Didn't Yeshivas in Europe sooner close their doors than permit secular studies?


Another misconception: The individuals who raise this question will often cite the closing of the Netziv's Yeshiva (Volozhin) after Czarist authorities compelled them to teach exclusively secular studies. But that is neither what Yaffed advocates for nor is it what the United States requires.

In fact, the Netziv initially complied with Russian requirements to teach secular studies in his Yeshiva because those studies did not go against his beliefs. It was only after the authorities declared that no Judaic studies be taught in his Yeshiva that the Netziv shut his doors, understandably, since without Judaic studies, Volozhin would hardly have been a Yeshiva.

The United States is very different from Czarist Russia. The United States respects religious liberties and upholds those liberties whereas Czarist Russia was never known to be friendly to religious Jews. 

Furthermore, there are hundreds of parochial non-public schools throughout the United States (and in other democratic countries), including a minority of Ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic schools, that teach both Judaic studies and the required secular studies. Yaffed looks to these schools as a model for the schools not currently meeting requirements.

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