Jun 19, 2017
What Is So Wrong With College

The new issue of A Chassidisher Derher explains why the Rebbe discouraged Chabad boys and girls from going to college.

By COLlive reporter

The Rebbe's opposition to attending college has shaped the behavior of the Chabad-Lubavitch community and beyond for the last 60 years. Amongst chassidim of the Rebbe, it is already embedded into the 'system' and few give it much thought.

Little known, however, is the background of the Rebbe's position, and his instructions in this regard.

Readers of the Chassidisher Derher find themselves enlightened on this, as it is explored in depth in the Sivan issue of the monthly magazine. Insight into the Sichos, letters, and private instructions about this issue are brought to light, painting a clear picture on the Rebbe's stance.

Among the stories brought, is one of a fascinating letter, addressed to the father of a bochur whose hand kept on shaking when he tried doing his shechita job. The Rebbe performed an in-depth psychological analysis of the boy, concluding that an underlying concern about careerpropagated by today's societywas what lied at the bottom of it all.

"...To my sorrow, the same is true regarding your son sheyichye." The Rebbe writes.

"It seems that for several years now, for whatever reason, he has been thinking about what will be his tachlis and how he will find his parnassa.

"This worry reached the depths of his soul, and caused an inner kivutz [pinch, pressure]. Due to the depth of this worry (even though he himself may not imagine in his conscious understanding how much he's worrying about it) he views the shechita profession as if it is the single factor on which his entire future depends.

"This buried thought also brought him to the situation that he laments. As mentioned above, this may not be consciously clear even to your son sheyichye, but in my opinion this is the issue and this is the cause.

"Understandably, it is impossible to change his entire worldview with one conversation, especially since it is buried deep in his heart for years now, to the extent that he doesn't even realize just how much this is the opposite of bitachon. Upon straightforward reflection it is obvious that this is also against the belief in hashgacha pratis, that Hashem can do anythingbecause, if he had come to this understanding, he would have fought this worldview out of yiras Shamayim."
The Rebbe then gave several suggestions to ease him out of this issue.

This concept of bitachon serves as one of the central themes that the Rebbe calls upon when explaining why not to attend college.

Another section of the article brings a piece from a Sicha of Simchas Torah 5715, which explains the rationale to the above letter a bit further.

"Those who learn chochmos chitzonyios are like a cripple...his emunah is in a state of 'limping': he cannot imagine that Hashem can give him parnassa any other way, only if he goes to college and learns chochmos chitzoniyos!...He forgot momentarily that Hashem nourishes and sustains the entire world!
Hashem has been directing the world from when He created it, five thousand, seven hundred and fifteen years [at the time of this farbrengen], and He has always fed and sustained everyone, even before college existed. But he believes that the one and only way for Hashem to give him parnassa is if he goes to college; Hashem has no other way, chas veshalom, to give him the hundred dollars a week he needs."

There are several more points which form the Rebbe's argument:

An Exercise in Futility: Since one does not know where his parnassa will come from, it is a waste of time to invest so much time and effort preparing a path for this, especially from a young age.

The Curse of Culture: The Rebbe rejected the notion that in order to be a mentch, "an upstanding member of society," a person needs to go to college and "get an education" and needs to learn limudei chol.

Corrupt Values: "The Jewish boy (or girl) entering college, yet desiring to retain the Jewish way of life in accordance with the Torah, finds himself tossed about in the raging waves of conflict between two contradictory worlds"

Night College: "I am aware, of course, that there are boys who together with their Yeshiva education attend college. I have occasion to meet with them, and I can assure you that very few come out unscathed from the tremendous conflicts involved. Even those who on the surface appear to be wholesome have no peace of mind, and very, very few indeed of those who mixed Yeshiva with college have remained completely wholesome inwardly as well as outwardly."

Dragging the Rebbe with You: "And this is of greatest consequence: What do you have against the Rebbe that you must drag him into the college? The powers of the Rebbe are invested in you. When your body goes to college, your G-dly soul which is confined in your body must also go. And, as a result, the powers of the Rebbe which are enclothed in [your] G-dly soul for, as mentioned, they are part of the essence[must also accompany you]. And so you are, as it were, dragging the Rebbe along with you."

Much more background, along with little known stories and yechidus'n, are brought in the full article in this month's Derher Magazine, alongside a variety of other interesting articles spanning topics like: The Hippie Movement of the 60's, The Complete Story of Chof Ches Sivan with the arrival of the Rebbe and Rebbetzin to the United States, how Shavuos 5711the first Shavuos after the Rebbe accepted the nesius was celebrated with the Rebbe, and much, much more.

Already being enjoyed by subscribers around the world, the magazine is available for subscription and home delivery, or pick one up at local Crown Heights retailers. Visit Derher.org/subscribe

A Chassidisher Derher Magazine contains unique and historic photos provided by JEM's Living Archive collection.

For the full article click here

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
Its hard to imagine
The Rebbe would still think the same. Things change as did CHABAD. Now their are all mens college and all girls college and almost ZERO shlichus opportunity so education is definitely needed.

(6/19/2017 9:34:15 AM)
Love The Derher
It is without a doubt the best new content out there on the market for us Chasidim communicated so well to the 2017 reader and so necessary if we want to connect post Gimmel Tammuz

Hats off to the Director and Editors
(6/19/2017 9:45:15 AM)
Who will take responsibility?
Now that the rebbe is not with us and so many families find themselves in a deficit by the end of the month who will take responsibility of the empty promises that god will take care?
God takes care of those who take care of themselves.
(6/19/2017 9:48:33 AM)
Love the Derher
I am so happy to work with many people in a Jewish organization. However, the sad truth is most of the people who broadcast this view receive government benefits or receive scholarships for tuition. Not everyone is eligible for all the scholarships and it seems impossible to find a job working in a frum organization that pays s salary for someone to live in crown heights.
(6/19/2017 9:53:47 AM)
Frum programs
With the current options of frum college programs and the hardships off parnosso many youngsters face the authors should encourage education rather than condemn it.
These articles promises young bochurim the world and then when reality hits and rhey realize they were cheated its often too late.
Every mechanech and parent should encourage their children to learn a profession and make an honest living otherwise they are teaching them .
(6/19/2017 9:56:08 AM)
All good and fine,
But what about the fact that most lubavitchers are broke and most college grads (with relevant degrees) are doing pretty well? Anyone who doesn't give their child a high school education (forget about college) should be legally required to sign a waiver that they undertake all financial responsibility for their son and his future wife and kids for life, after all you are making a lifelong decision for them!
(6/19/2017 10:22:48 AM)
a high school education
is useless. and a college education without an advanced degree is also pretty useless. how aboutwhen a youngerman needs parnassa, learn a trade. plumbing electrician locksmithing etc all offer great parnassa, less nisyonos and greater menuchas hanefesh.
(6/19/2017 10:38:33 AM)
Great Article!
Chassidishe Derher did it again! Well done! Youo guys do an a amazing job. I think this article ought to be read by all bochurim and parents beefore it gets too late...
(6/19/2017 10:39:08 AM)
Times are diff than the 1960'
We must let guys who are able to to go to School and learn and make an honest living and not suffer thru life with no parnossah and skills to fall back on.

Of course there are guys making money with no schooling but those are the MIUT a very small minority.
(6/19/2017 10:59:11 AM)
Do what the Rebbe wants
The rebbe opposed it so why question? We listen to the Nosi Hador.
(6/19/2017 11:03:08 AM)
To number 6
I just met a guy who has so many student loans from his "education" he can't get a credit card or a loan for a house so there's no guarantee in life for anything
(6/19/2017 11:12:58 AM)
College might help comment 7
It's before not beefore. Learn how to spell.
(6/19/2017 11:19:31 AM)
Levi B.
Well Said! Speaking from experience. I can't even express how treif the atmosphere of a university is.

To expect that every bochur/girl should be thrown into such a culture?! Why do we need to wreck the ehrntskeit of Lubavitch?

Enough with people's boich s'voros -- especially to all those who comment who have not been through it.
(6/19/2017 11:20:01 AM)

I'd like to put in my two cents here ...

Do not know what the Rebbe would or would not say but I think the real issue is giving children a sense that they can succeed.

Nothing to do with earning a living but everything to do with life.

Let's first focus on making sure every single child boy and girl in our school's are succeeding and are doing well in school .

Focus on helping them now ! What they need now !

Good grades and good friends .

You will then see how when they leave school it will help them in what ever they choose .

Its not about earning a living its about living . its about building up children into adults who have confidence in themselves and feel they can succeed and want to live the chabad way .

This can only be done by giving them an understanding and love of the chabad path and showing them they can do well in life . starting with yeshiva ...

Confidence in themselves and betochun in Hashem will carry them at the time they need to decide in how to earn a living to succeed .

A degree alone does not cut it , its the person who does .

The opportunity is there . its the person that needs the " go for it " attitude that will help him achieve . instead of being taught some else will take care of it .

We need to start making healthy chassidim and mentshen .
(6/19/2017 11:40:20 AM)
Just wondering
These people who are criticizing this article are you saying ch'v rebbe got it .. like you call yourself Lubavitch but disgree on that issue
Or times have changed( which sounds but like reform)
Just trying to understand

(6/19/2017 11:41:21 AM)
Thinking loud
Find hard to believe the rebbe would've want college even men only for Bochrim before the got married even with "times changed "
(6/19/2017 11:44:25 AM)
Easy to assur...
The spirit of what the Rebbe wrote in those letters certainly still applies. However, the reality of college is different today. Bachurim should not be encouraged to go but people should have options. Too many are incapable of properly providing for their families. What seemed like a proper haskafa only brings on more disappointment and problems later when someone has to take on more than one job to make ends meet, piles on their debt and maximizes their stress because they failed to put some time and thought into making a livelihood. In no way do I imply that we must go to college but, as I said earlier, options are important. And#6 is correct, it isn't college that we should be talking about but high school. Teaching a child how to communicate and express themselves with language is a basic skill that is essential. Teaching math also provides a child with important life skills. Both of these subjects will be used in shlichus and will be used to better teach and understand Torah. These subjects are hardly "secular" in that sense. Crippling our children by not providing basic skills and knowledge to help them support their families is stupid.
It seems to me college could be an option based on the following 3 things:
1) the maturity of the student
2) what program one has undertaken: a serious, time consuming program that leads to a practical job (e.g. a degree in engineering or law as opposed to a Bachelor of Arts in history, let's say)
3) proximity of college to frum communities and kosher food.
Nowadays with more and more frum colleges available there really shouldn't be the same level of taboo that once existed. It continues to be the case that college should not be promoted as the ideal option (there definitely are risks!) but people should have options. The Rebbe did encourage some people to go which would suggest it can't be out of the question for some.
Many people are miserable and suffer needlessly because they were not encouraged to plan ahead. You can make a parnassa without going to college but some should be allowed to go.
(6/19/2017 11:59:23 AM)
The Derher is Amazing
The Derher is from the best new resources provided to Lubavitchers across the globe. Many things have changed in Lubavitch in the last 20 years and I hope the Derher can cover these in upcoming issues. Some suggested content that can help all of us explore recent changes are:

Yiddish: The Rebbe pushed very hard that Yiddish does not die and that our youngsters learn yiddish in schools and can speak the language fluently and can learn the Rebbe's sichos in its original language.

Kollels: The Rebbe screamed that Lubavitch needs kollels. This push has never come to fruition unfortunately.

Kovea Itim: Another thing caused the Rebbe much agmus nefesh and something we chasisdim have never taken seriously.

Fundraising and building communities: The Rebbe was very clear that Chabad Houses should only exist in areas that can self sustain the Chabad House. The Rebbe spoke negatively against those that wanted shlichus in areas that in the long term they would need to fundraise outside of these areas to keep the shlichus alive. The Rebbe insisted that Shluchim only go to areas that they can fundraise from within their communities.

There's so much more that we need to explore and honestly address the Rebbe's directives and where we are falling short and The Derher is the perfect place to start this initiative.

Thank you for the awesome work you do!
(6/19/2017 12:04:39 PM)
what can i say...
I went to frum mens program and have bh a great job. I did'nt even think twice about it since it was all men and it was acredited. I did'nt have any big nisiyonos and bh everything worked out. I really don't see why there is ANYTHING issur about this. Also, I give lots of tzedakah, have a respectfable job, can meet my rent and go on vacations. All tuition and taxes are paid up... also. How can there be anything issur about this?
(6/19/2017 12:18:00 PM)
Congratulations...! Now what?
Every time I hear people quote the Rebbe speaking against "chochmos chitzoniyos" and how "useless" they are (see above), I cannot help but wonder what he meant in context by the term "chochmos chitzoniyos." Was he referring to studies that are not directly relevant to the field of parnassah one specifically wants to go into, but which are required by college to give a "well-rounded" education? If that is the case, then at the very least, the Chabad community should not be discouraging studies that do directly lead to a career of choice, and perhaps find/create alternatives.

But if "Chochmos chitzoniyos" in this context means anything other than Torah, then the argument that G-d supported mankind for thousands of years without "chochmos chitzoniyos" is, with all due respect, easily refuted, as for the most part people made their living thru trades or professions that require study outside of "Torah."

At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. Look around and see if this advice -- at least how it has been interpreted by the chabad community until now -- is working or not.

Intentionally planning to live off tzedakah or government welfare programs does not constitute a Torah plan for parnassah, is a gross chilul hashem, and ultimately, and perhaps most importantly, abuse of the family...
(6/19/2017 12:39:33 PM)
Father of 6
I went to collage and met my wife there we have a great life together and have 6 children and an amazing career all because I went on o collage
(6/19/2017 12:49:15 PM)
To all those who claim no shlichus opportunity
If there's a will there's a way!!! Every person that really wants to go on shlichus can find a place !!!!
The question is if you are ready to give your life over to the rebbe and shlichus
(6/19/2017 1:11:59 PM)
To #1
- the words of the rebbe never change and WILL never change !!

is on full force listening to every word and instruction that rebbe gives us and run our lives accordingly !!
(6/19/2017 1:15:53 PM)
Read the article!
Lots of these comments and questions are legitimate and shouldn't be shut down. However everyone should read the article and let the rebbe's words speak for themselves. Maybe there are answers to your questions? Do some research and learn about the Rebbes opinion on this. The rebbe always wanted only the best for his chassidim as we all know, and not just spiritually but physically as well. He was also very wise and must have known all these arguments, and still felt it's best not to go to college. Find out more details! If we run to the rebbe for a bracha when a family member is ill or someone can't have children and we rely on the Rebbes holiness and love to help us, we should have a bit more trust and bit less cynicism. Open our ears and listen.
(6/19/2017 1:19:03 PM)
I Am in College
And thanks to being in college I'm able to provide for my family.
It's a men only frum program.
There are many such options available and they give people opportunity to make ends meet.
Someone who so easily dismisses such opportunities as treif is either an evil person who doesn't care about our community's future or is incredibly ignorant of the financial situation of many in our community.
As for the rebbe's view will never know as the rebbe present anymore.
(6/19/2017 1:34:02 PM)
I sacrificed my education
At 18 I was accepted to college but declined the opportunity as advised by my mashpia and rabbi. So I went to semenary instead.
Still passionate about going to school I applied to some of the top universities and to my surprise I was accepted to each of them. Upon the new spreading in my town again I was torn since again I was explained the rebbes directives on this issue. I was terrified to go to school, I was terrified of "frying out" "drugs" loosing my connection to the rebbe so again I forgoed the opportunity and worked at my local day school instead, where my sacrifice was applauded.
Eventually I got married to a yeshiva educated man till this day is embarrassed to write anything due to his lack of education. When we got married the first thing he did was apply to school and right away our community offered him a full time job with no leeway of going to school.

We've barely survived off of multiple jobs the past 15 years, our family grew and so did our tuition expenses. No chabad school would give us a livable scholarship. When I tried to teach at one of these chabad schools I was declined because I lacked a college degree. My world fell apart, the same chabad education that I grew up on who vilified college now demanded it of me in order to teach at their institutions.

I eventually sent my children to an yeshivish school and what surprised me was that the whole staff was college educated and not one lacked in their yiddishkeit.

I am proud to say that my husband and I are both finally enrolled in school and taking charge of our education. I still feel guilt over loosing my connection to the rebbe but the cycle of poverty our lifestyle permeates must end and we need to tach our children actual skills instead of just how to apply for benefits.

Yes there are always those that succeed without an education but their the exception not the rule.
(6/19/2017 1:34:48 PM)
Misspent youth
Today's world requires a college education. I doubt all colleges are treif. Longterm and prolonged yeshiva / kollel education is for the dedicated few only. So many of the others are bored out of their skulls and appear wasted. Look around
(6/19/2017 3:42:44 PM)
That any 'chassid' thinks he knows better than the Rebbe who knows and sees what we don't....if u found that u have a personal exception than that's ur issue but to publicly attempt to justify that you went against the Rebbe wishes and that the proof is that u have parnassa is pathetically sad. There's no proof of anything. Hashem decides parnassa- ppl with advanced degrees struggle , while israelis with no college education and barely speak English are doing well BH. It's all in HAahems hands and only good can come from following a tzadiks words- if u did otherwise and we're successfully than thank Hashem but don't use it as an example to show others that we do not heed our Rebbe guidelines Chas vshalom
(6/19/2017 3:47:10 PM)
father of 6
to #21
In velecher koilitch bistu gegangen?
(6/19/2017 3:54:50 PM)
All these ppl criticizing this topic, I have 1 question:
****why don't you just read the article?***
It has all the answers in there. Including the question of frum colleges and that "times have changed." Then come back and comment all you like.
(6/19/2017 4:33:18 PM)
...to all those ppl criticizing...
and I mean the FULL article, in the Derher.
(6/19/2017 4:34:34 PM)
The rebbes school ?!
Iir is interesting that Beth rivkah an others schools whom call themselves the rebbe's school or Lubavitch school pay teachers with a college degree much more then those teachers without a degree.
(6/19/2017 4:46:53 PM)
Will the schools in crown heights whom call themselves Lubavitch schools or the rebbes schools give parents who do not have a collage degree a lower tuition because you should have in the rebbe ??
(6/19/2017 4:48:36 PM)
To #6
Absolutely not true that you need an advanced degree to get a decent job. You need bitachon and confidence. I have a bachelor's, earn 140K, and I'm now interviewing for jobs that pay close to 200K.
(6/19/2017 5:28:34 PM)
Please explain
If degrees are worthless than why do Morahs with Degress get paid double those without at the Oholei Torah and BR?
(6/19/2017 5:37:20 PM)
it's not that times have changed
it's that there are a few colleges where most students and even professors are frum. So maybe there can be a case for those few exceptions. But on the other hand, the other colleges are much worse than they used to be and many Jewish students are having enough problems dealing with the BDS movement along with movements promoting all kinds of immorality
(6/19/2017 6:33:15 PM)
This article is dangerius!
Should I sit around and wait for Bitachon to pay my bills? Should I sit around and wait for Bitachon to feed and clothe my kids? Perhaps I'll take the same approach and simply wait for Moshiach without lifting a finger to help him come because I have Bitachon? Hashem put us in this world to be apart of it, not lock ourselves up and wait for him to provide.
(6/19/2017 6:35:18 PM)
Frum Colleges
The two main issues are subject matter and environment - frum colleges are bh options now that don't have these problems. We are lucky that people take the initiative to help our own.
(6/19/2017 6:52:30 PM)
To #37
We can clearly see how much you need education just by reading your headline. It's dangerous not dangerius.
(6/19/2017 7:16:42 PM)
Rebbe told many to go to university
My mashpia was instructed to go to university by the rebbe in the 70's. So were many others. I received a Brocha via igrois to go to university.
(6/19/2017 7:17:11 PM)
To #39
You are just proving his/her point
(6/19/2017 7:23:46 PM)
38 frum college
I can only think of one college that could be considered frum. And that is only because most of the students are frum...it is really a modern orthodox college that allows its students to go to other yeshivas in the day
(6/19/2017 7:36:00 PM)
Read the article BEFORE you cement your opinion @ comments 3,5,13,17,38
As can be seen IF you read the article, the Rebbe's main focus was that college is an exercise in futility -- and this obliviously applies to all colleges EVEN FRUM ONES. The following is a direct quote from the article:

The Rebbe pointed out that this is borne out by fact,
writing in one letter: Another point, which is often the
subject of misconception, is the importance attached to a
college degree from the economic point of view. Statistics
show that the majority of college graduates eventually
establish themselves in occupations and businesses not
directly connected with their courses of study in college.
The point is obvious.5

Even the administrators of the colleges admit that only
a very small percentage of students get their parnassa
from their studies, the Rebbe added in another sicha. On
the other hand, the vast majority of those who remained
to learn in yeshiva and did not learn chochmos chitzoniyos,
are provided with a generous parnassa. Thinking
otherwise, the Rebbe said, comes from the willful blinding
of the yetzer hara.
(6/19/2017 7:48:13 PM)
to #40
someone wrote to the rebbe that his mashpia told him he can go to university, the rebbe asked the mazkerus to look up in the asei licho rav cards (which were made in 5746/7) who his mashpia was.........
(6/19/2017 7:48:24 PM)
Thank you for finally writing about this sensitive topic.
Can our mosdos please clarify how their hiring complies with the Rebbe's horoa?

How many shluchim are there who only take girls with degrees as teachers?

How can a Shliach go AGAINST the meshaleach?

"Moshe emes veToraso emes." Truth never changes.
(6/19/2017 7:51:52 PM)
Go to college people
In order to be jewish doctor or a jewish lawyer or a jewish professer u need to go to college the rebbe meant you can go bt something that will be usefull in human society
(6/19/2017 8:12:21 PM)
Double Standard
I accept that the Rebbe discouraged university study. Others should accept it as well. COL, can you please take down all advertisements of Frum professionals such as lawyers, accountants, etc, since they obviously went to university in order to practice in those professions.

Also, we should not accept donations from people who studied in university to earn the money they wish to contribute. This should be considered a Mitzvah HaBa'ah Ba'Aveira.

Finally, we should deny an aliya to the Torah for all so-called Lubavitchers who went to university against the Rebbe's wishes and close all Campus Chabad houses since it is not appropriate for Chabad Chassidim to go to college.
(6/19/2017 8:16:56 PM)
It looks that going to college is the same as someone thinking that he is going to make more money if he works on Shabbos.
This lack of emuna we find it in the CH Beis Din , fighting for money and power, we find it in many shluchim that only think in making money and in all the current l generation lowering the standarts in tznius and yddishkait
This is sign of the coming of Moshiach
(6/19/2017 8:54:51 PM)
To what end.
The premise of needing to go to college to provide for your family is a flawed premise. Many people provide for their family without going to college and many people who go to college aren't able to provide for their family. There are many decent/high earning industries which don't require college degrees; finance, real estate, insurance, mortgages and even IT doesn't necessitate a college degree. There are specific professions that require degrees, and usually advanced degrees like doctors, lawyers and professors. By and large an undergraduate degree is only looked at more favorably for salaried positions in corporate America, that isn't a wide spectrum of significant paying jobs. Trades, like plumber, electrician and construction also can pay well and dont require a degree. If you want to follow the Rebbe's Hora'ah of having a large family and also pay full tuition I am not sure college is the answer.
The interesting double standard is actually those who are not complying with the Rebbe's Hora'ah to have a large family with Emunah in Hashem and then justifying their college education as the only way to provide for your family. Yes, if you're going to disregard the Rebbe's Hora'ah in one area (family planning), don't be surprised when you need to disregard it in another area (college) to make ends meet.
Interestingly enough, in observing the broader Anash community, the big Baalei Tzeddaka (which incidentallyis the only way to assess affluence, because people can borrow money and leverage their perceived affluent lifestyle in many creative ways and no one does that when they give Tzeddaka), who also have larger families are mostly without college degrees.
In summation: Following the Rebbe's Horaos in their entirety, despite the lack of assurance for an affluent lifestyle can provide clarity and meaning to an otherwise challenging life.
(6/19/2017 9:40:55 PM)
To #49
OK, well I wish you the best of luck with that.
(6/19/2017 10:18:57 PM)
These are letters...
That the rebbe tells people not to go to college. There are letters the rebbe tells people to go to college.

Isn't that a contradiction? Well it might seem so but it's not. What's good for you is not necessarily good for someone else and vice versa!

If you feel college will help you, sit down and write to the rebbe! How ever you want to define 3 Tammuz the Rebbe answers people through igros kodesh!

Immanuel shochet wanted to go to college as a bigger and later. After several times that he requested a brocha from the rebbe did the rebbe tell him to go. And at first he requested as a bochur. The answer only came when he was married.
(6/19/2017 10:26:40 PM)
Collage is sooooo bad for you especially mixed girls and boys comment 21 met his wife there ?! What a busha to the frum community there is a reson why girls and boys try to stay away from separated . I doubt the shidduch of no. 21 was appropriate !
(6/19/2017 10:46:00 PM)
Need to look at the stats
The unemployment rate is double for these without a college degree than for those with

Small businesses provide half the total jobs they did 40 years ago (75% of all jobs came from businesses with less than 1,000 employees vs. Less than 50% today).

These two stats did not exist when the Rebbe spoke against college. At some point we need to acknowledge that the facts on the ground changed not the Rebbe's words.
(6/19/2017 11:15:38 PM)
To #7
A college degree without an advanced degree is useful with the right resources and connections, and college provides a nice environment for finding such relationships.
I think your average above-average semi-intellectual being will whither away making locks for a living. Liberal arts schools provide skills useful for finding a profitable career if a student wants to learn.
(6/20/2017 1:15:35 AM)
Nothing has changed.
It is still Hashem who decides your means of Parnassa. If you read the full article in the Derher you will see that. And if anything, the atmosphere and morals University (or college) campuses had worsened considerably.
(6/20/2017 5:13:09 AM)
I like 47
If we are so willing to follow the directive on this one and not accept that anything has changed then we need to be 100%. I agree, we should shun all chassidim who have gone to college. It works in some litvish communities where a working father and his family are relegated to second class status. If we are honest with ourselves that is what our community should be doing. No donations from college educated chassidim. no aliyahs etc... They went to college all under the supposed guise of wanting to support their families. For shame.
"Yaffe Talmud torah im derech eretz" was not written by a chossid. It, likely, only means Torah is nice with good middos and the many, many commentaries that say it means some productive work are, well, wrong. That is the only conclusion we can make.
If we shun and ignore any contributions from treif money earned through a college degree we will be making the best statement of all. Everyone will choose to ignore university and college or secular studies when they see how successful the community is doing once we stopped taking treif money.
(#47, I hope you were being sarcastic, as I am)
(6/20/2017 9:26:53 AM)
thinka bout it
If I had gone to college I would be in some stuffy office right now and would not be able to reply to COLLIVE articles like this one.
Besides, govt benefits are Hashem's way of providing for all those bachurim who followed Rebbin's horaah on college.
(6/20/2017 9:54:59 AM)
Could anybody clarify the following, what is meant by the statement "cochmas chitzonyus is metamtem halev vehmoach" is it referring to studies such as math and science as some people have suggested to me. If that is indeed the case how do many Chabad schools including mine in Melbourne ( which ran with the rebbes Haskomo) teach math and science? If it were so bad for the soul how could it be tought on any level? I would appreciate if someone could clarify the matter
(6/20/2017 9:56:58 AM)
My son was told to go to college
Not by the Rebbe but by a chosid who taught in a colllege who had a bracha from the Rebbe to go to college. That chosid has a daughter who has a seminary and writes Chabad books.
(6/20/2017 12:34:48 PM)
Why is the example always given of people who who went to college and are still having trouble. That is not the rule, it's an exception. I'm not going to not do surgery just because sometimes it isn't successful.
(6/20/2017 12:39:45 PM)
Didn't the alter rebbe say you can learn chachmas haumos if you need it for parnassa, or to better understand Torah?
(6/20/2017 12:41:11 PM)
What if
What if I'm just interested by some secular subjects or the arts?
(6/20/2017 12:41:48 PM)
That is incorrect @51
There are very very very few people whom the Rebbe instructed to go to college--if any. Considering that 1) all sichos and known letters from the Rebbe are against college 2) the fact that the Rebbe allowed anyone to go was a one in a million rarity--if it ever happened--speaks for itself.

IF someone was already well into their degree, the Rebbe encouraged them strongly to stay and finish it----even if they went to college in the first place against the Rebbes wishes!!!--- But that obviously does not take away from the Rebbes opposition in general.
(6/20/2017 2:41:40 PM)
I didn't get a college education, but I do know that 'losing' isn't spelled 'loosing'. Goes to show how much your education is worth. @58, Your Chabad school in Melbourne is very far from being in line with the Rebbes directives it.
(6/20/2017 2:42:36 PM)
What does making a living mean?
In order to process the Rebbe's directives on attending college it would be pertinent to define what the end game is.
Are you looking to abide by the Rebbe's directive to have a large family if you are physically able to?
Are you trying to pay full tuition?
Are you trying to retire at age 65 or younger?
If you are a salaried employee you need to pay a lot of taxes.
In order to have a family of 8-10 kids and pay full tuition you need to earn gross $200,000 - $250,000.
For all those promoting undergraduate degrees vs entrepreneurship/sales/trade, which bachelor's degree is offering salaries of 200k +?
I am a mid 30s lubavitcher I would like to offer this data for your consideration: for every one of my friends that is college educated and earning a significant income, there are two friends of mine that are earning a comparable income as a mortgage brokers, e-commerce, finance, business owner, real estate. I will also propose that my friends that are successful attorneys would have found a way to be successful in any field they chose to work in even without a diploma.
You ONLY NEED to go to college to become a doctor, lawyer or accountant.
There are plenty of ways to earn money without going to college.
How about all of those people that are claiming they can't provide for their family without going to college, consider moving to a place with a lower cost of living and strong job market?
As parents, instead of considering sending your kids to college and having to twist the Rebbe's opinion about it, maybe provide your kids with a good work ethic and career guidance.
Lastly, who says life isn't supposed to be a struggle. We all take for granted that since Shluchim are heeding the Rebbe's call, it may come with a financial sacrifice. Maybe as Chassidim heeding the Rebbe's call not to go to college, that may also come with a financial sacrifice.
Call a spade a spade - The Rebbe's directives are timeless, unfortunately Chassidim have become influenced by the times we live in.
(6/20/2017 4:22:34 PM)
I agree that college could potentially have a negative impact on ones yidishkeit. The problem is that you could be the best Bochur in yeshiva and be held in the highest esteem by all the hanholo of your yeshiva, but when it comes to getting a job and supporting the family you reliese I was not prepared for this and the people that were preaching to you all the years are not there helping. I would suggest the yeshivos put a little more emphasis on the real world before it hits you in the face. Comment 64 is written by a ignorant man that is not living in reality and knows nothing of what he is talking about
(6/20/2017 4:24:19 PM)
(6/20/2017 5:45:44 PM)
@ 58 a bit of clarity on the term chochmos chitzoniyos
The follwing is a direct quote from the article:

The Rebbe was once asked how to define the
exact meaning of the term
secular knowledge as explained by the Alter Rebbe
in Tanya perek 8. Does this apply to philosophical
subjects only, or are all of secular subjects
The Rebbe explained:
You wish to differentiate between philosophy,
which contains anti-religious sentiment and
is therefore forbidden according to halacha,
whereas a subject like Mathematics etc. [should be
It is obvious that this is not the case. Firstly,
the Alter Rebbe uses the term chochmos in the
plural form [indicating that hes not referring
merely to philosophy]. Secondly, he specifically
categorizes them as klipas nogah, indicating that
they are not forbidden ideas of heresy which stem
from shalosh klipos hatmeios. As well, the Alter
Rebbe states that one may use these subjects as a
medium for avodas Hashem [and he nevertheless
categorizes them as chochmos umos haolam which
contaminate the intellectual faculties of the
(Igros Kodesh vol. 11 p. 403)
(6/20/2017 6:29:58 PM)
@ 53 and others--The stats are misleading
The stats are misleading. If people make less money without a college degree, that is because they are not ambitious or come from a lower class background. Whereas if you CHOSE not to go to college, and invested your energy elsewhere, you will be fine.

The fact of the matter is that most of my friends are doing very very well in insurance, real estate, nursing homes, sales, amazon, small businesses and so on--much better than the average young adult in my chabad house with all their BAs and Masters degrees.
(6/20/2017 6:35:15 PM)
To comment 68
The article and your comment forgot to mention another part of perek Ches Tanya where the alter rebbe writes that's it's fine to learn these Cochmos if your doing it for parnasah as the Rambam and the Rambam did. I'm not adding any of my own interpretation I'm rather taking it straight from Tanya
(6/20/2017 10:39:37 PM)
To comment 69
I'm happy for you and your friends that are comfortable financially but the fact remains that a majority of ch residents have jobs that cannot sustain a Jewish lifstyle. while in other communities such as Flatbush and the five towns, while they might have other issues, most people have normal jobs and live comfortably, I'm pretty certain that most people in this communities get some kind of education.
(6/20/2017 10:44:55 PM)
To comment 68 you failed to clarify I asked if it's bad to learn science and math why are they teaching it in Many Chabad schools with the rebbes haskomo from years past?
(6/20/2017 10:46:42 PM)
It's not all about parnosso
Most people want to enhance their intellectual skills as well. A wider range of secular knowledge and expertise, within certain limits, fulfils this need.
(6/21/2017 4:07:01 AM)
To 71
I would like to see your data on this. Based on my personal experience, the crown heights community is faring the same or better as other nearby communities.

Big shoutout to the derher for tackling such important and relevant topics!
(6/21/2017 2:14:27 PM)
To comment 70 and 72
These are very good questions, and there are very good answers. But whatever they are, the fact remains that

1) the Rebbe knew the tanya
2) The Rebbe knew that some chadorim learn secular subjects (whatever the reason may be)
3) the Rebbe still strongly discouraged anyone and everyone from going to college.
(6/21/2017 2:17:56 PM)
To comment 75
It is very clear that college is not what it used to be. If a married guy wants to go to a Jewish college such as Touro or cope institute I don't see any issue. He is acting just like the alter rebbe says in Tanya regarding the Rambam and the ramban. I find it hard to believe that the rebbe would say no to someone who wants to learn a trade in a kosher enviorment. The fact is that it's very hard to get a good Job without a degree ( unless you are a relentless hustler who does not mind not having a moment of menuchas hanefesh)If you say that it is a problem for a focused married man to take some college courses to learn a trade you must be delusional. Im very disappointed that the derher totally ignores the alter rebbes words and I quote " ... The rebbes main issue was the bad atmosphere and the mixed classes, which don't exist in the aforementioned colleges. And regarding timtum halev I just showed you a clear tanya. We quote Tanya all of the of time and all of sudden we say not to follow his way. We can't pick and choose.
(6/21/2017 5:45:22 PM)
The percentage of people which go to college and drop out, are very high.
The percentage of people which get a degree in college, and cant get the job they worked for (a couple of years), are very high.
The percentage of people who go to college, come out with a degree and get the job they worked for, are EXTREMELY low.

And BTW, houses in ch are over $1M. The fact that thousands of jewish, lubavitch families are able to afford the housing, as well as schooling their big families, (most of which WITHOUT going to college, or even having a proper english education), is not a "minority" and "exceptions," rather it shows hom much you really need college.
(and to number 1,3....... It sounds like your lubavitch is dead!
Are You "chassidim" of a .... Rebbe!
Maybe learn your rebbes sichos etc. and see what he SAYS!
(6/21/2017 5:49:31 PM)
47 no
We shouldn't shun people who went to college. The Rebbe DID make exceptions. But people who make letzanus against the rebbe and say he didn't get it or do whatever they feel like without even consulting a mashpia? That's the problem!
(6/21/2017 5:57:16 PM)
To number 77
Most ch residents cannot afford a 1 million dollar house rather most are on government benefits. I spoke to a community activist and he told me that the financial crisis on crown heights is very serious problem. I think your out of touch
(6/21/2017 7:31:31 PM)
To #65
This may be indicative of a lack of secular skills but I'll point it out to you anyway. You write:

"for every one of my friends that is college educated and earning a significant income, there are two friends of mine that are earning a comparable income...."

Since maybe 10% of Lubavitchers get a college education, you need 10 successful non-grads to make the point you are trying to make. If you only have a 2:1 ratio that points to how effective a degree is in increasing ones earnings potential (there's also a ton of data out there that proves this to beveryone true in today's environment but they may of course change).

You're last point is gold. There's no guarantees in life, and if you're not going to college because of the Rebbe'so directives, perhaps the mesiras nefesh of a lower income and a life of financial struggles is the real sacrifice one makes for the Rebbe.
(6/21/2017 7:34:24 PM)
My opinion
I think there is a big difference between if you a bochur or married
(6/21/2017 9:50:38 PM)
To 80
Relax on the condescension.

Your point may have been true if no-one went on shlichus, and if commenters wrote literally.

Btw, I also agree that 65s last point is gold, though not really necessary. Who can count how many college graduates don't have a job (or are working in Starbucks)? G-d runs our life, so might as well play by his rules.
(6/21/2017 11:50:59 PM)
The reason some college grads are broke...
People making the point that college grads are just as broke as everyone else. It's because they got a worthless degree in liberal arts.

If you go to a frum college with separate boys/girls and most importantly - there must be a CAREER FOCUS. The Rebbe was referring to secular mixed colleges and "liberal arts" degrees. These should be off limits.

It's not just law, accounting, medicine. It's so much more - occupational therapy, speech therapy, counseling, tech, computers, physician assistant. Our children must learn a trade - not all our children, but most. Frum colleges can do this. We don't need secular colleges anymore.

Online colleges are excellent nowadays.

The Rebbe was referring to SECULAR COLLEGE - not online college - not frum college.
(6/22/2017 12:59:03 PM)
College vs
Question : how many hours a day you learn Torah?
Sorry : maybe the questions is How many hours a week?
When was the last time that you learn gemoro ?
How many hours a day you spend online ?
It is possible today that many people are already involved with chocamos chitz for the time spent online vs learning Torah
Maybe these people can go to college anyways to a drum college
(6/23/2017 9:42:19 AM)
What's Your Opinion? Post a Comment

Your Comment:

Comments must be approved before being published. Thank You!

Make COLive your homepage | Contact Us
© 2018 COLLIVE.com