Re: Education and Pikuach Nefesh(saving lives)

Micha Males (
Mon, 21 Jul 1997 15:57:03 +0200 wrote:
<<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.>>

It would seem to me that Mrs. Amit was misunderstood in her question. True,
as Maayan points out, Jews have "risked" to perpertuate our heritage.
Without our children continuing in our path, Judaism can't survive. However,
there is another question that begs to be asked. (I think Mrs. Amit meant
this.) Why can't certain communities allow schools that aren't 100% in line
with the "party line"? Don't they realize that by making children travel
further they are putting these children at an unnecesary risk? My question
is not on the parents, but rather on communities that cannot accept other
religious Jews who have an ideological difference of opinion. Although, I'm
sure this is done to maintain a certain community, I wonder which Rav ruled
that it is better to endanger children or cause uneeded brotherly hatred.
Bear in mind that my frame of reference is from growing up in America.
There, we knew a Jew was special. There are diffeent types of Orthodox Jews
too. There are Briskers, Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim, and even some modern places
too. We are not all the same. But assuming that certain basics are in place,
the extra hatred in disgusting.