Tag Archives: rabbi yehuda amital

Balancing Education, Rebuke, and the Fear of Causing Estrangement

Rabbi Daniel Mann just posted a very sensitive teshuva (here) about a secular Jew whose religious relatives are worried that the more he learns about Judaism, the more likely he will lose his tinok shenishba status and become a Rasha.  I encourage reading his teshuva.  One point that jumps out at me is the inherent tension created by the obligation to educate (or rebuke).  By educating, we provide opportunities for religious growth, but at the same time, we remove the excuse of ignorance from those students who choose to willfully ignore what we teach.  At face value, this flies in the face of the principle mutav sheyiyhu shogegin, it is better that willful sinners remain accidental sinners, a principle that under certain circumstances allows us to refrain from rebuking.  However, it is clear that cannot be the case.  As a community, our goal is to educate and improve the members of our community.  We cannot be held hostage by the possibility that people will choose, despite knowing what is right, to do what is wrong.  Mutav Sheyiyhu Shogegin by definition must therefore be limited. Continue reading Balancing Education, Rebuke, and the Fear of Causing Estrangement

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