher place to be.

    absolutely disagree in this case. if NOBODY is going to libraries and my kids do, that may be a different case. But when i walk into a library with my kids and i tell them to sit on the comfy chairs while i look around for books for them to choose from, and that they are NOT to go browsing thru the shelves, but they are welcome to go to the librarian to ask for specific books that they have already gotten approved, there is no message of permissibility there. not only that, but they learn very clearly that the library is NOT a place for browsing independently and after years of that training i dont need to worry about them one day falling into the place and getting sucked in.

    Some places need to be off limits, and some places cannot be off limits so the children need to be taught how to stay away from things they will encounter in these places. Same goes for malls, department stores with HUGE televisions playing, grocery stores with magazine racks etc.

    #1149610

    The Queen
    Participant

    Syag,

    “if NOBODY is going to libraries and my kids do, that may be a different case.”

    Your chinuch decisions should be thought out based on merit, not on what anyone else does.

    #1149611

    Gavra, it is much easier to have a list of acceptable hechsherim than to figure out which books are okay. Also, the yetzer hora for non kosher food is much smaller.

    Syag, it’s okay to swim with a lifeguard, and okay to walk into a library if the parent knows what’s okay and is supervising. I’m not sure that we’re disagreeing.

    #1149612

    queen -i must not have been clear. if there is nothing wrong with going to a library, but if I live in a town were it was accepted that nobody go, then we shouldnt go either as that is a different situation. Such as in some communities in isreal where there are restrictions on playing basketball or football even in a halachically appropriate manner.

    #1149613

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Gavra, it is much easier to have a list of acceptable hechsherim than to figure out which books are okay. Also, the yetzer hora for non kosher food is much smaller.

    Education. And you can whitelist and/or screen if you want.

    Syag, it’s okay to swim with a lifeguard, and okay to walk into a library if the parent knows what’s okay and is supervising. I’m not sure that we’re disagreeing.

    Not exactly true. Even with a life guard, you need to pass a test to go into the deep water, and (in some camps) have a “buddy”.

    Once again, education.

    #1149614

    “Your chinuch decisions should be thought out based on merit, not on what anyone else does.

    its kind of odd that you would pull that out of a paragraph (and thread) that Id think makes it clear that I do make decisions with thought.

    and the irony of it all is that we have always been careful to mechanech on thought and merit, and not based on “well everyone does it” or “what would the neighbors think”. and expression of such views have earned me some very hurtful criticism questioning my Torah adherence from some of the self proclaimed resident CR mashgichim. So while it is the way it should be done, it is not without consequence.

    #1149615

    Gavra, we probably disagree as to what level of education is required to be able to choose what to read from the public library.

    Some schools give out lists of pre-screened books. Would trust a kid to do the screening?

    You seemed to mostly ignore my distinction based on level of yetzer hora. We’re you addressing that when you mentioned whitelisting/screening?

    #1149616

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Gavra, we probably disagree as to what level of education is required to be able to choose what to read from the public library.

    And probably what is acceptable as well. Mods blocked my post when I tried to question where the line is (or should be) drawn. As you may have surmised, I believe (in general) the more you ban, the more likely the child will ignore/rebel against you and go for the really bad stuff. And yes, I’ll mostly trust an older child (while I still have a say) that they will look at books on sports and not something that he or she knows they shouldn’t be reading.

    You seemed to mostly ignore my distinction based on level of yetzer hora.

    I don’t believe I can discuss this here without the Mods blocking. However, I’m usually the one who warns of the Power of the Dark Side, and am very concerned with it. However, that deals (mostly) with the child who looks for such items, not an accidental reader.

    #1149617

    Mods blocked my post when I tried to question where the line is (or should be) drawn.

    Just another raya that we probably don’t draw the line in the same place. 🙂

    Certainly, nothing as bad or worse than that referred to in Shulchan Aruch would be muttar.

    http://beta.hebrewbooks.org/tursa.aspx?a=oc_x1532

    #1149618

    nanonino
    Member

    in order to the book to be good in the goyishe world its bound to have one of the big 3 that are assur or hints to it which are also assur so anyone who reads goishe books sld be careful

    #1149619
    #1149620

    Looks like Joseph is either consistent in his obsessions or has run out of hot topics and is recycling.

    #1149621

    Joseph
    Participant

    Apparently having a discussion again of a topic that was already discussed a mere nearly six years ago is much too soon. Especially such an unimportant topic as chinuch habonim.

    #1149622

    Nice spin.

    #1149623

    Joseph
    Participant

    You liked your spin better?

    #1149624

    Hockandahalf
    Member

    I found lists made by frum people who read thousands of books and analyzed them to see if they are acceptable for frum kids – http://www.chinuch.org/quick_search/book%20list/materials/topic

    #1149625

    mik5
    Participant

    I recently saw from Rav Mattisyahu Solomon (in a sefer on chinuch, where he has a long piece about libraries) that public libraries are very problematic (this is talking about non-Jewish books, almost all of which are problematic). History and science books are seemingly OK, but even these are often problematic (because they talk about evo***ion).

    If a child needs a particular book, better that the parent should go to the library and take out that book for the child.

    #1149626

    Utah
    Member

    I find this all to be such a funny discussion. I grew up in a town where everyone had a library card. In fact the jewish school that I went to would give us reports to do where we had to take put books from the library. I’ve never even heard of people not having library cards until I read this. I have many friends, who are now learning in some of the top yeshivas in America and Israel, who read nonjewish books when they were younger… And they turned out fine.

    This seems to me like one of these things that if a parent wants to censur what books thier children read, thats fine. But to say that these children should not have a library card? Thats pushing it. There are a lot of books that were written by nonjewish authors that are completely fine. After all aren’t we the people of the book.

    Another thing, if we say that nonjewish books are all bad what message does that send to our children about the nonjews? We need to work with these people.

    #1149627

    dovrosenbaum
    Participant

    You have to monitor what the kids are reading.

    Acher was a great scholar too, but he read too much of the wrong stuff and look at what happened to him.

    #1149628

    Chortkov
    Participant

    This seems to me like one of these things that if a parent wants to censur what books thier children read, thats fine. But to say that these children should not have a library card? Thats pushing it. There are a lot of books that were written by nonjewish authors that are completely fine.

    The point of contention here isn’t whether or not the concept of a Kosher Non-Jewish book exists; the discussion is whether to (a) allow our kids to be exposed to the world of secular reading to ensure they don’t fall down from the high standards of Yiddishkeit we expect, and (b) even if we allow our children to read these books, should we allow them to go to a library, where there is such an array of Tumah.

    After all aren’t we the people of the book.

    Lehavdil. I hope that was a joke.

    Another thing, if we say that nonjewish books are all bad what message does that send to our children about the nonjews? We need to work with these people.

    We would only say that non-Jewish books are bad if the content was non desirable, and in that case, you cannot worry about the ‘message that sends to our children’ – on the contrary, this is message we need to send them – we are different, we are an Am Kadosh, and pastimes, activites and thoughts are totally different. We may have to ‘work with these people’, but that is no reason for us to become like them. We are not trying to integrate with the goyim, we are trying to survive a golus.

    #1149629

    Utah
    Member

    The point of contention here isn’t whether or not the concept of a Kosher Non-Jewish book exists; the discussion is whether to (a) allow our kids to be exposed to the world of secular reading to ensure they don’t fall down from the high standards of Yiddishkeit we expect, and (b) even if we allow our children to read these books, should we allow them to go to a library, where there is such an array of Tumah.

    In regards to A, You are agreeing with me that there are books that have appropraite content. Then its up to the parents to censure the content to make sure that books with the inapproperate content do not get into their homes. But that said it is up to each parent to set the limit for the OWN home. In regards to B, you can say the same thing about anywhere. Should we let our children walk on the streets because there may be someone who is not dressed sniously? Of course not. Same thing for the supermarket. There are lots of nonkosher food there, maybe one of our children will buy something not kosher. Should we stop them from going there? No! Thats ridiclious. At some point you need to trust your children to make the right choices. And if you can’t then either you aren’t a good parent or you have some serious trust issues.

    And I should have know that Yekles have no sense of humor. Torah = holy book. We are the people of the torah.

    And yeah while we do need to send them the message that we are different then them, there are other more effective ways to do it.

    #1149630

    I agree with yekke2’s response. Sorry, Utah, but I don’t think your reply changes the validity of his points.

    I’ll just add that the fact that people you know who had library access “turned out fine” is not a very good argument, on many levels. For one, even granting that they wouldn’t have turned out even finer had they not gone to the library (which I don’t), it’s still not okay for kids to read what they shouldn’t.

    #1149631

    zogt_besser
    Participant

    it depends what section you’re in. libraries have plenty of innocuous (and very educational) books about history, politics, biographies, geography, sports, money management, language learning, etc. Red flags go up when you get to novels, modern poetry, dating advice, etc.

    So if you have a good relationship with your kid, you’ll just talk about the books they got (ask for the receipt in case they’re hiding some) and see if anything is objectionable. If it is, explain why and return. Personally, I think the problem with libraries isn’t shmutz or apikorsus, but rather bitul zman. For smart kids who like to read but need more motivation, it’s easy to get lazy and read library books instead of learning Torah. And that’s one reason why yeshiva is so great and important, as Yekke said earlier.

    #1149632

    Chortkov
    Participant

    Same thing for the supermarket. There are lots of nonkosher food there, maybe one of our children will buy something not kosher. Should we stop them from going there? No! Thats ridiclious. At some point you need to trust your children to make the right choices. And if you can’t then either you aren’t a good parent or you have some serious trust issues.

    According to your reasoning, should you not filter your computer, and allow your children free access to the Internet? After all, there are some wonderful sites out there, and can’t you trust your children to stick to only sites that you approve? Are you a terrible parent with trust issues if you take away a ????? from your children?

    We daven ?? ?????? ?? ???? ???… ??? ???? ?????. It isn’t the right approach to simply hope that your chinuch is flawless and that you will be able to be ???? ??????; we shy away from the uncertainty of the Yetzer Harah. ???? ?? ??? ???? ???? ??? ???.

    There is a world of difference between not allowing kids into a supermarket because they sell non-Kosher food and not allowing kids to read secular books because ???? ????? of them are problematic. For most frum children, going into a supermarket isn’t a ??? ?????; they know it is totally not allowed, they know the Kosher alternatives are fine, that is all they are used to. In most cases, unless the child is out to rebel, there is no risk.

    Libraries, however, are a totally different problem. To an avid reader, books are an irresistible pull. If in the middle of a book, in Chapter 20 – just as the plot has thickened, the first clues are there to solve the mystery, there is a page which has some questionable content, a child will need an incredible amount of self control to close the book. This is identical to an Internet device.

    #1281962

    Joseph
    Participant

    <bump>

    #1282901

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    When I was around 12, my older sister had a book in her possession which she decided was treif so she didn’t want it in her room, so she put it in my room instead and told me not to read it (?!).
    After I read it (and told her), she yelled at me for reading it. I thought that was ridiculous – hello, don’t put a book in my room and expect me not to read it!!!

    It actually wasn’t even that bad (and it even had a moral). I’m just making the point that you can’t put a book in front of some people and expect them not to read it, but I have never heard of a supermarket being a yetzer hara for anyone Frum.

    #1282903

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “If in the middle of a book, in Chapter 20 – just as the plot has thickened, the first clues are there to solve the mystery, there is a page which has some questionable content, a child will need an incredible amount of self control to close the book.”

    Even I would, and I’m not exactly a child.

    #1282957

    FuturePOTUS
    Participant

    For arguments sake, I’ll put up the flip side. The more that’s forbidden, and the more questionable the questionable content is viewed, the more the person wants to see it. For regular humans, a supermarket is not an issue. But as soon as someone makes it into an issue, it will certainly become one.

    #1283033

    Joseph
    Participant

    Dirty material should be available, otherwise it’ll be a bigger issue?

    #1283034

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    FuturePotus – I know that in my case, I didn’t read the book davka because I was told not to. I read if for the same reason the mountain climber climbed the mountain – because it was there. I was a good kid who always did what I was told. I read the book despite the fact that I was told not to, and not because of it.

    I agree with you that in some situations, making something into an issue makes it into an issue. But I don’t think that applies here for several reasons. For one thing, if something is really bad, then the “making it into an issue” argument is irrelevant. It is an issue; you are not making it into one.

    Public libraries can be really bad places. I know that the Lakewood public library is full of shmutz and it is almost impossible to avoid. It is definitely not a place for a Frum kid.

    You can’t compare supermarkets to libraries for several reasons. For one thing, in a supermarket, you don’t have to buy the treif food, but in a library it may be impossible to avoid seeing things that are inappropriate. For another thing, in a supermarket, you have to buy the food in order to eat it, but in a library, you can just take a book off the shelf and read it.
    For another, as it’s already been said, most Frum kids don’t have a yetzer hara to eat treif, but many have a yetzer hara to read. This is not because it was made into an issue, but because for someone who likes reading, it is a natural yetzer hara (as I know too well).

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