What do you say about going to a hesder yeshiva (a group of yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel where the talmidim combine learning with army service) ?
You know, the Torah says u’vacharta ba’chaim – “You should choose life,” which means you choose the best kind of life for serving Hakodosh Boruch Hu. It’s like choosing a home. You can live in a barrel if you want. It’s not a very good way to live, however. It’s better to live in a tent. Even better is to live in a hut. And better than that is to live in a decent house. They’re all madreigos of living. U’vacharta b’chaim! Choose the best type of life. Hashem wants you to live properly by means of choosing what’s right, what’s best.
Now, why should you go to a hesder yeshiva where people are going to be headed towards the army; in the beis medrash they already have one foot in the army. And in the army they’re going to learn — who knows what they’re going to learn?! You know, if boys and girls are in the army together they’re not going to learn Mesillas Yesharim when they’re together. It’s a terrible thing, the mixture in the army.
So why should anybody choose a hesder yeshiva and then he’ll risk ruining his neshama forever? There are plenty of good yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel. In America there are plenty of good yeshivos too. You don’t have to go to Eretz Yisroel for yeshivos. There are plenty of good yeshivos in America. Go to a yeshiva that’s not hesder, that doesn’t end up in ruination of your character.
Of course, a hesder yeshiva is better than no yeshiva at all, but still if you have a choice, Hashem says u’vacharta ba’chaim, choose a good yeshiva where there’s yiras shamayim and nothing but yiras shamayim.
TAPE # E-138