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Playing Hockey With A Baseball Bat

When I was young and foolish [I am no longer young...], I considered studying Talmud in university. I am glad I didn't! I once saw somebody compare the study of Talmud in university to the study of Talmud in Yeshiva to the difference between a doctor performing an autopsy [- university] or operating on a live body [- yeshiva].

In Yeshiva, Abaye didn't SAY - he is SAYING.

In university, what Abaye said is part of Jewish history.

In Yeshiva the meaning of a Rambam is a matter of life and death ["ki heim chayeinu"].

In a university it is [at best] a matter of academic import, but has no practical value.

In Yeshiva, Maamad Har Sinai was 3,300 years ago and continues to reverberate until this very day.

In university, Maamad Har Sinai might or might not have happened - it doesn't really matter. Whatever you believe is fine - as long as you don't tell other people what you think they should believe.

Don't get me wrong - there are matters of methodology where the university approach has validity [such as the examination of alternate texts or the study of history to better understand the reality ["mitzeus"] of ancient times], but after all is said and done, if one wants to study Torah - Yeshiva is the place to go.

There ARE great Torah scholars in the academic world but the ultimate goal of Torah study is Yiras Shomayim (see Shabbos 31a at the bottom of the page) - and THAT you won't find in university [by their own admission].

Here is an EXCELLENT critique of academic Torah study. Well said!!

Love and blessings and see ya in Yeshiva!!!

PS- No offense to my good friend R' Menachem and others [such as Rav Prof. Twersky who was a Chassidishe Rebbe, Lamdan par excellence, and Prof. of Jewish studies at Harvard] who are university trained and much greater Jews than myself.

Unrelated; On Yutorah we have a series of shiurim on Sefer Shmuel explaining pshat, Chassidus, Mussar, Halacha etc. Here is a sample of the latest.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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