Why bais yakov maidel freaked me out

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    After reading through the whole thread I came away a bit scared. I go to a good school B”H and i have a couple teachers who I am very close with. I know teachers are just human beings so even if they are such role models to me doesn’t make them walking angels but reading through her posts I got a more than a tad bit scared because she claims that “she was the rebbetzin” and hello she doesn’t even believe what she preached herself! I know she said she didn’t teach classes she didn’t agree with but to think that someone teaching high schools and girls who trusted her and asked questions to her and she even answered them, etc. yet now shes saying judaism doesnt cut it for her and everything she has taught and been taught doesn’t seem to be the truth is a scary thoughts.

    I sincerely hope my teachers aren’t her. (I can almost say they aren’t but she freaked me out to think twice.)



    (1) You really misunderstood the point bais yakov maidel was trying to make.

    (2) How exactly is a teacher who is realistic about her belief and sincerely tries to strengthen it a bad thing? (And if you don’t think that was what bais yakov maidel was on about, I urge you to read point (1) again.)



    She said that when she started to have doubts she pretty much stopped teaching or advising, if I remember correctly.

    That’s why I’ve never been “obsessed” by teachers and all that kind of thing. I can like them a lot, but I know too many teachers in real life (wonderful people though they are) to necessarily put them on pedestals. Call me a cynic (and trust me, people do) but I’ve gotten burned expecting teachers to know all of the answers, and I’m not going to make who I am dependent on who my teacher is. Obviously I’m very fond of (most of ๐Ÿ™‚ ) my very lovely teachers, but if they did a 180 then I would wonder why they chose to become teachers in the first place but I wouldn’t be completely disillusioned.



    She clearly said that she stopped teaching once she started having serious doubts for that very reason.


    I’m with ultimateskier, and with all due respect OOM (I really mean that), I think you are misunderstanding.

    Teaching these topics does not a rebbetzin make. I had the same freaked out feeling but couldn’t articulate it in a way that would matter. People want to assume you are just putting them down for saying they don’t believe and it’s hard to get a point in.


    Thanks syag- my question sort is am i mistaken that teachers go into chinuch because of the eauty of yiddieshiet they believe and want to impart on us? Its more than just a paying (somehwat) job.

    And OOM- i know that it wasnt her point but she repeatedly said “i was the rebbetzin” and kept bringing her teaching up and this was the feeling I walked away with- just quite freaked out about who is teaching me.

    How do i know my teachers wont wake up one day and say they dont believe what theyve been preaching for years now? Its great she stopped but Id like to think that my teachers are very firm in their beliefs. I know that one shouldnt believe in oneself till the day of their death but still something must be off with a person if theyve been teachig it and learning for YEARS and then is ready to drop it all cuz its not intellectual enough.

    I hope Hashem seals the gzar din that we all have a great year and can really live what we learn.



    This is in response to ultimateskier, but I am addressing it to everyone here:

    You’re saying that you’re freaked out about the idea of a potential mentor being someone who “isn’t firm in their beliefs.” This is what I think you are misunderstanding about bais yakov maidel’s complaint (for lack of a better word), and learning and Judaism in general:


    You are all saying that bais yakov maidel isn’t strong enough in her belief. What I want to know is: how do you know that?

    Wait, don’t answer that question. I already know the answer. As Bais Yaakov students, we were all taught that we didn’t need what men learned to be good, believing Jews. Our job was to develop belief with what they gave us, which they told us was enough. So as far as we know, anyone who couldn’t make do with that couldn’t really believe–because what she had was all she needed.

    But I disagree with Bais Yaakov on that point. And I want to make this very clear: I do NOT think that people feel that what Bais Yaakov has provided them with is sufficient are stupid or cowardly. Everyone has different intellectual and emotional needs and THAT IS FINE. What ISN’T fine is a system where these needs can only be accommodated at a specific level, and other needs are dismissed and belittled. Our Torah is incredibly vast and deep, and not something people should be questioned or shamed for wanting to learn. Really, I think that that is antithetical to the spirit of Judaism, and something that should not be promoted to ANY Jew.

    Speaking of high school teachers…I had a teacher in high school–a “real” rebbetzin in every sense of the word–who told us often about how she shouted down for apikorus as a student. She would then say, “But when you are seeking to truly understand Torah, there is no question that is apikorsus.” And, no this teacher wasn’t what you are accusing bais yakov maidel of being. This same teacher yelled “TOIRAH IS A BESTE SCHOIRAH” when she first walked in on the first day of class, and had us write an essay explaining what Torah meant to us before she would teach us anything. Her love for and commitment to Torah were nothing like what I’d seen in all of my other high school teachers. And I think this is BECAUSE she wasn’t afraid to really examine why she found Torah meaningful.

    Again, I’m NOT saying that the rest of my teachers were no good. You are not a fake believer if you are not all “intellectual” (I do not think this is the right word in this context) about it. BUT. Someone who refuses to ask real questions about what they believe in, and shuts down and belittles the questions of others, isn’t someone who is secure in their belief.

    TL;DR: Asking questions and wanting to learn at whatever level you are at more builds security in beliefs, and being afraid to ask questions and shutting them down is a sign of dangerous insecurity.


    OOM – I resent your tone (especially paragraph 5) and no, your respoonse makes it obvious that you do not understand at all. For basic starters is the idea that this person says they have lost faith, and you are claiming that we fault them for having questions. Huh? That is only the one, easy piece to explain. As I said before, don’t assume that because we didn’t like something about her words, you automatically know from a preconcieved bias or stereotype just what is bothering us. That is both ironic and unfortunate.

    I assume your fast has already started so I will say Gmar Tov, and I hope it went well.




    You’ve got it backwards. I fault you for jumping to the conclusion that this person must have insufficient faith, when I think–and SHE says STRAIGHT OUT, MULTIPLE times–that this is her questioning what has been brought to support her faith so far, NOT her questioning her faith. That is why I think you are unjustly equating asking questions with losing faith. And I am backing her up on this because I have gone through (and still am going through, to some extent) the same exact experience. For a person who thinks these things through, there is a difference between belief in the religion and faith in the people practicing the religion.

    And no, none of my opinions on this matter are based on “preconceived bias or stereotype.” Precoceived? Conceived before what? Actually having knowledge of Bais Yaakov hashkafos? I’ve been to mainstream, right-wing Bais Yaakovs for nearly my entire life. My opinion of them is not based on anything other than my experience in them–an opinion that was actually incredibly positive before the actual experiences. And no, I am not acting out spite or anger or anything like that. I am saying my straight-up opinion based on my experiences, positive AND negative. I am not trying to play games or be nasty here.

    One more thing: if you still think my responses are way off mark, please explain to me why they are, exactly, because I cannot tell what you are really trying to criticize me for.




    BYM does not indicate that she is no longer believes in the religion. On the contrary, she writes:

    “If I didn’t have some belief (I like to think of it more as konwledge) I wouldn’t be interested in learning gemara. Or anything Jewish at all.”

    You are scared that someone is not as confident as you are about everything you’ve so willingly accepted without question. It is not her lack of belief that is bothering you. It is your own insecurity. You just don’t like people whose thoughts undermine the system you are so comfortable with.

    Well get used to it.


    You have got to be kidding. How obnoxious and off the mark. That really stung and I must say I would have expected better from you.




    What is some belief?! I believe in G-d 60%? Or only on Mondays and Fridays? You either believe or you dont. Half an apikorus or kofer is still 100% a kofer and apikorus. Emunah comes from the word amein which means that its true and you believe it. If you dont believe it fully then you dont believe it.



    Syag, I didn’t read BYM’s post. I’d probably find this thread more interesting anyway. What I see here is people arguing points with a mix of logic and emotion, and you responding purely with emotion. This leads me think that those claiming that insecurities are involved may have a point. I’m curious if you are capable of admitting that. Let me know…



    Look, Syag, you’re being pretty obnoxious yourself. If someone is being obnoxious, tell them what you find offensive. Try to have a dialogue. Being uncommunicative and taking the moral high ground does not help anyone.

    And I really mean this non-obnoxiously.



    I agree with OOM, but only if I can mean it obnoxiously.


    BYM is COULD BE Very insecure and maybe has other problems that she did not want to mention, in any case some of these posts are lashon hara and we should not judge BYM and tell everyone what we think is wrong with her, Notice i wrote COULD BE and MAYBE because this is how it seems to me, and IF she is insecure, having us all talk about her on the internet and she having a bunch of strangers judge her isnt going to help.

    Im sorry BYM if you feel offended or upset about what i wrote, we dont know your life story, history, family, Im just writing what conclusion i made on your original post.

    I kindly request that this thread be deleted or at least some of these posts/lines about BYM.

    No offense to anyone ESSPECIALLY BYM!


    Plus, please dont tell everyone what BYM thinks, or try to translate exactly what she meant in her original post, CUZ YOU DONT KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS HER LIFE!



    Can someone direct me to the original thread..i have no idea whats going on here.Thanks.



    ^Shopping +1




    Just saying- my post does NOT mean to insinuate that BYM did a 180. My post is PURELY a response to ultimateskier.



    ultimateskier, just checking in to let you know, I’m totally in agreement with you on this one. Not having the time or patience to get deep into the discussion, here’s a friendly +1 to you.

    I would like to say to OOM, of course asking questions does not indicate a lack of belief; but it is always wise to consider the attitude of the person asking. I saw no respect at all on the part of BYM to Rav Moshe’s psak. No attention at all was given to it. Not to say that every Rav necessarily would pasken the same way, but Rav Moshe is not someone to ignore. Taking into consideration the fact that he was paskening with regard to educationg girls within the framework of a school system ,not indidvidually, we may possibly not draw a direct conclusion from the psak to BYM’s question, but, as I mentioned, to overlook it displays an astonishing lack of Emunas Chachamim.

    While we seek understanding, we must be willing to subjugate our own ideas to the words of those who came before us. Following our own intellect, or what we seem to see so clearly in our own mind, (no matter how brilliant and educated we are) is not a good thing. See the Passuk in Devarim, 29;18, and the many times (among them Yirmiyahu 9;13 and 11;8) the Navi Yirmiyahu laments the tendency of the Jewish people to follow their own intellect , using the same phrase we see in P’ Netzavim – “sherirus leebee” (or leebam).

    Ultimateski, you sound young (even though I know on a forum like this you could be a 60 year old with a gray handlebar moustache and a matching pony), but I admire the way you thought this through and expressed yourself. I hope you find a trusted teacher with whom you can discuss the issue further .


    Thanks mod for the UN!

    I still beleive this thread should at least be closed and continued on one of the: why i am still frum threads since it is basically the same idea without judging/insulting a fellow poster…

    Just a suggestion! ๐Ÿ™‚



    “I saw no respect at all on the part of BYM to Rav Moshe’s psak. No attention at all was given to it.”

    WADR to Rav Moshe, he was a single Acharon. If your rav holds differently on a particular issue, it is not necessary to pay any attention to Rav Moshe’s opinion.



    Classic Joseph misdirection technique (go back and look at the comment): railroad someone making a point with related but irrelevant (yes, irrelevant) teshuvos to put them on the defensive. Solution: don’t feed the Joseph.




    Why would Rav Moshes psak (and the shittah of practically the whole yeshivish velt) not be relevant to this.discussion. She does claim to.be a bais yakov meidel and a Rebbetzin.



    WIY –

    What is some belief?! I believe in G-d 60%? Or only on Mondays and Fridays? You either believe or you dont.

    I don’t think she meant that. It sounded to me that she accepts the basic tenets but has issues accepting more peripheral “beliefs” that aren’t universally agreed upon and certainly not fundamental.


    BYM stated: There were no overarching objectives in what we were taught. Definitely no reasoning skills beyond a fifth-grade level. We are taught – the facts. And the “proofs” given from the text to support whatever it was were at best, weak. Many times, they seemed non-sensical to me. In fact, I remember as a kid thinking that I could also “make up a proof like that”.

    Writersoul stated: She said that when she started to have doubts she pretty much stopped teaching or advising, if I remember correctly.

    I don’t think it’s true. If you look above at what she wrote, seems to me it started way before she started teaching.


    “I don’t think she meant that. It sounded to me that she accepts the basic tenets but has issues accepting more peripheral “beliefs” that aren’t universally agreed upon and certainly not fundamental.”

    Yaa, I dont think she meant any of this, you people have no right to tell her what she meant and not, I will ask again to please, please close this thread, its the right thing to do! Right after Yom Kippur….half of this thread is loshon hara……

    (Please see above posts of mine)



    I noticed a distinction in what BYM was saying that seems to make sense while maintaining emunah, but which seems to be freaking out many of those here. It seems to me she doesn’t have a whit of insecurity about her emuna in HKBH, but has some challenges with emunas chachomim and more specifically with the methodology that has been determined to be right in educating young frum women. SOme of you may think that by questioning the status quo of practice she is showing weakness in her emuna in HKBH, but I don’t see it.



    According to the Chinuch there are both a Mitzvas Aseh and a Mitzvas Lo Sa’seh to listen to our Chachamim and not to transgress their directives (Mitzva 495 & Mitzva 496). This applies to all of us in all generations, men and women. I’m not clear on the idea of someone having Emunah in HKBH and feeling at the same time that he is exempt from observing certain Mitzvos that seem distasteful or illogical to him.

    Ultimateski sounds like perhaps she is in fact a Bais Yakov maydel. And maybe this is the idea that had her come away a bit scared, as she put it. I know it leaves me a bit uncomfortable.



    yichusdik: +1,000,000!

    whatdoiknow: I based my assumption (as did many others, looking back at posts on this thread) on something else bym mentioned in the original thread. What her personal thoughts have been her whole life I don’t know, but I very specifically understood from her thread that once she felt like she wasn’t being 100% sincere in her teaching she stopped.

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