Provocative: An Evil?
Reader: I was almost inclined to show your "Letter
to Students" to my son until I came to the part where you
said: "You may find my answers are different or even go
against what your parents or teachers tell you. But that's OK.
The goal is to learn how to think properly, not necessarily to
agree with everything you hear. It's OK to disagree with your
parents and teachers on Torah issues."
Mesora: I am sorry if you felt it was provocative in a bad sense, but it may well be provocative in a good sense. What I mean is that we must not shy away from an issue, even if it means we oppose our authorities. If you read some of the Talmudic debates, you will find that reputations play no role when one searches for truth. In no manner must one be disrespectful to those the Torah commands we honor, i.e., parents. However, if we disagree, we must say so. This is my point, that in learning and in all areas, honesty is demanded.
Parents should also appreciate - not subdue - children who have matured, enough, so as to oppose parents and discuss their own opinions and feelings.
Being provocative or opposing authorities are not evils. Dishonesty