Yiddish Instruction



A common endeavor of many melamdim and morahs is to immerse their students in a Yiddish-speaking environment, so that, despite not being raised in a Yiddish-speaking home, they will pick up the language in school.

My question pertains to Talmud Torah:

Many non-yiddish speaking students are completely lost when the subjects are taught in yiddish. Sure, they may parrot back the passuk or chumash, but a simple havana question quickly reveals that there is little to no understanding nor knowledge of the actual content.

What is Da’as Torah in this matter?

Are we allowed to inject “Yiddish language acquisition goals” into the process of teaching Torah when we suspect it will limit or inhibit (or at the very least, delay) the acquisition of Torah for these talmidim?

Are we allowed to teitch and explainexclusively in yiddish, when we suspect that we are compromising on havana and kinyan torah?

Are we allowed to demand from students that they review their learning in yiddish?

Furthermore, are we allowed to grade their knowledge of the subject by their ability to “perform” in yiddish?

To add weight to the matter:

— A friend of mine shared that his child came home on the first day of school and said: “I hate Chumash!” why? “Because I don’t understand yiddish!” —

Considering the rapid rate at which children are being disengaged from derech hatorah r”l, and the neshama and guf dangers that lie in wait for them when they do, is it fair to say that doing anything that would disengage a talmid from torah learning (by making them “hate chumash“) falls into the geder (at least grama d’grama, but nevertheless psik reisheih) and a matter of pikuach nefesh?



Please see attached article.

Speaking Yiddish _English article_