Jan 15, 2013
Why Micro-Manage Our Lives

From the COLlive inbox: A teenage girl wishes her educators would evaluate how they treat her and her friends in high school.

By Chasha C.

Before you pass this article off as another cliché rant by some irate stranger, hear me out. Not because I have more life experience than you do, or because I've acquired more knowledge. Hear me out because I am talking from my current reality.

I am 17 years old learning in a prominent Lubavitch girls high school. I have friends in every established Lubavitch girls' high school across North America and let me tell you something: The rules that Mechanchos believe are most vital for their students' safety (b'gashmius and b'ruchnius) are being broken. Constantly.


Perhaps hearing the perspective of a teenager can provide some food for thought.

Micro-managing. Ever heard of the word? It's defined as the act of excessively handling in a negative manner. Many school authorities are micro-managing their students' lives in a desperate attempt at ensuring that their students' 'stay frum', 'out of trouble', or otherwise, 'chassidish'. (Please comment to let me know if this applies to the boys' Yeshivos, as well).

Micro-managing isn't doing any good and it follows a simple logic: We do something questionable (we are teenagers- we test authority. Its our job). You create a rule to prevent that from happening again. We come up with a way to get around your rule. You come up with a new rule to prevent the breaking of this last rule. We come up with a way to break it. This vicious cycle leads to no good. Its completely against what many noted educators believe in. Why is it still going on?

Mechanchos, don't forget who is sitting behind a desk for about 9 hours a day without any concerns of raising children, financial crisis or marriage issues. Yes, we teenagers are stressed out, but we still do have plenty of time and developing mind-space to come up with countless methods of breaking rules.

An added problem is that we see these guidelines given to us as rules and not helpful advice to keep us safe. More often than not, we cannot see your logic behind the rules. This would be okay if we were children. But we are teenagers who need answers. We cannot be told, "Dont cross the street because Mommy said so."

We need to be aware that looking both ways before crossing a street is to keep us alive.

Make us want to keep the rules because they are for our good. Get us on your side, so we dont want to rebel. Make us feel like we have a say, we have control; that students and mechanchos are on the same page. Make us feel like there is a responsible adult in our lives on whom we can rely.

It seems so obvious that incorporating more positive reinforcement can do so much good. Is it that hard to show you care? Everyone needs positive emotional support. Parents cheer on their babies at every new word and step their child takes. Teenagers, in the rough and tumble of those crazy years, need that emotional support the most and are getting it least.

I'm not saying we need candy and hugs. We just need to be validated, to know that we're okay, and to know that we can always count on someone to really care about us and take us as seriously as any other adult. Don't rely on our parents - an enormous amount of teenagers do not get adequate attention at home.

Dearest Mechanchos, one day, the teenagers you are molding will be the future parents, future shluchos, and future Klal Yisrael. Please reconsider how you treat us.

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
Go 2 Bnos chomesh...
where evry student gets positive attention amd respect
(1/15/2013 9:07:37 PM)
Dear Chasha C.

Stop blaming others for your own issues. If you want to go to a lovey dovy place that is your prerogative. Your mechanachos are there to teach you and mold you, not to be your friends or parents. Following your ideas would produce a generation of softies who think they could do whatever they want. There should be rules, not a smile and a hug telling you "mammaleh, of course thats fine".

Grow up!
(1/15/2013 9:11:19 PM)
Should have been written 10 years ago!!!!
Very very well written. Kol hakavod.
You are 200% correct. Many mechanchim and mechanchos who do not belong in their posissions are the cause of so many problems and issyes in teenagers lives.
Well done
(1/15/2013 9:15:52 PM)
well written
i liked how you didnt bash and there was no lashon harah good job
(1/15/2013 9:25:21 PM)
same by boys:
i'm a bocher in a large mesivta, and i feel the same
(1/15/2013 9:31:32 PM)
Boys to!
This applies to boys 100%
(1/15/2013 9:43:28 PM)
im in a boys yeshiva and yes this is done there too and i have personal experience with this whenever i ask something on the rules or use that forbidden W word(why) i always get the same answer " because i said so or those are the rules" or when i try to come maturely to a teacher about a problem or issue I'm treated the same way as if I'm a young child i agree with you and do believe that teachers should try and work with us some more
(1/15/2013 9:44:11 PM)
I think the problem isn't the excessive "Rules" rather the lack of excessive love. To many of the people running and working in our school's are busy worrying about how to put bread on their tables, or sadly joined the wrong profession etc. That among'st other reasons, leads to this mechanicalism of our school's, where the staff unfortunately just looks to get things done in the fastest not necessarily proper way.

The good news is there's B"H a crop of new young staff joining or opening up new educational institutes every year. And believe it or not the old guard is susceptible to change albeit slowly. I have seen first hand when given a good idea old time menhalim will make exceptions etc.

To all of those feeling like their suffering in the system, relax life gets better :)
(1/15/2013 9:44:19 PM)
Great points and Well written
(1/15/2013 9:46:14 PM)
I hear...
(1/15/2013 9:59:42 PM)
number 2
EXCUSE ME! she took the courage to write this letter whether you agree is one thing. she actually isnt blaming anyone she is saying the situation as is and ways to help. She has a very valid point and i respect her for putting her views out there so she can help other people. i know for a fact that this is 100 percent true, im in high school and i see this. its a fact its the same way in camps etc. but this is a problem she isnt blaming anyone she is stating an issue that needs to be dealt with. good night. stop telling other people what to do thank you!
(1/15/2013 10:06:05 PM)
To the author:
There is a concept known as "Kabbalas Ol"
(1/15/2013 10:10:46 PM)
I'm appalled that this was even given a voice. I would like the opportunity to refute it from a teacher's perspective. COLlive, please allow me the opportunity to write MY op-ed in response. stay tuned.
(1/15/2013 10:12:45 PM)
valid points
to # 2, she's not blaming, she's merely pointing out that there are so many rules in place and that there are no reasons given for them. instead of encouraging the girls or boys to want to do what's right, the mechanchim simply implement another rule. this creates resentment and crafty scheming as to how to break this new rule.
(1/15/2013 10:15:43 PM)
You must be intellectually honest. Is your goal to kasher what you want to do, or is it that you really don't understand the reasons? 99% of the rules are self explanatory. E.g. What's so hard to understand about rules regarding tznius? And when you complain that you don't understand the rules, are you really just trying to understand them, or rather, to try and change them to allow you to do what you want. The rules aren't there to guarantee you don't break them. They're there for hanholah to say what they think is appropriate and what isn't.
P.s. When I say "you", I'm referring to your peers.
(1/15/2013 10:21:00 PM)
With a name like Chasha, I doubt she would put her real name. This leads me to think that she didn't put her real name, which then makes her adding a name to this article useless
(1/15/2013 10:25:37 PM)
Teenagers are stupid
I think I will pass this off as another rant by some irate stranger
(1/15/2013 10:26:16 PM)
Agree w number 7
I've been in a couple yeshivos and it's so true. I'm alredy in zal and they treat us like babies when we r 18 and 19 years old. The whole system is extremely corrupt, unfortunately even tho talking about it lets us kno the what the prob is, noones gonna do n e thing about it
(1/15/2013 10:26:52 PM)
Good point!
I went to school in Melbourne, Australia, and when I came to America I could not BELIEVE the micromanaging going on. My school was not at all like that and I think we all came out a lot better for it.
(1/15/2013 10:31:45 PM)
Out of Hand
You kids are just simply out of hand. Massively chutzpadik and think the world owes you everything. You feel entitled to be equals to adults in leadership positions and you feel no obligations on your part. Time to turn the clock back and have some respect for authority. Get a life.
(1/15/2013 10:37:28 PM)
ch mom
can you name at least 2 rules, that you keep breaking and find other ways to go around it, and then break those rules too!
When high school is over you can look back and laugh about it. This too shall pass.
(1/15/2013 10:38:02 PM)
To #20
Your actually making me laugh! You were part of "you kids" just a few years ago! And by the way your writing right now, you were probably part of "those kids" as well! Every generation, the kids will always be the same and the adults will be too. And then the kids grow up and become adults and think the same thing of their kids that the adults of their generation thought of them. And the cycle goes on!
(1/15/2013 10:55:06 PM)
Well said!
A fellow high schooler
(1/15/2013 11:02:29 PM)
yes, altghogh this is deffinatly true by boys yeshivas, it's probebly is a litlle different in the sense that we have shluchim, older bochurim who , if do their job , act as a "older brother, or even mashpia) developing connections with the younger bochurim and often act as "intermidieries" between bohurim and hanhala, and validate the rational of the younger ones. Does this concept exsist in girl yeshiva's?
(1/15/2013 11:08:59 PM)
Totally get the author... I just suggest you to watch this CTeen clip... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP9PMIxWBew
(1/15/2013 11:28:23 PM)
crown heights
This definitely is true about our high school! Time for them to make some real changes!!
(1/15/2013 11:33:26 PM)
Older Bochur
its funny how she says "let me know if this applies to the boys' Yeshivos, as well)." Mean while shes looking to break rules.
very interesting article but at the end of the day none of these articles change anything at all. Every school thinks they have all there issues figured out and they know how to fix everyones problem. Nothing will be fixed, thats just how the systems are. You can fantasize all you want about fixing it, but its not happening and in 10 years for our kids it will be 10 times worse.
(1/15/2013 11:47:09 PM)
To # 2
The point is NOT to allow and acknowledge and approve of inappropriate behavior. the message that every human craves is "I love YOU even though/ when you do xyz.. even when you're behavior is unacceptable" unconditional acceptence. not that i'm worth nothing if i make a mistake or do s/t wrong. and youll only like me if i act accordingly. but That i am unconditionally loved and accepted regardless of what i do. not that you'll only like me when I'm perfect. Then, when students and children feel secure that s/o really cares about them and unconditionally loves them, they wont feel a need to rebel. Rebellion is b/c you don't accept me. and i want to be accepted no matter what. that is true ahavas yisroel. that is how Hashem looks at us. on the deepest level, we are uncondionally loved, so an avairah dosnt ruin our relationship there. but why would we want to give up such a deep connection on a consious level? on the level where a relationship does exist. i want to cultivate that unconditional love and build a relationship out of it. which is so much deeper b/c its backed by unconditional love. you always love me, i wudnt want to let you down. Do you see the dif?
(1/15/2013 11:49:38 PM)
Kid in pre school
I'm a boy in pre school and I feel the same they boss us around by nap time, make us bring a note from our mothers why we miss days..... I mean be realistic!!
(1/15/2013 11:50:37 PM)
Mesivta Father
I have a son in yeshiva mesivta and I went to the same yeshiva and I can say that the policies have gotten much more tighter. I can also say with clarity that despite all the rules and follow-up of rabbeim and dorm counselors that the kids get away with everything.

The reason is simple the kids are more sophisticated then the rabbeim. They are more street smart and they are light years ahead in technology know how. Smart phones are everywhere and with it everything is open to them. Let me tell the writer why you are being micro-managed, its because your mechanchos are terrified that they know that they can't control you. Our orientation speech with the menahel stated essentially that, we're outmanned and outgunned, we can't control the environment like we did 20 years ago.

You may ask, am I concerned about my son? The answer is unilaterally and most certainly not. I know what sort of son I have raised, he is clearly AWARE of just about all the stuff in the outside world. We have discussed these things at length and he knows what is permitted and what's not. He also understand why that is. This was also the response of the menahel that we as parents have to be responsible, the yeshivas have waved the white flag and left the challenge directly on the parents doorstep and rightly so.

Young lady continue to do as your parents taught you and the rest will all fall in place. It is unfortunate that there are so many kinderlach that are raised as wild goats in the field and cause such Agros Nefesh to their peers and family but is it really any wonder? This dor's problems are the results of the previous ones and the people in chinuch are doing all they can to raise Chassidshe kinder. Which ironically is why you are treated the way you are.
(1/15/2013 11:56:40 PM)
She has a point
In the recent farbrengen by Machon Chana one of the ladies said that in Lubavitch the focus is so much on ahavas yisroel that there doesn't have to as much focus on lashon hora, because if you have ahavas yisroel of course you don't speak lashon hora. Seems like the same situation here. If you focus on the positive in education, there wouldn't be so much micro-managing. These are good, chassidishe girls who want to do the right thing. Chaval that such small, fixable things should be alienating them from yiddishkeit.
(1/16/2013 12:00:09 AM)
What do you think?
I saw a sign at a beach the other day that could have been a typical rules sign that no one really cares about. Instead the headline was "Tips to enjoy your day at the beach". I thought that this was a MUCH more effective way to alert people to the signs message and get them to actually think about it than "Rules and regulations". What do you think?
(1/16/2013 12:03:20 AM)
your teachers love you and your administration loses sleep over your well-being. every child is different and no two people will react the same way to the same rule. the benefits far outweigh the pressure that some students feel as a result of the rules. face it, you know very well that rules act as deterrents, and far fewer students risk doing things that are inappropriate because they are afraid of the "punishments". look around you, the school is trying to protect you! the school is looking out for your benefit! the teachers and hanhala gain nothing personally from having to enforce the rules. its hard work, but they care, if they wouldnt care, there is no way they would go through all that and then continue to do so when they get so much backlash from people who dont understand.
ask your friends, they will tell you - the rules instill fear aka kabalas ol and train us to act in the right way. with rules there is a clear distinction between what is and what is not ok for a bas chabad.
the school understands their role in your education and they place the rules there in order to keep you in line. not all parents are able to guide their children properly, and the school, to their eternal credit steps up and does what they can.
have you not seen the hanhala reach out to girls who have gone off the path? have you not watched as teachers tirelessly worked with girls out of school and showed them a little love? have you not heard your mashpiim reiterate again and again the same messages that we need to stay connected?
there is plenty of love, there are many many many caring individuals within our community who do their very best to reach out and give to those around them.
a school is place where there needs to be strict expectations. students thrive when they know exactly what is required and they are given clear guidelines as to how to do that.
look in the writings of the Frierdiker Rebbe and what is told regarding the setting up of the original yeshivos and the requirements of the students/teachers then.
be grateful that you are in a school that looks after you and dont "throw stones in the well that has provided you with water"
with the right perspective you will one day see how lucky you are.
you are bright, think this through and you will see that the rules are indeed needed.
(1/16/2013 12:16:03 AM)
The problem in the Yeshiva that I attended wasn't the abundance of rules. The problem was there was nothing but rules.

All they seemed to care about was "Are you following all the rules?" As long as you showed up on time and didn't do anything "wrong", days and weeks could pass without a teacher checking up on you to see if you understood the sugya or if you have a question about the maamer...

Rules are a necessity, but without some caring, positive attention and love, they will get us nowhere.
(1/16/2013 12:52:05 AM)
Well written
Besides being very clear in your writing ability ad having a great point, I admire the style used. You don;t condemn you are not all over the place and you don't talk in extremes. Instead you painted a clear picture drove the point and came across as very mature.

Well done. Respect earned.
(1/16/2013 12:59:56 AM)
omg somone finally spoke up!!!!!! im frm cali and in my skewl our class is a very hiper class so the teachers try to do all these punishment but we jst get around it and it goes on and on i think teachers should take this article into consideration!
goooooooo teenagers well keep cheering ouselves on
(1/16/2013 1:15:10 AM)
the problem is no one cares.
they make strict stupid rules so they dont have to teach and care for the students.. that would be too hard
they want power .
the whole system needs to be revamped.
most schools need to get rid of 80% of faculty and start fresh
(1/16/2013 1:27:44 AM)
been there
This sounds like an article I would have written 50 years ago about my school. Universal teenage thoughts and feelings. Sorry, but when you are an older adult, your teenage children might be saying the same as you say now! #22 is spot on!
(1/16/2013 1:28:54 AM)
is this a joke?
(1/16/2013 1:30:27 AM)
Yes, we're happy to explain it all to you! We can give you many answers and explanations that will make you feel satisfied and even excited about Yiddishkeit.
All you have to do is just one thing.
And that, my dear friend, is however hard you choose it to be for yourself.

And listen well.
(1/16/2013 1:33:33 AM)
I'm with #1 - go to Bais Chomesh. Sure, it has its problems like any other school, but every student gets attention, and most develop a relationship with a staff member.
(1/16/2013 2:00:46 AM)
let me tell u lady! this girl is totally right. my lass got into plenty of trouble guess what we dnt listen bc we DO NOT CARE!!!! and when they tell us not to do something we dnt do it unless its a valid reoson sry gotta live up w/ this generation!
(1/16/2013 2:47:56 AM)
I am a bachur in yeshiva and bh I'm having the best time ever we learn alot of nigleh and also chasidus in my spear time I learn the rebbes sichos and me and my friends we farbreng by night and sing nigunim thank god I am Lubavitch and I was brought up in a yeshiva with mashpim and friends
(1/16/2013 3:25:18 AM)
South Africa!!
Come to r wagners yeshiva in South Africa!!!!
(1/16/2013 4:10:06 AM)
#2 and #12
Don't you see how your proving this young lady's
Point? She's trying to help us with the young
Struggling generation.
It would be quite immature of you too tell her
To grow up. You must either have a picture perfect life
With picture perfect kids. Or your an immature youngester.
Grow up!
(Doesn't feel so good to be told 'grow up' ehh?
So don't tell it 2 others.
(1/16/2013 7:09:40 AM)
On the dot.
This problem is actually WORSE in yeshivahs, and it's also a problem in every jewish household. I'm actually in middle of writing the same sort of thing, with a few more details and explanations. Kol Hakavod for this, and it's true if we all just read it and move on it won't change a thing. But there's definitely something everyone can do. Seriously, just print it out and sit down with a staff member you respect just a little. They just don't know what to do and they are lazy. Kol Hakavod again.
(1/16/2013 8:26:10 AM)
simple and true
positive reinforcement works every time.
(1/16/2013 8:50:45 AM)
Invalidation of our Children
It's been years since I was in the school system, but it was the same then as portrayed in the article.

Having then spent time on the other side of the desk, as a teacher, I can still tell you that Chasha is on target.

It's not a lack of love. I would say it's closer to what other comments have pointed out- it's a fear of losing teens to a world our old mechanchim know near to nothing about.

BUT despite that fear, our mechanchim must be trained in unconditional love and acceptance. We are not c"'v encouraging children to do as they please, rather we should inspire them and trust them to do what is right.

The overload of rules teaches teens today that they are untrustworthy- that we believe the minute we turn our backs they will rebel. In fact, most teens today are inquisitive and interested. They are not looking to rebel, merely seeking validation.

When it comes to my children, we work hard as parents to make Shabbos something they WANT to do, not just rules they HAVE to keep. Of course as they grow older they will learn about the laws, but for now at their young age we have the opportunity to inspire them with love instead of forcing them with fear. This is what Chasha is talking about.

Where is the love? Why are there only fear and rules? Why are teens not embracing Yiddishkeit and why are our teachers so afraid?

When a merchant has a precious item for sale he doesn't have to convince you to buy it- he has people lining up at his doors. It seems to me that most mechanchim today have devalued our Yiddishkeit. They're pressuring us to buy instead of being proud of what they're selling.

I no longer teach, but my work today has me in touch with hundreds of teens. Chasha's point is being reiterated by them over and over again. We're talking about girls from wonderful homes, who aspire to be leaders with real Jewish values, and yet they come to me with no idea of what those values are. They are not taught to value their lives, they're forced into accepting chumros as halachos and outdated idealism as Torah.

I would venture a little further and tell you this is not limited to our school systems. I work with organizations whom in their "outreach" work with teens, are doing the very same mistake. They are invalidating the real problems teens face today in the name of "sensitivity" and "hashkafah". As in, "We cannot address a bullying problem because talking about the very real problem is a topic too controversial for our delicate children."

There is no easy answer to this issue, but step one would be as the article said- Stop micromanaging our children. Trust their intelligence, and trust the way you have raised them. If you showed them a life of inspiration and truth you wouldn't have to worry about the life they choose for themselves.

T. Caton
(1/16/2013 9:03:13 AM)
'grow- up!'
When you say Grow-up to a teenager- you are missing the point. They need to grow up at their own pace. They are teenagers - not adults- and by answering them by simply saying these are the rules- and you just need to follow without question- they will turn off. If a teacher/parent etc. understands this simple rule and makes an effort to explain why? and at the same time- encourages and helps the teenager to figure it out for themselves- they will eventually do that. If you just force them to do things - many teenagers will not do it - for that reason alone. That is the way the mind of a teenager works. Their brains are not fully formed yet and they simply do not think in the same way as an adult- so expecting them to act like an adult when they are not adults- is silly.
(1/16/2013 9:12:40 AM)
are you kidding me
some of you people are disgusting.
this girl has feelings.
instead of keeping them inside her, she wants to let people know so MAYBE THEY CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
why do you rotten people always have to come on perfectly normal posts and ruin it. that is what disgusting is.
maybe she is right. maybe she is wrong.
does it matter?
because these are her opinions and she is hoping that maybe some adults will catch on and help do the right thing.
i agree with what she said, even if their were a million Yiddish words i did not get.
you were a teenager too once.
you acted like this as well.
don't deny it.
maybe you did it in different ways, times have changed a lot.
maybe you adults should try and help instead of teenagers having to write posts on Collive, which apparently only makes you hate u more.

(1/16/2013 9:26:41 AM)
neshama and guf
Halacha is like the guf it has its restraints and boundaries! Chasidus on the other hand is life the fire of neshama, we need both to survive.
Consider the following; if I come to a country which differs in laws then my ow,n I can rebel and disobey them, or learn the origins and understand whats behind them, and appreciate them for what they are.
The concept of Kabalas ol or a Tamim fregt nit kin farvos, is the deep value and faith we have in our Rebbes, to whom we dedicate our life and run to for brochos in times of need, it only makes sense that we first exept that the rule is just naseh and then work to learn and understand and appreciate what we are duing, in the end we are not doing our Hanalos a favor how we behave, its for Hashem and ourselves!
Much Hatzlacha in learning chasiduss, and enjoying acting and BEHAVING as a Chasid.
(1/16/2013 10:33:06 AM)
To the author
To the author,

Nice letter. I've been in chinuch for more than a decade and I agree with you.

Here's an idea you might consider: Being "better" than what the teachers/school are asking of you in one specific area.

Between me and you, the schools/yeshivas don't set their standards too high. Imagine, just take ONE thing that you and your friends go above and beyond in and watch for their response...

I and some friends have done this back when we were bochurim and it worked very well (we showed up to chassidus a half hour early for two weeks).

The message you would be sending them is: You don't define for us what is right and what is wrong; TORAH and CHASSIDUS do! Your job is to help us learn how to look at and live our lives as our Rabbeim taught, NOT to tell us "because I said so...."

(1/16/2013 11:23:47 AM)
to #36
You do sound very intelligent and mature. But there might be others out there who need more authority and direction in their lives. As for you, definitely keep cheering yourself on.
(1/16/2013 11:48:59 AM)
To All
Would the Rebbe teach,"because I said so"???
(1/16/2013 11:55:25 AM)

To many of the above commutes:

To debate whether this teens view is idealistically the correct way to view things or idealistically incorrect, is totally irrelevant and practically useless.


Because in the real chinuch world you need to look at the reality on the ground of the individual you are trying to educate and communicate your ideas to. And the reality on the ground here is that this teenager (and I assume many others as well) feel the way that is described in this article. And so this is their reality! Regardless of what the idealistic way a teacher thinks she or he should be viewing things, its totally irrelevant!

We need to start catering and tailoring our Chasssdus way of life in a way that it can be seen as relevant, important and positive in the teenagers eyes, from their view, not from ours.

We need to find ways to speak to the reality they are physically, emotionally and intellectually living in, not ours.

So much lay in the precious words of our dear Torah
(1/16/2013 12:04:18 PM)
also a teen
just want to let you know where the problem stems from: you write "we are teenagers- we test authority. Its our job" - from where do you get that it's our job. maybe it's because that's the way you view it - but in essence though it may be the tendencies of a teenager to test authority - it's not your job -you don't have to do it!
(1/16/2013 12:15:09 PM)
Some people are being obnoxious and don't really care about us teenagers!
All of you who don't care,you were once a teenager too and did most of the stuff we do... So WHY are you so against us teenagers and make all these rules to guard us-we need some space to be ourselves!
I go through this every day and I must say this is a good article to let teachers,parents and staff be more aware of us needing to be treated our age and have a little space! Great job!
(1/16/2013 12:19:31 PM)
theres a lot more
you just touched on one point!
CH girls schools are doing a bad job with their girls - u push and push and push a load of garbage while theyre in school and as soon as they leave and theyre out of your grasp - look what happens to them! many of them DONT turn out quite how you like!
(1/16/2013 12:20:49 PM)
nO Loshon HoRa in Lubavitch!
I loved comment No. 31, that in Lubavitch we have so much ahavas yisroel that loshon hora doesn't get spoken!!!!!! Do you know what I have found in the 40 odd years I've been in Lubavitch? We don't learn, so we don't even know the halochos, let alone keep them. We exemplify the concept of Tzaddik Shoteh. We need to learn the halochos and then perhaps we'll stop talking loshon hora and then maybe, perhaps we'll start having ahavas yisroel - even for our own and even for other frum people!! And if our teenagers and students don't feel our love, then indeed we cannot deny there is a problem.
(1/16/2013 12:21:44 PM)
#50 is totally right
and the author is sooooooooo right too!!!!!!!!!!!
i cant believe so many ppl disagree with her....
either you were like home schooled or something or you just dont remember being in school!
i wish you guys would just listen and try to help!
it doesnt matter what you say how chutzpadik we are and how we should just "grow up"
this girl (chasha or wtvr her name is) stated a fact!!!! not an opinion, a FACT!!!
and if u would just stop ur criticsm and think in our shoes for a second maybe you would get it (or maybe not...) either way, if you cant help just keep your opinions to urself!
(1/16/2013 12:41:42 PM)
agree with number 2
To the author

Growing is painful. If you want to be a successful adult when your older, having lovey dovey teachers etc. Will not create a strong, confident adult. Perhaps the opposite, I think there's a world for that in the dictionary: Spoiled...
(1/16/2013 1:10:36 PM)
I Agree
With the autor in some of her points.
I am also 17, and i think that sometimes teachers don't really care that we actually understand why we do or we don't do certain things. I understand that we have to do things because Hashem said so, and not just because we understand them, but that doesn't mean that we can't have some explanations. Someone who should talk about tznius or issues between boys and girls. Yes, we do know its wrong, but i think teachers should take maybe a class to actually talk about it openly in class. Not saying 'girls if you have a short skirt its really bad an you're gonna be BAD girls'.
We know how it works. They should explain why it's so special, why you have to keep certain rules and share some things just with your husband to be.
Bh i had a lesson like that (once) an it totally changed my life. But im speaking also for other girls (and boys too) who maybe never spoke about this openly and agree with me.
We know the ules.
But if you tell us 'if you so this you're BAD, and not chassidish,and you may Get expelled' no, this is not going to help.
Because then we feel BAD teens and we uncounsciously think that once we have that name we can do things which are not right.
(1/16/2013 2:22:39 PM)
To 61
Thats really rude- just saying
(1/16/2013 2:25:19 PM)
as a teacher
i heard this idea quite a few years ago from a good friend of mine. she said if it were in her capacity, she would have representatives of the student body themselves come up with the rules. that would make it a lot easire for her to add 1 or 2 that she finds necessary. once they see that they are trusted, they then trust her too.
(1/16/2013 2:28:58 PM)
I agree with the author
Wow I give you tremendous credit for standing up for yourself and saying where you're at - it sounds like you feel you would like to be more acknowledged treated with more respect - feel like you have a say and you absolutley deserve it!!!
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
If this is your attitude now you are way ahead of others your own age! You will have a healthy emotional life because you are not embarrassed to feel your deepest thoughts and emotions and share them and expect to be treated well. People who believe they dont deserve or who are to brainwashed by others to feel its not ok to be human and have feelings have martyr lives - good for you that you have the courage to be assertive and ask for your needs - you deserve it!!!!
(1/16/2013 2:46:47 PM)
you job?
it' your job to break rules?! your just not mature which means teenagers dont understand whats right and wrong. dont say its your job....
(1/16/2013 2:50:19 PM)
Out of touch
Wow, never realized, how out-of-touch some adult's are.

Source: the comment's on this article.
(1/16/2013 2:53:00 PM)
Hamodia had a beautiful article on this subject
Rabbi Z. Greenwald of Me'ohr Beis Yaakov of Yerushalayim writes:"Rules, I explain, are the tiny zip lock bags that the diamond dealers keep their diamonds in. those bags cost one cent each but no one will ever use one with a hole in it................Rules are not the values of our schools.They are the framework that allows contents to be taught in a safe environment. Without rules there is chaos; with them there is a context that defines the goals we would like you to understand and eventually strive to make your own. Don't break rules because we need to have a school that is defined,but never let the rules replace that which you need to learn for and about yourselves....." end of quote.
(1/16/2013 3:14:50 PM)
It's are job!
To all of you: ever said something
like "it's our job " especially with an exclamation mark after it? It's like a job everyone has labeled us quietly with...
Like "she/he's is such a teenager" when one breaks rules.
It's universally accepted that its out job.
Don't pick on the authors words because you want to argue.
(1/16/2013 3:32:09 PM)
I'm 17 too and while some of the authors points may be valid one thing she is not is mature. Let her grow up a bit and hopefully she'll get a clearer perspective on things.
(1/16/2013 3:58:07 PM)
Good article, but there's one problem...
First of all, that's a very well written article for a 17 year-old. You drive your point across well - no beating around the bush - and it's a good point, too.
However there's one problem with asking educators to stop micro-managing. Let me first say that I went through the yeshiva system, going to yeshivos on both ends of the scale. I went to one of the strictest mesivtas out there, and to a very relaxed program at the end of zal (age 19-20).
The problem with giving teenagers more room is that they abuse it. I've seen it over and over. Teenagers are always toeing the line; it doesn't really matter where the line is. In a very strict yeshiva, bochurim might break the rules, but their rule-breaking is nothing compared to the rule-breaking of guys in lax programs. One can say that that's because the relaxed programs attract "less chassidish" guys. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? No one can really say. Also, if a good bochur that just wants a little more breathing room goes to a very relaxed program, he will eventually be influenced in some way by the less chassidish guys that comprise most of its student body.
I'm talking about yeshivos because that's where I have experience, but I have no doubt the same thing applies with girls.
TL;DR: The more room you give teenagers, the more trouble they'll get into.
(1/16/2013 4:23:28 PM)
(1/16/2013 5:18:51 PM)
Comment on #4, 56, 13, 17, 37, 19, 5, and 3
She is definitely saying some very valid points. Micro-perspective is not okay. You should not judge the writer based on her matureness, just listen to what she has to say! this is not okay! Why do you think klal yisrael is in so much trouble if you wont even listen to her basic valid points! and then most of you will just skip over these comments and not even read my point! teenagers are always toeing the line! I'm 17 too and very mature. and 67, never realized how outoftouch and immature some COMMENTERS are!!!!! no further commint.
(1/16/2013 5:30:11 PM)
to number 12
Kabolas Ol- Isn't that the thing that supposed to be the basis of my relationship with Hashem? why is it used as the ultimate answer as to why I should tuck my shirt in or report to the principal when I come late?
(1/16/2013 5:30:39 PM)
Dear Chasha C (Chein?)
You are now officially fired.

Love your Micro- Manager.
(1/16/2013 5:33:10 PM)
to #2
I find your comment so condescending,your approach sounds like coming from somewhere deep communist Russia."do as we tell you to because we know best and dont question or argue with it".Is this the attitude the Rebbe would have wanted to put across to youngsters?What do you mean by it should not be done with a smile or "lovey dovey" as you put it?This is fundamental in Judaism to treat each other with love not superiority.I only hope you take these comments on board and reflect on your outlook and make it more positive.
(1/16/2013 6:04:20 PM)
To 70
I davka think shes mature
(1/16/2013 6:36:40 PM)
23 y.o.
If you really don't understand the rules and your goal is to understand them, and the school isn't doing an adequate job, then you have a very valid point. If on the other hand, you just want them to ease up on you and not have these rules, then you don't have a valid point. When you say that it's your job to break the rules, you give the impression that that's all you want, and you just want fewer rules.
(1/16/2013 6:37:38 PM)
did i write this???
when this went online- i got 10 phone calls asking if I wrote this.

I am a teacher-I have been saying this for years.

Having dealt with girls from all high schools- I can probably guess what school the author is from. Some schools are more guilty of this than others.

Just as a side- all students are somewhat micromanaged and all schools are guilty, but from dealing with girls- this sentiment is strongly felt by out of town schools (the more "prominent" the more micromanaged) all you girls from BRHS you have no idea what girls in out of town schools go through. Count yourself lucky that you are given the space to express yourself
(1/16/2013 6:44:56 PM)
Teachers as guides as children learn to make their own decisions
By the time students are in high school, they are almost finished their schooling. They should be weaned off of the authority of school rules so that they make better decisions for themselves, by themselves. They should have the guidance of their mechanchos as they start to make those decisions independently. Not one last package of more rules.

Slowly take off the rules. Perhaps, 12th grade should have a dress code, not the school uniform, and the teachers could help them determine if they made good clothing choices - if the outfit is respectable and dignified. And help them learn alternatives, or quick fixes.

They can also learn about how people make decisions, where do their thoughts come from, what influences their thoughts, what impact their decisions have on future decisions and opportunities.

And perhaps learn about human condition - what is the challenge with having an 'always looking out for fun, no matter what' mentality, what is the personal consequences for acting impulsively.

And how to reflect if it was a good decision, what might I have done differently to get a different result?

All so that they make better decisions as adults.
(1/16/2013 6:49:58 PM)
what is misunderstood about kabalas ol
BTW- there are countless sichos and talks of the rebbe explaining kabolos ol. the way it is preached by the school is not kabolos ol. The school has the responsibility to educate, teach and explain (provide food when neccessary), answer questions and give reasons. Kabolos ol is for the student to build up within themselves.

Kabolos ol does not justify giving an obnoxious rule that does not make sense to the student, and they have to blindly follow.

your boss has no right to withhold your paycheck and tell you not to complain because "where is your kabolos ol"
you as an employee can exercise your kabolos ol and just accept the fact.

a school can't say "we won't give the bochurim any food because bochurim are supposed to be "pas bimelech tochel" that is for the bochur to decide- the school is obligated to provide answers, food, reasons etc
(1/16/2013 6:51:21 PM)
to #50
i 100% agree with you! im a17 yr old girl in a lubavtich high school, and i totally agree. thank you for posting this! And to #17 -JUST PLAIN RUDE! you were once or will be a teenager, how can you say such a thing??!!
(1/16/2013 7:29:22 PM)
interesting how comments (SOME) can inspire..
There were 2 comments that were quite inspirational 52 and 64. If you've already wastted your time reading the useless and pointless other comments, make sure to take these to heart. 52-you sound like a true teacher. When reading such a letter, the way to start solving the issue is accepting rebuke-and not reacting in immature ways-demanding maturity and growing up. You provided me a valuable lesson with your response. I truely hope you go into teaching. And 64-very practical advise. G-D willing I plan to attempt to use your advise in teaching. Yasher Kocham, and Moshiach now!
(1/16/2013 8:10:26 PM)
i was once a teenager and now a teacher.
this girl is 100% accurate.
Many teachers have this view of being best teacher, teacher all the parents love. Being strict but the kids are learning. Its for the self gratitude and accomplishment. Very few teachers wanna be there for the childs sake, to matter, to make a difference. Yes they wanna teach and watch the kids learn but do they really care?
(1/16/2013 9:31:51 PM)
To everyone....
read # 48 again. Wow! This is coming from a teacher! So, if you dont want to hear it from a teenager, listen to what the teacher has to say. T.Caton, you put forward your case so eloquently (did I spell that right?) Thank you so much!
(1/16/2013 10:02:24 PM)
To 32
Sign at the beach. Yes, warning signs (and not tips) are important. The equivelent to warning signs are the warnings in the Torah. However, we teach and change lives by inspiring not threatning. It's what works. Admit it.
(1/16/2013 10:17:56 PM)
Thank you...
...to the author, for writing about this subject!
As a Bochur who had went from a less "standard" Mesivta where the (unspoken but evident) emphasis was on **who you are** (although they enforce the rules well), to more "standard" Yeshivos where the (unspoken but evident) emphasis was more on **what you should do** (although they showed revealed love there too), this issue is one I have thought about a lot, and it is very close to my heart.
It took me a while to understand the difference, and why I felt I liked the way of my first Yeshiva more. Reading this now helped me understand even more.
I feel, although I don't know if I am correct, that this is a VERY important topic! So thank you so much to the author for having the courage to write, and writing, this article. And thank you to all the commenters who commented so-far, for helping me to understand how people feel about it.
(1/16/2013 10:24:00 PM)
Ttly agree with comment 62
for sake of emphasis, I'll repeat her comment:
With the autor in some of her points.
I am also 17, and i think that sometimes teachers don't really care that we actually understand why we do or we don't do certain things. I understand that we have to do things because Hashem said so, and not just because we understand them, but that doesn't mean that we can't have some explanations. Someone who should talk about tznius or issues between boys and girls. Yes, we do know its wrong, but i think teachers should take maybe a class to actually talk about it openly in class. Not saying 'girls if you have a short skirt its really bad an you're gonna be BAD girls'.
We know how it works. They should explain why it's so special, why you have to keep certain rules and share some things just with your husband to be.
Bh i had a lesson like that (once) an it totally changed my life. But im speaking also for other girls (and boys too) who maybe never spoke about this openly and agree with me.
We know the ules.
But if you tell us 'if you so this you're BAD, and not chassidish,and you may Get expelled' no, this is not going to help.
Because then we feel BAD teens and we uncounsciously think that once we have that name we can do things which are not right.
(1/16/2013 10:49:38 PM)
Take notes
These American schools should adopt the policies of Beth Rivkah in Melbourne, Australia.
Instead of resenting the school and its rules, its students respect and understand them, because of the unconditional love and care they are shown by the staff... Maybe the school Chasha is talking about should adopt some of Beth Rivkah's policies!
(1/17/2013 12:03:01 AM)
to #1 and #41
While you're throwing out advertisement for your schools, might I add that Monsey Beis Chaya Mushka is one school that not only ensures that each girl receives the attention she needs, but also has some of the most unbelievable mechanchos and staff members... Everyone who attends MBCM leaves changed for the better. And the Hanhala is DEFINITELY not out to micro-manage. Students and educators are on the same page, and work together to achieve the desired goals.
(1/17/2013 12:34:51 AM)
ex-yeshiva bochur
I was in yeshiva not more then 2 years ago. The reason why these people "micromanage" is not to ruin your life or to make you life seem childish. It's because there are very strict rules (as is the life of an orthodox, g-d fearing jew.) We have a Torah that tells us what to do, how to act, how to live and that's it. We can ask why, but not because we're doing something wrong, but because we want to know why we shouldn't.
The simplicity in this is that if you follow the rules in the first place, then no one is going to micromanage you. If you have questions about how you should act, don't ACT... ASK! Rules are rules. If you want to live your life as a religious yid, then you have to remember this, because it applies to everything. If you go through highschool with the mindset that everyone is out to get you, nothing will be accomplished. however, if you go through highschool and follow the rules that, i'm assuming, you also believe in, then teachers will act positively towards you, you will be able to open to them and ask them all the questions you'd like. It's that simple.
(1/17/2013 1:18:42 AM)
thank you to author of number 48!
I appreciate your comment!
(1/17/2013 1:24:23 AM)
Lack of confidence is the problem
I love how every teenager feels they have to be "heard".
whats next, maybe she wants to be appointed as the new teacher.
(1/17/2013 4:02:22 AM)
lack of education for the educators
The people doing the micro have no life experience or education when it comes to a girl who tests the limits.
They do it wrong.
They are ok when it comes to girls who keep within the boundaries.
One woman in charge acted very childishly with these girls and she did a tremendous amount of damage before her problem was finally recognized and she was properly supervised.
Because she was from a top family it was assumed she would be a good role model.
She was good with the 'good' girls but went haywire with any issues that upset her routine.
People who work with our children should at least have a psychological profile done every few years.
And have at least basic child psychology 101 so they have some direction on how to deal with the blips that come up and upset their day.
(1/17/2013 7:39:31 AM)
(1/17/2013 11:02:42 AM)
to 93
why shouldn't she be heard?
(1/17/2013 3:46:04 PM)
To #2 and #28
I haven't read the 100 comments, yet...
But both of you just perfectly proved her point!
Amazing how blind people are. You 2 are perfectly missing her point. I'm just glad I'm not your kid.
(1/17/2013 4:36:13 PM)
Good point but...
We need more information. Which rules are you referring to? I would better understand you if you would give more details in your article. I get the point that more love is better than more rules. But again, which rules are a problem?
Please explain.
And my two cents is that deep down inside you know what is good for you. Even as a rebellious teenager, follow what you know is good for you, and you'll be ok. Try to understand the well meaning adults and try to forgive the others. Work on yourself without trying to judge others too much. Follow the right and clear path, you know which one, and really, and truly, it leads to good things to come iyH!
(1/17/2013 11:37:43 PM)
As a teacher
As a teacher I point to this article as the reason why we need more rules. There should be a rule that a student cannot write articles complaining about teachers. There should be another rule that students should not access the internet. And there should be one more rule that students are not allowed to have opinions. Just follow the rules and you won't complain, ever. As someone wrote, you need kabolos ol, that doesn't just mean accepting the yoke of Heaven, because you also must accept the yoke of your teachers (and everyone older then you). Treat your teachers as if they created heaven and earth. Yes, that must be added as another rule!
(1/17/2013 11:45:06 PM)
That's great treat everybody like their sheep.
(1/18/2013 7:24:12 AM)
LOL to As a teacher
"As a teacher" just proved the whole point of this writer's article. I hope that comment was written sarcastically. If it was serious, (and I can think of a few mechaneches who would seriously agree with that comment writer), then that teacher needs serious help.
(1/18/2013 7:51:48 AM)
Yaaayyy i did it!!
(1/18/2013 8:23:24 AM)
here's the deal
i'm a teen too and i just want to say that we're not looking to have no more rules. we like structure. WE LIKE IT.
what i think this girl who wrote th letter is trying to say is, schools don't have to be obsessed with their rules and trying to be scary (and just btw, when principals try to be scary they come across as unprofessional bc they aren't scaring us). set those rules in place. enforce them. but don't push them down our hroats.... because when u get things forced down your throat, u throw it all up.
makes sense?
(1/18/2013 1:49:58 PM)
A bochur whos been in different types of lubavitch yeshivos
Sooooo true! Also another point is that some of the rules are just not age appropriate, even when they do make sense. Im 18 and i shouldnt hav a dorm counselor telling me to go to sleep @ 11 o'clock. I kno that i hav 2 go 2 sleep 2 get a good day myself and am old enough 2 realize that without a dorm counselor. if i go 2 sleep @ 11:30 bc i need 2 finish my shiurim should NOT be a problem the mashgiach has to talk 2 me about!!!
(1/18/2013 3:15:21 PM)
High School Principal
As the Principal of a prominent Lubavitch girls high school I think I know which student wrote this article. Although she makes a few valid points, I can attest that each year rules are loosened rather than tightened. The only reason why there are so many rules is because years ago there was hardly any need for rules at all. As an example: Every girl simply knew what type of jewelry was inappropriate to wear - there was no need for formal rules. Every girl knew not to dye their hair in neon purple or wear Army Boot shoes. Now there needs to be rules for such "simple" behaviors. Time are a'changin' as they say, and girls now challenge, "Why not?" - why can't we run wild in the street, why is that the school's business? Thus, we need rules to cover basic things that were once non-issues. If this was written by my 17 year old student, I am impressed with your writing skills and your logical thought process. You always make me proud and I have great expectations from you! You are a special girl in every way!
(1/18/2013 4:21:49 PM)
Mother of teens
I hope the people responding with "grow up" aren't working in chinuch and I hope you never teach my kids
(1/19/2013 6:11:21 AM)
To 99
Thank you! An exact example of micro managing!
(1/19/2013 6:26:42 PM)
To "as a teacher"

I do not write articles complaining about teachers.

I do not have access to the internet.

I also don't have any opinions.

My teachers created more than heaven and earth. They created me.

Nice to meet you, I'm Jeffie the Robot.

Please continue oiling your machines behind the desks. It would be nice to have a whole future generation of friends.
(1/19/2013 7:43:41 PM)
I go to a very prominent Lubavitch girls High School as well....
Well, I am not Chasha but I can certinly say that MY principal does not check collive.com. She is way above and beyond using anything other than kedusha and believes that klipas nogah only refers to using recess as more study time. We have tremendous kavod for her and her chassidish hanhagos. As the 11th grade class, we have conducted a bais din and decided this Chasha person deserves 770 sets of lashes for her impudence.
(1/19/2013 7:49:54 PM)
Dear High School Principal,
i think she gets that. She understands your point, With all due respect though, it's incredibly important to let her know that " I am impressed with your writing skills and your logical thought process. You always make me proud and I have great expectations from you! You are a special girl in every way!" ALL THE TIME! Not just when she writes an article that scores "most commented" on the top Lubavitch news website!


I think you're my principal (and this is a dormy in 10th grade)
(1/19/2013 7:59:51 PM)
High school principal-
You totally missed the point.

go back and reprocess what she wrote in the most basic english.

Why cant you GET IT?!?!
(1/19/2013 8:01:36 PM)
How awful!
From the chutzpa of the girls, to the horrible way in which people are being attacked in the comments. Makes me want to hole myself up and shut out the world. There will be those that will respond, YEAH, AND WHAT'S THAT GONNA HELP? I live out of town, but when I visit CH I am always dismayed at the way people treat each other, from the storekeepers, to the person sitting next to you in Shul. In CH, you are merely a number, not a person. Perhaps this is the root of the issue in the schools there. Perhaps it all just spills out in every corner. I teach. That said, it is a constant ache that often our class brings CH as an example of how not to be, how not to dress, how not to treat others. And there will be those that will respond YEA, WELL HOW ABOUT EMPHASIZING THE POSITIVE, HUH! Yes, I hear you. I do, but this just keeps coming up, like a bad penny. Think about it.
(1/21/2013 10:30:57 PM)
Absolutely agree!
Monsey Beis Chaya Mushka is a one-of-a-kind school!
(1/22/2013 12:14:41 PM)
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