Max Well

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  • in reply to: To Potch or Not to Potch #1190108

    Max Well
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    Then you would fall in the halachic category of “moser” and be subject to the treatment thereof. Of course the fate of mosrim tend not to be in the news since it happens off the radar. (If it does make the paper, its reported as some sort of “accident”.)

    in reply to: Shiru L' Melech #693016

    Max Well
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    in reply to: Whats wrong with chumros? #692932

    Max Well
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    Halevei there was as much complaining about fake kulos, as there is about real chumros.

    in reply to: Whats wrong with chumros? #692929

    Max Well
    Member

    The real problem is with the kula-pushers who not only out of jealousy despise those are at a higher madreiga in keeping mitzvos, but try to drag them down with non-existent kulos. And anyone who dares not kowtow to these anti-chumra incipient demands, they denounce in the most vile terms.

    in reply to: Debate via Email with Rabbi A. Kraus of Neturei Karta #693697

    Max Well
    Member

    Au contraire. There is no such thing as Torah True Jews for Zionism. Zionism, the political philosophy, is an anti-Torah concept.

    in reply to: Mixed Seating #876816

    Max Well
    Member

    charlie, now you are engaging in conjecture and speculation to cover the inaccuracy of your previous incorrect assertion that there is no more licentiousness today than then, using misconstrued “facts” trying to make it seem the teen birth rate of ’57 was of unmarrieds, while the fact is they were of marrieds, unlike todays where it is unmarrieds. A major omission on your part. (The CDC made a special point of pointing this difference out, since it is very material.)

    in reply to: Should a 2nd date be protocol ? #692824

    Max Well
    Member

    I’m guessing these dates happened before my formal proof of said theorem was accepted in the mathematical community.

    C’mon, squeak. I don’t think Dr. P is that old!

    in reply to: Should a 2nd date be protocol ? #692821

    Max Well
    Member

    A date is for tachlis, not “to have a good time”. (That may occur of course, but that isn’t the goal.) And to go on a date where you are already certain it isn’t going to be, is an extreme lack of tznius.

    in reply to: Mixed Seating #876806

    Max Well
    Member

    “You make more shidduchim”? Surely not. The modern orthodox/mixed crowd communities don’t have a greater marriage rate than the Chareidi/seperatist communities. Mixing genders in college or weddings does not translate into “more shidduchim” (higher marriage rate).

    Secondly, considering the gedolim’s existing objections to college — even with seperate genders — you can only begin to imagine the gedolim’s opposition to mixed colleges.

    in reply to: Mixed Seating #876803

    Max Well
    Member

    charlie, that was when America was at a lower spiritual madreiga, and the gedolim were still raising our spiritual level closer to what we had in pre-WW One Eastern Europe.

    And I love how you libs twist facts, like you did with your 1957 reference. First of all it is inaccurate, as the peak was in 2007. Second of all, the peak of 1957 was of MARRIED TEENAGERS, not the rampant licentiousness of today! See a CDC for report from 1998 for this fact: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/98news/teenrel.htm

    “The national teen birth rate was at its highest in 1957, at 96 births per 1,000 women ages 15-19. However, most teenagers giving birth in the 1950’s and for the next two decades were married while the vast majority of teenage mothers today are unmarried.”

    in reply to: Mixed Seating #876798

    Max Well
    Member

    Why mechitza’s are required at weddings, per the poskim:

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/weekly_torah.php?id=454

    in reply to: Debate via Email with Rabbi A. Kraus of Neturei Karta #693687

    Max Well
    Member

    PY: I would be reluctant because perhaps I would not correctly transmit his holy words. And for that reason I am not interested in a back and forth, when you can read it directly. Nevertheless I’ll briefly say the following, without further comment or follow up:

    These three oaths are a prohibition against the Jewish people returning as a group to the land of Israel. While we may return as individuals, mass immigrations, and certainly the erection of a Jewish state, violate the oath.

    Furthermore, the poskim cite the oaths as halacha. And secondly, there is no such thing as “just” an aggadic passage. Aggadah informs our religious outlook and cannot be ignored.

    But even more significantly, the Maharal of Prague’s explains the oaths in his Netzah Yisrael, ch. 24. as saying that these oaths represent absolute prohibitions that one must sacrifice one’s life before violating. In technical terms, these oaths are yehareg ve’al ya’avor. It is better to be martyred than to violate these oaths.

    in reply to: Mixed Seating #876789

    Max Well
    Member

    simcha – doesn’t matter how low level you feel the female dancing is. Men can’t be in the room watching women dance. Period.

    in reply to: Do You Belong To A "Shushing" Shul? #797881

    Max Well
    Member

    The 3 days a year the reform go to their church isn’t too hard to keep them quiet.

    in reply to: Debate via Email with Rabbi A. Kraus of Neturei Karta #693684

    Max Well
    Member

    mexipal – The Gedolim CAN tell us what the RBS”O wants and why he did what he did.

    PY – I know you said you don’t want to read a sefer, but nevertheless read V’Yoel Moshe. Your questions are addressed and answered in great detail.

    in reply to: Is It Tzniyus For Boys To Wear Shorts #885270

    Max Well
    Member

    Sean Ben Noach:

    Really the only answer to your question is that the chukas hagoyim issue is clearly not related to wearing shorts. Only one poster brought it up, and he is mistaken. Chukas hagoyim stems from things at least tangentially related to idol/foreign religion worship or promiscuity. The correct issue regarding this subject (boys in shorts) is tznius, not chukas hagoyim. And that is the same question regarding wigs.

    Good luck!

    in reply to: Hagaon Rav Amram Blau ZT’L, 35th Yahrtzeit #692316

    Max Well
    Member

    Those with a tenuous connection immigrating include hundreds of thousands of Russian shkotzim.

    in reply to: Mixed Seating #876749

    Max Well
    Member

    The Sridei Eish Vol 2, 8 rules that by gatherings, even which are not for matters of sanctity, men and women should sit separately so as not to mix.

    The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 149:1 (based on the Bach and Beis Shmuel) rules that “shehasimcho bimoinoi” is not said during the benching of a sheva brochos if men and women are seated in the same room because there is no simcha when the evil inclination is active. This is one of the basis that many contemporary poskim use to rule that there must be a mechitza at weddings and sheva brochos.

    in reply to: Mixed Seating #876744

    Max Well
    Member

    …which shows that if even WITH the mechitza it doesn’t fix that problem, how much worse it is WITHOUT it.

    in reply to: Do You Belong To A "Shushing" Shul? #797870

    Max Well
    Member

    charlie – there is no mitzvah to be quiet in a reform religion church (even if they call it a synagogue). In fact its an aveira to merely be in there!

    in reply to: Sheitels in Halacha #692520

    Max Well
    Member

    I also agree with the above point that what some poskim mattired years ago is not the concoction called a shaitel today with its indistinguishable human/natural hair (that more times than not you can’t even tell she is wearing a sheitel as opposed to going around uncovered.)

    in reply to: Television: A Cry of Anguish and Appeal to Our Jewish Brethren 📺 #1192967

    Max Well
    Member

    SJS, what you just said was that some “local non-pulpit Rav” (who still remains unnamed and the veracity of your understanding of his position unverified) is challenging (what you described as) the “well known major halachic players.”

    in reply to: To Potch or Not to Potch #1190029

    Max Well
    Member

    Wolf, That is not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that there are circumstances where there is no alternative.

    SJS, look at the first comment on this page (mine) regarding the S”A.

    in reply to: To Potch or Not to Potch #1190023

    Max Well
    Member

    Corporal discipline has worked for Klal Yisroel for thousands of years (for parents AND rebbeim) and is codified into halacha from Shulchan Aruch through the meforshim. We can’t change S”A nor should we want to change what works — and work it does. There is NO alternative (in all cases.)

    in reply to: How Inclusive Is Your Shul? #692226

    Max Well
    Member

    There are halachic restrictions on a shoita (intellectual handicap) and a deaf person.

    in reply to: Sheitels in Halacha #692516

    Max Well
    Member

    Either it IS erva or it is not. A married woman’s hair IS erva just like her other erva parts. Just as you wouldn’t replicate her other erva parts on her clothing to make it indistinguishable from the actual erva, so shouldn’t you with her hair erva.

    in reply to: Television: A Cry of Anguish and Appeal to Our Jewish Brethren 📺 #1192964

    Max Well
    Member

    It is quite notable that we have dozens of rabbonim listed against television and not one listed for it (other than anonymous assertions of nameless “rabbis” by people who feel “comfortable” making the claim but not “comfortable” baking it up), in over a year of this thread/discussion taking place!

    in reply to: Going to the Beach / Mixed Swimming #696968

    Max Well
    Member

    squeak seemed to make the point about the age limit of father/daughter sharing a bed being the same reason as to the age of them being allowed to swim together, if I understand squeak correctly.

    in reply to: Is It Tzniyus For Boys To Wear Shorts #885261

    Max Well
    Member

    Wolf – What specifically causes you to believe you are a low-life heretic>

    in reply to: Bas Mitzvah Ceremonies – Rav Moshe's psak #692732

    Max Well
    Member

    Unfortunately, many of those who use Rav Moshe’s psakim do so only when he is maikel. He permitted Cholov Stam, he lowered the height of the Mechitzos — psakim such as these made life much easier for the Modern Orthodox, and even the out-of-town Orthodox communities. They believe they need Rav Moshe’s psakim to facilitate their mission as Modern Orthodox rabbis, or to be able to cater to the not-so-frum and do Kiruv. That is not a bad thing. A psak is a psak. However, when the same Rav Moshe prohibits Shabbos clocks (in most cases), or prohibits going to college, or paskens unequivocally that boys are prohibited m’doraisa to be “just friends” with girls, the same rabbonim with “Rav Moshe’s mechotzos” and cholov stam suddenly rely on “other poskim” (though in the case of boys being friends with girls, there are no poskim of anywhere near that stature who disagree with Rav Moshe). Part of it is due, too, to the fact that, at least in America, the other two personalities who were considered Gedolei Hador of that caliber were Rav Aharon Kotler and the Satmar Rav ZTL. Because of Rav Aharon’s stance on college and secularism in general, and the Satmar Rav’s stance on Zionism, there was no way in the world that those two Torah giants were going to be considered authoratative in what constituted the Orthodox community in America in those days. Instead, Rav Aharon was largley ignored, as it was predicted the followers of his hashkofo would become “mere tourist attractions” (thats a quote from Rav Y.B. Soloveichik in his “Five Addresses” about who he refers to as “seperatist Orthodox”. Rav Aharon was the leader of that Hashkafa), and the Satmar Rav was passed off as extreme by these people. In other words, it was “safe” for people to accept Rav Moshe and ONLY Rav Moshe because once you accept someone’s psakim in hilchos shabbos and kashrus, for example, you are forced to at least think about considering the fact that their stance against college or Zionism comes with as least as much authority. Of course, Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L deserved all the honor and respect that he received. He was a Gaon among Geonim and a Tzadik among Tzadikim, and one of the great Halachic authorities of our times. Thats not the issue. The issue is the fact that people pick and choose which Gaon-among-Geonim to follow when and because it is comfortable for them to do so.

    in reply to: To Potch or Not to Potch #1189985

    Max Well
    Member

    Yehuda HaChassid, the great sage in the time of the Rishonim, was once working at his desk with some rare and irreplaceable manuscripts. His baby was lying in a diaper on the desk, resting. Since the baby was OK, he had become immersed in his scholarship, studying the manuscripts. At one point the baby started passing water which leaked through the diaper and reached the old manuscripts. The rabbi’s first reaction was to scream at the baby. He caught himself in the nick of time and gently moved the child to another surface and then tended to salvaging the rare manuscripts from damage the best he could. He said to himself that if he would have screamed, HE WOULD HAVE TRAINED THE CHILD TO BECOME FRIGHTENED OF A THING THAT IS NATURAL AND HE KNEW THAT THIS WOULD BE DESTRUCTIVE FOR THE REST OF THE CHILD’S LIFE AND HE COULDN’T DO THAT!

    Every child must receive love at the foundation of his upbringing. The love is then structured by discipline and training. With this balance, the child will grow up to internalize and embody Torah, live as a responsible and emotionally healthy adult, give and receive love in a stable and durable marriage, appreciate and respect others, and function with mature and menchlach practical behavior for his entire lifetime.

    in reply to: To Potch or Not to Potch #1189984

    Max Well
    Member

    It isn’t only a pasuk in Tanach (Mishlei 13:24) that a parent and rebbi is required to hit his child when necessary, hitting is halacha l’maasa paskened in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 551:18.

    The Shulchan Oruch makes a special point to say not to hit children during “the three weeks” between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha Bi’Av. This makes clear that parents and teachers are to hit during the rest of year. The hitting is to be for the purpose of education – not abuse or injury. The Shulchan Oruch says not to hit like an enemy nor to hit cruelly; the adult should hit the child with a small strap (Yorah Daya 245:10). Pischai Tshuva on this says that if the hit breaks a bone (in other words, does any harm considered to be damage in halacha), the perpetrator is obligated for all costs and punishments prescribed by halacha for damages done to any person. The hit must not be sadistic or damaging. There must be no more to the hit than its instructive point: e.g. don’t lie, don’t hit the other child, stop the chutzpa, don’t run into the street again. Rambam writes that one must PRETEND to be angry for one’s own family or in his community, when there will be instructive benefit in appearing angry, but NEVER TO HAVE ACTUAL ANGER. EVEN WHEN ANGRY, ONE MUST SPEAK WITH GENTLENESS, and never appear to be excited (Dayos 2:3). The Torah understands the balance between love and discipline in teaching children. Chazal say that if your child is not succeeding in his Torah studies, his rebbe must have withheld from him a pleasant face [Taanis 8a]. Teachers must also balance love and discipline.

    Ashkenazim do permit hitting a child till the age of twenty two. However several complex issues enter the question after the child is bar/bas mitzva [Yora Daya 240:19-20, Rama, Pischay Tshuva and Birchay Yosef and Rambam Dayos]. Hitting a child over bar/bas mitzva would be a possible option only if it is for the pure sake of chinuch and if there is no other valid non-hitting option. The parent must make an objective evaluation of the child’s nature: will the child react adversely, can hitting be expected to be truly effective? The hitting is not allowed if the child is married, or if the child will react with a violation of halacha (e.g. hitting, cursing, opposition to the parent or if the child’s honoring of the parent would be jeopardized), if the parent is motivated by his own anger, if hitting is an excessive burdening of the child or if the child is excessively humiliated, anguished or frightened. No Jew, even a bais din, may hit another Jew without halachic justification. If the Torah is strict about not hitting someone considered evil in halacha, it is all the moreso strict about not hitting someone NOT considered evil in halacha. If one raises his hand against another in anger, even without hitting, or if he hits more than is justified by halacha for the sin, he is called evil [Choshen Mishpot 420:1]. Due to complex factors such as these, the custom in practice among some Ashkenazim is generally to try to not hit a child over bar/bas mitzva age, when avoidable.

    in reply to: Bas Mitzvah Ceremonies – Rav Moshe's psak #692730

    Max Well
    Member

    oomis, mikvah and candles become effective for her with marriage, not with bas mitzvah.

    Anyways, what’s the discussion? Rav Moshe has paskened. Unless, of course, the idea is to go poskim shopping until you find some heteirim when Rav Moshe doesn’t work out for you. Perhaps charlie can even quote for us that rabbi from Israel who ‘paskened’ women can dance in a room in front of men, without a mechitza.

    in reply to: Going to the Beach / Mixed Swimming #696950

    Max Well
    Member

    Not to be a spoilsport, but perhaps mosherose was right all along. He has long maintained that husband and wife cant go swimming together. Since there is a consensus that mixed swimming involves 2 issurim – 1. tznius/shmiras aynaim & 2. “mixed swimming/bathing” is an issur all its own aside from issur #1, perhaps issur #2 also applies between spouses, even if issur #1 does not (when she is tahor.) And even if you have heterim/meikulim, perhaps rose is right there is at least valid shittos to maintain that issur #2 is applicable.

    in reply to: Television: A Cry of Anguish and Appeal to Our Jewish Brethren 📺 #1192897

    Max Well
    Member

    Rav Miller bases his statement regarding TV causing a loss of Olam Haboa based on the Mishna in Sanhedrin 10:1 that says a person loses his Olam Haboa by reading the wrong books since it corrupts his mind. Rav Miller says the television is 100% worse than the seforim chitzonim. There’s more to what he says (you can listen to Rav Miller in the post above) but that is the core in a nutshell.

    And I don’t see anyway around the face value of it. I mean, if it is never turned one, that may be analogous to not having it. But if it is watched, the seforim chitzonim issue comes to fore.

    And frankly even the so-called “clean” shows have completely assur content, at the very least during commercials. And even during the so-called “clean” show, you almost if not always have a (even goyish) woman dressed untzniusdik per Torah standards (i.e. uncovered elbows or knees) – which itself makes it all assur. (This point is more relevant to men than women, but you still have the aforementioned issurim, even for women.)

    Wolf – I agree with BP Totty. Perhaps they somewhat are more analogous than you realize. Just like you won’t get anymore sunburn if you leave the sun (even if you don’t regret), you won’t lose the future olam haboah you earn after you rid your home of the TV.

    in reply to: Television: A Cry of Anguish and Appeal to Our Jewish Brethren 📺 #1192884

    Max Well
    Member

    One who has lost his chelek in olam haboa, can re-earn it.

    Like Rav Miller zt”l says, take the TV and throw it out the window.

    (Please do so after insuring no one is anywhere near that window below.)

    in reply to: Television: A Cry of Anguish and Appeal to Our Jewish Brethren 📺 #1192880

    Max Well
    Member

    Rav Avigdor Miller constantly said (and can be heard on many of his tapes) that by someone having a television in the home he will lose his chelek in Olam Haboah.

    It is well worth listening to these tapes, available at many Torah Tape libraries.

    You can listen to one such time by CLICKING HERE.

    To quote: “No question, anybody who has a TV in his house should know beforehand that his life is wasted. He has no chelek L’Olam Haboa. No question at all about it.”

    in reply to: The Riddle Thread…. #1069049

    Max Well
    Member

    There is a second solution to this riddle. See: http://256.com/gray/teasers/twelve_balls.html

    in reply to: Yeshivish Secular Studies #691902

    Max Well
    Member

    Indeed, though much of this discussion has focused on what ideally would be done, barring the legal and practical difficulties.

    in reply to: Yeshivish Secular Studies #691900

    Max Well
    Member

    Most HS talmidim have these decisions made by their parents, who often are talmidim of Rav Elya, Rav Ahron, Rav Moshe, Rav Shach, etc.

    in reply to: Yeshivish Secular Studies #691896

    Max Well
    Member

    khl, The Torah Temimah was a talmid chochom, but not an Odom Godol. His opinions were not considered as coming from a Daas Torah, though he was well respected for his knowledge. His derech halimud and Hashkofo were influenced by untraditional sources and he sometimes said things (some printed in the Torah Temimah) that may not be said. He was resepected as a highly knowledgable person but not beyond that level.

    The Maskilim were very invovled in “correcting” our texts and changing Girsaos that they werent big enough Lamdonim to understand, which happened a lot. The Torah Temimah does this at times too – prefers to change Girsaos where more acceptable solutions are available. His most famous instance is not in the changing of a Girsah but rather his statement that the Makas Choshch in Mitzrayim was not darkness of all, but rather cataracts. Whatever. The Torah Temimah is a very useful sefer, but because he was not a Torah authority, we take what he says with a grain of salt, or, as in the case of the cataracts, we dont take it serisouly at all.

    As far as his historical recollections, they, too, are not considered authoritative. Its not necessarily an issue of lying, but rather reliablitiy and accuracy, and his seeing things through his own personal perspective.

    in reply to: Yeshivish Secular Studies #691893

    Max Well
    Member

    Health, you ought to pay attention . All your questions were previously addressed. HS is only done b’dieved because of the secular laws and the fact many baalei batim would place their children in a worse environment if there were no secular studies in HS.

    Secondly, *I* didn’t say college is assur. Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Ahron Kotler, etc. etc. did. I merely quoted them. You can learn about anatomy and mathematics, for example, since you need those areas for Torah study – not necessarily parnassa. You don’t need college for parnasssa. Even the goyim acknowledge that.

    I explained in an earlier comment Rav Ahron’s shitta on secular studies and how it applies to his talmidim’s yeshivos.

    in reply to: Girls Congregating the Streets on Shabbos #691747

    Max Well
    Member

    MW – Firstly, mbachur asked you which Rama you claimed said so. After failing to identify which Rama you allegedly cited, you changed your recollection “off the top of your head” from the MaHari Vayl to the MaHari Bruna. So I’ll ask again, specifically which Rama paskens like (what is now) the MaHari Bruna?

    Secondly, as I said earlier their is an open and explicit Shulchan Aruch (which I cited) that paskens Kol Kevuda is halacha, in addition to the Gemorah’s I cited and the Rambam (putting aside the whole host of medrashim) and a black and white posek in Tehillim itself. Not to mention just about every major posek, past and present, that addressed it i.e. Shu”t Seridei Aish Even HaEzer 78:21 (as well as Rav Moshe, Rav H. Schachter, etc.)

    Last I checked the Shulchan Aruch is still applicable in the 21st century.

    in reply to: Yeshivish Secular Studies #691891

    Max Well
    Member

    Josh31, these talmidim are desirous of following the path defined by the Rema, Rav Moshe, Rav Ahron, Rav Elya, Rav Shach, Rav Boruch Ber, Rav Elchonon, etc. Chas V’Shalom to describe the path of our Gedolim, including but not limited to the Rema, Rav Moshe, Rav Ahron, Rav Elya, Rav Shach, Rav Boruch Ber, and Rav Elchonon as “laziness”. This is why a growing number of yeshivos, notably in Lakewood, have completely or partially forgone secular studies starting from the HS level.

    in reply to: Yeshivish Secular Studies #691889

    Max Well
    Member

    The Chasam Sofer in Parsha Beshalach states clearly that certain secular knowledge is useful for learning certain Torah topics, such as cow anatomy being useful for shechitah, and arithmetic for Eruvin and Sukkah. But that before we embark on obtaining secular knowledge – and of course that means only to the extent that it is useful for our Torah studies – we must first fill ourselves with Torah-only knowledge. After we are strong in Torah, only then can we move to acquire the useful secular knowledge that we need for our Torah studies.

    He quotes the Rambam, who he describes as “the father of philosophy” in our religion, in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, stating that a person may not learn philosophy until after he has “filled his stomach” with Shas and Poskim, which are the things, and only the things, that bring us Olam Habah. Then he quotes the Rashba, saying that there is a cherem against learning any secular studies if you are under age 25! The he quotes the Gemora in Brachos “Keep your children away from science” (higayon, as some meforshim translate it), noting that the Gemora is directing its prohibition at “your children”, but not at the adults, for adults, who are already advanced in Torah knowledge, need some secular knowledge, such as cow biology (I keep emphasizing that so that we do not make the error of thinking that the secular knowledge that we need is a college education). But it is dangerous for us to pursue it until we are armed and ready with a Torah foundation. This is because someone with a Torah perspective looks at the value and culture of of secular studies differently than does someone ignorant of Torah. And we do want to get the proper perspective.

    It’s kind of like firemen putting out a fire. They have to (a) dress in their heat-resistant protective outfits, and (b) run into the fire and put it out. But of course, they have to do it in the right order.

    And that is indeed what it boils down to – do we value the Torah’s standards of education more than that of the secular world or vice versa? The choice is simple: All the secular “education” that you get will be useless to you in the next world. There, they will not ask you if you know how many US presidents were re-elected in history, or whether you are familiar with the policies of Chairman Mao, or if you know how to program a computer. They will bring a Sefer Torah scroll to you and ask “do you know what it says in here?” The more you know of that, the more you will be considered “educated”. The less you know, the more you will be considered ignorant. So the question is – do I want to be educated on this world or on the next?

    And please note, there is no minimum threshold for the amount of Torah you are obligated to know. The rule is: more is better; less is worse. And the difference between just a little more and a little less is staggering. As the Vilna Gaon points out, one word of Torah knowledge gives you more holiness than an entire lifetime’s worth of doing other Mitzvos.

    And here we thought that a secular education is expensive! Its much more expensive than you think – you can acquire it only at the expense of your time and effort that you could have been putting toward becoming educated in Olam Habah.

    Two things, though. First, the prohibition is only to learn secular studies as a regular curriculum. To read about them occasionally in your spare time is permitted.

    in reply to: Yeshivish Secular Studies #691886

    Max Well
    Member

    BTW, it is true that there is a heter to study secular subjects, only to the extent it is needed for parnassa. But the standard of livelihood required is bare minimum. “Kach hi darkah shel torah – pas b’melach tochal etc.” – Bread, salt and water – if you have that, you have parnasah. The Rambam writes that a typical Baal Habayis works 3 hours a day and learns 8.

    There is a tape available in many Seforim stores called “The prohibition to learn in Colleges” (Yiddish), which contains addresses by Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT’L and Rav Aharon Kotler ZT’L condemning college. Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT’L also denounced college in a Teshuva, and in a famous speech delivered to his students, published under the title “The Counsel of the Wicked” (Vaad LeHaromas Keren HaTorah, New York, 1978). There he reiterates that everyone has an obligation to become great in Torah, we should not care so much about Cadillac’s (yes, this was said in the “olden days”), and that learning Torah is what we should be pursuing, not secular stuff. He says in America you do not need college to make a Parnassa, and we should be willing to live on little, not a lot, for the sake of Torah, and that R. Nehuray’s statement in the Gemorah (“I will forgo all skills in the world and teach my son only Torah”) of abandoning all skills in favor of Torah applies all that more today that we live in a country where you can make a parnassa without college, with no miracles needed.

    in reply to: Yeshivish Secular Studies #691883

    Max Well
    Member

    Regarding High School, the only reasons it is allowed is either because education is mandated by State Law (in New York it is until age 17), or simply because if they did not have High School education in the Yeshivas, parents would simply send their kids to worse places to get it. But it is definitely looked upon not as a l’chatchilah, but rather as something that is annoyingly necessary in the current environment.

    Today, there are a small number of High Schools in America – particularly in Lakewood – that do not teach English. Also, many Yeshivos do try to reduce the amount of secular studies as much as possible, through knocking out the last semester of English, and a number of kids are leaving HS early to enter Bais Medrash.

    Rav Chaim Segal ZT’L, the Menahel of the High School at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin was once told by Rav Shach ZT’L that if possible, he should not be teaching English studies. In Eretz Yisroel, almost all Chareidi Yeshivos do not have English at that age. Rav Aharon Kotler ZT’L made some kind of commitment not to allow English studies on the HS level in Lakewood. The exact details, and if this was actually a Takanah or merely a preference, is not clear and depends who you ask. In any case, Rabbi Elya Svei, Rosh Yeshiva of Philadelphia and a student of Rav Aharon’s, was asked why he allows English in Philly if Rav Aharon was against it. What difference can there be between the town of Lakewood NJ and Philadelphia PA? Reb Elya answered that he has no choice, and that currently, the Baalei Batim would not send their kids to the Yeshiva except under these circumstances.

    Is any of this the ideal? No. It is not. Is it justified? The schools say it is, as they have no choice. But the point is not what the Jews do, its what Judaism wants. Everyone agrees that it would be a higher level, a preferable situation if we would indeed not learn English even at the HS level, at least not beyond what is necessary to survive. Nobody claims it is an ideal.

    in reply to: Yeshivish Secular Studies #691881

    Max Well
    Member

    Health – It isn’t my translation but rather that of the Birkas Shmuel (Kiddushin #27 p.42) and of the Kovetz Shiurim II:47. I’ll take their understanding over yours any day.

    And don’t start with the GRA! The GRA declared in his commentary on Laws of Avodah Zarah that even the Rambam has had certain of his Torah positions corrupted due to the influence of his secular studies in philosophy.

    in reply to: The Riddle Thread…. #1069046

    Max Well
    Member

    “if 9,10&11 are not even and weigh more or less, put 9 on one side of scale and 10 on other side of scale … then you know if it’s 9 or 10”

    chesedname – you still wouldn’t know if it 9 or 10, since you don’t know if the bad coin weighs more or less than the good coins.

    in reply to: Yeshivish Secular Studies #691879

    Max Well
    Member

    aries, What great thinking on his part! If the students were restless about the world series results, he’d probably do the same thing so it wouldn’t interfere with their learning.

    Health, the Rema 246:4 rules explicitly that it is halachicly prohibited to engage in a curriculum of secular studies. To read secular studies now and then – occasionally when you have spare time, is permitted, the Rema says.

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