For an educational system, one important measure of success
is if its graduates become functional, productive members of
society. By this measure, the chareidi educational system has
been very successful, as the overwhelming majority of the
graduates find themselves fully prepared for life. They
establish homes and take a place in society no less smoothly,
and certainly more frequently and consistently, than the
graduates of any other educational system. Although there are
no academic studies that have produced quantified results,
the overall success is clearly evident in the homes and
streets of communities like Modi'in Illit, Beitar, Beit
Shemesh and Elad that are comprised exclusively of the
products of the Israeli chareidi educational system.
To be sure there are difficulties and failures. Our system
faces the challenges of constant growth from within and some
aspects of the flux of modern society from without. However,
the problems are certainly no greater than those of other
educational systems, and the impression is that they are much
smaller. They are discussed openly because, for one, now that
the chareidi system has become so large, bli ayin
hora, even a small percentage of problems is a large
absolute number. Also, it is the mark of a healthy, vigorous
system that it seeks to confront and overcome its failures
and not to excuse them away.
But there is no way to argue with the general success.
Thousands of homes are established yearly. In due time,
kein yirbu, families are raised and the children are
sent to the same types of institutions that their parents
attended. That clearly shows that the parents were at least
satisfied with their own education. The communities
themselves are model communities.
A typical chareidi young man or woman is a mature,
responsible individual whose mind is active, agile and
capable of learning and growth. If he or she chooses to learn
a trade or profession at the proper time, they have the
intellectual development to do so, even demanding
professions. Learning Torah is itself an intellectually
demanding occupation, and this is where most are oriented.
This is well-known.
By this measure, a Torah education is wildly successful. It
clearly develops people's minds to a level that is at least
comparable to any other educational approach. Although there
is the normal variation among individuals that is found in
any human population, mental abilities like the ability to
analyze a complex situation, the ability to synthesize many
elements, and the ability to produce original responses to
given problems, are very highly developed by the products of
Another measure, in its own terms, of the success of an
educational system is if the graduates turn out as the
molders and shapers of the system want them to turn out. By
this measure too, the chareidi educational system has been
successful for the last generation, as the overwhelming
majority of the graduates continue along the path laid out
for them by the rabbonim who comprise the responsible boards
of all chareidi educational institutions.
Again, this does not mean that there are not problems and
that there is no room for improvement, but the performance of
the system should prove that the system itself should be the
source of improvement from within. The chareidi system is not
The people least qualified to improve the success of the
chareidi system are those who run the general educational
system in the State of Israel. There is violence in the
schools and the graduates have not learned what the system is
set up to teach them. Their skills are poor and their ties to
their upbringing are weak. They seek their future in the
mountains of Tibet or the fleshpots of Los Angeles.
It is particularly absurd when the claim is made that it is
for our own good. Shouldn't a chareidi teacher "benefit" from
the latest fads and fantasies of the distinguished professors
who do such a "good" job of running the Western world?
Training teachers will certainly benefit them, that is true.
But they are not telling us to train our teachers; they are
telling us that they want to train and certify our teachers --
and supervise our curriculums, and who knows where it will
We know where it would end, chas vesholom, if
gedolei Yisroel now led by Maran HaRav Eliashiv, did
not stand firmly against all attempts to interfere.
As the Shinui-inspired government officials attempt to argue
with our success, we must, besiyata deShmaya, make
sure that we win the argument.