Re: Education and Pikuach Nefesh(saving lives)
Fri, 11 Jul 1997 15:01:39 +0300 (IDT)

Florence Amit asked:
<<I am sure that the concern of Orthodox Jews everywhere is to raise a new
generation of good and observant youth with as little diversion as
possible. Yet how surprised I was to discover that school age orthodox
children living at a reasonable distance from the Modim Settlements
including Kiriat Safer do not attend schools in that relatively secure area
and instead are obliged to traverse a dangerous and heavily guarded
road-way in order to reach a distant school at Beth El. This happens simply
because their parents identify with the late Rav Kook rather than the Rav
Shach. In other words because parents are not Charidi but National Religious
in orientation there are children who are exposed to considerably more and
I would say unwarranted danger. As an outsider to the orthodox community I
can only wonder at such a strange perversion of values and hope that this
letter may bring about second thoughts.>>

ANSWER: For centuries Orthodox Jews have sacrificed their lives so that
their children would receive the upbringing their parents wanted them to
have. Perhaps to outsiders of the orthodox community, this sounds unheard
of and strange, but to us, this is the heart of our lives. Why would Jews
in Russia jeapordize their lives and their childrens' by teaching them
Judaism in the underground, instead of sending them to "normal, Communist
schools"? Why did parents in the States in the '20s and '30s send their
children to Yeshivas like Ner Yisroel in Baltimore or Mir in Russia,
instead of leaving them in the security of New York? Why did the
Lubavitcher Rebbe send emissaries to far-flung communities, amid hardships
and sufferings, instead of letting them bask in "comfortable, secure
conditions?" The answer to all the above is the same, Florence. Our
personal security has no worth if we are not transmitting our values to our
children. It may appear to you that this is (I quote you) "a strange
perversion of values". I do not agree. Values become so, if they are truly
valued and adhered to, even amidst hardship. By the way, who is to say that
the way to Beth El is more dangerous than the way to Moddiim? There are
terrorists hanging out on the Brooklyn Bridge and in Oklahoma too. We
believe that "every bullet has its target." May Hashem guard His nation,
wherever we may be or live, and may we have the merit to perpetuate G-d's
name in every place we live.

Maayan, Israel