Out Of The Mailbag – To YW Editor (Picking The Right Yeshiva)

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yw story logo1.jpgDear YW Editor: I have a question to pose to the YW community, to elicit comment and discussion, and perhaps debate, but only respectful debate, keeping in mind that we are bein ha’metzarim and should take extra pains to be careful.

As parents begin to seek schools for young children (first grade and onward), would parents prefer generally a school where the learning skills are better, or a school where the children receive a more hearty dose of lessons in midos and bein adam l’chavero, but where their skills in teiching a mishna or gemorah would be at lower level?

A person’s response might contemplate whether the parents view themselves as partners with the cheder, and whether parents believe that they can better supplement (a) interpersonal relationships, or (b) learning skills in the home.

For those ever so fortunate to have their children enrolled in a school that offers excellent educational and midos-themed components, they are in wonderful position.  But, for those who see a choice between the “sharp” school, and the “nicer” school, where do your/our priorities sit, and why?

Thank you,

A Yeshivaworld reader.

[Reminder: Comments which have the slightest hint of Lashon Hara will be deleted instantly.]


62 COMMENTS

  1. An interesting question. Obviously Derech Eretz Kudmah La’ Torah.
    Why put ‘less’ of an emphasis on one more than the other? True, more time should be spent studying gemorrah as that perhaps requires a bit more diligence. But to quote the great Reb Yisrael Salanter, ZTZ”L: “An am ha’aretz with bad middos is like unarmed thief; a talmid chochom with bad middos (yes, a dichotomy) is like an armed robber…”

  2. in reality i would like to reiterate iameksteins comment, and also add that helping your child at home with his gemarah lackings is muh easier then helping him at home with his bein adom l’chaveiro

  3. Of course I would right away say “Derech Eretz kodmah Latora” but lemayse the pressure out there to be in a “good” yeshiva and higher level of learning can cause many parents to make a choice and end up with chutzpadiga children. My opinion is that if middos are stressed then the learning will come much shtarker in the end. You can read the biographies of the Gedolei Hador like Reb Moshe or Reb Yakov etc. and all you’ll see is Middos, Middos, Middos. The Siyatah Dishmaya is defenitely greater for someone who is Noach Labrios (Noach LaMakom follows)

  4. It also says’ Talmid Torah Keneged Kulo’
    But I feel it is quite a dillema. Middos are very important and lets not forget we lost our Bais Hamikdosh because of a lack of Ahavas Chinom, not a alack of Torah learning. Hours and Hours of learning didnt STILL couldnt prevent the destruction of our holy Temple!

  5. No question, middos and bein adam lechaveiro take precedent, especially for young children. The limmud and hasmada will come with maturity, but if good middos and bein adam lechaveiro are not taught at a very young age, it is much harder to instill them when the child is older.

    In any case, tefillos mit treren are required as well. Various tefillos, such as “Ahavah Rabbah”, Berich Shemei (u’sehav li benin dechrin…), U’va Letziyon (lema’an lo niga larik…), and the tefillah of the Shelah Hakodosh on Erev Rosh Chosesh Sivan are segulahs.

    HKB”H should grant us all bonim mehuganim to be mekabel the go’el tzeddek bimheirah.

  6. I think it depends on whether you are talking about a boy or a girl. For a girl you should have no question at all, middos is deffinitly the most important thing. For a boy, although I would still rather pick the nicer school, I can hear that you might not do so.

  7. I find it bothersome that someone would pose such a question which has such significance meaning, to a bunch of strangers who do not know the person asking the question. I also find it bothersome that people would give their opinion on such a matter when they do not know the person asking it and quiet frankly I would DARE say, are not fit to answer such a question. This is a question one should ask his or her personal Rav who knows the person in mind and can give specific answers on the matter. Not to a website where people can engage in fruitless arguments about what “they think is best.” I am amazed at how many people give their “wisdom” on so many matters which quiet frankly are out of their scope and without knowing all the facts. For this reason we have leaders on a local level to give us help and guidance on these important issues. If you do not have such a person, then I can say that in my opinion (this is one of the very few things I feel qualified to opinionate) you should definetly find someone and stick to them. Best of luck on your quest and please ask the “right people” the important questions.

  8. The more important criteria should be Deech Eretz at the early level. Why do so many boys have no derech eretz ND THE GIRLS HAVE GOOD MIDDOS? wHAY DON’T YOUNG YESHIVA MEN HAVE Derech Eretz or good middos? Talking in shul is part of this,bad driving habits,pushing ahead in line,not greeting others if they feel it’s beneath their dignity to greet “unimportant” people.The children learn these skills (bad and good)at a very young age and they watch the adults around them as their role models.Learning Torah to show off ” I know better than you”is NOT limud Torah. Middos and derech eretz should be taught in a fun way to our youngsters.

  9. Since we are talking about younger children, I think that we have to get this misconception out of our heads. Middos and Derech Eretz cannot be “taught” in a classroom like Chumash or Gemoroh. First and foremast it has to be taught at home. Second it is taught by example, and therefore if taught correctly does not take away one iota from regular limudim.

    And to those that said above that limudim can be taught later (as opposed to middos), I completely disagree. The stronger the basis the younger children get in Ivrah, Chumash, Rashi, Mishnayos, etc. helps them tremendously in later years in Yeshiva.

  10. Hmmm,

    I wonder if my last post, which was critica of this article will be posted. Maybe, maybe not, but from my experience the editors dont like to hear it, when they are wrong.

    Editors Note: For the record, most comments which are negative towards the editor are approved. Also, this was not written by Yeshivaworld, but submitted by a reader. Comments are not approved instantly.

  11. The best is to have a rov you feel comfertable with (preferably one that knows you and your family well) and ask him these kinds of questions. You should also be aware that it’s a continuous evaluation process as schools change, classes grow and get split and new schools open.

    Then just keep on being mispallel and asking gedolim to be mispallel because no matter which school your children go to it’s all in hashem’s hands anyway.

  12. Without hesitation, I would opt (for boys) a more hearty dose of lessons in midos and bein adam l’chavero, even if the skills in teiching a mishna or gemorah would be compromised!!

    As a parent of course I want the BEST for each one of my kids KE’Y, however this world is SO CORRUPT even ‘amongst US’ that being an ‘erlicher yid’ is not the norm anymore, but the exception!!!

    With much Davening, and Seyata Dyshmaya, we wish ourselves and our children STAY on the path of Hashem and NEVER waver from being ‘AN EHRLICHER YID’

  13. Nice wins over sharp, no question about it. Where’s there’s good midos, people will treat your child well. Where there aren’t, aside from developing poor midos himself, your child may suffer more than you know. Your child may become one of those who gets stepped on by insensitive classmates. By the time he’s 13, you might not have much confidence left in him to work with to help him continue to grow. Whereas the other way, you stand a greater chance of having an emotionally happy and stable child. There’s always time later to learn lots of Gemora.

  14. Why did this YW reader submit his/her question for all to give an opinion.Don’t you have someone who you look up to and can ask advice instead of asking the public whom you do not know or trust?
    I personally think that this individual is just out for some fun and testing and does not mean this seriously. If this is the new game plan, to allow strangers to make decisions for strangers what has the world come to?

  15. DEAR BUBBY,

    WE ARE SO SORRY THAT, AS THE FIRST ONE TO HAVE THEIR COMMENT POSTED, WE HAVE NOT RESPONDED SOONER.

    WE APOLOGIZE IF WE MAY HAVE HURT YOUR FEELINGS BUT IN THE FUTURE WE, THE DEDICATED READERS OF YW, WILL DO OUR VERY BEST TO COMPLY WITH YOUR REQUEST…

    I DON’T BELIEVE OUR FELLOW READERS WERE DISCUSSING CHILDREN AT THAT AGE LEVEL. WHILE THEY ARE MOST CERTAINLY IMPRESSIONABLE AT THAT AGE AND – TO QUOTE MANY GEDOLIM – CHINUCH BEGINS, SO TO SPEAK, EVEN PRIOR TO BIRTH – THE OLDER CHILDREN SEEM TO BE THE FOCUS OF OUR “IMPORTANT” – NO OFFENSE BIZRIZUT – DISCUSSION.

    AFTER ALL, MOST OF THE JEWISH WORLDS QUERIES ARE DECIDED RIGHT HERE, ON THIS VERY BLOG…

    LET’S BE HEARD…

  16. reminds me of the story of the Chasam Sofer who had two perspective applicants to his yeshivah, and he accepted the weaker one over the ‘sharper’ one.

    When asked for an explanation to his choice his response was.
    When they both came for the interview, the discarded ‘schach’ from his Sukkah was in the coutyard. He noticed that the ‘weaker’ one did not step on the ‘schach’ but rather circunvented it and walked around it. This showed a respect for a object that was used for a mitzvah. (even though the mitzvah was already pased)
    Whereas the ‘sharper’ one walked and steped on top of the ‘schach’.

    midos come first.

    and in the end ‘shazam’ has the correct message.
    “tefillos mit treren are required as well”

    but i would add that the ‘tefillos’ should be especially during ‘lecht bentchen’
    as the Rabeinu Bachaya says in Parshas Yisroi

    ולכך ראויה האשה להתפלל לשם יתברך בשעת הדלקת הנר של שבת שהיא מצוה מוטלת עליה שיתן אליה השם בנים מאירים בתורה כי התפילה יותר נשמעת בשעת עשיה המצוה
    ובזכות נר שבת שהוא אור תזכה לבנים בעלי תורה הנקראת אור

  17. As a mechanech, I would say without a doubt that a warm nurturing environmrnt, is much more important. Think about it, Would it be better to learn a tremndous amount but hate learning when you leave Yeshibah, or would it be better to learn less but to love learning and have 100 more years ahead of you of productive enjoyable learning? Additionally, someone who loves learning will pass it down to the future generation.
    LASTLY BUT NOT LEAST!!!
    Chanoch l’naar alpi darko!!
    NEVER FORGET IT!!!

  18. Yes, middos come first, but I think you’re all missing the boat here. Middos are taught at HOME, and learning in school. To the reader who suggested reading bios of gedolim – those books will show that they learned their middos from their parents. If you’re waiting until your kid is 5 to teach him/her good middos, you’re much too late. Classroom lessons in middos do little or nothing; examples and actions are what make the difference. Watch how you treat the mailman, the cashier, the too-cautious driver in front of you, the cleaning lady, the elderly neighbor, your siblings and friends – you’ll make a much bigger impression on your child that way.

  19. In the last 2 hours there have been 23 commenst regarding the letter. They all seem to value a Yeshiva with a greater emphasis on Midos, over one that emphasizes Gemora skills.

    I completely agree. A child that learns proper midos, chesed and Kovod will be able to better grasp the insights in any Gemora, Rashi and Tosfos.

    Talmid Torah isn’t about how deep you can understand the Gemora, the Chumash, the Navi, but how you can make it part of your life. It takes a child, or an adult, with proper midos to truely be able to accomplish that.

    Here’s the BIGGER question.

    If in 2 hours, 23 people can easliy say that Midos trump a deeper understanding of a Gemora, and we all can find another 100 people who would agree, then why is it that our Yeshivos are failing, horribly, in this area??

    We are the parents, the Baali Batim, why are we allowing our Yeshivos to teach our children, that Midos are second rate?

    Teaching another 5, 10, blatt Gemora to a 6th Grader is worthless, if all that 6th grader will do is boast to his friend, “I learned more Blatt than you….”

  20. I’m a little late to this dialogue and hopefully it’s not over yet, but there is one thing about this entire discussion that has floored me. The question was, should you favor a Yeshiva that emphasizes middos or a Yeshiva that emphasizes learning, and all the angels in here are rising right to the bait, demonstrating their finely tuned sense of priorities. Meanwhile, not one — NOT ONE — reader has bothered to take any issue with the very premise of the question and mentioned the possibility that there may be a Yeshiva that excels at BOTH. Is it so ingrained in your minds that of course you can’t possibly have both at the same time? That you can’t possibly have the ko’ach to learn 12 hours a day and still be a mentsch? Is it an article of faith that our Yeshivas are doing a terrible job? What, are they educating nothing but jerks over at Torah Vodaas, Chofetz Chaim, Torah Temimah, you name it? I just can’t believe my eyes on this message board. Rachmana Litzlan, I have never felt that we are less deserving of Moshiach than after the reading the garbage on this site. G-d help us all.

  21. WOW, DAN. i SAW THIS JUST AFTER YOUR COMMENT, AND WAS IN THE PROCESS OF MAKING A SIMILAR OBSERVATION. MY QUESTION IS, IS THERE A SCHOOL THAT DOESN’T STRESS MIDDOS AT ALL? OR JUST ONE A LITTLE BETTER THAN ANOTHER? YOU’LL NEVER GET EXACTLY ALL YOU WANT, AND IF ONE IS BETTER SCHOLASTICALLY I HIGHLY DOUBT THAT IT TEACHES THE CHILDREN NOT TO HAVE DERECH ERETZ. ALL THE STRESS ON IT, PERHAPS NOT. BUT ENOUGH THAT IF YOU HAVE GOOD CHINUCH IN THE HOME YOUR KID’LL BE OK.

  22. Midos are not separate from Torah and Torah is not separate from midos. Midos are not good manners. They are the TORAH’s ways of behavior. If Torah is being learned — by example as well as according to the curriculum — midos will develop. If a Yeshiva strives to keep its curriculum pure their efforts will be successful.

  23. Dan,

    The questioner made it clear if that opportunity exists, run with it. His question was regarding someone who unfortunately does not have that opportunity. Maybe he lives in a low Jewish population area where there are only two choices, with the attributes described.

    So the question is not only a valid one, it is a question that Jewish parents are sometimes faced with.

  24. Dan – Calm down. re-read the letter. the letter was to spark discussion and debate if you had a choice between “A” or “B” which would you choose? Obviously the combination of stressing midos and acquiring excellant learning skills is the ideal, but that was not an option in the debate b/c EVERYONE would choose that option. Also the letter writer asked that people respond in a respectful manner — perhaps you missed that line.

    another point to all those who think that the writer of the letter is seeking guidance from us and not going to a Rav who is familiar with his/her family – I think you are missing the point – I don’t think that he/she is polling us to make a decision rather the point once again is spur debate and dialogue on an important issue.

    with that said, I will add my million dollar answer – usually it is my 2 cents – but this time I asked my wife 🙂 ). My wife did not hesitate a second — she said MIDOS. when I tried to persuade her OK for a girl but a boy needs to know how to learn. She said the main factor has to be to make the child feel good with who they are and the rest will come yes Talmid Torah Keneged Kulo, however in her on the job trained experience Derech Eretz Kodmah L’Torah. In other words, with a stress on Midos at a young age, you have a healty chance to raise a child who will appreciate the importance on learning

    she continued that if a child is in a class with “put downs” and “exclusions” the child with the best set of learning skills can go down the drain, but if a class is based on building the child, inclusion and caring for one another, a child with weaker skills can become confidant enough to succeed.

  25. Hard to have good chinuch in the home, when many mothers today are not in the home – but in the office! I have read that the first three years of a child’s life will determine his or her personality. It is a shame that at this crucial stage in a child’s development, many mothers are just not there to do the job. A possible solution? Let’s get the husbands/fathers off to work within a year or so of marriage. The bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel needs to be built – will it be built if the moms are not there to build it? And for those who say, the bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel will only be built if the father is learning all day while the mother is at the office making the parnasa…explain that to a little baby or toddler crying for his mother in the middle of the day when his babysitter/day care worker is not loving him the way only a mother can do. Perhaps a survey can be done…were the mothers of the great Gedolim that we all emulate in the office or at home raising them?

  26. Lots of yeshivos these days have the problem of the children being disrespectful to the English teachers as they see those subjects as less important and feel that as a teacher of a less important subject, one doesn’t require the proper respect. Tell me this: Is a chilul Hashem likely to be caused my someone who is not as good at learning but has wonderful middos? On the other hand…

  27. I am a melamed who has spent countless hours observing Rebbeim at other yeshivos in the Brooklyn area. I can unequivically state that the yeshivos who have the “superior name” in their “learning academics” also have a problem with Middos. At the same tiome some of the less “yeshivish” mosdos seem to be doing better in the middos department.

    This is 100% true and totally sad. Most of our mosdos are failing at producing the adam hashalem, complete in both lomdus and middos.

    Of course if we could find a yeshivah which produces superior lamdanim who are also baalei middos, then that is the mossad which we should choose. The tragic reality is such a mossad is very difficult to find.

    TYhe bottom line is that no mossad is perfect and we can not shirk our responsibility to be mechanech our children on to the mosdos.

    We must be involved in our children’s lives, monitor their academic progress in all areas of learning and especially see how they play with their friends. Do you children help around the house, and say thank you to their mother for serving supper? Do we reward their middos as well as their progress in learning.

    I have more to say but I won’t because the topic is too broad to be dealt with in this forum. The back and forth here is productive to help a person formukate his shailoh which he should then take to his Rov, Rebbe or Rosh Yeshivah. If you don’t have one to ask, then that could very well be the reason why your children have problems with their middos.

  28. As someone who worked in an elementary school and high school and beis medrash, I would tend to agree with almost every comment that stressed middos. Yes, the question was which Yeshiva would be more suitable….most of these comments don’t answer the question! The bottom line is middos, tefila, middos, treren, middos, treren, middos more treren, more tefila…. Things don’t happen by themselves. The more a parent puts into ingraining in THEMSELVES and constantly work on THEMSELVES to make themselves better, the quicker the children (and friends and neighbors) will be influenced by that persons behavior.

  29. I concur with ‘bzrizut’ comment that the questioner should direct inquiries of this nature to his or her Rov.

    I would like to add though, that – in my opinion – the tone of this entire discussion does not belong on YWN. There are unfortunately a plethora
    of Jewish blogs filled with discussions of this sort. Did I make a mistake in perceiving YWN as a professional Torahdike News site and not just another place for people to critique the system albeit in a more refined, “respectful” and subtle way?

    I would like to believe that this posting was merely a lapse of judgment and does not reflect the true nature of YWN.

  30. There is the famous story about a little boy who went on holiday with his parents to a Swiss Resort.
    A week into his stay, the Ponevezher Rav came to that hotel as well. The problem was that the only rooms availabel for the Rav were on the higher floors and that was a problem for him .

    When this little boy was informed of that, he approached the management and said he would like to give his room (which was on the ground floor) to the Rav IN EXCHANGE for a ROOM in his Yeshiva when he comes of age. The Rav found out about the boys request and was so impressed he asked to see him. The little boy approached the Rav and asked that he should eventually oblige but he would like the Rav to put his signature in writing that he approves, thats what HAPPENED.

    Years later, that Bochur came to Ponevez with the signed later that said he is admitted to the Yeshiva. Even though this Bochur’s learning capabilites were mediocre, the Rav prioritized with his middos and and yearning desire to be a part of the yeshiva in any case!

  31. After reading the above comments and assesing the general opinion of the question at hand, I have a few comments different than what was previously addressed. I would like to mention that I am not a parent but a newly married Bais Yaakov girl and I would like to take this from a different angle. The majority of comments posted seem to agree with the fact that Middos take precedence-which I wholeheartedly agree with. Now if these comments represent our ‘yeshiva world’ then why is this not at all portrayed? where are the middos? why is it that when a shadchan calls to redt a girl a shidduch (as infrequently as it is) the first thing mentioned is “he’s mamish a masmid” then comes “he’s the best learner in the yeshiva” and after that “he has a great personality, really knows how to have fun” and only later is the added in “and really has good middos”?!? How come the father of the girl has to ‘faher’ him a bit? why not just ‘chap a shmooze’ and see where his middos lie? As a parent would you rather know that your daughter’s husband is learning 24/7, or that he learns and helps her when she needs? If you all agree that Middos are more crucial, then don’t be all talk, live it! Think ahead a little to the future….

  32. if you have a choice of A or B….

    You mean you have a choice? Will someone please tell me where I can find B and I’ll move there!

  33. Tis is an interesteing question which every parent must grapple with. however, the real answer lies with the parents themselves. I have not read all of the comments, but before any of us can comment, wwe would need toknow what is the atmosphere in the hme. Are the children being raised with “Torah Im Derech Eretz”, Derech Eretz Kudmah L’Torah” or Talmud Torah K’neged Kulom”? Yes, Middos are taugh in the home, but is there really a Yeshiva that doesn’t try and empasize Middos? We send our children to Yeshiva to learn, are the parents equipped to make up the deficiencies that exist in the classroom? What is the relationship between parent and child. I know of many parents who could, technically, learn with their children, but hire tutors because they can’t learn with their children.

    And what do we do if the children are girls? there is no emphasis on Gemorrah. Are the parents sufficently conversant with Tanach to help their daughters, to the level that the Girls Schools are teaching.

    This is a very difficult sugya. My own opinion is one which we have tried to follow. WE tried to find the best yeshiva to fit the personality oaf each child,that will offer the best balance between limudei kodesh and limudei chol, where we know that there is the dual emphasis on Talmud Torah and Middos. Then we open the siddur and daven very hard for the Aibishter to help us make the right decision, and continue to make the right decisions every single day.

  34. proud2bajew,

    You shouldn’t assume the priorities of misguided shadchonim as being representative of Klal Yisroel.

    While it is correct midos is a first, your complaint about the father of the girl fahering him is also wrong. It is a proper and traditional custom, for the father to faher the potential choson, that has much merit. There is every reason to seek a Talmid Chochom as a choson (and a Bas Talmid Chochom as a Kallah) once their utmost midos has been verified.

    Finally, I don’t understand your complaint that it is infrequent that a girl is redt a shidduch. For every shidduch a boy is redt, by definition the shadchan is redting a girl as well.

  35. Proud2baJew,

    It is not always the case that a Shadchan stresses a boy’s learning capabilities when she speaks someonE shidduch. IT ALL depends on who the girl in question is and what she is looking for. I know of many cases where the learning factor was a side issue and Middos came first, The shadchan would say ‘ he’s alovely boy with wonderful middos ,,,,AND he can learn as well’

  36. Without reading everyone’s responses, here’s my opinion. Who says it has to be either or? obviously every school tries to inculcate both but if there’s a definite diff bet the 2, I assume I would choose the better midos one. Although, at the rate we’re going in Lakewood, we can’t be that picky. You just go where you’re accepted!

  37. Joseph and nameless,

    Thank you, I should have written “it is often the case that…”. But, I still stand by my opinion, it shouldnt’ even be “often…”.

    Joseph,

    As this is not a thread on shidduchim I won’t get too into it, however it is common knowledge that “often” girls are sitting and waiting by the phone while boys have their ‘lists’… y’know what they say “a Bochur needs a secretary while a girl needs an agent” 😉 …

  38. ‘Talmid Chochom as a choson (and a Bas Talmid Chochom as a Kallah) once their utmost midos has been verified.’

    Talmid Chuchem UTMOST middos, Vus noch????

    A prize package exists in a perfect world and unfortunatley that is not where we are these days.

    It is bovious that a person who chooses a life comitted to learning will have less time to do Mitzvohs and those who are alwyas running to hospitals and are busy with tzorchei tzibbur learn a bit less. Its normal and I am sure they are both creditied upstairs for whichever life suits them better!

  39. I agree with Bzrizut, i.e. wondering why the moderator did not post my comment. As I can tell, there was no loshon horo in the post. Have to wonder what “middos” goes into filtering comments to be posted. (Non-Editor’s Note: Middos in this context means standards). Oh, well. Surely won’t lose sleep over this.

  40. proud2bajew, That’s just it. This thread was designed for discussion of those people who unfortunately only have these choices. Since it is in fact a situation that exists, it is a necessary discussion.

    nameless, believe it or not, such fine people with both those qualities do exist. There are (many) Talmidei Chachomim who have the utmost in midos as well. (Of course this ideal is not always available unfortunately, so midos should be given priority between the two.)

  41. I should say that there are surely many Talmidei Chachomim who have the middos instilled in them ,but because of their committment to learning they might not have AS MUCH time to practice as those who might learn a bit less!

  42. This is a great discussion, and I would like to add my own two cents, actually three (for all its worth).

    The way I see it is: Torah, especially the way it is being taught in the Yeshivos I attended and (what I’ve observed) from those I associate with, is extremely different than simply a “knowledge” institution, where what one absorbs is merely the information. Every Parsha in the Chumish is filled with lessons of refined character traits, or more accurately, the bliss of a refined disposition and the misery of the opposite.

    Derocheoh Darchai Noam. The ways or path of the Torah is pleasant. ALL Torah learning is part of this path, or arguably the path itself, when learnt correctly.

    Two side points.

    There are ways to acquire a car, book, game or any other item. The only way to acquire Torah is through the 48 ways mentioned in Pirkei Ovos. (Chazon Ish)

    A priest who studied Talmud wanted to see the way Great Rabbi Akiva Eigers understood the Gemora, so he decided he would attend his Shiur. Knowing he would never be permitted entry, he disgusted himself as a Yeshiva Man and mingled between the crowd.

    During the lecture, Rabbi Akiva Eiger posed a difficult question. The priest rose and proceeded to answer the question with a very complicated analyses. R. A. E. always treated Torah scholars with great respect, thus it was a huge surprise when Reb Akiva Eiger told his students to throw him out. Bewildered they followed his directive. On the way out the priest admitted to them who he was.

    The Talmidim however were still puzzled as to what gave the priests identity away only after he spoke up with “wisdom”, and asked their Rebbe about it. “From the way he delivered his answer it was evident it was not Torah, but mere Knowledge”.

  43. been a long time reader, but never a poster, but just had to overcome my shyness to join in this debate. thank you, thank you proud2beajew!! Finally someone telling it like it is. Of course we all agree that with middos as paramount, the learning will come. we all want our children to be true ‘menchen’ (and talmidei chacomim as well!) but how true it is that once they join the ‘grown up world’ of yeshiva, sems, shidduchim etc… its all eyes on the report card grades… not the middos. how many of the ‘good’ sems in israel are accepting girls because of thier middos?? not many at all. they all want only the high achievers with a straight A average. i ask any of you out there to try and convince a seminary, (harder than a yeshiva) that they should accept your daughter because although she cant read a ramban unseen, she really is a fine, pleasant, outstanding middos of a girl. best of luck to anyone who can manage that one! and as said in the earlier post, this carries on through shidduchim, high schools, bais medresh etc. So whilst i agree that in theory it is ultimately the middos that count, unfortunately, in the society that we are living in at the moment, that doesnt seem to be the case.

  44. It’s the Yiras Shomayim!

    It occurs to me that when you set out to find the right Yeshiva for your child your FIRST priority should be the Yiras Shmayim that your child will absorb from the Rebbe and the atmosphere.

    I read through the comments, and then waited another day and suprisingly Yiras shomayim is not even mentioned. Can this be true? While many mention Middos Tovos, and perhaps they confuse that with Yiras Shomayim, the reality is that they are not the same. If your child is a true Y’ray Shomayim, then the middos and learning are likely to follow.

    While it may not be comfortable to say, perhaps some of the Chassidishe mosdos are the best place to pursue.

  45. british, we the people have to change the system…when we inquire about a girl for a shidduch let’s ask about middos; when we inquire about a boy, let’s ask about middos. if more families will begin to do this, we will make a difference. we cannot rely on the powers that be to change things – we have to do this on our own.

  46. that they should accept your daughter because although she cant read a ramban unseen, she really is a fine, pleasant, outstanding middos of a girl. best of luck to anyone who can manage that one’

    Totally untrue, A yeshiva, maybe but not a sem.
    With maybe one or two exception, there is no sem that will prioritize with being able to read a rambam perfectly over middos. In fact if that were the case those institutions would consist of very few girls since Limudei Kodesh in America is ona much higher level than in Europe. And many sem girls are European!

  47. I listen to tapes by R’ M.M. Weiss – on many tapes he says when doing a Shidduch look for Normalcy. He refers lovingly to Rav Moshe ZTL as the goan of normalcy

  48. emesvyatziv writes on July 10, 2007 @ 9:54 am “Torah without Midos is deadly as we see from the talmidim of Rabbi Akiva.”

    People without mido did not become the talmidim of Rebbi Akiva. To understand what chazal mean by “shlo nohagu kovod zeh b’zeh” you need the eyes of the congregation to guide you. We need to view Torah through the lens of chazal and not through the cataracts of today’s society.