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    ill keep this short, as a bochur in an average yeshiva i find the 3 hours of “secular studies” stuck in our schedule completely useless, and i know for a fact that in 10 years having the knowledge of what a newtuns law is or knowing words that only lawyers and people from 1960 used is not going to help me in life. so i would like to ask the askanim of ynw cr to instead tell the schools that were not intrested and maybe putt in a nap time instead. tizku limitzvos


    Among many stupid trolls recently, this one lacks any redeeming qualities.


    @GH it is bain hazanim, the trolls come out in the big way

    Amil Zola

    Goodness,today’s trolls are certainly uncreative.


    One should note that most graduates of frum schools that minimize secular studies end up with sufficient skills, including English language, to find employment and in some cases to end up becoming quite successful. Of course, it could be explained by the low standards of instruction in government run schools (at least for the non-elite students) in the cities where most Orthodox Jews live. Historically, westerners who pursued a “classical” course of study studying their classics in Greek and Latin (we prefer our classics in Hebrew and Aramaic) were able to achieve in many areas, suggesting it is the rigor of the curriculum that matters more than the substance. English is useful since it is the language of business and government in much of the world, but especially in America, there has always been great tolerance in its misuse, especially since America has always welcomed (or at least, tolerated) immigrants, and since American culture has always been welcoming to the “Horatio Algers” working their way up the economic and social ladder.


    My bad I forgot that any post not about the shidduch crisis and why being chareidi is horrible is a troll.


    OP’s English needs a lot of help. I’m referring to basic spelling and using nonexistent words.


    I suppose we could consider the suggestion, as soon as we figure out what “optionary” means.


    In school I remember getting very good (well perfect) scores in math and science. I had classmates that said the same thing, it’s useless and you’re never going to use it and received bad grades. During the events of 2020-2023+ those same people were in every corner of the internet, news, and society pretending to be experts. I learned that some things you do end up using and needing, at least for yourself.
    But then again, I am talking from a public school perspective and in a society that doesn’t follow any moral codes where people will shout all gossip and lies about things they don’t know as though they know. I hope if you don’t know something, you say you don’t know. That needs to be mainstreamed into American culture.


    I truly hope this post is a “troll” or offered as “sthick.” Otherwise, the ignorant syntax and spelling in this post vindicates whatever secular studies are offered, as well as a need for more.


    ENGLISH SHOULD BE OPTIONAL for Jews who think they’re so much smarter
    ENGLISH SHOULD NOT BE OPTIONAL for the rest of us


    Dear 5781,

    What would you do instead? I t is vital that bochurim do not spend many hours of their day not using their minds.


    Dear Jdf,

    Hear! Hear! I am completely blown away by how many people’s life focus is legend, lie, and myth.



    “and i know for a fact that in 10 years having the knowledge of what a newtuns law is or”

    Do you mean “Newton’s law”?


    Sefer Pele Yoetz, Perek Cetibah:

    An unmotivated Jew who has not learned the skill of writing correctly in Hebrew AND IN THE LOCAL LANGUAGE, he will be covered with shame and disgrace.

    Rabbi Mordechai Gifter:

    “We teach general studies*, and they should be studied properly.
    One should try to excel at whatever he does.”

    SOURCE: Rav Gifter: The Vision Fire and Impact of an American Born Gadol
    (chapter 23, page 288) by Rabbi Yechiel Spero, June 2011, Mesorah Publications,
    ISBN-10: 1422610977 & ISBN #: 9781422610978


    When people see that Chareidi Jews are not able to spell words correctly, does that make people think better of religious Jews, or does that make people think worse of religious Jews?

    When people see that Chareidi Jews are not able to spell words correctly, is that a Kiddush HaShem, or is that the opposite of Kiddush HaShem?

    Rabbi Troll

    Did I hear my name???


    Rabbeinu Yonah commentary on Mishnah,
    tractate Avot, chapter 3, last paragraph:

    The study of Mathematics [Chachmat HaCheshbone] sharpens the [mind of] a man.

    QUESTION: Does Rabbeinu Yonah seem to prohibit Jews studying Mathematics?
    Or does he seem to be encouraging Jews studying Mathematics?


    Rabbi Yochanan (tractate Sanhedrin, page 17A) taught that:
    The members of Sanhedrin must know all 70 languages.

    PS: The study of languages is SECULAR STUDIES.


    Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel
    (the Alter of Slabodka, born 1849 CE, died 1927 CE) said:

    “I am not against secular knowledge as such,
    where there is no question of apikorsus.

    It is the same as materiel wealth; it is wonderful to possess.

    Problems only arise when one comes to believe that
    riches or secular knowledge makes one into a superior person.

    SOURCE: Remembering Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky
    by Rabbi Nisson Wolpin, Jewish Observer magazine, May 1986, page 21


    It would be beneficial to include subjects beyond just English, like commerce, finance, and other practical skills that can assist those pursuing a parnasah.

    Pine Lake Park

    The truth is that from a purely secular perspective: The majority of material taught in school will do NOTHING for 95% (probably closer to 99%) of students.
    Secular Studies SHOULD consist of FINANCIAL EDUCATION which is sorely lacking in ALL communities.
    The Government does not want the average person to have this knowledge, so they teach all sorts of STUPIDITY instead.

    Take this lesson from someone who has learnt the hard way!!

    I wish i opened 5 credit card accounts when i was 18. All the hard inquiries would be gone by now and i would AWESOME credit now.
    I would be able to leverage high credit limits, and i would a millionaire by now.
    And there is A LOT more FINANCIAL EDUCATION that ACTUALLY will help people in Life!
    Like, how to be successful in life!!
    The current system will do NOTHING for your future life at all!!

    So, continue studying Trig and Algebra and chemistry and biology and literature, because who knows?
    Maybe one out of million of you will actually need it in their job, LOL.


    Here in Connecticut the law requires every high school student to have a full semester course in Personal Finance.
    Not only have I taught the course, but wrote a curriculum which I have licensed to several towns as well as private schools and a Yeshiva High School.


    “The Government does not want the average person to have this [financial] knowledge, so they teach all sorts of STUPIDITY instead …….I wish i opened 5 credit card accounts when i was 18. ….I would be able to leverage high credit limits, and i would a millionaire by now….”

    You clearly must have been all star student student in secular studies and top in your class in STUPIDITY to have the chachmah to share such a brilliant post.


    can you provide some google suggestion (or direct, if moderators allow) towards your much-needed resource?
    Not a school (homeschooler / complicated situation)

    Thank you very much in advance

    Yomam valayla

    If you “putt in a nap time” it could be dangerous because the golf balls could hit and injure the sleeping people. If the OP doesn’t know what in the world I’m talking about he should study spelling and homonyms.


    Financial literacy is indeed important, but is hardly achievable without basic English and math 🧮 skills. And a job that provides finances to manage.
    My suggestion would be to first test a kid or adult for their level using assessment sites, such as IXL, and possibly remedy using khan academy


    In High School they forced us to learn how to dissect sentences and told us that this knowledge would be helpful to us throughout life.
    Today I am 76 years old and NOT EVEN ONCE have I had to dissect a single sentence!


    Rbzs, you are the lucky one. Most of is here not just dissecting, but butchering sentences daily


    Sqrt, thanks for the quote from Alter. Note that st his time, secular studies were associated with Maskilim who used it to prove how science disproves religion, and leading to assimilation. We have found ways to deal with these issues already


    My Personal Finance Course, written for high school students, is not an on line course.
    As it is licensed to schools at a per pupil charge I regret that I cannot provide it to you, nor an on line link.
    One warning, avoid the Prager U on line course that is out there. It is not very good and full of political bias.

    BTW, my course was written specifically for Connecticut anc deals with its tax laws and wages.

    Avram in MD


    “We have found ways to deal with these issues already”

    I wish it were so.

    Avram in MD


    “OP’s English needs a lot of help. I’m referring to basic spelling and using nonexistent words.”

    That was part of the joke.

    Avram in MD


    “Today I am 76 years old and NOT EVEN ONCE have I had to dissect a single sentence!”

    But you know how to write them. And I bet you know how to understand them.


    Dear Always and Dear Avram,

    “We have found ways to deal with these issues already. ”

    “I wish it were so.”

    I couldn’t decipher which issues are still prevalent. Is this a specific reference that I am missing? It seems like a vague problem to me………


    Avram > I wish it were so.

    I am not saying that there are no people getting in trouble in college. I am saying there are multiple known ways to deal with it, both practically (Jewish colleges, local colleges, online, Israeli, etc) and philosophically (either focusing on technical stuff or reading Jewish books on whatever topic is studied in college). R Twersky Z’L recommends yeshiva students to learn physiology (not in the yeshiva, afterhours) to appreciate Hashem’s creation, not being concerned that physiology will leaed someone OTD


    The gadlus of this post is that the poster only made a few glaring errors; his post wasn’t full of misspellings and non existent words, because that would have made the joke too obvious and wouldn’t have started this ranting secular studies vs Torah only discussion. The Torah only crowd has been largely silent, showing that without secular studies, we are more than capable of reading things well and can see when something is clearly a joke.


    Thank you (& too bad)

    Yes, specifics tailored to local law are important and widely variable (changing in time, too) but some general criteria exist, such as reinvesting assets in the family, sharing complementary skills among siblings, choosing wisely a spouse, and staying as much as possible away from war (not that it always works out). I am sure you have a lot more to share. Unfortunately our ancestor did not have enough time with us.


    Yes, much of what you mention is covered in my course, however it is designed to work in a class of at least 12 students.
    Without giving away too much, each student reaches into the hat and draws a pre assigned persona. This gives age, gender, marital status, dependents, education, renter, owner, live with family, profession, wages, etc.
    We explore the banking system, loans, mortgages, all types of banking and investment accounts, leasing a dwelling, buying a dwelling, application process, credit ratings abc reports, credit cards, consumet protection laws, taxes, retirement income, etc.
    Without a mix of statuses and class participation the course does not function. It is not suitable for homeschooling with few students.


    “the Torah only crowd”

    Dear Avira,

    From a practical perspective, are you against Secular Studies for boys? For me, it depends on the day. Some days I want yeshivos to run from dawn to midnight. Other times, I think that not enough boys are cut out for full time learning.


    Nom, i put it that way because that’s usually how these debates unfold, and this thread is a joke anyway.

    Rav Belsky was neither; he had a nuanced shitah.

    He held of high school english for the majority of talmidim, but for a minority which clearly demonstrate their ability and desire to learn all day, he would argue with parents to convince them to let their kids drop out of high school english, though I’m not sure at what grade he would allow/encourage it.

    For the majority, he was against college, saying that high school was enough, and would discourage most from going, but would send a minority to jewish college programs.

    So there were 3 levels:
    Most overall should go to high school and not more; some should skip that, and others should even go to college.


    There is a newer program dozens of yeshiva high schools have recently taken on (includes a financial literacy course) called LifePrep.

    lifeprepedu .org/sample-course-page

    While they provide an excellent curriculum and basic education they do NOT teach for the purpose of becoming highly educated.



    What’s your take?

    Amil Zola

    I’ve mentioned before that I tend to attempt to diagram (RBZS calls it dissecting) some really egregious sentences from these pages over the years. It’s a pity schools no longer teach it. Students could have a greater understanding of sentence structure and syntax.

    FWIW learning proper sentence structure will be a thing of the past once AI is more commonly used.


    i actually think teaching sentence structure and grammar is extremely important, because if i didn’t have a strong literary background(obviously all books need to be at the highest standard of kashrus, even if they arent quite as soiphisticated as shakespeare( that I grew up with, I think i would have had a harder time learning how to be medayak in rishonim, gemara, etc..or even how to lain a gemara itself.

    I believe ive heard similar statements in the name of Rav Yaakov and his son Rav Shmuel Kaminetzky, that there should be one language, be it yiddish, english, whatever, where you’re totally fluent, because it helps you understand how to learn lashon kodesh and aramaic properly, which is key to textual analysis.

    Sometimes I had to tell my friends who went onto lomdishe discussions that they were misreading the text; im not knocking lomdus, chas veshalom….i spent 90% of my time on lomdishe discussions, but my first glimpse of the sugya was with pshat and teitch, and any lomdus which was too far out of the bounds of the words and sentence structure was rejected.

    Like in many areas, both are necessary parts; you cant begin to learn lomdus properly if your textual skills are lacking, but text without the lomdus is hollow and has little bearing on the truth of the sugya.

    I have long lobbied for yeshivos to spend more time on learning skills, getting kids to be able to go to a maharsha when they dont understand tosfos and be able to decode his mode of expression,


    I examined the available sample pages of Lifeprep concerning Financial Literacy and find them better than nothing, but not much.
    The quality of the teacher is key to this having practical value. As an on line self study course it is sorely lacking


    I cringed when I read about dissecting sentences. This is not biology class.
    Seems they needed a year with Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition as I had in 7th grade in a Chassidische day school


    Reading WSJ articles on related topics and, especially, comments to these articles, might be useful to some. It is usually clear how to separate posts by seasoned professionals from ignorami. Anyone who reads this forum could do that.


    > The members of Sanhedrin must know all 70 languages.

    Rabban Gamliel had same number of Torah learners as of Greek learners supported by his household. Not sure whether each group was exclusive in their studies (does not make sense that some will mevatel Torah learning), or jut different majors and future professions.


    Avira > poster only made a few glaring errors; his post wasn’t full of misspellings and non existent words, because that would have made the joke too obvious

    This is in the eye of the beholder. My first reaction was: this is funny, but overdoing it a little…

    > The Torah only crowd has been largely silent,

    Shtika k’domya maybe? Or, probably, most did not see it much different from what they usually read in letters from the schools?

    a story – not 100% related, I once used a early prototype for text-to-speech software to call my Teacher in Lakewood on Purim. The voice was quite robotic, but people did not know yet that such thing exists. Rebetzin picked up the phone. My robot was able to maintain a conversation for a couple of minutes. When I got bored of that, I explained the trick to her and asked how she did not find this person strange. She said “we have all kind of people calling any day of the year, I stopped wondering”.



    It is intended to be taught by an instructor. Can you be specific? If it comes along with a teachers guide do you feel is lacking?

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