Dec 10, 2009

Who do we admire?

A girl left her frum high school after 11th grade for Stern College and had plans for medical school.  She said, "There's something interesting going on. People think it's not the best for me to be in Stern and thinking of med. school, but then again, they're so, so impressed."

What did the Misyavnim (Hellenizers) want? They wanted the beauty of the Greek culture. The Greeks did not want to outlaw Torah as other governments tried to do. The Greeks said - you've got a philosophy? Great. As long as you leave G-d out of it.

What's with us frum people and out attitudes towards the "outside world"? Seems like we know the right thing to SAY about the supremacy of Torah and how all wisdom is derived from Torah, but when it comes down to it, many if not most of us are impressed and even intimidated by people with degrees and professional careers. And I don't think it's only about the money that some people with degrees earn. I think the admiration is exclusive of earning power.

So who do we admire more - the brilliant rosh yeshiva or the brilliant physicist? Or do we think that a synthesis, the Torah-learned lawyer, is best of all?

If a lecture was given on parenting-chinuch who would we be more interested in listening to, a talmid chacham/wise older woman who raised a fine family or a psychologist?

1 comment:

  1. I think it is a very big kiddush Hashem when a professional takes his Torah learning seriously and follows the teachings of a Talmid Chacham. I think that there is room for all types and all those who adhere to Torah are admirable. The problem with professions today is that to acquire them means exposing oneself to philosophies that are the antithesis of Torah. Years ago, in order to learn a trade, one only had to study that area and those disciplines needed to perform that trade. Today it might involve being on a liberal left-wing campus with immoral ideals.
    Still, today in order to make a living, to afford all that is needed in a large frum family, a person must be prepared or trained in some way to make that living. Some are naturally talented or business minded, some will work at some Torah job, but some will need training or education to make a living. I see and experience it as a reality of life today. While it has been expected of many people to learn full time in kollel for years, that is also becoming economically harder to achieve.
    Personally, if I were listening to a parenting lecture, I would see all three as having something to impart. A psychologist can talk about mental development, learning styles, testing, etc. A Talmid chacham can talk from a Torah perspective about chinuch and a wise older woman can give sagely advice.