February 2, 2005

by Reb Yudel
Merciful fathers? Deceptive authors? Shalit and Twersky at, well, cross-currents

At 21, I was on the outside looking in, on my first trip to Israel with a friend who was, like me, a Reform Jew. One day, we wandered into a religious neighborhood in Jerusalem, and suddenly there were black hats and side curls everywhere. My friend pointed out a group of men wearing odd fur hats. ''Those,'' he explained, ''are the really mean ones.''

I never questioned our snap judgment of these people until, a few years later, I returned to study at an all-girls seminary and was surprised to discover that my teachers, whom I adored, were men and women from this same community.

Wendy Shalit
The New York Times Sunday Book Review Essay: The Observant Reader

Every child who falls between the cracks [of our yeshiva educational system] is a child at risk. Any family that has suffered the tragedy of a child who has left the Torah fold is devastated. I have had parents tell me that they wish they would receive a telephone call telling them that their child had been killed in a plane crash. [emph. added]

Dr. Aaron Twersky
"Our Burgeoning Yeshivos" in the latest issue of The Jewish Observer, the magazine of the ultra-Orthodox haredi movement.

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