Thursday, October 18, 2012

A true Rebbi "Threw him out of yeshiva"


In response to the dilemma regarding throwing boys out of a yeshiva, I have a story to relate.

After completing 11th grade, my son, Yanky, was not invited back to attend his well-known Yeshiva for the 12th grade year. It is now five years years later, and I stiil think that he doesn't even know that he was "kicked out."

Yanky did not do much in high school. He showed up sometimes and sometimes he did not. He just wasn't interested in learning, and he certainly did not carry himself as a Yeshiva bochur or ben Torah, However, no one "threw him out." He was simply told that the Yeshiva had nothing to offer him anymore and he would be better off at home.

Yanky came home. It was difficult for the family, yet, at the advice of his Rebbi, we showered him with love and respect. Yanky had no real goals or motives. He attended a local secular program part time, although he really wasn't interested. He also took a night job at a local kosher pizza shop.

I do not think that two weeks passed that entire year that his Rosh yeshiva (yes, the one who "threw him out") did not call Yanky. The Rebbi spoke with him often, giving him love and encouragement, and time and patience. Yes, it's true, he didn't accept him back, but he did not 'wash his hands" of him.

Yanky came home one night from work. It was 11:30 p.m. He had just been fired and was very upset and depressed. He grabbed the phone, and who do you think he called? Yes, his Rebbi. They stayed on the phone for quite a long while. A few days later, Yanky got another job.

After a year, the Rosh yeshiva (yes, the one who "threw him out") started to encourage Yanky to go back to yeshiva. Several yeshivos were considered, and that September, Yanky left for Eretz Yisroel.

Now, five years later, Yanky is still in Eretz Yisroel. He has gradually moved up the ladder of Yeshivos and is presently learning in one of the finest in Yerushalayim. He is now a very frum, ehrlich and solid yeshiva bochur. He has not made a move these past five years without first discussing it with his "Rebbi," (yes, the one who "threw him out").

When a boy has to be asked to leave, we should follow the example of Rabbi ......., ....., as in this letter, and have nachas even from someone who doesn't fit in his yeshiva for the moment.

The Rebbi is a talmud of Reb Chatzkel Levenstein,Z"L the Revered Ponevitzer Mashgiach.

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