[Avodah] The Vilna Gaon and Secular Studies (Prof. Levine)

Marty Bluke marty.bluke at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 12:42:50 PDT 2018

R' Yitzchak Levine wrote:
"There is no way that a "Rabbinical committee (namely the
Rabbanim/Poskim/Rebbeim of the respective chassidishe Yeshivos whom Simcha
Felder is representing) decided that systematic secular education is
forbidden by Orthodox Jewish law.  The reason is that the Torah
requires one to study secular subjects.

I have posted part of an article by Dr. Yehudah Levi from his book
Torah Study.  "

Of course there is. Dr. Yehuda Levi is coming from a Torah Im Derech Eretz
point of view however, Chasidim and most Charedim have a different
viewpoint, namely Torah only.  You seem to be a classic case of someone
living in an echo chamber. The only opinion/derech that you recognize as
legitimate is Torah Im Derech Eretz. As I stated many times, Torah Im
Derech Eretz is a small minority, the overwhelming majority of gedolim
rejected it.  So much so that Gedolim like R' Baruch Ber could not believe
that R' Hirsch thought that it was lechatchila.

R' Baruch Ber Leibovitch wrote a teshuva (end of Bircas Shmuel Kiddushin)
where he explicitly forbid a secular curriculum:

“What emerges is (a) that according to the Torah the obligation of Banim
Ubeni Banim means you must make your children into Geonei and Chachmei
Torah – and not merely to prepare them for life as a Jew. But rather, you
must teach them and get them to learn the entire Torah, and if chas
v’sholom you do not, you violate the entire Mitzvah of learning Torah as
per Banim Ubnei Banim.
(c) To learn secular studies on a regular basis is prohibited as per the
Rama 246:4 …
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