Out Of The Mailbag: (Get Education!)

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    Y.W. Editor

    Please, Please, Please Get an Education!

    A final thought, I know many are going to read this post and respond that so and so was matzliach without even a high school education. For every guy who is matzliach without the education there are 10 guys who are not, who all could have increased their chances by getting an education.


    Excellent article!!


    Who are you if someone with an education seeking a job can email their resume to you ?


    Although you bring up a valid point, I must contest your statement, “there is no excuse to not to go to school whether you are in Yeshiva…”.

    It has been my experience that many Gedolim would not agree to Bachrim and Kolelite going to College on the side during Yeshiva as a general rule. Of course, there are exceptions. When you make such a bold statement as you did you are basically saying that you are wiser than they are. Do you feel that you understand the full picture better than them? I hope not.



    yes you are right i agree ‘BUT’ how bout giving somone a chance to get a good job with out a dgree


    I agree 100%.the problem is we have to get the rabonim to agree on this matter..


    While the point may be a good one, it must also be recognized it is not for everyone.


    Many Roshei Yeshiva would argue that spending time on college takes away from the bochur’s/kollelman’s job, which is learning. Once the person is ready to go work, it is too late and not worthwhile to get off of MOFES. IF you could get the Roshei Yeshiva to agree…,


    even in the computer industry this is true you and this is true even is you have a Microsoft or Cisco certifications. Companies will no longer look at a resume that does not show a college degree. I know this first hand since I work in this industry and know people having a problem due to the lack of a college degree


    I have a degree in Political Science from Touro College. I also have two years experience working as a salesman in a retail electronic store. I am curently looking for a better opportunity, my degree does not help me in the least bit. If your only complaint against Heimishe prospective employees is their lack of formal eduction,


    There are many flexible options today.

    One of them is getting a BTL – a yeshiva degree.

    This is good enough for some to go straight to a graduate program.

    Also a good command of the English language is a big plus.


    I have aBA and a good resume! Where can i send it???


    indeed a very nice letter but show it to some rabbis/rebbes and see what they have to say about it


    Every Yeshiva bachur needs to read this. For those who plan to go into Meleches Kodesh (holy service to the community, most typically teaching)this imperitive is even stronger. Day school principles count formal education very heavily in setting salaries. The only ones who can afford to ignore this message are those who have Trust Funds large enough to live off the rest of their lives and fully meet their obligations to their future families. If in the time of the Gemara a warning was given against doing like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (many did and were not successful), certainly in our days no one should assert themselves to be able to ignore the need for Hishtadlus (effort).



    A degree in politival science is worthless unless you go to law school. That’s why it doesn’t help you. It’s like getting a degree in horsebreeding and wondering why an IT company refuses to hire you.


    what about learning torah and increasing you rewards in the next world thats what people should be worried about people get to preoccupied with their jobs hear and lose focus on the main goal in life


    A good letter, but the degree is only the first step. I’ve seen many cases where someone with excellent technical skills, be it in accounting or some other field, did not get a job because of issues with their “soft skills”. Behavior that is tolerated, or even encouraged, in the Yeshiva world (i.e., arguing with your Rebbi (supervisor) about Pshat in a Gemara (the right way to go about a project)) will get you fired in the business world.

    And yes, I do have an advanced degree, and it has been key to my success in the business world (with the help of HKB”H, of course).

    an Israeli Yid


    I couldn’t agree more with the letter writer. I am a 25 year old attorney and a yeshiva bochur. I am not a genius I just worked hard to get the degrees through going to yeshiva and night school(for law school too). I am not saying everyone should be an attorney just that and undergraduate degree is a must and a grad degree is HIGHLY recommended. If someone says that they dont want to shter their learning then I hope that same person is shteiging as hard during bein hazmanim (which is a month in the summer, a month around Succos, and a month around Pesach) as a bal habas is working. Otherwise, go to school at night and shteig through shabbos and bein hazmanim. It will be a tough few years but your young, strong and wont ever have this oppurtunity again.


    Very simply put. This is a question for Daas Torah. There is no generalized rule.

    The Michtav M’Eliyahu along with most Gedolim say that hishtadlus is in as far as you can connect your success to derech hateva. This is the point that can be debated. Is making a living without college something you can suggest is natural and not a miracle? If it is it should be enough to be yotzeh hishtadlus.

    PS I am one who went through high school and I am doing extremely well without a college degree.

    World Saver

    What an embarrsment that The Yeshiva World even posted this letter. Almost every comment shows pure daas baal habayis. This should be Alef Bais. There are other sites where such a letter would be more appropiate.


    As someone who hires, even a degree may not be enough, the better the school and the grades the more likely the hires. It is very competitive out there.


    Quote: “what about learning torah and increasing you rewards in the next world that’s what people should be worried about people get to preoccupied with their jobs hear and lose focus on the main goal in life”

    If only it were so simple. There is getting preoccupied with their jobs to the point where they loose focus and then there is the reality that there is a generation of young adults who are really struggling to make ends meet (and many who can’t without the help of others). Wouldn’t it be nice for a Jewish mother to be able to stay home and raise her own children? Wouldn’t it be nice that when a man enters the work force that he will have sufficient skills to hold down a job that he wants and feels good about? This isn’t about leaving Kollel to make money, it’s about those who are ready to leave but don’t have too many options for themselves. (This isn’t even addressing the poor English skills that many bochurim have)

    If college is so bad, why don’t they have a kollel by day college by night program which only entails Jewish people (even designed for men only classes). What about creating trade schools that can focus on specific skills (also to be taken at night. There are really so many things that can be done, but unfortunately not considered until to late.


    There is a need for a trustworthy guide for Yeshiva Bochurim. We need to know who needs degrees, which degrees are worthwhile, which colleges are worthwhile, How many and which Yeshiva credits can actually be used, How courses can be taken in the summer, How to identify legitimate correspondence options, Where and how to use Life Experience credits, which courses are appropriate for Yeshiva Bochurim, the advantages of two-year schools vs. four year schools, How and when to take advantage of Pell grants and Student Loans, the difference and significance of AA, BA, and MA degrees and many other questions that are unfortunately learned the hard way by many Yeshiva Bochurim and yungeleit.

    Most importantly every Bochur deserves a rebbe who can help him think ten years into the future while not sacrificing the ‘bochurishe yohren’.

    Many bochurim spend years immersed in pure, unadulterated Limud Hatorah and would not give them up for more money or better jobs. At the same time, with an eye to the future there are small steps like accredited high schools, registered ‘Talmud’ courses and online summer courses that can be taken.


    I think the writer’s points are excellent, though he is obviously not talking to everyone. If you know you are going to be in chinuch, and you won’t need a degree of any sort AND your rebbi tells you to sit and learn all day, that’s one thing.

    But if you’re simply going to Yeshiva, do not have a plan to go into avodas hakodesh, and have no clue how you’ll support your family after you get married, you are probably very well advised, with the personal advice of your rebbi, to obtain at leaat a bachelor’s degree, or do a BTL/masters in whatever, as this is a basic hishtadlus (though only Hashem can guarantee) in being able to support a family, BE”H.


    Firstly for all you tuoro hopefuls out there… your education is practically worthless today, most firms in NY know the level of education that goes on there and dont consider worth anything special. Second a BTL will only really get you into a good law school with a phenominal Lsat score (170 or above). As for not going to college, why should people like me, who slaved away really working hard, supporting people whom are too lazy to go. You can learn in yeshiva, and go to college at night.


    I have a masters degree. Would it be possible to send my resume to the author of the above letter ?


    While I personally never finished my formal education, I do believe that it helps up to a certain point; everything equal the “educated” person will be offered a job.

    But know that salary levels are often based on your formal education; so while you may get the job anyway, you will be paid less than the “educated” candidate. (I don’t think many places will davka take an “uneducated” person in order to be able to pay less.)


    I have often been involved in the interview process and the main reason that ex-Kollel-men don’t get the job offer is because of their reaction when hearing that they are expected to work 9 hours a day; from 9:00 to 18:00 and maybe even a little bit overtime.

    The reaction may be subtle but it’s always there: “9 hours w/o an afternoon nap?”


    – Danny


    <i>yes you are right i agree ‘BUT’ how bout giving somone a chance to get a good job with out a degree</i>

    Its probably not his choice to make, and even without a degree without the skills that the job needs you won’t get hired.

    The reality is that the work world is very different from being in Yeshiva. Yeshiva students put themselves at a major disadvantage by starting much later than is normal in the secular world. Most of the secular folks I know graduated college at 21 or so, and went out and found a job and started moving up the ladder. By the time they had a family they had the skills and background to command a decent wage.

    If you don’t even start thinking about work until you are 25 and have kids you are going to have to compete against those 21 year olds, and they generally don’t have kids to support.

    The other thing to note is that for most jobs the mere fact of a BA is not really as important as what it is in. For example I work as a computer programmer, if you and I were both applying for a job my BA in Physics from a Top Tier university will beet you a BA in Talmud from a yeshiva.

    In most cases for a given job a company will get a lot of resumes, they will sort threw and call in the 4-6 best people for interviews and hire one of them. If you don’t have the skills someone in that pile does.

    I realize this is not what most of you want to hear, but that does not make it any less true.


    The absolute stupidity and naivete of this generation of bochrim and yungerleit is unbelievable. Don’t they see that the next generation won’t have money to support the basics needs of their families? I’m not talking about new cars and fancy clothing. I’m talking about tuition, food, medical insurance, dental care and at least a little money in savings for the unexpected. Don’t they see that a 30 or 32 year old with 5 children,who starts working and make $30,000 a year will never be able to support his family? “B’zayas apecha tochal lechem” wasn’t written by me. And the k’suba that is read so very quickly under the chupa says the husband will support the wife! I didn’t make that up either.

    While iluyim should be learning long term (if they are lucky enough to be supported), most should learn for a few years and then wake up from the Gan Eden, realize their responsibilties and do what they have to do to support their families (current and future) so that their children should be able to go to high school and Bais Medrash. This means PAYING TUITION for both. When the parents can’t pay tuition, the top Rabbeim and teachers have no choice but to go elsewhere to get paid to support their families. ITS DISGUSTING THAT WE ALWAYS GO TO THE TOP LAWYER WHEN WE NEED ONE, YET THE YESHIVAS WILL OFTEN TAKE MECHANCHIM WHO THEY CAN AFFORD! If everyone did their hishtadlus and paid tuition, our children would get the best education they deserve.

    And how does one make a living? With HKB”H’s help and by getting a good or great education which helps get a great job so that we can afford our priorities. And our top priority is our wife and children.

    Its the parents’ job to teach today’s children the responsibilities of growing up.


    You can always get a job without going to college, now-a-days its so expensive college and we always have to think for the future, if we want to marry of our kids respectfully, how will we if we just spent $30.000 on education??


    Sadbuttrue – don’t knock Touro’s education so much – they actually do a pretty good job of teaching the technical side of accounting (my major). What they don’t teach is how to get along in the business world, where “yeshivisisms” just don’t cut it. As a result, people who are technically competent often don’t get a look, since they don’t know how to “fit in” at work. I know that my employer (a large multinational entity) will not generally look at a Touro resume without some work experience because of this, unless there is something really special or unusual that catches someone’s eye.




    Seth the Israeli Yid,

    I don’t think your evaluation of Touro failing to teach business etiquette is correct.

    A Torah Yid


    bsmiles, where do we get the 30 thou from? I would say, the same place one gets the money for support, but how about this: the kids take out loans, earn merit scholarships, etc.



    Sure you can get a job without college. Just don’t plan on working less than 60 hours a week. I have a BS in accounting and work 35 hours a week for the govt., good benefits, with a lot of time to learn.


    Oh, I wish I had something valuable to add so that I can be a part of this conversation.

    Wait, I don’t need to have anything….


    zfeld is 100% correct. As a tuition committee chair, we see that scenario way too often.


    And for heaven’s sake, when you write a resume check you grammar, punctuation, etc! Give it to someone you know that is a manager to critique it. Be specific as to what you are looking for, or tailor the resume to show you have experience in the area being posted for. Telling someone “I’ll do anything” won’t register anything in someone’s kop, you need an “elevator statement”! I get resumes all the time from frum people that I cannot make heads or tails of (I am an experienced underwater basket weaver looking to publish seforim”). Your resume should have cause and effect statements; i.e. “I wrote a program in GrubbaKop to count beans, saving the company $205K in outsourcing costs” makes a bigger roshem than “Experience in GrubbaKop programmatic methods”.

    *off soapbox*

    I can tell you getting a Master’s from a “name brand” university has made a huge difference in salary, and alumni recognize that.


    “I think the writer’s points are excellent, though he is obviously not talking to everyone. If you know you are going to be in chinuch, and you won’t need a degree of any sort AND your rebbi tells you to sit and learn all day, that’s one thing.”

    Wrong. Those going into chinuch needs the degrees even more, so that the schools they teach in will pay them decently. Get both a Smicha (Yoreh Yoreh or better) and a Masters if you want a serious Avodas Kodesh career. I have seen a school’s salary schedule and credentials play a big part in setting salary.


    college does not cost 30k if you goto a place like cuny (brooklyn, queens) etc. They are very well respected and you can create very flexible schedules there and no one will ever wonder why you went to some no name school and immediately understand that you went there bc you get a good education at a reasonable price. people forget that in the times of the gemara almost noone learned full time and didnt work. Everyone had a profession.


    Remember, just as there are brand name yeshivot whose graduates are sought after, there are brand name colleges. Generally the more you put in the more you will reap the benefits. ‘Lefum tzaara agra’.


    As usual, we have a chorus of people reacting to this letter with their “kanaus” for Daas Torah and belittling the writer for having the chutzpah to express his “Daas Bal Habyis”

    The amazing thing is that with this issue (and so many others) we take at face value the popular “perception” of where “good”, “ehrlich”, and “frum” daas Torah stands on the matter, without, I suspect, the slightest shred of real evidence in the form of open honest communication from contemporary Rabomnin. We are quick to challenge the letter writer about whether education is good for everyone, but we don’t stop to ask whether “no education” is good for everyone.

    As for Daas Torah, it’s not that simple. There are numerous Rabomnim and Talmidei chachomim who wholeheartedly endorse the idea of pursuing an education in order to pursue a career. Perhaps some of these rabonim don’t qualify as “gedolim” in the eyes of the commentors here, but I’ll tell you what, I bet they know more than those commentors.

    The bottom line is:

    Stop assuming that complex issues have one right answer for everyone.

    Stop assuming that the consensus of opinion from your local loudmouths reflects daas


    “Aseh Lecha Rav” and consult with him.


    Does anyone have any good ideas on getting an education for someone coming out of Yeshiva? Could online courses at night be an eitzah? Which online courses are good?


    Ohh, my dear American Jews. How great have we fallen. Where have our priorities gone? I would like to share something with everyone here. However, there are two requirements before we start.

    First of all, you have to believe that there is a G-d that runs the world.(Dont stop reading yet, give me a chance!) Second, you have to believe that there is a world to come. Now, I’m not referring to “believing” like most people think. I’m talking about these two things really being a part of you every single day. Not that you do “lip service” to G-d when you Daven and don’t believe at all that he and olam haba actually exist (and don’t say you do really believe, because its obvious from how you live your life that you are a goy wearing a white shirt, black pants, tzitzis out, a hat etc…) and that your whole existence and everything you are etc is from him. I am talking about people who actually have a real relationship with Hashem and actually speak to him on a daily basis. Like asking him that your walk to shul be successful, and saying “thank you hashem” when something good happens. Now. if you are not one of these people…

    Ok. I just want to say one simple point. You are all smart people out there and know how investments work. I am not coming from a “frum” point of view, rather a business point of view. (Remember the requirements). We, nowadays, live around 80-90 years if we are lucky. What is the point of investing so much time and effort in this world when its only 80-90 years at most? Why don’t we use this world as much as we can and invest in the next world which is an eternity(which is much longer)! When did we completely forget our priorities as Jews? Have we gotten completely engulfed in the American society? Have we forgotten where we come from and where we are going and who we are going to give cheshbon to after 120? To those people who scream hishtadlus all day (who say this to sooth their conscience about how they are living their lives) what about hishtadlus for the world to come which is much longer than this world!! Your investments are in the wrong place. After business school, you still don’t know how to invest correctly? All day you scream hishtadlus and “ein somchin al hanes”. So what about olam haba!? You cant be “somech al hanes” to get your olam haba, you have to work for it!!! Stop sitting around this world and working like a lazy man, get up and do some work and hishtadlus for your olam haba. Its not gonna come for free you know.

    But you have to be “realistic”, you’ll tell me. We are Jews, we don’t play by the rules! We are above the rules! Have we forgotten that. Look at the Rashi in parshas beshalach (16:32) about the MAN. The Jews already had that excuse thousands of years ago and said it to Yirmiyahu. He was a navi and He answered them, don’t worry, there are many messengers that can send you parnassa. Has that changed nowadays? Did Hashems messengers disappear? Yirmiyahu already told us what we need to do. Why don’t we learn from the mistakes of our ancestors and listen to our Neviim. That’s the whole point of Tanach!! So we can learn from our mistakes and fix them, not make them again!

    I’m not telling people to go to yeshiva and do nothing. If you are not doing anything in yeshiva, so go work. But to those who will be serious in learning, go learn. Now more than ever do we need to sit and learn. The Jews are in a bad matzav (although you might disagree sitting in your fancy car etc…) When you fight a war you gather as many soldiers as possible. Same here. We are in a ruchnius war nowadays and we need as many (serious) troops as possible. I’m not telling anyone what to do. Everyone has their own cheshbonos to take into account. I am just reminding everyone not to lose focus of whats really important in life.

    Thanks for you patience(if you actually read the whole thing). Spread this info, its very important that our priorities don’t get confused. Hotzlocha!



    2 questions:

    1) Why do you assume that the fact that an American Jew so much as wants to discuss the issue of education and parnassah that this means that his priorities are our of whack? It’s a discussion. That’s all. And it’s a discussion that is on the minds of all manner of frum Jews accross the spectrum. Agudas Yisroel of America has resources dedicated to job placement and referrals. Does that mean they are not machshiv Torah and have no bitachon. People like you really need to stop having anxiety attacks simply becasue people want to discuss the realities of Olam Hazeh.

    2) Who says that someone who gets an education and works is not investing in his Olam Habah? My understanding is that doing those things – and indeed all things – in a manner that is mekadesh shem shamayim, is in iteslf, an investment in Olam Habah.


    draykup- be careful. Many ‘online courses’ are scams.



    tvt is correct that making a living while at the same time being mekadesh shem shomayim can be a ticket to olam haboh.

    we do not believe as some other religions do that being involved in olam hazeh and investing in olam haboh are a contradiction. Olam Haboh can be earned by doing business honestly, making a kiddush hashem etc. as well as of course by sitting and shteiging in the bais medrash. Ask your rov/rosh yeshiva how much time you should be spending on each, but don’t view them as a stirah.

    I saw in one of the mussar seforim (I’m pretty sure it was the Alter fun Kelm) that asks how it could be that Hashem made the world in such a way that most people must spend most of their time making a living and not sitting and learning if the purpose of the world is to earn olam haboh.

    His answer, if I remember accurately, was that if we spend our day doing our best to earn a living and at the end of the day we still remember, and really believe, that our parnassa comes from shomayim and not from our work – despite the fact that our activities of the day contradict that belief – then that emunah is itself a key to olam haboh.

    I am not saying chas vshalom that kollel is not good. I am saying that if a person is advised by his rebbe to go out and make a living he should not feel that he is giving up his ruchniyus.


    to world saver ..its less then “dass ball habayis”

    just me

    EinOdMilvad, so how do you pay the rent? If your shver is paying the rent, are you saying that HE isn’t a proper frum Yid? Rashi had a vinyard, Rambam was a doctor. Were their priorities ch”v farkrum? And they weren’t even American.

    Our yeshiva graduates very often can’t speak or write English correctly. Those children may get entry level jobs, or they might buy a business and make enough parnasa that way, but if you can’t speak or write properly, you will find it much harder to make a descent wage. We aren’t talking about riches but with schar limud for many children (b”H) and the cost of rents and food, a person needs more than an entry level wage. This is not anti-frum.


    draykup – The most legitimate and most recognized online courses are through your local community college. Plus they offer great financial aid and government grants if need be.

    Continuing education is very important. Learning is infinite.


    or they might buy a business and make enough parnasa that way

    Just remember most small businesses fail, taking a lot of the founders cash with them. Running a company takes skills and real commitment. To buy a business you will need money (Where are you going to get it? Family? Bank Loan?) you will need a plan on how to run it so that it makes money and to work often very long hours. It can be done of course but don’t assume it will be easy.

    A lot of young men are leaving Yeshiva with no idea of what will be required to support a family or even that they have no idea.

    In the real world you will need to write proper English (Not yeshivish), be able to show up to work on time and get the job done or you won’t have one.


    I see i’ve gotten some peoples attention.

    Just me- I never said that if you study or work,that you are not a frum Jew. All i want to do is put Olam Haba on the map, thats all. By the way, you bring the Rambam as a proof. Why dont you study about his life instead of using him to soothe your consience. Bec, if you do use him in an incorrect way, He might not be so happy with you. Did you know that he was sitting and learning in kollel yomam valayla, while “shnorring” from his brother who was working. One day the news arrived that his brother got shipwrecked and that he died. The Rambam was now left to care for his own family AND his brothers almana and yesomim. Only then did he become a doctor. Even then, he used every spare second to learn, and was able to write all the sforim he wrote. He knew that olam haze was not what he wanted to invest in and thats how he lived his life, no matter what situation he was in. When anyone is in such a matzav chas veshalom, then they can bring the Rambam as a proof. Until then, be very careful.

    So, the point is that every person has their own situations and I am not chas veshalom judging anyone. All i want to do is to put Olam Haba on the map and tell people not to forget the ikar and tafel of this world.

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