Sometimes the best intentions are the most damaging. Recently, there has been publicity about creating a yeshiva in the USA catering to Eretz Yisroel-age bochurim. Those working on this say that the yeshiva is needed because an online survey shows that there is interest in such a yeshiva.
As a side point, the data from online surveys are unscientific and unreliable, as anyone, including this author or the creator of the survey, could have entered multiple responses. However, there is a much more fundamental problem here.
Who ever heard of building yeshivos based on statistics? Nothing is further from Toradike thinking, and it is not a way to build a mosad that will produce talmidei chachomim or bnei Torah.
Did Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel of Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim take a survey before he expanded the Mir? Not only did he not take a survey, but he was opposed on many sides and was told that it would never work. Imagine what the results would have been if Rav Aharon Kotler would have taken a survey before he invested himself in BMG. Imagine what kind of yeshiva he would have started if he had followed the results of a survey. Imagine what would be the state of Torah if Rav Aharon or Rav Nosson Tzvi would have taken a survey about the yeshiva they wanted to build. Imagine if Rav Yisroel Salanter had taken a survey about the idea of a mussar movement.
Yeshivos and Torah are built by talmidei chachomim who believe that they are acting for the sake of kavod Shomayim, and they daven for siyata diShmaya in their endeavor. They don’t take public opinion polls or organize focus groups.
Image what the products of a yeshiva build on statistics will be. Image homes built on the Torah learned in a yeshiva built on statistics.
It is painful that this must be said. However, it is more painful that people are planning to build a mosad on ideas so foreign to Torah.
May we be zocheh to haramas keren haTorah.
A Pained Ben Torah