Pressure in Yeshivos

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  • #598383
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    So, I think there is too much pressure in Yeshivos.

    If a guy isn’t happy putting in 10+ hours a day, he is made to consider himself inadequate.

    10+ hours a day? Most law students don’t do that much!

    If a guy isn’t happy spending his whole life learning (or teaching in some yeshivos), he is made to consider himself inadequate.

    Blazes durn it! What if he wants to be an accountant? What if he wants to be a plumber?

    Then, some people suggest that there should be tests also. Blazes durn it! As if there is not enough pressure already. We need tests.

    (It isn’t a bad idea, just incorrect.)

    #797255
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Are you talking about Bochurim or Yungerleit? By the way, weren’t you tested?

    #797256
    deiyezooger
    Member

    I have a much bigger problem with pushing little elementry age kids too hard, some kids are not so good at math for exemple but have other strong points, do they realy have to get a 100 on every test? (no matter how hard they will study to get that 100 they wont remember a thing after a few weeks anyway but the school will still be able to pat themselves on their back saying that ALL are kids acheive good marks).

    [Ok now I feel better, we can now get back to the op’s topic.]

    #797257
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I am talking about both bochurim and yungleit.

    I was tested once at the end of many years. If I had been tested like that every year or every zman I would have had a nervous breakdown.

    #797258
    yossi z.
    Member

    Hence why I left yeshivah saying to blazes with everyone I am gonna do what is right for me and not only that I am gonna make it too (so far BH it is working out). This was after two and a half years of beis medrash and with asking advice from qualified peoples. Is it harder for me? Yes. Should it be? I don’t think so

    😀 Zuberman! 😀

    #797259
    deiyezooger
    Member

    If you are into gemarah b’iyun its very hard to be tested and given a mark. But for someone who is learning halachah testing helps you stay goal oriented and keeps you going.

    #797260
    quark2
    Member

    Quality, not quantity. If a bachur is learning ‘many hours’ a day, but the quality of his learning suffers, it is no good.

    Better he should learn less, come to a deeper understanding of torah (though a bikius seder as well couldn’t hurt), and really enjoy his learning, so that he will stick to it his entire life, even after he becomes a “baal habus” (not sure if i spelled that one right :P)

    The rest of the day can be spent doing creative/constructive things, that will add to his overall happiness, and make him not even ever consider leaving yiddeshkeit. That’s my take on all this.

    #797261
    yeshivaguy45
    Participant

    It can be pressured at times. Everyone can go according to the way they can go. Bochurim can go for 10 hours a day. In my personal opinion, it’s because they take breaks during the day. It’s not 10 hours a day straight, but it’s broken up. Also. for the time tnat you do learn straight, you have a solid chavrusa. Yungerleit can go learn all day if that’s how they can run. Some people can’t learn all day.

    #797262
    aries2756
    Participant

    I disagree, testing in higher learning can direct young men appropriately. In addition it can prove to some parents that some of these men are NOT cut out to be bench warmers and should be pursuing other goals, goals that they may desperately want to pursue. If you don’t pass the bechinas you might have to get another chavrusa that will push you harder or hold you more accountable, or you might have to learn that sefer all over again to make sure you truly understand it before you move ahead. Or you might have to rethink why you are there in the first place.

    You are sitting in Yeshiva “learning” instead of going out to make a parnasa so that is your job and you had better take it seriously. If you were at work you would have to prove yourself to earn your wages and if you have the luxury of being allowed to learn then you had better prove yourself as well. If you love learning but you don’t take it seriously that you can be tested on it, then it is just a hobby and you should be doing it in your spare time.

    #797263
    mw13
    Participant

    PBA:

    Not every yeshiva has pressure like that. There are many more “chilled out” yeshivos specificaly for those who don’t do well with pressure. And by the same token, there are yeshivos with pressure for those who do well under pressure. Chanoch li’nar al pi darko, however that may be.

    #797264
    Abba bar Aristotle
    Participant

    We know that every bocher/yungeleit experiences real growth at different speeds and times depending on his personal interaction with his personal challenges. If the yeshiva is truly cares about the welfare and personal growth of each individual bocher or yungeleit, then shouldn’t we see a very different kind of yeshiva? Wouldn’t the argument that we are concerned with the “klal” fall by the wayside in the interest of each “yochid”?

    Perhaps we have what to cry about next week?

    #797265
    TheGoq
    Participant

    I was not aware that Kollel guys feel pressure they seem to have it so easy they sit and learn all day and their bills are paid by the parents/inlaws/Yeshiva where is the pressure there?

    #797266
    Abba bar Aristotle
    Participant

    Goq: To the extent that you are right – that they have it so easy – I think that it is also a disaster.

    Kollel should not be a vacation for the husband while “mesiras nefesh” for the wife.

    But I fear that the fault is not with the young man but rather with the yeshiva which fails to present a program of learning that resonates with the young man.

    #797268
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Baruch hashem I learned in a yeshiva where the only pressure put on me was the pressure to be the best I could be. There was never any pressure to learn like yankel, daven like berel, dress like shmerel, have extra sedarim like feivel or give a chabura like beirish.

    #797269
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    I’ve definitely noticed that when you have Mashgichim sitting on your head you don’t excel. You can’t really enjoy and appreciate the Geshmake Sugyos when you are interrupted by some authority member drilling you to find out if you “really” have a Cheshek, and why was that object (science project book, musical instrument, test tube, phone, mp3…) in your dorm room.

    #797270
    Health
    Participant

    They pressure you on the wrong things. I haven’t seen a Yeshiva yet that pressures the guys to go to sleep on time so they can get up for Davening.

    #797271
    quark2
    Member

    I have attended both kinds of yeshivos. The ones with lower pressure had a far higher standard of learning and hasmodah.

    The cheshek to learn of the bochurim in the lower pressure yeshivos was so much greater. They really loved to learn. It was not a burden to them, but rather a privelege, like it should be. It was really something amazing.

    #797272
    quark2
    Member

    Anyway, if you are being forced to serve Hashem, how much is it really worth already?

    #797273
    MichaelC
    Member

    I was not allowed back into my former Yeshiva

    #797274
    aries2756
    Participant

    When you have bechinas you don’t have Mashgichim sitting on your head. You learn knowing that you will be tested on your learning. That means that you take your learning seriously and you should be proud of what you are doing. In addition you should never be afraid of being tested on what you learn. You should want to be tested to know that you are not wasting your time, you understand the work you have covered and are ready to move on to the next area. After all you are not there to daydream or to just take up space. You are there for a purpose and the purpose is to learn and understand what you are learning. You are not in High School, you are not getting grades or a report card, you are there to gain knowledge and to make sure that you are “getting” it. If you are not then you are NOT a professional learner and should pursue a different career.

    #797276
    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “I haven’t seen a Yeshiva yet that pressures the guys to go to sleep on time so they can get up for Davening.”

    How many Yeshivas have you seen that you can make such a claim?

    #797277
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Health-

    I haven’t seen a Yeshiva yet that pressures the guys to go to sleep on time so they can get up for Davening.

    Seriously?? I don’t know where you’ve been, but every yeshiva I’ve been too was very serious that bachurim go to sleep on time so that they could wake up for davening. Except the yeshivos that don’t pressure you period.

    #797279
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    newhere: My experience and my friends experience has been as I said. I cannot speak for every yeshiva and kollel.

    Generally, I think we are confusing the lack of regulation with the lack of pressure. Sure, you can go to coffee room and nobody will say boo, but you think that people will look down on you- which is the worst kind of pressure.

    Everybody in yeshiva knows who the slackers are. We might not tell you when you call about your daughter, but oh we know.

    #797280
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I’m going to take the opposite side.

    A Real Yeshiva (after 12th grade, and especially in kollel) should be a pressure cooker, if you are not going to college and planing on working. The point of long term full time learning is to produce Gedolim like Rav Elyashiv, who learns 18 hours a day and sleeps only 4. If you can’t become a Gadol, you have no right to sit and become a nothing. Go to a “low pressure” yeshiva, where they don’t try to make Gedolim. Maybe you will even become a high school Rebbe somewhere (no disrespect, but nothing close to a gadol). Or maybe you will sit out your term, and then join the shver’s business.

    #797281
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    GAW: Sure, if these yeshivos were billed as only being for future gedolim. However, they are not. They are billed as being for everyone.

    If you can’t become a Gadol, you have no right to sit and become a nothing.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. I think you mean that you have no right to sit in a yeshiva which is not for you instead of going to one which is for you. I agree. I just think that if that is the case, the roshei yeshiva should advise them that.

    #797283
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    My answer was blocked (due to yeshivish taboo included).

    Sorry.

    #797284
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    The mainstream litvish yeshivos in America mostly consist of:

    1. Lakewood and its feeders.

    2. Ner Israel

    3. Chofetz Chaim and its feeders.

    4. Chaim Berlin

    There are probably a couple more distint ones I am missing, but that makes up at least 90% of litvish yeshiva students.

    1. The purpose of Lakewood is to sit and learn for as long as you are able to with absolutely no other purpose. That was the opinion of Rav Aharon Kotler, and that is what they do.

    2. The purpose of Chofetz Chaim is to learn and become a talmid chochom so that you can go be a rebbi somewhere. (like you said, high school rebbi; or elementary school, or kiruv or whatever)

    3. I don’t know enough about Ner Israel and Chaim berlin to speak about them.

    So, I think it is pretty clear that the roshei yeshiva believe that learning in their yeshivas is appropriate even if one will never be a gadol.

    We can discuss whether we agree with that idea (I do agree, you don’t), but it is not really relevant to this discussion- which is a discussion of whether they are doing a good job of what they are trying to do.

    #797285
    Peacemaker
    Member

    Chaim Berlin is Litvish?

    #797287
    Health
    Participant

    GAW -“If you can’t become a Gadol, you have no right to sit and become a nothing.”

    Is this why you never sat and learned?

    #797288
    newhere
    Participant

    mods- I noticed another one of my posts was deleted. Is there some kind of rules you have to decide whether something is deleted. I am honestly not trying to criticize your methods, I understand it’s quite hard to run a blog like this, I would just like to know what I need to do to ensure my posts don’t get deleted.

    #797289
    littleapple
    Member

    What about Mir and Bais Hatalmud? Torah Vodass and Torah Tmimah

    #797290
    optimusprime
    Member

    Peacemaker

    It is considered a Lithuanian Yeshiva. The former Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Hutner ZT”L, studied in Slabodka and in Hebron. He additionally studied under Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the Chief Rabbi at the time and a graduate of the Volozhin Yeshiva.

    #797291
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    In no way shape or form did I say one should not sit and learn. (I do understand why one would think that from my post, I’ll try to be more clear here).

    I believe there should be two types of yeshivos. One type is for creating Gedolim, Manhigim, and leaders of the Klal, and the other type for those who want to be Mekayim the Mitzva of Limud Torah (the “high school rebbe” yeshiva).

    For those who are just trying to learn, who cares how well they do it? Everything they do is just an added bonus, and they don’t need to work hard and become something special. That is not why they are there. In that type of yeshiva, there should be no pressure at all.

    For those who want to be the next generation of Gedolim, the only way to become a Gadol is to put in the hours and effort. If it is shown that a student is not putting in the effort, they should be asked to join the other type of yeshiva. This is both not to shter the future gedolim with their batlanus, and as incentive for those who stay to know they are the elite. Someone in an elite yeshiva made (and sponsored) to produce gedolim has no right to be there and become nothing.

    So to answer PBA’s point, none of those yeshivos would fall under the “type 1” yeshiva, and all would be “type 2”, and should have no pressure (which they don’t).

    Those who are pushing for tests and the sort are only doing so because they think the yeshiva is there to produce, not to have guys just sit and learn.

    #797292

    GAW: How exactly do you expect to set the cutting line to decide who is sufficiently smart enough to join an elite Yeshiva? Doesn’t every Jew, regardless of how smart he is, have a right to strive for his own greatness? Are you willing to be in charge of this ‘Selection process’ and decide who will not be given a chance to try to achieve his Gadlus, based on your IQ test of him? Torah is a yirusha/inheritence for every single Jew, so every Jew can obtain Gadlus. I would not recommend at all this proposed segregation.

    #797293
    Peacemaker
    Member

    Gavra makes a good point about having elite Yeshivos (they actually already exist and always have), as they are better suited for the better learners. Yes, every Jew has a right to learn in Yeshiva. But it isn’t necessarily whichever Yeshiva (i.e. the elite one) that he wishes. He can learn in other good Yeshivos.

    #797294
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    How exactly do you expect to set the cutting line to decide who is sufficiently smart enough to join an elite Yeshiva?

    The funders and the the Rosh Yeshiva of the Elite Yeshiva would decide, just like any entrance exam. In Europe, you had to know Mesechtos Ba’al Peh to get into the elite Yeshivos.

    Peacemaker: I am not aware of any yeshivos that exist specificly to produce gedolim. Would you mind naming them?

    #797295

    Peacemaker: Based on what criteria are you deciding who belongs where? Does a natural masmid, who’s not so bright, have no right to learn forever by his shtender if that’s what he and his wife desires? We can’t kill childrens potential through deciding ourselves what their capabilities are. And as far as I know there are no official elite vs. second class Yeshivos.

    #797296

    Gavra: I’ll agree with you that Yeshivos in Europe pre war were exclusively for the elitist, and that was R’ Chaim Volozihner’s intention when he established the first Yeshiva. However, in today’s day and age Yeshivos are universely necesssary in order to instill basic motivation for Yiddishkeit in our youth. If Yeshivos were segregated in the way you propose, then many would opt to go to college instead of merely being considered a second class Yeshiva student. To qoute Rav Hutner Zt”l, Yeshivas used to be like a Mishkan [for the elitist only], now yeshivos are like Noach’s Teiva; in other words we need regular Yeshivos for everyone in order to perserve Yiddishkeit.

    #797297
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Does a natural masmid, who’s not so bright, have no right to learn forever by his shtender if that’s what he and his wife desires?

    LMA, I think you missed my point. Learn as much as you want, to your heart’s content. But we as Klal Yisroel need to produce the next generation of Gedolim. Unless we push for them to be created, it won’t happen (or will be substandard).

    #797298
    Peacemaker
    Member

    LMA: Like GAW said, the RY’s can decide their criteria. Nevertheless I agree with you that everyone (bar none) has a right to learn in Kollel their entire life. It just that not everyone has a right to the elite Yeshivos. There are many others to choose from.

    GAW: Brisk is an elite Yeshiva (to take one example). I don’t think I necessarily agree with your idea that the elite yeshivos are only for future gedolei hador. I would be more inclusive than that. Nevertheless, perhaps as you suggest some of the elite Yeshivos can indeed cater to future gedolim.

    #797299
    Health
    Participant

    “Brisk is an elite Yeshiva”

    Elite in GAW terms wouldn’t include Brisk because they take almost everyone.

    #797300
    Health
    Participant

    GAW – I could think that your idea of types of yeshivos would make sense, but in our generation it would destroy the Klal. Why?

    Because there wouldn’t be enough money for the non-elite yeshivos. Most of the rich people who donate only for Kovod, wouldn’t support the non-elite yeshivos. These would crumble and only the elite would remain. So how many elite are they? Sholomo Hamelech said one out of a thousand. So implementing your idea would have almost noone sitting and learning full time.

    So what the yeshivos do nowadays, is either say they are all elite or they say they cater to BT’s. This is the way they financially survive. Some take gov. money as colleges, but that is going to dwindle due to the new budget that is being passed in Congress. Sad, but this is the reality in our generation.

    #797301
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Brisk is an elite Yeshiva

    Perhaps. It is more like your “middle” yeshiva that can cater to elites (just judging from who I have seen go there recently from my community). Brisk is probably the top Yeshiva that American Bochrim attend. Rav Ya’akov Friedman in Beitar might be another.

    I don’t think I necessarily agree with your idea that the elite yeshivos are only for future gedolei hador.

    If such a yeshiva existed, then it would have fewer problems with funding. Even I agree that it wouldn’t be exclusivly for Gedolim, but “Gedolim, Manhigim, and leaders of the Klal”. Everyone in the Yeshiva should have a goal of helping and shaping Klal Yisroel B’Poel, not just by having more learning in the world.

    #797302

    Gavra and peacemaker: Yeshivos taking in boys of less caliber is not the reason why Yeshivos aren’t producing Gedolim. The reason why they are not producing Gedolim is because even in the elite yeshivos the ambition is to become a rosh yeshiva and give shiurim on specific blatt Gemara, as opposed to becoming a talmid chacham and knowing Sha”s.

    #797303
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Gavra and peacemaker: Yeshivos taking in boys of less caliber is not the reason why Yeshivos aren’t producing Gedolim. The reason why they are not producing Gedolim is because even in the elite yeshivos the ambition is to become a rosh yeshiva and give shiurim on specific blatt Gemara, as opposed to becoming a talmid chacham and knowing Sha”s.

    I would put it as “as opposed to being a talmud chacham and being able to Masvir P’sakim in all areas of halacha”.

    Just because it isn’t being done doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done.

    #797304
    Health
    Participant

    GAW -“I would put it as “as opposed to being a talmud chacham and being able to Masvir P’sakim in all areas of halacha”.

    “Just because it isn’t being done doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done.”

    Maybe we should have some Litvishe Yeshivos where they require you to know some basic Halacha, forget about being able to “Masvir P’sakim in all areas of halacha”. How do I know I’m right? Just from the posters here on YWN, without mentioning any names!

    #797305
    Josh31
    Participant

    In he serious professions no one is monitored for hours of study. Everyone is monitored for specific mastery and / or contributions.

    #797306
    Toi
    Participant

    josh- the chofetz chaim explained that in a siyum it says that we work and are mikabel schar whereas the goyim work and dont get schar. Q: Goyim do get paid! A: the yget paid for a job well done ie- contribution and mastery- we get paid for doing actual work even without a seemingly concrete result. we get schar for ameilus. even a guy thats not smart and cant read a tosfos if he sits and works for hours with no succes Hashem still gives him tons of schar.

    #797307
    Josh31
    Participant

    Yeshivah policy is not to attempt to emulate the Divine reward system. Only G-d knows the true ameilus of any learner.

    Yeshivah policy has to focus on the Kavod of Torah and contribution to the Tzibur.

    #797308
    Toi
    Participant

    why should it focus on contribution to the tzibbur. firstly even if your right the zchus of ones limud hatorah is the biggest contribution to the tzibbur. and without that a persons learning is his avodah to hashem- who are you to say that to be called succesful he has to show contribution- what do you want a chiddush quota complete with a flowchart?

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