יב וְיֹתֵר מֵהֵמָּה, בְּנִי הִזָּהֵר: עֲשׂוֹת סְפָרִים הַרְבֵּה אֵין קֵץ, וְלַהַג הַרְבֵּה יְגִעַת בָּשָׂר. 12
And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
I do not understand our priorities.
We have taught our youth that one ought to be ashamed of reading Artscroll, and we mockingly deride and laugh at it, so that the youth immediately thinks himself above these books, as they are only for the simple-minded. At the same time, we do not instruct our youth, but allow him to fend for himself, trying to figure out which books to read, which people to follow, whom to accredit, and whom not to listen to (of his own initiative.) This, of course, ends up confusing him (and how couldn't it? His instructors themselves don't know what they are teaching!)
We have simultaneously created a culture where it is what one produces that is valued, and a prolific producer is suddenly thought more intelligent. Our culture is such that we even demand our professors at our universities to produce, else they may fall under our censure. And while it is true that in certain areas there are clear areas of study to go forward in and improve upon, there are others where this simply lends itself to foolishness and the creation of more foolishness.
We have many religious journals and publications so that our youth can write- and what are their credentials, that enable them to write for all these publications? The youth who has bypassed Artscroll and is struggling to figure out his way in the thorny world of Judaism, he is the one who ought to write? And why the need for so many publications? We create publication upon publication, journal after journal, and there are people who know nothing of their Judaism, but we are busy with our lofty discussions (and honestly, while there are some people who are truly advancing something radical, novel and new in their pieces, most others are only attempting to do so. Although there is a place for those who take complicated concepts and lay them out in a clear way in these essays.)
At one point in time there was an idea: Say something when you have something to say, and otherwise, keep quiet! One did not simply publish for the sake of publishing.
It occurs to me we would do well to implement that practice today.