Mishmeres Hasholom – Ask the Rav

Q: One of the people who davens in my shul wanted to register his son for the yeshivah where I am a Maggid Shiur, but he received a negative answer. These decisions are made by the one in charge of registration. Even though I tried to speak to him on the boy’s behalf and explain that, in my opinion, he is a bachur with potential and good will who can really succeed with a bit of encouragement and investment of effort, he wasn’t accepted.

Now the boy’s father is very offended. He feels as if I, too, have a part in the boy’s rejection. Am I permitted to remove his anger and suspicion from me by saying the truth — that I actually did all I could on his behalf, but that the one in charge of registration decided otherwise?

A: From the words of the questioner, it seems clear that he is not involved in matters of accepting talmidim to the yeshivah where he serves as Maggid Shiur and has no right to express opinions or make decisions; that’s not his job. Therefore, he may tell the boy’s father, “I made a special effort and highly recommended your son, explaining his good qualities, etc. but I’m not part of the acceptance committee, I don’t decide these matters, and I don’t have the right to express an opinion. The committee apparently discussed it, and I have no doubt that they took my recommendations into account. But, apparently, for a variety of reasons, they decided to give preference to other boys.

“It’s dependent on information, their impression of the boy, the demand on the part of other excellent boys, their obligation towards yeshivos or brothers who learned in the yeshivah, and other considerations. And I don’t know any details of the reasons for the decision.”

With this language, the questioner will, b’siyatta diShmaya, remove the father’s anger from himself, while being exceedingly careful not to point an accusing finger, even subtly, at the one in charge or at the acceptance committee.


The questions and answers above were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please e-mail us at office@hasholom.org or call 972-2 5379160.

The views expressed are of the individual author. Readers are encouraged to consult their own posek for guidance.