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Unread 01-24-2008, 08:38 AM   #1
ChofetzChaim
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Failure of the Yeshiva "System"

Over the past year, it has come to my realization that the Yeshiva System is a total and utter failure. Why am I noticing now? Well, my friends and I just finished the system and the graduates don't look too great. It seems to me, that all the fundaments that the system attempted to imbue into its students are missing in action. Guys coming out of the system are utterly directionless.

Allow me to define some of the fundaments and allow me to clarify what directionless means.

Fundament A: The ability to learn Torah (both nigleh & chassidus) on your own. Most guys cannot learn Gemara at all. Most guys don't know any hebrew grammar. Most guys can't learn any chassidus beyond sichos and maamarim of the Rebbe; and are unable to learn chassidus of the Alter Rebbe and the Mitteler Rebbe easily. Most can just tread through a maamor of the Rebbe Rashab. Most cannot even get through basic Chumash with Rashi (and most have never even looked at the other meforshim on Chumash). Last, but not least, no one knows any Nach at all. Most guys don't know any halachos at all (even those who completed semicha).

Guys are coming out of the Yeshiva System with a basic knowledge of the different parts of Torah that exist, they know how to read hebrew and they know a sundry amount of basic concepts in each area.

Most do not have the "big picture" of Torah and have very little actual understanding of the concepts that they know of; instead, they take them for granted.

How is it possible that after being in a system for so many years (Elementry, Mesivta, Yeshiva Gedola & Semicha), a system that uses up a person's entire day (7:30am - 9:30pm), with full time staff dedicated to the mission, and many don't even have any time dedicated to secular studies, that a person doesn't pick this stuff up?!

Something is wrong with the system.

Fundament B: To imbue the students with a sense of self-control to avoid outside influences. This includes books, magazines, internet, music, tv and movies.

So Teen Rebellion, to try out everything for a couple years, is normal. Unfortunately, guys are not progressing past that stage. Movies and TV watching has become the norm; guys have no self-control at all. Non-jewish music has also become the norm. Wraunchy internet use is also on the increase as well. Its as if guys were never told in school anything about this stuff at all (and many weren't).

Fundament C: To produce mature, responsible, productive people. No need to elaborate on this one. Many guys just have no drive to move forward in life. Of the ones that do, many have no organizational or people skills at all.

Directionless: Okay, so many aren't getting a secular or judaic education. They are ignorant; that don't know how the world works. Their only education comes from TV, music, and movies. They lack mature thought processing. They are basically drones that will go in whichever direction the wind blows them. Many want to go into real estate, business, or other ventures; shlichus is not on the agenda anymore. All they want is to live a comfortable life and will do anything to get that.

Clarification - I may make all these people sound like they are stupid. Many, if not most, are smart people. They are just ignorant. They will be successful. They will learn the secular information that they need to succeed.

Summary: Is this what the Yeshiva System intended? BTW, I am not referring here to the fry-out or bum-out issue; I am talking about the main-stream flow of bochurim.
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Unread 01-24-2008, 08:52 AM   #2
Torah613
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The answer is one sentence: There is no coherent "yeshiva system". Simply put: "Yeshiva system" is an oxymoron...
I can also comment point by point, but that would take forever. I have posted in the past, on some of the reasons that cause much of the above IMHO...
You can try this thread:
http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/showthread.php3?p=53529
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Unread 01-24-2008, 09:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
The answer is one sentence: There is no coherent "yeshiva system". Simply put: "Yeshiva system" is an oxymoron...
I can also comment point by point, but that would take forever. I have posted in the past, on some of the reasons that cause much of the above IMHO...
You can try this thread:
http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/showthread.php3?p=53529
The link doesn't work.

I just realized that I made a post with no purpose whatsoever. Allow me to redeem myself:

Do you (as in everyone) think that this failure is cause for serious alarm or do you think that it is just a phase that will pass? Is this something that will clean itself up in a couple decades, or does someone need to take the stand to change the tide?
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Unread 01-24-2008, 09:54 AM   #4
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Sorry - you probably cannot access it. Here is a post of mine there (and yes, I was attacked there (a bit) for it). One can quibble on details, but the general thrust - I think - is accurate, and in the passage of time, and in the context of your questions, I have much more to add. [Also, I will don't want to reopen the quibbles on this post. But I think it is clear in what direction I am going there].
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Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
Concerning the original question, why there seems to be a lack of “pure” learning in our circles, I have several thoughts about it which I will share in response to someone’s request (and please - I am not trying to offend anyone, and I am not naming names of Mosdos etc, but I think the problems have to be discussed openly and frankly).
[I just want to point out, that “of course” everybody “learns” Chitas, Rambam and Sotah (which in that itself I would ask: How many of us remember what the Rambam was about yesterday or today?!). How many learn it properly vs. just saying the words with barely thinking about the meaning etc? Most importantly - how many have a serious seder (in Mishna, Gemmoroh, Chassidus (besides the occasional sicha or Maamar), Halocho etc) outside of the above? How many are on track to fulfill the mitzva of TT as outlined in hil. TT of the AR? Lastly, how many of us will just “chap ah Gemoro” (or a different sefer), just for the pleasure of spending a few hours learning Hashem’s Torah? That is the problem we are discussing, and trying to understand the root of].
1) There is no “culture” of learning for the sake of learning. IOW, we are in a culture, where everything we are learning has to be “for a reason”, be it for Chitas Rambam, be it to fulfill the minhog brought in Hayom Yom for Sotah, be it to be yotseh the “inyon” of a YT Kislev mesechte. The inyon to learn just for the sake of learning - has been lost (or at least - is sorely lacking for the most part). For example: If you will go into shul Shabbos afternoon, and see a friend learning Gemoro (setting aside for now the so called “problem” of niglah on Shabbos…) - your reaction will be to figure out why “suddenly” is he learning (there is no seder now etc…) - is it a YTK mesechta, or a “iluy nishmas” mesechta, or chazoro for a test. If you will discover he is learning it just to get closer to finishing shas, the gut reaction in our circles will be, either “er iz a baal nigleh - feh!” (or even worse … a halber misnaged), or stam off his rocker…. except for “yechidei segulah” who it is there “job” to learn (RY’s, Rabbonim etc).
[The above may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much….].
2) There is no genuine koch in learning by the majority of bochurim. How many of you out there will be so involved in a sugya, that you will at night in your own time, spend time (- hours) trying to decipher that sugya (outside of trying to write a pilpul for a kovetz)? How many bochurim open up a sefer (besides Chitas and Rambam) Bein Hazmanim - unlike “bnei chomi” where you could go to many shuls/yeshivas in Boro Park during Chol Hamoed and find packed rooms with hundreds of bochurim sitting and learning during all hours of the day and night.
The same with Balei Batim - how many BB in CH will be found in front of an open sefer during Chol Hamoed - or for that matter any Sunday (when they are not working), rather than strolling into 770 any hour of the day and finding huge minyonim davvening shachris at weird hours, after the hachono rabosi of 2 hours discussing the latest scandal - politics - loshon horo etc. OTOH go to BP or Flatbush, find the lists of shiurim during CH with guest lecturers on all manners of topics, and see the turnout….
3) One of the root causes IMO - is that many of those that teach in our school system do not have a genuine geshmak in learning themselves, therefore how are they going to impart to children that which they themselves don’t have? In addition, many of them are genuine amei ho’oretz, who prepare a class with Soncino/Steinzaltz/Artscroll, and still don’t know the right pshat (even after teaching that Gemmoro for several years!) - how do you expect the students to look after learning from such “dugmah chayos”? If the teacher that is teaching them never learned as a bochur, never learned as a yungerman, never opens up a sefer if not preparing for an actual class, will never be seen by their students outside class time sitting and learning anything (or davvening bizman and with a minyon etc) - how will the student aquire the hergesh “az Torah iz di beste schorah” beyond being a fairy tale that was sung by their mother (if they were lucky)? The students will quickly pick up from such teachers what is really important and interesting… But I forget - these teachers give their students a good time - trips, prizes, contests etc. - abi nit lernen…
Then we wonder - where is the koch in learning? Where is the atmosphere of ëé äí çééðå åàåøê éîéðå åáäí ðäâä éåîí åìéìä ! Why can we walk into 770 Shabbos afternoon between Mincha and Maariv and see bli ayin horo 1500 people - sitting and talking instead of learning!
There is more to say on all this, but enough for now.
Concerning your other questions: I think it is cause for alarm, and it will not pass (as things are now). There is NO someone to change anything.
The best hope for your kids, is lots of úäéìéí and hard work on your part.
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Unread 01-24-2008, 01:22 PM   #5
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So, you're saying there is no solution (on a level beyond individual family)?
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Unread 01-24-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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I think that kids , in general,they take more influence from the father than from his teachers
if they see that their father is learning and loves the Torah, they are going to have a different approach
of, course, if the fathers are BTs, in general,they are going o have their teachers as a dugma chaia
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Unread 01-24-2008, 05:13 PM   #7
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That's even worse then.
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Unread 01-24-2008, 05:40 PM   #8
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B"H
I must say that such a thread is petrifying for a girl to read. Is this seriously the types of boys that are out there to marry?
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Unread 01-24-2008, 06:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChofetzChaim View Post
Do you (as in everyone) think that this failure is cause for serious alarm or do you think that it is just a phase that will pass? Is this something that will clean itself up in a couple decades, or does someone need to take the stand to change the tide?
I think that now, as always, you had to discriminate between the good and the bad and in between yeshivos, and that within a bad yeshiva it is a cause for serious alarm if the yeshiva is not doing well. You can't gloablize a problem that needs to be fixed locally.

neenow, that should answer your question as well.
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Unread 01-24-2008, 09:06 PM   #10
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Judging from my experience, I think that about 5-8% of Bochurim that I have observed during my years would fit into the favorable category. In some cirlces it is probably more, in some circles it may be less.

I don't know if the Boro Park example is a very good idea; compare it proportionally to crown heights and other chabad communities.

It is also important to note that the Chabad demographic makeup has changed. Many people do not come from such scholarly or learned backgrounds.

In addition, having the Roshei Yeshiva being portrayed as "Misnagdim" (and this is usually the case) does not really help increase a zeal in learning. VAKML
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Unread 01-24-2008, 09:53 PM   #11
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I just want to point out that (while it's true that there are flaws in our "system", and not all connected with the Yeshiva system) someone reading the above posts could arrive at the erroneous impression that there aren't any excellent bochurim emerging from Lubavitcher Yeshivos today. In fact, while we have our problems like anyone else, every year there are also excellent bochurim graduating from our Yeshivos.

Excellent in learning: every year there are amongst the Lubavitcher Yeshivos graduates lomdim, b'nei Torah who learn Torah with a chayus, a koch and a geshmak for its' own sake. I know of numerous olamisher Rabbonim and RY who were amazed, after farhering or getting to know, individual, or groups of, Lubavitcher bochurim, at the scope of our bochurim's yedios (and I'm sure there are many more whom I don't know of). Every year all of our yeshivos produce numerous kovtzim that are l'shem ul'tiferes, and are a testimonial to the high level of learning of the bochurim (true not every kovetz or every inyan, but in general), as the Rebbe stated very emphatically by a farbrengen once (and the kovtzim then were definitely no better than today). I've seen numerous misnagdishe bochurim who were in awe of some of our bochrim after talking with them in learning.

Excellent in Yiras Shomayim: Despite all the scandals etc. it is well known that Lubavitcher bochurim (in many cases) are the only one's that can be depended on to maintain a standard in difficult circumstances. (It was noteworthy that on the same Shabbos (a few years ago) that a busload of b'nei torah arrived in Lakewood Fri. night hours after shkia without a single person having embarked, a few carloads of bochurim stopped Fri. afternoon, and they walked a few hours in the bitter winter storm (and this was what anyone would expect). I see many bochurim who, without having signs wherever they go "I eat only Yoshon" are extremely dilligent and concerned in shmiras halachos.

Excellent in Chassidishkeit: Despite the tremendous challenges in difficulties in our current era, both in the world in general and in Lubavitch specifically, our bochurim are outstanding in their hiskashrus, in their bittul to the Rebbe, in their kabollas ol etc.. I, for one, am humbled by them. åéù ìäàøéê áë"æ.

I'm not saying that there are no serious problems with some of our bochrim, and (presumably) with our Yeshivos as well. I just want to correct the possible misconception (that was surely unintended) that our Yeshivos are not also producing at the same time bochurim that are the pride of Lubavitch, a pride (surely) to the Rebbe, and bochurim in whom are realized the purposes for which Tomchei Tmimim was established.

Just my very humble opinion.
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Unread 01-24-2008, 11:56 PM   #12
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Torah613, you probably weren't expecting this, but I disagree with you. I do not think that the style of learning that Chabad espouses is in error. I believe that nigleh can be taught just like math (that is, you have to learn it, but don't have to enjoy it). The problem is that Yeshivos are not teaching nigleh at all. They first need to teach it all properly and then we can worry about making it interesting and fun to learn. In a similar way, a math teacher strives to make sure the students know the information and only then attempt to make the very same lesson as appealing as possible (usually). Schools are not a place for learning lishma; schools are there to teach people how to learn. Maybe if people knew how to learn properly by the time that they leave the system, they might open a sefer some time to learn for the geshmak/lishma later in life.

Bittul, the problem is universal. Because when you have a bad bochur in a good yeshiva, there is no system there to accomadate the bad bochur at all. He will just sit around doing nothing. The good bochurim get better, and the bad bochurim get worse. Hence, I am not saying that there are not good bochurim, I am saying that there is no system. Not even good yeshivas have a system; they are just lucky to have some good bochurim around.

Chossidnistar, while it is true that guys do get a lot of influence from the father, the education itself is still in the hands of the yeshivos. The yeshivos also produce a certain social atmosphere that has a tremendous influence on students. Teachers, themselves, have very little influence on the students; but what they teach does influence them and the social atmosphere.

Oh, to answer my own question, I think that something can be done and that it should be done.
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Unread 01-25-2008, 02:37 AM   #13
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Yesh lomar that a "bad" bochur does not belong in a "good" yeshiva. What is a bad bochur? What is a good yeshiva? There are yeshivos that specialize in "bad" bochurim.

If by bad you mean mushchas hamiddos and movui hamefulosh to olam haze, then they need a spanking, not a yeshiva.

Each yeshiva has its own system, responsible parents just have to do the legwork to find the appropriate yeshiva for their son and make the proper arrangements. You want "someone" to develop a system that will solve all problems. Has never happened.
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Unread 01-25-2008, 04:01 AM   #14
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What the Frierdiker Rebbe said that Unzere Zibburis Iz Besser still holds true even today. And anyone who has any doubt about wether there are any Bachurim today who are still Frum and Erlich and Chassidish and Shomrei Torah Umitzvos Vchu' Vchu' need only to look at what goes on by the Ohel on a Shabbos such as last week (Yud Shevat) where you see hundreds of Bachurim from Gantz Velt who sit and learn for hours and Daven Bkavana Mila BMila With Perirush HaMilos VKavana Atzuma and Fabreng Un Tut Zich In Avoda... Only someone with a Lev Ha'even wouldnt get inspired from such a scene. And these are Bachurim who never even saw the Rebbe Bgashmiyus!

Someone asked the Rebbe why in Chabad the peopel have a look a naivete on their faces as if they don't really know what's going on. The Rebbe was masbir that what he sees on the faces of Lubavitcher Chassidim is not a look of naivete but rather the lack of a Kera-a split. In Lubavtich people know what the Emes is. There might be some issues of how to deal with it espeically with Bachurim in Yehsiva who are still trying to "find themselves" but even Unzere Zibburis are more grounded. Viniflinu...

[This is not L'Afuki what anyone said before; this is stam a Nekuda.]
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Unread 01-25-2008, 08:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChofetzChaim View Post
Torah613, you probably weren't expecting this, but I disagree with you. I do not think that the style of learning that Chabad espouses is in error. I believe that nigleh can be taught just like math (that is, you have to learn it, but don't have to enjoy it). The problem is that Yeshivos are not teaching nigleh at all. They first need to teach it all properly and then we can worry about making it interesting and fun to learn. In a similar way, a math teacher strives to make sure the students know the information and only then attempt to make the very same lesson as appealing as possible (usually). Schools are not a place for learning lishma; schools are there to teach people how to learn. Maybe if people knew how to learn properly by the time that they leave the system, they might open a sefer some time to learn for the geshmak/lishma later in life.
I do not see in the above paragraph anything that disagrees with what I wrote (which was lifted from a different, old thread with a slightly different topic, which I thought had some relevance, but I did not edit to tailor it for this thread). Aderabo, if you look carefully I am saying almost the same thing.
Concerning some of the other comments: I never said there were no good bochurim C"V, and for sure I will not quibble over percentages and numbers. The fact reamins, however, that for the average bochur today, there is no coherent yeshiva system from age 19-20, and a buchor that remains totally in learning (meaning - not part time helping shluchim, not part time working (even) in a yeshiva, not part time working in JEM or Lahak etc. etc.) is an increasing rarity (relatively speaking). In my view - there is an underlying reason for that.
Zaraza - I actually agree with you. The only time I ever get inspired these days - is after a Shabbos at the Ohel... And yes, I heard about this past Shabbos.
And yet ... the problem I see, is still there, even in scenes like that, in full force.
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Unread 02-12-2008, 09:28 AM   #16
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Oy. Nice points but no answer.... Competency tests
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Unread 02-12-2008, 06:37 PM   #17
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i think that if teachers in boys schools went thru the same training that teachers in girls schools get- ie seminary training, a lot of the issues with incompetent teachers would be resolved and that would solve a little bit of this problem. also, maybe some of the girls curriculums should be looked at by boys schools. many ppl think believe that the girls of today are more educated in some areas than boys. what are the girls schools doing that works a bit better?
just from looking at my own relatives only a small percentage of the guys are very chassidish but those who are are really amazing in their learning and e/t and their parents and rebbeim can be really proud of them.
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Unread 02-12-2008, 07:35 PM   #18
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we need good principals

http://video.on.nytimes.com/?fr_stor...b9654cc3b02b1a
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Unread 02-15-2008, 01:25 PM   #19
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also, i think it would make sense to do what the hayom yom suggests- every person should think abt chinuch for a half hour every day ( i think that was the basic gist of it- correct me if i'm wrong). that might bring some much needed change in the system.
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Unread 02-17-2008, 08:34 PM   #20
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The following story and the characters within were entirely made up to make a point. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely hashgacha protis.

It was shortly before the destruction of the Second Beis HaMikdash. Yehoshua Ben Gamliel was sitting by a table at a neighbor's wedding. The Chuppah was just a few moments ago and now he found himself enjoying a roll and some salad while listening to the slow dinner music.

Yehoshua lurched forward as a hand came down hard on his back. "Ben-Gamliel! Is that you?" Yehoshua looked at his attacker, trying to put a name to the face he was now looking at. "It's me, Ben-Nachmeni! Long time no see!" Yehoshua thought to himself, "Ben-Nachmeni.. Ben-Nachmeni.." He spoke aloud, "Nosson Ben Nachmeni?"

"That's me!" beamed Nosson. "Wow, it's been a while since we were in shiur together! What have you been up to?" Yehoshua answered, "I'm in real estate. I borrowed some money and bought several fields. I then sold them for a slightly higher price and bought some more fields. Hashem has been good to me and I'm doing pretty well. How about you?"

Nosson smiled. "I'm in a Yissoschor and Zevulun partnership with Ben-Yosi. You know, the banker."

"Yissoschor and Zevulun partnership?"

"Yeah, you know. I sit in the Beis Medrash all day and he works all day. He supports me and gets the zechus of my sitting in the Beis Medrash all day."

"Hmm. Sweet deal."

Yehoshua looked around the hall at the other tables. He was looking for a shidduch for his Chana and was hoping he might spot a boy with good Middos at one of the tables. Nosson followed his gaze and commented, "You know, the Yeshiva System these days have really gone down the drain and something really ought to be done about it." Yehoshua looked at Nosson with a blank face. "System? There's a system?" Nosson let out a loud laugh and slapped Yehoshua on the back making him lurch forward again. "Ha! That was a good one!" Yehoshua smiled a small smile not really understanding what he had said that was so funny.

Nosson continued, "You know, the boys these days don't know how to learn properly at all. They say they have trouble remembering the Mesorah. It's completely crazy! You know why they can't remember anything?" Yehoshua opened his mouth to say something, but Nosson kept going. "I'll tell you why they can't remember anything - It's the system!" Yehoshua asked, "the system?" Nosson gaining momentum continued. "You bet! It's the system! The Maggidei Shiur these days don't know how to remember anything themselves! Their brains are made of mush! Mush, I tell you! Why, just yesterday I was in the Beis Medrash and you know what I saw?" Yehoshua was about to ask what he had seen, but Nosson wasn't about to keep him in suspense. "I'll tell you what I saw!" Nosson lowered his voice conspiratorially. "I saw a Maggid Shiur preparing for his shiur using a... a Nossienu Press Pamphlet!" Nosson raised his voice again. "Now, if that's not an all-time low, I don't know what is! A Nossienu Press Pamphlet! This generation seems to need everything spoon-fed to them! If this Maggid Shiur is a role model to the boys, it's no wonder they can't remember anything!" Yehoshua quickly shoved the papers he was studying from under his dinner plate hoping Nosson wouldn't notice, but of course, Nosson did. "What was that?" asked Nosson. Yehoshua answered, "Um, nothing really. Just some uh, business documents I was looking over."

---
Later that night, Yehoshua was laying in bed. His wife asked him how the wedding was. Yehoshua answered, "It was nice Devorah. I met an old friend from my Yeshiva days." Devorah asked curiously, "Oh, really? Did you guys talk? What about?" Yehoshua told her of Nosson's complaints. Devorah spoke, her tone nervous. "Oy, is that true, Yehoshua? Are those really the kind of boys that are available these days for our Chana??" Yehoshua responded, "Devorah, Hashem has been good to us. Boruch Hashem, we didn't need to sell our daughter at the age of 12 to help with our income. We are doing well and there are some very fine boys out there. I even saw some at the wedding tonight. There are boys with very fine Middos." Devorah let out a sigh of relief. "You know Yehoshua, I'm glad I married you. You always say the right things."

Yehoshua turned over, closed his eyes and let out a breath. "Oy, my back!"
"What happened to your back?" asked Devorah. "Oh nothing," responded Yehoshua. "Must've been the dancing."
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Unread 06-03-2010, 03:31 PM   #21
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im now finishing yeshiva ktana......

im now in shiur gimmel yeshiva ktana finishing off
and i see alll my friends that came in to yeshiva 2 and a half years ago
and nothing has changed besides age and experience
because
a. learning : we were never taught or given the abilty to learn gemora every thing was shiurim and chassidus besides opening chelek alef through daled lekutei sichos everything else is beyond our abilities
b.yiras shomayim and chasidishkeit: there's noone that really cares to help us with that especially when the mashpia is talking about iskafia and later thatt night you spot him at the pizza shop gobbling down whatever he could!
in short we are around 500 bochurim that spent 3 years
of our lives with no outcome!
the system is a failure
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Unread 06-03-2010, 04:55 PM   #22
chossidnistar
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hey
there is iskafya ,but you also have isapcha (higher level)
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Unread 06-03-2010, 08:51 PM   #23
Jose
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And me I have just internet to study ...
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Unread 06-03-2010, 09:19 PM   #24
MahTovChelkeinu
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Quote:
im now in shiur gimmel yeshiva ktana finishing off
and i see alll my friends that came in to yeshiva 2 and a half years ago
and nothing has changed besides age and experience
I'm thoroughly confused. The typical high school in the Lubavitch system spends at least four hours a day on gemarrah including a significant portion of time spent on chevrusa learning. Those shiurim are generally geared toward getting boys able to succeed in zal (yeshiva gedolah) which has even more chevrusa time. I don't know where you went, but I don't understand what you mean that "everything was shiurim and chassidus" besides Lekutei sichos?

I won't get into the story of the specific mashpiah you mentioned... but with 500 boys is there not one Rabbi you feel you can learn something from about being a good yid?
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Unread 06-29-2010, 09:16 PM   #25
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Don't blame everything on the system

A big part of failure that bochurim attribute to the system is as a result of the bochurim themselves not interested in learning or on working on themselves
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Ki karov eilecha hadavar meod...
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