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pesek zman




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 7:47 am
I went to a RW BY type high school that’s known to be very academically vigorous, but j can’t say that they wanted us to think. They wanted us to think the thoughts they wanted us to think, not necessarily to have our own thoughts. They didn’t appreciate divergent viewpoints and definitely taught black and white thinking
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 7:48 am
When I was becoming frum, I had a rabbi tell me "Girls don't learn Talmud, because they can't think deeply. There's a risk that they will make fun of it or twist everything."

I was appalled. I never did learn Talmud, because I couldn't find anyone to teach me. I hate that the general answer to questions is "I'll ask my husband and get back to you."

We get out wings clipped before we even know that we could fly.
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sushilover




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 8:08 am
When I was in high school, I was the girl who asked all the questions ...and the teachers lapped it up.

It was the other students who made me feel like the weirdo/apikores. Good thing I didn't really care about being different, but for a girl who does, she'll stifle any question.

Then I went to a shabbaton with girls from different seminaries and high schools, and the speaker said "raise your hand if your teachers discouraged you from asking questions". I was shocked to see my classmates' hands go up.
Dude! I was there! You guys made me feel like the pariah for asking the big questions, but not a single teacher did. I can't understand how they were able to so easily convince themselves that their unasked questions were the teachers' fault, not their own peer pressure.
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Laiya




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 9:34 am
I think one aspect is that some of the teachers are pretty young. They're passionate, which is great, but they may not be equipped to properly address certain things.

In my experience, if a girl wanted to find someone who was able to give a more satisfactory response than the classroom teacher, it wasn't hard. Principals were always available, and if they still were not successful, they were happy to connect you with a rav or rebbetzin who was more specifically knowledgeable in that topic.
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Laiya




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 9:41 am
sushilover wrote:
When I was in high school, I was the girl who asked all the questions ...and the teachers lapped it up.

It was the other students who made me feel like the weirdo/apikores. Good thing I didn't really care about being different, but for a girl who does, she'll stifle any question.

Then I went to a shabbaton with girls from different seminaries and high schools, and the speaker said "raise your hand if your teachers discouraged you from asking questions". I was shocked to see my classmates' hands go up.
Dude! I was there! You guys made me feel like the pariah for asking the big questions, but not a single teacher did. I can't understand how they were able to so easily convince themselves that their unasked questions were the teachers' fault, not their own peer pressure.


This is a good point. There was def a certain amount of peer pressure. And the girls who would get all annoyed because the questions were distracting the teacher from giving the notes, and the longer that would take, the longer you're stuck in the classroom. Plus you run the risk of the teacher saying that anything discussed in class will be on the test, so now there's another topic you have to study.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 10:18 am
pesek zman wrote:
I went to a RW BY type high school that’s known to be very academically vigorous, but j can’t say that they wanted us to think. They wanted us to think the thoughts they wanted us to think, not necessarily to have our own thoughts. They didn’t appreciate divergent viewpoints and definitely taught black and white thinking


I wonder if we went to the same high school. I would describe mine the same way (but there are other possibilities.) Very academic, and somewhat more to the left then some BY's out there, like BYBP....and now, it's moved way more to the right then it was then.

They definitely wanted us to think their way, though - at least, some teachers..... And I definitely had my own way of thinking. (and I definitely did plenty of thinking.) As a senior, I asked a teacher a question, during a discussion on Kollel, that had a definite anti-Kollel slant. I was promptly kicked out of the room for "chutzpah". (and I definitely did not intend it that way.)

Ironically, I married someone who has remained in Kollel for over 20 years of marriage. But I now live not far from that particular teacher (though I did not grow up in Lakewood) and when I see her, I still cross to the other side of the street if I can.
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amother




Seagreen


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 10:38 am
As someone who almost went OTD herself due to intellectual questions my disillusionment with the OTD world started when I realized that they also were very discouraging of questions on their beliefs and that they were using very manipulative methods to keep mind control.
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amother




Purple


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 10:44 am
amother [ Seagreen ] wrote:
As someone who almost went OTD herself due to intellectual questions my disillusionment with the OTD world started when I realized that they also were very discouraging of questions on their beliefs and that they were using very manipulative ways to keep mind control.


Wow. This is fascinating.

What it tells me is that every group or faction uses its own methods to keep people within the group and not questioning its ways.

So what's the sweet spot? I think it's to answer the tough emunah questions. Answer them. Don't ignore them. Acknowledge that you may not have all the answers. Do a lot of research.

Chayalle, as far as what you said about kollel, this is what drives people away: the utter and complete shutdown of any indication that there could be any way besides the kollel way. I think that the more we acknowledge that there are many ways in Yiddishkeit, and each person needs to find his or her own, individual way, the less turned off people will be.

But no, that is considered a betrayal to the Torah.


Last edited by amother on Thu, Jul 04 2019, 6:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Aquamarine


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 10:44 am
My experience was that either teachers were very young, right out of sem with no life experience, or middle aged + old school type with no way to relate to their students.
So, in the early 90s, when learning about tefillah, a classmate was genuinely bothered by "shelo asani isha" the teacher wasn't mean and didn't shut her down. But she gave her an answer that was geared for a different era and didn't address her concerns in the slightest. And the rest of us, who would have benefited from a more up to date understanding and explanation, lost out as well.
I believe she is still teaching in the same school. I can't imagine she's able to relate to the girls of nowadays in the slightest....
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amother




Seafoam


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 10:45 am
Mommyg8 wrote:
Yup, I was that poster. I guess I'm male, gotta tell my husband Wink .

I wrote above that I meant both girls and boys. And what I meant by thinking is that my experience is that most people dont ask deep, philosophical questions. Or are not really interested in the answers.


I started writing my comment before yours was posted clarifying that what you said was for boys and girls alike. I may or may not agree with you, but at least (with the clarification) it sounds like something a woman would say. I take back calling you a male infiltrator 👍
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pesek zman




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 10:51 am
Chayalle wrote:
I wonder if we went to the same high school. I would describe mine the same way (but there are other possibilities.) Very academic, and somewhat more to the left then some BY's out there, like BYBP....and now, it's moved way more to the right then it was then.

They definitely wanted us to think their way, though - at least, some teachers..... And I definitely had my own way of thinking. (and I definitely did plenty of thinking.) As a senior, I asked a teacher a question, during a discussion on Kollel, that had a definite anti-Kollel slant. I was promptly kicked out of the room for "chutzpah". (and I definitely did not intend it that way.)

Ironically, I married someone who has remained in Kollel for over 20 years of marriage. But I now live not far from that particular teacher (though I did not grow up in Lakewood) and when I see her, I still cross to the other side of the street if I can.


Hah! We had an assignment. In 11th grade to defend our (pretend) brother who wants to learn in kollel to our parents. Not pick a postion and argue it. Pick OUR position and argue it. I can think believe that wanted to to BS the whole assignment, but that’s what I did (when I was shut down for questioning it) I had a kindergarten interview for my little girl at a similar type school and was so triggered! I picked up on the same attitude (our way (of thinking) or the highway and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t send my child that had that philosophy (educational and was a religious) it’s very subtle but it’s there and it’s apparent to those who don’t fit the exact mold
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amother




Tan


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 10:54 am
LovesHashem wrote:
I think the bolded is more prevalent in girls schools; but it is still common in boys schools as well.

I think it's very unfortunate; in the mainstream BY system in Israel I find most girls school do not want to open up anything. You have school screaming at us all that the internet is evil and we all need to dress mechubad - but half of the class was had been on the internet for years, a third was watching dirty movies and no one could ever explain WHY we had to dress mechubad...we just...had to.

Why is the internet evil?
Why are non-jewish books bad?
Why shouldn't I get a smartphone?
Who said the christians aren't correct?
Or the muslims?

No one could talk about these things. Text - wise, like in tanach and in studies questions in my school personally were encouraged. But I do know many schools frown on these as well. We studied the Dovid Hamelech and Batsheva story in depth as well as Adam and Chava. We also learned in history class about the old shtetl and the pull of secularism. We had an amazing history teacher that spoke about what was going on in the people's heads and what it was like to live then rather than just a bunch of old names to memorize.

But from what I understand again; my school was unique in this aspect.



I sincerely hope this thread doesn't get locked. These are softball questions and easily answered. The internet is evil because it has an endless amount of filth on it. Non Jewish books are bad because they could potentially have endless filth in them. The Christians have nothing to substantiate anything they claim. The new testament is very obviously a man written book that is littered with contradictions and errors. Ditto with the Koran.

Most high school aged girls aren't sophisticated enough to ask more sophisticated questions about the torah. I'll give one example, and again, I hope this thread doesn't get locked. There was a thread recently (that got locked) discussing why the torah repeated the posuk 3 separate times commanding us not to cook a goat in it's mothers milk. We learn 3 different things from this repetition. Don't cook milk and meat together, don't eat milk and meat together, and don't benefit from milk and meat together.
The obvious question is why didn't hashem make these commandments more clear? Why not just state clearly what we can't do? From a logical and reasonable perspective it is very strange to tell us not to cook a goat in it's mothers milk with the intention of letting us know not to benefit from meat and milk cooked together. So many people who are OTD have a practical and frankly reasonable way way of answering this question. I won't write it out here because I don't want the thread locked. If you believe in the torah, we have to conclude with an answer that really isn't very understandable. So in short, their answer is more reasonable than our answer. There are many similar examples.
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leah233




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 11:11 am
amother [ Tan ] wrote:
Most high school aged girls aren't sophisticated enough to ask more sophisticated questions about the torah. I'll give one example, and again, I hope this thread doesn't get locked. There was a thread recently (that got locked) discussing why the torah repeated the posuk 3 separate times commanding us not to cook a goat in it's mothers milk. We learn 3 different things from this repetition. Don't cook milk and meat together, don't eat milk and meat together, and don't benefit from milk and meat together.
The obvious question is why didn't hashem make these commandments more clear? Why not just state clearly what we can't do? From a logical and reasonable perspective it is very strange to tell us not to cook a goat in it's mothers milk with the intention of letting us know not to benefit from meat and milk cooked together. So many people who are OTD have a practical and frankly reasonable way way of answering this question. I won't write it out here because I don't want the thread locked. If you believe in the torah, we have to conclude with an answer that really isn't very understandable. So in short, their answer is more reasonable than our answer. There are many similar examples.


The OP of that thread was asking questions. She wasn't really looking for answers. (She only responded to those who seemed less knowledgble and conditioned that she will only accept very simple black and white answers. That is not truth seeking)

It is to a large degree because of people like her that questions are so discouraged.

As an aside I can NOT think of a "practical and frankly reasonable reason " why someone making up a religion would not make his commandments more clear. Or a "practical and frankly reasonable reason " why those changing his original intent would do so and how they would get anyone to go along with those changes.

And I'm confident that the "So many people who are OTD have a practical and frankly reasonable way way of answering this question." do not bother finding out how this question has been answered already hundreds if not thousands of years ago.
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sequoia




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 11:20 am
How is it possible to “put ideas into someone’s head”? Surely every human being, when they are told something, asks in return “how do you know? What is the proof?” That is the natural response.

Children want to know everything. Teens don’t express their curiosity the same way, but they also do. Maybr it’s different in a secular high school where there’s no set ideology. I certainly thought very deeply about things in high school (that’s why I chose philosophy as my humanities subject, and wrote my senior essay on Aristotle). It seems weird that just growing up in a frum community would cause girls to turn off their natural human curiosity. Anyway, I disagree with the premise. Girls do think deeply, but it is possible that fear and peer pressure prevent them from expressing themselves.

If you’re not encouraged to think and research on your own, there’s really no point to school.
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amother




Purple


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 11:31 am
sequoia wrote:
How is it possible to “put ideas into someone’s head”? Surely every human being, when they are told something, asks in return “how do you know? What is the proof?” That is the natural response.

Children want to know everything. Teens don’t express their curiosity the same way, but they also do. Maybr it’s different in a secular high school where there’s no set ideology. I certainly thought very deeply about things in high school (that’s why I chose philosophy as my humanities subject, and wrote my senior essay on Aristotle). It seems weird that just growing up in a frum community would cause girls to turn off their natural human curiosity. Anyway, I disagree with the premise. Girls do think deeply, but it is possible that fear and peer pressure prevent them from expressing themselves.

If you’re not encouraged to think and research on your own, there’s really no point to school.


This is the case in frum schools, though. I don't remember being encouraged to think.

So I sat like a good little girl and laughed internally. I don't think the teachers realized, although my classmates certainly did. I wasn't questioning Yiddishkeit, but I was questioning the kollel Kool-Aid that was all doctrine and dogma.


Last edited by amother on Thu, Jul 04 2019, 6:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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keym




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 11:37 am
Some posters quite vehemently say that of course RW BY girls think and learn deeply.
I find that is not really the case.
My dd in upper elementary is having a similar education to me (OOT BY). We learn chumash in real "depth" with all the meforshim on the page. My boys and brothers don't learn anywhere near that amount.
However.... girls are not encouraged to think how Rashi answers the question (as an example). And a girl pointing out that Rashi doesn't really answer will likely be shut down.
In a typical RW boys yeshiva, a boy who points out the discrepancies how Rashi doesn't really answer the question is lauded a hero, sent to the principal for a candy, and the parents called "you'll never guess the kasha your kid asked". A "shteiger" is a boy who sends his rebbe looking for answers.
So yeah. Ime and imo girls know more, but it's more parroted. Question, answer, question answer.
Boys are taught to think and reject answers as the way to learn.
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sequoia




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 11:44 am
That’s really sad.

However, that’s very culture-specific. In co-ed MO schools boys and girls learn together, including gemara.

So I don’t think you can say “girls don’t think” like it’s some biological reality.
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tigerwife




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 11:52 am
keym wrote:
Some posters quite vehemently say that of course RW BY girls think and learn deeply.
I find that is not really the case.
My dd in upper elementary is having a similar education to me (OOT BY). We learn chumash in real "depth" with all the meforshim on the page. My boys and brothers don't learn anywhere near that amount.
However.... girls are not encouraged to think how Rashi answers the question (as an example). And a girl pointing out that Rashi doesn't really answer will likely be shut down.
In a typical RW boys yeshiva, a boy who points out the discrepancies how Rashi doesn't really answer the question is lauded a hero, sent to the principal for a candy, and the parents called "you'll never guess the kasha your kid asked". A "shteiger" is a boy who sends his rebbe looking for answers.
So yeah. Ime and imo girls know more, but it's more parroted. Question, answer, question answer.
Boys are taught to think and reject answers as the way to learn.


I can agree that girls are not taught strong enough critical thinking skills, but I do think that that is something that needs to be developed with constant reading. I remember asking students questions on a story in a lit class, but most were blind to the inferences and complained that “it doesn’t say that in the story”. Many students’ goals are to get straight As and get accepted into top high schools or colleges, and are not learning for the sake of actual education. By the way, this applies to all students, Jewish and Non-Jewish.

I disagree with the undercurrent theory here that if you do not grapple with foundational questions, then perhaps you are not as intelligent or don’t think as much as the one who does question. Faith is blind; that is literally the definition- “strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.”. Faith based on fact is just knowledge. Sometimes it takes enough intelligence to believe that there aren’t answers for everything in this world.

Tell me why innocent children, babies have to suffer. Why do pure souls go through incomprehensible pain? I’ve heard enough spiritual answers but nothing resonates with me besides the fact that we are in a limited world and can not comprehend G-d. Life isn’t that long; soon enough we will depart from this world and understand. Until then, we can only do the best we can.
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amother




Purple


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 11:52 am
keym wrote:
Some posters quite vehemently say that of course RW BY girls think and learn deeply.
I find that is not really the case.
My dd in upper elementary is having a similar education to me (OOT BY). We learn chumash in real "depth" with all the meforshim on the page. My boys and brothers don't learn anywhere near that amount.
However.... girls are not encouraged to think how Rashi answers the question (as an example). And a girl pointing out that Rashi doesn't really answer will likely be shut down.
In a typical RW boys yeshiva, a boy who points out the discrepancies how Rashi doesn't really answer the question is lauded a hero, sent to the principal for a candy, and the parents called "you'll never guess the kasha your kid asked". A "shteiger" is a boy who sends his rebbe looking for answers.
So yeah. Ime and imo girls know more, but it's more parroted. Question, answer, question answer.
Boys are taught to think and reject answers as the way to learn.


I think that we're discussing two different types of thinking.

One of them is thinking in learning. RW BY girls can do a lot of that. We learned to dissect Rashi's questions and answers and why he chose each word.

The other is thinking about life and deeper questions in Yiddishkeit. Those were the questions that were shot down. If a teacher shot you down because you asked how Rashi answered the question, that probably won't have too much of an impact on your life. But if a teacher kicks you out when you ask why a woman is expected to take on the curses of both Adam and Chava, that might stick with you a lot more -- especially since it's a legitimate and difficult question to tackle and has a big impact on your life.

The one thing I'll say is that most of these questions are inappropriate for the middle of class. I can understand why they come off as chutzpadik to a certain extent. A lot of them are much better asked and answered in a one-on-one setting -- with the right person. Hopefully each school has at least one or two people who can handle tough questions.

(BYA High School has one or two, but not more.)


Last edited by amother on Thu, Jul 04 2019, 6:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Green


Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 11:57 am
amother [ Tan ] wrote:
So many people who are OTD have a practical and frankly reasonable way way of answering this question. I won't write it out here because I don't want the thread locked. If you believe in the torah, we have to conclude with an answer that really isn't very understandable. So in short, their answer is more reasonable than our answer. There are many similar examples.

The OTD community does not have practical and frankly reasonable way way of answering all questions. They just gave up looking for answers. It's easier to say, it's all a fairy tale and live life without religious limitations, then to look for real answers.
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