Monday, June 16, 2008

What happens when a traditional yeshiva is compelled1 to conform to a foregin format on paper

Ishim ve-Shitos presents an amazing excerpt from what must be an amazing dissertation2:

Now, I'm sure that if someone requested a curriculum from BMG this is what they could receive (of course it might have been modified since 1981). After all, BMG is a university, students have to register for courses (I would think) and it can grant degrees.

I remember having to register for "classes" when I was in (other) yeshiva(s). We'd have to write down what Bible books we would study, what Jewish philosophy, ethics, and so forth. All these forms would be neatly filed away, against the outside chance that anyone ever wanted to check them over to make sure that the yeshiva was offering a full theological university curriculum. As I recall, someone from the yeshiva office would even tell us with a wink that we're actually responsible to learn these things - or else it wouldn't be honest, and it was on us to ensure that we completed our courses. Then we'd go back to the Beis Midrash, resume seder and attend shiur on Tuesdays.

I think I wrote that I'd take a course in Chronicles one time. Perhaps Radaq was involved, but I can't recall.

Anyway, someone should have advised Lewitter to do some real research and go to the yeshiva, rather than the mail order kind. I think I wrote the Delaware Chamber of Commerce when I was doing a report on that state in the 3rd grade, but past that point it's appropriate to go to Delaware itself when writing about it.

1 Of course no one is compelling BMG to be a degree-granting university.
2 A school for scholars: The Beth Medrash Govoha, The Rabbi Aaron Kotler Jewish Institute of Higher Learning in Lakewood, New Jersey: A study of the development and theory of one aspect of higher education in America

S. R. Lewitter - 1981 - Rutgers University

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