Monday, December 9, 2013

Rav Shach's condemnation of "Shaarei Talmud Torah"


מכתבים ומאמרים ממרן הגאון רבי אלעזר מנחם מן שך זצוק"ל

חלק א' עמוד ק"ז
חינוך וישיבות

נב
אזהרה לגנוז ספר אחד שמביע דעת נגד מסורת הישיבות
בס"ד יום א' י"ז לחדש הרחמים והסליחות תשמ"ב
אזהרה להסיר מכשול
הביאו לפני ספר בשם "שערי תלמוד תורה" מאיזה רב ד"ר אשר  מפיצים אותו ברבים בעיקר לבני הישיבות שיחי' : ראיתי ונזדעזעתי, אשר  כל כולו הוא ספר הסתה לבני תורה על החובה שיתנו מזמנם גם ללימודי  אומנות וגם ללימודים משארי חכמות כמו רפואה ועוד ועוד מהדברים הנצרכים לחיים, ותמך יסודו ממה שאסף מכמה מאמרי חז"ל המדברים  בשבח המלאכה, וגם מהרבה ספרים המדברים במעלת הנהנה מיגיע כפיו,  והצורך בידיעת מדע הטבע.
והנה אין כאן המקום לנהל ויכוחים עם הנ"ל, ונזכיר רק מאמרם ז"ל  כמנחות צ"ט, שאל בן דמה וכו' כגון אני שלמדתי כל התורה כולה מהו  שאלמד חכמה יונית, קרא עליו לא ימוש ספר התורה הזה מפיך והגית בו יומם ולילה, צא ובדוק שעה שאינה לא יום ולא לילה וכו', ועון ביטול תורה הוא נורא ואיום מאד, ואמרו חז"ל בירושלמי הובא בשע"ת לרבינו יונה ז"ל ויתר הקב"ה על ע"ז וכו' ולא ויתר על עון ביטול תורה, וכל ענין  מלאכה שהזכירו חז"ל הוא על מי שא"א לו להסתדר בפרנסה בלא זה אבל  כל זמן שיכול ללמוד ודאי ח"ו להפסיק מתורה"ק ושקידתה בשכיל העתיד  דדי' לצרה בשעתה, ועון פלילי הוא לנתק בן תורה מהתורה תורתו של  הקב"ה.
וכן החמישה שערים הראשונים שכותכ דרך הלימוד וצורת קיום מצות לימוד התורה יש בהם דברים שאינם נכונים שהוא כותכ נגד המקובל לנו, שלמדו לעצמן וגם עם התלמידים לעיין בהם בעומק ובהבנה ישרה ובפלפולה של תורה כמובן שלא ע"מ לקנטר, וזהו מצות לשמה שביאר  בספר הקדוש נפש החיים שלשמה הוא הפירוש לדעת התורה, ובכלל מצות  ושננתם הוא שיהי' דברי תורה מחודדים בפיך אף על ידי פלפולה כדאיתא  בנדרים דל"ח ע"ש בפירוש הרא"ש, ומה שכותב על מה שכתב גאון הדור  שלפני פנינו הוא הגר"י סלנטר זצקללה"ה ב"התבונה" בענין למוד בפלפול,  שלא מצא לו חבר לזה וחולק על דבריו, אין זה אלא רמות רוחא.

ומאד מאד אני מצטער על אחד שיעיז להביע דעה נגד המסורה לנו  והמקובל לנו מגאונינו רבותינו שעל פיהם נתיסדו הישיבות שמאז ומתמיד כולם החזיקו ישיבות, ואנן תלמידי תלמידיהם של גאון הגאונים רבן של כל  ישראל רבי חיים וולאזינר זצקללה"ה שיסד הישיבה בוולאזין ע"פ הסכמת  הגר"א זצקללה"ה הנחשב כאחד מן הראשונים המשמשים לפניו במרום,  וכך נמשכו הדורות עד היום, ובטח הם כולם ידעו את כל המאמרים בחז"ל,  וכל מעשיהם אינם צריכים חיזוק מאיתנו שרוח הקודש שרתה על כל מה  שעשו. ובפרט בתקופתינו שכל כך רבה העזובה בכל מה שנוגע ללימוד  התורה, שאחוז קטן מכל הצעירים המתחנכים בבתי החינוך נשארים בהישיבות וח"ו אם גם הם לא יתמסרו כל כולם ללימוד ולעלי' בתורה ח"ו  תשתכח תורה מישראל, ובמה גדול כוחו שיבוא להורות דרך לרבים ולסכן  את כל קיום התורה ועם ישראל .
אלעזר מנחם מן שך
יעקב ישראל קניבסקי

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Rav Nosson Kaminetsky told me that Rav Shach had called to tell him that he had to write a condemnation for the sefer - but he wanted to make sure he did not saying anything that would insult his father. He asked him to check the letter before he published it
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22 comments :

  1. A fine sefer with a sterling list of haskamos from gedolim of varied backgrounds, chasidish, litvish, and others. I recommend the English translation entitled "Torah Study" published by Feldheim for English readers.

    http://www.feldheim.com/torah-study.html

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  2. this is about the author of the book in question

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yehuda_%28Leo%29_Levi

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  3. Has someone reprinted this sefer? Who is the author? Interesting, Maran only says it's mistaken and not a מבזה התורה like steinsaltz.

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  4. Like a breath of fresh air!!! Kmayim Karim al nefesh ayefa ushmuah tova meetetz merchak

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  5. This is an important chizuk during the same week that a yeshiva in Chedera is struggling to survive because they did not support a political party and worse the Mashgiach supported the 'Other party'

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  6. Observer, you never heard of סתרת זקנים בנין

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    1. Doer:
      I've heard of סתירת זקנים בנין, however, I also heard of "common sense" which dictates that a yeshiva should not have to close up just because it aligns itself with a particular political חצר.

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  7. When was that haskama written? I don't see a year on the document?

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  8. No Yeshiva in Chadera is struggling to survive. Don't believe propaganda. 40 bochurim out of 600 left.

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  9. Why does Rav Shach believe the maamar that he quoted about chochmas yevanis outweighs all the maamarim quoted in the original sefer? In addition, is learning to plow considered chachmas yevanis? Learning to buy a field or animal? If so, is the entire Bava Kama, Bava Metzia, and Bava Basra dedicated to reshaim who would work with an animal or a field? Atu bireshii askinan? If working were bitul Toarah, would we have mesechtas about these cases? We should change all the mishnayos. Hamafkid etzel chaveiro asur mishum bitul torah. Hasocher es haumenin asur mishum bitul Torah. Hashutfin sheratzu laasos mechitza, asurin mishum bitul Torah.

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  10. Mitalmidi Yoser MikulamDecember 10, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    I find it appalling that Rav Shach ZT"L, who was no stranger to what real chinuch is, should take such a position. Let's examine reality, and I profess to do so only from the position of a lay person.

    Our Kollelim are overcrowded. The benches are full with many more times the number of people as learners. The average bochur who arranges for a limited amount of time to engage in worry free learning as a foundation for his family is wonderful. I believe that is what Reb Aharon Kotler ZT"L imaged as a crucial factor in the building of post-war American Yiddishkeit. The monster this has become is quite shocking. Bochurim creating shidduch resumes identifying themselves as "learning bochurim", who want a career life of learning. Girls taught to accept only the non-earning bochur. These aspirations are fantasy at best. Such dreams do not pay bills. Careers of dependency on parents, entitlement programs, and "chesed" are not the ways of the Torah. The few places where Chazal address the concept of איני מלמד את בני אלא תורה. or תורתו אומנותו are specific to those who were and are capable of this. We have a serious need to insure that we have leaders, rabbonim, roshei yeshivos, magidei shiur, dayanim, etc. for the future generations, and kollelim need to exist. But it is foolish to claim that kollel is a realistic or responsible aspiration for everybody.

    No community does this well, but should. We need to guide our young people to recognize their strengths and to channel them into the most spiritual direction possible. For some, this means full time learning. For others, this means entering the various fields of the professions, the business world, the myriad of services available. None of these require an individual to ch"v stop learning. We have erroneously taught the either-or message, that those who work are being מבטל תורה. The self-fulfilling prophecy is realized when someone needs to go to work, and tosses away learning with ease and no regret. We can look in many places to see a backlash, where baalei batim engage in serious learning, giving or attending shiurim תמידין כסדרןwith some even writing and publishing chidushei Torah.

    It is a shame that we have created positions of leadership as Roshei Yeshivos that are confined to the preparation and delivery of shiurim, with the requisites of kavod that are deserved by the gadlus in Torah. Seriously absent is the relationship that every talmid requires, as in עשה לך רב which is clearly about a relationship, not formal membership. The true Rosh Yeshiva should have little problem helping a talmid know his assets and liabilities, and to channel himself in the direction that will grant him success, in terms of realizing his potential, and in terms of adorning Klal Yisroel with a true oveid Hashem.

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    1. Don't worry. The Frankenstein is collapsing...both in Lakewood & especially in Eretz Yisrael.

      The Israeli charedi modern kollel system is collapsing... the government has slashed their funding & welfare & subsidies... the next few months/years will be brutal...

      The Lakewood kollel system (for the masses) started in the '80s... we are now starting the 2nd generation... meaning, that the new shver's (father-in-laws) are all products of the modern kollel system... the girls who are now entering the shidduch market... their fathers learned in kollel well into their 30s... they have only been working a few years... (many of them are low-earning rabbeim...) they won't be able to support the son-in-law... perhaps 1 or 2 years... that's all... Once they are no longer able to extort the shver... the appeal of "learning in kollel in BMG" will diminish drastically... Change is coming...

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  11. I've had the English translation called "Torah Study" for a number of years.

    Its an outstanding sefer, and it has haskamos from R. J. Kamenecki (Monsey), R. Pinchas Menachem Alter (Gur), R. Ovadiah Yosef, R. Shimon Schwab, and other Gadolim.

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  12. In the non Jewish world , the progressives don't think much of the traditional high school education . If one checks out the writings of Alfie Kohn and Deborah Meier , a yeshivah education not only gives a love for learning , it is multi-disciplinary and students become life -long learners who have acquired the critical thinking skills. The only value of a secular education is the piece of paper that comes with it .The Yeshivah system in Israel allows secular education until grade 8. After Yeshivah you can get a matric in a year and then get a profession from an academic institution. Things would be better if a yeshivah education would be recognized as at the equivalent of a B.A . The problem is not so much of a lack of a secular education but the will to plan ahead and enteri the work force. The economic situation and the high prices of apartments and rent will force people out of Kollel . One needs now to pay tuition for Chadarim and yeshivot. Although I believe the system is responsible for the poverty , individuals will be forced to take responsibility for themselves.

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  13. Rav Schach was upset because he invented the lie that Voloziner Yeshiva was closed down so not to include secular studies and Yehuda Levi disproved it. So he banned the book.

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  14. What was the impetus for posting this now?
    was the sefer reprinted?

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    1. I was leaving through Rav Shach's letters and came across it. Rav Nosson Kaminetsky told me that Rav Shach had called to tell him that he had to write a condemnation for the sefer - but he wanted to make sure he did not saying anything that would insult his father. He asked him to check the letter before he published it.

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    2. "Rav Nosson Kaminetsky told me that Rav Shach had called to tell him that he had to write a condemnation for the sefer - but he wanted to make sure he did not saying anything that would insult his father. He asked him to check the letter before he published it."
      I would have written that with the original post. It seems to me to be an incredibly important point. People seem to assume that big talmidei chachamim do not have a cheshbon when it comes to giving an opinion in a public forum.

      Delete
  15. Check out moderators comments here:

    http://classic.frumteens.com/topic.php?topic_id=956&forum_id=27&topic_title=Secular+Studies&forum_title=&M=0

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  16. Does anyone know where I can purchase the newest (6th edition) of this sefer?

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  17. They said the exact same thing when I entered Lakewood Yeshiva in 1997. At the time a survey was made by a shadchan and the head of the girls school and there were disproportionally fewer older singles in the community. How do you feel about your reply 4 yrs later, and 21 years later than the first time I heard it?

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