I am the letter writer of last week’s column, Attaining Both Torah U’madda. While I appreciate your response, this issue is not about being judgmental but rather it is simply telling it like it is. If no one is blunt in his or her assessment, nothing will improve.
It baffles me that in America, yeshivot can get away with having no secular curriculums in high schools. And if the facts are trivialized in your column, we are not doing anyone a favor. My letter was not meant to hurt people; it was intended to open people’s eyes. After all, we are talking about our futures.
After a certain number of generations (and that certain number may be upon us soon), the resources of parents and grandparents will run out. When that happens, who will support these families if the husband does not have much of an education (or any at all) or a job?
We learn that Torah u’madda are connected. The husband should practice both, for with so many children in many families it is beyond unfair to put the onus of earning a parnassah squarely on the wife’s shoulders.
A Perturbed Educator
Dear Perturbed Educator:
I don’t know how any high school in America gets away without teaching an English curriculum. You are right in your belief that a disturbing issue is taking place. We now have a generation of young people who want to be supported in their learning, and although this may be a beautiful concept in theory you are right in questioning how this policy will make for a better future. The fact is that other people’s money dries up at some point. While I do not have the answer to this growing problem, there are supporters of both the concept of Torah u’madda and that of learning full-time to sustain the world.
The issue arises when a generation produces mostly learners and not enough learners/earners. However, I know of many young men who were once learners and who hold respectable jobs as learners/earners. These young men, though, probably received better secular educations than the ones you’ve described and are probably not suffering from the learning difficulties that you’ve witnessed.
This issue might become more complicated if a new generation arises whereby fewer opportunities exist for the would-be learner/earner. If this happens, an economic crisis in the frum world could ensue.
Even as I hope that your letter helps readers understand the importance of receiving a secular education, this may not be the goal of the community you are referring to. Nonetheless, the goal of guiding our children and other Jews b’derech haTorah must continue unabated. Hopefully, the level of ahavas Yisrael will rise as a result.
I hope this response better serves you and Jewish Press readers. Hatzlachah!
Dear Dr. Respler:
I love my husband dearly. He is very involved in our community, runs a large business, and is a great father and husband. I always admired his ability to prioritize his time and the important things in life. When he arrives home, he shuts off his cell phone and focuses exclusively on our family. Since the war in Israel, though, my husband has become obsessed with his phone and the war’s latest developments.
I also try to keep up with the news, as I too am upset about what is going on in Israel. However, my time with our children is precious and I need not know what is happening there every minute of the day. Unlike some friends whose husbands obsess with their phones, I always felt fortunate that my husband had his priorities in order.
About the Author: Letters may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Respler will be on 102.1 FM at 10:00 pm Sunday evenings after Country Yossi.
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