Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sick of Rabbis...or why I would never send my child to Yeshiva

For those of you who have never heard This American Life, I highly recommend tuning in to the show. It runs for an hour on Public Radio, and tells different stories collected from daily American life. In each episode, they pick a theme, and try to tell three to four stories related to that theme.

Hosted by Ira Glass, funded by PRI, almost every episode is available online at you can also download episodes and out them into your ipod, but since I don't have an ipod i couldn't tell you how to do that.

Anyway, I was listening to this week's show, an episode about big breaks. The first 36 minutes went by uneventfully. The thirs story, though, was about a third grader who appealed to a higher power. Unsure what this was about, I listened on.

It is a story by Shalom Auslander, a former yeshiva student. He opens up by talking about the upcoming Brachos Bee at Yeshiva of Spring Valley. Based on some of the names he uses in the story, names my wife remembers from growing up in the area, He is probably 35-40 years old.

Shalom's father is a violent alcoholic, and Shalom decides that if he wins the Brachos bee, he can give his mother some nachas, as he will be destined to be a great rabbi.

A week before the brachos bee, the principle comes into the classroom, and tells their Rebbi that one of the student's in the class's father passed away.

Then the rabbi looks at the students, and reminds them that all their sins count toward their father's record, and they better watch themselves or else their father might die too.

Suddenly, Shalom has a way to protect his family. If he can sin enough, his father will die.

So Shalom begins drinking milk after meat, flicking light switches on Shabbos, and touching himself.

Throughout the story, I keep feeling so much hostility toward the rabbi. We don't know why God kills people. We don't really know anything about how Hashem works, so how can these rabbis go ahead and place that kind of burden on eight-year-old kids heads.

There was also a mid-class spanking and other acts of violence from the rebbi to the kid. It completely sends the wrong message about Judaism and God to children.

I don't know Shalom Auslander, but I certainly knew the types of rabbis that he was talking about. They make me sick. They think they are God's gift to the Jewish people. These are people who have no education, very little common sense, and no social skills.

They shouldn't be teaching children. They shouldn't be allowed anywhere near children.


Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

At least the Rabbi in your story was just an idiot--even if his small-minded idiocy resulted in who knows how many kids going off the derech.

My first grade rebbe, mhdi"m (may he die in misery) was a serial mental abuser, who enjoyed and delighted in making six year olds insane. Why, to this day, part of me still believes that I'm stupid, lazy, and belong in the stupid class.

Once time me and one other kid couldn't memorize something. He made us stand in front of everyone in the front of the class because we were stupid.

Suddenly my partner is stupidity started to cry. "Aha," the abuser says, "If you're crying, then you must be sorry, so you can sit down." To me he said, If you're not crying, then you're not sorry." I didn't cry much in the first grade, so I stood there alone the rest of the day.

Thanks Rabbi Ritterman. I'll see you in hell!

January 28, 2005 11:59 AM  
Blogger 2R said...

Keeps me wondering why parents who went to anyschool continue to send their kids to school. Guy I just went out with who went through the public school system had a couple of stories of abuse there, where parents were told and eventually the teacher was told not to continue hitting them...
For me, as long as I have no children, I'm going to continue not to send them to school...

January 29, 2005 2:59 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Still Wonderin-

I love the MHDI"M line. I'm sure there is a special section in hell for so called rabbi's like him.

January 29, 2005 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read »

February 20, 2007 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work » » »

April 26, 2007 11:24 AM  

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