[Avodah] A Response to Rav Dessler Regarding Secular Study

Prof. Levine larry62341 at optonline.net
Thu Jul 15 13:38:25 PDT 2021



Most of our readers are familiar with the famous comparison made by 
Rav Dessler zt"l in Michtav Me-Eliyahu vol.3 pgs 355-360. Rav Dessler 
pointed out that chinuch in Germany, which included secular study 
according to the directives of R. Samson Raphael Hirsch, succeeded in 
producing laypeople almost uniformly observant. It did not, however, 
produce Torah giants. Eastern Europe, however, which allowed no 
secular involvement, produced many Torah luminaries. The price it 
paid, however, was the many dropouts from observance altogether.

Rav Dessler's analysis was first published in 1963. Three years 
later, the journal Ha-Ma'ayan published an anonymous response. This 
response is not as well known as R. Dessler's piece, and deserves 
some attention and thought, whatever people decide is the proper 
course for them.

The writer of this response was later revealed to be Rabbi Shimon Schwab.

See the above URL for more.


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