Memorial Day: Close the Yeshivas?

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    Some yeshivas were open on Memorial Day. Should they consider closing to honor the American soldiers (many of whom, I hear, were gentiles) who died fighting to end the Nazi Holocaust and conquest of Europe?

    Yes, world leaders were slow to act, but those who died may deserve some special thanks from us Jews. And, yes, there are other ways to honor the dead other than closing schools.


    Why does closing a Yeshiva give honor to soldiers?

    If you said should they sing the national anthem or raise a flag say some tehilim, even a moment of silence (to reflect on their sacrifice) I’d understand.

    But why close the Yeshiva? I don’t get it


    What would the yeshiva teachers and students be doing on Memorial Day if they weren’t in yeshiva?

    Most people use holidays such as Memorial Day to engage in fun activities. I don’t understand how that honors veterans.


    Lose a day of learning for what? Maybe do a 5 minute ceremony to say a keil malay for those jewish soldiers who died in the war and back to learning.

    yaakov doe

    Memorial Day and Veterans Day have lost all meaning and are now seen as days off from work and days for sales. Aside from a few ceremonies and a few sparsely attended parades Memorial day is seen by most Americans as a day for beach and barbeques.


    How about instead, they announce that the learning is dedicated in memory of the soldiers who gave their lives, ensuring that we are free to practice our religion?


    Most American colleges finish their year by Memorial Day, and start their new semester (usually a compressed summer term) immediately after. We have different school schedules.

    Originally the holiday was to commemorate Union soldiers who died in the Civil War (meaning a third of the country was indifferent). Today is it largely an occasion for picnics, cook-outs, and sporting events – and of course shopping. Given that very few Americans have immeidate family who died in military service (unlike the 19th century when that was the norm -based on population size, Civil War deaths would be equivalent of the US losing 5-10 million people today), it is understandable that the holiday has lost most of its importance.


    We had regular learning just no english


    Let’s close the yeshivos for Martin Luther King day, father’s day, mothers day, black history month… Let’s just close them altogether…


    It isn’t worth giving up even 60 seconds of Limud HaTorah for this purpose, even for a “moment of silence”.


    it’s Jews like you who cause and have caused antisemitism.
    If not for the heroic young non Jewish soldiers who risked and gave their lives to defeat the Nazi’s
    there would be no Jews living today, we would be all lampshades.
    Don’t they deserve at least a thank you. Is this what they teach you in Yeshiva?


    Chug – show hakaras hatov by greeting soldiers when you see them(or police, who also put themselves at risk for our well being). Most of the time when i pass by a police officer, or when i see army soldiers (happened a few times) i give them a “thank you”

    It doesn’t mean we need to be mevatel torah. We’re not even mevatel torah in chedorim for building the beis hamikdash.

    anonymous Jew

    But it’s ok to be mevatel torah to post here?


    Anon – we’re talking about taking time off of a seder.



    ” we’re talking about taking time off of a seder.”

    who is?


    All the learning in yeshivas should be in memory of the fallen soldiers.


    Many commenters have made an important point: Memorial Day has lost its meaning as a day to remember the soldiers who died, and focused more on potato salad.

    And I think akuperma made a mistake when he said Memorial Day began as a memorial to dead Union soldiers. I believe it honored all Civil War soldiers, Union and Confederate.

    And some commenters believe that frum Jews do only 3 things: Eat, sleep and learn. No one limits him/herself to that. Otherwise, among other things, the frum community would not be growing.


    Ubiq – the discussion here was to interrupt set times that yeahivos learn to honor soldiers. That’s bitul Torah of tinokos shel beis rabban, which we do not do even to build the beis hamikdash.

    The general rule is that we do not interrupt learning unless it is for a mitzvah that cannot be done by someone else
    But if there’s a mitzvah that can be done by someone else (someone asks for a ride), then we don’t.

    Many achronim say that when it’s bitul Torah derabim, that is, interrupting learning of many people, we don’t interrupt at all.

    The above comments regarding the supposed importance of non-learning activities are irrelevant, and are only indicative of how necessary it is TO learn, so one does not misrepresent halacha in the way the posters here are. It’s ignorance, as these halachos are not hard to find. Perhaps if these posters ever had the geshmak of learning a ketzos or a reb chaim(not hearing about it in a digestible shiur, actually going through it yourself) they wouldn’t talk about learning that way.


    “the discussion here was to interrupt set times that yeahivos learn to honor soldiers.”

    didnt realize

    I was the one who first mentioned “a moment of silence ” (as an idea that I would understand, I don’t understand the OP)

    Joseph Kidarko bakodesh said “It isn’t worth giving up even 60 seconds of Limud HaTorah for this purpose, even for a “moment of silence”.” Unclear why he assumed the “moment” had to come from Talmud Torah.

    a moment can come from Lunch, recess, typing in the coffee room .

    Your “General rule” is cute but Indicate a lack of familiarity with Yeshivos. Time is taken from talmud Torah all the time, for tehilim , a Rosh Chodesh mesiba, Lag Baomer mesiba, various zichronos for the Kedoshim ( I remember well the Kaliver Rebbe Z”l speaking in my elementry school, we all went out to greet him and he taught us his song Shema Yisroel, that I can still hear)

    Now, to be clear I am not suggesting that the topic at hand is remotly as important as any of those interruptions to learning. but then again, nor did I suggest or condone interrupting learning in the first place.

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