Jun 21, 2011

School - Then and Now

A woman from Hungary described what school was like there:

"Schools in those days (in the 50's) were very different from today.  Public schools had professional educators who were experts in their academic fields, and were fierce disciplinarians.  They were there to teach, and we were there to learn.  We truly feared them.  There was no talking back or fooling around.  They did not care about making us feel good, nor were they interested in our self-esteem.  They never praised us.  We were called by our last names.  We were like little soldiers in boot camp."

Is there any evidence that the school system today produces children who are any more well-adjusted, more knowledgeable, with greater character?

I am not in favor of school being a terrifying place but there is much to praise in a school system that fosters respect for authority, conformity to the rules, proper behavior, and an atmosphere in which one learns! From our perspective, these are vital lessons for life as Torah Jews.  Is it a coincidence that just as frum schools and homes are adopting the touchy-feely values of modern-day psychology that we are reading more and more about children who are acting out, dropping out, hurting themselves, and are miserable?

Jun 2, 2011

So, You Want A Boycott ...


News item: Why Health Authorities Are So Worried About Europe's Mutant E. Coli Outbreak

By Bryan Walsh Thursday, June 2, 2011

Health officials were worried enough about an unusually virulent outbreak of food-borne illness from the E. coli bacteria, which has infected more than 1,500 people in Germany and killed at least 17. But the concern jumped to another level on Thursday when the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the responsible pathogen was a strain of E. coli that they believe had never before been seen by scientists.

News item:

BERLIN, March 16, 2011 – (EJPost) Germans “Kauft nicht bei Juden!” (“Do not buy from Jews!”) - under that name the National-Socialist regime staged his boycott of Jewish businesses and factories in 1933.

In today’s Germany you can no longer say that, because it is forbidden. But what will you do as a staunch “S“ocialist “A“ctivist in Germany, if you’re a Jew hater, and do not want to be punished, but want to be progressive in a modern sense?

Simply hide your anti-Semitism under a new cloak and call it “anti-Zionism” – then you can ideologically clean, stand with signs in front of shops and calling for a boycott of Israeli products.

On March 11, at 4 pm a guard of activists from the Bremen-Peace-Forum (Arbeitsgruppe Nahost), positioned itself before the REWE-market in the Wachmannstrasse, in the city district of Bremen-Schwachhausen.

With posters, they called for a boycott of Israeli goods, distributed Information material and tried to talk with passers. On the Posters you could also read the slogan, “Save the Palestinian people”. (To what Palestinians are able to do and what we must know about the Palestinian people, can be found here… )

Their reasons: “Israel holds the West Bank occupied for decades, contrary to numerous UN resolutions, more and more illegal jewish settlements be built and Israel exports the harvested fruits from there. They say this is all against international law and the exports from the occupied territories are illegal”.

Today's News Item: Produce farmers across the European Union are hurting, as consumers have stopped buying vegetables and fruits, afraid that anything might carry the pathogen. The situation may only worsen; Russia announced an immediate ban on all European fresh produce in response to the outbreak. Although the E.U. has protested, if Russia holds up its ban, it will hurt: the Russian market for European produce is worth $5.5 billion a year.

After numerous calls for boycotts of Israeli produce and goods from numerous European countries, Europeans are getting a taste of their own medicine.