September 6, 2022 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #2121972
AAQ, the shach says it includes math. That was an answer to the assumption that true wisdom is different – it’s not. It’s the only wisdom they’re talking about; chochmas yevanis is assur.
Rav boruch ber, and all the rest will discuss college, assume that the halacha is that you can’t learn bekevius. Some say that for parnosa it’s different, because it’s a tool for learning. I’m not siding with rav boruch ber – the majority disagreed with him, in fact. My point was that the rishonim and nosei keilim say that you can’t have a kevius in secular studies. No answer you can give me will make me forsake normal halachik process of rishonim and achronim.
Most halachos are complicated. This one is straight forward.September 6, 2022 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #2121971
Maybe let’s go to basics – Hashem created the World and gave us Torah. It is accepted that there are two ways to appreciate Hashem – thru learning the secrets of the World and learning Torah. Some, not all, discussions of “Maase Bereshis” and related subjects seem to even include science secrets into Torah secrets.
And seemingly accepted answer is that while it is respectable for humanity to learn appreciate the World; for Jews, learning Torah has a direct access to Hashem’s knowledge, superior to the science approach. Not fully dismissing it though. That is why R Twersky recommends learning physiology to appreciate complexity and beauty of Creation – but not as a yeshiva seder, by yourself at night (this is probably what Rema means).
Now, a hard question – science (including social) has greatly improved from the time of Gemora and Rishonim, and not just summary of achievements but methodology. Say, Gemora in Ketubos 60 discusses how food affects baby development. We now can do medical experiments, statistical observations, double-blinded experiments to study such problems. Were Abaye and Rava to live in our times – would you think they’ll take new knowledge into account? I don’t know whether they’ll go enroll in a nutrition degree, or talk to a nutritionist, or read papers, or conduct their own experiments, but I can’t imagine them not taking this knowledge into account. So, why we do not have modern Abayes and Ravas writing recommendations to chatanim and kallot on what to eat?September 6, 2022 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #2121983
“eating before davening, ba’krai, is in fact assur”
Even before Mincha and Maariv?
“Most halachos are complicated. This one is straight forward.”
It really isn’t. You yourself have to nitpick what “באקראי” is meaning when dealing with Rav Moshe’s teshuva. It also gets complicated when discussing the chiyuv of talmud torah because you can be yotzi that with a keveis of learning by night and day. So why should it be assur to learn secular studies at other times? Does this issur only apply to men or also to woman?
There’s a lot to discuss but you want to pretend that it’s straightforward.September 7, 2022 12:25 am at 12:25 am #2121987September 7, 2022 12:25 am at 12:25 am #2121988
AAQ, the two methods are both used by the Rambam. In Yod Chazakah he says that we get to recognize the greatness of Hashem from science and philosophy whereas in his Sefer Hamitzvos he says the Torah and mitzvos lead us to this recognition.September 7, 2022 2:17 am at 2:17 am #2122035
ujm, thanks for the (self) reference.
I am looking again at the reference to YD without even mentioning Shach there. I am very perturbed when someone quotes sources “from his side”. Especially when trying to defend Torah learning. This is self-defeating.
R Moshe’s psak there is the most relevant in terms of time period. But look at his argument – you do not need college education for parnosa if you don’t want Cadillac. This was true at his time – when I think 10% of men went to college and even less of women. This is different now. Majority goes to college (obviously it is not same level as it was then) – and thus to live like an average person, you may need college. But this is off-topic as we are discussing learning non-Jewish subjects per se, not for parnosa.September 7, 2022 2:26 am at 2:26 am #2122037
RebE, right, but still as Avira says, most say that, given that we have Torah, we do not need to rely so much on science to get to know Hashem.
But what would you say – if Rambam were to live now, would he still copy his astronomy from Aristotle, or would he first look at recent science? And if yes, would he go to Princeton, or would he just read up Richard Feinman’s multi-volume physics on his own? Or would he read this thread and say – no, I’ll stick with sefer hamitzvos.
PS interesting details: Rambam was in Fes when the best science was in the Medrasa there (some call it first university, before French and English). One presumably had to be Muslim to attend though, and Rambam was accused in Egypt that he used to be a Muslim, but was acquitted.September 7, 2022 9:20 am at 9:20 am #2122060
Most learn that the issur whether לכתחילה or even בדיעבד is either on the gavra or חפצא. I suggest that is a דין in the מקום. While this is a kabbalistic concept I think I saw it in זרע שמשון.That is why some רבנים will not enter the areas in question.September 7, 2022 9:20 am at 9:20 am #2122082
It says יש חכמה בגוים, there is wisdom among other nations, so applying the Torah which applies to all times and all places changing requires also secular education.September 7, 2022 9:21 am at 9:21 am #2122085
The culture has changed so going to college currently became more dangerous than when going in my time but there is also Touro and online education available.September 7, 2022 9:52 am at 9:52 am #2122104
Ben, it’s a shame that learning, whatever amount of it you’ve done, has left such a bad taste in your mouth that you’re making fun of it and those who do.
Rashi in the beginning of bechukosai lists levels a person goes down once they stop learning torah b’iyun, with ameilus. First they don’t know how to practice the mitzvos, then they scorn those that do, they scorn those who learn… it’s about a 7 step process before going off the derech. How far along are you? Maybe just try learning again from a “hip” rabbi who you can “vibe” with and see that learning is actually enjoyable?September 7, 2022 9:53 am at 9:53 am #2122102
Marx, why stop at being yotzei TT with one seder, *technically* you’re yotzei with krias shema. The ohr somayach has an amazing piece on that din, beginning of rambam hilchos TT.
Some people at certain points in their lives can’t learn, be it from emotional distress, or inability. Doesn’t mean that they can go and study something else – having a seder at night, morning, or krias shma,etc, are at times when you’re an oness. If you’re working, etc…
Once you have ample time for a seder in chol, you can have the same time learning.September 7, 2022 9:53 am at 9:53 am #2122103
Ben, are you joking? Did you just take lomdishe terms and throw them into a sentence?September 7, 2022 9:53 am at 9:53 am #2122105
Ben, I agree as the Rambam in Hilchas Daos says that the people get influenced by their environment.September 7, 2022 11:20 am at 11:20 am #2122139
RebE > The culture has changed so going to college currently became more dangerous than when going in my time but there is also Touro and online education available.
Right. To “more dangerous”, I think the danger reached a peak maybe 20-30 years ago with some decline lately, as you are saying – with increasing college option that do not focus on “college experience”. College went thru same transformation as air travel: people used to put on their “shabbos clothes” so to speak going to the plane, now they dress like they are in their bedroom.
when evaluating dangers, one should look at the recent experiences in similar circumstances: kids coming from same community and school; same type of college – local/campus, off/online, Ivy/technical/Jewish, technical v. humanity major, etc. Results seem to vary a lot based on these factors.September 7, 2022 1:21 pm at 1:21 pm #2122155
Avira, you think you know everything, so you don’t have to respect anyone.September 7, 2022 1:23 pm at 1:23 pm #2122160
“having a seder at night, morning, or krias shma,etc, are at times when you’re an oness. If you’re working, etc…”
Really? Lechatchali your yotzi your chiyuv of talmud torah with day and night learning. Rav Moshe discusses in a teshuva about the general chiyuv to know all of Torah and that for non-bnei torah they can be yotzi zayn with going through daf yomi.
There is also probably a distinction between a man and a woman since woman do not have a chiyuv talmud torah. Therefore, to get back to the Original Poster’s question, about going for a degree for non-parnassah purposes if you are talking about a woman it’s probably mutar (though I’m not a posek). A man is a bit more complicated.September 7, 2022 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #2122180
marx, You might be yotzei lo yamush, but there is a chiyuv to learn all the time unless you’re busy with work etc.., according to many poskim.
See the ohr somayach mentioned above; that chiyuv depends on the individual, and the person is supposed to constantly get themselves to learn more, according to their level.
I will get a list on this shortly.
I’m not sure if rav moshe argues with those poskim, or if he’s referring to the specific chiyuv of lo yamush, which you’re yotzei with a seder kevuah (lechatchila in respect to krias shema)
He does say that you should go through shas in order to be mekayam vedibarta bam. I don’t believe he mentions daf yomi in particular.
There is also an issur of bitul torah; kevias ittim doesn’t negate that. Does a baal habayis violate bitul torah if he has free time and chooses to engage in batalah? Some say yes, some say no. It would still be an affront to torah to LEARN something else bekevius, when one can learn torah instead.
There’s also an obligation of ameilus batorah; learning daf yomi with an artscroll and a cup of coffee while someone slightly more knowledgeable than one’s self prattles through aramaic translations and sprinkling in a rashi or two is NOT ameilus batorah. I doubt rav moshe imagined a person would learn that way and think he’s “learning shas”
Reb e – you were able to make sense of that statement? It sounded like a mockery of how yeshiva guys talk.
I agree that there’s a tremendous difference between men and women, as women are patur from talmud torah. However they are obligated to know halachos that pertain to them, which can be quite complicated. That level of learning – where it’s more of a heichi timtza for kiyum hamitzvos – I’m not sure if the study of secular subjects would be an affront to it. It’s a lower level of learning, not torah lishma….it’s a good question, and I don’t think it’s clear cut.September 7, 2022 2:13 pm at 2:13 pm #2122205
Avira, I think you are misinterpreting Ben’s statement. He is saying as the Rambam that makom contributes to aveiros by being influenced by people around in that place. Going to YU is currently assur not so much for the studies as because of the people learning there.September 7, 2022 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm #2122209
Nice to see you discussing the sugya, instead of “Rema says this, end of discussion”.
“I don’t believe he mentions daf yomi in particular.”
“it’s a good question, and I don’t think it’s clear cut.”
It’s also not clear cut for men.September 7, 2022 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #2122226
Marx, the issue of women isn’t simple, nor is a man’s obligation in talmud Torah. What is simple, is the obligation to not have a seder kevuah in limudei chol if not for parnosa.September 7, 2022 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #2122227
Reb e – who mentioned yeshiva university? And i apologize to ben if i misunderstoodSeptember 7, 2022 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #2122247
Avira, let us adjust your statement as I graduated High School in Chasan Sofer with the Regents, to not have a seder kevuah after graduating High School in limudei chol other than for parnosa,September 7, 2022 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm #2122253
New Yok State requires a High School Diploma preferably by taking the Regents exams.September 7, 2022 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #2122279
“the issue of women isn’t simple, nor is a man’s obligation in talmud Torah. What is simple, is the obligation to not have a seder kevuah in limudei chol if not for parnosa.”
But the halachos concerning a man’s obligation and the halachos regarding learning secular studies are connected. The complications that arise there can affect here.September 7, 2022 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm #2122333
So it sounds while the question itself is hard to answer, there are several groups that might have an easier path:
– women, who have no chiyuv in learning Torah
– Sephardim, who would not follow Rema
– those who mastered halochos and are ready for Philosophy/Astronomy/Kaballah, following Shach.
The rest of us might not be ready for an Aristotle Yomi class.September 8, 2022 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #2122631
A quick question on social science. Are the umdenos of Chazal in the category of shiurim which are fixed and immutable or they need to be validated and recalibrated as time passes. Similarly can we make umdenos that are not in chazal and if yes how do we do that? So there is a snif to permit social science ממה נפשך. לכאורה.September 8, 2022 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #2122633
BTW there was a psak in some Yeshivas that it is better to daven ביחידות than with a מנין on campus. It was espoused by ehrliche מחנכים who allowed college but held that תפילה should be avoided there because it has a קביעות of חכמות חיצוניות .September 8, 2022 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #2122647
As far as women are concerned, if the איסור of שאר חכמות comes from לא ימוש then it would apply to women as well because women are חייב on all negative commandments. Nice חידוש I think.September 8, 2022 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #2122706
Benephraim > social science
Exactly, this is an even better example than medicine. Lots of gemorot list implicitly reasons for takonot – how people are expected to behave, and then sometimes change them when behaviors change.
From recent kutobos:
– a man needs to get some benefit from the wife during marriage so that he’ll feel up to redeeming the wife if she is captured. He does not need that for the daughter, as any father will surely redeem the daughter.
– a widow does not get married while she is nursing. If she becomes pregnant, she might lose milk, and we presume that the new husband will not extend enough effort to keep the kid alive/healthy.
– if a kid dies, maybe we still stop her from marrying? Why? Because if we don’t, what if a woman kills the kid in order to get married ASAP?! In fact, there was one that did exactly that. Resolution: that woman was crazy, normal women will not do that.
So, most of that is being updated over time with changing social conditions. In fact, a lot of discussions in CR is about that, see college discussions.
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