HaRav Dovid Cohen addressing the gathering
"This is a cultural war whose aim is to change us, not to cause our chareidi public to become Shabbos violators chas vesholom but rather to draw us closer to Mizrachi, and this war begins in the kindergartens." These penetrating and incisive words regarding the battle being waged against our young flocks from a tender age, and the obligation to stand forcefully on guard for the independent integrity of the self-determination of our pure education, stood at the crux of a gathering which took place last Thursday, 15 Iyar, in Jerusalem with the blessing and directorship of our Torah leadership in which the establishment of a spiritual supervisory network for our kindergartens was announced.
The administrators of the various networks of kindergartens throughout the country gathered in the Prima Palace Hotel for an assembly called by Torah leaders.
The meeting was opened by HaRav Meir Kessler, Chief Rabbi of Modi'in Illit and a member of supervisory board. He eloquently expressed the essence and urgency of the battle being waged against our tender children. "It is our obligation to stand vigil so as not to change the spirit of our chinuch, all the more so when this involves our young children. Sometimes people tend to think that at this age, what difference can it make? Girls are not obligated with Torah study, nor can it be significant for boys at this age either. But this is a grievous error since it is precisely at this young age that children absorb the fundamentals, and whatever they are taught at this stage is a basis of what remains with them throughout their lives.
"Children are not of discerning intelligence at this age, but as has been professionally established, they do possess emotional intelligence from the moment they are born. As soon as a mother approaches her child and says a kind word, comforts and hugs him or her, he intuits that this creature who approached him is interested in his well-being. This sensation leaves a lasting impression. Precisely at this age, when they don't yet understand, they absorb the basics, the feelings of faith and trust, the knowledge that there is a Creator.
"Can a child understand and analyze this feeling? No, but the emotions accompanying this truth have already been planted within him. He sees his parents as well as the kindergarten teacher who tells him about Akeidas Yitzchok, about Shabbos etc. — but can he comprehend what Shabbos really is? Kiddush? Can we simplify this concept for him? Hardly. Even adults can't always grasp it. Perhaps a great Torah scholar can intellectually define what Kiddush is, yet this perception is implanted in the very blood of young children, which is why these formative years which are so significant."
HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch addressing the gathering
A special address was delivered by HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, rosh yeshivas Slobodka in Bnei Brak and a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah. His main theme was the central importance of yiras Shomayim. "The Ramchal says that Torah without yiras Shomayim is merely superficial chochmah without any real value. The great benefit of Torah is that it can bring us to closeness [to Hashem] more than any other mitzvah.
"Torah is spiritual and man is physical. The spirituality of the Torah cannot become part of a person unless he becomes ruchani. That is why yiras Shomayim is necessary from the outset. For girls as well, without yiras Shomayim the girls will not grow and develop as we wish.
"Another point is that talmidim drop out because they have no geshmack in Torah. Girls also drop out because they have no geshmack in ruchniyus. It does not speak to them. Rabbenu Yonah says that the first thing necessary for geshmack is yiras Shomayim."
The closing speech of the kinus was by HaRav Dovid Cohen, rosh yeshivas Chevron and a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah. "Heretical education is the opposite of real education. The measure education as only one thing: To give the student the knowledge necessary to get ahead in life according to their values. Is that real education? Education is to form people! That is not even called education by them. They have no concept of Odom, emunah and middos. This is not part of education according to their understanding.
The letter written by the rabbonim
"Our struggle is for our lives. There is no doubt that if we are united and every nursery school teacher knows that she will be fully backed up, that no power can prevail over us."
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