I Am an orthodox Jewish girl that is attending college which is a Jewish college that is only for girls. However my spirtiual mentor is telling me that college is wrong- and that a lot of gedolim in our times actually prohibit Jews to attending college. I know this is not a black and white issue. However I really want to know why college CAN BE an issue. I want to know all the negative aspects of college.. and why some gedolim are not pro college. And is getting a degree for "hishtadlos" for "parnasa" wrong?? please answer. Thank you.
CONFIDENTIAL--For the Attention of Rabbi Lauffer--Not for publication ____________________________________________________________ Dear Rabbi Lauffer: Thanks so much for agreeing to respond confidentially to my question. The situation involves a rabbi in my condo building who has been engaged in a substantial amount of inappropriate behavior. My view is he may well need some sort of assistance, perhaps some sort of peer counseling if it is available. I believe he is an Orthodox rabbi. There have been a number of issues with this rabbi, but what has finally prompted me to write is a series of problems involved with his smoking. This rabbi smokes cigarettes, and he has smoked around the outside of the building near various people’s units—disturbing them with his smoking—and they have had to confront him with the problem. In addition, he has consistently littered the area with his used cigarettes. What finally brought this matter to a head was that we found several used cigarettes and an empty cigarette box that he threw into our building’s garden. Recently, our condo board has confronted him with the littering problem. In a written response to the board, he has denied any responsibility; he asserted to our board that it could not have been him. He specifically claimed to be a “non-smoker.” His statement is quite untrue—he has smoked around the building on numerous occasions, and he has been observed doing so by several people. What is perhaps most astonishing is that he has told the board he is a non-smoker, even though he knows he has been observed smoking. Although I was born and raised Jewish, I am not an expert on these issues. Still, his inconsiderate conduct and his blatant lying certainly seem quite at odds with my expectations of appropriate/ethical behavior as set forth in the Torah, Talmud, etc. I am especially struck by his willingness to lie to our board—claiming to be a non-smoker—even though he knows it is untrue and even though he knows that he has been observed smoking. As a lay person, I suspect that there may be many other “issues” in his life that need to be addressed—it’s probably not a simple issue just with his smoking. Given these facts, my impression is that he may need some sort of assistance—perhaps some sort of peer counseling if it is available to rabbis. I would be interested in your analysis of this matter, and in particular, if there is some sort of process or procedure that is in place to address problems of this sort. Again, thank you very much for agreeing to listen to me and respond confidentially. Bruce