February 14, 2007

Should girls go to Seminary or stay home

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 5:39 am

Everyone dreams of a perfect situation in which to further educate and nurture our children in Judaism but sometimes we overlook some of the negativity which we should better take notice off. For some going to Seminary after High School is very beneficial but for others, it opens up a world which would otherwise be unknown to these religious girls. The decision to go to seminary or not is something that should be left up to individual families and not be a required prerequisite towards finding ones bashert.

So what really goes on in some of these Seminaries? Are the parents so naive as to where they are sending their children? Ideally, Seminary should be a place where a girl learns to be more self-sufficient, confident, and learn how it is to live a Torah life on their own. It should be a place of religious strength and constructive towards the goal of getting married. Instead, many girls learn the art of sneaking out after curfew, that is if there even is one in their Seminary. They learn to drink, schmooze with guys, and take wild trips on off Shabbos and breaks. This is the true reality of Seminary life. Girls who have never been exposed to the outside world are suddenly in a rush of exciting freedom with little supervision or reasons to fear. So should you send your daughter to Seminary? Well, I wouldn’t if I had one.

On a more positive note about this subject. I have seen unbelievable strides in growth from girls with very little prior Jewish backgrounds. It is almost as if living at home was somewhat leaving them in the shadow of their parents and through a more free environment, they were able to grow religiously and as an individual.

Conclusions….

1. I wouldn’t send my daughter if she were already very strong religiously

2. If I did, it would be to Nevey or Bais Yaakov

3. Something needs to be done to fix this problem

4. A girl that is properly educated and from a good home shouldn’t need a year in Seminary

5. Years ago when I was dating, I noticed that girls who didn’t go to seminary were more ready to get married then those who had already returned from a year abroad.

Other issues

1. After a year of total freedom, how is a girl supposed to then be a responsible wife in her first year of marriage. Rather, she expects her husband to act like her old seminary friends and it becomes very difficult for her to maintain a mature productive relationship.

Major Concerns

1. Girls hitching rides. Parents, they all do it!

2. Girls Traveling extensively

3. Ditching classes and little supervision

4. Please share with me your thoughts….

What about the guys?

1. Well parents, you don’t want to know how many Yeshiva guys have gotten visas and traveled into Egypt… You can’t even talk about guys when it comes to getting themselves into trouble. Many Yeshivas turn their backs on drinking, drugs, and their students crazy travel plans. Generally though, a year in Israel for the guys, if you choose the Yeshivah well, does much good.

6 Comments

  1. I believe girls should be able to go to seminary if they are mature enough. there are pros and cons to all situations. let’s hear from some young ladies out there and thier parents.

    Comment by Kara — February 14, 2007 @ 7:00 am

  2. I don’t see how Boys would act different than Girls with lenient restrictions.

    Comment by Asa Yitzchak — February 14, 2007 @ 7:12 pm

  3. Boys get into trouble wherever they go but I just feel many parents and girls themselves should be aware of what they are walking into instead of going blindly

    Comment by Reb Moshe — February 14, 2007 @ 7:46 pm

  4. aha. haha. good point.

    Comment by Asa Yitzchak — February 14, 2007 @ 9:07 pm

  5. I gotta tell ya Moshe, my Racheli completely disagrees with you.
    When she was in seminary she had FFB friends who were worse at home than they were in seminary i.e. they were smoking weed, drinking, hanging out with boys and when they got to seminary, in the beginning they were still doing it, but then as time went on they straightened out. She says they were doing all this stuff before they came to seminary (FFBs) and it they simply are continuing their involvement with the lifestyle when they get there. Either their parents are clueless/naive to what their daughter’s were doing or they simply did not want to deal with it.
    The boys she says are WAY worse. She says they live a double life; they have their yeshiva facade and then the go to Yerushalayim and go nuts. She understands a little what you are saying, if you are raised maybe in Israel but not kids from the US. She says most of the kids here are ‘fry FFB’ and they are totally different from what their parents think. She thinks they need that year in seminary. This way the girl figures out their yiddishkeit and they own it. As far as marriage goes, out of Racheli’s friends (20-25girls) five are either married or engaged. She does believe seminary should also be the girl’s choice and the parents should not force them, which she says happens a lot. I knew she would be interested in this Blog and I thought you would appreciate her input.

    Comment by Philly Farmgirl — February 14, 2007 @ 9:29 pm

  6. They are still doing these things in Seminary? Where is the supervision? Did Rocheli feel it harmed her in anyway to be amongst this? How did she deal with it?

    Comment by Reb Moshe — February 14, 2007 @ 9:37 pm

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