Daas Torah: Maran Harav Wolbe, זצ”ל: a perspective

A. It is said that when Harav Shlomo Wolbe זצ”ל,  was in his salad years, serving as the Mashgiach Ruchani in Yeshivas באר יעקב, the חזון איש זצ”ל bestowed upon him the title the מחנך הדור.

The Mashgiach זצ”ל was bold. He shared ideas that were not always conventional.

He wrote in his most popular Sefer “עלי שור” that hitting a child for any reason is not acceptable. It sends the child/student a lesson that should never be learned.

Maran Harav Chaim Kanyevsky שליט”א in his Sefer אורחות יושר disagrees. Harav Dessler זצ”ל also disagrees.

Undoubtedly, beating a child is against Torah ideals and Halacha. Even for educational benefit for the student/child. The prohibition of beating a child Is pronounced when the parent/teacher are angry. The hitting that is supported by some , is more like a soft tap on the palm of the child’s hand.

B. What is a yeshiva for? Who is a yeshiva for?

Maran Harav Wolbe זצ”ל, once came with his partner, Maran Harav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro זצ”ל to the חזון איש זצ”ל to seek advice. The Yeshiva באר יעקב was in it’s embryonic stages and they were making an effort to attract and enrol very bright students. They requested from the חזון איש זצ”ל that if he came upon parents of very bright young men who are looking for a yeshiva, perhaps he can suggest באר יעקב?

The חזון איש זצ”ל immediately responded saying that very bright boys can manage on their own … an does not need the help of a yeshiva. It is the weak to average student that needs the help of a yeshiva. The חזון איש זצ”ל then added “a yeshiva is like a hospital, the student enters weak and leaves healthy and strong”.

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