Secular Studies In Mesivta

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  • #596701
    HIE
    Participant

    do you think that mesivtas should have a strong secular department. how long do you think the hours should be? my opinion?

    i personally think that the english department in yeshivas should be a bit strict to make sure that kids just don’t cut class all the time and such. but it shouldn’t be so long, like not more then 2 hours or so. i think that if english is too long like over 3 hours or so it causes the bochurim to give an importance to it, and it will take away alot from their learning. a bochurs mesivta years are very prime years of learning, getting a chasek to learn. if such importance is put on to secular studies, he’ll say, look, the secular world is important cuz one day i need to go to college and learning wont be so important to him. Also i think that finals in the middle of the year is a total disaster, it causes a massive amount of bitul torah. bochurim taking all their free time and c’v seder to study, it’s a bizayon hatorah. For the same reason as mentioned earlier there shouldn’t be such heavy testing, ofcourse there has to be tests but there shouldn’t be so often they shouldn’t be sooo hard, everything should just be enough for the regent (if in NY) and not more. Also the secular studies teachers should be frum people that are shomrei torah umitzvot. otherwise these apikorsim or goyim could come and put bad ideas into the kids heads. So CR what do you think

    #765234
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    However much time you need to teach the material that you want to teach.

    #765235
    charliehall
    Participant

    “For the same reason as mentioned earlier there shouldn’t be such heavy testing”

    Jewish schools should have HIGHER standards, not lower standards!

    “Also the secular studies teachers should be frum people that are shomrei torah umitzvot.”

    The kind of model you describe will not produce shomrei torah umitzvot people who are at all competent to teach in yeshivas. You will be stuck with non-frum people and non-Jews.

    #765236
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    I think you are touching on some very good points. It should be taken taken seriously, and not too long. If they would have more Bakovodike teachers that you can respect it would make a difference. Part of the reason Bochurim don’t take it seriously is because they see that it is not taken seriously by the Yiddish department.

    #765237
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    April 15 is tax day

    This year I had an issue with my taxes, While I used the computer Software it was giving an oddball result.

    I had to manually go through my taxes and figure out what the Math was that caused this result. I also had to read the tax Book the figure out what the math was

    Is doing your taxes Bitual Torah?

    You need to know english and math to do the tax return. While its not hard, it does require decent education to figure it out

    #765238
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Yeah, I know it’s a bit ad hominem — but considering this is coming from a high schooler, I’m not surprised at all. 🙂

    The Wolf

    #765239
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Whatever program the yeshiva has, the students should be encouraged to do their very best and be given the tool to do so (which includes qualified teachers – qualified to teach the subject matter, not qualified by religious practice) anything else and the program is a waste of time.

    #765240

    Unfortunately, as mother of boys who sometimes started their days as early as 6:00 A.M., the secular part of education was a challenge. First there were the boys who were not interested and disturbed the rest of the class. Two, the teacher was frustrated and sometimes dealt very negatively in handling these unruly behaved boys. Some teachers coming from Public School after a long day with different elements would take the frustrations out on these boys too.

    What i did with my youngest was homeschool him. We set up a program where we had frum accredited teachers come to our house(after yeshiva hours at 9:00P.M. and Friday afternoons) to teach him all material necessary for a Regents diploma. B”H it took 2.5 years and yes his diploma is in the drawer with other documents. If in the future he does want to go into such as CPA or other field for which a diploma is needed, he has the needed diploma. The teachers who came to our house were impressed and we had others who wanted to teach other subjects as our son was the perfect student, opposite of what they were faced with in the classroom(of a yeshiva). There was no funding for this, we paid cash for the service and his old High School let him take regents through their yeshiva for which we gave a nominal donation.

    Let me mention that we a a chassidic family and boys go to what is considered ultra. The Rosh Yeshiva knew about our plan and agreed as long as it did not effect his Limudei Kodesh.

    #765241
    adorable
    Participant

    I think they should have serious learning (not at all what goes on in most yeshivos today) for a shorter amount of time and let it be serious rather than for 2 hours a day and fool around most of the time. does that make sense?

    #765242
    HIE
    Participant

    im not saying it should be a joke it just shouldn’t be too long and the tests shouldn’t be really heavy tests. because it takes away from learning. don’t forget why we were put on this world. we were put on this world to become close to Hashem by doing his mitzvos. your supppose to be yagaya in Torah DAy and night, and thes e are the prime years that a bachur has to learn, so instead of wasting so many hours on english he should learn, but he definitely should learn what he has to in english to get a diploma

    #765243
    RSRH
    Member

    HIE: If the yeshivos do not provide adequate and rigorous secular studies, and push their talmidim to master these subject through tough exams and enforcing attendance, you won’t have to worry about the high school years being a bachur’s “prime years” to learn. That bachur will be unlikely to be able to hold down a decent paying job or support his family. So his whole life will be “prime years” for learning.

    #765244
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Whether the english program is 4 hours or 4 minutes, it is crucial that it is taken seriously by the yeshiva as well as the students. If not, it is bittul zman, which is probably worse than bittul torah.

    #765245
    anonymrs
    Participant

    thats where you are mistaken. a bachur should learn what he needs to learn in order to be able to be a functioning member of society, not in order to get a diploma. where in the torah does it say that anything outside of torah is assur? werent many of our greatest personalities doctors and scientists, and quite well versed in secular knowledge? what is the difference between then and now that makes this knowledge assur? as far as i know, in order to really understand gemorah, you need at least some knowledge of math and science. it relly bothers me when people say that learning things that Hashem gave us the ability to learn and understand is bitul torah. its not like high school boys (or girls by the way) are being asked to learn philosophy and evolution.

    #765246
    apushatayid
    Participant

    There is a well known mesivta in brooklyn that had signifigant issues in its “afternoon program”, so much so, that the leitzanus and chutzpah carried over to the morning.

    #765247
    agittayid
    Participant

    There seems to be a “double” waste going on here.

    Some consider learning English a waste of time. Even if the class is actually learning something. Waste 1.

    The English classes seem out of control in some cases. The students are not only not learning their English subjects but are learning to be disrespectful of their teachers. Waste 2

    #765248
    Mayan_Dvash
    Participant

    HIE: sounds like you want to be a “Tzadik in Peltz.” Do a little research and find out what the Tanaim, Amoraim did for a living. Hint: many of them were not “in Kollel.”

    ;

    #765249
    HIE
    Participant

    youve missed the boat people. i am absolutely not saying that the english should be a total joke. it should be serious. the kids should be dealt with for cutting, chutzpah and so on. but there is no reason to teach further then whats required to get a diploma. because most basic math english and so on is in the diploma. there is no reason to give classes for 3+ hours a day. all the material can be taught easily in alot less time then that. you don’t need an advanced advanced advanced diploma to make a decent salary. all you need is a regular diploma. theres no reason to teach all this nonsense that isn’t required. lets go through it. Trigonometry is total nonsense. its all about fake numbers. you absolutely do not need it for a regular diploma. it is murder also, no reason that the boys should have to study their heads off for nonsense. chemistry. there is no reason the boys should have to learn this murder subject when you can take two other normal sciences like biology and earth science. no one can relate to chemistry.

    #765250
    apushatayid
    Participant

    I am guessing the HIE that keeps commenting on this thread is son, perhaps even little bro, it is definitely not pops.

    #765251
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Trigonometry is total nonsense. its all about fake numbers.

    I’m fairly certain that people who use trigonometry in their daily occupations would disagree with you that it’s “all nonsense” and about “fake numbers.”

    no one can relate to chemistry.

    No one? Have you ever taken any medication? Used almost any product?

    The Wolf

    #765252
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Trigonometry and Geometry are nonsense?

    How about when your wife wants to tile the Bathroom and you need to know how many tiles to buy.

    Chemistry is Nonsense?

    How about if you Have Heartburn and you need relief?

    (Heartburn is caused by ACID) and you neutralize ACID by using a base (Baking Soda)

    #765253

    chemistry and physics and mathematics are all about the World that Hashem created

    biology should be also but it has been heavily infected by evolutionism

    #765254
    Shrek
    Member

    “study their heads off”?

    where does THAT happen?

    More often than not the boys cram for a week or two before the regents, trying to absorb a year’s worth of material in a short time.

    #765255
    Shrek
    Member

    HIE, how do you plan to support a family? Just curious.

    #765256
    HIE
    Participant

    wolfish, i have spoken to so many professionals and none of them are using trig, my teacher himself told us we will only need this stuff for the regent. In almost every occupation, you will not need trig.

    chemistry? when your in highschool you cant relate to it, they only tell you fact. if you want to become a doctor you will learn this in college eitherway with a deeper understanding

    zahavasdad

    chemistry? i dont know anyone who does this from knowing chemistry.

    also, i never said that geometry is nonsense, its a normal math and should be taught. its trig thats the problem.

    and all those people who think that i’m saying this cuz i failed these regents, you have it a bit wrong, cuz i did well on all my regents (including chemistry which i got an-89)

    #765257
    HIE
    Participant

    shrek,YES i do plan on going to college, right now i want to be a occupational therapist otherwise known as OT, but that can change as time goes on. but currently thats what i want to do. im not one of those who plans on sitting in kollel for life

    #765258
    apushatayid
    Participant

    If you plan on going to college, trig is important. It is the basis for calculus.

    #765259
    HIE
    Participant

    and those who don’t lern trig in high school which is alot of shcools dont lose out so wh do some schools have to give this torture course

    #765260
    goody613
    Member

    trigonometry will NEVER help you in life!

    #765261
    Shrek
    Member

    glad you have a plan HIE.

    hatzlocha to you!

    a good secular education in high school prepares you for college. it is possible to do well in college despite a crummy secular education, but a solid foundation makes college easier. It’s not so easy to play “catch up” later.

    #765262
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    trigonometry will NEVER help you in life!

    … unless you want to go into acoustics, astronomy, biology, cartography, chemistry, civil engineering, computer graphics, geophysics, crystallography, economics (in particular in analysis of financial markets), electrical engineering, electronics, land surveying and geodesy, many physical sciences, mechanical engineering, machining, medical imaging (CAT scans and ultrasound), meteorology, music theory, number theory (and hence cryptography), oceanography, optics, pharmacology, phonetics, probability theory, psychology, seismology, statistics, and visual perception, education.

    The Wolf

    (taken from the Wikipedia article “Uses of trigonometry.”)

    #765263
    HIE
    Participant

    shrek, i’m not saying they should give a crummy education, ur missing the point again

    wolf, the trig that is learned in high school about 0% of the high schoolers learning it know whats goin on they just know a couple facts and formulas and somehow pass the regent. mark my word, i’v spoken to many people from many yeshivos. wolf, you are just telling me where it can be used in life, i’m not arguing with that i’m am saying that learning it in highschool doesn’t help you it just confuses you, it pays to just learn it in college if your going for one of those majors.

    #765264
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    the trig that is learned in high school about 0% of the high schoolers learning it know whats goin on they just know a couple facts and formulas and somehow pass the regent. mark my word, i’v spoken to many people from many yeshivos.

    You didn’t speak to me. I understood trigonometry in high school.

    The Wolf

    #765265
    Shrek
    Member

    HIE, you want only 2 hours of English each day, not too many tests, tests that aren’t too hard, and no mid-year finals. To me that sounds like a recipe for a crummy education.

    #765266
    HIE
    Participant

    fine, its fine to have tests regularly,and i guess hard tests but mid year finals are a killer to learning, and there is no need for it

    #765267

    Trigonometry will also help you trying to figure out how to put together a new peice of furniture, if you want to save money.

    #765268
    HIE
    Participant

    maybe in your days like 100 years ago but today the course has changed and is verrrrryyyyy hard and not worth teaching in high school. if you go to any mainstream intown yeshiva, even the ones with the best english department, there are many kids failing the regent.

    #765269
    HIE
    Participant

    pascha bechachmah, huh?? i dont know what your talking about, cuz the trig we learn is totally not applicable to life. as i said the course has changed, and the trig they teach in high school is not worth teaching.

    shrek, and you dont need more then 2 or 2 and a half hours to have a good secular studies department, more then that is a total waste

    #765271
    HIE
    Participant

    …as my teacher himself told us, you only need to know it for the regent, after that its useless.

    #765272
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    …as my teacher himself told us, you only need to know it for the regent, after that its useless.

    And, as I’ve shown above, your teacher is dead wrong on this.

    The Wolf

    #765273
    2qwerty
    Participant

    hie,

    I agree with you but for this idea to work the teachers have to be very good and the students have to be mature and focused. So its not very practical for the masses.

    #765274
    HIE
    Participant

    WOLF, and as i’ve stated above the course has changed MULTIPLE times since you learned trig in high school and the trig we are learning is very complex and not applicable to life as learned in high school.

    #765275
    charliehall
    Participant

    “Is doing your taxes Bitual Torah?”

    How can fulfilling a mitzvah be bitul torah? It is a mitzvah to pay the taxes you owe; all halachic authorities agree that it is an aspect of dina malchutcha dina!

    “we were put on this world to become close to Hashem by doing his mitzvos.”

    True. And many of those mitzvot require secular education. The Sanhedrin had to know seventy languages, and also astronomy and veterinary science.

    “werent many of our greatest personalities doctors and scientists, and quite well versed in secular knowledge?”

    Indeed. Many of the gedolim had university educations, including Rambam, Sforno, Rav Hirsch, Rav Hildesheimer, Rav Herzog, Rav Soloveitchik, the Lubavicher Rebbe….I could go on and on.

    “chemistry. there is no reason the boys should have to learn this murder subject “

    Rav Herzog would disagree; he earned a PhD in Chemistry at the University of London and used his knowledge to research techelit!

    ” its not like high school boys (or girls by the way) are being asked to learn philosophy and evolution. “

    Philosophy — at least that of our greatest sages — should be taught in Limdei Chodesh! We need to teach our young people what our greatest thinkers like Rambam, Rav Hirsch, Rav Kook, and Rav Soloveitchik wrote.

    “trigonometry will NEVER help you in life! “

    It has been essential to my career. The Lubavicher Rebbe had to master it in order to complete his electrical engineering program.

    “it pays to just learn it in college if your going for one of those majors. “

    Nowadays if you want to enter one of those fields you start out way behind if you haven’t taken CALCULUS in high school, not just trigonometry. And you won’t get accepted into any engineering school without at least completing trigonometry with a good grade.

    #765276
    rosesharon
    Member

    Actual line my hubby heard in a yeshivah from one of his students- “I don’t need to learn this. My parents said it is not important because when I learn in kollel my wife can work and I don’t have to.” That line as well as the low pay and principal support is the reason why yeshivahs cant hold down properly educated teachers. We both are educated and licensed to teach in public school however due to Bloomberg we cannot. If the yeshivahs want frum people they have to value them which means decent ON TIME pay and benefits.

    #765277
    agittayid
    Participant

    There are children in yeshivas, who, for various reasons, are not doing well in their Torah studies. After many frustrating hours they go to their secular classes which are treated as a joke. The result; poor skills in Torah studies, poor skills in secular studies, and a prognosis for many problems later on.

    #765278
    am yisrael chai
    Participant

    charlie,

    “It (trigonometry)has been essential to my career.”

    Which field did you choose?

    #765279
    HIE
    Participant

    rosesharon, if you want them to get ontime pay i think you can sponsor it because the yeshivos don’t have money

    #765280
    Shrek
    Member

    if a yeshiva is offering a secular education, it should be done in a serious manner. the teachers should know their subject matter and be capable of teaching it. the boys should know that they are expected to behave and to pay attention, and that if they put in the necessary time studying, they will likely get decent grades.

    HIE, are we on the same page?

    by the way, if bittul Torah is a big concern of yours, what are doing here?

    #765281
    charliehall
    Participant

    “If the yeshivahs want frum people they have to value them which means decent ON TIME pay and benefits.”

    Given that paying your workers on time is a mitzvah written explicitly in the Torah, one might have thought that we would be particularly makpid about keeping it. But no, we are just like the heterodox in that we pick and choose which mitzvot can be ignored. They say that keeping kosher is optional, we say that keeping financial halachah is optional.

    “Which field did you choose?”

    Biostatistics. Calculus was and is essential, and trigonometry is essential for calculus.

    #765282
    hadassa
    Participant

    HIE

    Your opinion is rife with grammatical errors!! That is what happens when you lack a proper secular education. ALL of us, male and female should have basic reading, math and communication skills. With these skills we will have many options when determining our means of parnassa. It is not bitul Torah to be able to support one’s family; to be active in the community “l’ztorchei tzibbur” and not come across as an ignoramus. I might also suggest some classes in common courtesy.

    #765283
    HIE
    Participant

    shrek, i think were on the same page, but just one thing, i think that 2.5 hours is enough or more then enough.

    “by the way, if bittul Torah is a big concern of yours, what are you doing here?”

    well generally i’m only on here on friday afternoons and motzei shabbosim, because i need some time to air out. During the week i’m in yeshiva, i dorrm, so i cant possibly be on here. today i’m here cuz i’m sick so i didn’t go to yeshiva. but you have a point that i shouldn’t be wasting time here but i do need some time to air out as i said

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