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TALMUD TORAH-----kollel 2

I am about to go into my first year of learning full time (I just graduated high school). I depart for eretz yisroel at the end of the month.

I was wondering something. How is it that Kollel family's survive? A friend of mine who recently got married just started kollel in eretz yisroel and they are giving him a $500 a month stipend. That doesn’t seem so bad now, b/c his wife also has a job.

But, what happens when they have a baby? How do these kollel families make it happen? How much hishtadlus can a person have? I would imagine the overwhelming majority of these Kollel families do not have wealthy parents who support them. I just don’t get how they do it. Thank you

In Eretz Yisroel the answer is that first, the government sponsors many basic living expenses, such as medical insurance and some other basic necessities.

Also, the standard of living is more restrained than in America. It’s easier not to have a lot when most everyone is in the same boat as you. The biggest expense in Israel for a Kollel family is the dirah, and often that is provided by his or her parents.

But often that is not the case, and more effort is sometimes needed to get a place to live. Lately, new neighborhoods have opened up in Eretz Yisroel, such as Beth Shemesh, Kiryat Sefer, and Beitar, where housing is more reasonable than in Yerushalayim proper.

It's not simple, but so much of the country is based on the Kollel life that the society itself usually ends up working things out to accommodate it.

1) EXCUSE ME?? Why can’t you have a life completely devoted to torah that includes going out and working 8 hours a day??

2)Who says that sitting and learning all day is the ideal?

3)If the ramban, the rambam, the abarbanel and countless other rishonim and acharonim found that reaching their potential in torah life could include working why cant we???

1) Nobody said you can't - there's nothing wrong with it. But 8 hours a day more for learning is of course that much better.

2) You say it every day: "Talmud Torah kneged kulam" - Learning Torah is the greatest Mitzvah of all.

Chazal often mention that Toroso Umnoso is the ideal, that we do nothing all day but learn.

Nowadays poskim say that we cannot reach that level, but clearly the closer the better. Also, Shulchan Aruch Hilchos Talmud Torah, in the Shach ad loc, says that nowadays learning all day is the ideal, and that if someone has the ability to do it, he should.

3) Because the Rambam filled himself with Torah, became the Rambam, and then "sprinkled" a bit of philosophy into his curriculum. See Rashba Teshuvos I:414, Chosid Yaavetz in Ohr HaChaim 10, the Rambam himself is quoted indicating this. Also Shach, laws of Talmud Torah. This is stated regarding why the Rambam learned philosophy.

The Shach adds that regarding learning all day in general, nowadays we cannot reach our potential in learning the way the Rambam etc. did, since we are not on that level. Therefore, we should learn all day if we can.

Furthermore, the Rambam writes that a "working person" is someone who learns 8 hours a day and works 3. Not the Rambam nor any of the others you mentioned worked 9 to 5, or close to it.

talmud torah kineged kulam-in its proper time and place! at night and early in the morning can be the proper time for this!!

The problem with the kollel system is the unfortunate negative affect it has on today’s shidduch scene. A "good yeshiva bochur" wants a rich father in law to make his "completely devoted to Torah life" a bit more luxurious. Unfortunately I know all too many girls who have trouble just getting dates, cuz their daddy’s bank book is a little short of what it "should be".

Why is this the ideal torah way?? I'll stick with my learned layman who will be interested in me and not the checkbook.

Talmud Torah K'neged Kulam means always. There is no such thing as a "proper time" for learning, or, as your statement would necessitate, an "improper time". The Gemora says that only during a time when "it is not day or night" is the time for learning "not proper."

It's not a question of right or wrong. The Halachah, as explained by the Ohr Sameach in Hilchos Talmud Torah, is that everyone has to learn an amount according to his level. The more a person understands the value of learning, the more time he must spend on it.

But it's not a question of Halachah, not l'chatchilah not b'dieved. It's simply this: If I showed you a pile of coins and gave you 1 hour to collect as much as you can, you would spend as much time gathering the gold as you could.

Torah is the greatest Mitzvah - one word of Torah, Chazal say, is more holy than an entire lifetime of doing Mitzvos.

And we have one lifetime to gather our gold. Someone who appreciates that doesn't care if he is halachicly obligated of not. Everyone agrees that learning Torah is gold. Even if you are not halachicly obligated to run after it.

Or look at it this way: You can be "dedicated" to your wife by treating her nicely and buying her a present on her b-day.

But what about someone who buys her roses every single day? And spends every minute he can trying to make her happy.

Ah! What a relationship that would theoretically be.

You can be "dedicated" to learning by allocating an hour here and there to it. And you may not break any laws. You're not a neglectful husband.

But then there are those who are interested in more than that . . .

As far as the shiduchim go, sometimes that's true, sometimes its not. Usually its not. But regardless, that has nothing to do with the value of learning all day, which is true in and of itself.

Just remember:

The Rambam wrote in a letter that the reason he learned secular studies was in order to help him with his diplomatic relationships with the Goyim that he needed to have as at that time. He did not value "secular knowledge" in itself, and he only used it as he needed it. The Shach brings that not only can we not compare ourselves to the Rambam but we cannot compare his times to ours. In our days, you cannot become great in Torah by learning part time. Therefore, what the Rambam did personally is not relevant to us.

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