HEAR IT: National Talkshow Host Says The Rebbe Was Right: Don’t Go To College!


On the nationally syndicated “Dennis Prager Radio Show”, host Denniis Prager discussed Chabad Houses aroound the world that he has visited, and then mentions the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s opposition of to going to college. He explains that only years later did he understand how the Rebbe was right.

“Sending your children to college is like playing Russian Roulette with their values, like I have said on a thousand occasions.”

Dennis Mark Prager is an American nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host and writer. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family in New York City, his initial political work concerned Soviet Jews who were unable to emigrate. He gradually began offering more and broader commentary on politics. His views generally align with Social conservatism.

Prager and his siblings were raised in a Modern Orthodox Jewish home. He attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush, and then went to Brooklyn College and graduated with a major in history and Middle Eastern Studies. Over the next few years he took courses at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and at the University of Leeds; he then left academia without finishing a graduate degree. After he left graduate school, Prager left Modern Orthodoxy but maintained many traditional Jewish practices; he remained religious.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. Left modern orthodoxy but remained religious.
    I guess rather than frum but not frum?
    Frum but not religious?
    Religious but not frum?

    Good luck explaining this new category to your kids

  2. I remember Dennis from the time he was at Columbia. He has strayed from observance since his college days. From hearing him over the years he now strongly identifies as a Jew, respects frum Jews and observes a little mopre than the typical assimilated American Jew. He frequently addresses Chabad events and can be seen on Toracafe.com

  3. It’s interesting how you hear this mostly from successful University graduates.
    Its easy to say it after living a nice successful life.
    Denis would not be who is today had he not attended University.
    Try convincing struggling families with this attitude.

  4. Not sending your children to the correct college is condemning them to a life of poverty, and Chazal say “HaAniyus mavira es haadom al daas Kono.”

  5. I wish it were so simple. Funny thing, I know of people, even Lubavitcher chassidim who the Rebbe was OK with college and even advised them which college to attend. The best we can say is that directionally the Rebbe’s approach was no college. But many did get his blessing to attend colleges.

  6. I enjoy listening to some of his shows. He’s an always Trumper which is annoying to listen to sometimes. He is however not an Observant Jew, denies the Divine origin of the Torah and is completely kofer in Torah Shel Baal Peh.
    The challenge for so many Frum is; the way we lives aligned (BH) with politically conservative values causes us to attach a halo to anyone we vote for who is right of center, Trump included.
    The appeal of anyone who is conservative minded blinds us to the potential harm when a self proclaimed “kofer” offers “Jewish” wisdom and authors books on the Bible.
    We don’t need his “Haskomoh” on the Rebbe ZATZAL’s philosophy.

  7. Chesky12 baloney!!!!!
    I did some research on this and in all of Lubavitch the Rebbe only told 1 or 2 people in 70 years to go. He told THOUSANDS NOT to go.
    At best, he told BT’s who were already there, to finish and get their degrees. The BT who had not yet started, he told NOT to go.

    ChaimAron: The Rebbe only went because the previous Rebbe asked him to go. For him obviously it worked out as he used it to bring TENS OF THOUSANDS back to Yidishkayt with it. So when you will be the Chabadsker Rebbe, you can also go.

  8. Yochi: Your last statement is simply not true! Just like no one should be ABOVE the law!!! If he went , then must be that it wasn’t an issue and intrinsically it was not so wrongz ; but by the same token , not everyone is capable to survive spiritually in a college situation…

  9. The Rebbe himself spent ten years in and out of university, well beyond what was needed to get a degree. In fact the Rebbe never got a degree as per modern research, just a certificate of attendance.

  10. so stupid–so, no jew should become a doctor, lawyer, accountant, physical therapist, engineer, etc–yeah, we will all work in butcher shops–such miindless nonsense.

  11. Arizona, its nice to quote a line of chazal, but you forget the other lines of chazal, specifically the one that says, אין עני אלא בדעתו.

    I can think of 2 pshatim.

    1. Being poor is a mindset. We know איזה
    הוא עשיר השמח בחלקו. Therefore a person who is poor would be someone not happy with his situation. That would be a mindset. אין עני אלא בדעתו.

    2. A real עני is someone who has poor daas. Someone who has no daas. An עני is considered as a מת, in certain respects. This is because he seemingly is cut off from the source of חיים and parnasa. Being a proper yid, with seichel, is having daas. This is a serious minded attitude, looking for a connection with Hashem.
    A true עני is someone who isnt trying to know Hashem.

  12. @velicher choosid While he doesn’t believe in the devine origin of the Gemara, he does say repeatedly that the Torah is Devine

  13. Years ago Praeger was a fill in host Sunday a.m. for God Talk on KGO. He and the shows regular host, Bernie Ward, often did double duty on the show. Bernie was axed for child porn and illegal contact with a minor. I think the show survived a bit after that with Praeger and other fill ins.

  14. Chaimaharon yes after he was already married and because his rebbe told him to

    There’s a big difference between going before marriage and after even though both were equally discouraged from going

  15. @chaimaharon someone wants brought this up to the Rebbe מה”מ שליט”א and the Rebbe מה”מ שליט”א that when you learn as much Torah as me you can also go to college BTW the Rebbe is בקי in the whole Torah just to demonstrate the rebbe was giving a Shiur and there was not enough gemora’s and the rebbe went to the shelf and took a gemora and afterwards they looked in the Gemarah and it was a totally different masechta

  16. @Haimy obviously we do not need him to confirm what the rebbe said everything that the rebbe said is 100% from God’s mouth but as we are in the days Moshiach we see more and more that even in the world and even people that are like you said mechalel shabbos and the like are realizing that the rebbe and Torah are right

  17. yochi:
    there is a mesorah in Chabad that there will only be 7 rebbes, the last of them being “The Rebbe”, so unfortunately ChaimAron will not be the Rebbe anytime soon.

  18. 1. There’s a huge difference between going to college back then and years later when the Rebbe told people not to go (for one thing, back then it was only men).

    2. There’s a difference between going to college where you stay there in the dorms etc, and between simply attending classes…

  19. Arizona your comment is nonsense. Aniyus in chazal is someone who can’t put food on the table. People don’t struggle with that today in America, someone who can’t have an up to date car and travel to Florida is not aniyus and is not maavirim es haodom al daas Kono.

    who needs to go to college to be able to put food on the table. Utter nonsense. You see you went to college and you still can’t understand the context of Chazal had you remained in the Beis medrash you no doubt would fully understand the Chazal.

  20. Yochi, it’s much more than one or two. Just in my own family there is one person, not a BT, who didn’t want to go to college but the Rebbe told him to go. It should be obvious that on a subject like this it’s impossible for one direction to apply to everyone. The Rebbe’s general opinion was that for most people college was not the right choice, but there were many exceptions.

    As for the Rebbe’s own education, he did not go to college until he was married (pas besalo) and was boki in the whole Torah. As the Rambam wrote (Yesodei Hatorah, end of ch 4), after one has “filled ones belly with bread and meat” (shas and poskim) it is time to move on to the sciences, in order to become a mushlam.

    LerntminTayrah, the Rebbe did get a degree in electrical engineering, from ESTP. He then studied at the Sorbonne until the German invasion. The so-called “research” that called this into question has been completely debunked.

    tgsm, there was no such “mesorah”, since they were expecting Moshiach in the earlier generations. Also, the Rebbe Rashab was in his day considered to be the seventh rebbe, counting from the Baal Shem Tov. Then there was an eighth rebbe. It was only after his histalkus and the publication of Bosi Legani that Lubavs started counting from the Alter Rebbe so that the ninth rebbe became the seventh.

  21. Most famous Rabbi of the 20th century?
    Seems it’s almost greatness has come to be defined by who fits on Newsweek top 50 list?

    A great rosh Yeshiva once responded when asked how Chabad is so successful in publicity/propaganda
    “[trans.]because they were last ones left in Soviet Russia together with the Bolsheviks”