Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

25 Teves 5759 - Jan. 13, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Rabbonim and Mechanchim Warn Against Israeli Yeshiva High School in Chareidi Guise

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Rabbonim and mechanchim have once again cautioned against the danger of "yeshiva high schools." These institutions, in chareidi guise, seek to sidetrack young talmud Torah graduates from their pure intention of growing spiritually solely within the four cubits of halocho.

Ever since Maarava opened, of which gedolei haTorah disapproved, additional attempts to found similar institutions have been made. Recently, registration for an institution called Machon Letze'irim has been announced. Its founders profess that it is geared for talmud Torah graduates, and promise "an intensive limudei kodesh program on a high level as customary in the yeshivos ketanos, as well as a general studies program." The announcements they circulated state that the institution is "intended for bright and industrious students." With this endeavor, Machon Letze'irim joins the list of previous similar institutions, which the Rosh Hayeshiva, Maran HaRav Eliezer Menachem Shach, shlita, sharply decried.

Maran the Rosh Hayeshiva frequently cautioned against the danger of these institutions and warned against introducing general studies programs into our sacred yeshivos.

In his letters, Maran expresses pure da'as Torah, writing that a student in his youth must make certain that all of his time is utilized only for the study of Torah hakedosha, and that it is forbidden to give our children any occasion to pursue general studies. "Indubitably, it is forbidden to found a yeshiva or a Torah institution with another name, and/or to change the study course which has been transmitted to us by our sages of yore, nor to enable students to pursue other forms of study in their homes. There is no difference if these students are native Israelis or hail from abroad, because it is crucial that they acquire as much yegias haTorah as possible, and strengthen themselves, so that even when they grow old, they won't deviate from it. [Remaining strong throughout one's life] is dependent on what one achieves and diligently pursues in his youth."

In an additional letter, Maran warns against altering the yeshiva format determined by our great gedolim of the past. "The founders of these institutions have added iniquity to their already existing iniquity by permitting students to pursue general studies and vain objectives. Therefore, I state my opinion that it is forbidden, chas vesholom, to enroll in those institutions, because it is forbidden to change the format of the yeshivos hakedoshos in any way whatsoever or to deviate from the model formulated by our sages of the past which mandate that a yeshiva be totally kodesh without any mixture of other studies. A thousand enter for mikroand one emerges for horo'oh, and whoever changes is doomed to fail and will, in the future, have to account for his deeds."

Regarding the study in such institutions, Maran wrote that the parents must know that "success and [livelihood] come only from HaKodosh Boruch Hu, Who is the source of brocho and hatzlocho, and not from general studies, chas vesholom." He decried the fact that precisely in our generation which is "a most propitious one for developing yeshivos ketanos and yeshivos gedolos al taharas hakodesh," without any foreign admixtures, such institutions are opened.

In an additional letter Maran warned: "Cholilo, vecholilo for anyone to be counted among those students," adding that "all who change and destroy, and all who help them, will fail, and will one day have to account for their deeds. Their [punishment] is explicitly stated in parshas Re'ei."


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