It was validating to read Joel Rebibo’s “One on One” (“On Second Thought,” Hamodia Prime, Oct. 30, 2019) because he presents a solution to the problem of getting lost in the early years of learning Gemara and its possible effect on whether a boy stays on the derech.
When our son was in fifth grade, neither my husband nor I could help him begin to master Gemara. Was he “hating” it? I don’t know. But I know he had a rough time. (Our finances did not allow for a paid tutor.)
A family friend and mentor — who was also a consummate Rebbi — decided one Purim that our son would come to their house each week and he’d tutor him in Gemara. They started at square one and our son went for about six years, forging a strong connection with that family. He remained frum and has since started a family of his own. I shudder to think how it could have gone.
Mr. Rebibo suggests that young men in yeshivah high school or beis medrash are a pool of possible tutors, and I agree that this is a potential solution — and that the problem of getting lost in the first years of Gemara is a serious one indeed.