Rabbinic Ruling to Deter Nosey Teachers

Sometimes they contain gossip, sometimes they are romantic messages, and other times they are nasty jokes at the expense of the teacher. There can’t be a classroom in the world where kids don’t pass notes to each other during lessons.

When teachers see this happening, they tend to seize the notes, read them, and if they feel it would be just punishment for their authors, share them with the class. According to a new rabbinic ruling, teachers should respect their students’ privacy – even if they are breaking rules by passing notes – and never look at the messages. The ruling was published this weekend in an “ask the rabbi” column in a modern-Orthodox newssheet. No reasoning was given, but it seems to be an application of the 1,000-year-old decree of European Talmudist Rabbeinu Gershom, which forbids the opening of other people’s correspondence.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Rabbinic Ruling to Deter Nosey Teachers

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close
Close