HaRav Yehoshua Eichenstein speaking
The blessings of our Torah leaders, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, the Rosh Yeshiva and the Belzer Rebbe accompanied the annual rally of the Union of Seminary Administrators. About one hundred principals from all over the country, representing tens of thousands of Bais Yaakov seminary students, gathered in the Zippori baKfar hotel for a day long seminar to discuss the challenges of these times. The educational goals of the Union of Bais Yaakov Seminary Administrators embraces all of the institutions representing those institutions which follow the same approach to education and jointly with the spectrum of those subjects dealt with most gravely during this seminary.
The keynote address was delivered by Rosh Yeshivas Yad Aharon, HaRav Yehoshua Eichenstein, who opened with these words: "The central theme occupying our attention is how to imbue the concepts of character refinement in this generation of `increasing chutzpah.'
"The essence of chutzpah yasgei is the effacement of differences between youth and adults, between Torah scholars and Torah ignoramii. It is written that 'man was created to toil.' Chazal discuss what 'toil' represents and arrive at three gradations. Metzudas Dovid explains that this is the basic level of 'man' who is not meant to receive things for free but must toil for them. The second level is man who is endowed with wisdom and intellect. The third level is the man of the Divine image, one of Torah, understanding, and the refinement of holiness. When we discuss chinuch, we must define which level of man we are discussing.
"In previous generations, the world was at a higher level of common courtesy and good manners. In a secular school, there was an overall structure of courtesy. This is the first and simplest level of human stature.
"In our generation, this level no longer exists. Everything is permissible with no bars. This is the generation of outspoken and rampant chutzpah. Therefore, if we are discussing kedusha, the very basic foundation, the lowest level, no longer exists. We must first create [menshen,] the basic level of man. But if there exists an atmosphere of wanton conduct, we must begin to reconstruct the basic level of humanity."
The Rav noted that this affects every part of our lives. "Today we live in a generation of communication. You do not have leave the framework, so the solution is not always just the proper framework. All the strange winds come in from sources that represent themselves as chareidi, that introduce elements against daas Torah, values of career and of the Western world, where a person is valued by how much he earns. There are places which market this, and this serves to introduce the alien spirit of hefkeirus and materialism of the Western world."