College, Secular Studies & Judaism

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  • #1169599

    Joseph
    Participant

    “over those with a narrow world view”

    Like HaRav Elya Svei? HaRav Ahron Kotler? HaRav Boruch Ber Liebowitz? HaRav Elchonon Wasserman?

    #1169600

    Just-a-guy
    Member

    “over those with a narrow world view”

    Like HaRav Elya Svei? HaRav Ahron Kotler? HaRav Boruch Ber Liebowitz? HaRav Elchonon Wasserman?

    In the practice of law in New York state and federal courts? Yes.

    In Torah, and overall understanding of Hashem and the world, not even close.

    #1169601

    Jothar
    Member

    Joseph, you yourself was modeh that Rav elchonon Wasserman ZT”L allowed college for parnassah.

    I never took Political Science. The most useless course I took was calculus, and it turned out to be incredibly useful later in life. Furthermore, a Bachelor’s degree needs 120 credits. The parnassah available with an actual degree is not the same as a junior degree from COPE. That said, one should minimize the useless courses.

    Joseph, a few questions, non-hostile:

    1. What is your parnassah now?

    2. Did you go to college to get that job?

    3. If 2. is true, Are you a. regretting it, or b. merely pointing out the alternative shitos lehagdil Torah ulehaadirah?

    Some here would call you a hypocrite if the answer to 3 (assuming 2) was b., but it’s not true. Yagdil Torah Veyaadir does include all relevant shitos. And as always, everyone should ask their poseik.

    #1169602

    Feif Un
    Participant

    R’ Hutner zt”l went to university in Berlin to study philosophy. His daughter, Rebbetzin Dr. David, who runs a large seminary in Israel, got a PhD from Columbia in Philosophy.

    R’ Hutner and R’ Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt”l originally wanted to set up a joint program with Chaim Berlin and Torah V’Daas to have a college as part of the yeshivos. They only stopped it because R’ Aharon Kotler spoke out very strongly against it, and begged them not to do it.

    R’ Hutner zt”l encouraged his students to go to college, first Brooklyn College, and later Touro College.

    #1169603

    Rabbi Hutner agreed with Rabbi Kotler.

    Rabbi Hutner never “encouraged” Yeshiva guys to go to college. In fact he discouraged it, but with prior approval allowed it for some.

    As far as his attendance, that was prior to his becoming a Gadol. He never used that attendance as any example for anything.

    #1169604

    aryeh3
    Participant

    This is a hard one: on the one hand it is taught that if Bnei Yisroel were to devote all their time to learning, then the alien nations would support them – but that sounds incredibly idealistic, no? It is also taught that if Bnei Yisroel were to collectively keep two Shabbats in a row, this would bring Moshiach. Also idealistic?

    I think this is a matter of bitachon and emunah. Yes, Zvulun was credited with the Torah of Yishcar because of their support, and anyone who is unable to learn can receive credit for that mitzva through direct support of a learner or yeshiva, it is taught what R’ Akiva told his students concerning his wife.

    But I think the ideal is for all Yidden to sit and learn and their support would be guaranteed.

    Do we merit this reality?

    If we do then maybe we will see.

    #1169605

    Feif Un
    Participant

    No, aryeh3, Zevulun is considered the equal of Yissachar, and everyone has their own purpose. Realize that Yissachar was the only one of the shevatim chosen to sit and learn full time – only 1 out of 13!

    #1169606

    truthsharer
    Member

    MM, you are incorrect. Chaim Berlin and Torah Vodaas together were going to create an actual degree earning college. They even filed papers with the NYS Regents. It was only after R’ Kotler voiced his opposition did the plan go away.

    #1169607

    mazca
    Member

    I havent read the full thread , but I do not have time right now. But I would like to make a comment anyway. I thank project Cope for having helped my son in computers, when we saw he was not going to learn full time. He went into project Cope in Manhattan many years ago. Today he is a successful businessman thanks to those courses.

    #1169608

    truthsharer
    Member

    Feif Un,

    Related to the Y-Z partnership, I saw a pshat (forgot where) that it wasn’t what we thing it was. It was rather a partnership that Z would go out further to trade, make more money but be away from home, but at least allowing Y to work only locally and not make as much but be allowed to be home more often and learn more.

    A different twist which I found interesting.

    #1169609

    tsharer:

    That is precisely because Rabbi Hutner agreed with Rabbi Kotler after hearing Rabbi Kotler’s points.

    #1169610

    sammygol
    Member

    truthsharer

    R’ Aharon’s opposition was rooted in the fact that a Yeshiva should never be mixed with a college, as was done at the YU. He was adamant that Torah be learned undiluted. Individual college study, per se, depended on an individual.

    #1169611

    truthsharer
    Member

    MM,

    You think he didn’t know those points before? He disagreed, but he acquiesced to R’ Hutner’s opinion.

    Sammygol,

    Correct, but that doesn’t negate the fact that CB and YTV were going to create a college.

    #1169612

    Jothar
    Member

    Aryeh3, that is precisely what will happen in the zman moshiach. working is a curse, and it’s part of the make-up of this world. Animals don’t need to work to have their food, but we humans do. It is part of our nisayon- to work and deal with olam hazeh and still keep in mind the ultimate goal of olam Haba by learning in our spare time and doing mitzvos.

    Joseph, so are you now stating that neither Rav Aharon Kotler ZT”L nor Rav Elya Svei ZT”L has any problems with the secular studies in Project COPE?

    #1169613

    Just-a-guy
    Member

    Jothar- I’m not sure what you mean that animals don’t have to work to have their food. They don’t have jobs, and they don’t have to shop at supersol, but certain animals have to “work” very hard to track down the food they eat.

    #1169614

    Jothar
    Member

    Just-a-guy, there’s a reason why the English language has an expression “content as cows”.

    Of course, our modern farms put cows and pigs under as much stress as nay human. The PETA website is full of examples of this, which is why our American cows have such low Beis Yosef kashrus rates. But that’s for another thread.

    #1169615

    anon for this
    Participant

    Jothar, most animals are not domesticated or fed by humans.

    #1169616

    Health
    Participant

    One thing for sure wasting time on the net or in the Yeshiva’s coffee room putting down others is Zicher Osser Lchol Hadayos. If you don’t want to go to college don’t, but don’t tell others not to since there is enough Shitos to be Someach on.

    #1169617

    sammygol
    Member

    Yes college, no college, mutar, ossur…..

    As long as one speaks Yiddish and carries within the BP eruv, one is OK either way. It is only when one becomes modern, forgets the Mamme Lushen, and still feels that Shmiras Shabbos applies to a safek deorayso, THEN, only then does a college education become a serious issue.

    #1169618

    starwolf
    Member

    As far as that goes, sammygol, there are University programs in which one can embark on a serious study of Yiddish as used in traditional writings.

    It could still be a dangerous thing to do. One might end up wearing a colored shirt.

    #1169619

    sammygol
    Member

    Star

    Once you wear a colored shirt, marrying a shikse is the obvious next step.

    #1169620

    starwolf
    Member

    Well, sammygol, this could really be a problem. Not the shiksa thing, but…..

    Let us say that our nice Yeshiva boy goes to University to study, say chemistry.

    He chooses a school that has mixed calsses–a strong Jewish community.

    While his midot are such that scantily-clad shiksas hold no attraction for him, he cou8ld still meet a…….

    …..modestly dressed religious girl who is there for her own education. This could be a real problem, since she is likely to regard her own education as important as his. Who knows, perhaps her subject of choice could be pre-med or Yiddish or even….dare I say it… Rabbinical Exegesis! This could even require actual Talmud study!! Who knows where that could lead?

    He could marry her–and raise daughters whose education is as important as that of their sons.

    I suspect that the above scenario is as treif to certain members of the Yeshiva community as the shiksa scenario.

    #1169622

    Joseph
    Participant

    Have any of the college birds first considered the halachic implications of going to college mentioned in the teshuvos quoted in the OP of this thread?

    #1169623

    MDG
    Participant

    I just look at the Rema in Y”D 246:4.

    He says to study Mikra, Mishnah, Gemara, and poskim that are connected to them. Therefore the Rema could be interpreted as saying that one should not learn Hashkafic books regularly.

    #1169624

    Sparkly
    Member

    love the combination:)

    #1169625

    Person1
    Member

    What are we talking about here, is it someone who enjoys learning torah, and has the potential of being talmid chochem and still goes to college? Or are we talking about someone who only went to yeshiva because that’s what frum people do?

    If it’s the first case I have nothing to say.

    #1169626

    Sam2
    Participant

    Joseph: I have answered you on this many times in the past. It’s kinda sad that you pretend that responses to your claims don’t exist.

    #1169627

    Sparkly
    Member

    Person1 – some people are meant to go to college and others are meant to learn full time.

    #1169628

    Person1
    Member

    Sparkly you can say that about everything. Do you mean I can justify everything I do just by saying that since I did it obviously I was meant to do it?

    I’m not sure whether you agree or disagree with what I said and with which part.

    #1169629

    Meno
    Participant

    “(c) If the studies do not cause you to learn Apikursus or to befriend Goyim, and you learn secular studies in order to know a skill to make a living, it is permitted, and it is a Mitzvah.”

    I got a degree from a secular college and the above quote is an accurate description of my experience

    #1169631

    yichusdik
    Participant

    What if…one goes to university for the express and singular purpose of learning critical thinking/analysis, its methodology and application. One might say that it is a necessity for parnasa and functioning in any workplace. On the other hand, one might say that someone equipped with critical thinking skills will inevitably question the constructs and hava aminas of contemporary chareidi society.

    What to do?

    #1169632

    Sparkly
    Member

    Meno – why is it wrong to be friends with non jews?

    #1169633

    Joseph
    Participant

    “(c) If the studies do not cause you to learn Apikursus or to befriend Goyim, and you learn secular studies in order to know a skill to make a living, it is permitted, and it is a Mitzvah.”

    I got a degree from a secular college and the above quote is an accurate description of my experience.

    Meno, you weren’t required to take any mandatory or prerequisite courses that had little or nothing to do with the trade you were seeking to enter? No courses in evolution or certain sciences or political courses that teach or espouse apikorsus?

    #1169634

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “No courses in evolution or certain sciences or political courses that teach or espouse apikorsus? “

    We’ve been down this road before! Why do you insist that everyone has to take evolution courses? or political apikorsus? Many of us who have actually been to college have told you it isn’t a given but you sit on the outside and insist anyway.

    Why can’t the truth be good enough for you? Why can’t being true to the Torah be good enough for you? Why do all the peripheral add-ons need to live on whether they actually apply or not?

    I don’t believe people should go to secular college. I also don’t believe women should work at all. I also don’t believe children should be raised by anyone other than their moms. But that doesn’t mean all the PERIPHERAL restrictions that existed in the 1920’s 1970’s or 1990’s still exist or apply!

    It is causing great confusion to children in this generation to hear non halachik restristrictions presented as truth and law. It is a tremendous disservice to Hashem and His Torah to enforce gobs of restrictions lacking the brilliance He put into the rules He laid out for us. Be thoughtful in your adherence, stick to the Torah that Hashem wrote and not the guidelines your ancestors lived by default.

    #1169636

    Sparkly
    Member

    Syag Lchochma – you NEED an evolution class to get a degree in biology.

    #1169637

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    you NEED an evolution

    I’m not sure how much research you have done on the issue but I will say that if my school required me to take an evolution course (which I doubt), I would take the equivalent course in a frum place and transfer the credits.

    #1169638

    Joseph
    Participant

    Which frum place gives an evolution-free evolution course equivalent that can be transferred to replace an evolution class prerequisite for a biology degree in a secular university?

    #1169639

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    who ever said that you even NEED an evolution course. College doesn’t list “1 evolution course” on their prerequisite list. They write, “Bio101″ or Bio103”. The frum places know how to teach them to fulfull the requirement of both Torah and the minor requirement of the colleges. Then they transfer a course that is called Bio101, not “evolution course”

    #1169640

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Syog, the sad truth is that my friend’s wife wanted to be a stay at home mother and raise her kids. Her husband was a civil servant so they asked for tuition assistance and were denied. The yeshivas policy was no assistance unless both parents worked

    #1169641

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    All the psychology classes I took were full of evolution and kefira – I’m not saying that means it’s assur to go to college if you need to, but it’s not something to take lightly and it should only be done if necessary. Personally, I am very grateful that I didn’t go to a secular college when I was younger and am only going now when I’m older, so it’s much less problematic, although still an issue.

    It is a problem when people just assume that it’s totally fine to go to college instead of realizing that it’s b’dieved, and much thought has to go into it before deciding to go, and even once one decides to go, they must put a lot of thought into what they will study and where and how.

    If you do go to college, it’s very important to maintain a kesher with a Rav and make sure you have a strong learning schedule (whether you are male or female) and a good support system. It’s also preferable to have a few steady years of learning Torah under your belt before you start college.

    #1169642

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    lesschumras – tell them to move to Chicago 🙂

    #1169644

    Sam2
    Participant

    Evolution per se is not Kefirah. It is a function in nature that we can actually see. The idea that evolution was the way in which all the species on our planet was formed probably is Kefirah (it seems to be according to most, though apparently R’ Hirsch and a few others said it isn’t). That doesn’t make studying evolutionary functions as it pertains to modern-day medicine (or other scientific applications) Kefirah.

    #1169645

    Joseph
    Participant

    You really think the universities make a distinction between kefiradik evolution and allegedly non-kefiradik evolution, in the sense that their courses discussing evolution will scrupiously avoid mentioning the kefira parts of evolution?

    Ah nechtinge tug!

    #1169646

    MDG
    Participant

    “Evolution per se is not Kefirah.”

    When I took a biology class, the beginning of the evolution chapter(s) pointed out that there may be various explanations to explain what looks like evolution, including a Creator.

    The problem with that book and others, however, is that they start by saying things like “We think it happened this way based on ….”, BUT later they don’t say “we think”. After a few pages, the books usually sound more resolute, as if they know. And they leave off the idea of a Master Planner (past the initial page or two).

    #1169647

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I have a BA from a secualr college and I never took Biology,

    #1169648

    Joseph
    Participant

    Did any of your professors indoctrinate that toeiva is a normal, acceptable and kosher behavior?

    #1169649

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    sure, over breakfast.

    You have no idea how much risk you put our children in by pretending that the world is black or white. College has dangers. If one needs to go it should be done with tremendous care and research and support. For you to spout that there is no way to do that, and that the very walls are preaching toeva and evolution is false. And when kids who go see that you made it up, they will, Gd forbid, wonder what else you made up.

    This has lost us MANY MANY children. You need to be more careful about what bullets you load your gun with because we are losing youngsters by the hundreds to these overgeneralizations.

    #1169650

    Joseph
    Participant

    Indeed it isn’t the walls preaching toeiva and evolution, it is far more subtle than that. It is seeped into virtually all lectures, including those having nothing to do with the topic, as being the norm and expected understanding and reaction of every “normal” American and contemporary member of Western civilization.

    #1169651

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    When I went to college, I didnt take such classes that discussed “Alternative Lifestyles” either

    I took mostly Math , Computer Science and Physics (And Obviously English)

    #1169652

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    By hearing Joseph’s portrayal of college vs my own experience, I think I missed something. Maybe I just imagined going and I really wasnt there

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