Rav Avigdor Miller on the Yeshiva and the Sane Asylum

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Q:
If that bochur the Rav spoke about would sit for five years in the Yeshiva and he wouldn’t learn anything, wouldn’t he become insane? [This question was referencing a story the Rav had told during the shiur]


A:
No. He didn’t become insane. He became sane. The atmosphere in the Beis Medrash is kodesh kodoshim. I can tell you – I’ve been in the atmosphere for so many years. It has an effect on you. No matter how good you are, you become improved by breathing that air. You have to realize that, “Ti’hillaso b’kihal chassidim.” The praise of Hashem is when there is a great number of chassidim coming together. Just that alone – when the chassidim come together as a kahal – that itself is a tehillas Hashem. What are they all gathered in the Beis Medrash for? They’re all there for the purpose of demonstrating that learning Torah is important. Every day the Beis Medrash is full of demonstrators. Some are demonstrating by learning Gemara. Some are demonstrating by learning Mishnayis. Some are demonstrating by just sitting there. But they are all demonstrating that learning Torah is important.

Do you realize what that demonstration means?! Walk out on the street and what do you see? Even a frum street. Money is important. Food is important. Clothing is important. Who knows what else is important?! So the Beis Medrash is mamash a Noach’s teivah – especially today.


     This young man that I’m telling you about was a very decent young man and I’m sure that he gained many good things in the Yeshiva. So many hanhagahs and chumrahs and ideals that he had never even dreamed about. And therefore, when he left the yeshiva, no, he didn’t become a moireh hoira’ah. And he wasn’t a Rosh Yeshiva – that I know. But he was a very frum personality and a very decent man as a result of the years he spent there.

I was once walking on Eastern Parkway and a man with a big beard approaches me – “Rabbi Miller,” he calls out. “Who are you?” I asked, and he tells me his name. Whoooo! He was in the Yeshiva with me years before. He was a nobody. Mamash a lo klum. There was no hope for him. Now he has a big beard – a frum Jew. That’s a result of the Beis Medrash. I can tell you stories like that without end. Again and again.

Therefore, we have to support – we have to feel a debt of gratitude – to the Yeshivas. They’re bringing forth every day – every day – the future Torah families of Am Yisroel. And only because the environment is so good. Torah V’da’as. Chaim Berlin.  Mirer Yeshiva. Other places. Hakodosh Boruch Hu should give all of them hatzlacha and a lot of money. And long lives. It’s a tremendous thing that they’re doing. The Yeshivas are doing a tremendous thing. You don’t realize the sanity we are getting from the Yeshivas. And, therefore, it’s those who are not in the Yeshivas – those who don’t learn Torah – they’re the insane ones.

Let me tell you – let me explain. There’s an organization – a certain Orthodox organization. They have a magazine that they publish once a month. Once I saw the magazine. The leading article was written by Ben-Gurion – Ben-Gurion of all people.  And the article was entitled “Six Hundred Jews Came Out of Mitzraim.” Only 600 Jews! Ben-Gurion, with his moiredikeh kup, sat with his chaveirim and they came to that conclusion. Headlines from Ben-Gurion: Only 600 Jews came out of Egypt. So I called up the Executive Director of the organization to ask him how he could allow such a thing. So first he congratulates me for being a ka’noi. You’re a ka’noi, you know, if you believe in Yetzias Mitzraim. I’m a ka’noi for disagreeing with an old apikoris. So he mumbles, “beh, beh, beh, beh, beh. It was a mistake.” He says it was a mistake. A mistake. So, I hoped that in the following issue they would issue an apology – a retraction. It’s an Orthodox organization, after all. But no, they never spoke about it again. When I called some of the officers of the organization – they’re Orthodox after all – they became angry at me. “Why are you bothering us about this?” they wanted to know.

To understand this you have to know that the Orthodox people who are not talmidei chachomim – who don’t learn – are really goyim. They have a little bit of Orthodox paint on top of them but when you give a little scratch – underneath they’re really goyim. If you didn’t learn in the Yeshivas then you’re really like a goy. It’s impossible to have a toichen – an inside – that’s loyal to the Torah unless you grew up in a Mesivta.

And girls also have to have very good schools. That’s why I say that for your boys and girls choose the best chadorim and the best girl’s school. Don’t choose just because it’s in your neighborhood. Choose the best – the very best. It’s very important. Very important. I cannot overemphasize the necessity to choose the very best schools for your children.

TAPE #E-231