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11.7.17

President Trump offered a concise, powerful statement of western achievements and why they are worth defending. “We write symphonies,” he said. “We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers. . . . We cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression. We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives. And we debate everything.”-
Reminds me of Pericles. On the other hand the basic things I think are important about the West are actually more limited. The Law of Moses, Aristotle, Plato, Physics and Music. Most of the literature I am not happy with. Music sadlly fell after Beethoven. Philosophy after Hegel and Schopenhauer is vacuous.
Even in terms Attic Greek literature  am not sure of how much is of value. I think the West does best when it looks back towards Attic Greece, Rome, the scholastics of the  Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. That gives it direction and stability.

To the Rambam and the Gra there is a limit to how much is of value. The Rambam has Physics and Metaphysics and the Gra the Seven wisdoms (Trivium and Quadrivium). Outside of that it is all pretty much "Bitul Torah"  wasting time from Torah.
Myself I would have to add survival skills and the Boy Scouts as being important.
Learning a vocation was very low on Rav Shach's list. Not that he forbade it but rather he said people ought to learn Torah and after they get married of they need to to just to do any kind of vocation that presents itself. Not to waste years of bitul Torah in university learning nonsense just to get a piece of worthless paper.

[A great deal of what is taught in high school and 90% of what is in universities is all bitul Torah--wasting time from learning Torah, plus the obvious fact that most of it is positively destructive.]