Monday, March 8, 2010

Don't leave your Chatzer !


My biggest criticism on haredi society is the lack of education. Haredim may claim that their education system is just perfect and the Edah HaCharedi groups (anti - Zionist umbrella organization in Mea Shearim) such as Dushinsky, Toldot Avraham Yitzchak or the Toldot Aharon may be terribly proud of not accepting any money from the Israeli government. Not like Gur or Belz who receive government funds for their Mosdot. This way, the Edah avoids the "Zionist" government to interfere into any of their businesses. On the other hand, Edah schools neither teach English nor any science besides some basic mathematics.

When you look at the Rambam or Ramban times were different and religious Jews were well educated in science or literature. Especially in our time, many haredi students "only" study the Talmud, Halachot and Torah (I am not saying that this is nothing !) but there is no higher education. Jerusalem has some special haredi "Colleges" but I suppose that they are mostly occupied by Litvaks.

As soon as I am in Mea Shearim, the word "UNIVERSITY" is not welcomed. Not even a religious one. First of all, men and women study together and, secondly, worldly science and subjects may cause the religious student drifting away and leave religion. Rabbi Nachman, for instance, told his Chassidim not to study philosophy, as this may influence a frum person and lead his astray.

At the last Shabbat meal in Mea Shearim, the university issue came up again and I heard a Chabad woman telling the following story:

Once a young frum man came to his Rabbi and asked him for permission to go to the university. The Rabbi was studying a book and told the student: "I am just studying exactly the same question in this book. I will read to you what I just learned:
A rooster ran to the farmer and was yelling desperately. It turned out that the fowl had chewed a nail and the nail got stuck in its throat.
The farmer said: "Rooster, rooster, why did you leave my yard (Chatzer) ? There aren't any nails laying around here but you had to stick your nose into a different yard and thus got trapped".

The young man understood that his Rabbi had just answered his question.

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