Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Shevat 5764 - January 28, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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HaRav Steinman's Cry: We Must Fight Interference with Our Chinuch with All Our Strength!
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

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 Program.

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 Yisroel's future:

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.


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