The Headlines Will Move On. But Will The Girls?

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NEW YORK (VINnews) — The following letter was written by a concerned educator regarding recent events:

It is late at night and sleep eludes me as I close my eyes. All I see is a world of pain and anguish, with heartbreak that will only surface well after the current chapter appears to be closed. Yet for those affected by it, these few weeks are going to be among the most pivotal in their life, with scars that might never heal – scars that are both figurative, and shockingly often, literal.

The local news cycle is as passionate and animated as it’s been in a long time. The visit of Harav Shaul Alter Shlit”a and the response by Ger leadership is getting a lot of attention, but its most profound long term impact isn’t being discussed at all! Right now, the conversation is whether girls will be kicked out of school due to their father’s position on this matter, and whether a school should or even has a right to take such measures in response. Lost in this conversation is what will happen to the girls involved, even if they immediately land on their feet elsewhere.

LISTEN BELOW TO AN AUDIO RECORDING OF A GIRL GETTING SUSPENDED BECAUSE HER FATHER WENT TO SEE REB SHAUL ALTER

 

As someone with many years of experience in the field of chinuch, I say with complete confidence that in these very moments when the words in this letter are being written and read, there are heimish, frum, healthy teenage girls whose spiritual, emotional, and even physical lives are being extinguished or damaged beyond repair! I’ve seen it happen before and I know with certainty that it will happen again. Unless there is a change of heart and the girls remain in their natural environment, the end result will be dire.

(This letter previously stated that girls were kicked out of Bobov 17 years ago. VINnews has been unable to verify the veracity of these claims. In addition, the school vehemently denies these allegations. As a result, this paragraph has been removed.)

It does not take an expert or a mechanech to understand why this is. Schools are not just places where children learn to spell and count, they are spaces that serve primarily as social structure systems to help cultivate the next generation of Jewish wives and mothers. To suddenly tear children away from their friends, social circles and their sense of personal belonging is not to punish their father – it is to render worthless all the work that was put into them. No matter how they turn out, they will never fully recover. It’s just not possible! In addition, when a child is removed from their surroundings and told implicitly or explicitly that this is because her father’s actions have made her entire family tamei and labeled them as undesirables, a part of them has been destroyed forever.

It might be too late for Ger, but I implore anyone and everyone reading these words to at least begin making this part of the conversation. Those who have been on the receiving end of such treatment in the past should consider seeking therapy for their pain, and all of us should vow to do better going forward. Right now, we are ignoring the destruction of our most prized possessions before our very eyes. Please, let’s end this madness before it ends us.


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