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Unread 02-20-2009, 09:43 AM   #51
Torah613
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Originally Posted by noahidelaws View Post
Torah613, I'm not saying that it's THE cause, but simply that it may be A cause, and greater taharas hamoach is certainly going to produce more eidel children than not, acc. to the peshat in Tanya.

If boys in Oholei Torah are allowed to waste time, that doesn't mean that they should learn secular studies or that it's justified for the girls to do so. It means that the teachers should get their act together.
Out of interest - did you see the letter I referenced? I understand it slightly differently...

Let me add several random points: As a parent for whom all this is not mere theory, but for whom it has been relevant for many years, I can say that there is חנוך לנער על פי דרכו. What is right for one child may not be right for the other. One size does not fit all. For some children, the way to have them grow up to chassidishe eidel adults, talmidei chachomim etc., is davka through teaching them some secular subjects. וכנראה בחוש.

OT does not have any secular subjects at all, unlike the impression given by you above. However, to make up for that deficit, a considerable percentage of children have tutors at home... Even of those that don't, by the time they are mid teens, the vast majority end up knowing how to read and write some semblance of english (often a rather mangled version of it).

Many (most?) of the mosdos that claim to have no secular subjects, do not end up learning much more (in sheer hours) than mosdos that do have secular subjects. IOW - they are wasting time, and in the Rebbe's opinion (If I understand the above referenced letter correctly), it is definitely better that time be spent learning some secular subjects (obviously pareve ones - like reading, writing, math, maybe basic science and the like).

Last edited by Torah613; 02-20-2009 at 03:02 PM.
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Unread 02-20-2009, 10:07 AM   #52
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one could always in a highschool english class have the students answer various yiddishkeit related questions in lucid english, with proper citations and the like, to give them skill at researching a topic, forming a thesis, and then bringing sources to argue it. (and teaching them to bring secular sources to argue it would probably be very very helpful to shluchim. there is nothing quite like proving your point using their own sources.)

likewise one could use midrashim and ask the students to find midrashim, and then find an application to daily life and then bolster that application with sources.
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Unread 02-20-2009, 01:03 PM   #53
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Even of those that don't, by the time they are mid teens, the vast majority end up knowing how to read and right some semblance of english (often a rather mangled version of it).
Maybe we could try teaching spelling too ;p

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Let me add several random points: As a parent for whom all this is not mere theory, but for whom it has been relevant for many years, I can say that there is חנוך לנער על פי דרכו. What is right for one child may not be right for the other. One size does not fit all. For some children, the way to have them grow up to chassidishe eidel adults, talmidei chachomim etc., is davka through teaching them some secular subjects. וכנראה בחוש.
You're not the only father on the site, and I agree with this very important point. But there is still a question of what is the "base line" education plan before asking how we deviate from it to adjust to each child.

For example... A friend of mine who teaches in yeshiva after being in business for a while often asks why only the "troubled" boys get vocational training. If job training is so helpful and so successful with them, might it not also benefit normal chassidishe bochurim, and perhaps cut off some problems before they occur?

Quote:
one could always in a highschool english class have the students answer various yiddishkeit related questions in lucid english, with proper citations and the like, to give them skill at researching a topic, forming a thesis, and then bringing sources to argue it.
I agree with you that it is a skill, lost on many learned and otherwise intelligent people, to be able to synthesize sources and logic into a compelling argument.
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Unread 02-20-2009, 01:25 PM   #54
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My whole objection was to the fact that girls are not given a similar program to Oholei Torah, and my proof that there should not be a distinction in this regard is Tanya perek ches.
A different approach:
1) Agreed - Girls are just as susceptible to the dangers expressed in that perek as boys. Or, if there is a difference, there is nonetheless a real danger to both.
2) You agree - at a certain point, it becomes neccesary to learn how to support a family (so you can spend time worrying about what goes on in the schools rather than worrying how to pay for them). This is also straight out of Perek 8.
3) The current boys' system takes longer to complete (through smicha - finishes around 22 y/o) than the girls (1-2 years of seminary - finishes at 19 or 20 y/o). Both have options after this point, but the 2 year gap remains and if anything, girls finishes sooner.
4) If the parents do not have enough money, and a young couple wants to spend some time in kollel, then the girl needs to work to support her husband.
5) Hence, a "typical" chassidishe girl often needs to start working much sooner than a boy, and very possibly by the age of 20. The better the job she can find, the more time the couple can spend in kollel.
6) In order to get the best jobs, education is often a factor unless the person has certain natural talents (sales, foreign language). These can also be learned, but only through education.
7) Hence, the girl will need to start getting some kind skills training a year or two before she starts working. The more skills she has, the more chance she has at getting a good parnosa.
8) Practically, this means either (a) adding into seminary; (b) adding into high school; (c) taking time post seminary assuming the shidduch hasn't already happened; or (d) scrambling to get something going once kollel has started, meaning no parnosa for that first while.
9) Therefore, girls need a bit more education leading up to kollel because the support duties fall on them more quickly.

One good job which is traditionally female is to be a nurse. An LVN requires two years, an RN requires 4, an NP requires 6-7 years. And this is assuming the basic skills needed to start the program. This is obviously not achievable by 20 (except possibly an LVN), but a girl can be much closer to providing a good income through nursing if she does not first learn about the concept of a cell at the age of 21.

Another example, close to home, would be a paralegal position. Paralegals require no certification, although there are training programs of 1-2 years. Paralegals have tremendous earning opportunity, are needed everywhere, and can frequently find part time or temp positions as well. With some hard work, a reasonably smart girl could be making $30-40K a year supporting her husband in kollel (or college, or at the start of a shlichus) by the age of 21. But only if she has basic reading, writing and computer skills before she starts the program.

Last edited by MahTovChelkeinu; 02-20-2009 at 01:26 PM. Reason: added #9
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Unread 02-20-2009, 03:35 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by noahidelaws View Post
Read it again. The Rebbe is clearly saying that studying secular topics in the bathroom does not pollute your mind. It's totally legit. (We're talking topics that don't border on kefira, of course.)
So most subjects are not a problem (besides bittul Torah)? If that is the case, what was the original point?
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Unread 02-20-2009, 03:53 PM   #56
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You're not the only father on the site, and I agree with this very important point.
But many (perhaps most) involved in this discussion are not - or are not parents of children that are of the age where this issues are relevant already.
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But there is still a question of what is the "base line" education plan before asking how we deviate from it to adjust to each child.
It seems there is the ideal of כולו קודש - if OT in CH is the standard of that, which would mean - nothing at all.

By many or most (I assume by Noah also, though he seems to be under the impression that very basic stuff is taught there) - that would be considered the "baseline", or the ultimate of טהרת הקודש.

The real problem is - the peer pressure. and the accepted "wisedom" these days, that any mosad that does teach any amount of secular studies (including basic math, or basic reading and writing, andd nothing more), is a second rate mosad, for second rate children. Such attitudes become a self fulfilling prophecy - and we see the sad results ...

IOW - the idea of חנוך לנער על פי דרכו, as a practical matter, no longer exists.

Even those mosdos that claim to have the כולו קודש ideal - in actuality one cannot say that the hours that would be otherwise used for a bit of chol are in a manner of ימולא זמנם (לא פחות משאר הת') בלימודי קודש (which are the words of the Rebbe in the aforementioned answer in Igros) in which case it is as the Rebbe writes שהבטלה גרוע מכל ומזקת גם להשעות שהילידים שי' לומדים, which means that יצא שכרו בהפסדו with this whole כולו קודש ideal (and I admit that it is an ideal when done right for the right children), since we are not living up to that ideal at all.
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Unread 02-20-2009, 04:53 PM   #57
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But many (perhaps most) involved in this discussion are not - or are not parents of children that are of the age where this issues are relevant already.
True true. This discussion is in some ways a continuation of another thread on non-kosher animal toys, but I don't think there's really any gender discrimination at that age.

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By many or most (I assume by Noah also, though he seems to be under the impression that very basic stuff is taught there) - that would be considered the "baseline", or the ultimate of טהרת הקודש.
Based on this, it seems you feel that school should not l'chatchila be teaching anything beyond basic reading, writing and arithmatic were it not for the need to teach job skills or to engage troubled youths?

Then we are left with three basic questions: (1) What is considered the very basic? (2) When is it time to deviate to learn a trade? and (3) When is it time to start using LC to engage a troubled student?

I don't agree with this perspective exactly, but I'd like to understand if this is your position.
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Unread 02-21-2009, 01:31 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
Maybe we could try teaching spelling too
Amen, selah. And grammar! Who's for educated boys!?!

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I agree with you that it is a skill, lost on many learned and otherwise intelligent people, to be able to synthesize sources and logic into a compelling argument.
Which, noah, only people with a secular education have.

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Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
....but a girl can be much closer to providing a good income through nursing if she does not first learn about the concept of a cell at the age of 21.
And, of course, she only bumped into the concept in her kallah classes.
(Sorry, that punch was irresistable...)

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Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
But many (perhaps most) involved in this discussion are not - or are not parents of children that are of the age where this issues are relevant already.
V'lachen mah?

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It seems there is the ideal of כולו קודש - if OT in CH is the standard of that, which would mean - nothing at all.
True.

Quote:
By many or most (I assume by Noah also, though he seems to be under the impression that very basic stuff is taught there) -that would be considered the "baseline", or the ultimate of טהרת הקודש.
And I disagree, and say that the baseline is the attitude of the parents, and the people running the mosad. Not the actual subjects themselves.

Quote:
The real problem is - the peer pressure. and the accepted "wisedom" these days, that any mosad that does teach any amount of secular studies (including basic math, or basic reading and writing, andd nothing more), is a second rate mosad, for second rate children. Such attitudes become a self fulfilling prophecy - and we see the sad results ...
And the "vocational" schools for girls run the same- just look at the ads on shmais.
How I wish I could shoot peer pressure in the eye.

Quote:
IOW - the idea of חנוך לנער על פי דרכו, as a practical matter, no longer exists.
What if you get a core group of parents together, who are determined to make it work, and who pay no attention to the labels? I mean, I know I'm dreaming, but if there are enough who dream the same, perhaps something can happen...
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Unread 02-21-2009, 07:39 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
Based on this, it seems you feel that school should not l'chatchila be teaching anything beyond basic reading, writing and arithmatic were it not for the need to teach job skills or to engage troubled youths?

Then we are left with three basic questions: (1) What is considered the very basic? (2) When is it time to deviate to learn a trade? and (3) When is it time to start using LC to engage a troubled student?

I don't agree with this perspective exactly, but I'd like to understand if this is your position.
As far as I remember - I have not expressed a position (or expressed what my position is). I have merely discussed or mentioned the different perspectives out there, or asked questions on some of the perspectives mentioned.
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Unread 02-21-2009, 07:40 PM   #60
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V'lachen mah?
לא כלום. I was responding to something someone wrote.
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Unread 02-22-2009, 07:22 AM   #61
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I see that. However, why did you mention it in the first place?
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Unread 02-22-2009, 09:19 AM   #62
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I think the reason was obvious. If not - doesn't matter.
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Unread 02-22-2009, 10:20 AM   #63
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So be it....
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Unread 02-22-2009, 10:51 AM   #64
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best skill girl must to learn in beth rivka or beth freha or whatever is to be able correctly sew up whatever is make skirts and tops not tzniout.
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Unread 02-22-2009, 11:11 AM   #65
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No, she has to know what tznius means before she can do that.
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Unread 02-23-2009, 03:18 PM   #66
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Earlier, noah said that the lack of tznius is because the girls learn secular studies, and their minds are therefore "polluted". How do you explain the fact that in Bais Yaakov they learn secular studies, and dress very tzniusdik?

I honestly feel very stupid for not coming up with this argument earlier.
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Unread 06-07-2009, 12:46 AM   #67
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I didn't say that it was THE reason, but that it was A plausible reason. Being that I never attended BY, nor am I acquainted with anyone who did, I can't comment on what's going on there. My comments were based on the simple peshat in Tanya ch. 8.
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Unread 06-07-2009, 11:15 AM   #68
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I am acquainted with quite a few- among them, my sister (the Chabad school there is no good). So- I advise you to take it from someone who knows, instead of making blanket statements that do no one any good.

Tanya ch. 8 is one side of the coin, but in today's day and age, there are a lot of other factors to take into consideration, and not always is everything so black-and-white. I think a more plausible reason is the lack of role models in Chabad today.
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Unread 06-07-2009, 12:10 PM   #69
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Again, you didn't read what I wrote. I didn't say that it was THE reason, but that it was A plausible reason that should not be discounted. Contaminating your mind is not a segula for yiras Shomayim; on the contrary. Period.
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Unread 06-07-2009, 12:32 PM   #70
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I believe I did read what you wrote. Perhaps the contamination is not as bad as you think.
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Unread 06-08-2009, 02:15 PM   #71
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It's not what I think, it's the words of the Alter Rebbe. He thinks it's bad. Period.
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Unread 04-11-2010, 10:14 PM   #72
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1. Does chochmas chitzoinius even refer to science or to stuff like this?

2. A letter someone sent me (a response from a Lubavitcher):

Quote:
In today's generation we can no longer expect students to accept things on blind faith, without comprehension or understanding. At best, such an education results in frustration and gnawing doubts, and at worst, can lead to ideas and behavior contrary to the tenets of Judaism. Especially acute is this problem for girls, who, until now, have been receiving an education bereft of depth of understanding and analysis of thought.
> The Lubavitcher Rebbe on the 4th of Adar Sheni 5741 (March 10, 1981), urged educators to give their students an education that will provide them with a thorough understanding of the Jewish view of life, and the fundamental conceptions of their mission in this world. Such an education will ensure that Jewish girls are properly equipped with the necessary knowledge to be staunch and proud adherents of their faith.
> Only a few generations ago, a Jewish girl received all her education from the home, from her mother and Grandmother She was kept insulated, protected from all outside contact. And there was good reason for this: The highest term of approbation that can be bestowed upon a Jewish woman is modesty and it was feared that Jewish girls, venturing outside the home, would be exposed to undesirable influences. But times changed. The Jew was thrust into the outside secular society, and a Jewish girl was nonetheless exposed to all those things from which her parents so vainly tried to protect her. Whether through friends or working outside the home, the secular environment exerted its subtle -- and not so subtle -- effect upon her. Unarmed as she was, the average Jewish girl was easy prey to this strange new world. The situation became desperate, and a radical new approach was called for. And thus the Jewish girls school was founded. Jewish girls began to receive the education so necessary to remaining steadfast in their beliefs and faithful followers of their tradition. Despite fierce initial opposition, the Jewish girls school movement blossomed and grew, and today is a common institution in many Jewish communities. All opposition has been stilled; experience has proven decisive, and success too evident for any credible protests.
> But vestiges of antiquated thinking still remain. While recognizing the necessity of schools for girls, a line is drawn at "too much" education. While it is proper, such proponents maintain, to teach the practical elements of Judaism, the bare dos and don'ts, any further instruction is improper. Any deeper involvement, a search for understanding and comprehension, a grasping for an overall philosophy of life, can at best only confuse, and at worst, lead to doubts and weakening of faith.
>
> Today, however, is not a generation ago. No longer will it suffice to instruct without explaining. Any arguments about the advisability of teaching such things to girls because it may lend to confusion and weakness, are academic, if not absurd. The present generation has already been exposed, whether through friends, the media, or school, to all those questions which their educators are so eager to spare them. They already have the questions; the doubts have already been planted. Now it is our duty to give them the proper education to dispel those doubts, resolve those questions, and strengthen their faith. Mourn for the lost innocence of youth if you wish; but do not let this prevent you from striving to repair the damage and do the utmost to impart the knowledge so necessary for the making of a strong Jewess. How or why our daughters have become exposed to ideas alien to Judaism is an academic matter; now it is our duty to ensure that such exposure has no harmful effects And these ideas can only be combated through proper education; an education not composed of the dry recital of bare facts, but alive with the meaning and understanding of our beautiful heritage.
>
> We must squarely face the realization that these times dictate a different approach. In the secular studies taught at most Jewish schools, students learn to probe, to question, to seek the reasons behind the facts. Nothing is left to blind faith. And today, in their Jewish studies, comprehension and understanding of what they are being taught assumes at least as much importance as the actual knowledge. Children demand to know the reasons for what they are being told, and we must supply them. It is impossible to stifle a naturally curious mind with the curt rejoinder that such knowledge is unnecessary or even harmful. Their minds have been conditioned by their secular studies to demand reasons and understanding -- and if that is not forthcoming, no prevarications will substitute. Hashkafah, the Jewish view of life, the fundamental conceptions of a Jew s mission on this earth, his relationship to G-d and his dealings with the world, are basic necessities for each child.
>
> So often contradictions arise between a child's secular studies or what she sees and hears around her, and that which is taught in the Torah. Refusal to teach girls the reasons why Torah explains something differently can only lead to confusions and doubts about the truth of Torah. Faced on the one hand with the "certainties" presented by science, buttressed by facts and explanations, and the evasions of her religious teachers on the other, there is little doubt which side will be victorious in capturing the mind of the student. He or she may still remain faithful Jews -- but their Judaism will have suffered.
>
> And it is all so unnecessary, and easily avoided. If there were no viable alternative explanations to the popular viewpoint, scientific or otherwise, one could posit the need for reliance on blind faith. But such is not the case. The explanations are there, the reasons are there, the logic is there. All that is needed is the understanding and acceptance that it must be given to the student. For blind faith, no matter how admirable it may be, will not suffice in this age. The present generation of girls are not confined to their home, under the guidance and direction of their parents. Parental authority and discipline are no more; peer approval and pressure are vastly more important. An inquisitive mind will inevitably cause the modern Jewish girl to seek the Torah knowledge she desires. And if it is not taught in school, who can guarantee the reliability of the sources of information she will be forced to turn to?
>
> A true story: A religious girl, upon remarking that the world was several million years old, was questioned as to its compatibility with the Torah viewpoint. She answered simply that so she had been taught as a fact in her science class, accompanied by explanations and proofs. When she questioned her religious instructors about it, she was brusquely told that such matters were not suitable topics for discussion! Presented on the one hand with proofs, and on the other with a blanket refusal to even discuss the matter, it was a foregone conclusion which side would win. This was a religious girl: But faced with the sanctimonious refusal of her religious mentors to help her out of her quandary, it was no wonder she believed the world was millions of years old. And we can imagine the kind of education this girl will in turn pass on to her children.
>
> Certainly it would be a fine thing, and the best solution, if all secular subjects in religious schools were taught in accordance with the Torah view. But as things stand, the law of the land in many countries is that the secular text books used must be approved by the education authorities. And the only texts they approve contain such theories contrary to Torah.
>
> Various remedies have been tried. The offending pages removed from the books, special photostatted copies used, etc. But these are all piece-meal solutions, stop-gap measures; and the more lasting measures will in the time it takes to implement them, leave an entire generation susceptible to the dangers of the present educational system. Meanwhile, first and foremost, students must be told clearly and unequivocally that any theory which contradicts Torah is false. No evasion of responsibility through refusal to discuss such conflicts can be tolerated. It will just not work. Clear, logical, informed answers are required, and only then will a child's thirst for knowledge be sated.
>
> The urgency of educating children fully and comprehensively applies equally to boys and girls. But girls should receive a special emphasis, for as future mothers they will be chiefly responsible for the rearing of their children, especially in the earlier formative years. It is to them that a young child runs with questions from school, and it is they who must be intellectually equipped to guide their children in the right path. Hence, as students, they must receive the necessary knowledge to answer the questions of their youngsters.
>
> Indeed, there is one area of learning in which females have an even greater obligation than males. Two of the cardinal commandments in the Torah are love of G-d and fear of G-d. True fulfillment of these commandments is only possible through learning the esoteric part of the Torah -- Chassidus -- which emphasizes understanding and comprehension of the G-dly. Men and women are equally obligated in this. But while men have the additional duty of learning the esoteric portion of Torah, women do not to the same extent, and hence can and must devote their full energies to learning Chassidus This knowledge will provide the true and firm foundation necessary to cope with the foreign attitudes encountered in society.
>
> The willful indifference to, or at best sheer ignorance of the conditions in contemporary society that necessitate an indepth quality education for girls, has far-reaching effects. Not just in matters of general outlook and attitudes, but in concrete Halachah. To doubt the Torah view of creation in six days leads to uncertainty of the validity of Shabbos, it being so intimately connected with the concept of a seventh day of rest after creation. Even worse, this indifference, so dangerous in its practical application, is carried into other fields. None need be told of the dismal state of the observance of Family Purity. Yet Rabbis consistently refuse to address their congregants on this most vital of subjects. Why? Because of a misplaced sense of modesty, that to talk of such things publicly is somehow not fitting.
>
> Yet, what has been accomplished by being so modestly reticent in talking about family purity? Their piety and distorted sense of propriety has resulted in young Jews who are fully informed about the non-Jewish attitudes on this matter yet remain ignorant of these most basic of Jewish laws. And if an unmarried girl should wish to learn something of the Torah view on this subject, howls of protest arise -- since when do unmarried girls learn such things? The fact that she has already received "health education" courses in school is, it seems, irrelevant. At least teach her the Torah view to offset that which she already knows!
>
> And do not sit back smugly, and think complacently that with "our" children such things do not happen. For all Jewish children are our children, and we must worry about them as much as our own -- for they are our own. These things are relevant to your children in your schools! And let us be completely honest. Today, even in the most religious of circles, girls acquire knowledge of such things long before marriage. Make sure they have the requisite Torah knowledge to accompany it.
>
> A final word to those who insist on stubbornly adhering to their previous ways, citing the ancient traditions of their forebears. The traditions of our fathers are indeed holy, but new problems demand fresh approaches, and we cannot be content to calmly rely on what was done before. Indeed, there are many things universally accepted today which were unheard of in previous generations. Religious newspapers were instituted to combat the ravages inflicted by ideas publicized by non-religious circles. As long as Jews did not read other newspapers, it was not necessary to publish a religious one. The same applies to our situation. As long as girls did not know of and were not affected by secular influences, no doubts regarding Torah and Judaism were entertained. But once they have learned of such things -- whether from newspapers, friends, school or whatever, the means are immaterial -- it has become imperative that they be fully taught the true Torah view concerning those subjects. The Jewish woman is the foundation of the home, upon whom is dependent the spiritual welfare of the rest of her family. Let us make sure that she will be fully equipped to carry out this awesome responsibility and privilege, the preparation to the coming of our righteous Redeemer, speedily in our time.
3. A sicho from the Rebbe someone sent me a reference to:

> If you wish to see it in a sefer it is in Sefer haSichot, Vol. 2 pp. 455-459. However, here is a link to where you can see this online:
>
> http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx...&st=&pgnum=187 (the link does not work with all browsers).
>
>
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Unread 04-12-2010, 12:31 AM   #73
noahidelaws
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That English essay above is from here. Please explain the direct relevance to the thread topic, please. It doesn't say in that essay that women shouldn't learn secular studies; rather, it assumes that they do, and explains what must be done to counter this influence. The possibility of cutting out the negative impact of secular studies in the first place is not mentioned.
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Unread 04-12-2010, 06:47 AM   #74
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Oh, thanks for the source.

I think the assumption is that a Jew will be exposed to secular culture, thoughts and questions no matter what. I know plenty of intelligent bochrim who go off the derech, r"l, because to them, Yiddishkeit is not where seichel is. And I am not talking about seichel of Gemara. They recognize that it stimulates one’s intelligence, but, they say, it is not objective — it just tells you “how it is”. Again, this is not a theory. This is a real case of a boy from a prominent Lubavitch family who is very intelligent, received good education in nigleh and Chassidus, has no behavior problems (a very mentchlach person) and doesn’t believe in Yiddishkeit.
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Unread 04-12-2010, 08:13 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingAxe View Post
Oh, thanks for the source.

, Yiddishkeit is not where seichel is. And I am not talking about seichel of Gemara. They recognize that it stimulates one’s intelligence, but, they say, it is not objective — it just tells you “how it is”. Again, this is not a theory. This is a real case of a boy from a prominent Lubavitch family who is very intelligent, received good education in nigleh and Chassidus, has no behavior problems (a very mentchlach person) and doesn’t believe in Yiddishkeit.
in general ,taavos cause hisgabrus of the animal soul, and yes, in seichel you can make sense in opposite views,whathever you want can make sense, someone can coclude " logically" that ,RL,Yddishkait is racist, someone can conclude that is archaic,etc,etc
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