Why does my son’s Rebbi have a smartphone ?

Home Forums Controversial Topics Why does my son’s Rebbi have a smartphone ?

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 54 total)
  • Author
  • #1805190
    Pinchas Butter

    I am not someone you would categorize as a fanatic . Just thought that as a Rebbi/Mechanech there is a higher standard and image to present to our children. My son has told me that his Rebbi often checks it in the classroom etc……
    Maybe this is reality…..I don’t know


    So he can hold it up like a famous menahel and who then then says to you “this is worse than having a gun in your child’s hands”.
    It’s in the do as I say not as I do category.

    meir G

    maybe respectfully ask him instead of asking us
    think of 3 possible valid reasons and you are on the right track
    or maybe he is great with kids has the qualities needed to be a good rebbe yet he is not a ” parush from olam hazeh” even if you are , or maybe you too enjoy olam hazeh and taanugim

    Yabia Omer

    What “type” of school is it?


    its the same I idea with a smoker who tells off someone else for smoking. the rabbi knows that smartphones are bad but he’s stuck in the same web everyone else is.


    Perhaps you should discuss this with the principal/menahel/dean/whatever.


    it’s nice to hear some actually speaking in defense of the mechanech instead of jumping all over it!!
    I know that I had the same feeling when I saw some administrators with smart phones (many others have flip phones) and when I asked I was told they were tagged and blocked of almost everything except emails and texts. I think it might be a good idea to explain this to the boys, obviously, if they are going to be seeing him with it, and maybe some are not tagging them as they should and a question stated respectfully may light the spark for them to do the right thing.


    your surfing the net ,proof is your posting here yet you want your kids rebbe to be better then you are what difference would it make if his parents own smart phones
    what do you think ?your kids rebbe is a malach? he’s no different then you and i and I’m sure he has it filtered

    Pinchas Butter

    Its funny that you said “what do you think he’s a Malach…”
    Actually the Gemara says that a Rebbi should “be Domeh L’Maalach HaShem Tzevakos”


    Tagging them with a filter is only a b’dieved for those that need it for business. If unneeded for business, there’s no business in having a smartphone in the first place.

    Pinchas Butter

    Its a NY Metro area Yeshiva
    To the one who made it sound that all that matters is that a Rebbi is good with kids – yes it’s a key component
    – and that he love kids too, but dignity and “Tzurah” are equally important ! Our kids learn and absorb from their surroundings especially from a Rebbi’s behavior as much if not more than the Gemara he teaches.
    It’s a Vilna Goan – the IDEAL way to have a Hashpaah is to “fill up the large cup and let it spill over into the smaller ones.


    Also – it’s the Vilna GAON.
    A before O


    Why does your Rebbi’s talmid’s parent post on chat rooms?


    Maybe your son’s rebbi doesn’t buy into the propaganda against smart phones. In that case why should he not have one?


    Milhouse: What about the propaganda against television, which has less bad material than a smartphone. Would you be okay if all your children’s rebbeim have a television in their homes?


    Joseph, apparently you haven’t watched television lately. I am sometimes exposed to it in clients’ homes during the day, and it’s really bad. I can’t imagine what’s on after the kiddies are in bed.


    YY: And that stuff isn’t available on a smartphone?!


    Considering that most TV content can be seen on a smartphone,
    but not vice versa, I have to agree with Joseph on this one.


    (I wrote that before Joseph’s post was visible, as one might guess.)


    It doesn’t matter what’s available on a smart phone. Sure a lot of bad things are available, but so are a lot of good things. You can use any tool for good or bad, and the better the tool the more of each you can do with it. Saying that this rebbi shouldn’t have a smart phone because he could use it for bad is like saying he shouldn’t have a car, or a knife, or a gun, or matches, or most anything we depend on, because he could use it for bad.


    Nowadays some people become rebbeim just for the fact that they need a job and not because they want to teach and help kids reach their full potential.


    Some people need a smart phone to manage Type 1 Diabetes, so you really shouldn’t judge.


    Was Type 1 diabetes unmanageable before 2007?


    If you thought that the internet could only be used for bad, then you wouldn’t have it either.

    I’m assuming that you think it can be used for good as well as for bad things and you use it because it can be used for good and necessary things. I would also assume that the rebbe uses it only for good things.

    I would further assume that you would have a positive outcome if you were to approach the rebbe respectfully, explaining that your son felt confused to see his rebbe check his smartphone during his learning time which he was taught should be sacred (even if it was during davening), and then to an the rebbe for his thoughts on it.


    Randomex: You should never have to know, but the short answer would be yes.

    The long answer: Everything is relative. Technology has allowed for a lot more manageability, and is getting better by the day. With T1D, very low glucose and very high glucose numbers are dangerous in the short term, while average high numbers may cause severe health problems down the road.
    So bederch hateva better managed diabetes equals longer life and everyone with T1D must be mechalel Shabbos to manage it to the utmost.


    Many schools in the U.S. and EY require their teachers to have access to a smart phone with both cellular and wiFi capability for purposes of emergency communications and preparedness. I’m not sure whether your son’s school is in this category or whether the Rav himself feels a need to have this capability on his person 24×7. I doubt he would use such a device in front of his talmidim for inappropriate purposes (although some hold that simply having the phone itself is inappropriate).


    I think the real issue isn’t that he has a smartphone. It’s that he often checks it during class.


    I totally agree with the person who started this thread, this rebbe is definitely the cause of all this kid’s issues, not the family trips to great wolf lodge, baseball games, and giving our kids everything they want, with the line “c’mon, this isn’t going to send him off the derech”

    Pinchas Butter

    This is not about the cause for Kids going of the Derech etc….
    And this is not about smartphones
    Smartphones is just an example
    It’s about this:
    Don’t we want a higher standard from someone with the title “Rebbi” ?
    The title Rebbi should mean something
    It should mean that he doesnt talk during davening at all
    It should mean that he wears a hat in the street like the Ben Torah he encourages our sons to becomes
    It should meat that he eats only Cholov Yisorel
    It should mean that his talk is refined
    It should mean that his Rebbitzen’s Tznius standard is beyond question
    Its not about doing Issurim CH”V
    It’s about his position mandating a higher standard
    Or are we happy with a mediocre role model for our children
    and the downgrading of the title “Rebbi”

    Pinchas Butter

    This is not an attack on our precious rabbeim
    most are Chushiv AND fantastic
    But there is a general trend to accepting a lower standard in some


    It should meat that he eats only Cholov Yisorel
    I don’t usually call out typos, cause they are just typos
    But this one is great!!!


    I agree that a rebbi should have a higher standard. I do not agree that this means he shouldn’t have a smart phone. Or that he must wear a hat. And it certainly doesn’t mean anything about his wife’s level of observance; she is an independent person and he cannot control her. He can discuss it with her and request her to improve herself, but if she isn’t willing what is he supposed to do? Divorce her ch”v?!

    catch yourself

    Speaking as a Rebbe who has a smartphone (albeit in an out of town community and school), it’s definitely a bigger issue that he checks it during class and davening than that he has it in the first place. Of course, everybody’s phone should be tagged (Rebbe or not), and I’m sure his phone is tagged. In the community where I live, there are dozens of Rabonim, Dayanim,Roshei Yeshiva, Roshei Kollel, Kollel Yungerleit, Menahalim, and Rebbeim who have smartphones, and a handful who don’t. I know of only one of those people who doesn’t have a cellphone at all (his wife does). With all that, these Klei Kodesh present a magnificent set of role models for the youth of our community (as well as the adults). Perhaps this is because we don’t use irrelevant and arbitrary markers to determine what constitutes a good role model. It’s more likely, I think, that parents here are very good at exhibiting respect for the role models of the community even when there are things with which they disagree.


    The father of a child is also his rebbe. Ergo, by definition, the father must also be ” domeh le’malach.”

    catch yourself

    Trachtgeet – “Nowadays some people become rebbeim just for the fact that they need a job and not because they want to teach and help kids reach their full potential.”

    The Chofetz Chaim considers this the most reprehensible form of Lashon Hara/Rechilus: יורד עמו לחייו, and on an entire group of people to boot. Good luck getting all Rebbeim to be mochel you.

    Way to malign the people you entrust with the education of your children. And then you wonder why “they’re not good role models?” It’s because you strip them of any respect they might have commanded in your children’s eyes before they even get to meet the students. Your children deserve better treatment for their Rebbeim.

    I can’t imagine a person who doesn’t truly care about his students lasting in the field of Chinuch more than a year or two. It’s incredibly demanding and stressful, and that would be true even if Rebbeim were paid a decent living wage. Consider the typical compensation package at our Mosdos, and the idea that the Rebbe is doing it because he needs a job is laughable.

    <Cue the ignoramuses who will bring up the 5% discount at certain stores, the $1000 Yom Tov bonus, and the need to find another job which doesn’t pay enough during the summer. Do you really think I can support my family because some grocery store owner feels bad enough for me to let me save ten bucks off my Shabbos shopping? Do you think I can buy new clothing for my children for Yom Tov with $1000? Do you think I can cover the massive extra expenses of summer vacation because I got a job as a Learning Rebbe/Counselor in some bungalow colony which doesn’t even have a bungalow for me to use for the summer?>

    Your post is a direct insult to every Rebbe who has ever had to spend hours every week thinking about your son (that is, every Rebbe who has ever had your son in his class).

    Avi K

    The Rebbe has a smartphone because he is smart. So fare as “domeh l’malach” is concerned, the Chatam Sofer says that just as a malach does not advance the rebbe gives up his advancement to teach.

    Smearing a population of klei kodesh based of a very minority group’s misbehavior is more about personal bias than truth. 


    Avi K

    Mod, I did not write all. I just asked about those who do. If that is smearing this whole thread is smearing.


    Short answer: it’s 2019

    Reb Eliezer

    Avi K, אם תהיה בעינך כמאלך ה’ צב-אות תורה מבקשה מפיו, let’s give credit where credit is due to the Hafloh, rebbi of the Chasam Sofer, so the Chasam Sofer echoes hiim by explaining that the moon was willing to diminish itself to allow the stars shine.


    Teachable moment to show your son how to be dan lekaf zechus. Many people use such devices as their notepad. The rebbe is likely to be checking his notes. Second, if the rebbe is on call for a hotline, such as a halacha or other emergency hotline, presumably with the full consent of his yeshiva, he would be responding to them.

    The little I know


    A dose of reality is needed here. Generalizations won’t help much, but observing trends might help a bit. Chinuch has suffered yeridas hadoros, just as every other aspect of our lives. That won’t change on its own, and our mission is to slow the process, one rebbe, one child, and one class at a time.

    Motives for anything can vary. Find me two workers at a grocery store, and I can probably show you two different set of reasons for choosing such employment. Chinuch is no different. Yes, there are many who choose chinuch because they wish to remain klai kodesh. If this excludes the passion for chinuch, the range of needed skills, etc., we have a problem. And such scenarios are unfortunately true. It can result from the message imbued in our yeshivos that doing anything but serving as klai kodesh is against the Ratzon Hashem. It is sad that this is patently untrue, and the Torah states this multiple times.

    It is likewise an unforgivable tragedy that we have allowed chinuch to deteriorate into a career without adequate compensation, subjecting those who enter it into a world of poverty and disgrace. No, the kavod given to a rebbe does not convert into grocery dollars or pay his utility bills. the financial crunch of yeshivos is way bigger than the comment fields in the YWN-CR, and the brains needed to address that are greater than what we can offer.

    I am not siding with anyone here, not pro-rebbe, not anti-rebbe. There are way too many variables here, and the efforts to malign an entire career or group of people are pitiful and pathetic. Dumbing ourselves into denial that the rosy scene of chinuch is live and well is not a better choice.

    Lastly, assuming that every rebbe spends their spare time thinking about your son is undue optimism. It would be nice, and a few phone calls to report nachas would also be nice. Some do that. Many do not. They may be unable to do so, since they are busy with household chores, unable to hire cleaning help, or doing the shopping. They may worrying how to make ends meet,, taking care of their own children. Reality is all we have. Fantasy may be a nice leisure activity, but we cannot stay there for too long. Chinuch is in real trouble, and all of us are somehow part of the problem.


    Maybe his wife asks him questions that need an answer ASAP

    Avi K

    Eliezer, what does that have to do with anything here? As for the subject of the thread, there are many rabbanim who use WhatsApp and SMS to answer questions. There is a Shabbat pamphlet here in Israel that features a WhatsApp advice column by a rav.

    Reb Eliezer

    Avi K, I replied on your comment reply #1805792 about domeh l’malach.


    This question is similar to the story or anecdote that was flying around the net about a year ago.
    It was about a parent who was in the butcher shop and noticed his kids rebbi buying a very expensive cut of meat.
    Next thing you know ,a rumor started by this parent on a text that this rebbi is blowing money on expensive cuts of meats and his reputation was literally ruined in minutes.
    Turns out the rebbi was picking up the meat for a friend. Lesson learned:
    So stop judging what other people do and think 3 times before pressing the send button on a text or Whatsapp.


    Maybe he has a child or family member who is very illneeds it and needs it for medical purposes.
    Is: updates, medical portals etc. There can be 100’s of reasons


    Your sons rebbi has a smartphone for the same resson you do. He wants/needs the convenience of modern day things like email, waze etc… I am sure it is protected against bad stuff. Perhaps he has a side business to make a few extra dollars that he is probably not getting from super high tuition paying parents like you. P.S. I am not a rebbi.



    So stop judging what other people do and think 3 times before pressing the send button on a text or Whatsapp!

    I find it so fascinating that you would post something like that.


    A few months ago, Business week ran a survey of the most common uses of smart phones. It found that, after communication (voice, text and email) the next two by a wide margin, were searching for specific information, like,”What time does the Costco in Spring Valley close”, and navigation. The idea that the hammon am spends significant time searching for and viewing salacious material and that, but for our constant vigilance, we might fall into such a trap, is transparent nonsense.


    Takes2- i couldn’t agree with you more! I’m just wondering why you didn’t take that approach on the other thread

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 54 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.