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Torah vs. Secular Knowledge


Rabbi Jonathan Blass

19 Tevet 5765
What are the issues pertinent to the decision parents and children have to make in regard to the choice between what is known in the vernacular as "staying in Torah" and acquiring trade skills and secular knowledge at the following three stages of life:- 1) Entry into grammer school/Yeshivah Ktanah. 2) Entry into Yeshivah/Sem. or college/apprenticeship. 3) Entry into Kollel/marrying a Kollel student or taking up a career/earning a living.
All Jews are obligated to study Torah. At a minimum, Jewish men are commanded to study at least something morning and evening and Jewish women are required to know the halachot that bind them. How much more than the minimum an individual should aim for depends on his/her abilities and spiritual needs. A parent should ensure that his child is taught as much Torah as he can absorb happily, making sure that his love of Torah grows as he studies. The parent is required as well to give his children the necessary training to earn a living. A talmid- chacham should have, even beyond this, a basic knowlege of the various fields of thought and of science of his day.
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