Sunday, August 13, 2023

Yeshiva is artificial institution - Rav Hutner (translated)

originally published May 18, 2012

Click here for Yiddish - © Translation by Daniel Eidensohn

Yeshiva represents a failure of ideal state of father to son Torah teaching. Discusses two aspects of Matan Torah - 1) Father to son 2) Direct from G-d


  1. Many yeshivot have become private clubs and fiefdoms. My suggestion is to return to the type of system that seemed to work before the innovation of R. Chayim from Voloshin--i.e. the local "Beit Midrash" where anyone can go and pick up a gemara and learn. This avoids the problems that modern yeshivot have of using the Torah for parnasha. Also this avoids the problem of lying about the halacha that one is not allowed to use the Torah for parnasah. Lying and fraud is also forbidden in the Torah.

  2. Nobody is stopping anybody from going to his local beis medrash to learn.

    Any parent who thinks that sending his son to the local beis medrash to learn, will work for his child, is free to do so.

    However the parent must be aware, that there is no guarantee that his son will not get any guidance in how to learn correctly learn, since there is no incentive for any senior person to make himself available to offer guidance to younger inexperienced students.

    In addition, in the proposed "neighborhood beis medrash" model

    the parent doesn't fulfill the mitzvah of teaching his son Torah, whereas in the regular yeshiva model the staff is considered the "shaliach" (proxy) of the parent.

    Moreover, today's parents want their children to be supervised (i.e.
    babysitting). They also want their children to be in a dormitory, and
    that they should be provided with meals, gym facilities etc. These
    things cost money, and parents should expect to have to pay for that.

    So before we knock the yeshiva system, we need to analyze why the current system was put into place, and if any proposed alternative will achieve better results.

  3. See what Rav Hutner's own daughter quotes him as saying in regard to the necessity of Yeshivos in our generation (note 148; this doesn't contradict the article, but rather compliments it).

  4. Interesting your term 'private fiefdom'. A friend of mine, whose brothers in law are part of CB, some married in, one a RY, tells me his brother in law's son was rejected for a shidduch cause of the CB connection. 'Its considered a cult' (not a negative cult, but a cult nevertheless) and if his daughter marries in, she'll be forever an outsider, no matter what. The b
    B-I-L thought it over, and he was right.

  5. No yeshiva, no shidduch.

    Some exceptions (rav elyahsiv comes to mind), but they have yichus, or arer special.

  6. Why do you think the pre-Volozhin system seemed to work?

  7. r gil posted today RAL on rav hutner and raising children / yeshiva. middle of post)
    (in middle of post)

  8. Im Sorry but it's not at all fraud. As the yadmoshe can attest, r moshe said in a tshuva on this, that whenever the rambam says not to take money for Torah and learning, it was first midas chasidus. r moshe highly encourages it!


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