Question:

When attending a college class with a professor who says things that are forbidden to hear [e.g., he says that the Exodus never happened], what is the appropriate response for a ben torah? Should one approach the professor and explain that one is offended by such comments and ask him that, in the future, he should try to be more sensitive to the religious students in the class? Should one sit there, with a yarmulke and beard, and just listen to the professor, without answering back? Should one put his head down in protest when such comments are being made? Should one participate in the discussion and try to defend the Torah point of view, only to (perhaps) be subject to more mockery?

The class is a required one. It is possible to take the class with a different professor, but this (other) professor teaches the class on Shabbos – therefore, one cannot switch to the other professor’s class.

Answer:

 If you feel that by defending the torah’s view of things, that it will evoke mockery, then you shouldn’t say anything in public. It says, “Know what to answer the apikorus”, it doesn’t say that you have to actually answer him back. On the other hand you have to do something so that it doesn’t look as if you agree with what was said. If putting you head down is an accepted form of protest then you can do that. You can also put your fingers in your ears in protest. 

It would be an idea, depending on who the teacher is, to approach him and respectfully express your dissatisfaction with his lack of sensitivity.

 

Tags: Emunah

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