From the COLlive Inbox:
Hi, My name is Yitzy I have many friends from all over, who are somewhat similar to myself – all with one label – ADD/ADHD – whether we have been labelled by doctors and professionals or by parents and friends.
“He’s not a learner” is what people say about my friends.
The problem is, that in our generation, if ‘you are not a learner’ – and you don’t strike really lucky, you are prone to disaster. Why? you may ask…. well it’s very simple – because nowadays, at the touch of a button (not even a click anymore) one can be led to all sorts (I don’t need to explain …) and when someone can’t learn, he leaves yeshiva, and once he leaves yeshiva ….
But I would like to speak out for all my friends who I feel have been mistreated. I have many friends who ‘didn’t fit’ into the system and had go to a ‘catered’ yeshiva and eventually ended up in no yeshiva. (some didn’t even try the special yeshivos)
– I am specifically talking about good bochurim that really want what’s right and are not ‘in-to’ any shmutz (which is basically true for all bochurim – at the beginning ) but who felt that learning was too hard for them or ”not for them.”
Why is this? Why did this happen that my sweet innocent friends didn’t fit into the system?
I would like to proceed with a question:
Could it be that when the Rebbe always speaks about the fact that bochurim’s job is learning torah, the Rebbe ignored them?
When the Rebbe asks to add a kvius in learning, did he not mean them?
How can it be that for many of them college studies etc. are not too hard for them but learning is too hard? That all the greatness of torah isn’t for them!?
Of course not!
But let’s give one scenario – a innocent bochur comes to yeshiva and is told to open a gemora and learn for two hours straight. But he feels he can’t, it’s too much. But he so desperately want to do whats right, to do what Hashem wants, or to make The Rebbe proud, but he just doesn’t have the same skills as the other boys to get the gemora flowing or he can’t get the sugya clear, it’s like whirling circles in his head…
So the Mashpia calls him over and asks him “nu,” and the struggling bocher says “it’s too much…., learning is not for me,” and his heart breaks as he says these words. So the mashpia tells him a story of the Tzemach Tzedek – When someone told the Tzemach tzedek “I don’t have cheshek to learn” he answered “and what should I do that I do have cheshek to learn?!” In other words the trials and difficulites in his learning are a privilege etc. and the Mashpia tells him to PUSH and try harder and his work is worth more etc. So he goes back and he tries again, and maybe it works for a while, maybe it doesn’t, but he ends up giving up. He has tried to break himself like the mashpia told him to and it just didn’t work…
Even more then that, when this bochur does chitas or learns chumash etc during the time he should be learning – because that’s what he feels will build his connection with the Rebbe -, he gets harassed by his friends (and maybe even mashpiim) with names like “porek ol” or is told “you have to do chitas rambam again ” etc. etc.
So after breaking himself and trying and giving up and trying again and giving up, and feeling he’s wasting his years, he comes to the conclusion: learning torah or “kodesh studies” are not for me.
Now I would like to bring the answer of The Rebbe in Igros Kodesh volume 9 page 90 -free translation:
….This that you write regarding a weakness in ‘concentrating your thoughts,’ It is known one of the solutions for this , that when one gets fed up [lit. ‘tired’] he should change the learning to another subject in a place where his heart desires and NOT TO FORCE HIMSELF to continue specifically in that subject that he is having trouble with….
The Rebbe’s words speak for themselves.
As I said earlier, many bochurim who leave yeshiva and who go and learn a trade or go to university ch”v, are able to concentrate perfectly fine and they are happy to accomplish something.
Perhaps one of the explanations as to how this situation came about is as follows – . In previous generations there was an ein yaakov shiur [stories of the gemora compiled in three large books] and if you said tehilim as well, you could be a sincere G-d-fearing man without being a great gaon. Nowadays, if I cant learn the top stuff – forget it! I’m an outcast!
Torah is so broad, so huge, there is for sure something that you haven’t tried but you’re just not interested. Why? Because you were put off and now you have a strong resentment towards it…
Can you read a story in a magazine? Then you can learn Ein Yaakov, it’s probably easier.
Simple halacha what to do if one of your tzitzis get cut off, in kitzur shulchon oruch….
A maamer which teaches you how to have a relationship with G-d…..the interesting minhogim of the upcoming yom-tov in the nitei gavriel ….the list goes on and on…
Bochurim should also realise, that there is a reason why thousands of not-lubavitchers are going crazy over chassidus and it may seem just boring to you. Because Chassidus is not some far-off thing talking about some G-d in the heavens, Chassidus is talking about YOU, who YOU really are, and not your hidden neshoma somewhere….
There is without a doubt a piece of Torah which you can relate to, and fall in love with, and through this stabilize your life and have true piece of mind (which can only be through realising your purpose in this world – the Rebbe parshas bamidbor 5751.) One should ask his mashpia /role model/ asei lecho rav for what subject he should learn.
My only question is why are there so many hanhola members who don’t act in accordance with this directive of the Rebbe (besides for most younger, more in-tune mashpiim). Just not long ago, a friend who is not known as such a learner told me that when he asked a member of hanhola to switch subjects because he just didn’t have a head for the official subject which they were supposed to be learning, the mashpia started to scream at him “this is the seder, and if you don’t like it, leave the yeshiva!”
No appreciation that actually he wanted to learn this time, instead he sent him slouching back angrily to his seat so he will now chat with his friends for the rest of seder. Great Job, Rabbi!
Let’s hope that we should all find our true connection with the Torah in a way that we choose it because we love it and through this, lead happy succesful lives.
May we be zoche to hear the Rebbe talking once again, b’korov mamash.
I want to thank that special man who opened my eyes to the truth after long hard hours.
Disclaimer: This is all only the way I see the picture from the Rebbe’s igros and the way I was told of the Rebbe’s shita bichlal, anyone who would like to differ may do so.