Sunday, 15 May 2011

naomi's question of the day - #7

"naomi's question of the day" is a new feature of the Nishmablog featuring a question for you to ponder, extend and/or respond to through your comments.

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May 15, 2011

I know a student who is in an academic environment and she has this question:

Is it worth it? To put oneself in a secular environment in order to do something you believe in, in a secular world? Sometimes my teachers say things that seem contrary to my conception of Holiness. If a person’s Holiness can be positively influenced by being close to people who are Holy, does it chip away at their Holiness being exposed to those who are not or to that which is not?

2 comments:

MIghty Garnel Ironheart said...

Once again this is more than one question but I'll see what I can do.

> Is it worth it?

Depends. If she's actually in a real academic programs that's leading somewhere meaningful like, oh say, a degree in medicine, then yes it's worth it. On the other hand, if she's wasting her time in the arts or something namby-pamby like that, then she might as well drop out and start selling $10 watches in Yonge St. Better use of her time.

> To put oneself in a secular environment in order to do something you believe in, in a secular world?

Honestly, what's wrong with that? After all, not everyone can become a rabbi and besides, the job doesn't pay well at all!

> Sometimes my teachers say things that seem contrary to my conception of Holiness.

So do what I did. Throw potatoes at them and then point to the guy next to you when the prof looks to see who did it.

> does it chip away at their Holiness being exposed to those who are not or to that which is not?

Ah grasshopper, the metal does become stronger the hotter the furnace, does it not?

Nishma said...

I think it all depends upon the individual

A. Some people will have their Torah Judaism diluted by outside culture

B. Some will remain neutral

C. Some will Have their torah enhanced by an increase in their breadth of knowledge


And
Some will be contrary, and their exposure to secular learning will spur them to greater Torah commitment as a. Reaction


Shalom,
RRW