…I recently became aware of an incident 10 years ago in which a major brooklyn institution was prepared to offer two tracks, one that was exclusively learning and one that allowed one day a week for vocational training. The details had been arranged. The individual spearheading the program was threatened by a major torah personality that if he put the program into effect, the torah personality would ensure that his children never got married. The reasoning was that one of these children who would have become a Rosh Yeshiva would become an auto mechanic instead. I find this attitude counterproductive and heartless. Presumably, any Rosh Yeshiva would sacrifice his own learning to save hundreds of families from poverty. In addition, you seldom find Roshei Yeshiva who could have been auto mechanics. People tend to be one or the other. It is the responsibility of the torah leadership to look out for all jews in every aspect of their lives. The number of hours spent learning is just part of the picture. The fact that this is not the pre-eminent issue among the Gedolei Hatorah and the community at large is a condemnation of our concern for our fellow jew. We are not concerned enough about people,families, children, to address this issue seriously and to solve it before it becomes an unmitigated disaster. And time is running out.
I started this blog in an effort to discuss this issue in a socially acceptable manner, and to organize a grass-roots effort to have it addressed formally and publicly by our leaders,to force them to formulate a workable strategy for sustainable growth in learning and fulfillment in yiddishkeit for the next fifty years. I welcome your comments.