College – Appropriate or not?

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    anon for this

    GAW, I often agree with your posts, but I don’t think it’s that realistic for a surgeon to work 6 hours weekly in this country. Perhaps there are surgeons who actually perform surgery for only 6 hours weekly, but surgeons also spend many hours per week seeing patients in the office or clinic and consulting in the hospital, not to mention continuing education requirements.

    Also keep in mind that qualifying as a surgeon in this country requires an undergraduate degree (including all med school prereqs), an MD (4 years), and residency training (I think it’s about 5 years for surgeons). Some specialties require additional fellowship training. Except for perhaps the undergraduate degree and the 4th year of med school, the training/ education process is very intense & the hours are very long. Most physicians probably wouldn’t be able to learn many hours a day while completing their education and training.

    Someone looking to spend much of the day learning would in my opinion be better served by choosing a non-surgical specialty; some residencies are only three years long and not all positions require fellowship training.


    SJS: Read the employment sites. There are many decent and even high paying positions available without a degree.

    I agree with you about trade schools. I believe Agudah has one as well (COPE).

    anon: 3 hours a day is 18 hours a week (6 days/week).


    Kasha, yes there are. But your chances of getting a good job are much higher with a degree. And those jobs not requiring a degree are shrinking as more and more people get degrees.

    Its sort of like MBAs – at one point they were gold! Now, they are just expected and no big deal (at least at my company and many others I’ve heard about).

    I know about COPE. More need to be available AND encouraged.

    anon for this

    Kasha, I mentioned 6 hours per week because GAW suggested a surgeon working 3 hours a couple of days a week. From what I’ve seen, even 18 hours per week just isn’t realistic for a surgeon in this country, considering that most surgeons spend more time in clinic & on rounds/consults (including time spent ordering and following up on labs and writing notes) than they do actually performing surgery. Also keep in mind that during the training/ education period (13-15 years) most will not have much time to learn. In any case, given your stated opinion about college campuses, I’m not sure you’d consider surgery a good choice at all.

    Do you personally know any surgeons? Do you know any who work only 18 hours per week? If so, how many hours did they spend learning every week while completing their education & establishing their careers?


    anon: I would imagine there are semi-retired surgeons who may work on a schedule of something like half a work-week i.e. 20 hours/week (even if a non-retired surgeon’s work week is actually more than 40 hours/week.) I could see someone else obtaining a reduced workweek.

    In any event, I’m sure there are positions other than surgeons that could accommodate a half workweek (i.e. 18-20 hours) for a semi-retired folk or someone else having such a need. (Don’t some working moms work reduced hours?)

    SJS: “But your chances of getting…”

    “Chances” falls into G-d’s realm.


    What’s the purpose of this thread and other threads like this?

    anon for this

    Kasha, I’ve met dozens of surgeons in my life, and I don’t know any who work only 20 hours per week. Do you? If you do, for how many years did they work full-time plus before reaching that point? And how many hours did they learn weekly during their training? Also, how could you suggest a career in medicine given the “apikorsus and licentiousness” that you believe are endemic to college campuses?

    Some career options for a physician looking for shorter hours would be to join a medium to large group practice (either in a private or hospital setting) or working as a hospitalist. The latter choice can give one a lot of lattitude in terms of choosing shifts and also avoids the issue of call. Compared to working as a hospitalist, working in a group practice generally requires that one work longer, less-defined hours and take call, but can be more lucrative.

    Some of the physicians I know who are working mothers have husbands who work from home or have flexible hours and/or multiple childcare plans. Others have husbands who have more lucrative positions/ practices, so that the family does not rely largely on the mother’s income.

    I believe that charliehall is a physician. Perhaps he could comment on the practicality of surgery as a part-time profession.


    GAW, are you saying that you turn your back on your child because they made the wrong choice and therefore you let them and their children starve? Do you then leave it to others to support your children because they made the wrong choice? Is that the TORAH way? Is THAT mutar?


    anon: I mentioned there are other career choices that would more easily accommodate a partial workweek.

    BTW, of the dozens of surgeons that you’ve “met”, how many of them do you know their working hours?

    P.S. it was charliehall who first noted the apikorsus and licentiousness in Universities. (Last comment of the first page.)


    It is not realistic for a surgeon to work only a few hours a week. It certainly would not bring him the big bucks, prestige he would seek nor the practice s/he would need to be the best possible surgeon they could be. In addition, no hospital would allow a surgeon privileges if they only worked a few hours a week. They would consider them irresponsible and unreliable, someone they could not depend on.


    GAW: Brisk IS, lehavdil, the Yale of yeshivos.

    To sum it all up, Sanctimony on the Internet would make an excellent name for a rockband.


    “I love how this little nugget gets trotted out every now and again when it’s completely irrelevant to today’s professional world.

    The ways in which we do business (which includes holding a job) are much different today than they were in the Rambam’s time. There are very few jobs available for people to work only three hours a day and those jobs are generally not the type at which you can make a living doing that and nothing else.”

    How dare you talk aboutthe Rambam that way! Everything the Rambam writes is 100% valid today. If he says that a ben torah or whatever the exact wording is only works 3 ours then thats the way a ben torah does it. If you want to disqualify yourself as a ben torah or whatever term he uses then go ahead and work more ours.


    “Kasha, according to Rabbi Avigdor Miller, tz’l, there will be a time of intense hatred of Talmidei Chochomin in the days soon before Moshiach.”

    Very sad but you even seeit here in the cofferoom. One poster especially loves to denigrate talmidei chochomim.

    Pashuteh Yid

    If you look at the last volume of the Igros Moshe in Yoreh Deah section, he has quite a long arichus on college and medical school. He conceded that we can’t assur college, and that each situation is different. He also says it is not bitul torah to go to work; and one is even allowed to work to get richer, if he already has enough to live on.

    He says that the ideal way to be koneh torah is what the Rambam calls acquiring Keser Torah, where one avoids as much as possible, anything that is not learning. However, he says that in the past, there were only 3 generations that ever did this. The Dor Hamidbar, the Dor of Yehoshua, and the Dor of Chizkiyahu (which really was only two shevatim). All other generations had many people who worked for a living. He says that we need first rate talmidei chachamim who must devote all their time to learning. However, this does not obligate any specific yochid to become a full time learner, although Reb Moshe certainly encourages it.

    In addition, the Aruch Hashulchan says in Orach Chaim that today, it is not possible to make melachto arai. The average person needs to make melachto keva and be kovea itim. Only Rabbanim and full time yeshiva students need to make torasan keva.

    Furthermore, as stated earlier, trying to make parnasa without advanced training in today’s world is being somech al hanes.

    I would add that if one wants to go into learning, he should have the personality to be happy with his learning.

    anon for this

    Kasha, I don’t know the exact working hours of these surgeons. I do know that they spend at least 30 hours per week in surgery & clinic. I also know that they spend additional hours per week rounding on their patients & consulting & ordering/ following up on labs, but I don’t know exactly how long this takes (non-surgical physicians I know generally spend over 10 hours per week on these tasks).

    I do agree that there are other career choices in the medical field that can be done on a part-time basis. For someone who wants to work well-defined hours & doesn’t want to take call, working as a hosptitalist is a good choice.

    However, given your opinion of college campuses, I’m not sure why you’d recommend a career in medicine at all. Any type of board-certified clinical physician in this country must spend at least 10 years in school/ training (assuming one completes undergrad in 3 years). Obviously surgical specialties take longer than, say, primary care.


    Mosherose, then you agree with his scientific views as well?


    Surgeons are like the highest paid professionals in this country. I would never work in surgery. They give up their life for money. They have no life besides sugery. At least their family have a good life with all that money. Do you work to live or do you live to work?


    <<To sum it all up, Sanctimony on the Internet would make an excellent name for a rockband.>>

    so would Davening Ladies.


    I wonder how many people are actually disagreeing with each other. I think most people here would agree that someone who:

    1)is not able (mentally or physically) to put in the hasmoda of full time learning

    2)has no means of supporting his family

    has a responsibility to himself and klal Yisroel to find a means of support. Today there is Touro which most people will agree does take care of a large part of the problem prevalent in other colleges. I know of one doctor in E”Y who works in the morning and nights but puts in a full afternoon seder where he is unreachable except for emergencies. (Although to be honest he is South African and may have learned his profession before becoming frum like R’ Akiva Tatz.)

    There is such a thing called machzikei Torah and they play an important part in klal Yisroel. The point though is to realize that subjectively to each individual person, having to work (or going to learn any profession) is not the ideal but something most of us are subjected to because we are in galus.

    I think everyone would agree with this.



    That is what MOFES is for. There is no “starvation” in America (for those who can apply for aid).

    Tzippi: That was my point, it can go either way.

    Also, for the Naysayers, many doctors manage to finish rounds by 10 – 11 AM if they start early, instead of playing golf, you can go learn.

    It might not make Kollel, but 11 – 1, 2 – 6, 7:30 – 10:30 = 9 hours.

    Of course it does take a high level of education (and is not easy), as others have pointed out.


    I want to hear other people’s opinions. Does every Jew have a halachic chiyuv to become a Talmid Chochom (which people will debate definition but you know what I mean) or only a select few? or half? or 34.9%? 87.4%? you name it.


    Doesn’t Chazal say you need to bring up your sons to be Talmidei Chachomim?


    Yes, every (Male) Jew has a Chiyuv to learn and know Kol Hatorah.

    If they know Kol HaTorah, they would be a Talmud Chacham.



    Okay. But my question is does evry Jew have to become a Talmid Chochom or is there a kloliyusdike chiyuv on Klal Yisroel to produce talmidei chachomim, but on an individual level it’s ok to be a poshuteh yid.


    Yes, every (Male) Jew has a Chiyuv to learn and know Kol Hatorah.

    If they know Kol HaTorah, they would be a Talmud Chacham.

    Once again, Shaychus?


    Maybe the shaychus is the question is since he has that chiyuv, does he have to attain that status as a T.C. (as is his chiyuv) first, before he pursues college – if thats his intention.


    There is much more to being a Talmid Chochom than a walking CD Rom with Shas and Poskim! Anyways, Shaychus is that if every Jew had a chiyuv to be a Talmid Chochom no one by default should go to college because that takes away from their chinuch. The bachelor years are the best for learning, ask anyone! That’s besides the bad influences. But if you hold that no, then some people who feel they are not destined to be a Talmid CHochom would be allowed to go to college.


    Tam Mahu Omer:

    ‘m not sure that there is a chiyuv to become a talmid chacham per se. But there is a mitzvos asei called Talmud Torah. The chiyuv of this mitzvah is all day. For every moment that a person isn’t learning he’s being mevatel this mitzvah unless:

    1)he is doing a different mitzvah (osek b’mitzvah patur min hamitzvah)


    2)he is doing something that will make him be able to learn (hechsher mitzvah)- this can (but doesn’t have to) include working in order to support one’s own learning, relaxing in order to have energy for learning and (almost) anything else that will help a person be able to learn.

    This mitzvah is incumbent on all men ages 13 and up.

    So even though there is no mitzvah to become a talmid chacham there is still a mitzvah to always be learning.

    For more info see the sefer “Binyan Olam”

    EDIT: Forgot to mention- there is also a lav on forgetting the Torah you learned but there are a few opinions on whether that is applicable now or was meant for before torah she’ba’al pe was written down. Chazarah though probably won’t hurt.


    Derech Hamelech, the Halacha happens to be that you can be yotzei you chiyuv of Talmud Torah with Krias Shema Shacharis veAravis. Look in Yoreh Deyah Hilchos Talmud Torah (siman 242 I think but somewhere around there)


    A Jew has an obligation to learn Torah, there is no obligation to be a talmid chacham.


    Rescue, what makes you so sure?


    Tam Mahu Omer: The chiyuv for daily Talmud Torah is different than the chiyuv to be a Talmid Chachom.


    1: The gemorah in Nedarim (and we Pasken Lehalacha) that you can be Yotze your Chiyuv of Limud Torah via reading Shema.

    2: For what is a Talmud Chacham, see Keddushin 49B.

    3: I don’t see the connection. Many people who are Tamidei Chachamim went to college.

    In the case in point, the bochur is unable to learn with the distractions of learning a parnassah, so he should not go (as I said above).


    Whatever the answer to the difficult sh’eyla is, one thing is klor: there is at least a chiyuv on Klal Yisroel to produce a large amount of Talmidei Chachomim, and every kid has the chance! Imagine! Even a dull witted kid has the chance. So we must do our hishtadlus that they get chinuch that will not only make them come out as ehrliche yidden, but as Talmidei Chachomim.


    The difference between a yid and a goy is by the goyim there dream for their child is he become a doctor, a lawyer, or if he is a big dreamer he hopes his child will become the President of the United States. By unz yidden, the parent dreams his child will become a Talmid Chochom, a Yirei Shamayim, and our big dream is he will become the next Chofetz Chaim.



    1. The Ran in Nedorim says the Gemora means it is bedieved if it was a very busy day.

    2.There are many different levels of Talmidei Chachomim look in Brochos 47b and I think Sotah 22 or 23, and the Poskim agree that in our days at least for Halachos of Kavod Talmidei Chachomim there is a din of Talmid Chochom. ANyone who is Omel BaTorah and Ro’uy L’Horos and is not mezalzel bemitzvos and has glatt hashkofos.

    3. Anyone who was in yeshiva and learned a full day will not be a ble to describe you 1% of the Mesikus HaTorah how they learned for hours and days and nights on end. t doesn’t compare to a guy who learns half or three quarters the day and who has fifteen things on his mind.


    That’s like saying you are mekayem the mitzvah of teffilin by putting them on for shema.

    Yes you are.

    But there is still a mitzvas asei to wear tefilin all day.

    The mishna berurah says the reason why we don’t today is because of guf naki.

    See the sefer “bonei olam” for more info. Its really scary.



    1: Agreed, that point was for Derech, not you.

    2: Agreed there are multiple definitions.

    3: You talk about “Mesikus HaTorah” when I (and you) talk about Limud. First, who says you can’t have “Mesikus HaTorah” the same learning full time as learning full time with going to classes two nights a week (or online), second, I already said if you can’t learn because you are learning a parnassah, then don’t learn the parnassah.

    I think we agree.


    Okay, I don’t really know your hashkafos. But on point 3, ask me or anyone else with the experience. Anyways, I wasn’t raise so yeshivish I had to go through both curriculums.



    Being that I spent a number of years learning full time, as well as other years going to college between sedorim, I only have to ask myself. And I didn’t go to Touro.


    And you hold that your learning was more bikdusha vtahara when you were in college? Okay, i hear everybody else i spoke to in these matzovim said nisht azoy. But how old were you when you went to college? 30? I’m talking more about 20-25.



    You should know better than to ask an “old man” his age!

    And please define “Bekedusha Utahara” before I attempt a response to that.


    I don’t know if I can satisfy your request for a definition but I will try. Every Yid has a chelek Elokah mimaal which is his Neshomah, right? Usually, but not always, your neshoma can feel kedusha, like when you go to a mikveh or see a holy rabbi. But kedusha means there is a Presence of the Shechina there, which you usually feel, and it’s hard to describe… you have to feel it!


    Tam, what makes you think otherwise. There are 612 mitzvos and 7 mitzvos D’rabanan. None of them state one must become a talmid chacham.


    Ershtens, there are 613 mitzvos! Tzveitens, there much more than 613 mitzvos. The monei hamitzvos (rishonim who counted the mitzvos) have introductions to their seforim where they say they only count certain mitzvos that fit into certain categories. The Rambam does not count Zecher Yetzias Mitzrayim, and hundreds of other mitzvos. Look there. Not because they’re not mitzvos, but because the Gemoras in Makkos that said there are 613 mitzvos was only counting certain ones. Second of all, the chiyuv to be talmid chochom could be included in the chiyuv of Talmud Torah.


    Tam: Sorry, still can’t formulate a response regarding Limud Torah based on that. Could you please be more specific?

    There are 613 Mitzvos in the Torah. That must have been a typo by rescue.


    why would the chiyuv of talmud torah include a chiyuv to become a talmid chacham? Does it require you to become a sofer also? Does the chiyuv of tefilin require you to become a tefilin macher? Do the halachas of treifos require you to become a shochet? There is no chiyuv to become a talmid chacham. When the gemara talks about halachas of chaveirim and tzurba d’rabanan the connotation is that these people were there by choice.



    See my notes above.

    I think we have different definitions of “Talmid Chacham”.

    One can (in my book) be a “Talmid Chacham” and not a “chaveir”, “tzurba d’rabanan” or “Prushee”.


    A talmid chochom is not a job like being a sofer! By tefillin the Torah says you put on tefillin gomarnu ther’s nothing else no chiyuv to make them. However, by Torah there are requirements to know the entire Torah (veshinantom seyehu divrei Torah mechudadin al picho) and to sit and learn with all your kochos with glatt hashkofos obviously! There you go!


    Gavra so explain what exactly you think is a talmid chochom!

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