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New York - Rabbi Horowitz: Kids Abandoning 'Yiddishkeit' Due To Lack Of English Education

Published on: November 11, 2008 12:24 PM
By: Rabbi Yakov Horowitz founder and Menahel of Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey, NY
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New York -When administering educational evaluations, it is axiomatic that the testing be done in the child’s ‘first language’ so he or she need not silently translate the question before answering. Testing a child is his or her ‘second language’ often skews the results, as incorrect answers on the part of the child may be attributed to the added burden of converting the question from the less familiar language to the primary one.

To satisfy my curiosity, I once posed a question to a friend of mine who is a credentialed educational evaluator. “What do you do,” I asked, “when you have a bi-lingual child and you are not sure which of the child’s languages the primary one is?”

“Oh, that’s simple,” he responded. “I just place a number of coins on the table and ask the child to count them. Invariably, he or she will count them in his/her native tongue and that is the language that I use for the testing.”

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With that in mind, I would like to suggest the following exercise for those who are fortunate to have Holocaust-surviving grandparents of Hungarian/Romanian background: Place several pictures of your children on the table and ask them to start counting. In all likelihood, you will hear, “Egy, Kettö, Három” (pronounced “et, ket, harom” – the numbers, “one, two, and three” in Hungarian) as that is the language they think in. For even sixty years after they left Europe, many of them still revert to their native Hungarian when thinking or while speaking to their peers. If you need further proof that this is so, take a trip to Miami Beach this winter and listen to the dialogue between the members of the ‘Greatest Generation’ one evening on the boardwalk.

The indisputable fact that virtually all fervently observant Jews in Hungary/Rumania were fluent in their native language is an important one to reflect upon. Why? Because it counters the revisionist history that developing English language skills in our children is somehow charting a ‘new’ path that deviates from our mesorah (tradition). In fact, throughout the centuries, even in times when the general population was mostly illiterate, Jews were known as the ‘people of the book’ who placed a great value on educating our children not only in Hebrew reading and writing, but also in the language of the lands in which we lived. The Rambam wrote in Arabic, and Rashi continuously referenced Old French in his commentaries, as those were the languages spoken at that time. What more proof is needed that Jews in France were fluent in the local language than the fact that Rashi repeatedly translated difficult words from Hebrew to French?

What is most unsettling, is that having a command of the native language is more crucial in today’s job market than it has ever been in history. Our grandparents in Europe, who did speak the local language, ironically did not need to draw upon those skills for their daily bread, as they mostly toiled in manual-labor positions or traded with other Jews, where Yiddish was the common vernacular.

Even in America a few decades ago, a solid general studies education was not as critical as it is nowadays. When my parents got married, jobs that did not require schooling or enhanced language skills, such as working in the diamond line, were readily available and provided sufficient income for a growing family. Due to outsourcing and the volatile job market created by the economic downturn, that is just not the case today.

It is certainly reasonable for one to make the case that due to the rapidly eroding moral culture in the world around us, it is necessary and prudent to safeguard our children from its negative effects. But it is one thing to shield your children from the Internet or television, and entirely another to raise them lacking the rudimentary skills to earn a living. Many point to individuals who became fabulously wealthy without a command of their native language. But they are just that. Individuals. The brutal reality is that most people who are poorly educated struggle mightily to earn a living and support their families – and this applies even or especially to those who plan on entering chinuch or rabbonus. Expecting to strike it rich with limited education is analogous to a 15-year-old dribbling a basketball and dreaming of playing in the National Basketball Association. A few make it while the others. . .well, . . . they don’t.

A close friend of mine owns a business in an area with a large charedi population and is always looking to provide avrechim with jobs. His ‘entrance exam’ is rather simple. He gives prospective applicants a pad and paper and asks them to write two paragraphs in English expressing the reasons they would like to land a job in his company, and then to turn on a computer and type those lines. His thinking is that if an applicant cannot perform those two tasks, they are useless to him in his business. Suffice it to say that this would probably be my last column in Mishpacha if I shared with you the percentage of applicants he turns away because they cannot do that.

In more than twenty-five years of dealing with at-risk teens I have not noticed a lower drop-out rate among kids who are raised in more sheltered environments. In fact, my experience leads me to support the observation made by my colleague Reb Yonasan Rosenblum, in a number of columns in these pages over the past few years, that out-of-town children have a lower drop-out rate than those who are raised in very sheltered communities.

What is indisputably a colossal risk factor, for marital discord and kids abandoning Yiddishkeit, is poverty. With that in mind, it is my strong and growing feeling, that not educating your children nowadays, and overly sheltering them from acquiring basic general studies skills, dramatically raises the risk factor that your grandchildren will be raised in stressful, unhappy homes – and more vulnerable to all the negative influences we wish to shield them from.



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1

 Nov 11, 2008 at 12:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Rabbi Horowitz his the mark on this one, as usual. I know many teens that begged there parants to remove them from the chasiddish (Ilive in that neighborhood, and know that population) yeshivas and send them to a yeshiva that will split the day between "english and yiddish" studies. This was at astage when they were unhappy and significant signs of discord. They were willing to sit in yeshiva and try to turn there life around givin the oppurtunity. They were refused, and they totally left yeshiva. while the ones that went from Boro Park chasidish yeshivas to more "modern" (English learning) Yeshivas, stayed the course and grew up (or still growing) to be very solid individuals.

2

 Nov 11, 2008 at 12:52 PM Anonymous Says:

How True! It's sad to see that these days Yeshivahs are abandoning english education. I was ridiculed by my friends for attending the english department. Once even the maggid Shiur opened the door to the english class and asked if there were more boys wanting to leave the class for a shiur!
Although Yiddish/Limudei Kodesh is top priority, secular studies should not be held in contempt. If the Yeshivahs put more emphasis on english, we would all be better off.

3

 Nov 11, 2008 at 12:50 PM ML Says:

My spouse and I come from yiddish speaking homes and yiddish being our first language. We made it our business for english to be our kids first language. It is every parents responsibility to prepare their kids for the future....the above article says it all....

4

 Nov 11, 2008 at 12:49 PM M. Richter Says:

Without sttiring any conruversy, & without being judgemental or separist. Or anti Litvishe Chasidih, Yeshivish, moderen ETC. I want to chalange his oppinion.
Its a fact that when grab any Chasidish 10 year old boy 9 out of 10 they will sttuter on any english question throwen at them. Vs. You take any Litvish 10 year old they will be most comfortable in the english language.
Now 2 points:
1) To say there's a higher rate of well of Litvish families then Chasidish would be a straight out lie...!
2) We all know where the highest rate of drop out students are... Which has most to do with the Yeshivois & Bais Yakovs throwing the avarage students out on the street & only accepting the cream of the crop...

5

 Nov 11, 2008 at 12:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Litfishe Yeshivas are not better than the Chasidishe ones when it comes to English studies.

6

 Nov 11, 2008 at 12:57 PM Formerkid at risk Says:

Rabbi Horowitz ! Yasher Koach on telling it Like it is.I have to tell you , in the darkness that is our chinuch system you are truely the bright light.


Thank You

7

 Nov 11, 2008 at 12:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Maybe kids abandon yiddishkeit because they have a yetzer horah and it gets the best of them. Maybe they go off the derech because they are rebels and dont give a darn about whats right . Instead of trying to make excuses for these kids , look at reality. Thats all. Today every thing and everyone has an excuse and a cheshbon. Everyone has a psycological issue and reality is never the issue. Its always maybe this and maybe that. For cryin out loud , blame the kids themselves.
Would anyone like it if we make excuses for suicide bombers and killers? No, of coarse not. So why are we making excuses for these kids? They do wrong, they only have themselves to blame

8

 Nov 11, 2008 at 12:59 PM Anonymous Says:

The Admor is correct once again. Those that cannot speak english find themselves a step behind a public high school dropout when competing for a job.

There has been a complete failure on behalf of the leadership to plan for this economic crisis. Performing no hishtadlus does not mean that one has stronger emunah. I feel one who does not do their hishtadlus may actually be a kofer by denying that Hashem set up nature.

9

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:00 PM Anonymous Says:

TO COMENT NO. 4 VERRY WELL SAID YOU TOOK YHE WORDS OUT OF MY MOUTH

10

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:03 PM Use Your Head Says:

Reply to #4  
M. Richter Says:

Without sttiring any conruversy, & without being judgemental or separist. Or anti Litvishe Chasidih, Yeshivish, moderen ETC. I want to chalange his oppinion.
Its a fact that when grab any Chasidish 10 year old boy 9 out of 10 they will sttuter on any english question throwen at them. Vs. You take any Litvish 10 year old they will be most comfortable in the english language.
Now 2 points:
1) To say there's a higher rate of well of Litvish families then Chasidish would be a straight out lie...!
2) We all know where the highest rate of drop out students are... Which has most to do with the Yeshivois & Bais Yakovs throwing the avarage students out on the street & only accepting the cream of the crop...

I think this article could be more aptly entitled "Rabbi Horowitz: Kids Abandoning 'Yiddishkeit' Due To Poverty".

Poverty has many causes. Lack of job skills (related to secular education) is one of them, although it is not the only one.

11

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:04 PM Chaim S. Says:

Rabbi Horowitz is an unusual person in that his keen insight into Yiddishkeit problems and issues and the fact that he's always right about possible solutions, only serves to earn him strong criticism from the community that he's trying to help.

12

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:09 PM Anonymous Says:

I taught English for many decades and worked in many sorts of Jewish schools. It is fair to say that the message that English is traif is readily communicated by rebbeim to their talmidim in myriad ways. It is not unusual for English teachers to receive phone calls out of the blue from former students who always say, "I am getting married tomorrow and would like mechila from you for my conduct during the time I was in your class." The problems faced by English teachers are hardly of a lesser kind than those that trouble science teachers. Literature is at the heart of any English curriculum and even Shakespeare is not acceptable. The irony often is that the most vociferous opponents of education are parents and rebbeim who were themselves educated in an earlier time (though this is quickly becoming less and less the case with the younger rebbeim).

13

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Use Your Head Says:

I think this article could be more aptly entitled "Rabbi Horowitz: Kids Abandoning 'Yiddishkeit' Due To Poverty".

Poverty has many causes. Lack of job skills (related to secular education) is one of them, although it is not the only one.

There are many (and I know many) that come from wealthy families who have dropped out and it is precisely like Rabbi Horowitz said. Those who are not Machshiv English end up not being Machshiv anything.

14

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:08 PM the ONLY reason Says:

kids are abandoning Yiddishkeit for one reason.

THE ADULTS. The hypocrisy they see in the teachers Rosh yeshivas and parents, that's all.

let me say it again.

THE ADULTS. The hypocrisy they see in the teachers Rosh yeshivas and parents, that's all.


When the adults get their act together everything will straighten out. Its got nothing at all to do with English etc.

When the children will see AND feel adults who are truly proud of their YIddishkeit and walk the talk they preach in Yeshivois and shuls - when the children see adults who are worth aspiring and learning from , the children will want to keep the path of Yidishkeit.

15

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:10 PM Shaul in Monsey Says:

As an aside, it's curious to note that in Monsey, it clearly appears that YSV is going out of its way to cater to those chassidishe families that have moved "to the left" and are trying to establish new identities in the frum world but outside the chassidish, while Darchei is not doing nearly as much for this new sub-class.

16

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:12 PM Anonymous Says:

A few years ago Susan Schulman MD had written an article on this very issue. In my opinion she carried it a bit far. However the main points are the same.

I don't condone fostering ignorance, but to say that all frum prewar families were fluent in their native languages is incorrect. The Hungarians spoke Hungarian but the Slovak and Polish Jews did not for the most part.

My secular education formally ended before my Bar Mitzvah, Yet I completed a four year college degree in two and earn my living as a licensed professional.

I struggle with this issue for my own children and there is no easy answer. In our Kehilos and Mosdos teaching children how to read, write and count is just not a priority.....

17

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:13 PM Anonymous Says:

I agree 100% with the writer of this article. My father A"H, though he worse Shtreimel, Bekeshe and vaaser zokin, make it a major priority in his life, that my brother and I should speak American English with no accent at all. Not even a NY accent. He himself worked on learning a Midwestern version of American English, and both my brother and I learned to speak that way.

Though we had extensive Yeshiva education, he made sure that we had a full high school education, and did not discourage us from getting a college education. He was not in favor of attending college, but learning the material was a good thing in his opinion. He felt that we should be able to carry on conversations with anybody we meet in life.

Today, I am very much like my father. I still wear a Shtreimel, Bekeshe, Kurtz Hoisen/Vaaser Zoken, I sat and learned in yeshiva, and received Yoreh Yoreh, but I can walk into a classroom and teach: mathematics through Calc III, College level: Biology, Chemistry, Physics (classical and modern/quantum), Astronomy, American Literature, Expository Writing, Argumentation and Debate, American History as well as Computer Science, programming in C++, and most popular software packages. I also hold a Private Pilot's certificate, and can build race cars, and drive anything on wheels.

Do I write this to boast? Absolutely not. If anything, I was and still am obsessive about learning all I can about anything. (yes, I still learn Torah too)
I write this to show that the author of the above article is correct. I can proudly walk anywhere in the US, converse with anyone, and not feel inferior. I do not have to abandon my faith and customs to feel equal and accepted. I never need worry about earning a living. No, I am not rich by any means, not even "comfortable" financially. I spend much of my time reading, and less in business. But I have never had to do without what I needed, and could usually afford what I wanted. I am happy.

I never fear not having, because I KNOW I would always be able to earn a living.

I have lived all over the Eastern half of the United States. I have earned a living in so many field, that listing them would not even be believable. But just to give y'all an idea, one year, while living in Alabama, I tutored College Math/Calculus during the evenings, and worked rebuilding engines, alternators, and starters in a machine shop during the day.

The point I am trying to make, is that the more educated we are, but better we feel about ourselves. Many heimishe people I meet are embarrassed to interact with many gentiles, since they know they are semi-literate. When they need to interact, they are uncomfortable and feel inadequate.
So, many feel they need to "be more like them" to feel more comfortable. Hence they start trimming their beards, hiding their payos, changing their clothes, etc., When they travel, they leave their shtreimlech at home. Sure sometimes it is to make it easier to travel, but sometimes, often, it is a symptom of their feeling uncomfortable being who they are. Just like when they travel away from home, and dress like a gentile "until we get home."
But, the dressing is the part we see from the outside. It is when they say yes to their new "friends" and go with them to clubs at night, or don't have the confidence to say, "No, we have to go to a kosher restaurant."

TODAY, education protects the Jew from assimilation.
It is true that years ago it was different. But, today it is true.
Kudos to the author.
(sorry, wife calling me, no time to proof read.)

18

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
M. Richter Says:

Without sttiring any conruversy, & without being judgemental or separist. Or anti Litvishe Chasidih, Yeshivish, moderen ETC. I want to chalange his oppinion.
Its a fact that when grab any Chasidish 10 year old boy 9 out of 10 they will sttuter on any english question throwen at them. Vs. You take any Litvish 10 year old they will be most comfortable in the english language.
Now 2 points:
1) To say there's a higher rate of well of Litvish families then Chasidish would be a straight out lie...!
2) We all know where the highest rate of drop out students are... Which has most to do with the Yeshivois & Bais Yakovs throwing the avarage students out on the street & only accepting the cream of the crop...

I completely agree with R' Horowitz here. I think it is very telling that the commentators that are the most vociferously against his proposals are the one with the most glaring spelling and grammatical mistakes. I think those comments in and of themselves prove his point.

19

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:17 PM DumDum Says:

1) Who's stopping these boys from learning English after their yeshiva years?

2) How did all those Hungarian/Romainian speakers ever make parnassah in this English speaking country?

3) How about all the Polish/Russian yidden that barely knew a word of Polish/Russian?

3) Rashi may have used Old French words for things that had no word available in the local Yiddish vernacular.

4) To say that the lack of fluency in the English language causes kids to abandon Yiddishkeit, is really stretching it. One can make an argument to the exact opposite.

20

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
M. Richter Says:

Without sttiring any conruversy, & without being judgemental or separist. Or anti Litvishe Chasidih, Yeshivish, moderen ETC. I want to chalange his oppinion.
Its a fact that when grab any Chasidish 10 year old boy 9 out of 10 they will sttuter on any english question throwen at them. Vs. You take any Litvish 10 year old they will be most comfortable in the english language.
Now 2 points:
1) To say there's a higher rate of well of Litvish families then Chasidish would be a straight out lie...!
2) We all know where the highest rate of drop out students are... Which has most to do with the Yeshivois & Bais Yakovs throwing the avarage students out on the street & only accepting the cream of the crop...

this is the first reply to rabbi horowitz's phenomenal article in which there is a challenge to his belief. how ironic that this is also the first post in which words are spelled incorrectly, grammar is atrocious and he believes that english is NOT important!!! NO WONDER........

21

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:18 PM Finally! Says:

This article is absolute truth, and absolutely brilliant. The message, however, is also in direct conflict with the educational philosophy of the gedolei hador, who, after all, have personally engineered the degradation of limudei chol in their Yeshivos. You cannot accept the unquestioned authority of the gedolei hador and the absolute truth of this article at the same time. Never has there been greater cognitive dissonance.

22

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Shaul from monsey. You can't have brought out the point any better. I don't think darechi noam has any less of a problem then anywhere else even though they have the "messiah"

23

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:21 PM AH Says:

There's Only ONE way to fight today's yetzer horah and that is with torah and kedusha... A secular english education is none.

It is beneficial towards a parnosso and qualifies as hishtadlus, but nothing more.

24

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:20 PM don't understand Says:

In my eyes, language has NOTHING to do with yiddishkeit!
I agree that everybody has to learn english, but to say that if not, they are more likely to abandon yiddish keit???
so what if they don't know english? does it make them more target of all SHMUTZ out there???

25

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:27 PM Deepthinker Says:

There are no general rules in Chinuch. Each child is a unique entity, and must be treated as such.

The basics that must be taught to every child are the Three R's--Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. Social Studies, Literature, Chemistry, Algebra, Quantum Mechanics, Astronomy, Psychology, Economnics are not basic necessities.--You can function without these subjects, if you do not aspire to be a professional--Accountant, Lawyer, Doctor.

The basics can be acquired in a very short period of time, if you are a serious student--take a GED course. You don't have to spend 12 years learning the basics--A few months of intensive study will suffice. Most of what is taught in Public Schools today is sheer fluff, designed to acculturate the students to Liberal Theology--it's pure propaganda--"Heather has Two Mommies."

Learning the basics is no big deal, and can easily be incorporated into even themost Hassidic Yeshiva curriculum.

26

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Just a point of reference. the Talmud is wriitten in Aramaic not Hebrew. Aramaic was the language of the street(The English of its time) not the language of prayer. In fact I believe that 'National Geographic" magazine had an article a few years ago that noted that Aramaic is still spoken in a small community in Syria. You can make an arguement that the gamara was written in "Lashon Artscroll" because that's what people spoke even in the Beis Hamedrash. Would todays "machmerim" assur the the gemara because its not in Hebrew.?

27

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:24 PM willi Says:

the 2000 census, 178,945 people in the United States reported speaking Yiddish at home. Of these speakers, 113,515 lived in New York (63.43% of American Yiddish speakers), 18,220 in Florida (10.18%), 9,145 in New Jersey (5.11%), and 8,950 in California (5.00%). The remaining states with speaker populations larger than 1,000 are Pennsylvania (5,445), Ohio (1,925), Michigan (1,945), Massachusetts (2,380), Maryland (2,125), Illinois (3,510), Connecticut (1,710), and Arizona (1,055). The population is largely elderly: 72,885 of the speakers were older than 65, 66,815 were between 18 and 64, and only 39,245 were age 17 or lower.[17] In the six years since the 2000 census, the 2006 American Community Survey reflected an estimated 15 percent decline of people speaking Yiddish at home in the U.S. to 152,515.[18]

28

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Just my point of view, my husband did not got to english classes (which I do not commend) but took on more shiurim instead. Today, he is a successful businessman being that it's the middos that count most.

29

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:31 PM Mendy Hecht Says:

I think what Rabbi Horowitz writes here is true, but it's part of a bigger problem: happiness.

There are many isolationist homes in which the kids know next to nothing about the outside world and yet they are happy, well-adjusted and functional people, and conversely, modern homes in which the kids get a full general studies education and yet the kids grow up miserable and turn to secularism and various drugs to relieve their pain.

I think the main thing is simply to be happy, to be in touch with your feelings and those of your spouse and kids and to otherwise not broadcast the message that being frum is an unhappy or burdensome or otherwise negative experience.

You don't necessarily have to send your kids to English for them to grow up happy and successful--but you do have to be successful and happy for them to grow up successful and happy, regardless of their schooling.

30

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:36 PM Finally! Says:

There is an interesting story about the Artscroll English gemara related to this thread and Anonymous' (26) comment. Some prominent gedolim were against publication of the Artscroll English Gemara because it might serve as a "crutch" to bochurim, who might never learn how to make a laining in the Gemara. R. Nosson Sherman responded to the criticism, saying that the problem was academic: in a generation or so, no Yeshiva guys would be able to read English anyway!

31

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:35 PM ML Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

I agree 100% with the writer of this article. My father A"H, though he worse Shtreimel, Bekeshe and vaaser zokin, make it a major priority in his life, that my brother and I should speak American English with no accent at all. Not even a NY accent. He himself worked on learning a Midwestern version of American English, and both my brother and I learned to speak that way.

Though we had extensive Yeshiva education, he made sure that we had a full high school education, and did not discourage us from getting a college education. He was not in favor of attending college, but learning the material was a good thing in his opinion. He felt that we should be able to carry on conversations with anybody we meet in life.

Today, I am very much like my father. I still wear a Shtreimel, Bekeshe, Kurtz Hoisen/Vaaser Zoken, I sat and learned in yeshiva, and received Yoreh Yoreh, but I can walk into a classroom and teach: mathematics through Calc III, College level: Biology, Chemistry, Physics (classical and modern/quantum), Astronomy, American Literature, Expository Writing, Argumentation and Debate, American History as well as Computer Science, programming in C++, and most popular software packages. I also hold a Private Pilot's certificate, and can build race cars, and drive anything on wheels.

Do I write this to boast? Absolutely not. If anything, I was and still am obsessive about learning all I can about anything. (yes, I still learn Torah too)
I write this to show that the author of the above article is correct. I can proudly walk anywhere in the US, converse with anyone, and not feel inferior. I do not have to abandon my faith and customs to feel equal and accepted. I never need worry about earning a living. No, I am not rich by any means, not even "comfortable" financially. I spend much of my time reading, and less in business. But I have never had to do without what I needed, and could usually afford what I wanted. I am happy.

I never fear not having, because I KNOW I would always be able to earn a living.

I have lived all over the Eastern half of the United States. I have earned a living in so many field, that listing them would not even be believable. But just to give y'all an idea, one year, while living in Alabama, I tutored College Math/Calculus during the evenings, and worked rebuilding engines, alternators, and starters in a machine shop during the day.

The point I am trying to make, is that the more educated we are, but better we feel about ourselves. Many heimishe people I meet are embarrassed to interact with many gentiles, since they know they are semi-literate. When they need to interact, they are uncomfortable and feel inadequate.
So, many feel they need to "be more like them" to feel more comfortable. Hence they start trimming their beards, hiding their payos, changing their clothes, etc., When they travel, they leave their shtreimlech at home. Sure sometimes it is to make it easier to travel, but sometimes, often, it is a symptom of their feeling uncomfortable being who they are. Just like when they travel away from home, and dress like a gentile "until we get home."
But, the dressing is the part we see from the outside. It is when they say yes to their new "friends" and go with them to clubs at night, or don't have the confidence to say, "No, we have to go to a kosher restaurant."

TODAY, education protects the Jew from assimilation.
It is true that years ago it was different. But, today it is true.
Kudos to the author.
(sorry, wife calling me, no time to proof read.)

Good for you! I hope everyone on this blog reads your long post and uses you as an example of how we should raise our kids. Your parents raised you well....

32

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:34 PM FVNMS Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Maybe kids abandon yiddishkeit because they have a yetzer horah and it gets the best of them. Maybe they go off the derech because they are rebels and dont give a darn about whats right . Instead of trying to make excuses for these kids , look at reality. Thats all. Today every thing and everyone has an excuse and a cheshbon. Everyone has a psycological issue and reality is never the issue. Its always maybe this and maybe that. For cryin out loud , blame the kids themselves.
Would anyone like it if we make excuses for suicide bombers and killers? No, of coarse not. So why are we making excuses for these kids? They do wrong, they only have themselves to blame

You are right about almost everythng you point out. but you're dead wrong about the underlying why. i don't know how old you are or what your experience with this population is. If you are young and inexperienced, you still have a lot to learn; if you are older, wow, your eyes are shut. Either way, here's some education for you:

1. EMES VEYATZIV: Behind almost every messed up child is the adult who messed him/her up. It could be parents, rebbes/morahs/principals or even strangers. no kid, unless he/she has a mental condition, is preprogrammed to be "bad."

2. Blame the child? You cannot blame those who are not equipped with the ability to make decisions/judgements. Why is the age of 18 so significant in most cultures regarding adulthood and adult situations?

3. We are a society that does nothing BUT blame the child. Whether it's kids not caring about yiddishkeit, whether they dont daven 3 times or learn a blasted word, whether they smoke/do drugs, whether they engage in inappropriate/immoral behavior...

4. Rabbi Horowitz is a professional mechanech who actually cares enough to delve into the why. Then he goes and does something about it. And he educates parents so that they will do something about it as well.

Best of luck to all parents.

33

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:44 PM Anonymous Says:

As someone who tutors religious boys in all English subjects we see how important education is but the problem arises when these boys make trouble in class or are toldthat english is not important by either parents, peers, or even the schools. Wives are not always able to support and these kids need to be able to get jobs. My kollel son has his high school advanced regents diploma and was taught Mi Kol Milamday Hiskalti and to respect all teachers

34

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Great article. For those who suggested that kids can learn English skills on their own after yeshiva, it is much, much, much easier to learn a language and become fluent and skilled by early exposure -- i.e. starting during toddler and early childhood years. While its not impossible to do later, it's never the same as learning as a child.

35

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:47 PM willi Says:

this is a old fight against orthodox jews of Yiddish language it is a orthodox law by are old rabbis to not to hold speeches and lernen in lason laeimim only in yiddish -it is the aganda of the reform and the" modern orthodox" to fight yiddish

36

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:48 PM Anonymous Says:

i am a satmar boy, an i learn english from Artscroll...

37

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:42 PM Anonymous Says:

It is amazing to see the ignorance of people who are presenting themselves as rabbis, psychologists, or even worse, a combination of the above.

People –my self included- thay use Yiddish all the time, will still count and do their math in English. The reason is actually very simple. In all languages the pronunciation of the numbers are in the same decanting order as the members. For example: 128 will be pronounced as one hundred twenty eight, in English. Or in Hebrew it will be meah esrim ushmona. While in yddish it will be hudred acht un tzvntzig. It starts with the hundred, then the singles, and then back to the tens.

This is the reason that you will see many adopt the number system form their native country. This has absolutely no indication on the language they spoke. Anyone of us that have grandparent of this age or even their own function of speaking Yiddish will realize it immediately. And you don’t even need to be an ‘internet rabbi’ or psychologist.

The way to go is Yiddish all the way, our parents did survived and prospered, so will we. And these rabbis / psychologists will have to use Sigmund Fruede’s junk on those who think from the bottom…

It is well known in field of psychiatry that they believe all of our thought are controlled by particular desires… this is absolutely contrary to Torah thinking, where these thought are not the center of a Jews life.

38

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:50 PM Anonymous Says:

#13 says:There are many (and I know many) that come from wealthy families who have dropped out and it is precisely like Rabbi Horowitz said. Those who are not Machshiv English end up not being Machshiv anything.

No kidding- but not because it's English. Rather, because if you teach a child disregard for another teacher, for another subject and for another part of what they are required to do, you ruin a certain important aspect of work ethic. That one has to do their best at whatever they are up to at that moment.

However, that is not the premis of this article. If Rabbi Horowitz wants to use Hungarians as his example...How much of pre-war Hungary was frum? Not the big city Jews who "made it" financially. Those few families from Budapest that are frum to this day were Kanoim, along with speaking Hungarian. It wasn't the language that kept them frum.
It's not the English or lack thereof, it's the attitudes of many towards anything outside of the 4 walls of the beis medrash. It's the disdain towards anyone who ventures into the workforce.

As another point, it doesn't hurt and can only help if young men on their way into the working world to support a family were encouraged to take a short course on the language of the working world, but that does not equal English in schools.

39

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:54 PM HolyMoe Says:

This article is so true.
I personally know several people that ths happened to exactly as Rabbi Horowitz writes.
Of course he will be attacked by those who like to keep their heads in the sand.
But he is so right.
He is courageous and he is exactly on the mark.

He is right.

He is right.

So, so right !!!

40

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:54 PM jordansw Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

There are many (and I know many) that come from wealthy families who have dropped out and it is precisely like Rabbi Horowitz said. Those who are not Machshiv English end up not being Machshiv anything.

The question here is one of patterns and system dynamics (i.e., a specific analytical approach and modeling tool). Does the dynamic he described, which may be counter intuitive from a linear pathway perspective, explain the plurality or majority of dropouts? My experience tells me it's hard to know based on casual, as opposed to systematic, observation. Fortunately, there are sophisticated modeling programs designed to map these subtle processes and explain and predict patterns. Your localized observation, thus, serves as a starting point for hypothesis development. I bet the leaders of the Torah community would benefit from understanding and commissioning such models to aid in the development of their approach to addressing this problem and others current and future.

41

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:54 PM anonymous Says:

Rabbi Horowitz diserve a great yashar koach. It was inevitable that this will occur. Societies everywhere become more sophisticated and more demanding in skills.
What many pointed out that Rashi was fluent in French ,the Rambam was fluent in Arabic and Latin and many other luminaries also were well versed in the "treife world sciences" Unfortunately the Yeshivas have created a model which is self-serving but everybody cannot become a Rebbi and is not cut out mentally to perform . Unfortunately Hitler deprived me of a formal education but I managed to accumulate two years of college with 3.5 average. Even after 4 years of concentration I took tests and obtained a federal employment. I only wish that I had the opportunities which are available to frum kids today.

42

 Nov 11, 2008 at 01:56 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

A few years ago Susan Schulman MD had written an article on this very issue. In my opinion she carried it a bit far. However the main points are the same.

I don't condone fostering ignorance, but to say that all frum prewar families were fluent in their native languages is incorrect. The Hungarians spoke Hungarian but the Slovak and Polish Jews did not for the most part.

My secular education formally ended before my Bar Mitzvah, Yet I completed a four year college degree in two and earn my living as a licensed professional.

I struggle with this issue for my own children and there is no easy answer. In our Kehilos and Mosdos teaching children how to read, write and count is just not a priority.....

A very astute observance . Hungarian Jews, Austrian Jews , Germany Jews ,Lithuanian and Romanian Jews were fluent in their native languages. Polish Jews were not and it contributed to antisemitism

43

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:08 PM ML - Thank you ! Says:

Reply to #31  
ML Says:

Good for you! I hope everyone on this blog reads your long post and uses you as an example of how we should raise our kids. Your parents raised you well....

why are there not more like us out there ?
If you live in a country , you must know the language for so many reasons !

hold on - so many voted - what if you didnt even understand what you are voting for ... scary ...
( i am not speaking of the President vote, in case you will try to argue that)

44

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
ML Says:

My spouse and I come from yiddish speaking homes and yiddish being our first language. We made it our business for english to be our kids first language. It is every parents responsibility to prepare their kids for the future....the above article says it all....

I wish I had your experience and I am now implemting just the opposite for my own children. All the Litvishe yeshivas from BMG to Ponevez Brisk Mir NY as well as Israel require a fluency in Yiddish. I struggled at age 15 - 25, but my children will not

I see that your is not bad at all!!

45

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:14 PM Use Your Head Says:

Reply to #23  
AH Says:

There's Only ONE way to fight today's yetzer horah and that is with torah and kedusha... A secular english education is none.

It is beneficial towards a parnosso and qualifies as hishtadlus, but nothing more.

Im ein kemach, ein Torah.

46

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:13 PM Use Your Head Says:

Reply to #21  
Finally! Says:

This article is absolute truth, and absolutely brilliant. The message, however, is also in direct conflict with the educational philosophy of the gedolei hador, who, after all, have personally engineered the degradation of limudei chol in their Yeshivos. You cannot accept the unquestioned authority of the gedolei hador and the absolute truth of this article at the same time. Never has there been greater cognitive dissonance.

There are no universal "gedolei hador" nowadays. Just because a majority of people consider someone to be a gadol, does not make him such.

47

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:12 PM Dan Says:

Shkoyach, R' Horowitz.
You are absolutely right.
Unfortunately, I fear that soon you'll be ostracized from the Haredi velt, and that your words will never be published in yated or hamodia.
Hashem Ierachem.

48

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #42  
anonymous Says:

A very astute observance . Hungarian Jews, Austrian Jews , Germany Jews ,Lithuanian and Romanian Jews were fluent in their native languages. Polish Jews were not and it contributed to antisemitism

What Poland? From the late 1700s till 1918 Poland did not exist! Galicianer knew abit of german but in northern Poland they did not study Russian! But either way where did Hitler come from, Poland or let me guess.... Germany perhaps??

49

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:23 PM Use Your Head Says:

I think the effectiveness of this article might be increased if a Yiddish translation was provided :-)

50

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:21 PM Anonymous Says:

have u done studies on this subject how large was your sample that you observed was there a contrfol group you'd be shocked to find out that results from a study group are totally different than an "observation" or a hunch your guesses are irrelevant to studied reality

51

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:19 PM Anonymous Says:

Im a Rebbisher einkel, My father made sure all our sibs spoke a correct english.
I skipped HS and at my fathers urging I went to collage and earned a degree and work now as a professional, I wear a shtramil and no zoken. I make it a point that all my children speak a correct english IN SPITE of the yeshiva education

52

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:26 PM Deepthinker Says:

The Gedolei Hador of previous generations were careful to avoid full acculturation and assi,ilation. So, they intentionally supported a crippled form of the prevailing language00Crippled German=Yiddish; Crippled Spanish=Ladino.

53

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:24 PM accountant Says:

I did not learn english due to a tsavuah from an ancestor (written in Hungary...) but i suceeded in becoming a accountant hired by a respectable firm to prepare tax returns. which is to say that you could achieve success with hashems help without disputing our Guedollim vision.

Rabbi Horowits: I greatly commend your work and your articles where you challenged the mainstream on children safety. but one more article like this and i start thinking you're not one "of us". it's one thing to say that the urgency of child safety issues forces us to readapt and be more open about it although different than precedent, but it's quite another to reengineer the whole system that did bring us a few dropouts but on the other hand allowed for a thriving chasidishe community that no one thought possible after WWII

54

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:37 PM Anonymous Says:

What confuses me is when I welcome a meshulach at my door who has a letter attesting to his difficulty in making a parnasah which is signed by the very same Rabbonim who are anti-college and working to begin with. How any Rov can sleep at night knowing his issur on college may cause even a single yiddishe family to go hungry is beyond me.

55

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:36 PM Anonymous Says:

The VIN photo used of a boy smoking a cigarette is supposed to show the other side-- the kid who drops out or leaves yiddishkeit???? Why is it that in the frum world, leaving yiddishkeit is so often equated with smoking and other vices? Truth is that when the kids leave they have no education or skills-sets to survive a tough harsh world, so they often fall in with those in the lowest strata of society.

56

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:29 PM Anonymous Says:

It has nothing to do with whether or not u have money or if u speak english, there are kids at risk where ever u look either by chassidim, litvish, heimish where ever so don't try blaming it on english speaking or poor/rich families...if anything it has more or less to do with sheltered families or schools that reject boys/girls for stupid reasons...

57

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:45 PM Anonymous Says:

The bigger problem is Laidegaing - The majority of kids are not up to learning full time. If English learning is a joke and they are not learning instead they are being Yoshev Botel which brings them to the worst Aveiros.

58

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #42  
anonymous Says:

A very astute observance . Hungarian Jews, Austrian Jews , Germany Jews ,Lithuanian and Romanian Jews were fluent in their native languages. Polish Jews were not and it contributed to antisemitism

"A very astute observance"
Not astute at all. The German jews probably knew & spoke the language better than all the others & if I remember correctly, Nazism began in Germany. To say that Polish anti-semitism was caused by the lack of Jews knowing the language is sheer nonsense.

59

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:56 PM Anonymous Says:

zeier git gezugt.......

60

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:53 PM Finally! Says:

It is important to note that R. Eliyahu Dessler, in Michtav Me'Eliyahu, writes that there should be no secular studies at all in yeshivos. The objective of Yeshivos, according to R. Dessler

"...has been to uphold a single objective, to grow gedolei Torah and Yirei Shomayim as one. For this reason, [roshei yeshiva] have prohibited university to their students, because they could not conceive how to grow gedolim in Torah if not to concentrate their entire educational efforts towards Torah alone.
However, do not consider that they do not know, a priori, that through this approach a number [of students] will, G-d forbid, become adversely affected, since they will be unable to withstand this extreme [educational] policy, and as a result separate from the ways of Torah. However, this is the price that must be paid to create gedolei Torah and Yirei Shomayim educated in their Yeshivos. Of course, they must stand guard and do all that is possible to help those who can not remain Bnei Torah, but not in a way that will attract the other students. For example, those that must leave the Yeshiva should become storekeepers or have other jobs that are not considered trades, requiring no training, so as not to attract the [other] students. Those whose strong desire is indeed to learn a trade, and certainly those who choose a profession that requires secular training, should be ignored, so the other students are not ruinously influenced by any one individual's restoration."

The relationship between kids going off the derech and tyhe lack of limudei chol is explicit in R. Dessler's statement. According to him, it is the price that must be paid to create gedolim.

It is this educational philosophy, ingrained in Yeshivos today, the R. Horowitz is up against.

61

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:51 PM Deepthinker Says:

Rabbi Horowitz did not discuss priorities in learning.

English should be taught later, after a student has achieved a thorough gounding in Torah. You can't ride two horses at the same time.

62

 Nov 11, 2008 at 03:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Im a full fledged Chasiddishe Out-ofTowner. We (out of towners) our proud that our kids (with gekrazelte peiyes) have a solid command of the Lingua Franca.
Es iz a Charpe in a Bishe, tzi tziheren BoroParke kinder reden English, siiz kimaat a chilel Hashem.

63

 Nov 11, 2008 at 03:24 PM He is RIGHT Says:

He is simply right. Halevy, yeshivos should have the fortitude to consider this reality.

64

 Nov 11, 2008 at 02:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

Im a Rebbisher einkel, My father made sure all our sibs spoke a correct english.
I skipped HS and at my fathers urging I went to collage and earned a degree and work now as a professional, I wear a shtramil and no zoken. I make it a point that all my children speak a correct english IN SPITE of the yeshiva education

no zoken? what do you wear, sandals? slippers? crocs?

65

 Nov 11, 2008 at 03:59 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #60  
Finally! Says:

It is important to note that R. Eliyahu Dessler, in Michtav Me'Eliyahu, writes that there should be no secular studies at all in yeshivos. The objective of Yeshivos, according to R. Dessler

"...has been to uphold a single objective, to grow gedolei Torah and Yirei Shomayim as one. For this reason, [roshei yeshiva] have prohibited university to their students, because they could not conceive how to grow gedolim in Torah if not to concentrate their entire educational efforts towards Torah alone.
However, do not consider that they do not know, a priori, that through this approach a number [of students] will, G-d forbid, become adversely affected, since they will be unable to withstand this extreme [educational] policy, and as a result separate from the ways of Torah. However, this is the price that must be paid to create gedolei Torah and Yirei Shomayim educated in their Yeshivos. Of course, they must stand guard and do all that is possible to help those who can not remain Bnei Torah, but not in a way that will attract the other students. For example, those that must leave the Yeshiva should become storekeepers or have other jobs that are not considered trades, requiring no training, so as not to attract the [other] students. Those whose strong desire is indeed to learn a trade, and certainly those who choose a profession that requires secular training, should be ignored, so the other students are not ruinously influenced by any one individual's restoration."

The relationship between kids going off the derech and tyhe lack of limudei chol is explicit in R. Dessler's statement. According to him, it is the price that must be paid to create gedolim.

It is this educational philosophy, ingrained in Yeshivos today, the R. Horowitz is up against.

Just last week we covered the requirement that a father teach his son a trade in the Daf Yomi.

Jews, including some rabbis, attended university in Europe back in the time of the rishonim. I am unaware of any rabbinic objection prior to the 19th century. Notwithstanding the above objections of Rav Dessler, there have been, are, and will be in the future many rabbis of great statute with advanced degrees from the best universities.

66

 Nov 11, 2008 at 03:55 PM Another important point Says:

The simple fact is, in almost every Yeshiva that gedolei Torah would endorse, limudei chol has turned into a daily kevius in Chillul Hashem. Bizayon of the English teachers by the bochurim is tolerated, or at best ignored, by the administration. At the same time, since bochurim consistently get the implicit message from their rabbeim that limudei chol has absolutely no chashivus, they actually feel that it is a mitzvah to be mevazeh the English teachers. A line from the vidui of the Chid"a comes to mind: "Kol kach nishtarashnu bechait, kemitzvah techashev be'eineinu"

Chillul Hashem has now become part of the seder hayom in most yeshivas. Imagine a Yeshiva where chillul Shabos would be tolerated. Yet, what is worse - Chillul Shabbos or Chillul Hashem? Is this the way to create gedolim?

67

 Nov 11, 2008 at 03:54 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #48  
Anonymous Says:

What Poland? From the late 1700s till 1918 Poland did not exist! Galicianer knew abit of german but in northern Poland they did not study Russian! But either way where did Hitler come from, Poland or let me guess.... Germany perhaps??

Hitler (may his name be blotted out) was from Austria (not Germany).

68

 Nov 11, 2008 at 03:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Dear #45
don't forget the other part...im ein Torah ein Kemach!
Torah is what kept,keeps and will keep us going until moshiach comes. For a parnossah all you need to do is make a keli for Hashem to fill and most importantly to be happy with what and how much its filled(it could be worse...) Kol hamekayem es Hatorah me-oni...

69

 Nov 11, 2008 at 03:45 PM Anonymous Says:

I would like to know, that if a kid who only speaks english, goes to a shull but, the Rov gives all of his droshers in yiddish and the kid does not understand any thing that the Rov is saying and feels that he has no shichers (connection) to the place, can that also turn him off from yiddishkite. can you find any time in history that the kids did not understand the language what the Rov is speaking? now days this is happening to a large extent In Europe more or less everyone spoke yiddish.

70

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:24 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #65  
Charlie Hall Says:

Just last week we covered the requirement that a father teach his son a trade in the Daf Yomi.

Jews, including some rabbis, attended university in Europe back in the time of the rishonim. I am unaware of any rabbinic objection prior to the 19th century. Notwithstanding the above objections of Rav Dessler, there have been, are, and will be in the future many rabbis of great statute with advanced degrees from the best universities.

I probably should have mentioned that most of those great rabbis that I was referring to earned their rabbinic ordination before they started pursuing their advanced secular degrees.

71

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:24 PM Conservative One Says:

Unfortunately, Rabbi Horowitz is 100% correct. I have seen yungeleit who cannot get decent jobs to earn a decent living for their families because they don't speak English. Some shortsighted people say that he can start his own business so why does he need to know English, well he still needs to talk to salespeople and companies that he wants to buy from and they happen not to talk Yiddish or Hungarian. As far as Deepthinker goes, you evidently do not do much deep thinking. I give our children more credit than you do. I feel that they can learn Limudei Kodesh while also learning how to read and write English. Wake up deepthinker.

72

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
Finally! Says:

There is an interesting story about the Artscroll English gemara related to this thread and Anonymous' (26) comment. Some prominent gedolim were against publication of the Artscroll English Gemara because it might serve as a "crutch" to bochurim, who might never learn how to make a laining in the Gemara. R. Nosson Sherman responded to the criticism, saying that the problem was academic: in a generation or so, no Yeshiva guys would be able to read English anyway!

to # 26 & 30. interesting point. as a matter of fact, when Artscroll came out with thier english gemara, there was a meeting at the Hisachdus Harabonim and they wanted to assur the gemara, until one rov (Rabbi Anshel Katz- Vienner Rov) piped up and said, "what would you rather have? people sitting and having a shiur in watching T.V. because they dont understand the gemara or them learning in the artscroll gemara in english?" No one was able to answer him on that question.
The result of artscroll is that there thousands upon thousands of yidden now learning torah in english, ivrit, spanish, french and russian who would have otherwise not been able to.

73

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #68  
Anonymous Says:

Dear #45
don't forget the other part...im ein Torah ein Kemach!
Torah is what kept,keeps and will keep us going until moshiach comes. For a parnossah all you need to do is make a keli for Hashem to fill and most importantly to be happy with what and how much its filled(it could be worse...) Kol hamekayem es Hatorah me-oni...

#70 says "don't forget the other part...im ein Torah ein Kemach!
Torah is what kept,keeps and will keep us going until moshiach comes. For a parnossah all you need to do is make a keli for Hashem to fill and most importantly to be happy with what and how much its filled(it could be worse...) Kol hamekayem es Hatorah me-oni... ”

So why are the Chareidim starving and relying on handouts? Because in order to become a Keli one needs to work too. Don't forget that Bzayas Apecha Toichal Lechem.

74

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:28 PM Eli Says:

Reply to #37  
Anonymous Says:

It is amazing to see the ignorance of people who are presenting themselves as rabbis, psychologists, or even worse, a combination of the above.

People –my self included- thay use Yiddish all the time, will still count and do their math in English. The reason is actually very simple. In all languages the pronunciation of the numbers are in the same decanting order as the members. For example: 128 will be pronounced as one hundred twenty eight, in English. Or in Hebrew it will be meah esrim ushmona. While in yddish it will be hudred acht un tzvntzig. It starts with the hundred, then the singles, and then back to the tens.

This is the reason that you will see many adopt the number system form their native country. This has absolutely no indication on the language they spoke. Anyone of us that have grandparent of this age or even their own function of speaking Yiddish will realize it immediately. And you don’t even need to be an ‘internet rabbi’ or psychologist.

The way to go is Yiddish all the way, our parents did survived and prospered, so will we. And these rabbis / psychologists will have to use Sigmund Fruede’s junk on those who think from the bottom…

It is well known in field of psychiatry that they believe all of our thought are controlled by particular desires… this is absolutely contrary to Torah thinking, where these thought are not the center of a Jews life.

As some one a couple months away from earning a PhD in psychology, allow me to assure you that your presentation of the discipline's thinking is way off. We do not believe human thought/behavior is controlled only by "desires." To begin, this is only the opinion of one strain of psychology/psychiatry (psychoanalytic). Second, the idea is that we are buffeted by both irrational desires and irrational guilt and our ego reaches a compromise and it is this that we are aware of and that contributes to our behavior. Note, that this theory was put forth by Frued who was from a chassidish background and loosely based this concept on the Yetzer Hara and Yetzer Tov. The American born strand of psychology is more influenced by "empricism" and rejects this notion all together and believes behavior and thought are shaped by genetics and environmental influences. Please do not misrepresent our field with you elementary understanding that you probably heard through a rumor.

In any event, you comment seems irrelevent to the discussion. The question is not whether children should be allow to speak English. Kol Hakovod. The Question is whether they should ALSO learn secular studies such as English grammer, math, basic science..

75

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Some prominent gedolim were against publication of the Artscroll English Gemara because it might serve as a "crutch" to bochurim

SOME? How about ALL gedolim were against the publication except one godol. And many years later when Artscroll was having such success in the fact that people were and still are using it as an aid to learn the gemora with a greater understanding, did gedolim apologize and admit they were wrong.

Imagine if one godol would have gave in to the other 20 artscroll would probably not have had any english gemorahs and the torah world would be in that much more trouble with gemara.

Rabbi krohn had once stated that there is not one shul or yeshiva in the entire world that does not have an artscroll siddur or gemara.

Artscroll has something to be proud of and anyone that ever has an idea of doing something that can help a person learn better should go for it and never listen to the naysayers.

76

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:19 PM a zochan Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

Im a Rebbisher einkel, My father made sure all our sibs spoke a correct english.
I skipped HS and at my fathers urging I went to collage and earned a degree and work now as a professional, I wear a shtramil and no zoken. I make it a point that all my children speak a correct english IN SPITE of the yeshiva education

get rid of your tv and the shtsim in your life bc your kids might make a living but there yidshkat might be out the window
Rember Money comes from Hashem you just have to make a kali
by taking off your beard shows that you think it is your work that makes the money not hashems brocha

77

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:12 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #48  
Anonymous Says:

What Poland? From the late 1700s till 1918 Poland did not exist! Galicianer knew abit of german but in northern Poland they did not study Russian! But either way where did Hitler come from, Poland or let me guess.... Germany perhaps??

You are dead wrong Galicianer knew German well , Cities like Lemberg produced educated and torah imbued Yidden. What you don't know apparently is that the antisemitism flourished in Poland before Hitler and Jews were killed in Poland after the collapse of Nazi German . Rabbi Horowitz is right and you are the proof. Lack of knowledge of history

78

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:12 PM Anonymous Says:

I know Rabbi Horowitz personally. He does a lot of good work and I agree with him on many issues. In this particular case, I have to disagree. The problem of off the derech Jewish youth is a terrible one and B"H there are a lot of good people addressing the issue, they should have continued success and we, each in our own way can and need to do our part. Having said that, anyone without an ax to grind who lives in a well populated Jewish area can take a quick count of the people they know who have at risk children vs the total population of your community and you'll see that although each one is a churban, the problem is B"H not as widespread as people make it out to be. Yisroel Kedoshim Heim and generally speaking families and communities are doing a great job raising our kids. In dealing with and trying to pinpoint reasons for the problem, I think we need to keep in mind that each person is an indivdual, and each situation is different. To say that it's because a lack of proper English or any other single reason does'nt make sense. As previous posters pointed out the problem is just as common in circles where English is spoken and taught fluently. As for the Gemara being written in the language of the land, the Gemara was written in "Jewish Aramaic" which had about as much to do with Aramaic as Yiddish has to do with German. Jews in Poland and Lithuania did not generally speak the language of the land as Jews in Hungary often did. The problem is not a new one and was just as widespread if not worse in previous generations. A little Varemkeit, Ahavas Yisroel, and being Dan Lekaf Zechus (and davening) goes a long way to solve this and most other "issues".

79

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

Litfishe Yeshivas are not better than the Chasidishe ones when it comes to English studies.

You trying to be funny or trying to prove that the schools you attended did not teach English very well?

80

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:56 PM Anonymous Says:

though i generally agree and support rabbi horowitz's views i dont think lack of an education is the reason deter'e for children going off
basically it starts off as a reading problem where if addressd early on can correct many issues related to learning and a child being turned off and not suceeding where he sees his peers suceeding falls behind lacks confidence and falls in with the wrong crowd and gets into a downward out of control mode
i personally went to yeshiva torah vodas same yeshivas as rabbi horowitz and am from the few who didnt graduate hs but had a chavrusa in the afternoon instead as my parents wouldnt let me go hefker but saw i wasnt interested in hs so arranged afternoon chavrusas instead
i bh was zoche to learn many years and when the time came for me to support my family hashem helped me
i started a business from scratch myself w/o a hs education or diploma and have been supporting my growing family kah thru this business
sure its rough out their but then again ive been married 26 years and so far we pushed thru i dont think the lack of a secular education factored in on my earning a parnosa
from being involoved in my childrens chinuch i see the key factor to a child succeeding in school in both limude kodesh as well as limude chol is being able to read
this issue can be detected early on and the earlier one works on kriyah with the child you can in most cases avoid much heart ache and problems later on
the older they get the problems just grow bigger they dont go away!
and as rabbi horowitz says always show your child you love and support him/her listen to them be their for them (key to picking up on problems they may be having)
no matter what happens outside the home at school etc the home should be a secure warm island for a child to come home to hatzlocho to all with your gidul bonim!

81

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
DumDum Says:

1) Who's stopping these boys from learning English after their yeshiva years?

2) How did all those Hungarian/Romainian speakers ever make parnassah in this English speaking country?

3) How about all the Polish/Russian yidden that barely knew a word of Polish/Russian?

3) Rashi may have used Old French words for things that had no word available in the local Yiddish vernacular.

4) To say that the lack of fluency in the English language causes kids to abandon Yiddishkeit, is really stretching it. One can make an argument to the exact opposite.

Rashi spoke yiddish???

82

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Use Your Head Says:

I think this article could be more aptly entitled "Rabbi Horowitz: Kids Abandoning 'Yiddishkeit' Due To Poverty".

Poverty has many causes. Lack of job skills (related to secular education) is one of them, although it is not the only one.

Take a look in chovos halvavos, sha'ar habitachon before expressing opinions on why some people have and some people have not.

83

 Nov 11, 2008 at 05:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

Im a Rebbisher einkel, My father made sure all our sibs spoke a correct english.
I skipped HS and at my fathers urging I went to collage and earned a degree and work now as a professional, I wear a shtramil and no zoken. I make it a point that all my children speak a correct english IN SPITE of the yeshiva education

NO ZOKEN???

Don't your feet get cold in the winter?

84

 Nov 11, 2008 at 04:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #42  
anonymous Says:

A very astute observance . Hungarian Jews, Austrian Jews , Germany Jews ,Lithuanian and Romanian Jews were fluent in their native languages. Polish Jews were not and it contributed to antisemitism

The anti-Semitism of the Polish Christians did not need any contributions.

85

 Nov 11, 2008 at 05:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #65  
Charlie Hall Says:

Just last week we covered the requirement that a father teach his son a trade in the Daf Yomi.

Jews, including some rabbis, attended university in Europe back in the time of the rishonim. I am unaware of any rabbinic objection prior to the 19th century. Notwithstanding the above objections of Rav Dessler, there have been, are, and will be in the future many rabbis of great statute with advanced degrees from the best universities.

best universities??? Most of the Moetzes today probably went to Brooklyn College.

Rav Hutner zatzal was probably the last rosh yeshiva who attended a real university.

86

 Nov 11, 2008 at 05:04 PM Use Your Head Says:

Reply to #68  
Anonymous Says:

Dear #45
don't forget the other part...im ein Torah ein Kemach!
Torah is what kept,keeps and will keep us going until moshiach comes. For a parnossah all you need to do is make a keli for Hashem to fill and most importantly to be happy with what and how much its filled(it could be worse...) Kol hamekayem es Hatorah me-oni...

That means "Anyone who observes the Torah despite poverty will observe it even when he is wealthy." It does not mean that all poor Torah scholars will become rich. Or maybe you live in some alternate universe where that is the case?

87

 Nov 11, 2008 at 05:10 PM vais nisht vos ich red Says:

The people who spoke Hungarian at home generally did not speak Yiddish. BTW I have never seen frum Polish Yidden who spoke Polish among themselves. Most of them did not even understand Polish

88

 Nov 11, 2008 at 05:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #69  
Anonymous Says:

I would like to know, that if a kid who only speaks english, goes to a shull but, the Rov gives all of his droshers in yiddish and the kid does not understand any thing that the Rov is saying and feels that he has no shichers (connection) to the place, can that also turn him off from yiddishkite. can you find any time in history that the kids did not understand the language what the Rov is speaking? now days this is happening to a large extent In Europe more or less everyone spoke yiddish.

Why doesn't the rov speak in English???

89

 Nov 11, 2008 at 05:29 PM Should have stuck to one point Says:

So we should teach our children a language, specifically the one native to the environment in which one they will probably be trying to making a living because if I don’t, I increase the odds for bad developments for my child – drop out of the system rate, crippled in parnasa efforts, chances of a successful home/family/offspring, etc.

That’s touching on several important issues. But only one is indisputable. And the attempt to tie all the issues into one tidy causation package is quite an overreach.

1. Why are today’s youth “at risk:” It is simplistic and naïve to answer this with one shot. Every person’s life experience and DNA are somewhat different. There are similarities and differences between today’s and yesterday’s Judaism and the challenges to it. Two siblings raised identically can go in very different directions.

2. Poverty: It certainly can strain all inter-human relationships – spousal, parent/child, family, social. Strained marriages and families can certainly seed negative reaction to all aspects of the family unit, including religion. But one can be money-poor and happy and have a close-knit, healthy family and relationship.

3. America’s basic school subjects: Teaching these to children can pose a challenge to the anti-assimilation, insular ethos common to most ultra-orthodoxy. But one can teach basic non-Jewish subject in a filtered way that doesn’t threaten the insularity.

But there’s one issue that is indisputable – If you don’t teach a child one language, any language, “mit hent un fis” – with its rules, grammar, spelling, structure – you cripple the child. Period. Language provides the mind the necessary frame with which to handle its thoughts. Not being able to coherently think, organize thought and express oneself will directly (and aversely) affect the way you will do anything logical – social, business, religious, familial, etc.

Yes, yes. Some illiterates become millionaires. And some people win the lottery. For everyone else, logic should prevail. Perhaps we can strip this article down to one most pivotal and fundamental issue for contemporary, ultra-orthodox people: Focus on protection from secular damage should not come at the expense of thoroughly teaching a language. The formal, educational structure common to standardized schooling must be applied to whatever language you want for your children.

Conversational Mameh Loshon is NOT a replacement for this. The fact that English is preferable, doable and should not violate any real fundamentalist custom, is secondary to the point.

90

 Nov 11, 2008 at 05:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #78  
Anonymous Says:

I know Rabbi Horowitz personally. He does a lot of good work and I agree with him on many issues. In this particular case, I have to disagree. The problem of off the derech Jewish youth is a terrible one and B"H there are a lot of good people addressing the issue, they should have continued success and we, each in our own way can and need to do our part. Having said that, anyone without an ax to grind who lives in a well populated Jewish area can take a quick count of the people they know who have at risk children vs the total population of your community and you'll see that although each one is a churban, the problem is B"H not as widespread as people make it out to be. Yisroel Kedoshim Heim and generally speaking families and communities are doing a great job raising our kids. In dealing with and trying to pinpoint reasons for the problem, I think we need to keep in mind that each person is an indivdual, and each situation is different. To say that it's because a lack of proper English or any other single reason does'nt make sense. As previous posters pointed out the problem is just as common in circles where English is spoken and taught fluently. As for the Gemara being written in the language of the land, the Gemara was written in "Jewish Aramaic" which had about as much to do with Aramaic as Yiddish has to do with German. Jews in Poland and Lithuania did not generally speak the language of the land as Jews in Hungary often did. The problem is not a new one and was just as widespread if not worse in previous generations. A little Varemkeit, Ahavas Yisroel, and being Dan Lekaf Zechus (and davening) goes a long way to solve this and most other "issues".

First, todays Yiddish is not the Yiddish that was spoken a few hundred years ago. The original Yiddish was more similar to German (It was a German dialect) than today's Yiddish which has additions of many other languages.In fact some linguists study Yiddish to determine some structures of Old German.
Second how do you know that what relationship Gemara Aramaic had to "Classic " Aramaic."Have you made a study of the language or is it your own " Boch Sevara"

Your attempt to minimize the extent that previous generations learned the language of their country is misplaced.

91

 Nov 11, 2008 at 05:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #58  
Anonymous Says:

"A very astute observance"
Not astute at all. The German jews probably knew & spoke the language better than all the others & if I remember correctly, Nazism began in Germany. To say that Polish anti-semitism was caused by the lack of Jews knowing the language is sheer nonsense.

Matter of fact.... it was the other way around: Due to the fact of anti-semitism the Jews in Poland didn't and couldn't correspond with their gentile neighbors .. which were neither not too educated - the typical polish goy was illiterate ... and in Warsar most gentiles knew Yiddish as well ... The Jews were the heart of the 'Polish economy' so knowing Polish wasn't that necessary to begin with... being that most business affairs were conducted among Jews themselves..

92

 Nov 11, 2008 at 05:19 PM MP Says:

Right On Rabbi Horowitz!

Growing up in a Yiddish speaking house, I liked reading the news and the only newspaper we had was the Yated Ne'eman.

My parents not only discouraged me from it, they actually grabbed the paper saying that its not good for a bochur to read in english.

I later got married and realized the only way to find a good job is to get a professional education. and this is what my father told me.

"You will work for 20 years and then get an upgrade to have your desk next to a window"

I was discouraged by my parents, in-laws, rabbis, community. literally everyone was against the idea of getting an education.

Suffice to say, did the college and have been using my professional experience for the past ten years.

There is no reason our yeshivos shouldn't also have a curriculum for professional studies .

In conclusion, I believe its hard to change an environment where everyone has adapted Yiddish as their first language. I hope its doable.

93

 Nov 11, 2008 at 05:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #74  
Eli Says:

As some one a couple months away from earning a PhD in psychology, allow me to assure you that your presentation of the discipline's thinking is way off. We do not believe human thought/behavior is controlled only by "desires." To begin, this is only the opinion of one strain of psychology/psychiatry (psychoanalytic). Second, the idea is that we are buffeted by both irrational desires and irrational guilt and our ego reaches a compromise and it is this that we are aware of and that contributes to our behavior. Note, that this theory was put forth by Frued who was from a chassidish background and loosely based this concept on the Yetzer Hara and Yetzer Tov. The American born strand of psychology is more influenced by "empricism" and rejects this notion all together and believes behavior and thought are shaped by genetics and environmental influences. Please do not misrepresent our field with you elementary understanding that you probably heard through a rumor.

In any event, you comment seems irrelevent to the discussion. The question is not whether children should be allow to speak English. Kol Hakovod. The Question is whether they should ALSO learn secular studies such as English grammer, math, basic science..

To get the facts straight, Sigmund Freud was never from a Chassidic background at all...in fact, not even Orthodox ..although his father was traditional at one point, he certainly abandoned all customs after moving to Vienna at age 7, and needless to say Freud himself was known as an Atheist.. as indicated in his writings...

94

 Nov 11, 2008 at 06:33 PM Freedom Fighter Says:

Reply to #42  
anonymous Says:

A very astute observance . Hungarian Jews, Austrian Jews , Germany Jews ,Lithuanian and Romanian Jews were fluent in their native languages. Polish Jews were not and it contributed to antisemitism

Ton Anonymous 42 - I believe the holocaust originated in Germany and Austria....

95

 Nov 11, 2008 at 06:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
M. Richter Says:

Without sttiring any conruversy, & without being judgemental or separist. Or anti Litvishe Chasidih, Yeshivish, moderen ETC. I want to chalange his oppinion.
Its a fact that when grab any Chasidish 10 year old boy 9 out of 10 they will sttuter on any english question throwen at them. Vs. You take any Litvish 10 year old they will be most comfortable in the english language.
Now 2 points:
1) To say there's a higher rate of well of Litvish families then Chasidish would be a straight out lie...!
2) We all know where the highest rate of drop out students are... Which has most to do with the Yeshivois & Bais Yakovs throwing the avarage students out on the street & only accepting the cream of the crop...

DO YOU KNOW THIS FOR A FACT?/ DO YOU HAVE THE STATISTICS THAT YOU CAN SAY THIS??? I'M AFRAID YOU DO NOT.

96

 Nov 11, 2008 at 06:41 PM Library Lover Says:

As a teacher for 25+ years, I can tell you that the curriculum has been dumbed down in all our yeshivos, to the point that the kids who DO stay in the system are what I would consider ignorant. This is the fault of the PARENTS and HANHALA, who order Mesorah press books, instead of the classic literature...teach Jewish books instead of SHakespeare, and otherwise, cripple the children's skills..to please the parents, NOT educate the kids...who refuse to see what is going on with our children...and then those who want to actually WORK for a living, later on in life, are scorned and ostracized..
WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! We are our own worst enemy! Save our children from a life of struggle and poverty and get them the education WE are paying for!!!

97

 Nov 11, 2008 at 06:37 PM ein chidush tachas hashemesh Says:

puleeeeeeeeeeease. there is nothing new here. This is what R. samson raphael hirsch espoused with torah im derech eretz to fight the haskala movement.


2nd- kids go off the derech today because their parents are lazy or ignorant and let the yeshivos bring their children up. meanwhile, the parents' values are lost and replaced by a commercialized and impersonal hashkafah that is not tailored to the child, or worse, conflicts with the values of their homes. Further, children learn midos at home, not at school.

I am proud to say that my rebbe moovhuk is my father, and my parents were my best teachers. My home is where I learned my hashkafah.

Parents- wake up and start parenting.

98

 Nov 11, 2008 at 06:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Shaul in Monsey Says:

As an aside, it's curious to note that in Monsey, it clearly appears that YSV is going out of its way to cater to those chassidishe families that have moved "to the left" and are trying to establish new identities in the frum world but outside the chassidish, while Darchei is not doing nearly as much for this new sub-class.

This is true, although YSV is only doing that b/c they lose more students every year..and their Eng. dept. is AWFUL..so this 'catering ' will not save anyone..you missed the point...

99

 Nov 11, 2008 at 06:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #79  
Anonymous Says:

You trying to be funny or trying to prove that the schools you attended did not teach English very well?

I am not trying to be funny. I am trying to point out that the problem is universal by all the heimeshe orthodox jews.

100

 Nov 11, 2008 at 06:57 PM SamTheManBocaRatonFlorida Says:

Reply to #85  
Anonymous Says:

best universities??? Most of the Moetzes today probably went to Brooklyn College.

Rav Hutner zatzal was probably the last rosh yeshiva who attended a real university.

Wrong, and wrong again. Rav Pam was short a few credits erom acollege degree ( Majored in Math). I also believe R' Perlow ( Novominsk) went to college. His Rebbitizen had a degree in Socia Work.

101

 Nov 11, 2008 at 05:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #81  
Anonymous Says:

Rashi spoke yiddish???

Nowhere did I say that Rashi spoke Yiddish. If you reread my post, you will see that it says "local Yiddish vernacular". If you don't understand what that means, look it up.

102

 Nov 11, 2008 at 07:03 PM Freedom Fighter Says:

With all due respect to Rabbi Horowitz - and I do believe a lot of respect is due to him for his invaluable contribution to Chinuch - this article is a gross oversimplification of the many complex challenges facing Chinuch in America.

I do not believe that Rabbi Horowitz thesis accurately reflects the statistics.

Many yeshiva kids are given a wide secular education and fall off the wagon. I am specifically thinking of the more 'modern' yeshivas in Queens and Flatbush.
They have more of their fair share of kids on drugs, etc.

In all probability, all frum communities share a similar proportion of 'kids at risk ' and 'kids off the derech'.

In my experience, children leave the derech when they stop identifying with the community that they grow up in. This may be caused for a number of reasons:

1-Lack of fluency in reading in LOSHON HAKODESH, or difficulty with TEITSH and reading Gemarrah. When they are young, these kids feel embarrassed and inferior. When they get older, they reject the ENTIRE system and seek to educate themselves to prove that they are intelligent. (which they usually are)

2- Lack of 'Zitz Fleish'. The Yeshiva system is very tightly structured and does not allow for kids who are more creative in music and art, (and less in reading and memory) to flourish. Teaching ALL the children, instead of only the top 10%, would help a great deal. Using diverse and creative methods to allow these children to feel like real winners goes a long way.

3- Trouble at Home. Children who grow up with difficult parents, or parents who have no sholom bayis turn their backs to their home as they search for stability. Included in that rejection is the Torah practice of their parents

4- Major illness or financial troubles. Children who live through a close family member who suffers a major illness, loss of a parent, r"l or insecurity in their financial situation, may lack confidence and reject the home as a result.

Finally, children are growing up in an increasingly immoral society that urges giving in to base instincts and instant gratification. They also face hypocrisy from some of the adults around them.

That being said, I do agree with Rabbi Horowitz that we cannot build walls high enough to bar the influences of the outside world to seep in, and instead have to inoculate our children by exposing them to others and explaining them why we reject their point of view. This is the way I was raised, with many non-religious people sharing our shabbos table. We heard their many questions, which in turn my parents answered. We saw their lifestyle, did not judge it, but were taught why we reject it.

I find it hard to swallow that Shakespeare will enhance Yirahs Shomayim.

That being said, Rabbi Horowitz, keep up your good work, and may Hashem bentch you for what you do!

103

 Nov 11, 2008 at 07:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #77  
anonymous Says:

You are dead wrong Galicianer knew German well , Cities like Lemberg produced educated and torah imbued Yidden. What you don't know apparently is that the antisemitism flourished in Poland before Hitler and Jews were killed in Poland after the collapse of Nazi German . Rabbi Horowitz is right and you are the proof. Lack of knowledge of history

I think there was antisemitism in spite of the knowledge of German by Galicianers. My grandfather left galicia since his father wanted to avoid the army P as well as economic reasons

104

 Nov 11, 2008 at 07:53 PM simpe jew Says:

I couldn’t agree more with the previous writer (#102) who made a number of excellent points. I would just like to add the following. If one would rate the reasons for kids going ”off the derech”, and there are many, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give a poor English education a #1 and any type of abuse or molestation a #10. Such abuse not only pushes the child “off”, but creates psychological scares that could last a life time. To Rabbi Horowitz and the editors of this website – please focus your efforts on the BIG issues.

105

 Nov 11, 2008 at 07:16 PM Yonason Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

I agree 100% with the writer of this article. My father A"H, though he worse Shtreimel, Bekeshe and vaaser zokin, make it a major priority in his life, that my brother and I should speak American English with no accent at all. Not even a NY accent. He himself worked on learning a Midwestern version of American English, and both my brother and I learned to speak that way.

Though we had extensive Yeshiva education, he made sure that we had a full high school education, and did not discourage us from getting a college education. He was not in favor of attending college, but learning the material was a good thing in his opinion. He felt that we should be able to carry on conversations with anybody we meet in life.

Today, I am very much like my father. I still wear a Shtreimel, Bekeshe, Kurtz Hoisen/Vaaser Zoken, I sat and learned in yeshiva, and received Yoreh Yoreh, but I can walk into a classroom and teach: mathematics through Calc III, College level: Biology, Chemistry, Physics (classical and modern/quantum), Astronomy, American Literature, Expository Writing, Argumentation and Debate, American History as well as Computer Science, programming in C++, and most popular software packages. I also hold a Private Pilot's certificate, and can build race cars, and drive anything on wheels.

Do I write this to boast? Absolutely not. If anything, I was and still am obsessive about learning all I can about anything. (yes, I still learn Torah too)
I write this to show that the author of the above article is correct. I can proudly walk anywhere in the US, converse with anyone, and not feel inferior. I do not have to abandon my faith and customs to feel equal and accepted. I never need worry about earning a living. No, I am not rich by any means, not even "comfortable" financially. I spend much of my time reading, and less in business. But I have never had to do without what I needed, and could usually afford what I wanted. I am happy.

I never fear not having, because I KNOW I would always be able to earn a living.

I have lived all over the Eastern half of the United States. I have earned a living in so many field, that listing them would not even be believable. But just to give y'all an idea, one year, while living in Alabama, I tutored College Math/Calculus during the evenings, and worked rebuilding engines, alternators, and starters in a machine shop during the day.

The point I am trying to make, is that the more educated we are, but better we feel about ourselves. Many heimishe people I meet are embarrassed to interact with many gentiles, since they know they are semi-literate. When they need to interact, they are uncomfortable and feel inadequate.
So, many feel they need to "be more like them" to feel more comfortable. Hence they start trimming their beards, hiding their payos, changing their clothes, etc., When they travel, they leave their shtreimlech at home. Sure sometimes it is to make it easier to travel, but sometimes, often, it is a symptom of their feeling uncomfortable being who they are. Just like when they travel away from home, and dress like a gentile "until we get home."
But, the dressing is the part we see from the outside. It is when they say yes to their new "friends" and go with them to clubs at night, or don't have the confidence to say, "No, we have to go to a kosher restaurant."

TODAY, education protects the Jew from assimilation.
It is true that years ago it was different. But, today it is true.
Kudos to the author.
(sorry, wife calling me, no time to proof read.)

Interesting - Do you have a CDL- Class A?

106

 Nov 11, 2008 at 07:12 PM Yonason Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

I taught English for many decades and worked in many sorts of Jewish schools. It is fair to say that the message that English is traif is readily communicated by rebbeim to their talmidim in myriad ways. It is not unusual for English teachers to receive phone calls out of the blue from former students who always say, "I am getting married tomorrow and would like mechila from you for my conduct during the time I was in your class." The problems faced by English teachers are hardly of a lesser kind than those that trouble science teachers. Literature is at the heart of any English curriculum and even Shakespeare is not acceptable. The irony often is that the most vociferous opponents of education are parents and rebbeim who were themselves educated in an earlier time (though this is quickly becoming less and less the case with the younger rebbeim).

Well said . . . A great many years ago I once heard disrespectful behavior by bochurim in their late afternoon English classes excused, by their menahel, with "...Yonason, they learn all day and they're tired..." I could have plotzed.

107

 Nov 11, 2008 at 07:11 PM SamTheManBocaRatonFlorida Says:

Reply to #85  
Anonymous Says:

best universities??? Most of the Moetzes today probably went to Brooklyn College.

Rav Hutner zatzal was probably the last rosh yeshiva who attended a real university.

Some spelling errors corrected.

Wrong, and wrong again. Rav Pam was short a few credits from acollege degree ( Majored in Math). I also believe R' Perlow ( Novominsk) went to college. His Rebbitizen had a degree in Social Work.

108

 Nov 11, 2008 at 08:15 PM Eli Says:

Reply to #93  
Anonymous Says:

To get the facts straight, Sigmund Freud was never from a Chassidic background at all...in fact, not even Orthodox ..although his father was traditional at one point, he certainly abandoned all customs after moving to Vienna at age 7, and needless to say Freud himself was known as an Atheist.. as indicated in his writings...

I did not say he was frum. Quite the opposite, he was anti-religious. But historians claim he has some knowledge of Jewish theology and norms and strongly influenced his writings. Another example (besides the yetzer hara one): Frueds concept of the therapist who has special knowledge and insight, and ability to make "interpretations" that laymen cannot, was likely drawn from the jewish tradition of the Rebbe who has special insight and ability to see beneath the surface. Again, this is as opposed to the strain of psychology born in America (CBT) where the patient is is viewed as an equal collaborator to the therapist. The therapist helps the patient explore his cognitions and behaviors to see if they are adaptive/rational, but the final decision rests with the patient. (this is not the case with REBT, another american strain of psychology - also started by a jew [Ellis]). Frueds theories were heavily influenced by jewish thought and philosophy. Like so many disciplines, Jews made a tremendous contribution to the feild of mental health. Whether one agrees with Frued or not, his theories were the precursor to modern psychotherapy (along with an individual named Witner). Be proud, our contributions can be seen in every feild. Again though, to get to my original point in the first post. Dont misrepresent psychology. This is improtant because frum jews often refuse therapy believing it stands against everything they believe in. 1) i does not. 2) frueds ideas are but one strain of psychology and there are many other alternatives.

109

 Nov 11, 2008 at 08:13 PM Anonymous Says:

I beg to differ on this one Rabbi Horowitz. As with any study, did you take into account other mitigating factors?
Perhaps our children are going off because they were never on the derech.
Many many heimishe homes that run the gamut from Litvish to Chasidish, are keeping Hashem's mitzvos because their parents told them to. Others, because the gaas geit reden.

Perhaps if we got to the root cause of our chinuch problems we could fix this mess.

Teach our children and adults to love and fear Hashem. The study of Chassidus (not just for Chasidim only) is an excellent weapon in today's world. It explains the incredible love that Hashem has for His children and the world at large.
Hashem is waiting for His children to return to him. Let's get started now.

110

 Nov 11, 2008 at 08:10 PM Anonymous Says:

to #104

I do not know if you are aware, but Rabbi Horowitz has been one of the leading voices speaking out about child abuse. VIN has posted many columns from him on that subject.

And VIN has done a great service to our community by writing about abuse -- while Yated/Hamodia write about which rebbe visited the other.

111

 Nov 11, 2008 at 08:22 PM Former Mechanech Says:

Reply to #14  
the ONLY reason Says:

kids are abandoning Yiddishkeit for one reason.

THE ADULTS. The hypocrisy they see in the teachers Rosh yeshivas and parents, that's all.

let me say it again.

THE ADULTS. The hypocrisy they see in the teachers Rosh yeshivas and parents, that's all.


When the adults get their act together everything will straighten out. Its got nothing at all to do with English etc.

When the children will see AND feel adults who are truly proud of their YIddishkeit and walk the talk they preach in Yeshivois and shuls - when the children see adults who are worth aspiring and learning from , the children will want to keep the path of Yidishkeit.

BRAVO! Well said. I left chinuch when I realized that 60% of the job is undoing the damage that parents do by being bad roll models. Kids are smart, they see when parents don't practice what they preach to the kids,and they become very cynical.

112

 Nov 11, 2008 at 08:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #100  
SamTheManBocaRatonFlorida Says:

Wrong, and wrong again. Rav Pam was short a few credits erom acollege degree ( Majored in Math). I also believe R' Perlow ( Novominsk) went to college. His Rebbitizen had a degree in Socia Work.

The Noviminsker has a degree in English from Brooklyn College.

113

 Nov 11, 2008 at 08:33 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
DumDum Says:

1) Who's stopping these boys from learning English after their yeshiva years?

2) How did all those Hungarian/Romainian speakers ever make parnassah in this English speaking country?

3) How about all the Polish/Russian yidden that barely knew a word of Polish/Russian?

3) Rashi may have used Old French words for things that had no word available in the local Yiddish vernacular.

4) To say that the lack of fluency in the English language causes kids to abandon Yiddishkeit, is really stretching it. One can make an argument to the exact opposite.

Many Polish yidden didn't speak Polish, because as my father, (who is Polish and does speak Polish) says, "Goyim spoke Polish. At home, we only spoke Yiddish.")

114

 Nov 11, 2008 at 09:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #95  
Anonymous Says:

DO YOU KNOW THIS FOR A FACT?/ DO YOU HAVE THE STATISTICS THAT YOU CAN SAY THIS??? I'M AFRAID YOU DO NOT.

if these statistics can be proven would u go out and get an english education . would you end your kids to go get an education or is it that all u can say is that it was never proven and there fore it cant be true?

115

 Nov 11, 2008 at 10:24 PM Anonymous Says:

The problem isn't so much the English curriculum in the Boys Chedarim as much as the fact that the boys think that English classes is the time when you can have fun, do trouble...

My husband was an English teachers worst nightmare.

Basically on his own he learned how to read. As soon as I had my first child he left Kollel, got a GED and went to school to learn a profession and graduated with the highest grades in his class. He built up an excellent English vocabulary through reading a lot, to the point that he is an excellent writer and some of his writings have appeared in goyishe newspapers.

I guess what I'm trying to say that it really depends on the will of a person. A person will come up with any excuse and blame everyone for things that really are up to him.

116

 Nov 11, 2008 at 10:12 PM AMG Says:

Reply to #19  
DumDum Says:

1) Who's stopping these boys from learning English after their yeshiva years?

2) How did all those Hungarian/Romainian speakers ever make parnassah in this English speaking country?

3) How about all the Polish/Russian yidden that barely knew a word of Polish/Russian?

3) Rashi may have used Old French words for things that had no word available in the local Yiddish vernacular.

4) To say that the lack of fluency in the English language causes kids to abandon Yiddishkeit, is really stretching it. One can make an argument to the exact opposite.

the eastern european yidden who did not know polish and russian could not make a living at their best they left europe to live in other countries where they worked on shabbos and many of them became embittered enemies of torah who made parties on yom kippor in new york they had newspapers such as the freiheit and the foward were they ridiculed the holy torah, unlike jews of central and western europe who were obsevant did not abandon torah obsevance

117

 Nov 11, 2008 at 11:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #45  
Use Your Head Says:

Im ein kemach, ein Torah.

Derech Eretz Kadma L'Torah

Torah Im Derech Eretz!!

Both are needed to sustain life.

Dont forget about the Yisachar/Zevulun relationship. One learned and the other was a businessman who supported the other monetarily.

118

 Nov 11, 2008 at 11:25 PM ezras nashim Says:

No one is talking about the fact that our dear high-school daughters are so inundated with information by underpaid and underperforming teachers and moros that the Bais Yaakov feels like a hostile environment instead of a place where kedushas Yisroel is the subject of study! Worse, many of our old-fashioned teachers actually BELIEVE that it's part of their job to "catch" girls in minor infractions. Feh! Too much empty memorization and mindless play-back ... not enough questioning, delving, asking the girls to be a part of the discovery process. Torah becomes an academic subject and we wonder why so many girls lose the "dveikus" of their elementary-school days! (And don't think I'm just blathering personal grievances: I'm a 12th-grade BY teacher and eim habanim semaicha who is devastated to see what a poor fit our schools are. HELP! Can anyone stand up and save our children?

119

 Nov 12, 2008 at 01:35 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #88  
Anonymous Says:

Why doesn't the rov speak in English???

look at comment #44 where the yeshivas
learn or teach in yiddish ,where the person says he struggled from the age of 15-25 because he didn't know yiddish .do you think that the average kid who goes to shull is going to struggle what the Rov is saying ?I don't think so.

120

 Nov 12, 2008 at 12:57 AM Frum English Speaker Says:

A Torah-observant Jew,male or female,MUST be fluent in the language of his host country. That does not mean he should not know Yiddish.Yiddish is spoken mostly by those Eastern European Jews whose ancestors came from German speaking towns and kept their language so that the Goyim in there new country would not understand them when they spoke with other Jews. Language binds people together if spoken the same way.Just wearing a beard.long peyos,and big black hat does not make one frum. Speaking English in the USA is important for everyone. Bad role models like rebbis,parents,fellow shul-goers,businessmen who do not respect what is right are even worse for children to cause them to off the derech. Rabbi Horovitz is 100 % correct but not enough reasons for the problems have been treated.

121

 Nov 12, 2008 at 12:34 AM Ehrlicher Yid Says:

Hello,....Rabbi Horowitz, you are blaming kids leaving the fold due to lack of English Education?? Good try, cause that is NOT one of the reasons! I should know my brother left the fold and he had the BEST English Education! He was always rebellious and decided he didnt want yiddishkeit "shoved" down his throat! Now after 50 years he has decided to turn his life around and is slowly starting to keep Shabbos and all that he threw away, so dont blame, the "Lack of English" the Yeshivos, the Rabaiim, The parents etc. etc. It is within the "Kid" themselves! After researching these "at risk : kids what I came to the conclusion is that: 1. These kids cant stand to be told what to do! 2. They want to do what THEY want, When They want, and How they want! They refuse to obey rules! They blame everyone for their problems but themselves! If you want to prove what I am saying is right, just look at the families they are coming from. Most of the time all the other kids who are growing up in the same household are frum, and are doing fine, however it is just this "one at risk kid" making the problems! That kid is "troubled". That kid can't conformj! That kid doesnt fit in! Ask the parents, they will all tell you the same thing. This "at risk kid of mine was always "different" from the rest of my kids!

122

 Nov 12, 2008 at 12:25 AM Anonymous Says:

ok English is treif, kids today have to learn, learn & learn. with all this learning going on where are all the great talmidei chachomim to teach the klal about Choshen Mishput how to do business in a non krum fashion, where are the gedolim to teach yidden how to behave bein udom lechaveiro and where are are the tzadikim to teach klal yisroel the meaning of a chilul hashem. learning is great but you got to practice what you preach. case in point I daven Friday night in a small shteibel that does not have enough seats for the latecomers. Over the past 6 months not once did any yeshiva kid and mind you from only the top top yeshivas, ever get up for an adult.if not for the fact that I have trained my 13 year old to get he would be no better off than the rest of our future "gedolim"

123

 Nov 11, 2008 at 11:57 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #100  
SamTheManBocaRatonFlorida Says:

Wrong, and wrong again. Rav Pam was short a few credits erom acollege degree ( Majored in Math). I also believe R' Perlow ( Novominsk) went to college. His Rebbitizen had a degree in Socia Work.

Many, if not most, of the Roshei Yeshivot at the Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Theological School affiliated with Yeshiva University have advanced secular degrees.

124

 Nov 11, 2008 at 11:48 PM Anonymous Says:

I disagree with most of you, I started my first job 12 years ago at a goish company did not speak a word english, I took on the challange learned on the job and became very successful, I got promoted many times during the years swithched jobs for better positions, now I am an executive in a multi-million dollar company. I hire lots of yungeliet out of kolel becouse I believe they are the best. All I am looking for is to be honest and respectful. It worked for me and is working for others as well.
Those drop outs can only blame themselves, they use chinuch as an excuse, the perants are doing the most for the kids. The best exemple,most drop outs have brothers and sisters who are not drop outs. Why? They got the same chinuch.

125

 Nov 11, 2008 at 11:32 PM Anonymous Says:

we in America can debate this point till we are blue in the face but the fact of the matter is that in Europe the heimesher oilem can speak the language of the land.just came back from Eretz Yisroel on British Air flight that was full of Chasidisher and Litvisher families returning to England from a simcha. They all spoke a perfect English unlike their American brothers who can't speak a complete English sentence.we should be ashamed of the poor quality students our yeshivas are producing. just spend 15 minutes at Cope or Machone
Laparnasa and you would be shocked how illiterate our kids are. its funny they can all use cell phones,email and know the latest shtick but to fill out a basic form they can barely get past filling out their name.

126

 Nov 12, 2008 at 05:41 AM A Former Touro College Student Says:

Here comes Touro College to the rescue!
> Dr. Lander foresaw this 30 years ago
>Kol Torah Sh'ein Imoh M'locho Sofo B'teilo
>Why should someone who knows 700 blatt of Gemara Baal Peh end up working
for peanuts? at minimum wage. And then become bitter, and, etc.....

>In Touro:
>You learn technical knowledge without Apikorses
>You have a choice of separate classes for men and woman
> You come out with a respectable degree
> Chasidim with long payos become EXCELLENT CPAs
> Or Physician's Assistants
> Or Occupational/Physical Therapists
> Or become a Pharmacist
> The choices are too long to enumerate
> Any other Touro College graduates speak up!
>Check it out at www.touro.edu

127

 Nov 12, 2008 at 05:05 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #116  
AMG Says:

the eastern european yidden who did not know polish and russian could not make a living at their best they left europe to live in other countries where they worked on shabbos and many of them became embittered enemies of torah who made parties on yom kippor in new york they had newspapers such as the freiheit and the foward were they ridiculed the holy torah, unlike jews of central and western europe who were obsevant did not abandon torah obsevance

Not knowing Polish contributed to the Jews' isolation and poverty. How did immigrants make a living?
First of all , SOME became wealthy factory ownwers and employed the rest. But my father , a Holocaust survivor , always pushed us kids to learn English. He warned us:
NEVER GO TO WORK IN A FACTORY. BECOME PROFESSIONALS AND DON"T WORK LIKE A FERD ...LIKE.ME

128

 Nov 12, 2008 at 08:52 AM chezkee Says:

I have been a teacher for the past 20 years. Many years ago I told rabbanim & parents what would happen to our kinderlach if we don't stop demonizing Lemudai Chol. Their answer was to take children out of some english subjects for extra gemorah learning. Soon english was no longer mandatory. Thanks to our Rabbonim & Gedolim today we have this generation at risk.
Thank you Rabbi Horowitz for your efforts. Hashem Will repay you!!!!

129

 Nov 12, 2008 at 10:32 AM anonymous Says:

Reply to #128  
chezkee Says:

I have been a teacher for the past 20 years. Many years ago I told rabbanim & parents what would happen to our kinderlach if we don't stop demonizing Lemudai Chol. Their answer was to take children out of some english subjects for extra gemorah learning. Soon english was no longer mandatory. Thanks to our Rabbonim & Gedolim today we have this generation at risk.
Thank you Rabbi Horowitz for your efforts. Hashem Will repay you!!!!

The result is that many "yungeleit" cannot enter the working market not because of antisemitism or lack of accomodation to religious belief but due to lack of training for highly skilled of professional position.

130

 Nov 12, 2008 at 10:42 AM From England Says:

Brilliant article.

The point about the first language is very true - if you work with fluently English speaking Japanese accountants, all their calculations are done in Japanese! I think the answers are the same though.

Careful examination of early sources seem to indicate that in the time of the Geonim and the golden eras in Spain and Italy (following either the Geonim of Eretz Yisroe or Bavel respectively, mainly due to political reasons) parnossa and learning went hand in hand. Those of Provence, however, seemed to have adopted a different path, possibly due ghettoisation, where going out of the ghetto into the wider world, put the individual at risk of many problems - antisemitism, conversion, etc.

The current mode of Yiddishkeit appears to follow this latter line - so that everyone doing "honest work" is frowned upon - as everyone should be learing 25 (not an error)hours a day.

In closing this comment, I would refer you to Shiras Rav Hai Geon (a poem/song containing dinim, musar and hanhoggos) wherein he uses the expression "Noh" (please) in the phrase asking that children should be taught (or for the modern day, equipped) melachah. I'm not sure who today could really disregard the words of Rav Hai Geon.

131

 Nov 12, 2008 at 10:37 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #128  
chezkee Says:

I have been a teacher for the past 20 years. Many years ago I told rabbanim & parents what would happen to our kinderlach if we don't stop demonizing Lemudai Chol. Their answer was to take children out of some english subjects for extra gemorah learning. Soon english was no longer mandatory. Thanks to our Rabbonim & Gedolim today we have this generation at risk.
Thank you Rabbi Horowitz for your efforts. Hashem Will repay you!!!!

Interesting note to this and other comments - The mesivta of the Philadelphia Yeshiva does not allow bochrim to play games with secular studies and any grade or midos that would get you bounced out of the yeshiva during lemudai kodesh will get you bounced during secular studies too.

Also, bochrim who are 'too frum' to earn a high school diploma are free to skip 12th grade secular studies. Elsewhere.

132

 Nov 12, 2008 at 03:14 PM JOE Says:

OUR MESORAH CAN NOT BE CHANGED. MY REBAIM TOUGHT ME THE MORE THE SEPERATION BETWEEN US AND THE GOYING THE BETTER. THIS IS APIKORSUS. ENOUGH WITH COLLEGE REMEDIES FOR OUR YIDDISHKEIT! IF I DID NOT KNOW ENGLISH THIS CURSED INTERNET WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE TO ME . 99% OF OUR PROBLEMS WITH BE SOLVED IF WE DID AS OUR ANCESTORS DID . WE SPOKE YIDDISH ,LADINO ETC AS A PROTECTION. CHASSIDIM WHO SPEAK A BROKEN ENGLISH DO BETTER IN BUSINESS THAN COLLEGE GRADS . WE NEED ONLY OUR TORAH ,NOTHING ELSE .

133

 Nov 12, 2008 at 03:43 PM ZM Says:

I agree with the concept expressed inprevious comment that off the derech kids mainly stem from THE PARENTS (AND sometimes EDUCATORS) NOT SETTING GOOD EXAMPLES and not handling themselves properly; including doing everything religious by rote and not not letting the kids know that they are loved unconditionally.

That being said, Rabbi Horowitz makes a valid and strong point as usual.

134

 Nov 12, 2008 at 06:45 PM From England Says:

Reply to #132  
JOE Says:

OUR MESORAH CAN NOT BE CHANGED. MY REBAIM TOUGHT ME THE MORE THE SEPERATION BETWEEN US AND THE GOYING THE BETTER. THIS IS APIKORSUS. ENOUGH WITH COLLEGE REMEDIES FOR OUR YIDDISHKEIT! IF I DID NOT KNOW ENGLISH THIS CURSED INTERNET WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE TO ME . 99% OF OUR PROBLEMS WITH BE SOLVED IF WE DID AS OUR ANCESTORS DID . WE SPOKE YIDDISH ,LADINO ETC AS A PROTECTION. CHASSIDIM WHO SPEAK A BROKEN ENGLISH DO BETTER IN BUSINESS THAN COLLEGE GRADS . WE NEED ONLY OUR TORAH ,NOTHING ELSE .

Sorry - our ancestors spoke the language of their country and sometimes did not understand Hebrew (hence the need for the meturgamen for krias haTorah).

In addition, it was necessary for the Sanhedrin to understand the evidence presented to them without any interpreters - this implies that neither Hebrew nor Aramaic was used by everyone.

Jews from Arabic lands generally spoke Ivrit and fluent Arabic. I believe that the Jews of Italy and Spain spoke their native tongues - this is implied by their ability to have reached high positions during the golden ages.

However, in France, Germany, Poland, ghetto life made it difficult to learn the native tongue or secular knowledge.

I, therefore, question you rebbe's source for his statement.

135

 Nov 13, 2008 at 12:49 AM Ploni Says:

The reason teenage boys are running away from Yiddishkeit is:

1. They do not know, after 11 or 12 or more years of school, how to read and comprehend Hebrew, the language of our faith and wisdom;
2. They do not know--and are therefore resentful of--how to learn the Gemara;
3. They cannot bear the thought that these two personal realities will determine the character of the rest of their lives;
4. They fear their future financial lives and would rather channel their energies into blending with the mainstream.

136

 Nov 13, 2008 at 01:14 AM Anonymous Says:

he Chovos HaLevavos was written in Arabic because that was the most spoken language of the Jews at the time (11th century).

137

 Nov 13, 2008 at 06:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
Anonymous Says:

It is amazing to see the ignorance of people who are presenting themselves as rabbis, psychologists, or even worse, a combination of the above.

People –my self included- thay use Yiddish all the time, will still count and do their math in English. The reason is actually very simple. In all languages the pronunciation of the numbers are in the same decanting order as the members. For example: 128 will be pronounced as one hundred twenty eight, in English. Or in Hebrew it will be meah esrim ushmona. While in yddish it will be hudred acht un tzvntzig. It starts with the hundred, then the singles, and then back to the tens.

This is the reason that you will see many adopt the number system form their native country. This has absolutely no indication on the language they spoke. Anyone of us that have grandparent of this age or even their own function of speaking Yiddish will realize it immediately. And you don’t even need to be an ‘internet rabbi’ or psychologist.

The way to go is Yiddish all the way, our parents did survived and prospered, so will we. And these rabbis / psychologists will have to use Sigmund Fruede’s junk on those who think from the bottom…

It is well known in field of psychiatry that they believe all of our thought are controlled by particular desires… this is absolutely contrary to Torah thinking, where these thought are not the center of a Jews life.

I have been living in Israel for over twenty years, and I have become a totally fluent Hebrew speaker. I even dream in Hebrew sometimes. Nevertheless, when I count, I count in English. I have many non-native Israeli Hebrew speaking friends, and I have noticed that all of them count in their native tongue. Sorry- you are WRONG!

138

 Nov 14, 2008 at 07:44 AM matzahlocal101 Says:

Reply to #137  
Anonymous Says:

I have been living in Israel for over twenty years, and I have become a totally fluent Hebrew speaker. I even dream in Hebrew sometimes. Nevertheless, when I count, I count in English. I have many non-native Israeli Hebrew speaking friends, and I have noticed that all of them count in their native tongue. Sorry- you are WRONG!

I've know this for years. Even if an American is reading a hebrew article out loud, when he comes to a year 1945, he'll read it in English. That Aside, Rabbi Horowitz is trying to find something to blame and he's wrong. There are many other problems before language.

139

 Nov 14, 2008 at 12:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #138  
matzahlocal101 Says:

I've know this for years. Even if an American is reading a hebrew article out loud, when he comes to a year 1945, he'll read it in English. That Aside, Rabbi Horowitz is trying to find something to blame and he's wrong. There are many other problems before language.

He wasn't blaming the (lack of) language skills. He is blaming the lack of life skills and parnosah skills when the boys get out of yeshiva and wake up from their dreams of marrying Reichman's daughter.

Yes, parnosah comes only from the borai olam but yogiya kapechoh tochel ashrechah v'tiv loch.

140

 Nov 16, 2008 at 01:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #50  
Anonymous Says:

have u done studies on this subject how large was your sample that you observed was there a contrfol group you'd be shocked to find out that results from a study group are totally different than an "observation" or a hunch your guesses are irrelevant to studied reality

excellent observation

141

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