Welcome to the enlightened 2024.
No longer are stories told of parents who force their children to learn way more than said child is capable of to preserve the family prestige. Glorious fights over who sits on the mizrach vant, ashkenazim refusing shidduchim with sefardim, and smacking talmidim who cannot give the correct answer are no longer our nisayon.
Parents have learned to accept lovingly whatever learning level or style their son wants, and nary can we find a young lad being pushed outside his comfort zone.
Yet, many askonim bemoan that we still have ill-advised parents who seemingly refuse to acknowledge that their son belongs in a “Bais Yeshiva.”
Are there really still such archaic parents who do not know their own son or are afraid for the family shidduch prospects? Or perhaps there are legitimate concerns with the very notion of sending to a “Bais Yeshiva?”
Put this into the perspective of a business proposition. A young man looking to open a new retail establishment who is warned by his wise friends to start small. “Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know.” Good advice indeed and woe to the smart aleck who does not heed it.
But there is a minute detail that makes a world of difference. While this young entrepreneur is starting small, his vision is of a large and mighty conglomerate. He is driven to one day make it to the top. From the day his shop opens, it will be the best at earning his customers’ approval.
Everyone always needs to be shooting for the highest heights. The notion of relegating someone to be a “Bais” is anti-ethical and counterproductive. How do you strive to be second place?
There can be yeshivos that focus on different areas of success. One yeshiva may promote lomdus and a different one bekius. You can have your mantra on middos tovos, internal motivation, or of incorporating sports or secular studies into your programming.
There is no such thing however of being “Bais.” If a yeshiva can’t clearly highlight in what way they are “Alef,” then do NOT send your son.
Parents and rebbeim must collaborate to define the areas of strength of each boy and to direct him to the “Alef” yeshiva that will encourage him to be his best.
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