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Unread 12-25-2009, 01:06 AM   #1
raf1988
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Quality of Chinuch and Middos in Lubavitch

I'm personally very inspired by the statement of the Friedicker Rebbe that "Chassidus starts where Mussar finishes."
However, I would like to open this thread for discussion as I've observed during many years different things that I would like not to have seen in Lubavitcher schools/yeshivos.

First of all, I've tried to compare "chutzpoh levels" between non-Lub and Lub schools. Granted, it's pretty similar in both places, but shouldn't we expect that in Lub schools the menschlechkeit should be on a higher level? Ahavos Yisroel is a strong yinian in Chassidus Chabad but it is very often overlooked (although when it comes to gevirim, Ahavas Yisroel feelings skyrocket!). In non-Lub yeshivos, although there's rarely a stress on the concept of Ahavos Yisroel, there's a certain kind of "friendship" and "Ahavoh" based on the concept of "doing a toivo for another Jew will grant me some Oilom HaBo."

Second of all, I've noticed that, although many bochrim love learning Chassidus, it doesn't usually permeate their hearts and remains on the "chitzoiniusdiker level." Shouldn't be expected that, after so much material being learned, there should be higher standards in Middos and therfore behavior?

Another interesting point: It is sickening, but I've heard people saying "the worst thing is to do business with Lubavitchers." On the other hand, they praise the way other frum groups behave in terms of complying and respecting payment terms and the like. This is a subject that is very painful. However, I've seen too often that there's a lack of seriousness by Lubavitchers when it comes to money matters (managing, respecting terms, etc.). This is even worse outside the US where maybe law is more bland (Israel being one of the worst places for this matter --not because the law is less strict but because the general ethics level in the population is not so great).

I understand Chassidus puts you in a level where the world loses somewhat its metzius and you start contemplating the world under a different light. However, that means that we have a heter not to do things right? This hurts because is a big chilul for Chabad.

Of course, you cannot generalize !! But there's a general feeling of agreement about the situation I'm describing.

Finally --at least for now, I want to mention the informality issue: Lubavitchers live "lema'ala me'ha'zman." That's beautiful. What do you do when you have to pay in time, respect a term, or simply get to an agreed place in time?

Is there anything that is missing in the Lubavitcher system of education?
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Unread 12-25-2009, 08:41 AM   #2
Torah613
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Oy vey!

We are missing mechanchim...
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Unread 12-25-2009, 10:41 AM   #3
existwhere?
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Is there a difference for boys and girls?

I think the boys yeshivas in general (not only Chabad) need to put more emphasis on middos, kavod acheirim and kavod atzmis, and a sense of responsibility.
Girls schools, Chabad and otherwise, do a far better job, although still not perfect.
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Unread 12-25-2009, 01:09 PM   #4
MahTovChelkeinu
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In non-Lub yeshivos, although there's rarely a stress on the concept of Ahavos Yisroel, there's a certain kind of "friendship" and "Ahavoh" based on the concept of "doing a toivo for another Jew will grant me some Oilom HaBo."
This is the second thread you have opened where you make this kind of statement. Once again I will vehemently disagree with this totally unfair and untrue generalization.

Non-lubavitch schools put a tremendous emphasis on Ahavas Yisroel! I have seen with my own eyes, dozens of teachers at these schools who display tremendous love and self sacrifice for their students. I have seen impassioned speeches from principals about the importance of Yiddin looking out for klal yisroel, the importance of taking care of each other and the importance of respecting each other. And I have seen exemplary displays of good middos from the children in those schools; including ahavas yisroel even to lubavitcher children or to non-religious children.

Aside from bad apples that can be found across the board, the biggest lack of ahavas yisroel to be found in Lubavitch or non-Lubavitch schools is the insistence of both sides on denigrating one another.
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Unread 12-25-2009, 01:12 PM   #5
Torah613
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Just a result of the stereotypes we carefully cultivate.
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Unread 12-26-2009, 08:26 PM   #6
raf1988
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Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
This is the second thread you have opened where you make this kind of statement. Once again I will vehemently disagree with this totally unfair and untrue generalization.

Non-lubavitch schools put a tremendous emphasis on Ahavas Yisroel! I have seen with my own eyes, dozens of teachers at these schools who display tremendous love and self sacrifice for their students. I have seen impassioned speeches from principals about the importance of Yiddin looking out for klal yisroel, the importance of taking care of each other and the importance of respecting each other. And I have seen exemplary displays of good middos from the children in those schools; including ahavas yisroel even to lubavitcher children or to non-religious children.

Aside from bad apples that can be found across the board, the biggest lack of ahavas yisroel to be found in Lubavitch or non-Lubavitch schools is the insistence of both sides on denigrating one another.
Maybe if you're frum, they will be nice with you. If you are a "chiloini"...I don't know what you have observed but I cannot agree with you. It is easy to love another Jew when he belongs to your group. True Ahavas Yisroel is put to test with Jews who are far from Torah and Mitzvos. There're exceptions everyhwere though...
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Unread 12-27-2009, 12:34 AM   #7
Avrami87
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Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
Oy vey!

We are missing mechanchim...

Specifically in this area "you get what you pay for".
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Unread 12-27-2009, 12:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Avrami87 View Post
Specifically in this area "you get what you pay for".
We're talking about conveying middos, not about haskoloh.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 01:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by raf1988 View Post
We're talking about conveying middos, not about haskoloh.
It starts at home.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 06:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Avrami87 View Post
Specifically in this area "you get what you pay for".
I don't know if you are referring to teachers or schools. In any case, I don't think there is a real relation to salary/tuition and the problems discussed here.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 06:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raf1988 View Post
Maybe if you're frum, they will be nice with you. If you are a "chiloini"...I don't know what you have observed but I cannot agree with you. It is easy to love another Jew when he belongs to your group. True Ahavas Yisroel is put to test with Jews who are far from Torah and Mitzvos. There're exceptions everyhwere though...
Subsitute "Jews who are far from Torah and Mitzvos" with "frum Jews from another frum group" and you could be describing many of "us"...
So what is the difference? Leshitoscho - the underlying problem is the same...
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Unread 12-27-2009, 10:25 AM   #12
raf1988
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Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
Subsitute "Jews who are far from Torah and Mitzvos" with "frum Jews from another frum group" and you could be describing many of "us"...
So what is the difference? Leshitoscho - the underlying problem is the same...
Actually, Ahavos Yisroel towards Jews that belong to other frum groups is the hardest and where there's more avoido to be done especially within ourselves.

In Lubavitch, at least, there's such a strong stress on mekareiv zein Yidd'n that you barely find sinas chinom towards non-frum Jews.

However, this thread is not about Ahavos Yisroel (I think there's another one already on that subject) but about the teaching of Middos that have to do with plain Mentschlechkeit in Lubavitcher Yeshivos. I really feel there's such a big gap between the sublime teachings of Chassidus and what you see in some behaviors as described on the first post.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 10:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by raf1988 View Post
Actually, Ahavos Yisroel towards Jews that belong to other frum groups is the hardest and where there's more avoido to be done especially within ourselves.
In Lubavitch, at least, there's such a strong stress on mekareiv zein Yidd'n that you barely find sinas chinom towards non-frum Jews.
Exactly the problem I was pointing out, and in my opinion at least, is an indication of a major flaw, where we consider someone who does not keep Torah and Mitzvos as "closer" to us ("It is easy to love another Jew when he belongs to your group") than our natural allies - other frum Jews...
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Unread 12-27-2009, 11:39 AM   #14
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Right! But how may Lubavitchers would marry off their daughters/sons with non-Lubavitchers? It's not an easy issue IMHO. We learn that learning Torah the way it is taught in Misnagdishe yeshivos gives yieniko to the klipos (the Friedicker Rebbe deals with this subject at great length); we learn about all the tzures that our Rebbeim went through because of the misnagdim, etc. Therefore, at the end of the day, it is not poshut not to feel some resentment.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 12:46 PM   #15
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But how may Lubavitchers would marry off their daughters/sons with non-Lubavitchers?
But we would marry them off to non-frum Jews? And that's an indicator of lack of Ahavas Yisroel?

Quote:
We learn that learning Torah the way it is taught in Misnagdishe yeshivos gives yieniko to the klipos (the Friedicker Rebbe deals with this subject at great length)
I think I know where you are going with this, but I'd like to see a source for this statement.

Quote:
Maybe if you're frum, they will be nice with you. If you are a "chiloini"...I don't know what you have observed but I cannot agree with you. It is easy to love another Jew when he belongs to your group. True Ahavas Yisroel is put to test with Jews who are far from Torah and Mitzvos. There're exceptions everyhwere though...
The way you speak, you sound like you are in Israel. I cannot speak for the state of affairs there since I am in chutz l'aretz. But with that said, your making negative generalizations does nothing to support your cause and in fact does a disservice to some of the other points you raised.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 01:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
But we would marry them off to non-frum Jews? And that's an indicator of lack of Ahavas Yisroel?

Theres no shaala about the fact that you are not going to marry off your daughter or son to a non frum Jew; the question rises when it comes to other frum groups. You are right, though, it could not be an issue of Ahavas Yisroel but of choosing people with common backgrounds.
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Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
I think I know where you are going with this, but I'd like to see a source for this statement.

Im not aware to be going anywhere in special. But heres an interesting maamar about this issue: Vaigash Eilov Iehudo, Shabbos Parshas VaIgash, Tav Shin Dalet.
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Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
The way you speak, you sound like you are in Israel. I cannot speak for the state of affairs there since I am in chutz l'aretz. But with that said, your making negative generalizations does nothing to support your cause and in fact does a disservice to some of the other points you raised.

No, Im not in Israel. Please, let me know which are the points in conflict with my statement. However, it is not my goal to be proven right (actually, Id like to be proven wrong) and, indeed, I didnt initiate this thread with that matoro. The original concern was the Middos of bochrim and girls at Lubavitcher schools (and later in life, in business styles) which, in my view, should be much better considering the amount of Chassidus learned. I'd just like to be aware of what's missing. Torah613 said "mechanchim".
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Unread 12-27-2009, 02:14 PM   #17
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A few random points and thoughts concerning post # 14, 16 (in no particular order):

1) The stereotyping I see here - is itself an expression of the lack of midos and eidelkeit that is decried in post # 1.

2) There are many types of frumme yidden - the frum world is not divided into Lubavitchers and "Misnagdim" (and "misnagdishe yeshivos"). There are Chassidim of all types and stripes, litvishe, Yekkishe, Sfardishe etc. ec. I find it telling when discussing the attitude toward other frumme yidden, that we automatically fall back about the "big bad misngdim".

3) The Maamar in 5704 referenced is not talking about a yeshiva (or type of yeshiva), he is talking about a person (or persons) learning " - something also discussed by the AR in ' " - which can be found everywhere - even among those that learn Chassidus. [See also the intro to ].

4) The tarring with a broad brush "misnagdish" yeshivos - by which I assume you mean Litvish style yeshivos - is also a product of your own prejudices, which goes back to post # 1.

5) Yes, there are bad apples everywhere. We were discussing a general attitude toward other frumme yidden (and no specific "chug" was mentioned), therefore going with the "my L way or the highway" attitude - is again a sign of the faulty chinuch we are discussing.

6) I mentioned mechanchim, and I stand by that. A big percentage of our mechanchim today - should not be in Chinuch (for many reasons). Our children later "reap the rewards".

7) I never mentioned the issue of marriage - which is a different topic (or is it?).

If I offended anyone - I apologize in advance. I call it as I see it - a major fault of mine.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 02:24 PM   #18
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6) I mentioned mechanchim, and I stand by that. A big percentage of our mechanchim today - should not be in Chinuch (for many reasons).
To elaborate on where I think you are coming from. There is a difference between a mechanich and a melamed. A melamed knows the material and can give over the material in a way that can be understood at least superficially by his students. A mechanech knows how to help the students take that material, internalize it, and apply it in their daily lives.

An example - A melamed can teach children about the halachos of talmud torah and prepare the students to answer a battery of questions about those halachos and the various macholesim that are involved. A good melamed will produce a class in which the majority of children do well on that exam.

A good mechanech will do all of that and also help the majority of those who did well on the exam to also apply those halachos to their own learning. Those boys will really understand what it means to learn l'shem shamayim, will be inspired to do an honest cheshbon hanefesh on where they are lacking, and will feel a genuine desire to improve on those faults. A great mechanech will even help some of those children make lasting changes in their behavior.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 02:27 PM   #19
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In light of your post - let me rephrase: We are missing melamdim and mechanchim (though in some areas, there is the beginning of some stirring to do something about the issue. I am not very optmistic, though).
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Unread 12-27-2009, 03:01 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
A good mechanech will do all of that and also help the majority of those who did well on the exam to also apply those halachos to their own learning. Those boys will really understand what it means to learn l'shem shamayim, will be inspired to do an honest cheshbon hanefesh on where they are lacking, and will feel a genuine desire to improve on those faults. A great mechanech will even help some of those children make lasting changes in their behavior.
I don't want chas ve'sholoim to hurt anyone and I also apologize if I ever did that. But in reference to the quote above, if it is hard to find such a situation in a Lubavitcher Yeshivah --for whatever existing reason-- it is much harder to find it in a Litvicher yeshiva.

Regarding the Friedicker Rebbe's ma'amar, I wasn't bringing it as a reference for "yeshivos" but as a source to understand when the wrong attitude in learning brings yienikas ha'klipois. BTW, the FR starts the ma'amar talking about the yinian of learning "al menas lekanter" but later on he expounds on the whole issue of lacking pnimius in learning.

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Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
In light of your post - let me rephrase: We are missing melamdim and mechanchim (though in some areas, there is the beginning of some stirring to do something about the issue. Iam not very optmistic, though).
That's scary...why do you say that?
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Unread 12-27-2009, 04:26 PM   #21
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I don't want chas ve'sholoim to hurt anyone and I also apologize if I ever did that. But in reference to the quote above, if it is hard to find such a situation in a Lubavitcher Yeshivah --for whatever existing reason-- it is much harder to find it in a Litvicher yeshiva.
I feel like I'm talking to a wall.

Quote:
We are missing melamdim and mechanchim (though in some areas, there is the beginning of some stirring to do something about the issue. I am not very optmistic, though).
Neither talent is easy to find. Parents, administrators and gvirim often get them confused. But I am encouraged at the number of talented young teachers I have seen around and at the increased attention frum schools are paying to modern research on education. There are a lot of teachers today that really are trying to do good work despite rampant social issues and learning disabilities. In many cases, they are seeing at least some success.

This is, by the way, true for all colors of Judaism to an extant; and I think most Chabad schools falls somewhere above average in the pack, particularly in the preschool ages.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 04:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by raf1988 View Post
I don't want chas ve'sholoim to hurt anyone and I also apologize if I ever did that. But in reference to the quote above, if it is hard to find such a situation in a Lubavitcher Yeshivah --for whatever existing reason-- it is much harder to find it in a Litvicher yeshiva.
Is this based on market research?
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Unread 12-27-2009, 04:46 PM   #23
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This is, by the way, true for all colors of Judaism to an extant; and I think most Chabad schools falls somewhere above average in the pack, particularly in the preschool ages.
Yes, this last sentence is the root of the problem - what happens after preschool.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 04:58 PM   #24
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Is this based on market research?
Of course not, but personal observation.
I don't want to give the impression to be generalizing as it seems that I'm hurting people here which I really don't want to do. Anyways, my intention wasn't to criticize Litvitcher Yeshivos as this is a Lubavitcher forum but yes to point out problems I perceive in Chabad circles and not for the sake of just criticizing but analizing the topic and learning from the discussion.

Regarding the following post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
I feel like I'm talking to a wall.
I really don't understand why it is such an issue for you. One of the great accomplishments of Chassidus was to bring a different kedusho to Torah learning. Of course, in a place where there's no exposure to Chassidus, and even more, there's rejection for a, b, or c reason, you won't have the same attitude in learning!!
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Unread 12-27-2009, 05:02 PM   #25
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So you are saying what you are saying not on the basis of any real knowledge of other mosdos or other systems of chinuch, but rather "since it isn't Lubavitch, how can it be better, therefore it isn't".

Am I understanding correctly?

Hopefully, you realize how silly and self serving it sounds (besides being circular logic).

[This is even without getting into the issue that there is a world of Chassidus outside Lubavitch].

All I can say is - you are wrong. Someday life experience will catch up with you.
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