2007-01-01 Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner

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Date:
Jan 1, 2007
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1 hr 34 min 8 sec
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Venue: YU Israel YU Israel

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  1. Title: Rav Soloveichik's approach to secular studies
    Author: shmuly Zirkind ,

    B"HDear Rabbi Rakeffet, shlita,This is Shmuly Zirkind from Montreal (I've written to you before).I listened to your lectures on The History of Torah in Modern Times that you gave in 2004-2007. You explained the difference between Rav Hirsch's view point and Rav Soloveichik's regarding secular studies.After all your explanations, I still don't understand the view point of Rav Soloveichik. I can understand that secular studies has value even within Torah. I understand one needs it for parnassa. What I don't understand is the concept of learning ideas that contradict Torah, such as Greek mythology, pornography, etc. You explained that Rav Soloveichik said that one needs it to understand the Western World. You quoted Rabbi Weiss in the name of Rav Moshe Soloveichik that if one studies secular, then one should take it all the way and learn it all. You said that it helped you deal with challenges later in life. My question is: where in Torah does it say that one needs to understand the Western World? Did the average Jew in the zman habayis need to know the cultures of the nations in and around Eretz Yisroel? On the contrary!I understand that there can be benefits from learning these subjects. My question is, where do we find a precedence in Torah that one should learn subjects of Kefirah (aside from the sanhedrin) since it can have some side benefits?To me it seems like an innovation no less deserving of your criticism that you gave against Chassidim for changing Halacha!I'd to take this opportunity to thank you for your wonderful classes, I enjoyed them immensely. They are so well researched and so well given. May Hashem bench you with a long and happy life with many more years of teaching Torah.

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