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TALMUD TORAH-----for those not destined to be gedolim

Ani Yehudi Posted - 12 July 2001 21:23

OK, so Gemora contains a little of everything, but shouldn't practical halacha -Mishna Berura - be one of the first things we learn - seeing that halachos are often unclear from Gemora, particularly on the level we have time to cover?

MODERATOR Posted - 12 July 2001 21:40

For someone who only has a few hours a day to learn, that is indeed the Halachah. But not only Mishna Brura, but the rest of Shulchan Aruch too.

However, the goal of yeshiva is to teach the students HOW to learn; to become Gedolei Torah, not merely people who know what is prohibited and what is not.

The question now is, what about those kids who will not become Gedolei Torah - shouldn't we make a yeshiva for them where they emphasize Halachah Hashkafa and other basics that they will be spending all their time on when they grow up?

This question was asked by the previous Bostoner Rebbe (of Boro Park) ZTL to Rav Shraga Feivel mendelovitz ZTL. Rav Mendelovitz's answer was:

"You are correct, Bostoner Rebbe, but what parent would want to send their kid to that Yeshiva?"

In other words, there is not a demand for such a yeshiva, though there is a need. And if they do make such a Yeshiva, they are likely to get, instead of ehrlicher bochurim who want to become ehrlicher baalei batim, bochurim who because of behavioral and other problems have no choice but to go to this Yeshiva because they cannot survive in the mainstream yeshiva.

In other words, it's a good idea, but it won't work. It will only work if the masses wake up and decide to do what's best for themselves and their children according to the torah as opposed to what is more "choshuv."

The same issue surrounds the daf yomi. Baalei Batim have no business spending all their learning time learning daf yomi - they should rather learn hilchos shabbos etc. The Aruch haShulchan writes that the only reason we don’t object to baalei batim spending their time learning Gemora instead of halachah is because if we did they wouldn’t learn anything, since their attitude is give me Daf Yomi or I refuse to learn.

So the issue is the same: The need is there, but nobody wants to do it.

But as far as yeshivas are concerned, the primary goal is to produce Gedolei torah. Nobody is interested in the secondary goal or the secondary type of yeshiva. Where baalei batim are concerned, meaning those who only have a few hours a day to learn, their primary concern is halachah. And they are not interested in their primary goal.

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