Two weeks R' Moshe Grylak wrote a fantastic editorial in the Mishpacha magazine in English. He accused many parents of sacrificing their children on the altar of family honor. He pointed out how many parents try to get their children into the top yeshiva for all the wrong reasons. The reasons range from, if their son is in a top yeshiva he will get a better shidduch with an apartment, their daughter will get a good shidduch, to the fact that the father will be embarrassed if his son is not in a top yeshiva. Unfortunately, for many of these kids this results in them being sacrificed as they do not succeed in the top yeshiva and either go off the derech or simply don't succeed in the yeshiva and end up hating learning.
This week he published a follow up column where he published some responses that he received:
So what do you want me to do? Not fight to get my son into a prestigious yeshiva? True, he won't really fit in there.
What you say is logical and true but it's almost impossible to apply in today's environment.
Furthermore the issue of shidduchim for girls is serious issue.
I stand to suffer serious damage and you tell me to ignore it?
I feel that you are right but I have no choice -- the social pressure and my family's image are stronger then me
The letter which was one of many, shows that while people talk a lot about emuna when push comes to shove they have none.
R' Grylak's answer is that we need to take a lesson from Avraham Avinu and do what is right even if the whole world is against us.
I was very impressed with these 2 columns and highly recommend them.
However, if we take R' Grylak's thesis to it's logical conclusion then it is really an indictment of the Charedi educational system in Israel as a whole. Just like he bemoans parents sacrificing their kids in the name of family honor, we should bemoan the many children in Israel sacrificed on the altar of no secular studies, no army, no work. How many kids could grow up to be wonderful Jews if they were given the chance to succeed outside the Beis Medrash? Imagine if they were given the chance to learn a trade or a profession instead of whiling away hours in the Beis Medrash doing nothing? Let's face it, not everyone is cut out to sit and learn all day, the Charedi world's insistence on every boy sitting and learning with no alternatives is sacrificing a lot of kids.