The Sixth Annual Chinuch Conference in Eretz Yisroel encompassed three days of fruitful learning and discussion at the Nir Etzion Hotel near Jerusalem. Bringing together educators from all over Eretz Yisroel, the participants heard from gedolei and rabbonei Yisroel.
We are happy to present here special letters written for the Conference from gedolei Yisroel.
A Letter of Guidance to the Sixth Chinuch Conference from the Rosh Yeshiva
To all the esteemed mechanchim who are vested with the education of Jewish children, gathered here in shadow of the decrees designed to tamper with and undermine chareidi chinuch in Eretz Yisroel, in order to discuss plans of action for the benefit of our children.
A gathering of tzaddikim is beneficial to them and beneficial to the world, especially when the gathering is called to discuss spiritual matters regarding the preservation of our approach to chinuch in the tradition of Yisroel Sabba to the very lettercrown of a Yud.
It is written in Masechta Shabbos (31a) "If fear of Hashem is part of his treasury then good, but if not it is not good." It is known to what extent HaRav Chaim of Volozhin in his Nefesh HaChaim discussed at length how Torah study is vitally important, and yet, he wrote in Section 4:7 that before studying one must contemplate and strengthen oneself in yiras Hashem.
To our regret, of late, notwithstanding the increase of Torah centers, yiras Hashem still must be fortified. The way to succeed in imbuing [the students with] yiras Shomayim, is by arousing the talmidim not to mock or ridicule any person, and especially rabbonim and talmidei chachomim, for this leads to terrible havoc in souls and leads to the corruption of our youth, and we do not have the option to give up on a single Jewish soul.
We truly hope that this gathering will bring great benefit by virtue of all the participants who will receive backing and encouragement in their work, for they are partners in something vital, the effort to raise talmidei chachomim, which we so sorely need. May we merit that [all our children] be `learned of Hashem and peace rest upon [your] sons.'
Written and signed in honor of the Torah and its scholars
A. L. Shteinman
18 Shevat 5774
"Be Careful Not to Change An Iota of the Traditional Path"
HaRav S. Y. Nissim Karelitz
Rechov Rav Meir 6, Bnei Brak
BS"D 18th of Shevat, 5774
Most Honored Participants of the Chinuch Convention:
I hereby come to strengthen and encourage the vital activities being carried out to support those mechanchim and the [chareidi] educational system in our generation.
And I hereby add:
1. A melamed must know that in order to teach, he must himself continually study, for only one who learns himself can teach others.
2. The tremendous impact which HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz zt"l had [in his lifetime] lay in the fact that the students felt that he truly cared about them like a father and mother. This should be the approach of every melamed, who should be deeply concerned with the good of his students.
One must be particularly vigilant not to change anything from the traditional path, and not to allow any foothold for the slightest change.
Signed with the blessing that they merit much nachas from their students
"A Student Should be Beloved by his Rebbe Like a Son Because Only Thus Can He Influence Him"
Y. Gershon Eidelstein
Kiryat Hayeshiva, Bnei Brak
BS"D, 18th of Shevat, 5774
To the Mechanchim gathered in this Chinuch Convention to strengthen themselves in the methods of teaching
May the pleasantness of Hashem be upon you and may it be His will that the Shechina rest upon the work of your hands.
We learn in Pirkei Ovos that one should be like the disciples of Aharon etc., to love one's fellow Jew and draw him closer to Torah.
This is explained to refer to the order of things. First one must love one's fellow Jew because only thereby can he succeed in drawing students close to Torah. A student should be beloved upon his rebbe like a son as is written, "`Your sons' refers to your disciples," because only in such a manner can one have an impact on them.
Great indeed is the merit of those who toil for the community, who devote themselves to education and who increase Torah within Yisrael.
Chazal say that the posuk "And those who bring righteousness to the community are like stars forevermore," refers to you, the mechanchim.
May all those gathered here involved in this holy work be blessed plentifully with all the blessings guaranteed to those mezakei horabim in Torah, and may Hashem deign to grant you success in increasing Torah and augmenting it.
Y. Gershon Edelstein