The Making of Talmidei Chachomim

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  • #593258

    myfriend
    Member

    Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler ZT”L – Michtav M’Eliyahu 3, p.355-357

    The Frankfurt school supported an educational system in which the students were exposed to the study of secular subjects and later went on to universities. At the same time it paid attention to the strict observance of all the mitzvot. The advantage of the system was that the vast majority of its adherents stayed Orthodox and carefully observed the ordinances of the Shulchan Aruch, despite the fact that they were exposed to a general non-Jewish intellectual environment.It is true that they [the Frankfurt School] benefited in that the number of defectors from mitzvah observance was small. The price paid for this was that few, if any, Gedolei Torah emerged from such an educational system. On the other hand, their hashkafa was somewhat imperfect as far as the complete acceptance of the Torah point of view is concerned. Whenever there was a conflict between sciences and Torah, they resorted to a strange combination of the two, as if the two systems can be combined as a unity”. Therefore, exposure to non-Jewish ideas affected to some extent the purity of their faith in the absolute truth of Torah, resulting in strange compromises.

    The Lithuanian Roshei Yeshiva, on the other hand, set as their main objective to educate Gedolei Torah, discouraging all contact with the intellectual world outside the yeshiva. They realized that the only way to achieve this was to concentrate all the energies of their students exclusively on Torah learning [and not to allow any alternative respectful goals.] They were well aware of the price they had to pay for this because they knew that many yeshiva students were not able to deal with this extreme lifestyle and would [and in fact did] leave religious observance. They tried as best they could to help those who could not remain in the yeshiva as bnei Torah.

    Those who had to leave the yeshivah world were advised to take low status jobs, for example as small businessmen – which required little if any training and were not inherently interesting – rather than as professionals . Those yeshivah students who did insist on going to study at University to be professionals or academics were therefore disregarded. The connection between Roshei Yeshivah and these Orthodox university students was severed in order to prevent their exercising a detrimental influence on the the rest of the yeshivah students. I heard that justification of the Rashei Yeshiva to pay such a heavy price to produce Gedolei Torah was Vayikra Rabbah 2:1, “One thousand students enter to study Mikra… and only one emerges to hora’ah [halachic decision..making]. They also cited the words of the Rambam “It is better that 1000 fools die to obtain one genuine scholar.”

    #1056762

    bezalel
    Participant

    An interesting point is that the Lithuanian philosophy needs justification but the Frankfurter philosophy needs no justification.

    #1056763

    so right
    Member

    Bezalel: Au contraire.

    #1056764

    Josh31
    Participant

    There were Charedei Roshei Yeshiva such as Rav Ruderman ZT”L that disagreed with the approach that myfriend outlined above.

    If you have a son to send to Yeshiva you must do what is best for him, and not let him become a Korbon for some larger goal.

    #1056765

    myfriend
    Member

    Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l wrote a response to Rav Dessler zt”l’s above letter:

    http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/Yeshiva&Frankfurt.pdf

    http://www.traditiononline.org/news/article.cfm?id=104767

    #1056766

    shlomozalman
    Member

    Rav Dessler mentions the conflict between science and Torah. There can be no such conflict, as two truths cannot be in conflict.

    #1056767

    Helpful
    Member

    shlomozalman, while science is true, what scientists claim as science is not necessarily so.

    #1056768

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “If you have a son to send to Yeshiva you must do what is best for him, and not let him become a Korbon for some larger goal.”

    Chanoch L’Naar Al Pi Darko.

    #1056769

    MDG
    Participant

    Rabbi Schwab points out (see 2nd link above) that there were gedolim being created in Germany, perhaps in the same proportion to the East European Jews. It’s just there were far more observant Eastern European Jews, so that the numbers of their gedolim were greater.

    He also points out that the large amount of great Rabbis being created in Germany ceased generations before German Jews started going to universities, so one cannot say university attendance was the cause.

    Rabbi Schwab states “that the claim that the ‘Frankfurt’ approach was not capable of transforming gifted students into geonim in Torah is erroneous”

    #1056770

    myfriend
    Member

    MDG:

    Rav Schwab, in his response (both links above are the same article), acknowledges Rav Dessler’s point that few Gedolim were produced in Germany, and as a result the West imported Gedolim that were produced in the East. He only questions the reasons that was the case, and points out that this became the case even before TIDE came unto the scene.

    #1056771

    MDG
    Participant

    From what I can tell from looking online the Rambam never said “It is better that 1000 fools die to obtain one genuine scholar.”

    http://osdir.com/ml/culture.religion.jewish.avodah/2006-01/msg00098.html

    Besides which, do we say to go ask someone to violate the Torah in order to support Torah learning? For example, do we ask an ignoramus to carry (where there is no eruv) a Sefer to a Rav on Shabbat so that the Rev can learn? Or should we send someone to work on Shabbat so that he can support a kollel? I really don’t think so, and I think you’d agree.

    Why would we create a system that will cause a multitude of Jews to become not observant?

    #1056772

    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    The Torah Umada approach has produced gedolim. Examples include Rav Soloveitchik, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav Willig, Rav Shechter, and Rav YY Weinberg, etc.

    A further point in the analysis is that in the Torah-only approach, if one doesn’t become a big Rosh Yeshiva, he is in danger of not being able to suppport his family, and causing them untold suffering and shalom bayis issues. While this is difficult to have to point out, as it is such a sensitive and painful issue, but in all honesty, from which camp do the many meshulachim come from?

    #1056774

    gershon775
    Member

    I would rather fail to be a Gadol, and be [if I ever can ],a ben Torah as much as I can than be a mentsch by Reform and keep nothing.

    Gershon George Wynschenk

    #1056775

    About Time
    Participant

    MDG

    Goodness.

    So the hundreds of times that was quoted in modox journals ,publications (,and more recently blogs)to buttress their lifestyle,have all been completely disingenuous ?

    Can we wind back the clock a half century?

    Pashuteh Yid

    Even if you wish to be serious , these are exceptions that prove the rule!

    #1056776

    About Time
    Participant

    This post on a very nuanced topic of gravity, naturally lacks both :nuance and gravity

    Firsty, IT is a Chazal “Vayikra Rabbah 2:1, “One thousand students enter to study Mikra…

    Second, “Churchill was worth 100 Divisons”

    Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler and Rav Shimon Schwab were both aware(,as doubtfully any of the posters are,)

    and approved of an attempt to fuse both sides,namely

    Kovno Orthodoxie of the ’20’s and ’30s

    The most notable example -since it transplanted itself-was Telz.

    For some reason,it seemed to have sunk into hibernation,

    possibly

    because it lacked drama and/or abrasiveness of either side.

    #1056777

    MDG
    Participant

    “IT is a Chazal “Vayikra Rabbah 2:1, “One thousand students enter to study Mikra…”

    is NOT the same as

    “It is better that 1000 fools die to obtain one genuine scholar.”

    The first is saying that while everyone is trying to learn and grow, only one will become a posek. The second is saying that many will “die”.

    LeMashal, the first is saying that while many climb the mountain only one will reach the top. The rest will still get somewhere. The second says one will reach the top while many of the rest will fall off.

    Joey, see the difference?

    #1056778

    Rema711
    Member

    About Time Only Yeshiva, That’s how we as jews have withstood the test of time

    #1056779

    MDG
    Participant

    MDG

    Goodness.

    So the hundreds of times that was quoted in modox journals ,publications (,and more recently blogs)to buttress their lifestyle,have all been completely disingenuous ?

    I don’t read modox journals, so I don’t know about “hundreds of times…” Where did you get the idea of hundreds or is it something you just made up?

    Furthermore, I’m here to discuss texts and ideas. If you can quote a text and discuss coherently please do so. Vague references to what some people say are meaningless.

    #1056780

    MDG
    Participant

    “Churchill was worth 100 Divisons”

    Please quote a source if it’s real. That does not come up in google, even when correcting the spelling error.

    #1056781

    Rema711
    Member

    About Time is just about to burst his bubble!!!

    #1056782

    About Time
    Participant

    “Divisons”

    Divisions

    Oh, dear. cherrypicking,eh?

    It perhaps originated with one of famous journalists :B Murrow or Ernie Pyle but it’s largely irrelevant.

    It or a variation of it were a common refrain

    But Come On .

    Such refrains were common in aristocratic Europe

    Don’t you believe Lincoln did more the Union Cause than countless Corp.?

    MDG ,

    “I don’t read modox journals, “

    If you’re using a quote,you ought to research those who actually have been the ones to throw it out whenever/however it seemeed to serve their [self adulation and] purposes

    Probably you’ll find it on any old school modox blog if you desire,

    or ask one of the coffeeroom modox for an honest answer

    #1056783

    MDG
    Participant

    MDG ,

    “I don’t read modox journals, “

    If you’re using a quote…

    You’re the one supposedly quoting.

    And I challenged you to provide backup for you quotes (of 100 Divisions, modox journals). I’m still waiting.

    #1056784

    Rema711
    Member

    About Time I think it is time for u to quit the argument with MDG, cause u know who will win

    #1056785

    About Time
    Participant

    Sorry MDG ,presumably you’re capable of a little researching.

    #1056786

    About Time
    Participant

    A more pressing query :Do the up and coming generation of Talmidei Chachomim appreciate the sacrifices the klal are making on their behalf & are they preparing to give back accordingly?

    When R’ Yaakov Kamenetzky zt”l organized a knessia to encourage avreichim to go into chinuch, he chose to hold this gathering in the Mirrer Yeshiva. After R’ Yaakov finished his oration everyone waited for R’ Shmuel to speak knowing full well that R’ Shmuel encouraged his talmidim to stay in learning for countless years. What R’ Shmuel then said was powerfully intriguing. “When a person learns, he should not learn just for himself, he should learn for klal yisrael. If he is only able to stay in learning for a couple of years, he should learn with intention to give over to cheder age talmidim. If he is zoche to learn for several more years, he should keep in mind that he should be able to give over to mesivta level bochurim. And if he could learn even longer, he should prepare himself to be a rosh yeshiva. A person should always prepare to give over to the tzibbur .

    #1056787

    About Time
    Participant

    Reb Shmuel Berenbaum

    #1056788

    Rema711
    Member

    About Time just admit MDG is right

    #1056789

    About Time
    Participant

    Rema711

    “About Time Only Yeshiva, That’s how we as jews have withstood the test of time”

    “About Time is just about to burst his bubble!!!”

    “About Time I think it is time for u to quit the argument with MDG, cause u know who will win “

    “About Time just admit MDG is right”

    Rema711,

    Thank you for your wonderful contributions

    Would you like to add something ?

    #1056790

    About Time
    Participant

    Rema711, while you’re at it if you would increase your background knowledge ,you may just possibly glean that everything stated by myself is impeccable.

    p.s Are these just your ( and MDGs)attempts to avoid the main topic/s of the thread?

    #1056791

    Rema711
    Member

    About Time u should wake up and listen to MDG opinion

    #1056792

    MDG
    Participant

    “Sorry MDG ,presumably you’re capable of a little researching.”

    Like I said, I did, but nothing came up in google. So I asked you to provide sources. I’m still waiting.

    __

    “Are these just your ( and MDGs)attempts to avoid the main topic/s of the thread?”

    I addressed the main topic 4 years ago. I also brought backup as I possible could.

    ___

    “Do the up and coming generation of Talmidei Chachomim appreciate the sacrifices the klal are making on their behalf & are they preparing to give back accordingly?”

    The up and coming generation of Talmidei Chachomim are already giving to the community by sitting and learning, giving Klal Yisrael zechut right now. See Sanhedrin 98b.

    _

    “When a person learns, he should not learn just for himself, he should learn for klal yisrael. If he is only able to stay in learning for a couple of years, he should learn with intention to give over to cheder age talmidim. If he is zoche to learn for several more years, he should keep in mind that he should be able to give over to mesivta level bochurim. And if he could learn even longer, he should prepare himself to be a rosh yeshiva. A person should always prepare to give over to the tzibbur .”

    That’s exactly what I was trying to say with the mountain mashal above. Not everyone will be a Gadol, but everyone will have his own tefisah and be able to do something with it (each person will get his own piece of the mountain). Rabbi Dessler, on the other hand, is saying that the price to make gedolim is having people go OTD. “1000 fools die to obtain one genuine scholar.” That’s a big difference to me.

    #1056793

    Rema711
    Member

    MDG continue speaking emes

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