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I read on Wikipedia, citing the Michtavim v'Mamarim [of Rav Shach zt"l) volumes 1 pg. 109, pg.128,3 pg.31&39,4 pg.35,107, saying the following:

He wrote that any secular studies were banned by the sages of the Talmud, and that specially the study of psychology and history is pure heresy.

If it is true that he wrote this, why? How could there be such an enormous and outstanding machlokes between Rav Shach zt"l and Rav Soloveitchik zt"l? Yes, granted they had very different hashkafos, but for Rav Shach to say that secular studies is apikorsus and Rav Soloveitchik that it is advisable for some to even get a PhD?

I think my bigger question though, is how people could so easily ignore the shita of a gaon like HaRav Shach. I am young and myself do a lot of secular studies, but feel a need to really understand the shitah. Why don't people give it more attention? It seems like it's for their own agenda and expediency that they don't discuss the Tzadik's ideas.

I know they aren't really ignoring as much as they disagree, but to not at least give it more thought? I bet the concept of removing or significantly diminishing secular studies in schools has not been seriously considered in quite a while. Even in the most lomdish yeshivos in America they do significant secular studies.

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    Perhaps R Shach was exaggerating? It's really hard to imagine which Ikar is being violated by studying history... – Double AA Oct 3 '17 at 1:11
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    @DoubleAA - Rav Shach, with all due respect of course, sometimes "labels" things very black and white. So it's not surprising he would say something is complete apikorsus. – ezra Oct 3 '17 at 1:12
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    I think my bigger question though, is how people could so easily ignore the shita of a gaon like HaRav Shach. We ignore plenty of other Gaonim. – Shmuel Brin Oct 3 '17 at 1:13
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    Machlokot that range from Mitzva to Heresy are actually pretty common when discussing what materials are worth studying. Consider the Zohar, R Saul Liberman, R Yonason Eibshitz (or any other work which some rabbis accepted and some didn't, of which there are doubtless hundreds more). – Double AA Oct 3 '17 at 1:15
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    How could there be such an enormous and outstanding machlokes between Rav Shach zt"l and Rav Soloveitchik zt"l? Are there not tons of arguments between sages in which they are bipolar opposites in opinion? – ezra Oct 3 '17 at 1:16
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This opinion of Rav Shach is undoubtedly stemming from the Bartenura in Sanhedrin in the beginning of Chelek. He say included in sefarim chitzonim are history books of nations who are idol worshipers.

בספרים החיצונים. ספרי מינים, כגון ספרי אריסט״ו היוני וחביריו. ובכלל זה הקורא בספר דברי הימים של מלכי נכרים ובשירים של עגבים ודברי חשק שאין בהם חכמה ולא תועלת אלא איבוד זמן בלבד:

To answer your bigger question, probably most people ignore Rav Shach's opinion as most halachik sefarim have ignored this opinion of Bartenura. It is an old idea that was never accepted.

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