“Those that can – do, Those that can’t – teach” (chinese proverb)

I have the utmost respect for teachers. It is a job that I could never do. I have enough managing my own little people. I cannot imagine dealing with other people’s kids all day long and then coming home to my own. The daily juggle of work and home would just be even crazier (is that even possible??)


I have the utmost respect for teachers that have been to university to get a teaching certificate, because I understand it’s not an easy road, its arduous and fraught with lots of assignments, teaching practice etc. But I also understand that in all those teaching courses most future teachers pick up on how to deal with people – both students and the parents. It is part and parcel of being a teacher.


That being said, in our circles, many of the teachers do not have certificates or diplomas, and the only school they have been to didn’t teach them much about psychology and people skills.


Without getting into too much detail (and believe me I would love to, but I have to live in this community still, frustrated as I am) these people who have smicha, certain ones in particular, have no idea how to behave. Granted, my family presents with a situation that is not the norm (although sadly, divorce amongst religious folks is on the rise), but that doesn’t mean that they cannot be amenable to us. Most of the rebbeim in the school have been wonderful and accommodating. But of course it only takes one to make you want to throw a brick at all of them.


If there are seminars for religious educators about how to deal with kids going through a parents divorce, or kids who face unique family challenges – blended families, visitation with non custodial parent at a time when there are school commitments, a parent who lives in a different city etc – then these rebbeim need to attend them, they need to learn how to act towards impressionable children and young adults, to act with sensitivity and understanding, they need to be taught what happens to a young mind when they are needlessly intimidated by a person in authority. (Mind you, any intimidation of a child by an adult is unnecessary and totally wrong).


One thing people need to understand is that you mess with my kid, you are so going to get hurt. You make my kid cry and you better pack your bags and high tail it outta town, because even though I have no free time to even breathe these days, I will make time to make your life a living hell if you upset my flesh and blood. I am here to raise my kids, and I am trying my best to do it well, I don’t need these ignorant people shoving unnecessary oars in to stuff that’s so totally not their business.


Why can’t the charedi schools employ real teachers who might actually have a positive influence on the next generation??

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  1. Z! says:

    Sounds like you’ve had a shit day/week dear. Sorry to hear that. There are always a few bad eggs, and you know the old Jewish proverb: “Don’t judge Judaism by the Jews.”
    The unfortunate part is that most of these “terrorized” children do not have such lovong and open homes to come to, so you’ll also be speaking up on their behalf when you go to bat for your own kids. Watch out!! – Here comes Mama Lion!

  2. ilanadavita says:

    Why can’t the charedi schools employ real teachers who might actually have a positive influence on the next generation??
    May I suggest that charedim don’t want to acknowledge that a family where the parents have divorced is not necessarily wrong. They are not ready to admit that these things do happen.
    Are there no other Jewish schools in your area?
    I feel sorry for your kid.

  3. shoshi says:

    Sorry. It’s OK that a mother is furious when someone wrongs her child.

    But I think that mothers tend to take a somewhat self-complacent stance.
    Did you never, ever make any of your kids cry???

  4. shoshi says:

    Perhaps, in your anger, you forgot to look for possible solutions.
    What about inverting the weekend with the father? Are you afraid to ask him???

  5. hadassahsabo says:

    Shoshi – why are you so critical of me? you don’t know me, yet your comments often have the feel of personal attacks – what did i ever do to you to make you judge me so harshly?

  6. shoshi says:

    I know what you write and I respond to what you write.

    You have a very strong, critical tone towards others. I find this strong, critical tone exagerated.

    If you are so ready to critisie
    - your children’s teachers
    - the men who write you on jdate or whatever

    If you find it so funny to laugh about them
    you should also be ready to be critised yourself.

    I find the tone of your critism funny, I agree, but also very arrogant.

    I am not involved with you, I live on a different contintent, so chances that we will ever meet are very small, however I do not think that the way you treat some people in your blog is OK.
    That’s all.

  7. My feeling is that there are good teachers and bad teachers everywhere. I have had wonderful tearchers. I also had one teacher who completely humiliated me in front of my clas, and another who treated me badly because I am Jewish. I am sorry for any pain that your child endured. Everything will work out.

  8. S says:


    Unless you have walked in Hadassah’s shoes, you really have no idea how NOT critical she is given the situation she is in. She could be a very bitter, and she’s not. I find that she is suprisingly optimistic given that she is confronted with challenges that no frum woman is raised to have to expect to deal with.

    I, too, know what it is to deal with teachers and rabbis in frum schools that have NO clue how to deal with children from homes that are not “typical”. They can be downright rude and dismissive. You dare to ask her if she has overlooked solutions or is “afraid” to ask about changing the schedule with the father. You have no idea what the relationship is like. I can tell you in my case, a simple request to adjust a schedule like that would mean weeks of harrassment and court actions. And don’t think for one minute that these rabbis who give a hard time about a child’s schedule are going to be there to provide support when that happens. Just count yourself lucky that this is a situation to which you are unable to relate.

  9. shoshi says:

    Of course I dare to ask.

    One should never be afraid to ask. That’s one of my basic principles in life.

  10. Gavi says:

    Semicha is not a teaching degree. Unfortunately, people in the chareidi world often do not realize this. Read Rav Yakov Horowitz…

    Personally, I am not a fan of the yeshiva gedola here in Montreal, for a number of good reasons. I dread having to decide what to do for our son… because I simply cannot see putting him in that school.

    The kicker – it would be one thing if they turned out wonderul mentchen who were tremendous talmidei chachamim. If that was the case, I would be willing to supplement the secular education that is lacking… But even the lilmudei kodesh is not good by any reasonable standard: a thirteen-year-old boy should know how to read a mishna properly.

  11. Gavi says:

    For the record Hadassah – I have never heard your sons read mishna. That comment is based upon a yeshiva gedola graduate who I once learnt with…

  12. Lion of Zion says:

    “Why can’t the charedi schools employ real teachers who might actually have a positive influence on the next generation??”

    why do you send your kids to chareidi schools if you feel that strongly?

  13. Refuah Shelayma – Sounds like a rough week.

    My wife had to leave for Shabbat a few weeks back (she’s a p/t birth coach), leaving me with the (7) kids and (3) yeshiva guests for shabbat.

    It was rather exasperating, (and B’H, all the kids were healthy!).

    I have no clue how she survies when I fly for business trips.

  14. Lion of Zion says:


    “I have no clue how she survies when I fly for business trips.”

    and with your blogging, MDA volunteering, kitat konenut, etc. you think it’s any easier for her when you’re home? :)

  15. Rochelle Eissenstat says:

    I wish that “Just a mommy” or In the Pink” would be more careful attributing her quotes before dashing off a complaint against teachers. This is NOT a Chinese proverb! This was written by George Bernard Shaw!!! In 1903, in Maxims to Revolutionists, a booklet within the framework of his great play, Man and Superman. Even frum people can derive some wisdom from great nonJewish writers like Shakespeare and Shaw, not to mention many others. I wish that these were still taught in our schools.

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