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TALMUD TORAH-----work vs college

chesky Posted - 01 December 2000 17:08

What’s better for a yeshiva guy, to start working after high school or go to college?

MODERATOR Posted - 01 December 2000 17:13

In general, to start working. There are poskim who prohibit college altogether, and usually it is easier to fulfill your Torah standards and goals while working than in college.

If you feel you have an individual situation, you need to discuss it with someone who knows you.

Hemroid Posted - 02 April 2001 14:41

What is wrong with college? I can understand what would be wrong in a college that is co-ed and secular, but what is wrong with, for example, Touro College where the classes are separate and it's a Jewish college?

MODERATOR Posted - 02 April 2001 16:49

It's not a question of "wrong". It's a question of how we want to spend our time and our life. Years in college could be spent acquiring eternities in Gan Eden.

Also, separate classes in Touro college still leave a lot of room for the Yetzer Horah to maneuver. It's better than secular colleges where classes are mixed, but the proximity and intermingling of boys and girls even in such a setting is less than what we would want if we had our own choice.

ptgard2281 Posted - 03 April 2001 16:14

Yeah but the time spent working could equal or even surpass the time you spend learning secular and Judaic studies in college -- I would think college (both secular and Jewish) would be a better option because there are less hours involved.

In a job, you are expected to work 9-5, whereas in college, you go for like 4-5 hours and can still go home and learn at your leisure.

MODERATOR Posted - 03 April 2001 17:58

That's why you should stay in Yeshiva while your friends are in college, and only start work when necessary.

And although the hours of schooling itself may be less than 9-5, if you count studying for tests, doing reports, homework, term papers, lab time, and other time spent, the extra hour a day is definitely negligible. How many college student s do you know that spend less than 1 hour a day average on their work outside of school? Then there's maybe graduate school, internships, and other life-consuming things.

And of course, there's the atmosphere in college, and often prohibited studies, and other michsholim.

Because of all this, the accepted course of action is to work when you need to, with no college.

someone Posted - 03 April 2001 19:04

But what about going to college to be able to make a parnasa? Not everyone can have a kollel life.. and if everyone did have a kollel life then who would support the kollel? Some need to make money and going to college helps that, I'm not saying for everyone.. but for some pppl they need it

MODERATOR Posted - 03 April 2001 19:18

If there is no pritzus and no prohibited studies, and it is needed for a parnassa, then college is halachicly permitted.

Re: Kollel, it is true that not everyone is obligated to be in Kollel, but those who choose to are gaining tremendous merit by doing so. It's simple: Learning is a much bigger Mitzvah, and makes you reach higher spiritual levels, than making money.

someone Posted - 04 April 2001 17:26

But what about the people who support the people doing the kollel life? Someone needs to support them, but they get less of the mitzva?

MODERATOR Posted - 30 April 2001 20:30


A person who supports another in learning gets an equal share in the learning. However, the one who is learning has other benefits besides credit for the Mitzvah that are not shared by the supporter, such as changing himself spiritually so that the torah has a permanent effect on him ("yerusha"). See Ruach Chaim, Avos I sh'aino yerusha lach.

just-be Posted - 16 July 2001 17:56

It say's in the torah/Gemorah that a man should go out and learn a trade and support his family, hashem realized how important it was for a person to support his family, that is why only one of the twelve shevatim spent all day learning and the rest were out making a living.

It is important to learn, but hashem has made it possible for us nowadays to learn and make a living as in daf yomi early in the morning and a chavruta at night, as long as you are learning and it means a lot to you-that time you spent learning, that's what counts.

If you sit in kollel all day but spend 1/2 of that time on cigarette breaks those 2 hours you spend learning in the morning are more meaningful than learning all day.

MODERATOR Posted - 24 July 2001 21:05

No. Even though it is definitely important to utilize your time properly, it is also true that the more you learn the more Mitzvah you get - each and every additional word of Torah you learn makes a substantial change in your Neshoma's madreigah - and that there is a big difference between learning Torah, and becoming a Godol BaTorah or a Talmid Chacham, which you cannot do by learning daf yomi only.

We cannot compare ourselves to the shevatim. Them going to work and us going to work are two different things. Each of the shavatim were great Neviim, able to resurrect the dead in an instant. They learned more torah in their minds during every moment that their arms and legs were working, than a great Torah scholar can today, during his entire lifetime in the Bais HaMedrash.

The Belzer Rebbe ZT"L explained that when the Gemorah describes the merit of earning a living it uses the phrase "haneheneh m'yegias kapoh" - someone who makes a living form the work of "his hands". Meaning, said the Sar Sholom of Belz ZT"L, while his hands are working, he has his mind free for learning.

For us to take direction, we must look into the Halachah, which was written for us, rather than apply to us principles that applied to great prophets. And in the Halacha - Shulchan Aruch Hilchos Talmud Torah, and Shach ad loc - it is clear that it is a great Mitzvah to learn all day even if you have to be supported by the community.

The reason is because even though you are able to learn some Torah and work also, to become a Godol BaTorah or a Talmid Chacham - in other words, to reach your potential in learning, you must learn more than Daf Yomi.

The Rambam writes that each and every Jew who wants to join the "tribe of Levi" today - or adapt their lifestyle at least - and learn all day and do nothing else, gets a tremendous merit.

It's a simple idea. Look at it this way:

Let's imagine Klall Yisroel was needed doctors. Without the doctors, people would die. But the problem is, medical school is unaffordable and time consuming, which makes producing doctors prohibitive. Also, being a doctor does not bring in any money (in our imaginary world). So Klall Yisroel sets up people who will donate money to support people going through medical school and while they act as doctors, so that our sick can be cured.

Now imagine someone objecting to this system. "Hey!" they will say. "Let these doctors go out and make a living! All the shevatim made a living! Why should the community support these people? Why should they live off Tzadakah?"

Of course, you would say such protestors are nuts. These people are (1) vital to our community, and (2) earning their pay as much as anyone else due to their service that they provide, and (3) it should be an honor to support the existence of such people.

Well, the existence of Gedolei Torah are more vital to our people than doctors and it should be the responsibility of every Jew to provide the means for them to exist. And whereas a certain amount of doctors are sufficient, the more Gedolei Torah we have, the better it is for Klall Yisroel.

So, as the Rambam says, anyone can volunteer for the privilege of being a savior of Klall Yisroel.

tess Posted - 06 August 2001 16:24

Respected moderator- I do not mean to be chutzpadik but if you are so anti-college then how do you suggest boys to support a family? trade schools are gr8 for those interested in those trades but for those who aren’t??

MODERATOR Posted - 06 August 2001 16:51

It is possible today to make a living without going to college. There are those who go to college, too, and end up not finding jobs in their fields, and then end up going into business or trade school. The trade schools are full of middle aged college graduates who are replacing their years of college with a 6 month course on networking, for instance, because they'll make a better living that way. In y neighborhood alone, there is a PhD in archaeology who makes a living programming, computers and a PhD in nuclear physics (!) who is a caterer.

For those that "aren't interested", it's their choice. Some people aren't interested in bothering to go to work altogether. Its not interesting to wake up early and work a whole day. But if you want to make a living, you have to do it anyway. So, too, if someone wants to learn as much as he can and acquire as much Olam Habbah as he can, he has to decide if that is worth sacrificing his career in anthropology.

It's harder to make a living, usually, without a college degree, but fine, that's the choice. It used to be harder to make a living if you kept Shabbos, or if you kept Kosher.

To go to college just for parnasa purposes, assuming there is no prohibited studies or environment is permitted. But it is much better to live life not merely according to the rules Hashem gave us but according to the opportunities He gave us. And if we are willing to forgo a college degree, there is much Olam Habbah to be gained.

Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT"L once gave a marvelous speech about this to his students. It was printed in English in "Light" magazine about 25 years ago. It's called "Counsel of the Wicked." It is still available as a pamphlet. Check it out. It's worth reading.

bluesky01 Posted - 08 May 2002 17:08

Lakewood is rated now the biggest place of Jewish children at risk cause a lot of the fathers sit and learn all day and don't spend any time with their fam so their kids get messed up (I don't live in Lakewood but I heard this)

MODERATOR Posted - 15 May 2002 5:25

Um, "rated"? By whom?

No, absolute fabrication. Whoever's doing this "rating" for sure is talking out of their hat. Lakewood actually has less problems proportionately than the average large city such as NY or Baltimore or Miami. Its just that, each problem stands out more in the minds of others since its "Lakewood".

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