Haredi Leaders Forbid Hiking??

Terrible calamities seem to be befalling the frum community lately. A good friend of my son in Israel was severely injured in a van accident on the East Coast - please say tehilllim for Yehoshua Meshulam ben Sarah Leah.

I also heard about two Israeli Haredi boys on a hike collapsing and dying from the heat and dehydration, which is terrible and shouldn't have happened.
And then, I read two articles about the accidents. I could not believe what I read: it seems that their Rabbanim in the Yeshivot have outlawed hiking (and renting cars), because both of these activities are dangerous to your health (click on the title link to read one article. )

Correct me if I'm wrong, but something seems amiss here: the Rabbeim did what ? They added a new Yeshiva course in life skills? In how to survive in a hot desert climate? Did they institute a driver's education and safety course in the Yeshiva? Apparently not.

Instead, in their great wisdom and with great common sense, they forbad the activities of hiking and driving.

Combined with the prevalence of the problem of some Haredi abuse of women on Israeli buses (non-Haredi buses, I might add), is there any debate as to whether or not they are even sane? Whether the Haredi way is the RIGHT way to be a Jew? The RIGHT way to Torah and miztvot??

I don't want to insult anyone, or denegrate anyone's way of life (unless they are attacking me and my life), but I need to open this up to debate: there is something very wrong here.

My husband was a scoutmaster in our area for many years. He was one of the, if not THE best scoutmaster this troop ever had. Our two sons went through this troup from 6 years old through high school, and both achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

It was a Jewish Scout Troop which contained Jews of all walks of life and of all denominations of Judaism--and this troop followed Halacha, from davening to keeping strictly kosher to keeping Shabbat, including building an eruv around campsites for Shabbat.

And he also taught the boys survival skills, which you can say are right in line with the mitzvah of Pikuach Nefesh. In fact, some years ago one of the scouts in my husband's troop actually helped in the rescue of stranded hikers.

And not too long ago, when he was still in yeshivah, my older son saved some kids in a yeshivah camp - who were out canoeing with no clue about water safety or canoeing - when the canoes capsized.

Why were these scouts able do this? because they had learned the proper skills, and had the Jewish Midot (Dennis Prager would use the term "moral compass") to care for other people and help them when they are in trouble.
Maybe my husband should offer to teach these Yeshiva bachurs survival skills, because their schools sure aren't doing it!

And instead of banning hiking, of all things - maybe they should ban long black kapotes and bekeshehs as inappropriate clothing for the Israeli climate in the summer?? They weren't even Jewish in origin, anyway--this type of dress was worn by Polish noblemen in the 18th-19th century! What in G-d's name is HOLY about this type of dress?!
Here is another important article from the Jerusalem Post on this tragedy.
I finished my rant. I seek your input.


Batya said…
Refuah Shleimah

Terrible accidents happen every year "bein hazmannim." The bocherim aren't in shape and don't take the right food and drinks. And then the driving...
anonym00kie said…
i dont really understand how bashing rabbis without understanding the reasoning behind their "bans" will help anyone get a refuah
did the rabbis ban driving and hiking IN GENERAL? or was it for yeshiva kids who have no clue what they are doing and are reckless..
maybe if we stop bashing leaders, and try looking a little deeper into what they are saying and realizing that maybe there is more to the story, giving the benefit of the doubt and having SOME faith in our leaders and the countless years theyve spent accumulating knowledg and wisdom we may actually get somewhere positive and constructive.
Anonymous said…
I think banning is not a solution. Education is the answer. Nature is a wonderful place, and it is also a place that deserves respect. So children need to learn how to be prepared and how to preserve nature. Banning won't teach anyone anything, it will only alienate people from a gift from Hashem. I believe the problem is with the education. I see too many children abuse nature and animals, and this is not what the Torah says!
Anonymous said…
I think regardless of whether it was aimed at hiking and car rental in general or at specific students doesn't matter one bit. It is a completely destructive way to handle those situations. A more fitting response would have been to announce mandatory courses. In regards to the hiking a basic outdoors skills course should have been implemented, and for the driving incident a driver's education course should have been given. In my eyes there is NO other fitting response, period. Also I don't think that somebody such as Lady Light is bashing out of ignorance. I believe that somebody of her upbringing and backgroud speaks based on previous experience and accumulated knowledge. She is most definitely not a secular looking to bash the Haredi community. I think that many of our Rabbis have proven time and again that knowledge of the Torah needs to be coupled with life skills. One without the other can be disastrous. Hashem watches over us constantly, but he protects us even more when we use the abilities that he has given us.
NOBODY (Secular, Haredi, Dati Leumi, and Gentile) is exempt from learning the necessary skills to survive in the modern world, nor the skills needed to survive in the nature that Hashem has put here for our use.
Anonymous said…
Leah Rena: I believe that if hiking were anti-halachic, we would never have had an exodus from Egypt! Let's find some sanity, people.
rebelwithacause said…
And instead of banning hiking, of all things - maybe they should ban long black kapotes and bekeshehs as inappropriate clothing for the Israeli climate in the summer?? They weren't even Jewish in origin, anyway--this type of dress was worn by Polish noblemen in the 18th-19th century! What in G-d's name is HOLY about this type of dress?!

YES!!! Thank you!! I agree with you 1000000%
Anonymous said…
whooa... I do think u got carried away, but u r entitled to ur opinion

I posted a link and quote to your post on my blog with the theilim request.
Ezzie said…
Do you have a link for the ban? I'd be curious to see the reasoning they gave. From the sound of it, sounds crazy.
Lady-Light said…
Please read my next post, where I am acknowledging everyone's comment.
Thank you.
This story was really emotional. The blogger has brought out the sentiments from her point of view and i am touched by her care for others.Well done, that's what i can say.

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