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Teaching

all of our children


The Responsibility,
the Attitude
by
Aharon H. Fried Ph.D.
April 1, 2014
The Week
week ending March 21 2014 pg. 2
A Chinese father who has been carrying his disabled son 18
miles back and forth to school every day has been offered a
government-funded apartment near the school.

When Yu Xukang, 40, discovered that there was no school
bus to the only school appropriate for son Xiao Quiang, he
constructed a special basket and carried him to school in
Sichuan province and back every day.

He wanted his boy to receive an education like everybody
else. I know that my son is physically disabled, said Yu,
but there is nothing wrong with his mind.
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For I love him
Because he will
command his children
and his household
after him that they
should heed the ways
of Hashem (G-d) to
perform righteousness
and justice.
The importance of Jewish education, the many milestone
celebrations, etc. and the concomitant pain of exclusion.
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Issues: The Place of the Disabled
in Jewish Law, Culture, and Society
Text is important, but it does not account for all of
culture. Much of culture is mimetic.
Jewish law is a dialectic, constantly in tension,
constantly evolving, and constantly on guard.
Often rulings within the law may seem contradictory,
but they generally follow an internally consistent set
of methodologies and constraints.
Culture is not static it evolves.
But the Rabbinate is rarely in the activist role.
Culture evolves based on
A better understanding of phenomena being considered.
A better understanding of the written text.
Halacha is a practical eld it deals with and
responds to the practical, not the theoretical.
Issues: The Place of the Disabled
in Jewish Law, Culture, and Society
Some issues and a picture of the growth of one area the
education of the disabled over the last 35 years (since circa 1976)
Few or no schools, programs, or concern for the disabled.
Children with Downs Syndrome or Developmental Delay being
given up for adoption with Rabbinical blessings (or even advice)
A facile unlearned approach to the Halachot governing schooling
and other issues for these children.
A poor understanding of our !"#$% &"% the edict of Yehushua
ben Gamla.
The feeling that the education of L.D. children should be funded
from social services funds, not from the educational fund.
A poor understanding of the nature of people with
disabilities;
what they understand, what they want, and what they need.
How they can better be helped.


Issues: The Place of the Disabled
in Jewish Law, Culture, and Society
What has happened since:
Sources were sought out
Sources on the responsibility of parents
and the community for education.
Sources on the value of the disabled
child.
Sources include Agadah and Halacha.

!"" #$ %&!'(&" &)!! #'*)+
Rabbi Preida
had a student to whom
he taught every Halacha
400 times till he had
mastered it.

One day Rabbi Preida was
invited to go to a d'var
mitzvah. He rst taught
his student but he did
not master the material.
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Rabbi Preida asked him,
"Why is today different?
The student answered,
"From the time that Rebbe
was told there was a dvar
mitzva to go to,
I could not concentrate
and kept saying to myself;
now Rebbe will leave,
now Rebbe will leave".
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Rabbi Preida told him
"Pay attention and
I will teach it to you again".
He taught him a second 400 times.

A voice from heaven called out
and asked him,
would you prefer that 400 years
be added to your life,
or that you and your generation
merit the world to come?
Rabbi Preida answered:
would it that I and my generation
merit the world to come.
G-d then said,
"give him both!"

(Free translation)
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But Rabbi Chanina said,
I went to great pain with Rabbi
Chanina the Great until he permitted
me to divide the Verses for little children,
because they need it
so that they can learn.

Rashi:
Reb Chanina Kra:
who was a master of scripture
and knew it thoroughly.

Great Pain:
I went to great trouble and returned to him
repeatedly, until he allowed me to divide
the verses for young children who are
learning because they
cannot read a whole verse at a time.
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Rabbi Yehuda
said in the name of Rav
One who deprives a student
of even one Halacha
is considered
as if he had
robbed him of his heritage,
as it says
Moshe commanded us the
Torah as a heritage to the
assembly of Jacob.
It is a heritage
for ALL of Israel
from the time of Creation.
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One who deprives a student
of an Halacha is considered
as if he robbed him etc.
This means to say
that he did not teach his student
like Rabbi Preida who taught his
student 400 times until it (the
material) was uent on his lips.

And this is what it means by
he who deprives a student
- from teaching him
until he is uent.
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Because the teacher says
that the student
is not t for that (learning),
and that
he cannot teach him.
He has thus
robbed him of his heritage.
For the Torah is the heritage
of all Jewish people
from the 6 days of creation,
which means to say
that
according to their creation
and their very nature
all Jews are t to learn Torah.

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A thousand (students)
enter
the study hall
but only one emerges
as a
decider of the law

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a thousand people enter
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Rabbi Yehuda said in
the name of Rav
the name of Yehoshua
ben Gamla (a high priest in
the second temple- Rashi)
should be
remembered in greatness
and for the good.
For were it not for him
Torah would have been
forgotten from Israel.
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For in the beginning
he who had a father
would be taught Torah by his father
but whoever had no father
would not be taught.
By what logic did this come to be ?
Because they read the verse
"and you should teach them, (your
sons)"
as
"and you yourselves
should teach your sons
(meaning that it was incumbent upon
every father to teach his son).
So they decreed that teachers of
children would be established in
Jerusalem to teach all children.
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But then again,
he who had a father
was brought up to Jerusalem,
while he who had no father
was not brought up to learn.
So they decreed
that every district appoint
teachers
and that the students
be brought to them
at age 15 or 16.
But whoever angered his
teacher would rebel
and run away.
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Until
Yehoshua ben Gamla
came and decreed
that Teachers be
appointed in each and
every county and each
and every city
and that children enter
at age six or seven.

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From the time of the edict of
Yehoshua ben Gamla and on
the father is not obligated to
teach him (his son) Torah or to
hire a teacher for him when the
child reaches age six or seven,
but rather he is obligated to
take him to
the teachers in town.
And they (the teachers) receive
their pay from the city coffers.
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In a place where the townspeople
appoint teachers for children,
and the fathers of the children cannot
afford to hire (private) teachers for
their children, and community must
pay for these teachers, the fees shall
be collected as an income tax
And so too for the building of a
Synagogue an income tax is collected.
All the needs of the town are collected
by way of an income tax and
even though some dont need it
(a particular town need)
for example a wedding hall
and a Mikvah etc.
they still must pay their share.
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Even if
the child does not
understand enough
to read,
do not send him away,
let him
sit with the others,
perhaps
he will understand.
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Therefore every community
is obligated to establish a
Torah school and to pay
teachers,
because the community is
obligated to do this as a
Torah (d'Oraita) law....
and not merely because of
the edict of Yehoshua ben
Gamla.
So it seems to me
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From the viewpoint
of Rabbinical law
one cannot fullll the Mitzvah
(of teaching children) unless one is
teaching ALL the children in the city,
together the poor and the wealthy.

And it seems to me
that accordingly,
after the edict,
one cannot fullll the Mitzva
from the standpoint
of Torah law either,
Except by teaching
all the children of the city
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In the responsa Tzofnat
Paneach Vol. 2 Chapter 17,

Rabbi Yosef Rozin of
Rogatchov rules
that it is prohibited for a
Jewish school to institute
an admissions policy by
which weak students would
be rejected and strong
students would be accepted
in their place, or not to
accept weak students
in the rst place.
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It would seem that we can obligate (the
community) only for regular students who
can learn in a class of 25 with one
melamed.
.but one cannot, based on this,
obligate people to give tzedaka money for
children who need three or four melamdim
(to a class of 25). For perhaps the sages did
not wish to burden the community more
than this. In any case the community
should have to pay (for the education of
special children), the fee of one melamed
for 25 students. But it also stand to
reason to say that we cannot
differentiate (between the obligation for
regular and special children) However as
regards priorities, the priority is for
regular children who can learn all of
Torah
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And it was not said that he has
priority over his son, excepting
a topic which both need equally,
for example a topic which the
father has also not yet learned,
be it in Torah, in Mishna, or in
Gemoro.

But if the father has already
learned this topic, and he can
teach his son, it certainly makes
no sense to say that he should
be free of the obligation to teach
his son until he rst competes
all of Torah and in the meantime
leaving his son ignorant.
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Regarding the permissibility of paying ones
daughters school tuition in Bais
Yaakov from tithed money, there is
certainly a legal difference between sons
and daughters, since a father is obligated to
teach his son Torah, even if he has to pay
for it, and since it is obligatory, he cannot
pay it from tithed funds. But since the father
is not obligated to teach his daughter Torah,
this (tuition) is not obligatory, and if it is
necessary we could permit using tithed
money for this.
However in this country, where the law
obligates public schooling for all children,
and we are blessedly permitted to educate
them in our own schools, then were a father
not send his daughter to Bais Yaakov, she
would attend the public school receiving no
teachings in Torah or Emuna, and it is a
fathers obligation that his daughter grow in
a proper kosher way, this is obligatory.
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And you shall speak to all those
who are wise of heart, whom I
have lled with wisdom:
He means to say as the author of
the Duties of the Heart writes
(in his introduction) that there is
wisdom planted in the hearts of
people, If someone will come and
inspire them, he will bring out that
hidden treasure for all to see,
but if not, it will disappear like the
a planted seed,
which if cultivated will grow,
And if not, will wither and spoil.
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Our responsibility is to develop the childs mind!
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So too here, G-d said to our teacher Moshe:
being that He had lled them with wisdom,
there was a need for someone to inspire them,
to make them aware of this,
in order to bring their inner wisdom
to its potential.
Therefore He said,
And you speak to the wise of heart,
And what should you tell them?
That I have lled them with wisdom.
This itself is the message that you shall speak,
and you shall let them know
that they are lled with wisdom,
and by way of
this information they will
make the garments of Aharon
for they will be inspired
to realize the potential of their wisdom.
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Let us return to the above issue.
If he is mentally decient to the
extent that he is exempt of all
Mitzvos, then even though one
May not directly feed him non-kosher
food, and even if we will accept
the assertion that sending him to
the (non-kosher) school is
considered to be feeding him,
still it would be permitted in order to free
him from his incapacitated mental state,
and to bring him into Jewish practice,
and it is better that he desecrate Torah
for a time, so that later keep many
Mitzvoth.
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Therefore here it is permitted,
But on condition that
when he reaches 13 years and a day,
they remove him from there.
This is what the letter of the law seems
to me to be.

Still, our forebears of blessed memory
bore testimony that forbidden foods
imbibed in ones youth block the heart
and give birth to bad traits
of character,

I still say, better that he remain
mentally decient all his years than
Be wicked in the eyes of G-d
for even a moment.
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Your question regarding a young girl of
18 who suffers from Epilepsy may G-d
protect us, and she is a burden to her
Impoverished father who has ve
children to care for from his second and
this is causing strife between him and his
Wife, and his income from teaching
children has also diminished because the
fathers do not want to send their sons to
a place of contagious illness.
And lo, all the Doctors have despaired of
nding a cure for her. However the
clerical healers who are well known
in the land of Islam (Turkey) say that
they may have a remote chance of
nding her a cure, or she may die from
the strong medications that they would
give her, but this would be to her good
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However, those doctors will not
accept her into their monastery
unless she will eat
their forbidden (to Jews) food,
and (on condition) that no Jew
from her family
should come to her
during the entire period
that she is conned in their
targeted space,
and now our souls have moved
us to ask,
whether it is permissible
to do so or not.
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And it is surely clear that
the responsibility for the
sustenance and the healing of
an eighteen year old does not
lay on the father,
and that she is like all poor
people who are the
responsibility of the community.
She should be placed in
the communal home for the ill
which is to be found in the large
communities of your country.
And thus lighten the burden
of this poor man.
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But heaven forbid to hand-
over even one Jewish soul,
And it would be preferable
were he to banish from his
home, and she should go her
own way, she will nd merciful
ones amongst our brothers
the Jewish people, and not to
banish her from both worlds.
And may G-d have mercy and
heal the wounds of his nation,
quickly and close in time, may
he make us rejoice in the joy of
Jerusalem - a dwelling of
tranquility.
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Inclusion requires
First: Make a place for me in your heart.
See me for who I am.
Allow me respect and dignity.
Then: in your home,
your school,
your shul,
your community.
Then you will nd ways to help me learn.
Issues: The Place of the Disabled
in Jewish Law, Culture, and Society

What has happened since:
Public relations leading to..
A public (laymens) appreciation of the
abilities, successes, and needs of the
handicapped.
Garnering of Rabbinical involvement:
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Rebbe Chaim Volozhiner ZaTZaL
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Regarding the Agunah of
Vilna, in which case your
esteemed Torah personage
leans towards taking a
stringent position.
This is BECAUSE
THE RESPONSIBILITY
IS NOT YOURS.
And I also, like you,
did not pay attention
to the reasons to permit
before the yoke of Decision
-making was thrust upon me.
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Rebbe Chaim Volozhiner ZaTZaL
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But now that due to our many sins
our district has become devoid of
wise-men and the yoke of Halachik
decisions for the entire district has
been placed on my shoulders such
that in no way will they permit
anything without the agreement of
my small mind,
I made a reckoning with my Creator
and saw it as my obligation
to gather strength
and to be diligent about nding
solutions for Agunot.
May Hashem save me from error.

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Show your enthusiasm for the Talmidim/Talmidos
Rava said: If you see a student whose
learning is as difcult as iron (i.e. it's not
Getting through) it is because his Rebbe
isn't smiling at him;
as it says (Koheles 10,10)"and (if) he does not
(succeed in learning it is because) he showed
him a bad visage".
What is his solution? He should send many
friends to him (to his teacher to appease
him [by speaking well of the student] so
that the Rebbe will smile at the student.)
as it says (ibid) and with company he will
increase and prepare for wisdom. (and
certainly he will be prepared if his deeds
were found favorable by his Rebbe in the
rst place.
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If his Rebbe smiles
at him
- he will gain wisdom,
But if not
he will not gain
wisdom from his Rebbe.

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Show your enthusiasm for the Talmidim/Talmidos
Believe in your Talmidim/Talmidos
Rebbe came to the town of Rebbe Elazar
bReb Shimon. He asked the people, Did
that zadik leave a son?
They told him yes, but
Rebbe sought him out
and immediately ordained him,
So that people call him Rebbe so that he
should become zealous to learn Torah (Rashi)
And entrusted him to his maternal uncle
Reb Shimon ben Issi ben Lekuniah
(to teach him Torah)
Every day he would complain:
I want to return to my village.
His uncle told him:
- They made you into a sage.
- And spread a gold garment upon you
- And they call you Rebbe
And you say you want to go back?!
He then swore not to say that again.

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When he grew up he came and sat in
Rebbes academy
Rebbe applied to him the verse:
The fruit of a righteous man
is a tree of life..

When he passed away they brought him
to his fathers burial cave.
A serpent was encircling the cave.
They said to it:
Serpent, serpent, open your mouth and let
a son enter to his father.
But the serpent did not open for them.
The people thought this was because
this one (the son) was not as great as the
other (the father).
A voice came from heaven said:
Its not because this one is greater than
That one. It is only because this one
endured the discomfort of the cave,
and this one did not.
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Issues: The Place of the Disabled
in Jewish Law, Culture, and Society
What has happened since:
Many more schools have developed.
However it has become a double-edged sword.
Programs are unfocused.
In the interest of egalitarianism
Teaching inappropriate diet of material.
Dont understand what can be done.
Everybody is to be the same everyone for Gemoro.
What is needed: Practical steps:
Perhaps an attempt at diagnostic tools and criteria which can be
relied on by many or most.
The creation of programs with good-t for the individual child.
An accepted body of rulings that would be more universally
accepted.

By-Laws of Community of Altuna-Hamburg 1808
From amongst those children
who the appointed ofcers (of
the school) feel that they will
not succeed in Talmud study,
they should choose students
who are t and they should
hire a special expert in TaNaCh
(Scripture), one well versed
and efcient in its reading and
interpretation with its
commentaries, so as to teach
these children the ways of
TaNaCh as best he can,

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By-Laws of Community of Altuna-Hamburg 1808
so that they grow to be
teachers of TaNaCh,
when they attain sufcient
prociency.
And the ofcers should warn
this person to teach TaNaCh
only in accordance with the
traditions of our Sages of
Blessed memory, and in
accordance with the well
known and accepted
commentaries i.e. Rashi,
Radak, Ramban et al
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Reish Lakish said:
If you see a student
whose learning is as
hard for him as iron
(i.e. it doesnt
penetrate).
It is because his
learning is not
organized

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He nds learning
difcult because
of his many
questions
For he has
messed up in
Mishna which is a
prerequisite for
Gemoro
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and there are those
immediately move him
to Gemoro
the child will chirp like a bird
but words only
he will comprehend no
meaning
and it is not
as if he will glean from it
as much as a fox gleans
from a freshly plowed eld
but rather
Only as much as a y (will
glean)
from (sucking on) marble
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and when the child grows
and his mind grows
a little stronger
he removes him to
the study of Tosfos
and in his foolishness
(he thinks)
that learning
Gemoro & Halacha
helped him
but these people are blind
it isn't so
rather the child's mind has
matured of its own accord
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but
that his mind
should gain
from having been fed
that
which is unt for him
and is not
commensurate with
the level of his mind
that is impossible!

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;<'A0>? !B(CD ,E@):
And a man should not say
Lo, this son (of mine) is not t
for the study of Torah, and
he will not succeed in
Torah, a man should not
say this!
For our Creator has already
assured us, and ALL your
children will learned of the
Lord, and great is the
peace of your children!