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13.6.13

My learning partner and I are having a debate about learning Jewish  ethics ( Medieval Books of Jewish ethics ).
He must have noticed my recommending learning Musar {Jewish Ethics} on this blog.
The first Musar book he was introduced to was the Orchot Tzadik. This provoked such a negative reaction that he actually said, "I hate Musar."   The Medieval Books of Jewish ethics gives--a coherent world view.]

The truth be told learning Musar has been a debate for a long time among Lithuanian sages. Volloshin had no musar sessions. Reb Chaim Soloveitchik was openly against the Musar Movement.
The Chazon Ish penned a great critique on it. He brought a case of when people in a  =city were all getting angry at a teacher of children that had come to the city when there was already a teacher there. the Chazon Ish talks about how they would get all indignant about "masig gevul Reehu" [infringing on another's territory.]
But the Halacha says  that the new teacher was right So what good is Musar with no Halacha?

In spite of all this, I still think Reb Israel Salanter was right because of one word "Paradigm." It is gives on the basic world view of Torah. This is not possible with just Talmud alone.


[Ponovitch where Rav Shach was he Rosh yeshiva learns Musar and he even has in his intro to the Avi Ezri some deep praise about Musar.]


Just to be clear: a lot of Gedolai Israel thought  it is best simply to be in a Lithuanian kind of yeshiva all day and by that good values and world view would be absorbed by learning Torah and by the effect of the group.  The reason my learning partner is not happy with Musar is he thinks it lacks insight and depth.  Who am I to place my opinion among these great people? But my impression is for myself that I need Musar and I also wish I could spread the ideas of Musar and Ethics around the whole world because I see them as being good for me and for others. One rav in Netivot said to me something along the lines once about people that don't learn Musar are like nightmares.{Or something like that. He is the rav in Yeshiva HaNegev over there, and we were discussing the issue of students. One student had come to the internet place in Netivot twice and was caught in the act and expelled. He said to me as he was leaving: "It is high time to join the IDF anyway." But in any case this incident got me discussing students with the rav and the subject of Musar came up.

[I can't account for the reason yeshivas tend to throw out people. Shimon Buso [the grandson of Bava Sali once said to me it is a אחריות גדולה לזרוק תלמיד a terrible responsibility to throw out a student]. David Bronson said I have nothing against throwing out students. The question is which students? The trouble is they tend to throw out the sincere and leave in the ones that are there because of "connections" and family relations. Almost as if they are private clubs and not real yeshivas for learning. I admit David Bronson's analysis of the situations seems accurate. I have personally had enough of the Ultra Religious, but my complaints come from more personal directions. I would go to a conservative or Reform synagogue but not the ultra religious.