Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?
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Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

December 09, 2018 06:23PM
I have found the ongoing discussion, with its סכסוך, about whether/how to understand and perhaps use Tova Mirvis's memoir for good purpose to serve a practical purpose; I even recall triggering it a while ago.
However, the ongoing discussion exhibits part of the problem. To me the issue involves the following challenge:

Can we discuss, in a classroom setting, the forces and ideas that impact on the lives of our students both with respect and integrity? By respect I mean without demeaning, whether by assuming a superior attitude or by not taking the challenging point of view seriously. By integrity I mean representing the Orthodox point of view cogently and coherently, but not sugar coating it. It seems to me that when we fall short of these goals, we will lead some (not all) students to believe we want to indoctrinate, and not educate. This in turn makes many students think that we are not confident in our point of view, and that we are Orthodox simply because we have been socialized that way.

As an illustration - To many students, the desire to convert to Judaism is rarely a matter of conviction - but a matter of falling in with certain people at a certain time! Not a really rational process, but a socialization. This resembles the very attitudes of many secular people who look askance at converts... they aren't very rational.

By 'not all' I mean that there are students who prefer superficiality, who are happy not dealing with challenges, just like there are students in the secular world who prefer superficiality. I think we would be cheapening our classes if we address discussions as if they are the sole students in the room.

Can we actually educate without indoctrinating? I think that is impossible. But can't we indoctrinate intelligently, and with integrity! That is, as a teacher I can present a perspective I recommend and am devoted to, without denying thoughtfulness, humanity, and other desirable qualities to those with whom I am at odds. As a teacher I don't have to pretend I'm responding to Voltaire, Bertrand Russell, or Christopher Hitchens. But I am not going to get anywhere if I believe the person I am talking to is superficial if he/she doesn't agree with me.

And in order to do so, we can't hide our classrooms from challenges out there. We must confront the world as our students will - and we can, if we have the confidence born of an integrity of perspective deepened by reflection and appreciation that those who are at odds with us are not all alike. Many of our students won't incorporate our convictions if we are working on a lesser level.

MS.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2018 06:24PM by mlb.
Subject Author Posted

Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Moshe Simkovich October 17, 2018 06:18PM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Yaakov Bieler October 17, 2018 06:44PM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Elisha Paul October 17, 2018 06:57PM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Pesach Sommer October 18, 2018 03:14PM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Meshulam Gotlieb October 20, 2018 07:58PM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Jonathan Kroll October 23, 2018 11:26AM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Yosef Goldberg October 23, 2018 11:39AM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Russell Jay Hendel October 30, 2018 08:03AM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Michael Berkowitz November 06, 2018 01:54PM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Yitzchak Blau November 13, 2018 08:53AM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Michael Berkowitz November 25, 2018 07:45PM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Yitzchak Blau December 05, 2018 08:05AM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Michael Berkowitz December 09, 2018 06:19PM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Rose Landowne November 06, 2018 07:52AM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Gideon Sylvester November 12, 2018 09:22AM

Re: Should Tova Mirvis’ memoir of leaving Orthodoxy be taught in yeshiva high schools?

Moshe Simkovich December 09, 2018 06:23PM



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