At a gathering of educators held in Yerushalayim last week,
organized by Beis Vaad Lemechanchim and attended by hundreds,
HaRav Aharon Leib Steinman attacked the attempts of the
Ministry of Education to interfere with the curriculum of
studies at chareidi institutions by means of the Core
The large audience of teachers, principals and educators
heard HaRav Steinman reject any acquiescence to the demands
of the secular authorities. He said that, "Klal
Yisroel has always guarded the education [of its youth]
like the apple of its eye. Sadly, this protection has lately
been breached with their attempt to dictate their opinions
and interfere with our chinuch, chas vesholom, despite
the fact that even they have long since realized that there
is nothing in their education but that which leads to
ruination. They nevertheless want to tell us what to do; what
to teach and how to educate. We must fight against this with
all our strength!"
In his address, HaRav Steinman dwelt upon the pivotal
importance of chinuch and its role in ensuring Klal
The Torah writes about Avrohom Ovinu, ` . . . for I am fond
of him because he instructs his children and his household
after him [so] that they keep [to] Hashem's path'
(Bereishis 18:19). We are told that the main reason
that Hashem loved Avrohom Ovinu, which is the meaning of the
words, `for I know him,' is because he educated his family
and household to follow Hashem's path. Greater things could
have been said about Avrohom Ovinu, for he sacrificed himself
to oppose idol worship, to the point where he was thrown into
a furnace for it. Yet the Torah praises him for instructing
his children and household after him.
Avrohom Ovinu drew many people to Hashem, bringing them to
serve Him but what became of them? There is no remnant of
them! It appears from Chazal that even though they converted,
accepting the yoke of Hashem's rule and stopping idol
worship, the fact that they did not train their families [to
continue along their path] like Avrohom did and were unaware
of the secret of chinuch -- `because he instructs' --
nothing is left of them. They themselves attained very high
levels but there was no continuation.
Avrohom Ovinu knew that chinuch is the foundation of
Jewish existence and survival. Therefore he trained his
family to continue following Hashem's path after him. That is
why to this day, every generation is considered his
offspring. We have a tradition and a connection to Avrohom
Ovinu, to his path and to the lesson that he implanted,
namely, that chinuch is the priority. This is
why Klal Yisroel has always guarded the education [of
its youth] like the apple of its eye . . .
Beis Vaad Lemechanchim has been operating for the past four
years under the direction of HaRav Eliashiv. It is a forum
for airing timely educational issues. Principals and
educators meet with and are addressed by rabbonim and roshei
yeshiva and prominent lecturers and educators.
At last week's meeting, a number of current problems were
discussed and the implications of the government's economic
measures for the chareidi educational system were surveyed.
The gathering also heard addresses by HaRav Aharon Tausig,
HaRav Avrohom Yitzchok Kook, rosh yeshivas Meor Hatalmud,
Rechovot and Rav Uriel Kook, the director of Beis Vaad
Lemechanchim, who spoke about the organization's role during
the current difficult period.