In my previous post, Mississippi Fred McDowell made the following comment:
>He looked at her and said "We had hopes that he'd aspire to be a Rosh Yeshiva."
This is exactly the kind of stale thinking that Eliezer Berkovitz deplored, particularly in his history of Halakhah, "Lo Bashamayim Hi". He points out that in a real society there simply must--must!--be doctors as well as sanitation workers as well as scholars as well as even artists and poets--and zoologists too. The Torah envisions us as having a real society. Sadly, to many in leadership positions like your son's principal don't get that.
Truthfully, it doesn't take Eliezer Berkovitz to tell you that a society can't have *everyone* doing the same thing. Even in primitive hunter-gatherer societies, where the vast majority of the population of any given group *did*, in fact, hunt and gather, you still had some specialists who performed other necessary tasks. This is all the moreso in the non-hunter-gatherer society that we live in.
The problem, as I see it, is that much of the Chariedi Yeshiva world wants it both ways - they want to be isolated and have their own community free from the influence of the "outside world" and yet, still be able to have Torah as everyone's occupation. They look back at Jewish history and read Midrashim on the existence of the Jews in the wilderness, where they spent all their time learning Torah (taking, for the sake of argument, that this is factual) and all their needs were taken care of by heaven.
Unfortunately, we don't live in that sort of world. We don't have manna coming down from heaven to provide us with food. Our clothes and our shoes do, indeed, wear out. We don't have heavenly clouds to provide shelter for us. We have to go out and earn our living by the sweat of our brow. And this is all well within the guidelines of the Torah. The Torah clearly recognizes that people can be farmers, business people, shipwrights, craftsmen, etc. - and not on a "if you can't/won't learn full time" basis - but as a preferred option. Sure, in some pipe dream world it would be nice if everyone could be a Rosh Yeshiva. In a similar scenario in the secular world, it would be nice if everyone could grow up to be the President of the United States. But that isn't going to happen. And the fact that there are millions of people who don't become the President doesn't take away from their intrinsic self-worth. Likewise, someone becoming a zoologist, a computer programmer, a doctor, a lawyer, a plumber, etc., doesn't take away from their intrisic self-worth as a Jew. Certainly one is required to learn when he can - no one is disputing that - but the idea that people are "failures" or "disappointments" because they don't want to (or don't have the temperment to) be engaged in Torah learning 24/7 is downright fallacious.
The Torah recognizes that a society has to have people of all occupations to survive. It's too bad that there are segments within our population that can't see this obvious fact.