exams bittul toyroh

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  • #615698
    Daniell11
    Member

    Are exams bittul toyroh. Suggestions please.

    #1085645
    Joseph
    Participant

    Secular studies itself are Bittul Torah; you shouldn’t be getting to the point of having an exam altogether.

    (If it’s a bechina on Limudei Kodesh, then the bechina itself is Limud Torah.)

    #1085646
    Sam2
    Participant

    It depends. If the purpose is to waste time, yes. If it’s to be able to get a job and support yourself someday, no.

    #1085647
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    No, the exams are bittul torah because people taking the exams always get nervous and spend about half an hour doing nothing but being nervous.

    #1085648
    apushatayid
    Participant

    This question is best answered by the rosh yeshiva or menahel who sets policy in your yeshiva.

    #1085649
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    No, they are biased.

    #1085650
    oomis
    Participant

    No they are not, because studying for exams helps to sharpen the mind, which helps one to learn Torah better. Taking exams helps the mind to focus and reason things out (especially with multiple choice questions), a talent that comes in very handy when studying Gemorah where one needs to be able to reason things out. Anyone who thinks it is bittul Torah, has probably not considered that ALL aspects of life teach us something that enables us to appreciate limud Torah even more. Maybe one should not sit outside and smell the flowers or enjoy the pleasant day, either (though that is a way of reflecting upon the concept of “mah rabbu maasecha, Hashem).

    I totally disagree with anyone who thinks otherwise. And besides, most people need an education simply in order to make a parnasssah. Not all of us have rich shvers, and even if we did, what is the NEXT generation after our kids going to do when the rich shver is gone, and their kids don’t want get a secular education, either?

    #1085651
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    You can also sharpen your mind by by learning Torah.

    Do you totally disagree with ??? ??????

    http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=31565&st=&pgnum=21

    #1085652
    notyeshivish
    Member

    I agree that Jews should be learning Torah as much a s possible. However, it is very very hard for people to do that anymore so in terms of secular studies in general, besides for the fact that I believe it is necessary in order to live in society and to be somewhat educated and cultured, it is certainly better than doing nothing and surely being mevatel Torah. Therefore, as a biproduct of this secular education there are tests and therefore I believe very much in taking secular studies tests.

    #1085653
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I believe it is necessary in order to live in society and to be somewhat educated and cultured

    Why do you believe it is necessary to “live in society and to be somewhat educated and cultured”?

    #1085654
    akuperma
    Participant

    Exams and “tracking” (arranging students in classes based on how they do in exams) are something “new” even for the goyim form whom we copied them. They should be considered suspect since they are a “hiddush” and are a “hiddush” that was copied from the goyim. And among the goyim, there is much concern that the focus on exams and the resulting tracking is counterproductive and detracts from education.

    #1085655
    Matan1
    Participant

    If the exams are to further your education for parnossa, then it is a mitzva

    #1085656
    oomis
    Participant

    Yes, DY, of course learning Torah sharpens the mind, but learning and getting educated are not necessarily mutually exclusive. People benefit from both, especially the kollel guys whose WIVES are supporting them thanks to their own education.

    #1085657
    writersoul
    Participant

    DY, there are nearly as many mishnayos in Avos that talk about the need to go to work and not derive parnassa from Torah as there are such mishnayos. In fact, according to the Bartenura, the only reason why we can pay a cheder rebbe a salary is because he is watching children, as Torah cannot be a source of parnassa and is free to acquire.

    #1085658
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Oomis and writersoul, I was not addressing the parnassah issue (see, however, R’ Moshe’s famous teshuvah). There are other reasons to engage in secular studies as well. I just wanted to point out that some of the reasons/excuses people give are weak.

    For example, appreciating Hashem’s world is wonderful, yet it can still be bittul Torah to the point of ?????? ?????.

    #1085659
    akuperma
    Participant

    “If the exams are to further your education for parnossa, then it is a mitzva “

    Correct, but don’t think that exams have anything to do with learning anything (secular or Torah). It’s a game. Some cultures values exam skills. The Chinese were infamous for it (you took a test to qualify as nobility). America today is amazingly exam centered. If you want to do well in those societies, you learn to take tests.

    But getting an education whether for parnassah or for Torah has nothing to do with exams.

    #1085660
    Matan1
    Participant

    True, but as you said, we live in a society that values tests. So in order to make a parnossa, chances are you will have to take a few tests.

    #1085661
    apushatayid
    Participant

    “No, they are biased.”

    RebYidd, if this is how the parents of the student feel, then they have their children in the wrong yeshiva. If they feel this is the right yeshiva for their children, and this yeshiva gives exams (the OP has not specified whether these exams are in limudei kodesh or limudei chol – but everyone jumped to the conclusion it is a questoin of limudei chol!!) then either the parents should address their concerns of bittul torah with the rosh yeshiva or menahel who sets the policy, or change the yeshiva they send their child!

    #1085662
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    the OP has not specified whether these exams are in limudei kodesh or limudei chol – but everyone jumped to the conclusion it is a questoin of limudei chol!!

    It’s hard to imagine that someone would think a test on Torah would be bittul Torah.

    #1085663
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Exams make it easier for the yeshivah. So the yeshivah is biased. I am not a parent of a child in a yeshivah. I simply stated a fact.

    #1085664
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    It’s hard to imagine that someone would think a test on Torah would be bittul Torah.

    No it’s not.

    When I was younger, someone tried to convince me that the time I spent preparing for Krias HaTorah was really bittul Torah since I could have spent that time learning far more complicated inyanim.

    He hung his argument on the fact that the Shulchan Aruch says that we are m’vatel talmud torah for megillah laining. “But how,” he asked, “could you say that? Megillah itself is Torah, no?” He then answered that since we could be learning G’mara or other more complicated matters, the megillah reading was actually bittul Torah (albeit required).

    No, I didn’t buy the argument then, nor do I now.

    The Wolf

    #1085665
    apushatayid
    Participant

    “It’s hard to imagine that someone would think a test on Torah would be bittul Torah.”

    Then you either dont have kids in yeshiva or havent spoken to any lately when it is time for a test. I have no doubt that the OP is not a day older than 14.

    #1085666
    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Exams make it easier for the yeshivah.”

    In what way?

    I have kids in yeshiva. Very little is based on exams, especially in limudei kodesh (at least in the school my kids attend).

    “I simply stated a fact.”

    Perhaps you should double check your facts.

    #1085667
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    I triple checked my facts. As a parent, you are probably also biased.

    #1085668
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    He hung his argument on the fact that the Shulchan Aruch says that we are m’vatel talmud torah for megillah laining. “But how,” he asked, “could you say that? Megillah itself is Torah, no?” He then answered that since we could be learning G’mara or other more complicated matters, the megillah reading was actually bittul Torah (albeit required).

    No, I didn’t buy the argument then, nor do I now.

    It’s the Bais Ephraim’s second teirutz to the kashya asked to him by the Noda B’Yehuda’s son.

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=642&pgnum=236

    #1085669
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    It’s the Bais Ephraim’s second teirutz to the kashya asked to him by the Noda B’Yehuda’s son.

    Fair enough. I guess according to the Bais Ephraim, I shouldn’t lain anymore (nor should anyone who knows anything more advanced than chumash).

    Thank you for tracking down the source.

    The Wolf

    #1085670
    simcha613
    Participant

    Wolf-

    Laining in a vacuum may be considered bittul Torah compared to what you could be learning… but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing it ever. Someone needs to lain in shul, and the pashtus is tzorchei tzibbur is docheh Talmud Torah if you are needed. Also, if you are laining to enable you to memorize pesukim to aid in your learning down the road, than that probably wouldn’t be considered bittul Torah.

    #1085671
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    pashtus is tzorchei tzibbur is docheh Talmud Torah if you are needed

    Is it tzorchei tzibbur?

    I can see your argument if there was *no one* else to do it. However, I don’t know that to be the case here. Can not someone who doesn’t know Mishna or Gemara (and for whom it won’t be bittul Torah) do it?

    The Wolf

    #1085672
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I guess according to the Bais Ephraim, I shouldn’t lain anymore (nor should anyone who knows anything more advanced than chumash).

    Thank you for tracking down the source.

    I disagree with that conclusion. Despite the concept of qualitative bittul Torah, we do hear Megillah, and similarly, someone has to be motzi the tzibbur in Krias Hatorah, and I imagine that you do a fine job.

    There could be numerous other reasons to justify it as well.

    You’re welcome.

    #1085673
    apushatayid
    Participant

    I AM biased. I prefer no tests.

    #1085674
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I disagree with that conclusion.

    Well, in the end I do too, because I don’t really believe it’s bittul Torah anyway. My argument was along what the Bais Ephraim would say.

    The Wolf

    #1085675
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    My argument was along what the Bais Ephraim would say.

    What does that mean?

    #1085676
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    What does that mean?

    If the B”E believes that not learning up to your full potential is bittul Torah, then my prep for laining is bittul Torah. You can make the argument that it might be necessary, but you could probably also make the argument that, perhaps, it should be done by someone for whom it isn’t bittul Torah.

    Again, I don’t believe any of that to be true, but it is the logical extension of the B”E’s opinion.

    The Wolf

    #1085677
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    What would you say about someone who could learn sugyos in shas b’iyun, but instead chooses to recite Tehillim a whole day – is he guilty of bittul Torah?

    #1085678
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    What would you say about someone who could learn sugyos in shas b’iyun, but instead chooses to recite Tehillim a whole day – is he guilty of bittul Torah?

    I’m not sure why you’re asking me what *I* would say when I’ve already stated that I don’t believe it to be bittul Torah.

    The Wolf

    #1085679
    Rebbe Yid
    Participant

    Most mitzvos are bitul torah, but you have to do them anyway. Speaking of mikra megillah, Mordechai was mevatel talmud torah to take care of tzorchei tzibbur, which is why he was only raztzui leROV echov and not kol echov, and also why he was demoted in the rankings between Ezra 2:2 and Nechemya 7:7. But he was mechuyav to do it.

    Also, the comparison between leining and other mitzvos is imprecise, because leining is part of the mitzva of talmud torah, so it’s not bitul torah.

    #1085680
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I’m not sure why you’re asking me what *I* would say when I’ve already stated that I don’t believe it to be bittul Torah.

    I’m just surprised that you’re not familiar (or in agreement) with what I thought was a universally accepted concept of “bittul Torah b’eichus”, so I thought I might be misunderstanding you.

    Do you think it’s perfectly fine, or do you agree that it’s better to learn more in depth, it’s not called “bittul Torah” not to?

    #1085681
    BarryLS1
    Participant

    akuperma: For Public Schools, in the past, Tracking was always the norm, though it wasn’t called that. When that changed, test scores dropped.

    The reason is simple; teachers have to teach to the lowest common denominator, meaning the average student, therefore the brighter kids tune things out, out of boredom and don’t learn to their potential. Also, the lessor student doesn’t get their needs fulfilled either.

    #1085682
    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    Well, it is the end of the year. Regents, Finals, all the works….

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