Posted 15 May 2012 - 05:48 PM
That's not exactly how the Satmar Rebbe said that. The way you are quoting it, it implies that he is kind of putting down what the Litchishe Gedolim were doing. That was not his intention.
Before a Godol embarks on a course of action for the Klall, he needs to consider not only how the course of action will impact on the Klall today, but in the future as well. How far in the future? As far as he can see. Generations in the future. There were plenty of "improvements" various rabbis made throughout history but because they were not Gedolim and they were unable to see the future ramifications of their actions, they may have accomplished something in the long term, but their ideas eventually backfired.
Torah is like an ecosystem. Before you kill the sharks to make people safe, you need to determine whether doing so is going to bring on some future ecological disaster. So too before someone makes an innovation or embarks on a Derech in Avodas Hashem, he needs to be sure that he is not hurting things in the long term.
And so, Gedolim such as the Satmar Rebbe decided that, considering the issue facing us today (that is, in those days), we must create a full-blown independent frum community from the bottom up. Torah is the greatest pursuit, but what would happen to Torah if the Yeshivos would be forced to rely on undesirable sources for support? Could they maintain their independence? Would Bnei Torah sitting and learning be able to do so properly without being brought up in a controlled environment where non-Jewish influences are minimized? How will we prevent the slow and subtle pollution of our values unless we produce our own total community?
In the long run, what is best for Torah? Yes, תלמוד תורה כנגד כולם but it takes more to create real תלמוד תורה, community-wide תלמוד תורה, Talmud Torah that permeates the masses - ללמוד ע"מ לעשות - than just making a Yeshiva and having everybody learn.
The Satmar Rebbe once discussed the challenges of the day with the Chazon Ish. They had two different approaches. The Satmar Rebbe was talking about טיילונג, creating separate, independent, communities and fighting outside influences, and the Chazon Ish said "And my opinion is, we need to make more Yeshivos, and more Yeshivos and more Yeshivos."
When the Satmar Rebbe mentioned to him that the Rambam requires people, when there are no spiritually wholesome places to live, to move to the desert and live in seclusion , the Chazon Ish replied, "And I hold nowadays the Yeshivos are the deserts."
Each Godol was following his Mesorah, and they all had the same thing in mind - how to enhance Kvod Shamayim.
Nobody disagrees that תלמוד תורה כנגד כולם - how can anyone disagree with that? - but the disagreement was how to successfully, in the long run and on the greatest scale, accomplish תלמוד תורה. Pure, unadulterated תורה, not only in the Yeshiva, but in the home and everywhere else.
In short, it's great to learn, but how do you make sure that the Yeshiva guy learning is also able to grow up in an environment that is free from outside influences? Plenty of people with bad Hashkafos also learn. How do you protect even those in the Koslei Bais HaMedrash from the bad ideas that permeate the atmosphere nowadays if you don't have a totally independent community? How do you prevent the Yeshivos from being subject to the influence of those outside the Yeshiva who support them unless you create a Torah community even outside of the Yeshiva?
In other words, learning is great, but in the long run, will your learning sustain itself against the influences of the times?
The denigration that you are hearing from those Chasidim about people who learn is silly. Nobody says such a thing. The people who are telling you "they think they are Dayanim" are certainly not the Dayanim themselves. From the real Dayanim you will never hear such things.
And for the record, those who judge others are the ones acting as if they were Dayanim. Not the people sitting and learning.