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TALMUD TORAH-----kollel 3

Personally I have mixed opinions of kollel. My rabbanim keep saying how good it is but on the other hand my father says how it is turning into a bad idea.

I would like to believe what my rabbanim say about kollel but my father has a point. Nowadays more and more people are working in kollel, and to what I know, are living off the money of their rich in-laws. For this reason my father has made it clear to me that when I go to yeshiva it will not be for more than year or two, incase I want to sit and learn rather than university.

If you told your father you wanted to become a doctor and find the cure to cancer, would he object?

Even if it means living off research grants?

Do you think that doctors should not accept research grants, or that they should choose other professions because if they chose the research field they would have to live off someone's donations?

Or would your father feel that finding the cure to cancer is worth it, and since research grants are the only way to do it, then more power to you?

Why is it that to find the cure to cancer, you can live off "donations", or to run a social service agency where you feed the poor people of Africa, which survives from donations, but the holy work of learning torah is not good enough to deserve doing it by donation?

And what kind of donation is this anyway? If I pay you because I think what you are doing benefits me, you, and the world, then you are a paid worker, not a recipient of charity.

So if I pay you to dance for me or to be my personal trainer in fitness or my nutritionist, that’s OK, right?

But if I pay you to learn Torah, to provide me with the eternal merit of Talmud Torah ala Yissachar and Zevulun that’s not acceptable?

If I provide you with a healthier body then you can pay me - if I was your chauffeur I would be entitled to payment, but if I provide you with a ride to Olam Habah that’s nothing?

Go ask a Zionist why they allow the State of Israel to exist based on the donations of people in chutz la'aretz, including United States grants and loans. Ask him if he has a problem with UJA funds going to build the land, or donations going to buy bullet proof vests for soldiers. Then point out that if not for the support of donations, Israel would not survive a week.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the United States will have spent over $90 billion by the end of this year in foreign aid to Israel.

Ninety billion dollars means dollars cash for every single person living in America; with that money you could purchase every single sports team in existence: baseball, basketball, football and hockey - all of them (according to Forbes, it would run you about 22 billion, so you’ll have enough left to buy yourself some sky scrapers too); according to Save the Children, it takes around $240 a year to save one child in a poor country - with $3 billion you could save twelve and a half million children - more than double the entire Jewish population of Israel, or, if you prefer, $3 billion could buy you over 8,000 Rolls Royces.

$3 billion is also more than the annual economy (GDP) of over 25% of all the countries in the world (55 out of 173 countries in the entire world).

Each year, Israel receives $3 billion dollars from the U.S. making it, a country of six million people, the largest foreign recipient of American taxpayer dollars.

And your father has no problem with that?

Then ask a Zionist who preaches that all Jews should come live in Israel, if all Jews would live in Israel, who would support them all????

They will invariably answer you that Israel's survival maintenance and flourishing is a vital concern that supercedes all of the above concerns, and if currently the only way it can survive is by being the biggest shnorror country in the world, if that’s what it takes then that’s what we will do.

And they will answer to the question of who would support Israel if all the Jews moved there, that that is not our concern; that G-d provides for the Jews when they do the right thing, and Aliyah is a greater cause that should not be impeded because of such theoretical problems. Who know what will happen, they will say, if all Jew make aliyah? Maybe Moshiach will come and we won't have a problem!

They will tell you that Israel is vital for the Jewish survival and that its survival is a must-have, and after that is secured, we will worry about the lesser concerns.

Well, it used to be, in times far more lofty and Torah oriented than these, that this attitude was directed at a different entity, that Jews felt was so vital to our existence that at all costs it must survive and flourish - and that used to be learning Torah!

We used to realize - and unfortunately some modernists lost this fundamental Torah belief - that it is the Torah learning of the Torah scholars that keep us safe; that is the most vital commodity to Jewish survival; that bring holiness and blessing and Divine Influence and peace and prosperity into the world, and that it must be supported no matter what!

Every single extra little kid - or adult - that learns every single little extra line of Gemora changes the world for the better.

Like finding the cure to cancer, like providing bullet-proof vests to soldiers, like marrying off orphans and supporting widows.

Like giving life to klall yisroel.

Ask your father what he would say if you were looking for a partner to open an organization dedicated to helping treat cancer victims. You will do the medical and social part and you are looking for a partner to do the administrative/fundraising part.

Would be object to that?

And if you and your father-in-law decided to create such an organization it would be OK.

Then tell your father that your organization will not only help cancer patients but it will also provide for poor people; that it will also marry off orphans; that it will support widows; that it will provide homeless Jews with places to live; that it will provide funerals for those who unfortunately have nobody to bury them; that it will also teach people how to pray to G-d for everything they need; that it will do all that and more.

Just you and your father-in-law can accomplish all that. You figured out a way, and you’re going to dedicate your life to it.

And after your father showers you with hugs and kisses for the altruism and idealism that he sees in his own son, then tell him:Hachnosas orchim / bikur cholim / hachnasas kallah / levayas hames / gemilus chasadim are big mitzvos, but...
...talmud torah kneged kulam!

And as chazal say, one word of Torah is higher than an entire lifetime of doing these Mitzvos.
And them tell him that you have such an organization set up. You and your father-in-law.
Or your wife. Or whoever. You do the social part, and he/she will do the administrative part.

The Yetzer Horah know where to focus his energies. And so he would rather see thousands of social service organizations opening rather than one Torah student. Because although Mitzvos and Chesed are hated by the Satan, Talmud Torah is hated even more!

And so the Satan will try to generate within us a hashkofo that says: Any cause in the world it is OK to have someone support, except Torah learning.

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