Sunday, March 13, 2005

Rabbi Vs. Rebbetzin

Last night, as I was sitting on the comfortable chairs in the Ramada lobby with my parents, waiting for the stupid fries, I remembered a mid-night discussion we once had in our Yeshiva dorm. I had something stuck in my throat, so let me cough it out. Here goes.

There was a long table full of screeching sem girls. They where all having their time of their lives. A sem night-off to the fancy restaurant, what more could they wish for? Oh, I just forgot a minor detail. Between the giggling 18 year olds I spotted one, dressed in a black hat. With a beard!? Oh, he is the Rabbi. That's how you call them in Sem, Rabbis right?

Now. Leis Maan Depalig that the Rabbis in Sem aren't the Holy of the Holyest Sweetest of the Sweetest, right? I mean, when was the last time you saw a Sem-Rabbi between the Gedolim-pics in Hamodia's center? Huh? These Sem-Rabbis are normal human beings. They aren't Kedoishim, Malochim Elyonim neither. You think he is Ausgearbet? You think he has all his wants and desires fixed up, Betachlis Hashleimus? If so, could I please have his address, I would love to bring him a kvittel! Oh, and maybe he could be my nephews Sandek, this coming Monday morning. (Mazal Tov, only Simchas!)

Now please explain me; how can a Frum Rabbi sit in front of 25 girls all day, speak to those girls all day, educate does girls all day, and not be oiver any lav? I guess they know some trick of the trade. Maybe they can teach it to me, I would love to have the word girl washed out of my mind... I do not have scenes of rape and subduction flying thru my young head at this particular moment. Chas vesholom, the Rosh HaSem surely isn't that bad. But... What was the name of the Heavenly Tanna who got punished when he asked a women for directions? Ok, you are right, God does judge Tsaddikim differently. But still; can he treat Rachel, the petite gorgeous blonde in the same way as he treats Shlomptse? How can he be a fair and erlecher Rabbi, I wonder...

So you might say; it's for chinuch so he has a hetter for all his aveirelech. Eeeum, no. What's wrong having a female teacher and educator? They wont have all the difficulties and problems the male might have inside those high Sem walls. Now forget about Judaism a second. Don't females understand females better than males do? Us males need to read books about the differences between Mars and Venus, but Venus understands Venus. And if males can educate better, why aren't they solely males in Sem. Who needs the other females?!

So how for heavens sake can a Frum male educate Jewish teenage girls? He has such a hard job. He may not have any negieus, he may not flirt, he may not stare, he may not have any cassual chit-chat talk, etc etc. How the hell does he manage?

Now, if I would be right, all the Gedolim would be busy with it. That's not the case. They have more important things, like strawberrys, cell-phones and sience books. I guess they think it's ok. Right? Our Gedolim are no Ketanim, they know what they are doing (Read: banning). So I am wrong. Most definately wrong, I am nothing but a little Yingele. Or am I right? Huh?


  • Thanks for dropping by my site! I like yours. I'm subscribing!

    By Blogger Jen, at Sunday, March 13, 2005 8:38:00 PM  

  • yo bro like it a lot.

    By Blogger b. boy, at Sunday, March 13, 2005 11:25:00 PM  

  • Yingele, you know what it's like?
    They say if you are born with a lust for spilling blood, you can become a Shochet, or even better, a Mohel...

    Same can be said for those guys born to be womanizers....

    By Blogger Hoezentragerin, at Sunday, March 13, 2005 11:45:00 PM  

  • While I can not speak for male teachers, as I am female, I will explain a little something. While there are many women who are very learned, and have amazing teaching abilities, there are no recognized female rabbis in the Orthodox Seminary circles. Throughout HS my teachers for English, Math, Science etc... were all female, for many Judaic classes we had male Rabbis. We did have some rabbis who would not look at us, some who took off their glasses, we even had a rabbi who used the backsteps so he wouldn't be on the girls HS steps... In seminary too, we had many female teachers, but for Halacha & Hashkafa, it's Rabbis people want to learn from.

    By Blogger 2R, at Monday, March 14, 2005 1:42:00 AM  

  • Firstly, these are not bochrim but married men. Secondly, I am under the impression but as one grows up ones tyvos change - momon then on to kovod. Of course, some people can cope with different situations better than others. Some of our Rabbeim would also teach in sems, while another admitted to us quite frankly that he would not be able to stand one day teaching in a sem. There are some guys who do not have their head in their pants (their whole life)!

    By Blogger Karl, at Monday, March 14, 2005 2:14:00 AM  

  • I see your point, really I do. I don't know what guys' minds are like, to tell you the truth, so I can't say for sure that as men get older they can be more in control of their Y"Hs. I don't know.

    But coming from the girl's side...It's important for girls to have Rabbanim at sem...First of all, for them to ask shaylos, but second of all to be able to see what a "product of yeshiva" is like, and not to constantly think "awww, they're not so smart...They just sit around all day and don't learn anything anyway." Sorry, but some of them definitely do! And we finally see that in sem, and develop an appreciation for those who have acquired even THAT much Torah...Kal V'chomer a gadol who has been learning and working on himself 100 times more...

    At least, that's my own take on the subject.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, March 14, 2005 6:17:00 AM  

  • Yingele - Kol Ha'posel B'mumo Posel!

    These rebbeim in seminaries are not hormonally-overcharged sixteen year olds. They are secure, married men with large families.
    Don't assume that just because you feel overcome by your tayva problems, everyone does (and always will).

    As a person perfects himself, the yetzer hara moves on to bigger and more subtle things.
    Also, many of the rebbeim who teach in sems are extremely carefully to draw a certain line with relations to the girls - not laughing to much, not discussing personal issues in class. They will usually mention their wives quite frequently.

    And secondly, NO a Rebbetzin would not be sufficient. These girls need a Rov who they can look up to and respect. If you want to know why Hashem made Rabbonus a male-only profession, send a letter to the Lord himself.

    I thought you were beyond this naarishkeit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, March 14, 2005 12:05:00 PM  

  • Anon; "These rebbeim in seminaries are not hormonally-overcharged" so they don’t have any Issur, right? So why did God punish the Tanna who asked for directions? Or maybe is your venerable Rabbi holier than the Tanaim and Amoraim?!

    "Hashem made Rabbonus" who the hell is talking here about Rabbonus? We are talking about Dinim lessons... You have a sheila? Go and ask your female teacher and she will call the rabbi. Oh, and when was the last time you saw a poisek sitting in front of a sem-class? Huh?

    Looking forward to your next comment, hopefully with a tiny drop more logic than your previous one.

    Oh, and a Kol Ha'posel B'mumo HuPosel to you too!

    By Blogger yingele, at Monday, March 14, 2005 2:24:00 PM  

  • I don't agree with you on this one. Sorry. As a female is growing up it is important for her to have Rabbis as teachers. They might not understand her, but they are compassionate for her as well. Because they do not understand her they might actually be there to help. Are you saying that it should be assur for men to have anything to do with women at all? I think that is crazy.
    I feel that as an adult and as a person who is passed his young teen age years can have a relationship with a young girl, like a teacher and students. Not one on one, but always in the open. The men teachers can be good with a group. When they have an issue with tznius because the girls do not realise (or maybe they do) how they are dressed they will make sure it changes by the next day. He will go the female principle and let her do the talking as it is not tzinius for him to say it. He is not blind. He is not dead. He just will contain himself and go on with what he needs to do. He, the Rabbi teacher will teach the girls and help them. There is a need for the girls to see the Rabbis and to understand that there is someone who can try to understand them.
    Not everyone acts on his taivos, that is what makes one guy better than the next!

    By Blogger BasTorah, at Monday, March 14, 2005 6:31:00 PM  

  • Bastorah, I appreciate your comments, but could you please try to explain me this;

    "Because they do not understand her they might actually be there to help." Could you please clarify.

    "Are you saying that it should be assur for men to have anything to do with women at all? I think that is crazy. " You should post that on Gods blog. It's crazy, but it's Gods will. Please do correct me if I'm wrong.

    By Blogger yingele, at Monday, March 14, 2005 6:50:00 PM  

  • Okay let me take your logic one step at a time.

    a) Since a Tanna was held to a higher standard of behaviour (l'fnim meshuras HaDin), this must also apply to a Seminary Rabbi.

    b) Seminary girls do not require a Rav who is in a position of Rabbonus.

    I would like you to take a look at Yoreh De'ah 195 (see the Shach and Pleisi there)

    Obviously contact is permitted between men and women if it is in a professional context.

    There is NO issur for example for a male doctor to ask questions (and even in certain circmstances to TOUCH) to a woman if it is within the parameters of his job.

    The exact same thing applies to a male teacher.

    Now, of course a woman should patronize a female doctor (if she will provide the EXACT same level of care), but if none is available, she is completely permitted, and indeed encouraged, to go to a man.

    Since a Rabbi's job in seminary cannot be done by a woman (i.e. position of halachic authority), it is necessary and as such completely muttar for him to do the job.

    I'm glad you came up with such a gevaldik chiddush. Why don't you try opening up a Shulchan Aruch next time you want to know the halacha?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, March 14, 2005 10:32:00 PM  

  • Dearest Anon;
    You keep amusing me! That comparison of the sick nidda on her deathbed to a teacher in school. Hahahaha, I am still rolling.

    "Since a Tanna was held to a higher standard of behaviour (l'fnim meshuras HaDin)" That's a nice piece of Kfirah you freshly produced. One sec, I have R'Matisyahu Salomon on the line.

    Oh and would you like your daughter to be the one concerning this headline; --A.R., 24, of Grove End Road, carried out the sex attacks at a top Jewish school where he taught religious education, it is alleged.--

    By Blogger yingele, at Monday, March 14, 2005 11:42:00 PM  

  • It's nice that you're asking questions and somewhat challenging the status quo, but if you think that it's God's will that men and women not have anything to do with each other, you still have a lot of deprogramming to do. It's not God's will. It's the will of fundamentalist elements in the frum world that have managed to successfuly convince the masses that it is The Torah Way(TM). When you are fully able to accept that, you'll be in a much better place.

    Putting that aside, I don't think the rabbis in seminary issue is totally innocuous either, but for somewhat different reasons than you've stated.

    By Blogger The Hedyot, at Tuesday, March 15, 2005 5:42:00 PM  

  • I don't think it's appropriate that the sem rabbi went out to a restuarant with "his" girls. That might indicate that other things are wrong in the picture. It's OK for him to teach them, speak to them as long as they're not secluded, have them over for shabbos, but he needs to keep his boundaries straight. Going out to eat with them is inappropriate.

    By Blogger batdina, at Tuesday, March 15, 2005 7:55:00 PM  

  • i dont know what is going on in any particular seminary.

    in my hs, we had male teachers. it was fine. there was one young guy that a few girls had crushes on (i doubt he returned much of it, but he was more MO- chofetz chaim type) and mostly older men.

    It is very important for the schools to have male teachers so that the girls don't just hear mussar all day long, they also learn something.
    most of the men in my schools - hs and sem - were products of the litvische world, and were used to contact with kids.

    And yingele, how old are you? Most ADULT men are not interested in TEENAGE girls - they are babies, you understand? childish?

    these are grownups.

    in the same way that I have no interest in 19 year old boys.

    and it's good for people - including the girls - to learn to handle contact with men. the extra segregation boomerangs. it makes it so that it becomes impossible to consider being around women and women just turn into sex objects. your idea is to make society worse, to make people have no contact at all with anyone of the opposite sex. that's how you get ideas like "The women will understand the girls, how can the men understand them". terrible. and look at chassidic society which has so little interaction and look at the rate of sex-related issues. what you advocate is not normal and doesnt work.

    By Blogger anonymous, at Wednesday, March 16, 2005 5:39:00 AM  

  • "...and it's good for people - including the girls - to learn to handle contact with men" So what you are saying is that sem is a pre-wedding lesson. N I C E

    By Blogger yingele, at Wednesday, March 16, 2005 12:13:00 PM  

  • it would certainly be better for them to be female but the double standard is interesting, no women teach is real yeshivish schools generally after all

    By Blogger Sultan Knish, at Wednesday, March 16, 2005 12:57:00 PM  

  • No, "Sem" is not a "pre-wedding lesson." Yingele, these are not chassidic schools. these girls are used to talking to men and the men are used ot girls. their whole lives have never been so segregated, they've learned appropriate boundaries earlier, and that's a GOOD thing.

    In our society. In meah shearim - don't introduce this. But for girls who grew up in the US or in the UK? Yes this is healthy and trying to prevent men and women from coming into contact *at all* (rather than preventing similar age boys/girls from becoming girlfriends/boyfriends) is unhealthy.

    The bottom line is that this works and the supersegregated society are full of sex-related problems.

    The entire society is structured differently. Kids are used to talking to older men, they don't see something strange about it, there is nothing "new" in seminary. And the men are not thinking sex, sex, sex because there's a teenage girl in the room. They think "teenage kid, teenage kid, teenage kid." They are used to relating to people as human beings not just sex objects. You'd be better off for a bit of this upbringing!

    It's not normal for kids not to be used to talking even to their own family members, to adult men, etc.

    In many litvische schools, the R"Y of associated mens schools would give the girls fahrhers, check on their studies routinely. What's wrong with that?

    By Blogger anonymous, at Thursday, March 17, 2005 12:06:00 PM  

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