Yeshiva's reading rules
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- This topic has 76 replies, 41 voices, and was last updated 11 years ago by Toi.
February 28, 2012 5:44 pm at 5:44 pm #602273MonseyFanMember
A local elementary girls yeshiva banned a book from being read by the 7th grade class, at the behest of a parent. The complaint is that in the book, the husband refers to his wife as “dear”. Have we gone off the deep end? If you don’t want to call your wife dear, or something else affectionate, good for you. But do kids need to think that the whole world is like that?February 28, 2012 6:11 pm at 6:11 pm #858432zahavasdadParticipant
I am 100% against banning books, however I do find this hard to belive, Can you share the title of the book.
I do get that some books some might not like because of themes in the books.
Maybe there is more in the book than the word dear.February 28, 2012 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #858433Shticky GuyParticipant
the husband refers to his wife as “dear”
I think its really smart to prepare children for married life in this way even at a young age. My wife IS very dear to me. She costs me a fortune!February 28, 2012 7:01 pm at 7:01 pm #858434🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
. . . But worth every pennyFebruary 28, 2012 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm #858435
the husband refers to his wife as “dear”.
I guess I’d never be allowed to send my kids to that yeshiva. Not only do I call my wife “dear” (and in public — gasp!), I even show affection to my wife in front of the kids.
On a serious note, however, I’m curious about something — what business is it of this parent if the rest of the class reads the book? Why does this parent get to dictate what every other parent is allowed to allow their child to read? Why does s/he get to determine which books I can have in my house?
The WolfFebruary 28, 2012 7:31 pm at 7:31 pm #858436Yserbius123Participant
There is more to the story than what MonseyGuy wrote. I am certain.
Yeshivas have been banning books forever, even Shakespeare only makes it into Mechinas after a lot of use of Sharpie’s.February 28, 2012 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #858437apushatayidParticipant
Maybe he called her a deer.February 28, 2012 7:43 pm at 7:43 pm #858438OneOfManyParticipant
I love how people are all like “even Shakespeare” as if it’s really not so bad…it sooooo is. The only reason they can teach it at all is because students don’t really understand the text, so the teacher can just gloss over all the innuendo and rubbish.February 28, 2012 7:59 pm at 7:59 pm #858439A Heimishe MomParticipant
I agree that there has to be more to the story. IMO, either use the book, or don’t. Blacking out words and phrases or tearing out whole pages is just plain crazy. I have seen school novels read like a redacted military report!
I was at a lecture man years ago given by a well-known mechanech. His wife was in the audience as well. The topic was shalom bayis. And he “Dear”ed his wife quite vocally and ademantly.February 28, 2012 8:24 pm at 8:24 pm #858440more_2Member
“parent. The complaint is that in the book, the husband refers to his wife as “dear”. Have we gone off the deep end? If you don’t want to call your wife dear, or something else affectionate”
Kids should be exposed to a book like that, I’m not saying a husband should call his wife dear in puclic in real life but I’m saying there’s nothing wrong seeing it demonstrated in a book, it teaches them what they need to learn for life, not everything should be a taboo, that’s not yoddishkoet. Znius is one thing taboo is another, which needs to be eliminated from thier system at the ire old age of 16??? Get real, nothing against chassidim, however if a guy finds it difficult to look at his wife after marriage there is serious problems over there. There are many like that and then they wonder why….. Well I don’t!February 29, 2012 1:01 am at 1:01 am #858441MonseyFanMember
The book is called “Mr Popper’s Penguins. It was written in 1938. There is NOTHING wrong with book.February 29, 2012 1:55 am at 1:55 am #858442
My friend once had a summer job at a local chassidishe yeshiva— her job consisted of taking a Sharpie and blacking out objectionable words (like evolution and atheism) and drawing in sleeves and skirts on the women in the pictures.
After hearing that, I’ll believe anything.
These are not even objectionable books, they’re textbooks. Not exactly pritzusdik pictures.February 29, 2012 2:48 am at 2:48 am #858443yentingyentaParticipant
the parent may or may not have over reacted. but i do know the boys half of my former elementary school used to hire girls to go through textbooks and edit the pictures and content. we used to complain cuz they didnt do that for the girls.
one week my brother came home with a times for kids mini magazine. blacked out was a sentence that the world is x many years old.
my HS bio book had a whole chapter removed. i think its obvious which was removed.
when i read caine mutiny court trial for a book report, i read the unedited version. curse words and all. when my HS decided to use that book as a class book, they got enough copies for the entire grade and the secretary sat with a sharpie and edited every copy.
personally, i dont think there is a problem with calling a spouse “dear”. but i do think its the schools responsibility to check kashrus of books. IIRC there is mosdos press or something along that name in cleveland that makes kosher textbooks
i do know my HS left the word “damn” (a separate peace). the teacher substituted the word “darn” when she read it out loud.February 29, 2012 3:01 am at 3:01 am #858444
dear dear dear dear dear dear dear dear
ooh, I am SO rebellious. call me a kid-at-risk.
dear dear dear dear dear dear dear dearFebruary 29, 2012 3:43 am at 3:43 am #858445agittayidParticipant
“Mr Popper’s Penguins” is a classic of children’s literature. A movie of this book will be released this summer.February 29, 2012 3:51 am at 3:51 am #858446ItcheSrulikMember
Shrek: Don’t laugh. If some things don’t change your kids may very well have exactly that problem 20 years down the line.February 29, 2012 4:54 am at 4:54 am #858447☕️coffee addictParticipant
I think it was already released and actually its a good clean movie for americain standardsFebruary 29, 2012 5:11 am at 5:11 am #858448LogicianParticipant
What a great book.
I am fairly conservative on such issues, but I sincerely hope this story is not being reported correctly.February 29, 2012 5:19 am at 5:19 am #858449agittayidParticipant
Thank you, ca. I’ll take the kids and read them the book.
Funny, how censorship sometimes encourages the very thing it tries to suppress.February 29, 2012 5:22 am at 5:22 am #858450dash™Participant
Yeshivas have been banning books forever, even Shakespeare only makes it into Mechinas after a lot of use of Sharpie’s.
Much of Shakespere’s work should be removed from yeshiva curriculums.February 29, 2012 7:30 am at 7:30 am #858451
Shakespeare’s works are full of innuendo and double-meanings. when i was in yeshiva no-one in the class got the jokes. i have a thing for language and chapped them, i would sit there laughing my head off, knowing that the RY’s son sitting next to me would turn purple if he’d chap.February 29, 2012 7:37 am at 7:37 am #858452Sam2Participant
I have a rant from another thread that I think fits perfectly here, so I’ll just cut-and-paste it.
My real problem is this: far too many people in Yiddishkeit nowadays decide that whatever they’re uncomfortable with is Assur. What happened to just not doing something that you feel is a Nisayon for you? I have a Nisayon with problem Y. So I know for myself to avoid situations where Y could occur. Does that mean that I have to try and get the whole world to think that Y is Assur? Apparently, many people throughout the Frum world think yes. Rav Schachter always quotes the Mesilas Yesharim that someone has to realize what his Nisyonos are and make Gedarim for himself to avoid falling in. And this Nisyonos are different for every person. So why is it that everyone suddenly thinks that if they have a Nisayon they have to make a Geder for the whole K’lal?February 29, 2012 7:40 am at 7:40 am #858453Loyal JewParticipant
The yeshiva was right. With geder arayos you can’t be too careful. Remember that this involves 7th grade, not sem.February 29, 2012 9:33 am at 9:33 am #858454tahiniMember
Sam2 great post
very worrying indeed to hear of a lovely children’s book being censored. I think kids should hear terms of endearment being shared between husband and wife, and shown books that are postive and enjoyable, lots to choose from.
On one hand we get crazy when a rebel leaves the community complaining of censorship and a blinkered education ( ring any bells?) on another hand the value of what assur really means is diluted when applied in an over zealous way which I feel insults Judaism itself.February 29, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am #858455
Sam2- Old argument, remember? Letter of the law vs. spirit of the law. But, in this case, I totally disagree. This isn’t spirit of the law, this is nuts.February 29, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm #858456studentParticipant
Why is a 7th grade class reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins? That is a book for 3rd-4th grade. That concerns me more than the actual ban.February 29, 2012 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #858457Ctrl Alt DelParticipant
Do you think Noach calls his wife dear? I mean, that’s just like saying her last name. Not very affectionate.February 29, 2012 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm #858458squeakParticipant
Loyal Joe, you are blowing it out of proportion. Arayos is one thing, talking nicely to a wife is something else entirely. Is there a problem also when a rebbi speaks of his ‘dear talmidim’?February 29, 2012 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm #858459Yankie DoodleMember
Sam, I believe the following rendition would be more accurate:
My real problem is this: far too many people in Yiddishkeit nowadays decide that whatever they’re comfortable with is Muttar. What happened to just doing something that you feel is a Nisayon for you? I have a Nisayon with problem Y. Does that mean that I have to try and get the whole world to think that Y is Muttar? Apparently, many people throughout the Frum world think yes.February 29, 2012 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #858460
Oh, please. A spouse calling the other “dear” is not anything close to arayos.
The WolfFebruary 29, 2012 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #858461Sam2Participant
Toi: But why does everyone get to/think they get to decide the “spirit of the law” based on whatever they personally feel.
Yankee Doodle: I’m not disagreeing with your point. There are plenty of people who do that too. That doesn’t change the validity of mine. Both are serious problems.February 29, 2012 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #858462
Toi: But why does everyone get to/think they get to decide the “spirit of the law” based on whatever they personally feel.
And, worse, get to decide it for everyone else. There’s no reason that one parent should be deciding that no one else’s kid can read this book. If they don’t want their kids to read it, fine and well — but they shouldn’t have the right to tell other parents what their kids can and cannot read.
The WolfFebruary 29, 2012 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #858463gavra_at_workParticipant
Depends which yeshiva. Mind telling us? It may be perfectly normal and expected, like Hamodia censoring the concept of women driving autos.February 29, 2012 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #858464Shticky GuyParticipant
the husband refers to his wife as “dear”
I think its really smart to prepare children for married life in this way even at a young age. My wife IS very dear to me. She costs me a fortune!
. . . But worth every penny
Definitely, Syag! I agree 100%. And not only because she also posts here… ?. I incorporated your idea in my subsequent post below
Last Ellul, my wife, who is very dear to me but worth every penny, was doing what many (most?) women do in the evenings… she was on the phone (to her best friend who happens to be a dikduk morah). These phone calls take place religiously 3 times every day ??? ????? ???????. Sometimes with a long ???? aswell. But never a ?????!
So I gave my wife a note saying that I wish her and her friend a ????? ?????? ????. Obviously she said that I had made a spelling error as ????? is spelled with a ?? not a ???. No I replied. I meant it this way and I hope you figure! After another long discussion they eventually did!February 29, 2012 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #858465
They dont. It should be done only when sufficient evidence of a problem in the community arises. Take internet for example. You could surf all day and find nothing objectionable, but enough marriages and lives have gone down the tubes for rabbonim to assur internet without a filter in certain communities. And even then only with the guidance of rabbonim. This case, I think was done with little forethought, and, as such, I agree with you.February 29, 2012 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm #858467BTGuyParticipant
Sadly, that part of the book will enter the “realm of romance” to the sensitivity of 7th grade girls.
I do see the point of banning the book.February 29, 2012 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #858468mikehall12382Member
I edited my kids version of Dr Seuss’ book Green Eggs and Ham…
I changed it to Purple Eggs and Schmaltz herring..February 29, 2012 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm #858469EzratHashemMember
In my opinion this book is innocent, cute, and a very good read for kids. Nothing objectionable about the way characters relate– Agreed it should be at a lower grade level than 7th.February 29, 2012 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #858470Feif UnParticipant
student, maybe it’s the advanced class at the Satmar school?February 29, 2012 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #858471dullradianceParticipant
I know of one yeshiva that censored a fourth grade mishna class. Although the mishna says one word, the Rebbi insisted on saying “Bayah sh’noldah byom tov” instead of the word written.
In Europe, where my father went to cheder, they translated “Isha Ke Sazria” as “ven a fro flaanced”. In yeshiva ketana they translated “Shtaar” as “a sherbel” (pottery fragment) – because “a kesubah iz a shtaar un a kesubah mer ken trachten fun frau’en”.February 29, 2012 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #858472Yserbius123Participant
@mikehal12382 I remember in first grade a kid brought “Green Eggs and Ham” in to class to read (mind you, this was not a very Yeshivish elementary school) and the teacher read it as “Green Eggs and Yam”.March 1, 2012 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #858473BTGuyParticipant
Very good point. I am sure the people mean well in their efforts to extend their concerns to the rest of the community, but somewhere, sometimes a line has to be drawn.
Very astute!March 4, 2012 4:49 am at 4:49 am #858474
Itche, I hope you meant your comment in the nicest possible way, whatever that could possibly be.March 4, 2012 5:48 am at 5:48 am #858475ItcheSrulikMember
Shrek: I hope so too. What I meant was that like most clever satire, yours might very well become real. (Your comment about the kid being considered at risk for saying dear)March 4, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm #858476mommamia22Participant
I’m not liberal, but this is just too much.
Maybe it would be a much more valuable lesson to teach about the varied views in the yiddishe world and how one set of parents might ban something, whereas another might not, and use that as a springboard for a discussion about tolerance.March 4, 2012 1:50 pm at 1:50 pm #858477Avi KParticipant
I guess “On Top of Spaghetti” is out. What about if a wife calls he husband “Tzvi”?March 4, 2012 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #858478
Avi K: I remember that song! It was on some tape of songs my sisters and I sued to dance to sometimes (Music and Motion kind of thing) when we were toddlers. Now I know: assur!
And MonseyFan, as a fellow Monseyer, what school? I am really curious now.March 4, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm #858479
I’ve met many kidswho are off the derech, and I’ve never heard one say that hearing their parents say “dear” to one another was what pushed them away.
And I doubt anyone ever went OTD from reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins, or any of the other books mentioned in this thread.March 5, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am #858480
Whoops— the word is used, not sued. And after my whole thing about disliking when people don’t proofread! Tsk, tsk…March 5, 2012 2:24 am at 2:24 am #858481essy8Member
wow. really. i teach in a yeshivishe boys elementary (read: low-level english studies) and we read this book in my THIRD GRADE class.
sooo difficult to believe that this is being read in seventh grade, and sooooo difficult to believe the reason for the ban. they don’t come more squeaky clean than this book.
but then, i went to a fairly “out of town” bais yaakov, where we learned to put on nail polish in home ec, and where we watched disney’s snow white in seventh grade art class. 🙂 and the teacher made a joke by the kiss at the end that he was performing CPR.
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