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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Mordechai Lipskier

How one Lubavitch school became "just like Beis Yaakov."


Rabbi Osher Lemmel Ehrenreich, the Dean of Bais Yaakov of Boro Park for 67 years, passed away this week. He was 93 years old. In 1968, he and several of his supporters had a yechidus with the Rebbe. He asked the Rebbe’s opinion on a wide range of issues, from general chinuch philosophies to specific school policies, and was impressed by the Rebbe’s receptiveness as well as his extreme clarity on these topics. He of course went on to implement the Rebbe’s advice in practice.[1] The admiration between Lubavitch and Beis Yaakov goes both ways. Mrs. Sima Ralbag was the principal of Beis Chana, Yerushalayim, for over 30 years. During a yechidus in 1971, she asked the Rebbe how to construct the educational standards in her school. The Rebbe’s answer was short and sharp. “Just like Beis Yaakov.”[2] Mrs. Sarah Greenberg served as principal of the girls’ seminary in Kfar Chabad for many years. She once asked the Rebbe’s secretary, Rabbi Hodakov, what the seminary’s tzniyus policy should be. “Follow the standards of Beis Yaakov,” he said. These policies are not just rules to follow, they’re ingredients for a good life. This week’s parsha begins, “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing, that you will heed the commandments of Hashem, which I command you today; and the curse, if you will not heed the commandments of Hashem, but turn away from the way I command you this day, to follow other gods, which you did not know.” The Ohr HaChaim explains: The ultimate blessing and curse are not what come later, as a result of the way we lived. Rather, a life of Torah and mitzvos is itself the greatest blessing that can be, (and living otherwise, is an opposite experience). It’s challenging to maintain a high standard in Yiddishkeit, especially in matters of chinuch and tzniyus. But it’s helpful to reflect on the fact that we’re not living this way only to gain points on another world, but that it will enrich our lives on this world as well. It also becomes easier when we have a strong example to follow. Beis Yaakov carries this zechus and achrayus, and we are indebted to them for that. With Hashem’s help, let’s continue educating our children with the highest standards, and may we merit to see yiddishe, chassidishe nachas from them all. Let these children be the ones to greet Moshiach, very soon. K'siva V'chasima Tova and a Gut'n Shabbos, Rabbi Mordechai Lipskier

[1] Living Torah 782. [2] Bas Melech Penima pg. 146


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