MAILBAG: Should Yeshivas Allow Bochrim To Attend Siyum HaShas?

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Dear YWN,

I am unsure what to think about it, but there are some Yeshivos that have told their students that they may not go to the Siyum HaShas sponsored by the Agudah. I have a number of boys some more into learning and some less– for those that are more into learning – I can understand the bittul Torah factor that the Roshei Yeshiva are concerned about. But for some of my other boys – it would be fantastic and very inspiring.

I know that I sound like I am rambling, but my main point is to ask – since when have the yeshivos taken over the role of parents? Shouldn’t we be making the decisions for each kid – as to what’s best for each kid? Don’t get me wrong – I love our kids yeshivos and the Rebbeim there. They do a fantastic job. But aren’t the Rebbe and Rosh yeshiva our messengers to fulfill our mitzvah of veshinantan levanecha? Does it bother anyone out there that our parenting role has kind of been usurped? I strongly think that the father and mother should be deciding these things.

On the other hand – there is a lot of commercialization in this siyum.

It seems like every day I get an email or a video about how important it is to go.

I am glad that the yeshivos are immune to the constant social media pressure that the rest of us are being subjected to by Agudah – of all places.

Anyone have thoughts on this?

Confused in Lakewood.

Name withheld upon request.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. If someone’s going to be in the hospital for 2 days, does he ask his parent whether it’s OK to take a side trip for a few hours? Or does he ask the doctor?

  2. I think it’s the closest thing to מעמד הר סיני. Should I deduce from these anti Rosh Yeshivos that they would have similarly been opposed to attending that מעמד too? Don’t get me wrong! Every Yiddishe Neshama that gets inspired to be closer to Hashem and His Torah must partake. I can’t help but think how these Rosh Yeshivos are likely the same ones who were opposed to letting bachurim go to the levaya of the Skulener Rebbbe zatzal and maybe even from the anti vaccination camp. In a generation where there is so much negative and it’s increasingly difficult to keep the חשק for Yiddishkeit alive, how could they not let them go? The question is why aren’t they encouraging them to go! I don’t get it! This is a celebration of Torah! A celebration of Klal Yisrael learning Torah! Didn’t Rav Papa’s 10 sons support all who finished a masecheta by paying for a Flashing Siyum? What can possibly be their rationale? It behooves me! Are they equally opposed to the lengthy bain hazmanim where “their” bachurim were bored to death and…..? I don’t get it.

  3. If I may address some of your points you post:

    since when have the yeshivos taken over the role of parents? I think it is about 150 years or so since the “Yeshiva System” has been instituted. The Yeshivos have not TAKEN OVER but they are supposed to be a PARTNERSHIP between the parents and the school.
    Does it bother anyone out there that our parenting role has kind of been usurped? Your parenting role has NOT been usurped! I hope your choice of words was just for “click bait” and you do not mean what you wrote. If the Yeshiva decided that it is not worth the bochurim going to the Siyum Hashas and you feel it is important – you are not on the same page as the ones you entrusted your son to! It is your choice if you want to find a new Yeshiva for him.
    It seems like every day I get an email or a video about how important it is to go – This is the world we live in and you are proving that sending as many emails as the Agudah does is working! It is a way to get the word out and it costs pennies (the cost of subscription to Constant Contact or whatever service they use!)
    I am glad that the yeshivos are immune to the constant social media pressure that the rest of us are being subjected to by Agudah – of all places – They are not immune and most likely get the same emails you do.
    In Summary – don’t be “Confused in Lakewood” and present your shaila to your Rav whether you should go, and whether you should go with your son – but be prepared to find a new place for your son if the Yeshiva explicitly said that the bochurim should not go.
    Hatzlacha Rabba

  4. Since you live in Lakewood, than no, don’t go without rishus first. It may negatively effect your children’s shidduchim. For the rest of us that live in the bumishe place like Brooklyn and elsewhere, we are still allowed to think for ourselves and make our own decisions.
    I see you only mentioned the Siyum that the Agudah is arranging, as they have been doing for close to 100 years, but not the competition (on Feb 9th) that’s making an indoor one. What’s pshat? Is it all about chaniffa & money? No achdus? Are we allowed to think for ourselves and ask such questions?

  5. I think it is essential for the future of our nation, for chashivas haTorah, ahavas haTorah and yiras Hashem, that yeshiva bucharim should be strapped to their seats the entire day. The straps will only open when the time comes for their 3 coffee breaks daily, where the belts automatically open to let the boys take a coffee and come go right back to their seats.

    This is how you produce contented boys that will not look for fullfilment from chatchkes like cars and travel and worse stuff because they’ll all feel fullfilled from sitting all day, every day, shteiging away.

  6. I suspect the yeshiva attended by the letter writers son(s) is the exception, rather than the norm. Of course, we get little context to the kvetching. Are we talking about high school aged boys 14-18 years old? Are we talking about 22 year olds? Is this a yeshiva where the majority of boys sleep in the dorm, or come from home every day? Did the yeshiva say, dont go, or did the yeshiva say dont go on your own?

  7. when faced with any shaaloh the first step is to look at our mesorah ! this is at least the 6 siyum in america, we had gedolei hador from all circles that guided us . DID you ever see a mention of this question , if you cant find it spelled out step 2 is too see what did the gedolim poskim & roshei yeshiva did they take their sons , did the talmidim of torah vodaas , MTJ, chaim berlin…GO
    the teretz iz , that the whole kashaya STINKS my assumption is that the overwhelming majority of attenndees will tell you that they davened a superb mariv brov am, that shme and boruch shem were with kavana and are recommitted to kevias itim on their level.. and so much more
    if you choose to focus on the shmorg in the suites and the k9 dogs than as avrohom avinu said ” shvu lochem po im hachamor… and if you snicker at the dais saying ” there is no one up there ” than stay home … rav wolfson shlita said that when a yid makes a brocho ” sheasah li KOL tzorki ” that hashem provides ALL our needs it includes manhigei yisroel bechol dor vdor

  8. “Since you live in Lakewood, than no, don’t go without rishus first. It may negatively effect your children’s shidduchim”

    Either a sick joke or the ehrliche yidden of BMG velt have gone totally looney-tunes.

  9. I think Menahalim Rebbeim Roshei Yeshiva should make these decision. It should not become another public eventual gadol bashing YWN discussion.

  10. Mr Father, before you write a negative letter about the Mokom Torah that your son attends, stop and think about the mayhem and safety issues that would result if every Yeshiva encouraged their talmidim to take the afternoon off and make their way to the Siyum.
    Yes there would be some inspiration gleaned at being part of a momentous occasion, but if it means that even one boy in your sons Yeshiva makes a leisure trip out of it, or if even one boy causes disruption at the Siyum and thereby causes a Chilul HaShem and a bad name for the Yeshiva, would it be worth it?
    If you were not attending or you lived in California, would you be comfortable with your 15 year old son making his way from his out of town Yeshiva, being accomodated at the Siyum, not being among a roudy group of boys and finding his way back to Yeshiva in the small hours of that night?
    So, be proud that his Yeshiva takes care for his physical and spiritual wellbeing and when he makes a Siyum in Yeshiva load up your car with a full party and go down to the Yeshiva and dance with your son.
    That will teach him what’s important in your eyes.

  11. I agree with the letter writer. However, yeshivos do make decisions about their yeshiva and don’t really care about the parents opinion. It’s just reality.

  12. This is a no brainer. The world that surrounds them is unfortunately filled with lights sounds excitement and fascinations, the likes of which 14 year old bocher in pre-war never never would have encountered, and yet even that world of basically commerce and independence was more than enough to take scores of them off the path.

    Showing them that what they do is exciting, that they are on a shared path with the klal, and that completion has a toeles, is vital to how we manage the transition from little pishers to boys we expect to glue their noses to the gemara, and on to the next generation of frum father’s and leaders.

  13. This decision should be made not by the am aratzim of yeshiva world news but instead by each Rosh Ha’yeshiva’s individual psak.

  14. Git Meshiga

    “If the Yeshiva decided that it is not worth the bochurim going to the Siyum Hashas and you feel it is important – you are not on the same page as the ones you entrusted your son to! It is your choice if you want to find a new Yeshiva for him.”

    So if a parent does not agree with every last decision/suggestion/idea of a yeshiva, just show the parents the door?

  15. First, Roshei Yeshiva should make these decisions. My personal opinion is that The Rosh Yeshiva should leave it up to the individual. If a bochur feels he wants to go let him. They need kosher outlets. It’s not worth stopping him. This will only leave him with a bad feeling and you could lose more than you gain! A strong learning bochur most probably will not want to go and that is the right decision for him. . The Siyum is a celebration for klal yisroel and so to is every jewish wedding. The main participants are the Balei Battim and it is truly is a big celebration. ALL balei Battim should attend regardless if they learned the daf or not.

  16. To compare this to MAAMAD HAR SINAI is IMO a stretch. Is it really ISH ECHAD BELEIV ECHAD? To those who asked about the previous siyumim ….were any of them held in the afternoon like this one will be?
    The same parents who take their children out of yeshiva by mid winter vacation even without the permission of the hanhala will likely do the same for the Siyum Hashas.

    To the OP…do you know if the hanhala of the yeshivos asked a shailoh to the gedolim before making their decision?