Monday, 8 Adar II, 5784
  |  March 18, 2024

The Number One Thing a Bochur Needs

From the COLlive inbox: An exchange between my brother-in-law and a Rosh Yeshiva at a Thursday night farbrengen made me realize a recurring theme that has surfaced for me and many fellow bochurim. Full Story

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Amazing article
March 28, 2022 9:46 pm

Every menahel and mechanech in Lubavitch needs to read this

Food for thought
March 28, 2022 9:50 pm

1. Dont do to your children what you recieved from your parents or teachers. Do better! People tend to pass the same cycle again and again. Stop blaming parents when you are old enough to take responsibility and not give to to the next generation what you didn’t receive. 2. Being involved in shidduchim I realized when dealing with bochurim and me being a serious girl seriously wanting to married, I was faced with bochurim yearning thirsty (like literally drinking it all in) for emotional support from me when I gave them my undivided attention. Each time! I always wondered… Read more »

Reply to  Food for thought
March 29, 2022 11:10 pm

Wow knH good for you for being so aware. Please continue spreading this. Very nice!

March 28, 2022 10:10 pm

So true, and so well articulated.

Mesivta Ohr Temimim Toronto Fan
March 28, 2022 10:37 pm

The staff at Mesivta Ohr Temimim have an incredible mix of authentic chassidishkeit, yet an understanding that bochurim need to be valued and noticed, their strengths lovingly drawn out. My son has matured and grown with an emeskeit and contentedness that makes me just so proud and grateful.

March 28, 2022 10:45 pm

First, the author of this piece is for sure a recent psychology-oriented graduate, perhaps a social worker or an ealy-development therapist. And yes—I say that cynically. Second—sometimes, we lose ourselves in abstractions. This article articulated the importance of love and respect in a young man’s development, both of which are undoubtedly necessary, and then the article heavily elaborates on it. Implicit in the article is that the absence of these things is the primary cause for many bachurim’s suffering in yeshiva. However, let’s take a step back: Do you really think that the reason so many bachurim are unhappy in… Read more »

Sorry....Not that complex.
Reply to  Okay
March 29, 2022 12:16 am

Get to know the Talmuds name for starters. (I had many Yeshiva years where they didnt even know my name) Then learn what makes the student special, different and shine. Encourage, compliment and follow up. Dont be judgemental. (No need to bring up the multi colored sneaker 6 times to Friday) Yes it IS usually that simple to make a Talmud become the best he can be. Really.

Reply to  Sorry....Not that complex.
March 29, 2022 1:58 am

Do you really think chinuch isnt complex? Is it really that simple? Are michanchim so dumb? Dont you think there is a reason why so many fail? Dont you think there is a reason that the Frierdike Rebbe said and the Rebbe put in hayom yom, that every Yid who is shayach needs to spend at least HALF AN HOUR A DAY thinking about the chinuch of children (including teenagers)? A talmids life should be simple, but a michanechs life, especially hanholos of mesivtos needs to be complex. Chinuch is deep. There are subtleties that are so abstract that the… Read more »

Lack of Rebbe perspective
Reply to  Seriously???
March 29, 2022 3:55 pm

Our yeshivas copied what other Brooklyn yeshivas were doing instead of learning from the Rebbe. That’s why we have all these problems. The other communities expect to be treated in a hard way and just accept it

Blah blah blah....
Reply to  Seriously???
March 29, 2022 8:28 pm

Etzem vs P’nimius??? Give me a break. Simply respect and cherish the Talmid. Make him feel special and don’t be judgemental when he has his own unique style.. This will yield healthy humans and they will learn all the Mamarim and go through the entire Shas as a “happy” and healthy camper.

Reply to  Sorry....Not that complex.
March 29, 2022 8:43 am

You probably mean talmid.

Were you that type of talmid that all it would take to make you happy in yeshiva was the staff knowing your name?

Reply to  Talmud
March 29, 2022 9:41 am

It would definitely help feeling more respected and appreciated if staff members knew students name

Oh Joy
Reply to  Okay
March 29, 2022 1:35 am

It’s interesting you confidently make that first assumption when very likely he is just a bochur…. Just finishing or out of the system, possibly just naturally emotionally aware and articulate. Boy oh boy. I wish you could find out.

As for concluding that the author is blaming all students’ unhappiness on this is silly. He doesn’t say that, nor does he strongly imply it. Respect is vital and could, however, extremely enhance or improve the experience of nearly every bochur.

A 17 year old
Reply to  Okay
March 29, 2022 7:13 pm

100% disagree I’m a bocher in shiur aleph zal and has been around in different yeshivas on the spectrum and I say it with no doubt this is the most accurate description I’ve ever seen of what unfortunately yidishkeit and chassidishkeit became in our system this article is the nice way of saying that the system unfortunately destroyed and continues to do so too so many young teens..

Concerned parent
March 28, 2022 10:45 pm

On the mark !!
Expressed very clear.
Unfortunately I know of bachurim in some cases who even intermarried from being squashed by hanhala hashem yishmareinu. Imagine parents work so hard to send their kids to yeshiva and they get trashed. If you see it happening to your kid, get him to a different place, immediately.

As you wrote what has happened is disempower and burnout our most precious commodity rachmana latzlan.

A lot to be discussed further
Bsuros tovos and Hatzlacha to the educators , students and parents. And don’t forget about the girls as well too.

Yes we can’t forget about the girls!
Reply to  Concerned parent
March 29, 2022 12:19 am

I think it’s important that we mention the girls also I think they lack this and feel this as well… Hatzlocha in all mosdos
Looking forward to see a follow up about this!

Elephant in room
Reply to  Concerned parent
March 29, 2022 9:12 am

Wow! While thankfully it is a tiny plague. (Hope it’s not my ignorance) The fact that I know of 2 and unfortunately this tragic disease it is likely more prevalent is horrifically sad. Dunno what can be done as sometimes calling attention creates a bigger problem but WE MUST DEAL with this and save so many who are falling out just as the geula is so near. This article is brilliant. We do need better bridges so ppl won’t fall off. but we can’t just fix the bridge, we need hospitals for all those who accidentally jumped off ( or… Read more »

Beautifully said
March 28, 2022 11:03 pm

Thank you for sharing this critical message .

The mashpia in the story
March 28, 2022 11:05 pm

Sounds like rabbi Vechter from Toronto mesivta is the mashpia in the story. Big fan of his

Reply to  The mashpia in the story
April 3, 2022 10:02 pm

He’s Amazing!!!

March 28, 2022 11:27 pm

This article is gold, thank you for sharing.

A must read
March 28, 2022 11:44 pm

Likely the best article written on col! Every single school personnel and parent should read this.

March 28, 2022 11:46 pm

This resonates so much!
It sent me back down memory lane, and I feel sad for my younger self.

Girls too
March 29, 2022 1:17 am

Applies equally to girls high schools and seminaries.

This applies to everyone
March 29, 2022 3:23 am

Parents need to speak to their children respectfully, as well.

March 29, 2022 5:10 am

This must be a major reason why so many of our beautiful youth went off the derech
An article for everyone to read

Such a important topic
March 29, 2022 7:10 am

What “M” is expressing is something that does not get spoken about enough.

There is culture of disrespect around “bouchrim” as a whole that falls into the category they should have “bitul” that is killing our teenagers from the inside.

Hope this article is the start of a greater dialog with our yeshvias.

Thank you! Congrats on sticking through it 🙂 (Yeshiva and Smicha graduate)

March 29, 2022 7:44 am

If you are in education and don’t “get” this message, then maybe you should consider another career or get help until you “get”,it.

Big Yasher Koach to the author of this crucial oped.

You “nailed it”!

March 29, 2022 9:22 am

Not only every bochur, tho. Every human, regardless of age or social status, wants to be seen without conditions, and to matter. And while that seems basic, consider yourself and your views and interactions with others – does another’s being matter to you? do you accept and recosgnize them as theyare or as you want them to be? And as to this post and its focus – bochurim (or students), I’d say it’s quite the challenge of an educator to respect a student who doesn’t conform to the box the ultraorthodox religious jewish chassidish lubavitch has for its citizenry and… Read more »

I always knew it to be true …
March 29, 2022 10:18 am

….But 25 years ago, as a young bochur, I wouldn’t dare discuss ‘respect’ with a hanhala member.

Only hoping those who need to hear this DO!
March 29, 2022 3:44 pm

A Rosh Yeshiva told a bochur I know (as welk as a few others that year), at the beginning of his second year there, that “I just want you to know that I did not want for you to be here this year.” This bochur, a relative of mine, lived with that for a whole year and did not tell his parents until the end of the year. He had never done anything any worse behaviors (typical bochur mischief — nothing outrageous or illegal) than several “in good standing” classmates had done — but the classmates had lied and this… Read more »

Hadar HaTorah Bochurim
March 29, 2022 7:17 pm

I agree with the author. I would take the author’s advice and apply this 10x to “BT” bochurim. Chabad prides itself on being open and inclusive yet I experienced something different when I came to CH as a bochur from a foreign country (someone who was raised in a secular home) to study in Hadar Hatorah. I learned that the people of CH shunned and looked down on Hadar HaTorah bochurim and was quite taken aback by this attitude (this is despite the fact that many Bochurim who studied in Hadar HaTorah were very accomplished and went on to achieve… Read more »

As a bas BT
Reply to  Hadar HaTorah Bochurim
March 29, 2022 11:09 pm

And being involved with FFBs throughout my life, I can only say: hang on tight to your belief that you decided to become frum for Hashem and his Torah and hiskashrus to our Rebbe. FFBs will disappoint you, a lot. To the point where you will question, THIS is the Rebbes chassidim? This is their whole encouragement to make frum yidden? The answer will be yes, and unfortunately. My parent left chabad but came back only for our Rebbe (this was before gimmel tammuz, and yes an old issue) BUT hold on tight to Hashem and his Torah!

March 29, 2022 10:50 pm

Bochurim are expected to be like machines – Learn 14 hours a day, daven x hours, sleep x hours etc. The fact is the vast majority of Bochurim just can’t handle that. Maybe start treating boys as human beings, just like girls are.

Chabad makes fun of mussar/ misnagdim
March 31, 2022 2:38 am

But I’ve seen more mussar from chabad than from litvaks… with our own that is.
It’s like there’s 2 modes- “in house” and “out house” as one Shliach proudly told me. Maybe it’s time to synthesize the 2 attitudes…

Very much relate
Reply to  Chabad makes fun of mussar/ misnagdim
March 31, 2022 4:44 pm

The contrast of the accepting non judgmental Chabad that accepts and welcomes every single Yid must carry forward towards those within our communities. I like the term you use. “Synthesize” the two attitudes.

Thank you for the insightful article.
April 3, 2022 12:04 am

As someone not as articulate as you, I’ve not been able to express my anger and rage at the way some of my grandchildren were treated at several out-of-town Chabad yeshivos. The people in charge are not the big “educators” they pretend to be. Clearly unable to pick on someone their own size, they mistreat young sensitive students. Making an “example” of a student for an infraction, humiliating him before the entire student body, treating him as worthless, what good could possibly result?

To sum it all up
April 20, 2022 1:06 am

Let bochrim have their beins because they are just expressing themselves in a mature fashion. Menahel step back and give space for this wonderful expression of maturity