If studying Hashem’s creation and the emunah is such an important subject, why isn’t it studied in the high schools, the mesivtas, today?
If studying the halachos of Shabbos and the halachos of brachos is so important, why isn’t it studied in the mesivta today? The answer is the mesivtas today are based on an old system, an European system, and they took it for granted that by the time you entered the mesivta you had learned all the things. You learned halachos in the cheder. You had learned Tanach and Tanach is emunah. That’s how it was in the olden days. They had learned Tanach, and Tanach is the study of creation. They learned Tehillim. When I was a boy, we learned Tehillim as a boy. Our rebbi taught us Tehillim; we learned barchi nafshi, the wonders of creation. You couldn’t learn every little thing – a lot has to be left for the individual to do – but certainly if you learned Tanach, you learned a lot. And you learned a lot of dinim too. By the time you came into the mesivta you were ready for the big task of the Jewish male to spend his days in the cheker halachah, in the milchamto shel Torah.
But today the boys who are put into mesivta don’t know anything; they know nothing about emunah, and therefore certainly they’re losing out. It’s very important that the Chovos Halevavos, Sha’ar Habechinah should be taught today. And I would give a suggestion. Instead of the English Departments of the high schools teaching goyishe things – and very many Jewish boys and girls are ruined in the high school department of the yeshivos and this I can tell you from first-hand experience; I happen to know that it’s true – if the mesivtas meant business, they could utilize the high schools to teach them emunah. And the boys and girls would come to such a strong faith in Hakodosh Boruch Hu that the high school could even be more powerful in shaping their minds and characters than anything else could be; it’s a big opportunity that’s going lost.
TAPE # 407 (May 1982)