I’m writing in response to a letter written here last week about the level of learning in Yeshivos. I read the letter and thought of my son and knew right away where he would have ranked had he been one of the boys tested.
My son is a regular bochur who went through the system, never got in much trouble and mostly shows up to sedarim (to my knowledge.) But I am positive that he would fail to make a layning on a blatt gemarah or be able to differentiate between an Orach Chaim and a Yoreh Deah. A full day of sitting and learning is not something he can do on a consistent basis. It’s not that he has any learning disabilities, he just doesn’t have the zits flaysh for it.
How do I excuse my son for wasting so much of his precious time? Well for one, I don’t think he’s alone in this regard and I think the person who wrote the letter would agree. Second, what can I expect of him? At this point he may be better off in a Yeshiva that diverges from the full day learning schedule but the other options for him are Yeshivos for troubled boys who would only bring my son down.
In your letter you asked why it is that so many bochurim spend years in top notch Yeshivas without the skills and knowledge to show for it. I think the real question is why are there so many bochurim who aren’t cut out for 10 hour learning schedules spending years in top tier Yeshivas?
Why should we expect different results when our children are clearly stuck in Yeshivos that aren’t designed for them? Shouldn’t there be an option more suitable for boys who aren’t capable of putting in so many hours a day of Gemorah learning but are regular frum boys who don’t belong in an ‘at-risk’ Yeshiva?
This isn’t an issue for rebbeim or Rosh Yeshiva to deal with. They’re entitled to gear their yeshiva towards any type of bochur they want. But as a parent I have to ask: What does the system expect from my son?