Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Punishing Kids...

Yeshiva World is reporting that the daughters of Moshe Aryeh Friedman (the man who recently met with Iranian president Mahmoud Amadinejad) have been kicked out of their school.

I gave my thoughts on this back in February. I still stand by them now.

The Wolf


ADDeRabbi said...

what if it turned out that a kid in the school has parents who are messianic jews? would you say the same thing? didn't think so.

then let me make this clear.

the only place that there's room for guys like this is in the bracha of 've-lamalshinim'.

Nice Jewish Guy said...

On the one hand, I do feel for the kids. They are blameless in this scenario, and their suffering is undeserved. On the other hand, I agree with one of the commenters at YW that Friedman knew (or should have known) the ramifications of his actions- his eyes were wide open going in.

Consider that this is in Austria-- former place of the very Holocaust Ahmadinejad is so vociferously denying. No doubt many parents of children in that school are themselves children of survivors. Maybe they don't want their children associating in any way with Friedman's kids, because who knows how their minds have been poisoned.

And further, in Austria, isn't it a crime to deny the Holocaust? I know in Germany it is. So if it is in fact a crime, it could be argued that Friedman is an abetter of Holocaust denying. Maybe the only reason he hasn't been arrested is that he hasn't actually done anything on Austrian soil.

Wolf, I reread your thoughts on your February post-- the difference between your situation and this is that you were denied admittance due to your parents situation- but here the kids are being thrown out. A subtle distinction, but there.

Yes, the kids shouldn't suffer. But what kind of man would inflict his political views on his kids, who just want to go to school, be with their friends, and be left alone? Why shlep them to Iran to meet some badly dressed dictator who needs a shave? You want to go, you want to deny, go yourself. But leave your kids out of it, or deal with the consequences.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Adderabbi, but I can't help but feel for the kids. Imagine the pain and shame they feel! Even though the fault lands squarely on their father's shoulders, they suffer.

ADDeRabbi said...

indeed, i feel bad for them in the same exact way that i feel bad for crack babies.

Anonymous said...

it is awful and traumatising for the children to go through such an experience. however, there is no denying thatsuch a cray father certainly has an affect on the children, and children bought up with such warped ideas cannot mix in skool with other children. if it so essential for them to go to that skool and the children are absolutely heartbroken by wot is going on they shud be asked to be taken away from their parents; you ask why they shud hav to be seperated from their parents? fair enough, they dont want that, they will hav to suffer the consequences. i wud never allow my child to associate themselves or study in skool with a child who learns such kid of worse than anti-jewish things at home, has been to visit iran and been kissed by the worlds biggest dictator....
i dont believe wot ppl say about the kids not approving of their parents behaviour anyway. i met the (maarried) daughter of the leading jewish-iranian-nazi in england (hu herself is not a neturei karta in any way). she said she wasnt asheamed nor disapproved of her father's behaviour - she honestly believed he did it leshem shomayim!!! so keep their kids out of ours

Anonymous said...

Wolf - I read your previous post on this subject and agree that Yeshivahs should not discriminate against people of different observance. But, this is a different case. And thise case is two fold

1. These children will be mistreatted in school by both other children and teachers. Even if there is a policy from the top not to mistreat these children, teachers will still do it indirectly. So, in my opinion these children do not belong in any school where it is known who their father is.

2. What this guy did is so bad that his children are being affected. Imagine, when it's time for a shidduch. Their chances of getting married are slim. Expelling these children from a school does not in any form mean that they will stop receiving their Jewish education, it just means that their father will have to spend time and money and aggrivation finding alternate ways to educate his kids.

In this life as a whole children are punished for their parents deeds. If parents lead irresponsible life their children suffer from it. If parents commit crimes and end up in prison their parents suffer from it. I think that it's about time that we remind all parents that their actions, all of them affect their children. And that includes being expelled from school because your parent is a crook or a holocaust deniar.

Anonymous said...

I wonder, does being put in Cheirem include the entire family?

-suitepotato- said...

His kids do not deserve this. They are separate people. They might even take back into the home something that changes Friedman's heart.

One should never be afraid to deal with the people who seem most dangerous or threatening. Only by exposure to contrary ideas can they be brought back over where they belong. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but you never can give up. G-d's word is that great. So great, there should be no one odious enough to deny it to. It cleans and disinfects the soul. Even Friedman's. One of those words of His is community and without that. Friedman will never change, his heart will be hardened, the work to undo his POV will get progressively harder...

Better to let his kids attend and inoculate his household with something that might cure his spiritual infection.

BBJ said...

If the kids leave the school, they will probably never again be exposed to ideas outside of the family's immediate circle of craziness. They'll marry crazy, and they'll raise their kids crazy.

If they're in the school, (with the understanding that they will not start a Amadinejad fan club), they will be exposed to community, non-crazy ideas, friends. And they will understand that what their father decides to do is not something that has to determine their whole lives.

And YES, I would say the same about the children of Messianic Jews, with the same prerequisites--that they not act in school in a way that would violate the school's policy.

I've read that during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Spain, Jews who had become Christian would come back to the 'old neighborhood' during Sukkot, to visit relatives, and to let their children see the Sukkahs and the holiday decorations. Should they have been asked not to come? Or did having this connection mean that when it became possible to return to Judaism, they still knew their cousins, and they had good memories of a Jewish home?

Punishing children for their parents' sins is sometimes unavoidable, but it isn't something you should run out to do.