Thursday, 13 Tishri, 5781
  |  October 1, 2020


They Say Go With the Flow

From the COLlive inbox: Although I couldn't find any place where I felt confident, I was too afraid to leave the system. Full Story

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September 14, 2013 7:56 pm

Sheina I’m so proud of that article. I chose not to go to seminary for personal reasons and instead took a year off to work and then started college/university. I was treated with a lot of judgement by my community and have hence realised that this kind of superficial behaviour is not something I want to be associated with. What people have to realise is that they need to stop being so narrow minded, different things suit different people. We are not all supposed to go into a mould and turn out the same rather we should be encouraged to… Read more »

pay attention
September 13, 2013 10:55 am

I don’t think the author is making general statements and saying that seminary is bad for everyone. She is just saying that if it is not the best for you, don’t feel the need to go ahead with it anyways just because EVERYONE else is. There are other options that are positive and constructive and you should think about that.

to 67
September 13, 2013 2:19 am

Thank you for that was very inspirational

to 67
September 13, 2013 1:31 am

You are a hundred percent right and an inspiration to us all

September 12, 2013 10:54 pm

I went to Ohel Chana in Melbourne. I was only accepted on probation.. thats right.. they put me on probation before I had even got there and done anything to warrant it. After 13 years of the school system I wanted to go out and do seminary for myself, after reading my letter of conditioned acceptance I cried for hours. I contemplated whether such an institution which has the audacity to pass judgement on me before they knew me was really a place I wanted to be.. I wondered if this is what chabad stands for then do I want… Read more »

to the author
September 12, 2013 10:15 am

Perhaps before you write this you should describe where life had taken you to this point.

we love you SM!!
September 12, 2013 7:55 am

Making Melbourne proud!

fellow aussie

Sheina mushka Raskin...
September 12, 2013 7:43 am

You are the real deal. You realise that to act as a bas chabad, you don’t have to be locked away in a bubble, sheltered from the outside world- you just have to be attached to what’s above and to Chassidus.
It’s so Inspiring to read your experiences of self reflection and growth. GMAr chasima Tova and may this year bringers growth for you in learning and ways of Chassidus etc.
-Avigail W

To #37
September 12, 2013 7:02 am

To #37. What did u do throughout your sons life to guide him toward making a parnassah? Did he learn English? Is he capable of taking some courses that will lead to a job? Maybe he is planning shlichus in which case he will haveto do what all the shluchim do, they get started by whoever it is that places them and then they haveto actively fundraise. Best of luck whatever it is. Being in the system sure doesn’t give a boy too many options:(

September 12, 2013 12:32 am

First of all, I applaud you for giving out your real name. that sure took some guts.
Second of all, out of all the articles I’ve ever read, this one tops it off. It’s from the heart, and those are the articles I like best.
The truthful ones.

September 12, 2013 12:30 am

Going to a good seminary and taking ot seriously is one of the best things that can ever happen to a girl.

sheina amazing Article
September 11, 2013 11:44 pm

I am very proud you stood up to teach other people to look after themselves to live their own life with torah and mitzvos

choose your sem wisely
September 11, 2013 10:35 pm

if only we could ! they choose us and not always so wisely….

Sem was my best school year
September 11, 2013 9:33 pm

For many going with the Sem flow is exactly what is needed to stay focused as a solid Jewish happy woman.

Please do not try to encourage girls to try a different (secular and dangerous flow.) I’m specifically referring to the college suggestion. I’m not referring to taking courses the Kosher way.
Good luck to you!

to all commenters.. just something to ponder
September 11, 2013 9:24 pm

Its easy to jump to say you are wrong. Thats what is the normal flowlike thing to say to someone with such a perspective. You have missed the author’s message. completely. think twice before getting swepped away with the … tide.. Another point: for the girls who have been born, raised in the system and have suceeded: it is more than easy to point a finger at the person who “failed” ( and i put it in quotes because in truth i see it as a victory).. and say “the problem is in you.” but as always, three fingers point… Read more »

September 11, 2013 3:59 pm

thank you for saying what I have been trying to tell so many people for so long!

Sheina you are the best!!
September 11, 2013 3:54 pm

I’m really proud of you and your way!! You did a great job and a lot of Mitzvots and Chasadim at Sherut Leumi in Israel. You helped us, and brought an happiness to everyone and made the patients smile and get well!! I really like the way you wrote that article! I wish you good luck…miss you so much!! Lovee: Reut Halevi:)

September 11, 2013 3:30 pm

I am in seminary in Israel right now, and although I don’t agree with the author’s hashkafa, I agree with her main point. I would not recommend the seminary I am in for a lot of people. Be VERY, VERY careful when choosing a seminary. Make sure it is a place where you will flourish. For example, choose a small seminary if you do well in small groups, because in a big seminary you will feel totally lost. It is extremely important to discuss your options with parents, teachers, and mashpias. Take it very seriously and thoughtfully. I wish you… Read more »

Proud to be a raskin ;)
September 11, 2013 3:27 pm

Great article Sheina!

Really enjoyed reading that and couldn’t possibly agree more regarding the system as a whole

Osher Raskin

Very proud English cuz :P
September 11, 2013 3:26 pm

Love thisssss :):) If only everyone would be so honest and straightforward!!

a girl who also went through the system
September 11, 2013 2:48 pm

Good for you! You seem very sincere and confident in your decisions. Just some points to ponder on… It might be best to examine other possibilities of why you felt this way. Perhaps the seminary you attended wasn’t catered for you. A lot of girls may end up in seminaries not right for them because they went out of peer pressure, the need to go with the flow.. There is a seminary out there catered for every single girl. Of course there are always exceptions, but generally, girls should think deeply on choosing a seminary that fits THEIR needs, not… Read more »

You make me proud
September 11, 2013 2:00 pm

SM I am blown away by your courage and honesty! So proud to have you as a dear freind love you lots chay xxs

to 44
September 11, 2013 1:16 pm

Ummm, no we don’t.
You have no clue what you are talking about…

September 11, 2013 12:19 pm

It doesnt mean the seminary was “ignoring your personal victories” like if i decided to daven maariv- why is my seminary meant to know that? those personal levels are for ourselves! at the end of the day Seminary is a system! “Defying authority” doesnt take away from your personal victories- Rather try understand a seminarys point of veiw. Your teachers, your behavious in class. Its important to realise that DERECH ERETZ and KABOLOS OL play a big part in a bnos chabad !!

September 11, 2013 12:11 pm

Today the path is to ask a Rov/Maspia. I knew many of the great elder Chaidim and very few followed the herd.

Make a path within a path
September 11, 2013 11:08 am

I think that within the Chabad derech there is room (and need for more room?) for individuality and options. But it is always most successful when the basic structure of a Chabad lifestyle is respected and maintained. You can be an individual, and follow a different path, without ‘hating’ on everything in ‘the system’. Remember, there are many, many good things in this system that you HAVE benefited from, that your family HAS benefited from, and that has helped mold you into the person you are. Go with the Rebbe’s brocha into your endeavors. There is always a kosher way… Read more »

September 11, 2013 10:47 am

definitely agree with the lack of caring and individuality in the system. I feel that the solution is not in bucking the system, but trying to fix it – not very easy necessarily, but that doesn’t make the easy path, the right path. every marriage contains two different individuals. if it’s not exactly what you want (even if you’re right) does that mean, dump it and find another path. in the large population that we B”H have, each person has to find fulfillment within himself and stay with the system the Rebbe clearly laid out for us. realizing the problems… Read more »

We need to close down all chabad seminary's
September 11, 2013 10:38 am

and start over….

kol hakovod
September 11, 2013 9:48 am

I may not agree with everything you said but admire the way you said it and most of all for not being a coward and actually putting your name to it.
If only COL was brave enough to print all op-ed with names

sherut leumi
September 11, 2013 9:07 am

hashkofa not really ours. also the writer still surrounded with chassidishe girls? I wish it were more apparent to those unfamiliar with this choice that the surroundings are those of Kippot Srugot. (I greatly respect them but that is a very different derech. The article was nice, but the readers do need to know that… Perhaps if the writer had said she was on Shlichus in a Sherut Leumi context…

First play by the rules
September 11, 2013 8:34 am

You can’t say a system doesn’t work for someone if they don’t take the system seriously. If you don’t adhere to a program you subscribe to – well then, maybe you will feel resentment. If you cannot adhere to seminary, then yes, it’s not for you.

Who is "they"
September 11, 2013 8:31 am

I think the key to this article is the first word, “they”. Who are “they” that make you make decisions that are not right for you?

I heard a great saying “people spend their lives working a job they don’t like to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t care about”

Just live your life as you see fit and don’t worry about what “they” say because one day you’ll realize that there is no “they” just you.

Is this really what Lubavitch is?
September 11, 2013 8:31 am

If doing things the proper way doesn’t feel right for me, then I make MY own path. I pick and choose where I want my chassidishkeit to fit in? Not everything is feel good. Backgroudn and personal experience will have a lot to do with feeling the need to make you own path because nothing else is good enough. It’s initiation but it can go too far without guidance. A lot of young girls will be reading this for validation – and guidance does not seem to be an important factor to the author.

A different perspective.
September 11, 2013 7:46 am

Sheina, Thank you for the article. You sound like a frum confident and intelligent young woman. I am sure that your patents are proud of you. However, we must step and realize that as chasidim we have a direction in life given to us by the Rebbe. Not everyone can reach that ideal and that shouldn’t depress you and make you hate everything that the Rebbe stands for. You sound like you found a healthy place for yourself and the Rebbe will be proud of you as well But looking at the Rebbes ideal, he would have wanted for all… Read more »

no comfort
September 11, 2013 7:25 am

My son is 19. When I asked him what he plans on doing after smicha he says he does not know. When I ask him what he plans on doing for parnassa, he says he does not know and he will just go with the system and see where it takes him. This does not give me much comfort.

Establishment and Individuality
September 11, 2013 7:14 am

There’s an amazing sicha on parshios Nitzavim-Vayelech volume 29, which addresses this issue. In a nutshell, it points out that first there must be a strong and solid foundation that is immutable upon which one can build his unique individuality There are other sichos that address this as well.

to number 21
September 11, 2013 6:30 am

i agree… it seems as though u cant speak for other girls your age because you seem different.
your outlooks on life are not the same as girls your age…and it is wrong of you to assist in helping teenage girls be led away from the system…yes the system does have flaws and it does need major improvent..but i think with your circumstances, you dont really have a right to talk about it!!

Melb rox
September 11, 2013 6:02 am

Really amazing story!!! So nice to hear the beautiful truth of how you really feel!!

A mashpiah must be consulted
September 11, 2013 5:30 am

The Rebbe stressed many times that a Mashpiah must be consulted. One wrong turn, especially at this age, can have disastrous long term effects. One must not rely on the very prevalent justification that “I am exploring my OWN path”!

September 11, 2013 5:24 am

THIS is what we produce,
and true to yourself
proud to be a fellow Aussi

Halachic question
September 11, 2013 5:17 am

I don’t want to comment on the content of this article- but it must be mentioned that Sherut Leumi is a Halachic question for a Rav to decide and not “the flow” or personal feelings. I think the editorial staff should have paid attention to this.

September 11, 2013 4:30 am

well written!!!

to #2
September 11, 2013 3:51 am

that is 1 of the things that other bochur is trying 2 create through his website project
loved the article well written and too true

goooooo sheina!
September 11, 2013 2:51 am

sheina love, your keep making us all proud! kol hakavod!

September 11, 2013 2:37 am

Very brave for putting your name on it

September 11, 2013 2:36 am

THAT is a good idea if I’ve ever heard one

Listen to what you are saying...
September 11, 2013 2:15 am

It’s interesting to hear everyone pulling down the ‘system’ – what is the system and WHO is the system? It’s us, it’s you. Listen to yourselves and realise that you are that teacher in the ‘system’, that student and that parent. What are you doing about it? To blanket statemtent the ‘sysem’ as mainstream and keep it as a general tool which never cater to the indiviudal is wrong. Forget the word ‘system’. It’s you and it’s me. It’s very easy to point fingers, say something is not functional and to find a scapegoat. Take the time to make it… Read more »

G'mar Chasimah Tovah
September 11, 2013 2:15 am

You went to quite a few Seminaries, and only then,did you go way above and beyond the flow.
You have strong and solid Chassidishe values,you have a good head on your shoulders, and alot of common sense.
You can tell right from wrong. But for most of the young generation today,going with the flow is the miracle that keeps them on the proper path, and not going off to do all kinds of crazy things and places.

Go MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
September 11, 2013 2:07 am

This article is so true and important for all seminary girls and yeshiva bochurim. Everybody take it to heart!
Its so hard not to stick with the flow, yet so essential for ones personal growth.

Yayyyyy go Sheina!!!
September 11, 2013 1:55 am

Sending my love from Australia! That really inspired me 🙂

I wonder...
September 11, 2013 1:55 am

Would you be saying the same thing if you had been in a functional program?

Thank you!!
September 11, 2013 1:49 am

Incredible article!! Well said and so honest.
What so many people have been scared to say all along.
Love a fellow Australian:)

I love you Sheina Mushka!!!!!!
September 11, 2013 1:20 am

You are the best!!! Love Faigie xoxox

Yasher Koach! Wonderful article & Super amaizing piont!
September 11, 2013 12:58 am

Thank You for writing this wonderful & improtant pionts to the public that often gets sweept away! Thank You!
You make a great piont about not going with the flow but rather be the flow, inother words stand up for what u belive in & what is right for U may not be right for the other person and do your part to make things happen! Gmar chasima Tova U’Metzuka 🙂

Well done
September 11, 2013 12:53 am

Well done putting your name on the article

Love it!
September 11, 2013 12:32 am

You are amazing girl!

We love you and so proud of you and everything you do, couldn’t ask for a better friend than you!

September 11, 2013 12:25 am

I love it! So honest, so real, so relatable.. Thank you!

We love you SM!!!!
September 11, 2013 12:21 am

Amazing! -PHW

nice article
September 11, 2013 12:20 am

the system wants only what they think are the top 10% elite,and dont care to throw away the other 90% of our children. pretty proud to see a young lady with a head on her shoulders figuring it out

Many healthy considerations shared openly
September 11, 2013 12:11 am

Thank you for being who you are and sharing your relatable/accessible/human/real insight.

Each of us is a unique gift of Hashem, in addition to us being a contributor to/participant in our circles/communities.

Paradoxically – like everything is in life – we’re BOTH individual AND group. We’re BOTH our own entity AND in relation to someone or something else.

Keep talking… to keep healthy, shana tovah u’metukah

September 10, 2013 11:58 pm

This letter is amazing SM! I am so proud of you for stating the facts and saying it like it is.
Cheers to continued success in trailblazing your unique path and making a difference in the world.
I second #7- from someone who pretended for far too long

just an idea
September 10, 2013 11:43 pm

Great article!
Just to throw an idea out: perhaps something like Sheirut l’umi might not be advisable for all young girls as some people don’t do so well due to lack of self dicipline – in a free enviroment. Perhaps a group should b organized with individuality in mind. This group should offer prospective positions in “securer” enviroments & couple it with learning and adventure programs ALL AT A VERY LOW COST! Maybe even a productive program in which girls go as teams to help Shluchim and stay connected through a Online Seminary with periodical Shabbatons & get togethers.

go sheina
September 10, 2013 11:32 pm

Your words come from the heart, and entered the heart.
– a fellow fan

great article
September 10, 2013 10:54 pm

Why are there so many Lubavitcher bochurim in the idf…

Go SMR!!
September 10, 2013 10:26 pm

Making Australia proud!
Good on you for being the best YOU out there!
If you’re true to yourself you will always be happier than someone who is pretending 🙂

From someone who pretended for a very long time XxX

Great job!
September 10, 2013 10:24 pm

Nicely done

September 10, 2013 10:22 pm

You made my day/ night.
thanks 🙂 …awesome to hear from ppl like u
a real breath of fresh air
keep doing what ur doing and be proud.

so true
September 10, 2013 9:53 pm

Thanks for making this oped real and not anonymous. Also written so beautifully and honestly!!!!
A fellow Australian 😉

September 10, 2013 9:35 pm

Wow 10 points for putting your real name.

September 10, 2013 9:24 pm

Grrat point…kol haakovod

Brilliant article
September 10, 2013 8:59 pm

I enjoyed the writers positive and honest approach. I did not do sem in Israel, because I felt the experience would be very limiting and not teach me any independence, what with the dormitory, food and everything taken care of.
I found subsequently that people were very judgmental of me, but I have also found my way in true growth and yiddishkeit outside of the seminary experience.
Thanks for an articulate and refreshing point of view.
Gmar Chasima Tova!