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Haredi Rabbis Advocate Beating Children So They Learn To Accept Torture With Love


Rabbi Mendel Lowen published a booklet in London in 2011 on the proper way for haredim to educate their children. The booklet has approbations from leading haredi rabbis – including London’s head haredi rabbi, Ephraim Padwa – even though it advocates for beating children at home and in school even when they have done nothing wrong.

The beatings should be done, Lowen says, to make them humble, to instill fear and so children “should learn to accept torture out of love.”

Haredi kids eyes covered cropped

Updated at 8:47 am CST 1-22-2014

Rabbi Mendel Lowen published a booklet in London in 2011 on the proper way for haredim to educate their children.

The booklet has approbations from leading haredi rabbis – including London’s head haredi rabbi, Ephraim Padwa – even though it advocates for beating children at home and in school even when they have done nothing wrong. The beatings should be done, Lowen says, to make them humble and to instill fear.

Here are some brief excerpts from the booklet as translated by the source who sent this to me:

• One who gets used to following his reason from a young age will end up losing his faith and will leave Judaism (page 2, note 8, quoting the book Da’at Kedoshim)

• Development for children: One of the basics [in the modern world] is to encourage the development of the child’s mind (because the mind is the basis of their education), both in study and also in play.

But the  basis of faith is entirely based on the annihilating of the mind and intellect to [be replaced by] the tradition received from his parents and educators. And when he is young and not developed, then is the best time to plant faith in his soul, , and how can we destroy this with development to remove his naiveté. And relevant to this is the flooding of all kinds of [Haredi] magazines for children with illustrations and logical explanations, so that every child becomes a knowledgeable and informed person… [causing] development which destroys naiveté, faith and tradition.

And also [Haredi] books written by the pious need to be inspected in this respect. (page 3, and note 17) [The author apparently means that providing children with facts and with illustrations supporting those facts and logical explanations of things teaches a child to think logically and seek out empirical evidence for his beliefs – and all this poses strong challenges to having pure faith in God and in haredi rabbinic leadership – FailedMessiah.com]

• Education to not know: The old way always was to refrain from talking about many subjects in the presents of children about “subjects that are not for children” (even regarding permitted subjects, and even more so regarding subjects that approach the forbidden)”  But the reformers argue, why not? It is better to explain to the youngster according to his capability so he shouldn’t remain with questions and misunderstandings. Because according to their view knowledge is the safeguard, but for us absence and refraining is the safeguard. (page 4)

• Those who snub [physical] force [i.e., corporal punishment] and instead educate with “will” are forced to build confidence in the child so that he should believe in his maturity… but the education of the Torah is the opposite, to overpower the will of the body and its desires, and educate toward meekness and humility. (Page 8)

• …and the way of [educating by] force has always been with punishment, as it is written in Shulchan Aruch that one must get angry at them and shame them. Also with the punishing rod, as the sages said that the teacher beats his students. And we find three good ways that this is done:

1) with a small strap for slacking in study,

2) also strong beatings to remove him from evil when repudiation doesn’t help,

3) to hit even when he did no sin (note 121: and even a child who will never sin, so that he should learn to accept torture out of love.

However, [Rabbi Yosef Haim Sonenfeld] writes that perhaps this applies only to a grown student, not a minor). And the reasons for hitting are to weaken the power of their evil inclination, to throw a fright over them, to make them obedient…  (page 22)

• …as the Gaon Rabbi Elyahu of Vilna wrote in his letter, “because for the success of planting one needs plowing… therefore one needs to first hit him.” Also when the fright of their teacher is over them it will help that they should learn quickly. (page 23)

• …but what the reformers say that we should instill strength and confidence in their hearts and that they should not be shamed, out Torah tells us the opposite… (page 26)

The Yemenite ‘revival rabbi,’ Amnon Yitzhak, has the booklet posted on his website and you can download the entire booklet here, as well:

Download Rabbi Mendel Lowen kuntras on how to properly raise children within the haredi community, London 2011 cover

Here’s Yitzhak’s endorsement of the booklet. Note Lowen teaches in Skvere’s yeshiva in London:

 קונטרס נפלא יותר מב’ מאות מראה מקומות לדברי חז”ל וספרה”ק בעניני חינוך נכתב בשפה ברורה ובקיצר אשר כל רואיו יהנו ממנו נעשה ע”י מלמד מומחה הרב מענדל לאווין מלמד בת”ת סקיוורא לנודון יותר מכ’ שנה

Translation:

“A wonderful booklet with more than 200 citations to Chazal and holy seforim on issues of education. Written in a clear and concise language, which every reader will enjoy. Authored by the expert teacher Rabbi Mendel Lowen, teacher in Talmud Torah Skvere London for more than 20 years.”

====================

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2014/01/haredi-rabbis-advocate-beating-children-so-they-learn-to-accept-torture-with-love-345.html

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This entry was posted on June 27, 2015 by in Talmud and tagged , .

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