Sunday, January 30, 2011

Salaried

There were two missives in the 22 Shevat issue of Nshei Chabad which are worthy of response on this worthy blog, but I'll only be responding to one, for reason which shall remain obvious to those who are already cognizant of them.

There was an article in a previous issue of the newsletter which stated that Chabad Yeshivos provide wonderful educations. The author provided various proofs for his assertion, and came to the conclusion that Lubavitcher bochurim learn all the skills necessary in their educational endeavors for two (and only two) professions: shlichus and entrepreneurism. And that's it. Because that's all you need: either you go out on Shlichus, which is really entrepreneurial in and of itself, or you start your own business, which is really Shlichus.

In this most recent issue someone responded that the above assertion was actually incorrect. Contrary to the author's beliefs, the fact that bochurim leave yeshiva with a very limited skill set reflects a major deficiency in the system, not a positive. As the first responder says, there's a very limited number of shlichus spots open, and many people simply don't have the ability to be entrepreneurs.

In response, the author of the original article says that the main thing which matters is the person's own faith and belief and self. If you believe it enough, it will come true. There's no need to go to any sort of school, because the most successful people all just believed in themselves, and this is exactly what the Lubavitch educational system teaches.

As the commentaries would say, this is the end of the quote.

And as the commentaries would undoubtedly be too polite to say, this is bogus. The best way to respond to naivete like this is to point out the Rebbe's establishment of vocational schools in Israel. The only way to disprove someone who has drunk the Kool-Aid is to bring something which directly contradicts them.

Next up, it's simply ridiculous to assert that everyone could start their own business or at least trail blaze a new path in life. After all, if this was the case, where would the doctors come from? I'm all for people starting their own medical companies, but I would like them to have gone through some medical training first.

Besides, most people, yours truly included, simply don't have the temperament, inclination, or natural-born abilities to make something on their own. The author seems to have these abilities, and is astonished that the rest of the human race does not share his own nature. At the very least, he assumes, seven or eight years in the Yeshiva system should drill enough self-belief in someone that they're able to make it on their own in the big wide world. After all, as long as you believe in yourself, you can do anything, right?

The purpose of this post is not to posit a deficiency in the Lubavitch educational system, but rather to say that wishful thinking is no substitute for an actual education. Quoting Tony Robbins and thinking that there's some sort of mantle which will fit all Lubavitchers is absolutely ridiculous. Everyone is different. There are 600,000 general souls, and each soul has their own path in life. Sure, there's one Rebbe, but that Rebbe was smart enough to know that everyone is not the same.

58 comments:

sarabonne said...

Cheers. Is the article online? I'd like to read it.

The Real Shliach said...

Not that I know of.

Yossi said...

ok

e said...

One could argue that the vocational schools in Israel were for "special" people who couldn't hack the regular system. So they had to settle for second best and actually learn a skill.

e said...

(Of course I wouldn't argue that.)

The Real Shliach said...

Yossi: That's it? I work hard and that's all you have to say?

e: What would you argue?

Besides, there's nothing wrong with 1 out a 1000 learning his entire life, the problem is when the system teaches as if all 1000 will manage that.

e said...

The author of the original article might be on such "one."

Learning in kollel might be good for 1 out 1000. But shlichus+entrepreneurship might be good for most

The Real Shliach said...

He's some sort of business man or something. In fact, I believe he's from Skokie, perhaps you know him?

Um, no. Assuming that true "shlichus" is entrepreneurship, meaning opening up your own chabad house, how many guys are even doing that nowadays? If you can be a program director or teacher or something like that, well, that maybe shlichus, but it's not being an entrepreneur. Meanwhile, the vast majority will not have the ability to go on Shlichus, even in that capacity.

e said...

What's his name?

True, true. Yeshiva doesn't really prepare you for non-yeshiva life. And 770/post-yeshiva bochurhood is even worse. It accustoms bochurim to lifestyles that are horrible for non-yeshiva life. But that's an old rant...

The Real Shliach said...

Shlomo Vile.

But a true rant nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

They moved to Israel.
http://vilesjourneyhome.blogspot.com/

methinks this guy is a BT who didn't go through the yeshiva system, so he's really one to talk.

Anon II said...

How's your mom doing?

Yossi said...

sorry. You're absolutely right.

sarabonne said...

you know it's kinda interesting, re. the whole vocational schools vs. shluchis whatnot. My shluchim are currently in competition with these relatively new, non-Lubavitch, frum families who are opening up their own shuls and school. Most are college educated and are currently running the shluchim out of business simply because they know how to run things better.

The Real Shliach said...

Anon: Exactly. Looking in from the outside often give one a distorted view.


Yossi: And therefore?

Sara: And what are you doing to help Lubavitch?

Menashe said...

He lives! Boruch mechaye hameisim!

sarabonne said...

Currently nothing.

The Real Shliach said...

Menashe: correct.

Sara: and in the future?

sarabonne said...

Probably nothing...

The Real Shliach said...

Well that's too bad.

sarabonne said...

And what are you doing for Lubavitch?

The Real Shliach said...

It says right here on my blog- I'm bringing Jews closer to their father in heaven.

sarabonne said...

With Le7 power too.

e said...

SNORT!!!!

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: correct.

e: stop it you.

e said...

double snort

The Real Shliach said...

You're right, perhaps it's time for a new name for this here blog.

sarabonne said...

Heck no, then you're gonna be changing it every month and grow ever dissatisfied.

e said...

you can change your name, but you can't change your url.

The wise man (e) has eyes in his head and lechatchillah chooses a neutral url.

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: or grow ever more satisfied.

e: why can't I change the URL?

I'm thinking something along the lines "Memoirs of an ex-shliach".

e said...

...and lose the continuity of the site?

Menashe said...

Yeah the URL is my guiding anchor in the tumultuous storms of life.

The Real Shliach said...

Hmmm, there are deep waters here.

Yossi said...

when there are deep waters, ask Hashem for mercy, and He'll throw you a rope...

Anonymous said...

"Sure, there's one Rebbe, but that Rebbe was smart enough to know that everyone is not the same."

No he wasn't. He wanted to make everyone into a Lubavitcher.

The Real Shliach said...

Is every Jew the same?

Feivel ben Mishael said...

As e pointed out (but did not agree with) the fact that The Rebbe founded vocational schools or allowed Lubavitch schools to have secular education studies is not proof that that is the ideal. There is a section in Likkutei Dibburim where the FR states clearly that the absolute best preparation for life (wether it be rabbinical or job oriented) is a classic yeshiva education without any secular studies incorporated into the curriculum.

Furthermore, The Rebbe said bochurim should just sit and learn in Tomchei Tememim and need not give thought to where their sustenance will come from later.

The Rebbe Rashab also spoke about living life chassidically and l'maala min hateva and your sustenance will come from l'maala min hateva.

In response to the tayneh that learning in Kollel would be bad for a yungerman's parnasa, and it would be better to go to college, The Rebbe pointed out that Hashem has many ways to give parnassa and he can figure out a way to give you a parnassa even if you don't have a college degree.

So the problem is clearly NOT the educational structure of Lubavitcher Yeshivos (except for the fact that maybe some of them takke DO have secular studies.

e said...

And if your fleishige eigen tell you that people who have education make a living and people who don't, don't, then you need to learn more chassidus and open your eyes.

The Real Shliach said...

Feivel: And all the people who the Rebbe told to stay in college...?

e: Obviously, we are not worthy...

Feivel ben Mishael said...

TRS: Just because The Rebbe told certain individuals to go to college, or stay in college, does not mean that The Rebbe wanted the bochurim in general to go to college.

e: I don't see that. I know many people that didn't go to college that make a living. Maybe there are other determining factors... like insisting on living in Crown Heights even though there is nothing worthwhile for them to do there. What we need is an old fashioned agricultural colony!

Anonymous said...

The Rebbe approved for some to go to University, in a place with practically no religious Jews, with the intent to pursue a career in acadamia. However, he advised those people to consider future and more lucrative career opportunites, if the moment arrives.

Anon: I think you're wrong said...

A career in academia isn't something you do while waiting for a more lucrative option to come up.

The Real Shliach said...

Feivel: Did I say bochurim should go to college? I said bochurim should have a plan for the future.

Feivel ben Mishael said...

"The purpose of this post... but rather to say that wishful thinking is no substitute for actual education"

That can either be interpreted that you see a need for change in the yeshiva system or you believe bochurim need a supplementary education.

Both of those claims I addressed.

Furthermore as for you new claim that "bochurim should have a plan for the future," I saw for myself in a sicha where The Rebbe says that that is not necessarily true, and bochurim can choose to be serious about learning and not think about the future at all.

So so far, it appears that the view of Rabbeinu, Nisienu is that:

The yeshiva system needs no emendation, bochurim can be serious and not think about the post yeshiva future, bochurim should learn in kollel after marriage and not make taynehs or be worried about parnassa, and bochurim generally don't need to go to college.

...

caleb said...

and those who think otherwise are meraglim who doubt moshe rabeinu

The Real Shliach said...

And all the many, many people in Lubavitch with lots of negative money simply didn't have enough faith.

Menashe said...

Maybe it really is that simple.

The Real Shliach said...

Says the man becoming a CPA...

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Why does this sound so much like the "normal" yeshiva world?

re: Menashe and re: Modeh said...

Ouch!

Feivel ben Mishael said...

shtika k'hoda

"And all the many, many people in Lubavitch with lots of negative money simply didn't have enough faith."

Or have negative money because of some other set of factors. The economic situation is not one dimensional depending solely on education.

Once again, religious claims retreat to the haven of non-falsifiability said...

In other words, things are very complicated, and all we have is hard-to-interpret anecdotal evidence, so we can claim whatever we want.

The moon is made of cheese said...

Religion is the opium of the masses.

Feivel ben Mishael said...

"Once again, religious claims retreat to the haven of non-falsifiability said...
In other words, things are very complicated, and all we have is hard-to-interpret anecdotal evidence, so we can claim whatever we want."

The point being contended is what is the opinion of the Rebbeim of Lubavitch. That point is not a non-falsifiable claim.

Once again, religious claims retreat to the haven of non-falsifiability said...

you have a good point.

Menashe said...

Emunah is important in accounting. As in play games with the rules and pray you don't get audited.

The Real Shliach said...

Menashe: How comforting.

I lived in Williamsburg and don't work and scamming the gov't is my full-time job said...

Or don't cheat and don't get caught.