web analytics
May 7, 2015 / 18 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 12/23/11

By:

Chronicles-logo

Dear Rachel, I am writing this letter to share my experience with your readers, one that I consider to be an ongoing “crisis in our community.”

If I would title this piece, I’d call it “How A Bais Yaakov Education Has Affected My Life.” But before everyone starts rolling their eyes and prepping themselves for another graduation speech, just read on.

I graduated from a very academic frum high school where tremendous emphasis was put on grades, Honors classes, AP courses, and the type of seminary one would get into. Our Hebrew classes were extremely intense, deep and very difficult.

Chumash class was filled with all sorts of deep meforshim, a lot of memorization and intense tests and quizzes. When it came to Navi, any girl who completed all the classes could easily cream any yeshiva bochur in a Navi challenge.

And Halacha class — oh, how we studied Halacha! We were taught the halachos of brachos, hilchos mezuzah, halachos of yichud, halachos of challah, halachos of shechita, halachos of building a kosher mikvah, halachos of when brachos can or cannot be said, (in front of clad women, men, etc), halachos of Shabbos, and of course before an upcoming Yom Tov we learned the halachos pertaining to that Yom Tov.

Pretty impressive, one might say. As many older ba’alei teshuvah I encountered would say: “How lucky you are to have such a good Jewish education! Oh, how I wish I would have learned what you are learning!”

I respectfully disagree. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the depth of Torah knowledge I gained; it’s just that today, as a mother and a wife, I find most of it extremely unusable. Not only are most of my high school class studies irrelevant to my everyday life, but I have also found them to be obstructive to my shalom bayis.

Allow me to elaborate. In Yiddishkeit there are many facets to halacha. We learned one approach and were hardly informed of the existence of others. We were taught to know and memorize the halacha we were learning about so that we could get the right answers on the test and hopefully remember it for life. (Little emphasis was placed on how to ask a shaila — after all, we were taught to KNOW the halachos.)

The average (female) student walks away from her schooling confident in her mastery of halacha — small wonder after having spent 4 years plus learning it! But what happens when she marries a man who holds differently from the way she was taught or practiced in her own home? What if his minhagim differ from hers and he holds of an opposing psak halacha?

This happened to be so in my case, and I’m certainly not alone.

As a young wife, I questioned my husband on many aspects of his avodas Hashem, despite the fact that he was a full time scholar. I looked down on him because I knew Navi better. (Of course I wouldn’t come right out and say so, but he felt it.) I started many arguments in regards to halacha and was only pacified when he showed me black on white (in sefarim) how his way was backed by many poskim as well.

Oh, how I wish I’d have spent my school years learning how to live! Learning communication skills would have been so much more useful for my shalom bayis than having to memorize all the kings of Yehuda and Yisroel. Lessons on emunah and bitachon would have served me better when facing the reality of life’s challenges than would the laws of shechita.

Today I feel like most of my high school years were a waste of time. To be honest, I do not recall much of what I have learned. It is my wish that schools, especially frum schools, initiate lessons for girls that will teach them the skills they require in order to be a good wife and mother, because ultimately most frum girls and women find themselves facing the same destiny: that of raising the next generation of klal Yisroel.

Although society has changed and education for many is a number one priority, I am pretty confident that most men would appreciate their wives’ proficiency in whipping up a sumptuous meal and being adept with needle and thread over their ability to rattle on about the Ohr Hachayim from Parshas Ki Seitzei.

I’m not a sexist; I’m a realist Dear Realist, Since your “loud and clear” message has taken up most of this column’s space, I will defer to readers to express their own sentiments regarding a subject that many no doubt relate to.

As we celebrate Chanukah, we recall Yehudis, one of our Jewish heroines and one who figures prominently in the miracles of this holiday. Yehudis was a wealthy widow of great beauty inside and out, an extremely pious woman who prayed to G-d every day in a special room in her home that she designated solely for this lofty purpose.

It is Yehudis who lectured the elders of the town of Bethulia in Judea on the finer points of faith and belief in our Creator, citing our patriarchs and matriarchs who, when tested with suffering, did not let up on their reliance on G-d but prayed to them for guidance and success.

The story of how Yehudis single-handedly defeated the evil Syrian-Greek general and scored a military victory that saved the inhabitants of Bethulia is well known. (Her armor…? Wine and cheese and supplication to Hashem.)

This is a good time to recall that our earliest trendsetters and role models – Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah – did not rely on studying the “heavy meforshim” of Chumash and Tanach (having lived way before the Torah was given to us).

Wishing all of our readers an insightful, inspiring and happy Chanukah!

* * * * *

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 12/23/11”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Netanyahu.
There is a Coalition!
Latest Sections Stories
Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

An avid and unapologetic eugenicist, Shaw suggested that the Nazis “make it punishable incest for a Jew to marry anyone but an Aryan.”

A leader that has lost faith in his people cannot lead his people and conquer the land of Israel.

Baseball-logo-NEW

The New York Giants’ Jewish catcher thrilled Giants fans by hitting for the cycle.

A-Night-Out-logo

A graduate of Rhode Island’s Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts, the very personable Massin came to NoBo with both a solid education and years of experience at Mike’s Bistro and The Prime Grill.

Eretz Yisrael is Eretz HaChayim – the Land of Life.

After camping out in tents for a year, the Maoz family needed some time out.

Cauliflower is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with – it blends so easily into whatever dish I am preparing.

For all their deliciousness, frozen beverages do not stand the test of time well, as any ice or frozen fruit thickening your drink will melt into a watery mess.

“DouxMatok’s technology will allow for a reduction of 30-60 percent of sugar in a product, depending on the application, and with no effect on taste.”

How do we ensure that our students aren’t studying for the grade or the end-of-the-year pizza party? How can we get them to truly want to learn for learning’s sake?

The message being conveyed is that without “flour,” without the means to support oneself and one’s family, one’s focus on Torah will be impeded by worry.

Someone close to us knew that you were good at saving marriages and begged us to give therapy one last chance,

Rabbi Pinni Dunner and Holocaust survivor Heddy Orden.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/in-print/from-the-paper/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-122311/2011/12/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: