Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yeshiva/KGB part 4

Part 1- The inability to express oneself.
Part 2- Excessive Banning
Part 3- Lying as a survival mechanism

Part 4- No kids allowed in the city.

My mother grew up in Moscow. Moscow was the major city in the former Soviet Union (currently a major city in Russia). The city was a place full of tourists and life. Over the summers, the government did not allow children under the age of 16 to remain in the city. They were considered to much of a nuisance for the delegates and other important summer guests to put up with.

Over the summers my mother went to a small stinky little town in Moldova to stay with her grandparents. She went to camp a couple of times as well. She would go every summer away from her parents. This went on since birth (well, first summer of her life mom went with her for nursing purposes- story confirmed by grandma).

The government didn't like children much, but they did like to control people. The official reason for the kids leaving, was in order to keep the town clean and quiet for the tourists. IN reality it was for the government to prevent the kids from having to much time to spend with their parents. Remember, this was the Soviet Union, they had the kibbutz like mentality of communal raising." With the kids spending summers away from home, the kids don't take after parents, rather after the society and the crazy government rulings. Which leads to a form of thought control.

For the frummies spending summers in the city is a huge social stigma. They think "If my kids remain in the city, what will people think? What if they think we can't afford camp?" and fear that the end of the world is coming in reference to their children's shidduch prospects. There is definitely alot of KGB in this system as well. Having senseless social stigma's such as this one are ways for the Rebbeim to structure and control the kids to be a certain way. It's all a matter of thought control.

Camp is up on the list for stupid things frummies do without knowing why. Every summer thousands of couples feel as if they are "required" to send their kids to camp. They run amok claiming that the city is no place for the children to spend the summer; if you ask what it is exactly that's wrong with spending the summer in the city, they'll answer you with something stupid such as "There's nothing for the kids to do" or "All their friends are leaving, they shouldn't be forced to stay alone."

I find it hard to believe that in NYC there would be nothing for the kids to do as well as their being alone in a city full of millions of people.

Anyway, the stigma is there and its mostly attached to shidduchim. My sister's friend got bribed to go to camp. Her parents promised if she agreed to go to camp, they would give her horseback riding lessons (something she very much wanted). Other friends were forced to go to camps and found themselves going to different camps every year in hopes of finding one they actually liked (the people, the amount of freedom, the food, etc). These parents bribe/force their kids to go to camp because of the mere facts that HS applications and shidduch resumes find it important to look into camp references.

The reason these questions are asked on HS applications and on shidduch resumes is obviously because of the Rebbeim's need to control the public. Think about it. If a kid spends 10/12 months at school, with a very tight schedule, 8:30-5 four days a week, and then 8:30-12:30 twice a week (not including HW time) the kids have no time to think, speak, or socialize with anyone that may be deemed inappropriate. The kid/young adult, spends so many hours invested in school work, that it is nearly impossible to have any life outside of school. The Rebbeim control the education of the schools, therefore for 10 months out the year, the Rabbi's get power.

For two months over the summer, the kid suddenly has free time to explore and think and read books or watch movies, which may have him/her question the authority presented to them for the 10 months during the school year. To ensure the power remains, Rabbi's had to enact some sort of summer system to get the kids away from their accustomed environments, into a more sheltered and structured one- summer camp.

With summer camp, Rebbeim can ensure that children will not ask questions because their schedules are filled with just enough fun to keep them from resenting the learning. Even if the kids are at day camps, they come home too tired to really enjoy the quality education idleness can encourage.

The Soviet Union wanted the kids away from the parents to ensure they wouldn't accidentally teach kids anything anticommy, or teach them anything at all. The USSR was all into government control and communal learning. They liked the idea of thought control. Something that today's Rabbi's seem to be instating into their control.

Reminds me of the Pink Floyd song from the wall,
"We don't need no education We don't need no thought control No dark sarcasm in the classroom Teacher, leave them kids alone Hey!, Teacher, leave them kids alone "

Hey Rabbi's leave them summers alone!


Lion of Zion said...

"a small stinky little town in Moldova"

hey, watch it

abandoning eden said...

yeah I don't agree that an 8:30-5:30 schedule leaves no time for inappropriate socializing, as I had that exact schedule in high school (plus a 40 minute each way commute), and managed to find the time to find 3 boyfriends (not at the same time)(and I went to an all girls school), plus I hung out with plenty of inappropriate people. It probably helped that I never did homework until I got to college.

Now I work 10am-7pm (last night I was at work until 8) and I still find time to inappropriately party too hard every night, and hang out with all sorts of inappropriate people. :)

Ophir said...

Frum Skeptic- This is way overboard. There are many reasons kids go to camp. The air is fresher in the mountains. It gives the parents a break as well. I think it is sick that you are comparing the frum world to the KGB. I agree that some aspects of the frum world can be stifling. Some of that has to be with being Orthodox and some of it has to do with people going crazy. I believe this is not an instance where "rabbis" are going crazy. You can do whatever you want when you have kids. I truly wonder what your parents, who grew up with the KGB, think about this comparison. I think its sick.

Anonymous said...

I am Father of Frum Skeptic. My name is Henry.
I agree with Frum Skeptics comparison of mind control tactics used by ultra frummies and KGB.
My Sister and I went to summer camp every ear for the reason Ophir said 'The air is fresher in the out of city and It gives the parents a break as well'. No one was forced to go to camp but was encourage by the government to keep children as much as possible under their control.
We did not have shidduch resumes. Comparing ultra frum tactict to control peoples minds could be even better compared to Taliban

Yeshivis with eyes open said...

There are many good reasons to send kids to camp.
1. The air is cleaner.
2. The kids get to socialize with other kids from all over, usually not the sames ones thatthey go to school with.
3. Camps usually provide the kids with trips their parenst dont have the time to takethem on.
4. It is also a welcome break for both parentand child.
I consider myself to be yeshivish and oersonally went to camp willingly for over a decade. My best friends are those I made in camp. No Rabbi ever forced me to go.
As a parent I have exposed all of my kids to camp. Some liked it and continue to go, others didnt and have found jobs or day camps here in the city. There is no stigma attached to the ones that stayed home.
It is a shame that you look to expose constant negativism in Yiddeshkeit and your fellow jews. If you would take a minute to appreciate how great the jewish nation is instead of looking for things to complain about, maybe you would be happier.
Then again, perhaps you feel guilty about not measuring up and this is your defense mechanism.
Wither way, with Rosh Hashanah just about 6 weeks away, maybe its time you start looking for ways to love your fellow jew instead of comparing us to the KGB.

frumskeptic said...

LOZ: It literally was a stinky town in Moldova. lol. Mom describes it as backwards, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't typical moldova. :-)

AE: I stopped doing HW when I joined the yeshiva system. Education sux there! Bleh. Either way, most girls in my school went to school, studied, and then studied some more. They had no time to socialise. That was the idea.

Ophir, Yeshivish eyes:

SEnding the kid to camp is one thing, a social stigma is another. Like it or not it IS a stigma amongst frummies. I've had many freinds forced to go to camp due to shidduch, HS app purposes. Its how the community is. ITs stupid.

Then there are people constantly going on scholarships to afford camp. Why would they do that if there was no stigma attached to it? They wouldn't, it happens to be because of the stigma.

Yeshivis eyes:

In the case of your kids who got jobs in the city, they were already old enough that according to yeshivish system, it was ok for them to get a job. They still spent childhood at camps. The ones at day camp, are still camp! Their schedules are decided by othes.

"Then again, perhaps you feel guilty about not measuring up and this is your defense mechanism. "

Yea, every morning I wake up with this intense form of guilt I cannot control. Oh yea, you so figured me out, you must be a shrink or something.

All I want in this world is to fit into the yeshivish community, pop-out kids every other month, while my husband and I sit on welfare and tzedakah checks because he's "holy" and he learns all day!

Oh wow...if only a BT could find a decent learner.


Anonymous: Hi Pa! :-)

Moshe said...

We're from Moscow and my parents have no idea what you're talking about. Also, when we did go for vacation, it was only for a month.

Regarding going to camp, TG I'm BT. Never went to shadchan and think teh idea is idiotic to begin with.

frumskeptic said...


Ok, the year of the olympics were forced. The years before were highly encouraged, and kids were not wanted in the streets.

Kids were given free trips to camps, and the government did all they could in reference to propoganda to get their kids out of cities. Specifically in Moscow, cuz it wa a major city and they wanted the kids out.

Maybe you were younger, dunno. I jsut asked mom. dad is from Kiev, so it was a tad different. can't ask him.

Moshe said...

I just asked mine, she said no forcing and no suggesting and I never went to camp in Russia. We went for a month to the Black Sea or to Ukraine.
We were there until 89, I was born in 78. Maybe your mom lived in the middle of the city...we were from the south, Medvedkovo.

frumskeptic said...

MOshe: Just called grandma, she said that there was definitly the need for kids to leave the city. Then she called her bro to confirm, no answer yet.

Mom had already left by 79. So maybe the rules changed by the time you were of age to go to camp.

She doesn't know if she lived in middle of city

frumpunk said...

This is more about New York Jews than frum Jews. I wanted to go to camp, but didnt get to go until I was 15.

Also, you had it good. My schedule was 7.30 to 6.21. Fridays 7.30 to 3.30 and Sundays 7.45 - 1.

frumskeptic said...

punk: Well yea NY Jews. BUt only city kids were supposed to leave for camp in the Soviet Union as well.

About schools, I kinda made a combo of the girls/boys Elementary and HS hours.

I beleive the HS's for guys are longer than the onesi posted. Just don't know for sure the hours, and the prob vary amongst yeshiva. I know Mire has crazy hours (kid at my shul goes there), just don't know for sure what they are.

frumskeptic said...

punk: Well yea NY Jews. BUt only city kids were supposed to leave for camp in the Soviet Union as well.

About schools, I kinda made a combo of the girls/boys Elementary and HS hours.

I beleive the HS's for guys are longer than the onesi posted. Just don't know for sure the hours, and the prob vary amongst yeshiva. I know Mire has crazy hours (kid at my shul goes there), just don't know for sure what they are.

mlevin said...

Spoke to my mom about kids in Moscow. She said "Pravelno, chto b ne meshalis" Of course, so the kids don't get in the way.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: this I agree with, parents should feel required to send their kid to camp. But I still wouldn't compare it to the KGB. Remember actions of these "frummie" people don't show anything of what the frum way really is. That's an important thing, you may get disgusted at what they do, when you think it doesn't make sense, but remember if its not from the actual way a person should lead a frum life, but rather someone's mushagas, then don't take it out on the frum people.

Also, it could be parents want to send their kids to camp because they remember their great camp experiences and they want to be able to give that to their children too.

It's also the same as the sem in Israel concept, although I don't know if parents require their children to do it.

I agree with Ophir. I hate to say this, but I think your views are coming from your parents.

Also, some children need the routine camp provides they would be bored otherwise. It's funny cause now I might be starting to understand it, and answer my own question of what I wrote in my post about day camp. Although I do still believe parents shouldn't want to get rid of their kids in that way.

Boys have long hours in school because for some it will be the last time learning, so they try to chap it all in during that time period, perhaps. Plus teenage year is when they start going to extremes, and they can drive their parents crazy about it, so they figure its better if the boys argue about all their chumras and stuff with each other rather than imposing them on the parents.

Moshe said...

Last time learning? Why, they're planning on going off the derech? Plenty of people go to shiurim or daf yomi or learn with havrusa.

The Babysitter said...

Moshe: Right, that's true, but its not the same full time learning as in Yeshiva. Plus when their in school they don't have that much outside influence. After they graduate HS, they go into the real world and its different. They can't learn the same way.

mlevin said...

Babysitter - exactly, they can't learn the same when they are older and influenced by the outside world. While in Yeshivah, everything they learn is hypothetical, but when they older they are able to learn and apply and ask real questions and realize that half of what they learned in Yeshivah is not applicable to real life.

The Babysitter said...

Mlevin: I meant they can't learn with the same devotion. But your right it is important to learn when their working, cause that's when the questions come up, which is why they should have a Rabbi to ask their questions too.

But there's still something to learning for the sake of learning. There's different types of learning. There's Halacha which is practical, then there's mussar which is applicable too. But then there's also other types of learning, where its just to strengthen your emuna, bitachon and other good Jewish Middos.

Just like after someone is married it's harder for them to continue college as diligently as when they were single. By learning its harder once they have a family, there's less time.

Moshe said...

Can't stand learning anything other than facts. All of that mussar and bitachon is a bunch of blah, blah, blah whatever. Feel good stories, feel bad stories, booooring.

mlevin said...

Babysitter - But if Rabbi never worked/lived in the real world, if he never saw a TV show, a movie, if he doesn't read newspapers, doesn't use internet, basically if that rabbi leads a sheltered life, how could he give a practical advise?

The Babysitter said...

Mlein: You answered your own question. Because he hasn't done all those things, he can give the right advice that's from the Torah, and he doesn't give mumble jumble advice that has a little TV and Torah in it. TV doesn't teach you how to paskan Halacha.

Moshe said...

This kind of thinking is very dangerous. In early 1900s, rabbis, due to ignorance, ruled that it's permitted to turn on light on yom tov. Every time people turned on the lights, they committed a sin and even now some old people say that that was the halacha then and refuse to stop following it.

The Babysitter said...

Moshe: a light is different. I think its important for a Rabbi to be educated on new technology. But I don't see how TV fits into this. I mean what questions do you have concerning it? Weather your allowed to Turn it on on Shabbos? Weather your allowed to watch it if you left it on by mistake before Shabbos? These Halachos are the same as other things, they can be applied to TV just like their used by any other electric appliance.

mlevin said...

Actually, Moshe, I think that the whole electricy on Yom Tov has to be rethought. But then you would need an engineer and a rabbi to make that decision, they rather stick to what was decided before.

Even electricity on Shabbos could be permissible in the near future. One main reason rabbeim pasken it's not permissible is because it generates heat... Well, if we could have an electrical appliance that does not generate any heat... This is a wrong place for such a discussion...

Moshe said...

You're kidding, right? Heat?!
The reason it's forbidden is because it's completion of work when you're closing the circuit.
The heat thing was the error of the early 1900s.

frumskeptic said...

mlevin: Moshe is right. You're wrong.

Its all the circuit thing.

electricity will not become legalized on shabbos unless the entire way it is passed to houses changes.

mlevin said...

"electricity will not become legalized on shabbos unless the entire way it is passed to houses changes." You mean like private solar/wind power?

Moshe said...

No, like no wires

Moshe said...

Really, even that wouldn't help because even if the electrons would move through a different medium, it's still a closed circuit. I doubt electricity based lights would ever be allowed. Start researching bio and chemical luminescence.

mlevin said...

No lights wouldn't be allowed. I remember hearing somewhere it (fire) can't be used for heat, light and something else, it escapes my mind somehow. So, no, we wouldn't be using it for light or for warmth.

frumskeptic said...

mlevin: huh?

Moshe said...

What? Only incandescent bulbs produce heat. Fluorescent, LED and OLED don't.

mlevin said...

No, I heard you can't use it (fire/electricity) if it produces heat, light, or pleasure.

Mikeinmidwood said...

Heat is not the reason its because electricity is like a fire or the way its used in light bulb. it heats up the wire causing it to produce light. in other ways its also not good but not because of heat.

mlevin said...

Either heat or light, still can't switch lights on/off on Shabbos. But what about other electrical devices that we are in contact with which do not produce heat in any way or form, nor light, nor pleasure? Is it possible to use them?

Moshe said...

Nothing to do with heat and lights, completion of circuit. So no.
Mike, wires don't produce light even when they're hot enough to start burning. You need a very thin wire to produce light, Tungsten in this case.

mlevin said...

Moshe-when computer is on, there is always a complete circuit. When you press a button you just changing its flow.

Moshe said...

I think you need to read up on your physics.
Flow of electrons is changed by completion of a circuit even if this circuit is within a greater circuit. You house is also part of a greater circuit. So according to your logic, turning on the lights is just changing the flow too.

mlevin said...

Exactly. What is wrong with that logic?

Moshe said...

go read up on physics...