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Not usually a big talker but felt i had to get this out there. Attended quote “top notch, high end, brand name” brooklyn yeshiva and mesivta.
Elementary school was okay – obviously the substandard english studies but overall most of the rabbiem seemed to genuinely care about their talmidim. But it all changed in 8th grade and went slowly downhill from there. 8th grade rebbe says “you know, wearing a polo shirt to yeshiva is what younger kids do”. No further comments about why I should or shouldnt dress a certain way or why I should even care. Then I had a 9th grade rebbe who could explain the deepest r’chaim during a shuir but I dont think I said more than good morning rebbe the entire year. I know 9th grade is an important time for torah growth, but where was the rebbe who was also my friend? Especially during a first year of high school when so much is changing for a talmid? But it was great that 2 nights a week we stayed in yeshiva until 8:30, and on Thursdays until 10! Because its important that 13 year olds have an outlet.
10th grade was worse as the rebbe was more than a joke. shuir? bad. social skills? worse. Commitment to the job? well I assume hes been showing up at 1030 every morning for years -yeshiva started at 930- so clearly there’s nothing wrong with that. 11th grade is where the anti was really upped. Now remember boys, everyone wear a white shirt “because your bnei torah”. Well what is a ben torah? Do you want to get into that rebbe? Or not really for now? And english studies? sorry – youll do that 2 days a week from 5-7 because that will not be needed in your future life. And of course – staying in yeshiva every night until 10. because we were such masmidim. In truth, we would sit in the lunchroom every night until the mashgiach found us and asked we go to beis medrash. But nothing was ever said, nor did anyone think, maybe this isnt the best situation for us? 12th grade was the ultimate disaster. Imagine your rebbe chasing you down in his car, because he saw you “eating in a pizza shop” (eating with 2 other boys from yeshiva, nothing more). Im not kidding. Or yelling because he saw us not wearing a hat in the street (by davening of course we did) and we were certainly on the path to being a ben sorer. We were taught all these rules, but no explanations, and certainly no meaning or feeling behind any of it.
The kicker of course was when it was time to leave yeshiva and 12th grade rebbe wanted to know the plans. Well I was going to go to a “college yeshiva” where I could learn 2 sedorim and go to school at night. And his response? “you know, that decision really disappoints me because I really think you had the potential to BE SOMETHING”. Just like that, I was written off. Needless to say, I am scared to ever send a child of mine to todays yeshivas but what choice do I really have. And the biggest regret I have today is simply that it would have been nice to actually learn something about why I am and should continue to be a frum jew while in yeshiva.