Does למודי חול constitute ביטל תורה?

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  • #2125199
    ymribiat
    Participant

    Please make a separate thread to discuss whether למודי חול is even מותר.
    And another thread to discuss whether learning תורה during classes approved of by דעת תורה is appropriate.
    My question is, if the kids are in school but not learnimg what they are supposed to, and the 2 hours of למודי חול is basically הפקר, does that constitute ביטול תורה for תינוקות של בית רבן.

    #2125205

    Adaraba, they are getting precious chinuch in how to relate to chol subjects. They get to understand that only loser goyim can speak English and math & science are worthless and incomprehensible (admittedly, you can learn same lesson in many public schools also). As one Rav who happen to teach history for one year instead of limudei kodesh, introduced himself when we met (again): “Hi, I am a goyishe teacher” – in the words of his students, despite his kapota and untrimmed beard.

    #2125211
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    It’s hard to call it bitul Torah if they’re not meant to be learning during that time. Bitul zman, it is.

    #2125213
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Children enjoy science and math; it’s English that they devalue. When i was teaching in Williamsburg, the kids loved learning science, niflaos haboreh, and math – they only shut down when it was time for reading/writing.

    #2125224
    ujm
    Participant

    Avira answered exactly (and everything) that the he OP asked.

    #2125237
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Yes, to the OP question. I heard from my Rebbi, the Hadhauser Wiener Rav in elementary school that if one goes to learn secular studies and does not listen, put his mind to it to do well on a test is bitul Torah.

    #2125277

    RebE, could you clarify what your Rebbe said – was he concerned with learning material? grades? just general attitude? school overall test (I don’t think there was this pressure on schools at your times)

    To the OP question: we have a definition that Torah is someone’s occupation meaning a person spending all available time off work in learning. So, if he comes home from work and watches TV for an hour, he is not. If he stayed an extra hour at work instead, then he is.

    So, same for a student: if he is busy learning material relevant to parnosa, ensuring that he will not join listim, then he is a ben Torah. If he wastes time in some way, then he is showing that he is not.

    #2125264

    Avira > they only shut down when it was time for reading/writing.

    I don’t have inside experience in fully insular schools, maybe they are conditioned to reject foreign culture so they react that way? But I observed a different thing: math and especially science in high school is taught by people with some background in the subject, maybe even a normal science teacher. We do not expect someone who is good at teaching Parsha to go do algebra, at what3ver dumbed-down level it is taught. On the other hand, English can be taught by a regular “frum” person who is either not teaching kodesh this semester or is someone’s relative. After all, the person speaks passable English and is a teacher in general, what else do you need?! So, no wonder these teachers are not generating enthusiasm. I don’t know how widespread this is.

    #2125299
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Aaq, my “background” for teaching math and science is that i took (and did well on) the regents in high school. I also enjoy reading science magazines in the bathroom. I can’t say I’ve reviewed much of trigonometry, but i sometimes find myself doing long division in my head when I’m distracted.

    I made the lessons fun; we did experiments in things like vacuums, oil and water..,i tried to add hashkofa in my lessons too, which they appreciated. I pepper my talk with yiddish; that and my beard make me register to them as jewish. The principal also referred to me as rabbi when talking to them, but they were told to call me Mr Avirah when in class.

    #2125300
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Reb E – if what you heard is accurate, i yield. My statement was just my own sevara

    #2125301
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    Well, its important that they learn limuday chol, this way they know how to fill out the paperwork to sue an airline, they need to know how to read so they can see how long the hospital wait is, and they need to know civics so they are able to deal with neighbors bird feeder.

    #2125321
    akuperma
    Participant

    1. Gainful employment is Bitual Torah, so of course the secular school curriculum is probably as well?

    2. Is it mutar to speak and write languages other than Lashon Kodesh (whether mash-ups such as Yiddish, or 100% goyish languages such as English)?

    3. It is permitted to make use of modern technologies (e.g antibiotics, surgery, computers, electricity, refrigeration, mechanical transportation, etc.) which can not be created or implemented without secular education? Was it permitted to use math developed by the Egyptians and Mesopotamians to calculate the calender?

    4. Is it permitted to use numbers and do math (presumably beyond counting with ones fingers)? Is it permitted to engage in employment that involve interacting (as bosses, employees, customers, suppliers) with persons other than frum Yiddhe?

    5. It should be noted that the rabbanim cited in the Talmuds routinely gave evidence of knowing non-Jewish languages, being familiar with the history, sociology and governance of the local goyim, doing complicated mathematical computations, and of having learned about the most advanced sciences of their day. Many of them engaged in businesses that required intimate knowledge of the goyim and their customs and sciences and culture.

    So while the answer to the question is probably that while secular studies are almost by definition bitual Torah, they are permitted in a variety of conditions.

    #2125329

    akuperma > rabbanim cited in the Talmuds

    with all seriousness, there should be no question that all of this is permitted for some. Raban Gamliel had same number of students learning Torah and Greek. I presume the equal number is symbolic here, same as 10 commandments divided in 2 groups of 5.

    It is really a practical question – how much of including non-Torah material will destroy Jewish life as we know it. The answers swing over time.. When our communities were secure, you can do more; when not, you need to protect more. Unfortunately, both sides sometimes do not talk directly to the issue but try to strengthen their rhetoric by claiming that something is verbotten or, opposite, a mitzva.

    #2125332
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    My understanding is, that at the time he personally did not require someone to learn secular studies. However, if one does, he better not waste his time because that is bitul Torah but as it is necessary and one applies himself, it is not bitul Torah.

    #2125351
    Yserbius123
    Participant

    I would tell you all to just read Rav Hirsch (specifically “Horeb” and volume 7 of “Collected Writings”) but everyone will just roll their eyes and call be a stupid Yekke. So I’ll pick another gadol.

    Did the Vilna Gaon study every aspect of limudei chol (except pharmacy) only when he was in the bathroom? Did he write, edit, and publish “Ayal Meshulash” to take away from others learning chas v’shalom? Did he instruct Rav Baruch of Shklov to translate Euclid’s “Elements” to trick Yidden away from learning?

    #2125352
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    You can learn the available knowledge in his time, the 18 hundreds in the Sefer Habris to download at https://hebrewbooks dot org/43670
    and translated to yiddish at https://hebrewbooks dot org/51059 also the Rambam Hilchas Kiddush Hachodash (17, 24)

    #2125359
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Again, למודי חול can be used to understand Torah as I showed that a law in economics helps to understand a mishna in Bava Metzia, הזהב קונה את הכסף. So why is gold a commodity and silver the currency? People don’t want to spend the more valuable but hoard it. Gresham’s Law states that, the bad currency (silver) drives the good currency (gold) out of circulation.

    #2125361
    ymribiat
    Participant

    I’m firmly clutching my pearls as I say this:
    Please hold off on anti Chareidi stereotypes and address the OP.

    #2125362
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Einstein’s theory of relativity explains how Hashem created something from nothing (energy). String Theory gives us more insight into creation. Science explains the meaning of עולם כמנהגו נוהג, the world behaves in natural fashion. Mathematics explains the expression that 1 in the length is 1 2/5 in the diagonal being the the square root of 2 by the Pythagorean Theorem derived through algebra with the help of geometry. Chemistry explains the unity of a tzibur.

    #2125365
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Kli Yakar uses the physical law that opposites react to explain the parah adumah. Why is it both tahor, pure and tamei, impure? This problem occurs if the parah adumah is made up of one entity. So he explains that parah adumah is comprised of two entities, water and earth. The water is tahor and the earth is tamei. When we place it on a tamei person, then the earth of the parah adumah has no reaction but the water does and makes him tahor. However, when placed on a tahor person, then the water has no reaction but the earth does, so it makes him tamei. The question is why didn’t Shlomo Hamelech, who was smarter than anyone, think of it? Maybe the mix of water being tahor with the tamei earth is a problem why it stays tahor?

    #2125389
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Rash, Rav Shimshan Mishantz, Kilaim (5,5) in the name of chachmei hamidos quotes the Pythagorean Theorem.

    #2125390
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Rambam explains in Shemono Perakim that one gets sick when the natural equilibrium is upset. To get healed one must restore it.

    #2125396
    ymribiat
    Participant

    Again, the OP wasn’t if למודי חול is relevant or necessary to למודי קודש. Or whether 9 hour schooldays arr healthy or useful. Please try to stay on topic.

    #2125397
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Yserb, actually, many say that the gra and the rambam did their secular learning in the bathroom. The gaon said of himself that he found only a few minutes of time during an entire year that he didn’t learn enough.

    He also wrote that to the extent that one is missing in secular knowledge, that will impact how much he doesn’t understand torah. Yet he does not argue with the…. Again, shulchan aruch iron clad rule, not to make it a set study.

    When you learn torah 1 percent of the time and level of the gaon, then you can worry about not knowing enough math and science

    #2125418
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I will show with a knowledge of a little arithmetic (multiply and divide fractions) how we can get a good estimate from the Torah on the value of PI, the ratio between the diameter and circumference of a circle. The GRA uses the pasuk in Melachim (1,23) where there is a keri (the way read) קו and kesav, the way written קוה to estimate the value 3 x 111/106 = 333/106 = 3.141509 but PI is 3.1415926.. It was known long ago the fractional estimation to PI of 355/113 = 3.1415929 so let us see how we can arrive to this amount. Let us take the full word as written וקוה and read וקו. So take 3 x 117 / 112 = 351/112 adjusting the numerator by the number of letters 4 and the denominator by a kolel giving us our fraction of 355/113. We can do this as number of letters and a kolel as needed are usually added to a gematria.

    #2125428

    > So why is gold a commodity and silver the currency? People don’t want to spend the more valuable but hoard it.

    Just had a simillar statement in Ketubot ~ 70: when a kalah brings cash int the family, it is added as 150% of the value as the husband will use the money to invest [it is not ribis as it is a present, not a loan]. This works for silver, but gold may not qualify for a 50% mark up because it is usually not used for transactions, but only as savings.

    #2125429

    RebE > why didn’t Shlomo Hamelech, who was smarter than anyone, think of it?

    Kli Yikar sounds like something Aristotelian to my untrained ear. Melech Shomo was smartest before Aristotle, so there is no kashya.

    #2125430
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I am on topic showing it is useful.

    #2125431

    ymribiat, i think RebE’s Rebbe answered the question – if you are in limudei chol and not doing anything, this is Bitul Torah. Does this answer the question?

    Extending this approach makes it difficult for others:
    – if one works well beyond what he needs, is it bitul Torah?
    – to what degree you need to build up 401k or should you just have bitahon?
    – if you eventually need to start working at low wage, is it bitul Torah that you could learn to do a better job and work less hours?

    #2125433

    RebE > one gets sick when the natural equilibrium is upset. To get healed one must restore it.

    In Deos, Rambam suggests going, carefully, somewhat to the other extreme to compensate for previous errors and traqin yourself in the opposite middah, and eventually settle in the middle.

    Maybe the same applies to limudei chol – Jewish community was destroyed (not just “decimated”) by onslaught of modernity, so we went to the other extreme to protect ourselves from the plague, and eventually need to get back to normality. Practical question is when.

    #2125436
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    It is also necessary for most jobs, so it is useful. The problem is that after all the time one spends in school now one has to do homework so, not much time of leisure.

    #2125483
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    If one wants to know where is the Kli Yakar, it is in Parashas Chukas with start ומזה מי הנדה הנדה יכבס בגדיו, one spraying the water of the parah adumah should wash his clothes, why?

    #2125519
    Benephraim
    Participant

    The Gaon from Mir and Torah Vodaas,REC would say if you want psak mixed with other limudim then ask others . But if you want Toyreh only then he is balebus. That is how an ehrliche yid and Talmid of Reb Baruch Berel approaches psak. There is no conflict between Torah and science because there is only Torah in the RY’s view.

    #2125606
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @ymirbat, you asked to stick to the OP topic, I did, I wrote you need to learn how to write to sue the airlines read to see the espimated hospital wait time and civics to dealwith neighbors bird feeder.

    #2125618
    ymribiat
    Participant

    @ cs I’m sure you are making a good faith effort to the very best of your ability.

    #2125631
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Ben, who is REC? The only rosh yeshiva of Torah Vodaas (not mir) with those initials that I can think of is rav eliezer kahanoh, which probably spelled his name with a K.

    #2125638
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @ymobat, thanks, so are you, we have gone up one or two notches from discussing bird feeders.

    #2125654
    Benephraim
    Participant

    Reb AK said about him that he knew Noshim and Nezikin well.He was the best in the Mir and the prime תלמיד of Reb BBL. He said the highest shiur in Torah Vodaas and maybe in the world. A lebedig Ktzos and Shmaytsa.Now do you know?

    #2125666
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    That’s rav shlomo heiman – what does that have to do with “REC”?

    Also, rav shlomo spent a tremendous amount of time on rav akiva eiger. So much so, that when he was about to be niftar, he said “breng a beinkel for reb akiva aiger”

    #2125669
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    “It is really a practical question – how much of including non-Torah material will destroy Jewish life as we know it..”

    Its really not a serious question. Without having minimal language, math and science skills, young men and women coming out of yeshivos and BY’s will be functionally illiterate, unable to perform basic functions of paying bills, booking travel arrangements, communicating with medical and service providers, etc. You cannot keep the next generation in a cave forever.

    #2125685
    ymribiat
    Participant

    @ cs But have we? I really don’t want to date you.

    #2125739
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Its really not a serious question. Without having minimal language, math and science skills, young men and women coming out of yeshivos and BY’s will be functionally illiterate, unable to perform basic functions of paying bills, booking travel arrangements, communicating with medical and service providers, etc. You cannot keep the next generation in a cave forever.

    That’s your theory coming from your very closeminded view that education has to take the form you are accustomed to.

    But it’s demonstrably untrue, as chassidim who receive a very poor secular education (which I’m not agreeing with, but it’s none of mine or anybody else’s business) make more money than the average, and are able to communicate just fine, even if their grammar isn’t perfect.

    #2125817
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    DY, The communication skills of some individuals are revealed in this CR forum.

    #2125822
    Benephraim
    Participant

    REC was a Talmid of Reb Baruch Ber. Maybe his biggest Talmid. That is why he represented himself as an antithesis to a coexistensial approach to Torah and anything else. He is the author of the Divrei Eliyahu and was a Levi. Also referred to RESHC.
    Reb SH was Rosh Yeshiva before Reb BBL ‘s son in law came to Torah Vodaas. That was non other than RRG who was from Minsk and a close associate of RAK.

    Reb EK or Reb Luzi as he was affectionately known was a son of RUMK who was a RY in Torah Vodaas as well. He was Rov of the YILB .Also a major proponent of no CC.

    #2125836

    Gadol > You cannot keep the next generation in a cave forever.

    But define “forever”. 20 years sounded reasonable, is 200 more “forever” than 100? Many of the functions you mention can be fulfilled within the community with a Yiddish speaking travel agent or a website (der vebsait?). You don’t need to be extreme here, it will be rejected anyway, just try different pathways for some people who can handle it, and see whether the community is ready or not.

    #2125837

    > make more money than the average

    We have claims about income going to each extreme .. according to press, some of our communities are both highest receivers of welfare and also “high assets” while people according to recent NYCLU paper. Strange, they went to assets rather than income… does it mean we are buying houses instead of spending on vacations? Do we have any reliable numbers to analyze economic well-being of our communities?

    #2125852
    ymribiat
    Participant

    @ Ben Using accronyms and “insider” referrnces leads me to suspect that you are trying too hard to make yourself look more knowledgeable than you probably are.
    That and “biggest תלמיד”.

    #2125871
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    I don’t know how i forgot about rav elya chazan lol

    And i also don’t know why you’re putting rosh yeshiva’s names in acronyms.

    #2125873
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    I know how i forgot; I’m used to seeing rav chazzan’s name with a ches – a C made.me think of cohen, kahanoh, etc..should have put RECH

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