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TALMUD TORAH-----kollel 9

Blondie Posted - 08 June 2003 14:39

Okay, I always had this question about what to look for, btw I totally disagree with the person at the top who said if you don't know what you want yet it means you're not ready to get married.

I’m just confused b/c I feel I would probably like to marry a boy who is working (or in school preparing to someday work), but who is very serious about kovei'ah itim and wouldn't miss a day of learning for ANYTHING!

But then I feel kinda guilty like why don't I want somebody who's learning full-time? Am I not on the highest level to want to sacrifice either leaving my kids with a babysitter or taking my parents hard-earned money to let my husband learn? So how do you get past that?

MODERATOR Posted - 08 June 2003 14:59

Focus on the fact that it’s a big zechus for you, your husband, your children, and your parents to have a learning husband. Focus on the fact that in Olam Habah those people who you do not want to take money from, who cannot take that money with them to the next world, may come to you with a complaint: How come you didn’t let us have the eternal zechus of supporting Torah?

Bear in mind what Rav Schneur Kotler ZTL said to one of his Kollel guys who said he wanted to go to work cuz he didn’t want his children to be deprived. He said, "The biggest luxury a child can grow up with is a father who is a talmid chacham, and the biggest deprivation is to grow up with a father who is an am haaretz."

Blondie Posted - 10 June 2003 3:54

Moderator, with all due respect, you don't think it’s the least bit dangerous to be posting these extremely right-wing statements on a public website, where it can be taken/misconstrued by any person who reads it, regardless of the household they come from?

Chas v'shalom, I am not against learning after marriage, but I just find it disrespectful to take money from my parents after I leave their household, and I firmly believe in staying home with my kids iy'h and not paying someone else to raise them. I want my husband to be extremely serious about learning, and to love it, and I want to be able to grow from talking Torah with him, but I would rather him be serious about his 1-2 hours of learning a day and be able to live independently.

And I honestly cannot believe that after what I wrote about possibly looking for a husband who's doing something other than learning full-time you would say, "Well learning is a zechus, and don't worry about shnurring money," instead of possibly encouraging different types of people to look for different types of husbands? Just a thought.

MODERATOR Posted - 10 June 2003 4:40

The fact that learning full time, while single or married, is a tremendous zechus, and that it says in the Torah - in Chazal, Shulchan Aruch, Poskim, and everywhere else - that it is not only "not disrespectful" to take money for doing so, but a tremendous benefit and very very positive thing for the one learning, the one giving the money, and the whole world as well, is not something that is "extremely right wing" at all, but rather Basic Judaism, which they would teach in all the schools from right to left, except for the fact that in certain places Torah values are not politically correct and assimilation has replaced Torah values with those of the Goyim, leading to the absurd notion that Yissachar - all the Yissachars throughout the generations - are "shnorors", chas v'sholom.

Please understand that such talk, and such a mindset is a denigration of our Torah, and G-d Himself, Who values learning so highly.

First, please see Shulchan Aruch Hilchos Talmud Torah 246:21, and especially the Shach there.

But besides that, please explain to me why Torah is less valued than anything else in the world where philanthropy is considered a positive thing? Why, if I am a cancer researcher, can I collect money from individuals and foundations to further my research, and that would be considered a wonderful thing, but for Torah learning I suddenly become a shnorror?

Imagine a medical researcher who could accomplish great things in his field, but says "I don’t want people to spend their hard earned money on my research?" Or, "I think it’s disrespectful to do so?"

Obviously someone like that either doesn’t have much to offer for his donors, or he has no inkling of the value of his work.

So too someone who considers that great merit of supporting Torah in that light. They have not the slightest inkling of the value of learning Torah.

And if a researcher says, "I want to be serious about my research, but I'd rather be independent and only look for the cure to cancer one of 2 hours a day", he is not breaking any laws, but clearly, his determination to find that cure is not the same as someone who dedicates his life and all his time to it, even if it means - and it invariably does - living off grants.

Torah learning is not merely some nice adornment to the Jewish home. Torah - all of it - needs to be known, understood, and learned by every Jew. All of it.

And although the Torah's obligation is to do not more than establish times in the day and night for learning, the torah's opportunity is much more than that.

Again, you’re not breaking any laws by NOT finding the cure to cancer.

But it is a pity if you think its "disrespectful" to allow people to support your research. Or that you are a "shnoror" if you do.

The real shonorors in the world are those who do not learn Torah and therefore mooch their life and off of those who do; who do not contribute to the sustaining of the world - including the curing and preventing of diseases, world peace, health, happiness, and all blessings in the world - but rather rely on those toiling in the Bais Hamedrash to do their work for them.

But the fact that Torah is what supplies the energy that sustains the world is NOT the best reason to learn. That’s all called shelo lishmah. The real reason we should learn is because G-d values our learning so highly. The fact that the world lives off of it is just a fringe benefit.

One of the terrible misfortunes of modern Orthodoxy, and a tremendous injustice to its own members, is the fact that they try to live "modern but according to halachah". Never mind that they have not been successful in that, but even if they had succeeded, all it would mean is that they haven’t violated any laws, or committed any crimes. Life is not about avoiding violations in halachah - it is about reaching your spiritual potential. We do not live life according to our obligations but according to our opportunities. Such an attitude is like saying, as your life's goal, that you want to "Live within the framework of the law."

Um, yes, but what do you want to do with your life????

According to the halachah, you are altogether entitled to marry a working boy, who is koveah itim latorah in the morning and evening. No question about that.

But to call "shnorors" those who choose a holier path, who want to avail themselves of the opportunity to learn all day, to refuse to recognize the superiority of the other path, the path of those who want to accomplish much much more than you can accomplish in merely a few hours, is to not understand what Torah is.

And just as bad, you are also denying the great zechus of the parents who support that Torah - they are not, chas v'sholom being disrespected, and they are not tossing a few coins to a shnorror - theirs is the glory of the man who sponsored the research that finally discovered the cure for cancer. They will go down in history - in G-d's history books - as glorious, famous, and successful. Biographies will be written about such parents in Olam Habah, who supported their children's learning. And if it was hard for them to do so, then that will just make the biography more awesome.

But there is no halachic obligation to be spiritually rich and famous. You can, of course, live a non-criminal life without success, glory, fame and fortune.

In this world, all that fame and fortune is nothing but vanity. In the next world, though, all the fame and fortune and happiness and pleasure is real.

And one word of Torah earns you more of it than an entire lifetime of doing Mitzvos (Yerushalmi Peah 1).

holdingitallin Posted - 10 June 2003 16:34

Thank you that was the first thorough understanding that I've ever been graced w/ hearing about this whole concept... so thank you.

But first of all what about those who are schnurring? in other words is it right to live a "luxuriant" lifestyle on s/o else's account (pun intended)? and where’s the pt to be drawn? like let’s say neither goes to work.. money will fall from heaven? ppl do need to exist/survive HOW???

Secondly, what about 'kli kodesh" kiruv and teaching...? Is that better b/c your spreading the light? or what? How does the whole issue work out? and why is torah learning in of itself "one word more than all mitzvos" b/c isn’t the pt to learn so you can perform?

Lastly, how does this all work out for women? what is their role in the LEARNING? Does a woman's learning earn that type of s'char? And does she have a commandment to learn.. I mean don’t women also say the brachot in the morning regarding learning etc?

So what are they making Brachah on, like it says "asher kidashanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu laasok bdivrei Torah...kulanu yodei shemecha v'lomedie toratecha lishma"

so in that e/o, men and women, say that you commanded all of us to steep selves in torah... we ask to be able to learn for rite reason...????

Cookie Posted - 10 June 2003 16:34

Are there people who are not "cut out for learning" ? Ppl are always saying that...

also, if the whole world would be learning, who would support them? I know this is never gonna happen so it's irrelevant, but in actuality everyone SHOULD be learning. maybe the wives are supposed to support them.

In europe-1 or 2 sons would learn and the rest learned a trade.

Many ppl dedicate their lives to kiruv-not learning. I am very confused about all this.

MODERATOR Posted - 10 June 2003 17:11 holding -

There is a formula here that will give you the ability to answer these questions yourself: Imagine if you could find the cure to cancer, but in order to do so you would have to spend your time on it without knowing where the money to live will come from. There are those who would say it’s not my duty to sacrifice so much to find the cure to cancer and there are others who would run after the opportunity to do such good in the world, and worry about paying the rent later.

The benefits of learning Torah and the value it has is much greater than any medical research in the world. And it is always guaranteed to bring results: the learning itself is a merit. And so it depends on your attitude toward learning. You "hashkafa" (perspective), if you will.

As far as luxuries, see the Shulchan Aruch and poskim cited above. There are those opinions that it is proper even to live quite comfortably while learning. I assume one reason would be because it takes the stress off of it, and those doing such delicate and important work don’t need stress or discomfort getting in the way, but another reason brought down in the Kovod of the Torah - like a Kohen Gadol, who lived like that.

Re women: The Gemora says that women merit the great reward for Torah by assisting their husbands and children in their learning. Women themselves are exempt from Torah learning. The fact that they make birchas hatorah has several explanations in the poskim. The most famous is that of the Bais Halevi, which actually precedes him greatly - it is in the smag - that Birchas hatorah has nothing to do with the obligation to learn torah, but rather it is a Brachah on the act of learning itself, analogous to the Brachah on an apple, lets say. Even if it is not a mitzvah to eat an apple, you still make the Brachah. As far as the text of the Brachah mentioning it being a mitzvah and obligation, that is referring to all of klall yisroel in general, not the specific person making the blessing.

The reason we learn is not just to perform - ;learning has a value in its own right. The issue of lilmod al menas laasos is that the fulfillment of your learning by practicing what you preach validates the learning and means it is real. If someone learns and does not do mitzvos, that means his learning is bogus.

But in the end of the day, it is the learning that is more valuable. The mitzvos are a condition to the validity of the learning.

Cookie - the only thing "not cut out for learning" means is, unwilling to make the sacrifice. Although some people are unable to learn all day due to parnasa reasons, or other reasons, an intrinsic nature or intellect that is not suited to learning - which is what "not cut out for learning" means - does not exist.

Even if someone is not very bright, he can still accomplish a lot in learning. Not everyone has to be Rav CHaim Ozer. All you have to do is your best.

As far as which is better, Torah or Kiruv etc, as a general rule, there is nothing greater than Torah learning - talmud torah kneged kulam. But there are 2 standards here:

1) Who is a greater person - the Kiruv person or the Talmid Chacham. Of that there is no question the Talmid Chacham is a greater person - higher level. Even Mordechai, who took out time from his learning to save the world, Chazal say, went DOWN in level because he had to interrupt his learning.

2) The proper thing for a person to do. Sometimes, g-d puts a person in a situation where he must do the mitzvos - kiruv included - and not learn. That, too, was Mordechai’s lot. Fulfilling the will of g-d is paramount, even if by doing so you go down in level.

MODERATOR Posted - 10 June 2003 17:28

There are many reasons to learn Torah:

1) Its an obligatory mitzvah - this mitzvah is fulfilled by setting a time during the day and night to learn.

2) You have to learn in order to know how to live a Jewish life, including all the halachos. This is not related to the mitzvah to learn, but rather a practical necessity. Women, too, are compelled by this reason to learn those things that are relevant to them.

3) Each word of Torah a person learns imbues him with more holiness than a lifetime of doing every other mitzvah put together. It is the light of Torah that is our ticket to gan eden. Someone who does not learn torah does not have a share in olam habah - not as a punishment, but because just as a tree and a rock don’t go to olam habah, someone bereft of the Light of Torah is unfit as well. Learning Torah also protects the world for all ill and brings blessing and light and peace and happiness to everyone and everything in the world.

4) There is another, extremely important reason for Torah learning - full time Torah learning: That is the only way to create Gedolei Yisroel, who are the greatest asset we have. People complain that we don’t have Gedolim like we used to - there’s no Chofetz Chaims around anymore, etc, but Chofetz Chaims don’t grow on tress- WE make them, and not by learning one or 2 hours a day. Its hard enough to make Gedolim who don’t come to the Chofetz Chaims toes by learning all day, but that’s what we must do - make the biggest people we can, to lead us and be our eyes and ears, and in whose zechusim we prosper.

And even if someone is not going to be a Godol Hador - at least he may be a Godol of his classroom, or his family, or his shul or his town.

But we have a responsibility - to ourselves and to Hashem - to produce Torah leaders ,scholars, tzadikim and Gedolim. Hashem doesn’t make these for us. The only way they will come is if we make them ourselves.

NOTE: The fact that in the olden days people like the Rambam were able to become great Gedolim and still maintain regular employment has already been discussed in the poskim as an unrealistic expectation for us nowadays. Today, we cant do both - halvai we should be able to make Gedolim by learning all day, never mind part time.

Blondie Posted - 11 June 2003 0:46

Okay Mod, I don't know if I'm communicating very well- firstly, do you keep talking about MO because you think that's the kind of background I come from? If so, that’s hilarious- if you would only know the school I go to...

Anyway, I think Torah is the most special thing in the entire world, and I hope in seminary/Israel I gain a tremendous appreciation for it, however, I think the fact that most yeshivas today gear their boys for a life learning Torah all day just does a disservice to everyone- not the Torah, but to the boys, because some boys CANNOT sit all day and learn, and sometimes when they're forced to learn for 1 or 2 hours a day, they are able to utilize the time wisely and REALLY learn instead of "learning" all day (really sleeping late, going out to eat, taking breaks...)-

Of course I am only talking about certain boys there, obviously there are some boys who are meant to learn all day, every day, and those boys are MEANT to be supported, and everyone should pay for them to live, but its not fair to keep asking people to pay for boys who aren't doing what they're supposed to do.

Like in Kelm Yeshiva when they used to have like 5 minutes intervals to focus on one specific thing and it was a good exercise- maybe sometimes the quality will outweigh the quantity? I guess not with Torah, I just think that if this keeps happening, Jewish children will end up being raised by Goyim and a love for Torah won't be transmitted from father to son c'v if it just becomes a "job"

MODERATOR Posted - 11 June 2003 0:50 You said you consider it disrespectful to take hard earned money form your parents to support your husband in learning. And you referred to people who do as "shnorors". I was responding to that.

Truth Seeker Posted - 12 June 2003 15:45 June 12

Further to my previous post:

The following is an exact transcription from part of tape #610 from R' Avigdor Miller, ZT'L.

(Beginning of Side B)

__________Begin Transcribed Text___________

The seforim all praise the great opportunities that solitude affords the great man.

Let's say, your husband goes to work, you're a woman in the kitchen, nobody home except the little babies, you are all alone with HaKadosh Baruch Hu. You utilize your day in thinking about Him:

As you feed the baby, your hand is the hand of Hashem. That's how a woman could think.

"Nosein Lechem l'chol basar": The baby says, "Give me a piece of bread, Mommy", so you give the baby a piece of bread, [think:]

"My hand is the hand of Hashem: 'Nosein lechem l'chol basar, ki l'olam chasdo'."

Isn't that great?

If a woman can nurse her baby, herself, HOW *GREAT* IS THAT: HaKadosh Baruch Hu is feeding the baby and she is the messenger.

And all day long, she is doing the will of Hashem. She passes a mezzuah and thinks, " 'Hashem Echad' and Hashem is looking at me". All day long she's busy: planning ways and means of serving HKB"H- according to the things she has to do. She doesn't have to learn Torah while she's busy in her house. But everything that she does can be that she's walking secretly with Hashem. And it's even greater, because there's nobody to applaud her, there's no audience. And she doesn't do it for ulterior motives. How great it is when a woman learns to behave in her kitchen, like the great tzadikkim who walked with Hashem always.

And men, at work. He's working, he has in mind: "I'm serving HKB"H: I'm paying for the tuition for my children in yeshivos. I want to marry off my daughter to a ben Torah. I want to keep a good kosher, frum house and give maaser to tzedakah. And so this person is serving Hashem -as long as he keeps in *mind* what's the purpose of his work.

Keeping in mind, thinking about these things...

____End Transcribed Text_____________

I highly suggest that people listen to the tape itself; a major part of what makes R' Miller's lectures so powerful is the awesome feeling and sincerity that comes through in his voice. He really brings the concepts to life. (and he had a tremendous talent for telling stories; relating both stories from his experiences as well as from the classic sources (esp. Aggadata) in way that is so fascinating and entertaining.)

Blondie Posted - 20 June 2003 16:29

So Mod, there's no concept to getting married and NOT living off your parents money?

MODERATOR Posted - 20 June 2003 16:36

Sure there is -- but that is superseded by the more important concept of learning Torah.

There is a concept of living off your own money and not taking donations, but that doesn’t mean that a person who can find the cure to cancer should not do the research because he will have to apply for grants.

Go ask a Zionist if he thinks financial independence is important enough for Israel not to take money from American donations?

"What do you mean" they will say, "Israel must survive!".

The existence of their mythological refuge in case of a holocaust is too important for them to be concerned about WHAT IT TAKES for us to make it happen.

Well, it used to be that Jews had this attitude towards Torah - "What do you mean be independent?" they would say, "We need maximum Torah learning in this world".

Of course, if you can be independent, its nice, and good, and wonderful, but dependence is a lot better than being an am haaretz.

Truth Seeker Posted - 21 June 2003 21:34 Speaking of which:

From: 'Zionists, and Arabs, and Eretz Yisroel'

Topic: 'Rav Shach ZT"L on This Issue'

"This State, that has nothing on its own, and depends totally on charity and donations from America, not long ago they made fun of the Old Yishuv Jews, who accepted charity, where now the entire State accepts charity. Their entire existence is form charity! And whereas previously, the charity was for the sake of living, since parnasa was not easily found, and those that gave knew that they, too, gained, though supporting Torah, and supporting Klall Yisroel, for without Torah there is no Klall Yisroel c"v, instead, now, how many millions of liros go to sports stadiums … Is this the Eretz Yisroel that we hope for?? Is this what the Torah praises??"

- Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach, ZT'L

Letters, 9

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