Rav Shteinman: I Never Threw a Bochur Out of Yeshiva

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rav-aharon-leib-shteinmanToday, the winter zeman opens for yeshivos across the Olam HaTorah, with the zeman set to last six months due to the leap year. Tens of thousands of avreichim and bochurim are returning to their botei medrash to once again immerse themselves in the study of Torah.

Ahead of the zeman, a meeting attended by roshei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel was addressed by Maran Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Orchos Torah, who delivered words of instruction, guidance and chizuk with regard to the correct approach in dealing with each individual bochur.

Rav Shteinman opened his address by stressing that roshei yeshiva, rabbeim and mechanchim

who deal with children are dealing with pure neshamos, and this task must be taken seriously and with the gravity it deserves.

“If a person thinks that he is dealing with simple things, he must be told that these children are neshamos,” he said.

“The roshei yeshivos here have accepted upon themselves the wellbeing and protection of the neshamos of Klal Yisroel. This is no simple matter.”

Rav Shteinman then said, “I never threw a bochur out of yeshiva, except for one time when a bochur committed an act of terrible chutzpah that was absolutely unparalleled.”

“One who sends a child from a yeshiva, and then, God forbid, he does off the derech, in the Olam Ha’emes they will ask him why the bochur went off of the derech haTorah. What is he going to say? That he did this and this? They are going to say to him, ‘And if it was your son, would you have sent him out? If it was your son, would you have thrown him out? You have to view every bochur as if he is your own child!'”

Rav Shteinman was then asked if a bochur who is immersed in the internet should be expelled from a yeshiva. “Every question regarding every bochur requires an individual she’ailas chochom (question posed to a sage). Each bochur should be dealt with on an individual basis.” And then Rav Shteinman added, “But the main thing is not to belittle any talmid!”

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}


  1. Here again, your title is right off the mark!! Upon reading the article it becomes abundantly clear that Maran DID IN FACT throw a student out – albeit on the rare occasion which warranted this action……Rav Shteinman then said, “I never threw a bochur out of yeshiva, except for one time when a bochur committed an act of terrible chutzpah that was absolutely unparalleled.”

  2. Sure. A chassidus or a regular yeshiva that accepts everyone in the yeshiva and gives them a chance to excel, they are the ones left holding the bag and possibly having to throw out some students. It is certain yeshivas that don’t have the necessity to throw anyone out. Why? Because these students are not L’kitchilah accepted. They go thru an exhaustive application process. They are NEVER given a chance to succeed.

  3. As a married man and father of 6 children (my youngest is now in 9th grade), I would like to share a time in my life that I will never forget.

    I attended a Mesivta located in the Mid-west and was there during the early 80’s. We were a group of Bochurim from all over the USA. We had a Menahel (who sadly passed away a few years ago at a young age) that actually lived the words of this article. Every guy in our Yeshiva felt like a son because he treated each of us like one. His home was our home and his life was our life.

    Many times during my years there, the Roshei Yeshiva were sending boys away but our Menahel would always battle to keep them. He never let any bochur leave unless he first made sure they had another place to go. A friend of mine was once asked to leave and our Menahel couldn’t find a yeshiva for him so this boy moved into our Menahels house until he found him a new Yeshiva.

    I had a roommate that was asked to leave. To this day I still must not know the real reason because what happened then was even to me as a high school boy not a reason for the Rosh Yeshiva to throw him out. My roommate today is an amazing guy, married, beautiful family, successful, a baal tzedaka and gives a daily daf yomi shiur. This is not what anyone who knew him then ever thought he would become. A few years ago I asked him what was the turning point in his life? He asked me if I remember the time he was thrown out of Yeshiva. I told him I did but never knew why. He told me it was not important why and truthfully looking back it was really not a reason to be asked to leave. However, he said that tekufa changed his life because not only did our Menahel help him get into another yeshiva, he would call him regularly to see how he was doing, he would call his new Rebbi to check up on him, he would call his parents to keep giving them nachas reports and he would help him chazer for his tests in his new Yeshiva for almost 2 years after he was thrown out of our Yeshiva. My former roommate told me that even though he never had the Menahel as his own Rebbi, he felt that he could never let him down because Rebbi loved and cared for him so much.

    There are so many stories like this and the words of this article are so true. Rabbeim today of all ages, grades and gender must remember that they are different since the merchandise they deal with are better then diamonds, they are their children.

  4. I also heard in his name in response to someone who wanted to open up a school for children who were the purest of the pure, from the best backgrounds etc, he said, “The Avos and Shevatim would never have gotten into your school! Avraham was from a family of Idol worshippers, Yitzchok had a brother called Yishmael who entertained himself with the 3 cardinal sins (Rashi, vayare Yishmael Metzachek etc.) Yackov’s brother was Eisav and the Shevatim sold their brother, and their sister was captured and defiled by a goy”

  5. The menahel #3 refers to is Reb Yehoshua Gutman. He was one in a million. We could publish a book about his approach and the countless stories of who he cared for and how.


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