Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman and Accepting Children to Yeshivas

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Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman and Accepting Children to YeshivasA Rosh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak sought council by Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman regarding a parent who wanted to enroll two children from a second marriage into his school. The Rosh Yeshiva did not want to accept them since they weren’t the model student the school seeks to accept. Rabbi Shteinman sharply criticized the school – calling it Gaavah not to accept every student.

Under the video it says

“every frum Jew, especially from places like Lakewood NJ, or Israel, must watch this!!!!! this is about a big [Chinuch] issue that is in a lot of schools.. and needs to be taken care of!!! who ever needs to watch this is probably aware of this.”

Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman was recently asked about a case where someone with 2 children enrolled in a Yeshiva remarried to someone with 2 children of her own, and that the husband insisted that those children as well go to the same Yeshiva. The concern there was that the wife was more “open minded” and didn’t “fit in” to the Yeshiva’s standards.

Rav Shteinman’s retort was to the effect that:

  • “Who decides what’s good for the school and what kids are not??”
  • “Are there any other Yeshivas to send the boys? Where should they go to, America?”
  • “If the husband wants to send his boys only to that Yeshiva, then he wants his kids to have the best education. If you (the administrators) did the same thing, would people call you Meshigennah too?”
  • “To decide who goes in and who doesn’t is communism. You decide who deserves and who doesn’t? Then you’re a communist too.”
  • “This is Gaavah! Gaavah Gaavah!” He then mentions a Yeshiva where both he and the Brisker Rav both attended, and this was a Yeshiva that had everyone, including bums and low-lives. Two bad kids influencing the Yeshiva? Well, it was good enough for Rav Shteinman and the Brisker Rav. People who say that their school is too elitist are Baalei Gaavah. The person is a Choshuvah Gvir? That only makes him a bigger Baal Gaavah!

This video IMHO was just what the doctor ordered. We can all take a page from here into Chinuch and into our lives. “He’ll be a bad influence,” “He’ll be too slow,” “His parents don’t fit in” are all excuses at the end of the day.

Suddenly, I love and respect Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman that much more. I have been watching this video and replaying it a few times. It’s a real shame that people of Rav Shteinman’s caliber are slowly fading away and childish Baalei Gaavah like the two other Rabbanim in the video are taking his place. May Rav Shteinman live to 120 years and beyond. We sorely need him.

Download the video here: Rav Shteinman and Accepting Boys in Yeshivah