Thank you for your continued coverage on the battle by Yaffed (Young Advocates For Fair Education) to improve the level of secular studies in chasidic yeshivas (“Yeshiva Reformers Brace For Fight,” Sept. 11).
I know a little of the struggle, having gone to non-chasidic yeshivas that downplayed the importance and quality of secular studies. Not having a strong foundation, it was a challenge for me to get through college, graduate school and then law school. That said, having been a volunteer for nearly five years with Satmar Bikor Cholim, I have come to admire the
community in many ways and their commitment to charity.
With Satmar Bikor Cholim, the commitment is not only a financial one but also one of personal involvement. In terms of “Honor thy father and mother,” I have seen in the hospital
how routine it is for these volunteers to spend the entire Shabbos with their hospitalized parent. Sometimes it might be weeks in a row. Once when I complimented a women for
staying over Shabbos two weeks in a row, looking after her great-aunt who had no children, she said, “of course I have to be here, she has no one else.”
The chasidic community has a lot to teach us in regard to charity and family values.