Recently MYHT held its annual parent orientation. The topic of the night was “Keeping our students spiritually safe.” The focus of the night was to review the call of the gedolim at Citi Field to protect our children from the dangers of the Internet. The importance of this message cannot be overstated, especially at the beginning of the school year. Yam HaTorah rebbeim work so hard to inculcate within the students the proper values, and it would be a shame for those lessons to be blocked from penetrating the heart due to inappropriate material seen or read on the Internet.
The menahel, Rabbi Avram Pollak, spoke about the Mesivta’s commitment to providing the students with a safe environment where they can grow to their maximum potential. He went further to explain that the goal of the Mesivta is to create a ben Torah, a person whose attitude and feelings are molded by the Torah. Rabbi Pollak explained how what a student does out of school really does affect his mindset in school. He quoted the famous Mishnah in Avos, “Mitzvah goreres mitzvah v’aveirah goreres aveirah.” One aveirah drags us and pulls us towards the next one. He called on the parents to partner together with the Mesivta in making sure their children are provided with a consistent environment both in and out of school.
The night was further enhanced by a speech from Rav Eliezer Feuer, rav of the Young Israel of Bayswater. Rabbi Feuer spoke about how technology is not letting us live. People spend all day e-mailing, texting, and reading the news and barely have time to focus on themselves and their own growth. He called on the parents to choose life for their kids and get them used to a more productive lifestyle. He went further to say that it is ultimately the parents who really hold the greatest influence on their kids, and they must not just rely on the yeshivos to ensure their sons’ success.
The night closed with a speech from the Judaic principal, Rabbi Eli Zoldan, who outlined to the parents some of the Mesivta’s policies toward cell phones, internet, and social networking. He further drove the point home by quoting the famous Gemara, “If you meet the yetzer ha’ra, draw him to the beis medrash.” Why must one draw him to the beis medrash? In a different Gemara it says, “I created the yetzer ha’ra and I created the Torah as an antidote to it.”
“Why does it not suffice just to learn Torah if you meet the yetzer ha’ra? It is not enough just to learn Torah to beat the yetzer ha’ra but you must also be in a safe environment. That is our Mesivta’s commitment.” The parents left feeling relieved they are leaving their kids in good hands, and were excited for the coming year.