Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Ridiculous Measuring Stick.

I know it's long past the Purim season, but I was ever so bored Pesach afternoon, I was actually going through the large pile of Mishpacha magazines. In the Purim edition I came across some rubbish article entitled 'Purim Rav Customs' (or something in that area). How much I tried, I couldn't ignore these burning words piercing through my young mind. Here goes:

"In Ponevezh, there's no official Purim event in the yeshiva at all. There's no Purim Rav, and no band on Purim night. This is the only yeshiva where there's no band in the beis medresh on any day of the year: not Purim, not hakofos sheniyus, not even for a simchas beis hashoevah. The only day when singing and dancing is allowed in the beis medrash of ponevezh is on Simchas Torah. The abstention from music is so sweeping in Ponevezh that even the shabbos zmiros are prohibited, aside from one ancient tune.

The reason stems from a famous discourse of the Mashgiach Harav ---- ztz'l: "We must ensure that the standard of the bachurim in yeshiva should be set only by their learning capabilities. Therefore, we cannot give expression to boys who know how to sing. The only measuring stick for quality in Ponevezh is a boy's ability to learn."

This, dear boys and girls, is yet another reason why so many yeshivaboys run out of those Yeshiva walls. Under the black Borsalino, often hides a depressed neshomele. Depressed, down and lonely neshomele. he is down because he isn't acknowledged by many of the other boys. Besides his few mates he stands alone. All alone. Not everyone has a fast brain, yet only those gifted are to be recognised?! Well, if that's what the Rabbi thinks, fine with me. But please don't come and blame those who don't follow the yellow brick road.

This, dear boys and girls, is the reason why so many teens who work, are labeled second class. When they reach marriageable age, their problems start. Life becomes tough... Why? What have they miss done? Won't they be able to love and take care of your daughter as good, if not better, as the sit-and-learn yeshiva boy? Has middos then got the exact value of naught pence? Learning, learning and some more learning. No middos, no kindness, nothing. What is a boy who knows shas by heart, if that heart is one of stone? Using ponevezh's 'only measuring stick' a delivery boy with a heart of gold is gornisht mit nisht. But, that's just what I think and, after all, I'm nothing but a little Yingele.

Oh well, cest la vie, and I can't change it. Hershey Park, Tiferes Shloime or wherever you all are, hope you are all enjoying every second.


  • One thing is sure, you do NOT learn in ponovitch!

    By Anonymous Avi, at Wednesday, April 27, 2005 11:40:00 PM  

  • i could not learn or do anything else with out music for that matter, a place without music has no life in it.. sad!
    anon1 :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, April 28, 2005 12:41:00 AM  

  • I think you have forgotten an important point here, Ponovich is a place to learn - for people who can and want to. Its the people that say you have to go and sit in Yeshiva for X years, and peoples misconception that if a person goes to Y yeshiva, he must be a Z type of guy, that are at fault. Real Yeshivas are ones that say the B.H. is for learning and not to put on a show.

    By Blogger Karl, at Thursday, April 28, 2005 12:57:00 AM  

  • yup, big problem in the yeshivish world. If you're not a learner, then you are a looser. and some guys figure that since they are loosers, cuz they can't learn full time, why learn at all?!
    This elitest nonsense is really sad.

    By Anonymous itsallgood, at Thursday, April 28, 2005 1:10:00 AM  

  • great karl so they are serious learner kol hakavod but kosher music creates an envoroment relaxed a person, calms a person etc.. could only help improve a person imho

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, April 28, 2005 10:50:00 AM  

  • Avi, you guessed it, but I think it's pretty obvious.

    Anon1, I fully agree. Don't think I'll be able to shut my ears this whole sefirah.

    Karl, I respectfully disagree. Even though we are talking about ponevezh; all Litvishe Yeshivas have Ponevezh as role model. Every Litvishe yeshiva goes in 'kind-of' the same derech. Maybe not that extreme, but heading in the same direction.

    You say 'Real Yeshivas are ones that say the B.H. is for learning and not to put on a show.' You call Ponevezh a real yeshiva? And that just because of this sad learning measuring stick? I think you forgot what real yeshivas are really all about.

    Itsallgood, I love it when people agree with me!

    By Blogger yingele, at Thursday, April 28, 2005 11:18:00 AM  

  • midos are very nice but if we rely on midos and music only the torah would be forgotten in one generation. we need to produce talmidei chachomim also.

    i think yeshivas, full time, past a certain age, ought to be elite institutions. the mistake is in thinking that full time elite yeshivas are for everyone. these yeshivas weren't developed as mass institutions and they don't suit the purpose of mass education.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, April 28, 2005 12:49:00 PM  

  • anon- I agree with you, but does elite mean that they look at everyone who isn't cut out for it, like they're worth less?
    People should and do look up to top yeshivas and their learners, that's great. what isn't great is the madness it turned into- like schools accepting only kids who's fathers learn full time ect', which is only doing harm.

    By Anonymous itsallgood, at Thursday, April 28, 2005 5:32:00 PM  

  • Very true but please ying don’t use this Ridiculous Measuring Stick as a way you measure yourself

    By Blogger LostSpirit, at Thursday, April 28, 2005 6:07:00 PM  

  • Itsallgood, exactly!

    Anon, indeed torah may not be forgotton. But may middos? If you only rely solely on Torah, then Middos will be forgotton...

    Lost, I really try not to. But then some voice inside me whispers "Maybe it's the yezer horah saying that..." Then I start thinking, and then I get confused. Once I'm confused, I just go to town and party my head off ;-)

    By Blogger yingele, at Thursday, April 28, 2005 7:57:00 PM  

  • Ying,

    I like your response to confusion. I often say (slurring my words) "alcohol is the solution to any problem".

    Re your post, there are a lot of shallow, foolish, misguided people out there in the world, and the frum velt is no different. If a Yeshiva won't take a good bochur because his father works (Chas Vesholom!) or a mother doesn't want her daughter to marry a guy for the same reason, then so be it. Let them fool themselves that this is the Ikkar. Let those morons think they have divined the devar Hashem. If Ponovezh want litvisher Ubermensch, good luck to them. They will lose a lot of heilige neshomos on the way, who would've enjoyed a good zemira or two. It was good enough for the Ibn Ezra and the Alshich. Maybe they wouldn't have been allowed to learn in Ponovezh?


    By Blogger The Rabbi's Kid, at Friday, April 29, 2005 3:50:00 AM  

  • TRK,

    Your comments are simply amazing!

    By Blogger yingele, at Friday, April 29, 2005 1:48:00 PM  

  • i see everyone is still on pesach mode..no more updates...oh well

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, May 04, 2005 7:30:00 PM  

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