In my experience, poverty is by far the leading reason for the lack of simchas chayim/shalom bayis. Further, the extremism his approach engenders virtually guarantees that the misguided young men in his school will be overbearing, poor parents who will not be flexible in charting life-paths for their children. Finally, approximately 20 percent of children suffer from learning disabilities of one form or another, and it takes real money to help a child with disabilities thrive and become a happy adult.
Street cleaning may be an honest way to make a living, but is not a recipe for having the funds to pay for a tutor or a special-ed program. And having the 75 bachurim and 40 young ladies in his school fax handwritten letters is about as productive for their careers as it would be to teach them the craft of making typewriter ribbons.
There are few things that erode one’s ability to be an effective parent more than frustration and lack of fulfillment in life. The searing shame so many bright and even brilliant adults in our community feel when they leave yeshiva and their job opportunities are severely limited due to the poor education they received in their formative years does not lend itself to the serenity needed to raise children in these challenging times.
Our gedolim have issued clear and moderate guidelines for Internet use – balancing the need to safeguard ourselves and our children with the need to educate them to earn a livelihood. One need not look further than their sage guidance.
The radical views like those espoused by Rabbi Feinhandler and illustrated by his actions are stomping on far more than a single laptop. Such views threaten to trample the future – and Yiddishkeit – of the families who follow them.