is Yeshiva system making talmiday chachamim? or stifling them?
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- This topic has 50 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 11 months, 1 week ago by n0mesorah.
June 16, 2022 9:28 am at 9:28 am #2097209Bath TavathParticipant
DISCLAIMER: My point is NOT to bash kollel or yeshivas.
My Question is not just about Kollel, but about the entire yeshiva system nowadays:
Why is it that after 10 or 15 years in yeshiva, most guys are not experts in Shas (at least Bavli and Mishna – ideally also yerushalmi, tosefta, Mechilta, Sifra, Sifray – and of course, Mishne Torah L’Rambam)??
i feel like after 10 years in kollel, and the guy finally goes to work, then he starts finally to learn a little – by a daf shiur. To learn a few hours a day is not ideal or enough.
The Kollel guys have no excuse – i think they should be focused more on learning Gantz everything.
The mesivtas are even worse!
I hate to pull out some PTSD, but when i was in yeshiva, the Rebbeim called me a ‘Machla’, because i insisted on actually learning (i was learning MUCH MORE and very late into the night) – learning through everything over the course of years.
After 15 years in the system (learning ALL DAY) – THERE IS NO EXCUSE why someone is NOT YET AN ABSOLUTE BAKI in Shas!!
But its not their fault – the system and ppl in charge are stifling them – societal norms does NOT ALLOW ppl to learn until they LEAVE kollel!! imagine that!!June 16, 2022 10:19 am at 10:19 am #2097488Real daas TorahParticipant
First of all the couple blatt they learn biyun gives them a tremendous amount of yedios and second of all the point is to be Amal not to finish this isn’t a book.June 16, 2022 10:19 am at 10:19 am #2097492Real daas TorahParticipant
And if most yeshivas do it like this then obviously the Gedolim feel this is the right thingJune 16, 2022 11:16 am at 11:16 am #2097521
The yeshiva system has zero chinuch thatis individualized that would produce the greatest talmidei chachomim. Large groups of bochurim are herded into a yeshiva/kollel, provided a shiur with a person of stature (Rosh Yeshiva, Magid Shiur, etc.), and everything is provided for the numbers of talmidim as a group. Missing here is the obvious. No two talmidim are identical. SOme need to delve more into amkus and pilpul, others into halacha, and yet others into bekiyus. It should be the responsibility of every Rosh Yeshiva to know the talmidim inside out to be able to guide them to achieve their maximum. That is only done individually, never en masse. But our current systems of chinuch at every single level are more similar to public schools and universities, where the same shiur is given to all, and all are expected to mold to the system to excel. We have all this talk about “find the right yeshiva” for a bochur. That is inherently flawed. The yeshiva needs to accommodate the talmid. חנוך לנער על פי דרכו. Nowhere does it even hint to molding the talmid to accommodate to the derech of a rebbi. The very notion of a curriculum, as we observe it in our yeshivos, is foreign to true Torah chinuch. Before jumping on me, review Hilchos Talmud Torah from Rav Shulchan Aruch, then Hilchos Talmud Torah in Rambam, then the sizable number of seforim from Gedolei Yisroel on chinuch. Then I can join a debate.June 16, 2022 11:17 am at 11:17 am #2097526GadolhadorahParticipant
“After 15 years in the system (learning ALL DAY) – THERE IS NO EXCUSE why someone is NOT YET AN ABSOLUTE BAKI in Shas!!….NO EXCUSE!..”
Obviously, all your years in yeshiva left you sorely lacking in common sense and empathy with respect to judging those who did not live up to your expectations. Saying its “not their fault” totally misses the point. Its your metrics, not your measurements.June 16, 2022 11:17 am at 11:17 am #2097527
I agree with OP. No excuse. The entire Shas should be completed WITH Poskim.June 16, 2022 11:18 am at 11:18 am #2097528
On the title, that’s an easy one: BOTH.June 16, 2022 11:19 am at 11:19 am #2097529
It takes an average mind a few years just to realize what an expert is.June 16, 2022 11:20 am at 11:20 am #2097530
One can be an expert in part of Shas too.June 16, 2022 11:21 am at 11:21 am #20975321Participant
Unless you have a good memory you aren’t going to remember everything. Most Rabbonim specialize in different areas of Torah. You have to be Amal. Sleeping through a daf shiur isn’t ameilus.June 16, 2022 11:22 am at 11:22 am #2097533
The Rosh Yeshivos have said many times that it is not the right thing.June 16, 2022 11:24 am at 11:24 am #2097535
Not a tremendous amount, a fair amount of yedios.June 16, 2022 11:25 am at 11:25 am #2097536
Way too many long term learners have nothing to say when they are asked what the cumulative result of years spent sitting and learning.June 16, 2022 11:25 am at 11:25 am #2097537
Please note, that the OP had no quibble with spending years in kollel. The question is if the yeshiva is getting the most it can out of these guys.June 16, 2022 11:26 am at 11:26 am #2097539
It’s difficult to tell whether the OP is serious or not.June 16, 2022 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm #2097583GefilteFishParticipant
On Tuesday in the (Hebrew) yated neeman, there was a letter from Hagaon Rav Meir Tzvi Bergman (son in law of rav shach and a member of moetzes gedolei yisrael).
I’ll translate some of it.
The title of it was “knowledge of the (whole) mesechta is the foundation of understanding the gemara”.
It starts off,
“That which has taken root today in the Torah world, that you finish a ‘zman’ having learned only a few daf of a mesechta- this is the way to forget Torah!
For sure a person must toil and understand, but the main thing is to learn and learn, another daf and another daf, to finish a mesechta and another mesechta. [Rav shach] would always say that without this, a person will remain an ‘am haaretz’.
It’s impossible to reach understanding before learning the gemara,and ‘Torah is poor in one area and rich in a different area’ [and therefore requires seeing more gemara]…
And it’s impossible to mechadesh chidushim without this…
I merited to see gedolei olam… I never saw anyone who became a talmid chacham, who really understood what they learned, who didn’t learn the whole mesechta and became a baki in it…
And it all depends on one thing- using time appropriately. If you are diligent and immersed in learning and use your time well, you can manage to finish the whole mesechta without taking anything away from the iyun…
Anybody who takes upon himself this idea, to encourage bnei yeshiva to strive to finish and know the whole mesechta and to utilize the time properly, is guaranteed the tremendous reward of those who are mekayem the Torah…”
There’s a number of good points that I left out since it’s hard to type right now. But it’s worth reading the whole letter (on page 10)
He definitely is favoring the approach promoted in the OP.June 16, 2022 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm #2097590commonsaychelParticipant
@ujm, when in doubt look at the posters history whaat his post are like and jusge if you should tale his comments seriously.June 16, 2022 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm #2097599GadolhadorahParticipant
Are you suggesting that there should be an ongoing process to “filter out” those kollel yungerleit who are going through the motions of shteiging but fail to demonstrate certain minimum levels of achievement and progress (perhaps through some type of exams). Those who fail to progress would see their subsidies reduced/eliminated and counseled to go out and find a parnassah.June 16, 2022 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm #2097621
I will repeat what I wrote on an other similar topic:
I want to see Gedolei Haroah, which we are lacking, come out and not quetching on a few pages as pointed out by Rav Shimon Fuerst available at hebrewbooks dot org entitled תנו כבוד לתורה. Look at the hakdama of the ספר מנחת חן חלק ב, from Rav Noach Eisic Oelbaum Shlita, who I learned together with at Yeshiva Chasan Sofer, where he complains about this. When learning a gemora, learn the poskim and halochos on it right away and learn a mesachta from beginning to end as we did in Wiener, Mesifta Nachlas Yaakov in Williamsburg. I once had to know in camp 10 blatt with the lashon by heart together with the shakla vetarye, the give and take.June 16, 2022 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #2097641GRATEFULBLACParticipant
To learn bechavrusoh in yeshivah – Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos is the heart and gateway to all learning.
– In yeshivah there is be-iyon – learning in depth, and be-kios – learning in order to gain a wide knowledge of shas and torah.
– It is upto the individual bochur how much he wants to achieve!June 16, 2022 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm #2097664
“gateway to all learning.” Overstatement.June 16, 2022 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #2097675
To learn with a chavrusa is a gateway to all learning and not an overstatement חרב על הבדים, the sword comes when learning individually as mistakes can be made. The Taz 47 says that we make a brocho לעסוק בדברי תורה to indicate that the Torah should be a give and take which can be only actualized in a chavrusa.June 16, 2022 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #2097695
After all the comments here, no two bochurim or yungerleit are identical in their capacities in learning. They differ in styles, their poattern of their learning כוחות, and trying to cookie cut them is irresponsible. Each one needs to develop according to their unique set of skills. I heard that Rav Chaim Kanievsky ZT”L was asked to leave a yeshiva ketana at a young age. The Steipler Gaon ZT”L took his son, and arranged for a melamed that would fit the type of learning that Rav Chaim pursued with his incredible hasmodoh. That produced the Gadol we were fortunate to see. Yes, Rav Chaim was a dropout from a system that could not educate him according to his set of skills and assets.June 16, 2022 7:23 pm at 7:23 pm #2097746
Dear The little,
I don’t see a problem. Some drop outs do really well. Not good, excellent! What’s your complaint?June 16, 2022 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #2097781AviraDeArahParticipant
The chazon ish said that the yeshiva system was “mazik yechidim and mezakeh es horabim”June 16, 2022 8:43 pm at 8:43 pm #2097797
Avirah, can you please expound on what the Chazon Ish meant and whether he was happy with the setup?June 16, 2022 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #2097745
Dear Reb Eliezer,
More like it’s a gateway to shmoozing. The gemara in taanis is not advocating study partners. Ayin sham.June 17, 2022 12:42 am at 12:42 am #2097813AviraDeArahParticipant
Ujm, i honestly don’t know. That quote i believe is in maaseh ish.June 17, 2022 12:45 am at 12:45 am #2097821
I believe the original bracha was “Al divrei Torah”June 17, 2022 12:47 am at 12:47 am #2097835shoitimParticipant
its very possible that most people don’t have the capabilities to learn everything .there’s a concept of niskatnu hadoros. also many gedolim hold its better to do more iyun then to have for bekiyus, also realize the yeshiva system spend years just trying to get all the shtus out of kids heads (sports, sometimes movies and other bad influences of this world). which takes time and practically makes it that they won’t leave yeshiva knowing what they used to in the old days
I myself learned with someone who knew all of nashim nezikin cold when he was 18 ,but he was a Talmud of r Baruch ber in Europe and he knew shas cold but he never pushed the Derech unto his talmidimJune 17, 2022 12:52 am at 12:52 am #2097828
We always had chavrusas in our yeshivas. There are two kinds, either one teaches the other or they are both equally knowledgeable. I like the second one better. It says עשה לך רב וקנה לך חבר sometimes a rav and sometimes a chaver whom you appreciate as a valuable thing bought overlooking his faults.June 17, 2022 9:04 am at 9:04 am #2097860
It is important to learn how to learn and to be able to research and resolve a shaila.
There is a sefer available on hebrewbooks dot org called קובץ יסודות וחקירות which is recommended for research.June 17, 2022 10:32 am at 10:32 am #2097911anonymous JewParticipant
The problem with the emphasis at an early age on Gemorah exclusively is that many bochrim have little knowledge of neviim, hashkafa and Jewish history. We didn’t know why we wore our heads covered or what the tfilos meant. We spent 5 hours on Gemorah in high school . One year, we learned Mishlai, another year grammar, and, in our senior year, Jewish history. These were taught in the afternoon. The rebbeim, all products of prewar Lithuanian yeshivas where only the best were admitted, weren’t prepared to deal with students whose skills and talents ranged across the spectrum. Bochurs who were talented got a lot of attention, those not so gifted were left to drift.June 17, 2022 11:29 am at 11:29 am #2097934
3 morning Torah brochos correspond to 3 stages – early exciting one, long middle one, and the final one when you mastered it. So, definitely learning small amount of material b’yiun should happen first, so that the student knows the depth, and then you apply same, or maybe a little less, depth to get broad knowledge. Then, you may want to become a master in some limited area that fits your character, whether it is karbonos, business, kashrus – at least to the level of being able to contribute to CR without being flamed down.June 17, 2022 11:30 am at 11:30 am #2097935
I agree on need for attention to individual students. One of my kids’ Rebbe irked me with his written feedback “he is getting used to my teaching method”. But, practically speaking, public education requires simple and cheap means and it is often better to have the best Rebbe give a class to hundreds of students than 100 mediocre ones to teach 1-on-1. Also, discussing “yeshivos” in general is as useful as lumping Columbia and Lower Podunk U as “universities”.June 17, 2022 11:39 am at 11:39 am #2097937
Who says that the Lithuanian approach is appropriate bichlal? I think it’s appropriate for Yechidim but as a mass system, not at all. But the Litvish derech got a lot of branding and marketing and that’s why it’s popular. It’s a fact and it’s time to call a spade a spade.June 17, 2022 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #2097973
The entirety of our chinuch system needs a lot more investment – and not just financial – to produce the results we expect.June 17, 2022 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #2097975
> Who says that the Lithuanian approach is appropriate bichlal?
Litvishe approach went thru rigorous testing. The fact that Jewish learning flourished in a very small and poor country over centuries stands for something. I am with you that this was never intended as a mass movment and that, for example, Sephardi Torah should be seen as inferior.June 17, 2022 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #2097978
The modern day yeshiva was a Lithuanian creation. It’s brand was it’s superior products. It never had any marketing until now.June 17, 2022 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #2098025
Yabia: What are your qualifications to have an opinion on this matter, if any?June 17, 2022 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm #2098054
n0 > entirety of our chinuch system needs a lot more investment – and not just financial
we should acknowledge that we now have more investments than probably ever in history, whether financial in some schools, in obtaining gov funding, or in numbers in other schools. This is a tremendous success of post-WW2 communities. I think further progress should be more in re-directing our efforts to increasing quality.June 17, 2022 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm #2098061
The quote from the Chazon Ish in an earlier comment is something I heard expressed this way. He reportedly commented that the initial task of yeshivos immediately after the Holocaust was to re-establish Torah study. This meant focusing on the tzibbur – the population of the younger generation. But now (must have been prior to his passing which was in 1953) we have accomplished that goal, and our focus now must be on the individual.
My interpretation is that gearing to the masses is not the mission of chinuch any longer, and that the primary responsibility is to assist and guide each individual to achieve his maximum. I suppose if we had a perfectly verbatim quote, we would be in better to position to ascertain his intended message. If anyone can reference the exact wording, we all stand to benefit.June 18, 2022 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm #2098141
We have very little investment in terms of the parents taking note and displaying interest in how their kids spend the day or what they value.
We have even less investment in parents showing their kid’s educators that they value the effort being put in. And that their kid’s growth is of utmost meaning to them as parents.June 19, 2022 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm #2098276
TLIK, interesting idea of changing Chazon Ish priorities oveer time. This makes sense. This also implies that the strategy would change further with time and differ depending what kind of people you are talking about. Community is more complicated now than in 1950.June 19, 2022 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm #2098277
n0, I agree. But what kind of community are you talking about – are these working parents with limited Jewish education, or are the parents yeshiva-educated themselves?
If the former, then maybe continuing educating parents should be a priority. As they say “a father who tells his son to learn [rather than learning himself] will raise a son who will be telling his son to learn”
In the latter, then something is wrong with the educational system.June 20, 2022 12:45 am at 12:45 am #2098449U can argue but know im rightParticipant
when asked why nowadays bochurim dont know shas at a young age as it was back in europe, Rav Shimshon Pinkus ztl replied that in fact we know a shas nowadays as well -a shas of shtusJune 20, 2022 8:33 am at 8:33 am #2098453
A start would be if parents would make an effort to collaborate with the teachers to know what is going on in school that they don’t see at home. As well as to share what they see at home.June 20, 2022 10:52 am at 10:52 am #2098535
You point to fundamental flaws here. I suggest that, among other factors, yeshivos have converted chinuch from a spiritual venture that is predicated on continuing the chain from Matan Torah to the next generation into a business. Yes, there are financial issues involved in running a yeshiva, from paying bills to payroll, etc. And much of what we parents observe is the extreme efforts to provide the money for the operation of the yeshiva, far more than the dedicated efforts to assist every yochid to excel and reach their own unique potential. We witness a system obsessed with discipline and rules, outshadowing the love that a rebbe needs to have for a talmid. You are correct in drawing attention to the lack of partnership between parents and yeshiva faculty. It should be there, a strong connection that every talmid witnesses. But it’s not all the fault of the parents. How often is a talmid punished for cumulated “aveiros” where parents had no idea until after the fact.June 21, 2022 12:36 am at 12:36 am #2098693Shmili_OOngarParticipant
@ChaylevHalyah- If even (and I doubt you are even at this level) you are a baki in shas gemara and rashi. Shkoyach. You can quote me the daf if I say over a gemara. But do you know how to learn through a sugya. Have you ever been amal batorah? If you can read through shas like a book and happen to have an amazing memory, that’s not ameilus baTorah. That is not how Hashem wants his Torah to be learned.
And just saying, I’ve never in my life met or heard of a baki biShas who goes on YWN.June 21, 2022 1:50 am at 1:50 am #2098788
Back in the day there were a number of posters that really knew their stuff. What percentage of boys that enter the yeshiva know how to really learn a sugya? Is it even a quarter of them?!? And how many of those did it despite the yeshiva, and never conformed to the ruach hayeshiva?
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