Should a little boy be prevented from playing with girls?
That depends on which age. And it depends on the circumstances. You cannot make a rule. The parents have to use their judgment.
There’s no question that big boys don’t play with girls.
Now this business of segregation of girls and boys, we must know is the foundation of society. Once upon a time, lehavdil, even the umos ha’olam themselves understood that. All the schools separated high school boys in one institution and girls in a different institution. And by the way, they were miles away. They didn’t have the schools close together. I remember that. Miles and miles away.
And therefore they didn’t have the myriad problems that are in existence today. They didn’t dream of the wickedness that would result from abandoning this principle. Co-ed education is destroying America. It has ruined all the colleges. The colleges today are the worst places in America. There’s no place worse in all of American society than the colleges, than the dormitories of the colleges. And it’s a result of forsaking this principle that men and women should be separate.
Now I don’t want to talk too much because it will step on people’s toes but in Europe in Orthodox society, women were even more separated than in America. They didn’t work in offices together with men. Now, I don’t want to say anything because some women are kollel wives and they feel justified but in the Slabodka office in the Slabodka Yeshiva there wasn’t a woman, not a single woman. There were all men. Not a single woman. And it wasn’t in the yeshiva building. The office was someplace else a few blocks away. And still there wasn’t a woman in the office.
Now I’m not going to say too much about it but this principle in general, like I said, is the foundation of society. And women shouldn’t feel slighted. It’s not because of any lack of consideration. It’s human nature; men and women are at their best when they’re separate.
TAPE # E-16 (June 1995)