Nov 28, 2016

OTD in Yerushalayim


In a Binah magazine interview with Rebbetzin Chana Weinberg, of the Slonimer family, a 7th generation Yerushalmi, a descendent of the Boruch Taam, a Baharan* einikel, I read a shocking thing.

She said that after World War II, when she was in fifth grade, she went to the first Bais Yaakov school in Yerushalayim.  One of the teachers was Chava Landsberg, a student of Sarah Schenirer.  They were approximately forty girls and only three girls remained frum.  "If I tell you their names, you will tremble ... daughters of roshei yeshiva, daughters of Rebbes, all went off the derech completely.  All of my friends and neighbors joined the movements of the Haganah, Etzel, Brit Chashmonaim and Beitar, singing patriotic songs and going to meetings.  The bachurim too joined the Haganah.  I would see boys in the streets, without hats, with guns, and then I would recognize them as bachurim from Yeshiva Eitz Chaim.

"Some of the youth left because of the extreme poverty, but many left because of their chinuch.  In some of these homes, the parents had come from Poland already influenced by the Bund.  Their homes were not whole and the children went searching for what was missing. They wanted excitement, they wanted enthusiasm!

"My friends laughed at me and said that I was na├»ve, that I didn't know what was going on.  I knew very well what was going on but I didn't ever want to go with them.  I wasn't interested at all.  There were many times I have asked myself why, why didn't I go?

"The only thing I can think of is that I had so much more at home.  I was fulfilled; I wasn't missing anything."


*Baharan stands for Ben HaRav Nachum.  Each of the five sons of Rav Nachum Shadiker (1810-1865) had a dream that they should move to Eretz Yisrael. Without knowing that the others had the same dream, each one packed to leave Poland.  They all met at the boat and traveled together to Eretz Yisrael.  They were known as the Baharan.

1 comment:

  1. While doing lots of sewing, I recently listened to some youtube interviews of people who left the derech, wrote books about it, joined Footsteps, etc. There were some commonalities. One was family dysfunction, both in the families of origin and after marriage, another was easy availability of books of kefira, with no one to explain why the books reflected sheker. They couldn't confide in anyone while still part of the community. Heavy stress was another catalyst.

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