Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Educators Should Be Leaders

A relative of mine is going to a certain yeshiva next year and I was curious about the yeshiva so I googled and found an interview with the Rosh Yeshiva. He has "interesting" viewpoints. The topic of television came up and he said that he has one at home and doesn't see a problem with it. Here are his words:

 "אני לא רואה בנוכחות של טלוויזיה בבית ביטוי לחוסר קדושה. לא רואה קדושה בהתנתקות מן העולם, או בפחד ממנו. אני לא מסכים עם העמדה שזה שאתה לא מסתכל על נשים זו קדושה. זו טומאה! קדושה היא בהיבדלות מן הטומאה הנמצאת בתוך העולם, ולא בהיבדלות מן העולם עצמו. זו נזירות מודרנית בעיניי. אדרבה, דווקא משום שאני יודע שלרוב התלמידים תהיה טלוויזיה בבית אני רואה צורך להראות להם כיצד להפעיל מנגנון ביקורתי כלפי העולם.

He doesn't think having a TV at home is an expression of a lack of kedusha. Fascinating. Let us put aside the rampant sex and violence on the shows. The news!! The woman reading the news is often as eye popping as any model, heavily made up and often wearing [or not wearing] very revealing clothing. She is only hired because of two basic qualities 1] She is very attractive, and 2] She can read English. Why these two qualities? Because it is MUCH BETTER for ratings having a very young and alluring woman on the screen than having an 87 year old bubby reading the news. Who would YOU rather look at? [unless it is YOUR bubby] A ben Torah can't even watch the news if he has the slightest respect for minimal standards of kedusha. But this Rosh Yeshiva sees noooo problem with having a TV. Not the foul language, not the negative values that are imparted, not the immodesty or violence. A remarkable finding of studies on the matter - People who watch acts of violence or sexual activity are more likely to carry them out. A wonder!! A shocker!! Who woulda thunk it??  

He then says that not looking at women is not kedusha but tumah. Again: One who avoids looking at woman is spiritually contaminating himself. Rashi says at the beginning of Parshas Kedoshim that the definition of kedusha is separation from women, but this Rosh Yeshiva knows better. If there is a scantily clad woman walking down the street on a hot summer day and you avert your eyes you are [in his mind] impure. To be pure is to look. 

All I can say is that he is a Reform Rosh Yeshiva with a very contorted sense of values. What makes him dangerous is that his students see him as a religious authority. When our educators promote anti-Torah values prima facie, we are in BIIIIIG TROUBLE. And he is not the only one. [I would call out more of them but I can't be too zealous all at once:-)]. 

He concludes by saying that his students are going to have a TV in their homes, so he has to have one too and show them how to look at the world with a critical eye. 

I want to take his logic forward. Many of his students are masturbating [please forgive me but that is the reality in most places today]. Does he do that too in order to show them how to deal with that responsibly? Many of his students are watching pornography on the Internet. Does he watch that too in order to teach them the right way?? 


Rabbis, Roshei Yeshiva, educators, are supposed to be leaders and not followers. They shouldn't do what their students are doing. Their students should be emulating them and not vice versa. 

I only copied one paragraph from the interview. He has more ideas that poison the delicate minds and souls of his students. We need responsible teachers for our youth. Things are hard enough as it is without the difficulty being compounded by bad teachers. 

I would tell my relative to search for a better yeshiva. There are so many good ones out there but as Chazal say "Just as there is a mitzvah to say words of rebuke that will be heeded, it is also a mitzvah NOT to say words of rebuke that WON'T be heeded."

May he and all young men and women grow in Torah and Yiras Shomayim.