September 5, 2022 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #2121455Jewish12345Participant
Does anyone know if it’s ok to keep taking an education in any field after already getting a ba or ma in a field that would give you parnassah and you’re just taking this course now for the knowledge and not to help you make a living as you already have a degree in something else?September 5, 2022 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #2121468
Shu”a expressly forbids the consistent, organized study of secular subjects (YD 246, rema).
Parnassa is a heter, once you’ve got that, you’re free to go back to spending more time learning.
Anything you need to learn for the sake of your limud hatorah is permitted, as well as any limud that’s casual, like listening to lectures here and there, or in the bathroomSeptember 5, 2022 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #2121469
Free to go back to spending more time learning torah**September 5, 2022 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #2121478
Any professional job requires further education while yo are working. Whether you are a teacher, a lawyer, a software developer. Often, you need it to just keep up with recent developments. During Rema times, some would just read Galen (and, according to a story, Vilna Gaon rejected an eye doctor like that). In our time, there is so much new, and also you will want to check your own experience against knowledge of others.
Some can do it on their own, others go take classes. Just make sure, you are not wasting money and time and that you are doing your job honestly, that is to the best of your abilities. Not my words. I once attended a talk from a Rov, who also worked as a professional. Students asked him all kind of questions that they could not ask “learning Rovs” – how do you keep kashrus, take off yomim tovim, etc. He started with “before I answer your questions, I want you to know the first halakha – you owe 8 honest hours of work to your employer”. (this includes halochos like you can not take a night job if you will be tired at your main job).September 5, 2022 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #2121480
The GRA wrote a sefer on geometry called Ayil Meshulash available to download at https://hebrewbooks dot org/20713. He has an interesting algebraic proof on the Pythagorean Theorem.
See also the Shut Chavas Yair at Siman 172.
Sometimes we can understand a mishna with a secular theorem, הזהב קונה את הכסף. There is a law in economics called Gresham’s Law. The bad coin drives out the good coin from circulation. Gold would be a good coin so people don’t use it as a currency but hoard it and it becomes a commodity. So silver is the currency. When meshicha is koneh, through acquiring the commodity we acquire the currency. The more valuable acquires the less valuable.September 5, 2022 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #2121505
Reb e – you’re discussing the value of secular studies as they relate to Torah, a trodden path in the rishonim and achronim. Knowledge just to have knowledge is, first, a taavah that the Tanya has very strong words for, and secondly, if done bekevius, it’s assurSeptember 5, 2022 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #2121526commonsaychelParticipant
@12345, if your degree is in shirts then its ok.
PS what did you take on in the zechus of Moshe Kleinerman?September 5, 2022 9:44 pm at 9:44 pm #2121528
Avira, what exactly are you referring to in YD 246?September 5, 2022 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #2121530
ואין לאדם ללמוד כי אם מקרא משנה וגמרא והפוסקים הנמשכים אחריהם ובזה יקנה העולם הזה והעוה”ב אבל לא בלמוד שאר החכמות (ריב”ש סי’ מ”ה ותלמידי רשב”א) ומ”מ מותר ללמוד באקראי בשאר חכמות ובלבד שלא יהיו ספרי מינים
A person should only learn tanach, mishnah, genara, and the poskim that followed them, and through this he will acquire this world and the next, but not in other wisdoms(rivash siman 45, and talmid harashba) nevertheless, it is permitted to learn them casually, as long as they are not books written by hereticsSeptember 5, 2022 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #2121535
The Rash in Kilaim (5,5) quotes the Pythagorean Theorem in the name of חכמי המדות. The 1 2/5 in the diagonal originates from the theorem being the square root of 2. Therefore, Tosfas proofs in Sukah 8,1 that the it is an approximation. The Shar Ephraim explains the Tosfas.
The Rambam on the mishna in Eruvin explains the approximation of 3 for PI. The Rambam says in Hilchas Kiddush Hachodash 17,24 that we can rely on the Greeks in Geometry and Astronomy. So we can we rely on economics as it is based on logic which cannot be faked. We are not talking about evolution. If we would not rely on biology, currently Jewish doctors would not exist. How many medical discoveries happened after the Gemorah and the Rivash that save lives. The Polio vaccine was discovered by a Jew, Dr. Salk. It says אשר ברא אלקים לעשות building on the creation.September 5, 2022 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm #2121536
We have the partnership of Yisochor and Zevulin as not everyone is suitable for learning and they might have to learn other skills.September 6, 2022 1:00 am at 1:00 am #2121539
All empirical studies are permissible as they do not emanate from Plato or Aristotle and have no bias. Chazal forbade the ancient wisdom because it was false and irrelevant.September 6, 2022 1:01 am at 1:01 am #2121543
There are seven wisdoms where Torah is in the middle. So the other six wisdoms support Torah like the Menorah. It says עולם כמנהגו נוהג which is science. The gemora tells the story where a man had a miracle and was able to nurse. So there is an argument if this miracle was beneficial to him or not as the nature had to be changed. It is a mitzva outside of evolution to explain science not to contradict the Torah. Biology says that gender is determined by the male. The male has an x and y chromosome and a female has two x’s. So a male can give either an x or a y whereas a female can only give an x. However, the Torah says that the female determines the gender. Maybe, she creates an environment for him which determines if he gives an x or a y chromosome.September 6, 2022 1:52 am at 1:52 am #2121553
Ben – that is ziyuf hatorah, baseless and contrary to what the rishonim say across the board. We’re talking about chochmos, established wisdom – the rishonim refer to math, etc… you’re not allowed to have a kevius in them because it’s an affront to Torah.
In chazals time there was plenty of empirical study, too.
It’s assur. The rishonim say it, like the rashba and rivash above – and they had plenty of science in their time too.September 6, 2022 2:05 am at 2:05 am #2121555
Plato teaches there is a soul, a world of ideas and Aristotle the four elements, earth, water, air and fire.September 6, 2022 8:47 am at 8:47 am #2121615
pre-modern science was very different. While there were experiments here and there, a lot of “chochma” was philosophical speculation that, in their view, did not require experimental support.
It well may be “chochma” could be different when used by different authors and in different context,
so if you claim that Rashba includes math and science here, which might be, you need to show that.
> rishonim say it, like the rashba and rivash above –
you mean to say that rishonim Rashba abd Rivash say that, other Rishonim – not necessarily.September 6, 2022 8:57 am at 8:57 am #2121618
Avira, thanks for the ref. to YD. How do you understand Shach there? He appears to interpret the chochma as studying esoteric subjects, including Kabbalah as opposed to, or before, halakha.
A couple of notes comparing with modern “chochma”:
1) By Rashba, it would be OK to study anything not avoda zora as long as it is not a fixed occupation. I would say, someone who has enough money to live and then makes studying Chinese philosophy his daily routine after shacharis would qualify. But would you say that taking a semester class is not temporary?
2) Often, one can gain indirect understanding of Torah and ability to argue for it from studying surrounding materials. I think R Ovadia Yosef explains Rambam this way – that all philosophy that Rambam learned was for the glory of Torah. Take an example of someone who works in academic environment and meets western-education public. He needs to know a lot not just to protect himself from their argument but also to explain them Jewish positions.
3) A lot of current “education” is really job training. 99% of professors are not aware of Aristotle, unless this is their direct line of work. The liberal stuff that is being injected in every subject is not “chochma”. Propaganda may be more dangerous than chochma, but off topic for this thread, I think.September 6, 2022 8:59 am at 8:59 am #2121630GadolhadorahParticipant
Its called balance. For virtually ANY professional, some level of advanced study of secular study will be needed to stay current in their fields and each individual seeks a balance of time for this professional advancement and limud torah. Also, the study of certain secular topics can enhance one’s understanding of torah matters and sharpen one’s learning skills.September 6, 2022 9:00 am at 9:00 am #2121639hujuParticipant
To the opening poster: Always heed the words of Rabbi Ben Stern: “I told you not to be stupid, you moron.”September 6, 2022 9:01 am at 9:01 am #2121638
The reason to avoid Greek studies because it is too similar to the Torah and one can falter when there is a difference. Math is not affront to the Torah. Avira, show me rishonim that it is. The Rivash does not include math which is required to understand the Torah as the Rambam above states. Kevious means to learn it and once you know it, you don’t have to learn it any more. There is no mitzva to continue learning secular knowledge and math is not secular knowledge. The sugya of kaveres, the sugya of round sukkah require the knowledge of math.September 6, 2022 9:40 am at 9:40 am #2121648
Reb e – rav boruch ber quotes them in his famous college teshuva in birkas Shmuel, end of kiddushin.
The rashba speaks about making chochmos into a “cowife” of torah, that the torah is jealous.
Knowing math isn’t an affront to Torah, nor is learning it casually. The issue is kevius, which means a set study. A seder. Something you do routinely. Akrai means “here and there”.
The ones who argue with rav boruch bers conclusion (that college is assur) hold that parnosa is a heter, and that they studies are, even though they’re kevius, merely a tool for that parnosa.September 6, 2022 9:41 am at 9:41 am #2121649
We’re not speaking about chochmas yavanis – that’s something that the gemara said you can learn “when it’s neither day nor night” because it has no purpose. “Shaar chochmos” refers to math, science, astronomy, etc..
The shach on that rema says explicitly that we’re referring to math and science.
As for the shach’s grouping of kabalah in his list of shaar chochmos; i think – and this is just a theory – that he’s referring to people who aren’t mekubalim, and who read zohar because it’s interesting. Many people who “learn kabalah” really just read about ideas that they don’t understand. For torah she’baal peh, you’re not mekayam the mitzvah unless you’re understanding what you’re learning (unlike chumash). For the non-mekubal, the shach holds that you’re not engaging in limud hatorah on the level of sod; you’re just prattling away, so it’s no different than sichas chulin or chochmos.September 6, 2022 9:42 am at 9:42 am #2121652
Also, the lashon of the rivash (i can get other sources, but again they’re in birkas shmuel – also in the sefer “besoraso yehegeh” he goes through the issue at length, citing the cherem of the rashba, and others) is that one should learn only mikra, mishnah, gemara and poskim – that means not math, science, etc…
Even if – and this is not the case – today’s chochmos are more true, what bearing does that have? He’s not qualifying his statement on how true a chochma is, he’s saying that only torah frants a person olam hazeh and olam haba. Do you think you get olam haba for learning math? Norman lamm does, and he was a heretic.September 6, 2022 11:01 am at 11:01 am #2121671
Tosfas asks, PI does not agree with the knowledge of measurements? Maybe that is the kashye of the gemora on the mishna in Eruvin, if the diameter is a tefach than the circumference is three tefochim, so the gemora asks מנא הני מילי, how do we know that? What does that mean when one can measure it? The question is, how do we know that we a can approximate it like that? So to understand a gemora, math is required as the Rambam on the mishna explains it well.September 6, 2022 11:02 am at 11:02 am #2121680
Avira, what you are saying about math does not make any sense. Acher and Yochanan Kohen Gadol became heretics, so we should not learn Torah?September 6, 2022 11:24 am at 11:24 am #2121692
reb e, you keep on quoting examples of why we need to know some relatively basic math. agreed. please don’t keep avoiding the topic at hand – you can enough secular studies to understand gemara in the bathroom, which the netziv said that the rambam did. the halacha is clear that you are not permitted to have a fixed study schedule in secular studies; that has absolutely nothing to do with the need to know certain things to help you in learning.
you’re usually very level headed; this seems to have struck a nerve. I’m sorry for offending you, but halacha doesn’t change.
i have no idea what the comparison to acher is; im saying that poskim forbid fixed studies of secular studies, the examples given in the shach include math and science….there’s not really a discussion here – it’s a black and white psak din.
You wanted sources, and I gave you some. Please look at the issue objectively.September 6, 2022 11:24 am at 11:24 am #2121695
Chemistry makes us appreciate the greatness of Hashem how minuscule an atom has a whole solar system in it. We can use chemistry to understand a tzibur. It is similar to the forming of water being a combination of oxygen and hydrogen where hydrogen shares its electrons with oxygen. Oxygen molecule is missing two electrons in its outer shell made up by two hydrogen molecules which both have one electron. The bond is so strong that only an electric current can break it being one positive and other negative and opposites attract. People have qualities they miss which is made up by others forming a tzibur as the first Daroshas Haran indicates. I heard that this might be the meaning of the bracha a borai nefashos where people have chesronos which unite them.September 6, 2022 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #2121700
Astronomy and Biology also show the greatness of Hashem. I explained what we say in bentching ומפרנס אותנו בכל עת ובכל שעה. This refers to the circulatory system in the body. The food arrives into the blood stream and gets circulated by the heart all over the body providing sustenance to it constantly.
By not studying these sciences one cannot fully appreciate the greatness of Hashem. מה רבו מעשך ה’ כולם בחכמה עשית how great are your deeds Hashem all was created by You through wisdom.September 6, 2022 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #2121701
BTW, a sefer was written at the end of the 17th hundred on all sciences called Sefer Habris available at https://hebrewbooks dot org/43670.September 6, 2022 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #2121702
This discussion is getting very strange.
Secular studies can help you understand gemara, and they can help you get an appreciation for niflaos haboreh. The chovos halevavos has a whole shaar on the subject – fine. Very good. Doesn’t mean it is allowed to have a seder in it, and it doesn’t mean it’s not an affront to the torah to make a kevius of it – it’s not worthless, but it’s not torah, and we’re supposed to be engaged in torah as our only kevuah-occupation.
It’s a halacha in shu”a. Please accept this.September 6, 2022 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #2121719
now I see what you were referring to with acher – I didn’t mean that we shouldn’t learn from Norman lamm, which is true regardless – I am saying that it is he and his haskalah ilk who believe that one merits olam haba by learning math and science in and of themselves. he believed that there’s no difference between math and a piece of gemara r”l.
we agree that math and science are tools, either for parnosa, learning torah, or appreciating Hashem. they are not ends in and of themselves, as Lamm thought – for that he was a heretic.September 6, 2022 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #2121728
I do agree (surprise!) with gadol, that in most professions, in order to maintain a mastery of the subject, review is necessary. As is learning new things as they come out; like new computer codes, or new advances in medicine.
That doesn’t mean you make a set time for it. You don’t make 1-2PM “study time” – you learn as you need.September 6, 2022 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #2121733
Avira, agreed. It says קבעת עתים לתורה, I heard that it does not say קבעת תורה לעחים. We set the times to the Torah and not vice versa. One bought a small hat, so he went to goldsmith to squeeze his head rather than extend the hat.September 6, 2022 1:15 pm at 1:15 pm #2121738
Yes, you remind me of the Sefer Hatalmud Umadoay Hatevel by Rav Ksiel Kamelhar, a cousin of the RY of MYRCB.
The great nephew of Reb BBL the Kamenitzer RY was a well read physicist as well as a Gaon Olom. He later became RY in Skokie.
If I do not err, some members of the Moetzes were English and Math majors .
The mashgiach in Mir RYL said that a gymnasium bachur can not be RY in the Mir, and so he came to RIETS.
So you see the controversy on the matter is quite extensive.September 6, 2022 1:31 pm at 1:31 pm #2121780
The main question is what the teitch of “באקראי” is here. Of course, AviraDeArah has his pshat but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one.September 6, 2022 1:32 pm at 1:32 pm #2121787
The Chasam Sofer explains the actions of Yaakov Avinu וישם את אפרים לפני מנשה both are important but Ephraim, Torah comes before Menasheh, secular knowledge.September 6, 2022 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #2121813
I went to college four years after I graduated High School of Yeshiva Chasan Sofer. My rebbi, the Mattersdorfer Rav, Rav Shmuel ztz’l explained why an am haaretz is not allowed to eat meat? Rebbi Meir who cared for the minority how was he eat meat? So this father sends his son to college relies on the minority who come out good. When I went to college I avoided going to anywhere unnecessary like the student center. Haran got burned because he went into the fire by following Avraham and not because his own beliefs. When college was necessary to find a job, I started to go. The Kli Yakar explains that one who does not learn Torah is no better than an animal, so he has no right to eat it.September 6, 2022 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #2121805
ben….please, read the thread. we’re not discussing college in general for parnosa. that’s a machlokes – some held it was allowed (rav elchonon, the rogotchover), some held it was flat out assur (rav baruch ber) some held it’s assur for people who are successful in learning (rav moshe, rav aharon) and others held it was ok even for them, bedieved – none of that has to do with the issues being discussed here.
here the poskim say that you are not allowed to study secular subjects in a set manner.
This means you cant study it because you enjoy it. You certainly cant study it bekevius if you believe in it ideologically, that it makes you a more refined person, or smarter.
If a person weak-minded individual and it takes years to master the definition of Pi in order to understand a piece of gemara…that’s a nebach, and the torah would have made him smart enough not to need such things, but “hypothetically” i think such a thing would be allowed, because it’s for the sake of torah.
you can read all about niflaos haboreh casually – like reb E posted; I read that in 1 minute. I did not have a seder in the topics he wrote about.
casual learning = okay, and maybe even a mitzvah of recognizing Hashem
Course learning, set learning, organized, or any kind of “kevius” = assur in general, machlokes if allowed for parnosa.
EVEN then, you’re not allowed to learn apikorsus or from books that contain it. That’s clear. What people did in their youth doesn’t change the halacha.September 6, 2022 1:57 pm at 1:57 pm #2121811
marx; akrai is a common word. It means here and there, casually. Akrai be’alma. it’s opposite is keva. it means you can’t make it fixed.
Words have meanings. If this were any other discussion, the meaning wouldn’t be a controversy. Here lies a yatzer hora for knowledge for its own sake, or curiosity, or both. The Tanya has very harsh words about someone who learns secular studies for non-Torah purposes; when learning it, one must ask themselves….do I need this for torah, or is it to satisfy my taavos?September 6, 2022 2:40 pm at 2:40 pm #2121820September 6, 2022 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #2121821
So anyone who disagrees with your pshat is only following their yetzer hara? Ok.
I would recommend seeing Igros Moshe yoreh deah chelek daled siman lamed vov, sif tes zayin, last paragraph where he discusses bochurim who have a cheshek to learn shaar chochmeyes during bein hasedorim. He doesn’t mention this Rema or anything but it’s interesting because he seems to be allowing for a set time (bein hasedorim) to learn these things if not done with heavy iyun.September 6, 2022 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm #2121827
Not every yatzer hora is assur. The Tanya stating that the neshoma is clothed in tumah when learning secular studies that aren’t lisem shomayim, also doesn’t mean that it’s assur.
Bein hasdorim means not when learning. The question wasn’t about making a seder in those studies, but rather to do it when they’re not busy. If the questioner had phrased it “every day at 1pm” it would be a kevius and would be assur.
It’s not “my pshat” – if you saw the word in any other context, like eating outside a Sukkah, eating before bedikas chometz…we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
What do you call a desire to do something not for Hashem? Lf course it’s a yatzer hora. Rav Moshe allows a lot of things which aren’t ideal or the best thing to do. He allows a man and woman to live in the same house in separate rooms to “test” themselves to see if they should get married. Does he recommend it? He knows his audience. If he didn’t allow it they’d probably do it be’issur. American jews had American ta’avos, biases, and challenges. It took someone with tremendous “playtzes” to know where and when to draw the line.September 6, 2022 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #2121828ujmParticipant
Marxist, if you don’t like a Halacha you think you can simply reinterpret a word to change its meaning? Or, even better yet, claim that a common word with a known meaning is some kind of mysterious unknown meaning that, therefore, needs to be set aside and ignored?September 6, 2022 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #2121838
The Binah Leitim demonstrates through the greatness of mathematics the potential greatness of the Jews. It says ה’ אלקיכם יוסף עליכם ככם אלף פעמים, Hashem your G-d should multiply you by a thousand times (600,000 x 1000) but then it should have said אלף פעמים ככם, one thousand times of what you are now? Moshe Rabbenu is really asking Hashem that He should double their current population (600,000) ככם, as they are now and do the doubling a thousand times אלף פעמים. This is an enormous number with 301 zeroes equivalent to 2 raised to the 1000th power. 2^1000 multiplied by 600,000.September 6, 2022 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #2121839
Again, with the accusation that I “don’t like a Halacha”. Maybe I just disagree with your pshat?
“באקראי” is not a straightforward term. If we saw it by sukkah and eating before davening we would want to know what it means and what the gedarim are. I think discussion is good, not dogmatic assertions that this is what it means and how it is to be interpreted.
Rav Moshe seems to be allowing to learn secular studies during bein hasedroim which in most yeshivas is a set time every day. Again, does that mean if the questioner wanted to know if he went to a lecture on biology every day at 1pm to relax during bein hasederim, Rav Moshe would have assered? Maybe. I don’t know. Would he have still mattererd? Again, maybe.September 6, 2022 4:55 pm at 4:55 pm #2121854
Just a quick point on your analysis. If something is forbidden how can it be consumed part time and under any circumstances. Assur is assur period.September 6, 2022 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #2121861
Ben, many things are allowed in some quantities. The issue isn’t the studies or material themselves(unless it’s apikorsus), but rather the kevius itself is the problem. Making a set time for learning something other than Torah is the issue, not the math or science itself.
The rashba did, however, make a cherem against young people learning secular studies in his time and place – like anything else, if something is leading to problems, it can be regulated.September 6, 2022 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #2121864
Marx – eating before davening, ba’krai, is in fact assur – sukkah is a real example. We know that it means a snack; now the poskim do deliberate over what a snack is, but they’d all agree that a meal is assur.
Here, we’re being shown that making a kevius of study is prohibited. A fixed study isn’t the same as “how much food”, because here the fixed study is an entirely different activity than if done casually.
What other meaningful pshat in kevius/akrai is there other than kevius = set, and akrai means “here and there”… You walk by a bookshop with an interesting book, and you read it a little. You’re in a bathroom, and you have a physics book as rav belsky had in his, or you go to a zoo or museum and learn about nature… Those are “here and there*
A bochur in yeshiva who studies science bein hasdorim will not be doing so everyday, at the same time. There are 2 periods of bein hasdorim, and I’m sure he has other things to do (like rest, if he’s actually learning, run errands, etc)
Rav Moshes whole point is that during that time, it’s not set up what you’re involved in, so you can play basketball, read the paper, read a science book, go on a walk, or do whatever it is you want to do.September 6, 2022 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #2121958
Avira, there is a psychological phenomenon that hinders your learning. It is called “crystallization” – if you get two pieces of information with a time lag, people usually absorb the first one and somewhat discount the second, see (Noble winner) Kahneman , Tversky. Same in Choshen Mishpat – you have to have both litigants in front you before listening to them.
You probably started learning the sugya not going from Sh’A, but by learning Birkas Shmuel with his strong opinion. After that, you are either explaining away others (starting with Shach) or declaring them apikoirosim. It is tiring to go point by point and review them all – why kabalah mentioned by Shach is there for a different reason than math and 100 of other of your tirutzim.
You would be better off learning a sugya by looking at all rishonim and opinions that you disagree with before trying to explain them away.September 6, 2022 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm #2121969
Indeed, learning Pi does not take much time in our days. Still, it might have been an elevated subject at some point.
But this does not mean that we can’t find more complex issues, for example in social policy and in psychology. See, for example, lectures by Yisroel/ Robert Aumann, Noble in economics, where he connects his work in game theory with Gemora. Note one comes up in a month in Daf in Ketubos 93.
And yet another reason to know modern life is to be able to apply Jewish approach to modern problems, from personal behavior to society. This is what, presumably, learning Bavli gives us – a method to solve future problems. See, for example, work by Israeli Supreme Judge Moshe Elon, trying to apply halakha into modern Israeli British-Turkish legal system. Whether this was , or can be, successful, is not relevant here, but just the effort to compare multiple legal systems is fascinating.
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