web analytics
January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The IAF reportedly hit a Syrian military target in Damascus around midnight.
IDF Retaliates Against Syrian Military Targets, Sets Off Rocket Alarms on the Golan
Latest Sections Stories
Resnick-012315-Artist

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

Respler-012315

I find his mother to be a difficult person and my nature is to stay away from people like that.

Here are some recipes to make your Chag La’Illanot a festive one.

Baim-012315

Does standing under the chuppah signal the end of our dream of romance and beautiful sunsets?

We aren’t at a platform; we are underground, just sitting there.

Dr. Lowy believed passionately in higher education for both men and women and would stop at nothing to assist young students in achieving their educational goals.

It’s almost pointless to try to summarize all of the fascinating information that Holzer’s research unearthed.

The special charm of these letters is their immediacy and authenticity of emotion and description.

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

Teachers, as well as administrators, must be actively involved in the daily prayers that transpire at a school and must set the bar as dugmaot ishiot, role models, on how one must daven.

Often both girls and boys compare their date to their parents.

We love the food, the hotels, and even the wildlife. We love the Israelis.

Few traces remain of the glory days of Jewish life in the kingdoms of Sicily and Naples, but the demise wasn’t due to the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. Rather it was a manmade volcano called the Edict of Expulsion from Spain – and not even an invitation to return in Shevat of 1740 could […]

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: