Three Generations Of Kollel Yungerleit?
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November 15, 2010 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm #593052
I was speaking to my brother before Shabbos. My brother is a long-term kollel guy.
I mentioned to him about the school which was evicted last week, and how I think the entire chareidi yeshiva/Beis Yaakov system will collapse soon. One of my main points was that if you push everyone to learn long-term, and look down on those who don’t, you won’t have any alumni capable of supporting you.
He told me that he thinks changes might be coming. He told me something which I’d heard before, although not from the same source. After WW2, the Chazon Ish told someone that because so much of Torah-observant Judaism was destroyed, along with so many of its leaders, they needed to rebuild in a way that had never been done before. He said that boys should be pushed to sit and learn long-term, so that a large group of Rabbonim could be developed to replace what had been lost. When asked how long this needed to be done for, he said “Three generations.”
My Rosh Yeshiva told me the same thing (although he didn’t quote the Chazon Ish). My brother told me that he heard things are beginning to change – he actually hears talk of encouraging more people to go out and work, instead of sitting and learning.
Do you think this will end up happening?November 15, 2010 8:35 pm at 8:35 pm #710104HelpfulMember
No.November 15, 2010 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #710105ummMember
Will never work, unless they convince the girls in seminary and highschool that these boys are worth something too.
There’s a reason why you find today that even boys not cut out for learning are still sitting and “learning” read: hanging around the coffee room; THEY WANT TO GET MARRIED!!
As long as girls are being doctrined that this is the only thing, and this is why women were brought down to this world – to support their husband in learning…etc it will never get very far.November 15, 2010 8:39 pm at 8:39 pm #710106bptParticipant
I can see a shift, but it will be a quite one. The chosson will start as “learing full time” and doing tutoring on the side, a 30/70 split to a “part time job” in the afternoon, to eventually an 8 hour work day, and a shiur at night.
But no one will wear the “working boy” badge right out of the gateNovember 15, 2010 8:42 pm at 8:42 pm #710107gavra_at_workParticipant
The special interests are too entrenched in the system.November 15, 2010 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #710108rescue37Participant
Is this indocrination really taking place? I see plenty of girls marrying someone who is not going to sit in kollel (for sake of this argument, let’s leave out the first few years when they are still moochers living off the parents while they finish their college degrees). Also, if there were more “good” guys of non kollel sitting available, wouldn’t there be more girls willing to marry them.November 16, 2010 12:52 am at 12:52 am #710109RSRHMember
I quote Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, 270.
May the prediction be realized speedily in our days, and the proper Torah-approach to life in this world be widely reinstated.November 16, 2010 2:12 am at 2:12 am #710110
Three words: “Chemotherapy as Metaphor.”November 16, 2010 4:06 am at 4:06 am #710111metrodriverMember
Truthfully. this idea (at least in the USA) of sitting in Kollel and learning for the sake of studying Torah (as opposed to studying with a goal of being a Rav or Rosh Yeshiva)was started by Haraha”g Reb Aharon Kotler Ztz”l. The founding of Bais Medrash HaGadol, in Lakewood. Some people knock this idea, or Lakewood in general. The truth is, that it is B”H one of the crown Jewels of Jewish life in America. However, from an economic point of view,it is beneficial for some Yungeleit who are advancing in age, with growing families, Ke”h, to start seeking part-time employment with the emphasis still being on Learning in the BHM”D.November 16, 2010 5:01 am at 5:01 am #710112
Truth is, it is far easier to be a good girl then a good boy. (and I am a girl, by the way) For a boy to be a top bochur, he has to really be entrenched in Torah and learning. A girl can be much more nuetral and still be considered a good girl. That is why it’s easy for a girl to say she wants her husband to learn, but not so easy for the husband to live up to that commitment.November 16, 2010 5:15 am at 5:15 am #710113
I personly think it will only be forh three generations due to the silmple reason that; there will be no $$ left to support the third generation. For example now we have a shver and father supporting, when this yungerman marries off his kids, maybe he will be a Rebbe, Rosh Yeshiva, or have some sort of shteler, not making nearly enough to support himself, how will he manage to support his children!! FOR SURE how will his grandchildern be supported? Thats my personal feeling on this matter, Anyone agree?November 16, 2010 5:31 am at 5:31 am #710114
I agree on principle, but I find that people jump to use this “excuse” as a reason why they should not be in kollel/marry someone in kollel.
It sort of reminds me of the whole global warming thing…November 16, 2010 8:31 am at 8:31 am #710115ummMember
It can’t work, but it will, cuz it can’t change either.November 16, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am #710117
metrodriver: that’s not true. R’ Aharon Kotler was extremely selective about who he allowed into BMG – he only allowed those who he felt had a future as a Rav or Rosh Yeshiva. His son, R’ Schneur, changed it to allow in anybody who wanted to learn.November 16, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #710118pet peeveMember
as long as there is Torah learning, there will be people to support it. i don’t know what will happen to the “system”, only time will tell, but i do know that even today, we still have far more jews in the workforce than we do in the learning force. it doesnt seem that way, but it is true.
system and politics aside, i think it would be a shame to discourage Torah learning as a way of life. as the generations continue to be yored, i would think that we need as much of a shmira from Torah as possilbe. i am not saying that people should continue to be encouraged to shnorr off their parents, something that i personally find quite distasteful, but i think it is a frightening thing to suggest that people discourage today’s generation (or next generation) from learning for extended periods of time to strengthen themselves in Torah.
it is not our place to worry about a whole system and who will take care of supporting Torah in the next dor. that is the cheshbon of Hashem. our job is to ensure that Torah learning, and subsequently a Torah lifestyle, does not slowly disappear in our quest to “fix a system”. let us teach the next generation be RESPONSIBLE about the way they choose to live their Torah lifestyle, without compromising on their idealistic values. we need Torah learning desperately in the world, lets not forget that.November 16, 2010 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm #710119
Metrodriver, that’s beautiful in theory, but
a) what kind of part time work?
b) when do they get the training?
c) at that point can they get by on a part time salary?
This is kind of the theory of the learner/earner model, which in its truer form, of the boys already primed for working by the time they were married, could really prolong the learning of many. I know of a professional who was able to pull this off. Yes, he invested a few years of training (happened that he got married late) but he was working half day, learning 2 sedarim till his mid thirties. (I said prolong the learning of many; of course he, and others like him, are still seriously learning even though they work full time now.)November 16, 2010 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #710120
addicted – I am not trying to find excuses or loop holes, I gam talking practicaly – there will be a LOT less people in kollel in the years to come. I cant see it any other way.November 16, 2010 3:09 pm at 3:09 pm #710121
I think this will have to be implemented to prevent boys going OTD. Boys receive a tremendous amount of pressure from the yeshiva system. They easily feel like a no one if they are not matzliach in understanding a tif vort.. It is a hard job to keep them erlich and along the correct path if they don’t feel learning is for them.. there must be another way for them to feel driven and successful!November 16, 2010 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #710122whatrutalkingabtMember
Great post. I agree 100%November 16, 2010 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #710123
I’m not sure if there will be less people in kollel, but it is likely that there will be more people working. Most seem to forget that as the years go on, the frum, yeshivish population is growing by leaps and bounds. Each kollel couple that gets married is likely to add 8-10 more jewish neshamos to the world. Out of those 8 children if four end up working and four end up learning, both the kollel scene and the work force will each grow tremendously.November 16, 2010 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm #710124
My personal opinion on this is that a boy has to earn, yes I said earn the right to sit in Kollel be it for 1 year, 3 years 5 years or more. If a boy is not serious about learning before he is married he doesn’t belong in Kollel.
Now once someone is in Kollel I think they should have to continue earning the right to be there by
1. Proper attendance. Sounds silly but at work they “take attendance” and late coming isn’t excused unless you have a darn good reason!!!
2. There needs to be a goal yeah a goal! Meaning finish x amount of Gemara a zman, x amount of Halacha…this baloney of learning 2 blatt a zman in Lakewood must stop already. We are mass producing am haaratzim. The average baal habayis finishes shas in daf yomi. The average Kollel guy doesn’t finish a mesechta in all his years in Kollel! (Don’t start with quality vs quantity, Rav Shach Rav Gifter and others railed about the system years ago, it fell on deaf ears)
3. Accountability. There needs to be Bechinos. There should be regular testing going on and people need to be able to maintain a certain grade to stay in Kollel. If you are learning and getting nowhere you have no business in Kollel. Any guy who is serious about his learning should know it decently well at a minimum!
4. There should be special Kollelim for Metzuyanim geared towards producing serious Talmidei Chachamim and Gedolim. I mean guys who are very intelligent and diligent who are prepared to become Rabbanim. This sit and learn and go nowhere until I’m 80 years old has to stop. There are people who have been sitting and learning in Kollel for 45 or more years. Do they know Shas? Do they know one Seder in Shas? Do they know 1 Mesechta COLD? Do they know Poskim?
The current system is a joke and geared towards mediocrity and lack of accountability. We are mass producing lazy people that’s it.
If the above things I mentioned are implemented more than half the people in Kollel would be out. Then there would be more money to pay them what they truly deserve and those who want to learn as Baal Habatim will find the time to learn.
We need to get serious about this.November 16, 2010 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #710125
I agree! Especially on the part of instituting a special kollel for those who will go on to be the next roshei yeshivah and gedolei hador.
I know of a few middle aged men who have been in kollel for their entire married life. They never took a shtellar, or gave shiurim… they just sat and learned day in and day out. They are not satisfied people. They come across as bitter and ungrateful. Perhaps this is because they dont feel like they accomplished much in life.November 16, 2010 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #710126gavra_at_workParticipant
Well said, but it will never happen.
Too many yeshivos & Kollelim will close.
There should be special Kollelim for Metzuyanim geared towards producing serious Talmidei Chachamim and Gedolim. I mean guys who are very intelligent and diligent who are prepared to become Rabbanim.
I hate to be picky, but I think both Chafetz Chaim and REITS? (YU Kollel) have such programs. There should be the ability to continue learning if you so desire without end, but why should you be supported/ get a kollel check/ get a tuition discount?
Personally, the Kollels I support have both Bechinos & attendance taken. I also have seen a program that many Kollel guys take tests (I forget what they are called) for extra cash; that can only be a good thing.
The current system is a joke and geared towards mediocrity and lack of accountability. We are mass producing lazy people that’s it.
As I have said, the easiest job in the world is Kollel Bochur. Problem is, what to do with them when they should leave and have no workforce skills.
Very good post.November 16, 2010 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #710127RSRHMember
Wow WIY, you and I are in agreement (a rarity, to be sure, but a welcome one indeed!).
I would add one point. I think that those sitting and learning need to be focusing more on halachah and less on gemarah for its own sake. If a qualified individual sits in kollel for 10 years, and is to be supported by the community (and very generously at that; we ought to respect our scholars – at least the select few that are truly scholars – and we ought to insure that they live a lifestyle that engenders respect and admiration, not derision), I think that he ought to be able to function as a dayan, posek, rov, mechanech, or the like when he is done.
Also, in addition to the bechinas, which I think are important, but don’t really measure quality as much as quantity, I think kollel members should be required to produce scholarly articles on halachik and torah-related topics in journals (english or hebrew) that can be purchased by the public. People ought to be able to see what they are getting for their money! Also, I don’t think it would be a bad idea to require long term learners to produce a sefer or two, much like a doctoral candidate is expected to produce a dissertation. THis way, kollel members will contribute to the larger Torah discourse, and not just keep their hard work, knowledge and scholarship to themselves.
Needless to say, with such requirements, the number of kollel members will drop, and those that there are will be of a very impressive caliber.November 16, 2010 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #710128
WIY. I guess you are a believer in learning bekius. If you are learning a whole mesechta a zman yes you will need bechinos cause you never let the gemara become part of you. Rush.. We need to finish up.. the bechinos will keep you focussed somewhat. Someone who learns b’iyun knows it far better cause he goes into the kishkus of it.November 16, 2010 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #710129
addicted – I am not arguing, Im jujst saying the numbers will decrease over the years. WIY – what are you talking about? “dont talk about quality vs quantity” Why not? Trust me whoever is learning daf yomi will not remeber one drop of what he learned by the next time he opens up a gemarah. It is proven that this is the way the yeshivah system is to learn “slow” Yes Its called beiyun, at least we can come out with a mehalach how to learn up a sugya. Not just reading a page of tehilim and seeing what the artscroll has to comment on it. I guess you never learned bieyun so you dont know, but yes we are learning halacha limaysa and yes we are coming out with something. I dont know where you are getting your sourcecs from please know what the gedolim meant before you posNovember 16, 2010 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #710130
I am for both Iyun and Bekius. Both are necessary. However learning a few Blatt an entire winter zman produces zilch. You think you know 2-3. Blatt cold, what you don’t know is that half the questions you had and spent your day trying to figure out and half of your “chiddushim” and “mehalchim” are Gemoras later on in the Mesechta. Its impossible to really learn Iyun without Bekiyus. I had a Rebbi in Beis Medrash who said that technically we should really have learned minimum the first 40 Blatt of the Mesechta during the previous Bein Hazmanim so that when the zman comes we can learn real Iyun. What people call Iyun today is…I don’t even know what to call it. I have spoken to Bochurim who after an entire zman learning Kodshim don’t even know what Pigul is!!!! I don’t care how many Brisker Ravs you read through you wasted your time!
People don’t know the basics and want to jump into Iyun and Lomdus. Its one of those situations where one isn’t sure if they should laugh or cry. The system in yeshivos and Bais Medrashim is broken. Guys aren’t moving forward, at most they are like someone treading water. They are expending a lot of effort but going nowhere.November 16, 2010 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #710131
Well at least they feel a drive when they are mechadesh.. Even if it is not theirs.. There is still a geshmak in that.November 16, 2010 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #710132
Real Brisker, you are so wrong! My uncle went through shas once with daf yomi, and is in middle of his second time. He can quote gemarahs from all over shas, with Rashi and Tosafos.November 16, 2010 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm #710133
The difference is likely aptitude, and not method of study. Aptitude is a bad word these days, especially when it comes to academic pursuits, but I bet your uncle would remember whatever he learned b’iyyun as well as whatever he learned b’bekiyyus, while the folks Real Brisker mentions wouldn’t remember what Abbayye said to Rava 2 minutes by the time they started looking at the Maharsha.November 16, 2010 6:08 pm at 6:08 pm #710134
I have learned both Iyun and Bekius and I know plenty of Daf Yomi Yidden that can wipe the floor with Kollel Yungerleit. Many Kollel Yungerleit know a few daf in a few mesechtos Beiyun. Thats am haaratzus.
A few years back Rav Shmuel Berenbaum ZTVKL spoke at Lakewood and told the Oilum they are Oiver on Bittul Torah for going so slow. They all scoffed at him. You think anyone took him seriously? Theres a reason why we arent producing American Gedolim.
In the Mir Yeshiva in Europe pre and during WW2 they covered serious ground and learned Beiyun. They also did Chazara. It was not uncommon for the same daf to be reviewed 10-20 or more times. Today try to get someone to review something 3 or 4 times. Its so hard…November 16, 2010 6:27 pm at 6:27 pm #710135
squeak: No, that wasn’t what Real Brisker meant. If it was, his post makes no sense at all.November 16, 2010 7:03 pm at 7:03 pm #710136
Yes, I agree. His post makes no sense.November 16, 2010 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #710138
fief – Yes i did mean exactly what squeak said! and I garuntee your uncle did not do it “daf yomi style” Doing daf yomi is nice but worthless. what part of the post doesn’t make sense?November 16, 2010 7:21 pm at 7:21 pm #710139
WIY – I am not saying bekiyus is not good, fakert bekiyus is part of the yeshivah system. Just its gotta be done the right way. And no, when bieyun is done its not just reading the 2 blatt the whole zman, Its going into every part of the sugya which includes halacha etc. You come out gaining alot more trust me, ive done both. And this that you asked a bochn ey what pigul is means nothing. How do youknow he evevn attendend sidurim?November 16, 2010 7:44 pm at 7:44 pm #710140
So, real-brisker, you think that people who do daf yomi just don’t have the aptitude for learning? You also say daf yomi is worthless. I suggest you go beg forgiveness at the kever of R’ Meir Shapiro.November 16, 2010 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm #710141
fief -yes the way daf yomi is done these days its worthless in contrast to bieyun. R` Meir Shapiro did not institute daf yomi for the yeshivah system, rather for the bal habus system.November 16, 2010 8:30 pm at 8:30 pm #710142
“fief -yes the way daf yomi is done these days its worthless in contrast to bieyun. R` Meir Shapiro did not institute daf yomi for the yeshivah system, rather for the bal habus system.”
Exactly, because he had a Yeshivah for Bachurim called Chachmei Lublin. The entrance Farher was memorizing 200 Daf Gemorah Baal Peh. I guess standards were a little higher then…..November 16, 2010 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #710143mddMember
Not I, your slow-learning shitos are against the da’as of all Gedolei Torah.November 16, 2010 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #710144americaisoverParticipant
Will not happen, every guy that works is considered 2nd class, so no one wants to budge. Guys dont want to be looked down on and girls want to marry up, maybe the recession will change things, but BMG seems to be the same in 2010 as in 2006.November 16, 2010 8:37 pm at 8:37 pm #710145
Why does it matter who it was made for? It was made by a gadol for someone, which means it’s not worthless.November 16, 2010 8:42 pm at 8:42 pm #710146
fief – Please talk sense.November 16, 2010 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #710147tooperfectMember
kollel used to be a privilege and now it has become an entitlement. being in kollel does not have to be as hard as being at harvavd (lehavdil); however, it should a little harder than having a “pulse” and a “black hat”.
i deal with many girls in shiduchim and more than one has been told by “lakewood” “i have a hundred girls on my list and unless you are willing to support me for 5-10 years and you are a size 0-2, you will be off my list in a minute” !November 16, 2010 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #710148
Tooperfect, I would never want such a “catch” as a son in law.
And while there is merit in accountability, and possibly some sort of meritocracy, I do know men who have simply sat and learned, not going on to a shteller, a shiur, etc., possibly becoming an informal shoel umeishiv, writing sefarim on inyanim they attained bekius in (yeah, lots of $$$ there), and more. They’re not all bitter and feeling impotent.November 16, 2010 9:19 pm at 9:19 pm #710149
Wow, Feif- talk about misunderstanding.
I wasn’t saying that the difference between those who learn Daf Yomi and those who learn in Yeshiva is aptitude. Not at all.
I was saying that the difference between one who learns Daf Yomi and remembers nothing vs your uncle (and those like him) who develop tremendous bekiyyus in Shas is aptitude. Similarly, the difference between yeshiva boys who spend months on a single amud gemara and remember nothing vs those who become bekiyyim in a sugya is also aptitude.
IOW, the difference in knowledge after time has elapsed is in who has done the learning, not how quickly the pages turned.November 16, 2010 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #710150
wiy – yup, the standards are lower, and we must adjust to them.November 16, 2010 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm #710151mddMember
Real-brisker, the reasons, the standards are lower, are:
1) In poor Eastern Europe only the most capable and dedicated went to learn in Yeshivos Gedolos, today — everybody does. There is, of course, a very positive side to this;
2) Some gifted bochurim have been fardreit by the wrong derech ha’limud.November 17, 2010 1:19 am at 1:19 am #710152
You are correct in many ways.
The yeshivos have to “dumb down” the curriculum because not everybody in the class/shiur can keep up with a fast paced learning speed. So the really smart guys or girls for that matter arent challenged and they dont get to fulfill their potential.
Additionally, we accepted too low of a standard as ok. Its just ridiculous.
I really think things need to go back to the old way where there were special yeshivos for the Metzuyanim. There can be Yeshivos for Metzuyanim and yeshivos for regular people but the smarter kids deserve a harder more challenging curriculum geared towards their potential. But that wont happen because every rich guy will pay to have his mediocre kid in the yeshivah, and unlike in prewar Europe the Rosh Hayeshivos of today dont have the backbone to say no you cant buy your way in here.November 17, 2010 1:29 am at 1:29 am #710153yitzy99Member
“I know of a few middle aged men who have been in kollel for their entire married life……. They come across as bitter and ungrateful. Perhaps this is because they dont feel like they accomplished much in life.”
This is very sad and I wouldn’t be surprised if their families have many problems.November 17, 2010 3:10 am at 3:10 am #710154Josh31Participant
Requiring professional standards of those who represent themselves as full time learners will greatly enhance Kavod HaTorah.
I am now convinced that WIY is not one of the Moshe Roses on this blog.
On a lighter note, I ran into someone in the Columbia Kollel who is in a 5 to 7 year PhD program. They have to take and pass Qualifying Exams.
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