Opinion: It’s Not Fair!


its-not-fairBy CJ Srullowitz
My great-grandmother lived in a shtetl in a town called Rovno. One day, she was outside with her children when she heard shots being fired. A Cossack, drunk and on horseback, was galloping through town pulling the trigger aimlessly. My great-grandmother grabbed her girls and pushed them through the door to the house, but before she could get herself inside, the cossack shot her in the back. She died.

My uncle-through his marriage to the older of these two girls several years later-lived in a nearby shtetl. One day, there was a pogrom. A gentile thrust a gob of lard toward his face and told him to eat. He refused, and said “Shema Yisrael…” convinced that he was about to be killed. But the gentile let him go and instead went after an old man. The old man, too, refused to open his mouth to the lard, so the gentile lit his beard on fire. The old man died.

I live in New York City. My home is in Manhattan, a multicultural island comprising dozens of ethnicities, who live side-by-side in peace and tranquility. Jews in New York, even religious Jews, don’t stand out any more than do the Sikhs, the Koreans, or the West Indians.

But the other day I woke up, walked to shul, and was confronted with the horrible desecration of a swastika painted on the front door of my synagogue. For no reason, some gentile hated us enough to vandalize our property. Now I’m thinking I should be afraid to wear my yarmulka in the street.

It’s not fair.

My mother went to public school. Her Jewish education consisted of Talmud Torah at the local Orthodox synagogue. She never went to Bais Yaakov (though later she taught in one). Both my parents grew up out-of-town surrounded by gentiles and steeped in American culture. My mother met Elvis Presley and Eleanor Roosevelt. My father rooted for Ted Williams and the Red Sox.

My grandfathers, on both sides, were not Talmudic scholars. While they knew enough to pass on to their children the knowledge that knowledge-Torah knowledge-was important, they themselves never received a proper Torah education.

I grew up in the suburbs of New York City, in a very Jewish town, with a choice of kosher pizza shops and delis, a place where you rarely saw a car on the streets on Shabbos. I grew up in a house with a father who is a scholar, whose library is formidable. I can ask him almost anything Torah-related and he will have, or he will quickly find, the answer. My yeshiva education was K through 12, followed by seven years of beis medrash, two of them in Israel.

But yeshiva education today costs a fortune. As yeshivos have begun to pay their rabbeim a living wage and attempt to build decent secular studies departments and extra-curricular programs, tuition has increased dramatically. Who can afford to pay so much? My grandparents were never faced with these kinds of bills.

It’s just not fair.

None of my grandparents went to college. It wasn’t a “frum thing” for them; it simply wasn’t on their radar. In fact, my maternal grandfather had to drop out of high school in his senior year to help with the family business. As for my paternal grandfather, I’m still not quite sure what he did for a living, but those were the years of the Great Depression, and no one back then made much money.

Things were even worse where they had come from. The shtetl was a place of dire poverty. “If we didn’t fast every Monday and Thursday,” the old joke went, “we’d have starved to death.” Hunger drove them to leave for America’s golden shores.

I have never missed a meal in my life. My college-educated parents always provided for me and my siblings. We grew up in a big house, with a big backyard, and we each had our own bedroom. My parents didn’t give us everything we wanted but they gave us everything we needed, and then some.

But my cholesterol is too high. Even though I run four to five times a week, I still feel out of shape and I’m a few pounds overweight. I try to eat right, but there are so many temptations: frappuccinos, Ben & Jerry’s, French fries. I have to deal with temptations my grandparents never had.

It’s not fair. It’s just not fair.

 {luleidemistafina/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I’ve had a similar discussion with a Rebbe of mine.
    Many of our grandparents had no idea how to learn. My grandfather once told me how he never really learned how to open a gemara and make a leining on a sugya. He went to a local school (called a gymnasium in Hungary) and learned in cheder afterwards.
    Was it only because the Nazis took his life away from him? No, that was the norm for those times. Only the best learners moved past that. The others learned Chumash, Navi, and Mishnayos, and other things.
    Some things they were taught, however, were Yiras Shamayim, Emunah, and Bitachon. Most people here can relate how their grandparents faith in Hashem was something we can only dream about. No matter what happened, my grnadfather accepted it with a smile and moved on. He lost his entire family to the Nazis, but he moved on, and built another family here in the US.
    Nowadays, in the yeshivos, they are concerned with gemara. All day, they learn gemara, with maybe half an hour for a mussar seder. One of my Rabbeim said that it shouldn’t be that way. They focus on the learning, but the hashkafos, and instilling proper emunah and bitachon are, for the most part, ignored.

  2. I hope no one gets offended by this post, but I just wanted to share the insights of my rebbeim about ‘fairness’. I think it’s a great mussar lesson, and this kind of letter is a great mussar haskel. For that, I think the author as mezakeh the rabim. I dont mean to be judgemental, and I have no idea who this person is or what their cheshbon is – I am however, able to judge ideas and concepts without talking about the people involved. So, take what I’m about to say as being topic-based and not personal-based, ok?

    One rebbe I had says, there’s no word for ‘fair’ in lashon hakodesh. Even in ivrit, little boys constantly say ‘ze lo fair’. Why? Because something which is not found in lashon hakodesh doesn’t exist – fairness, as protrayed in american philosophy, is an alien idea without much reason. Most of it is rooted in desires – I feel I’m entitled, or I feel I deserve X, while in reality, no one deserves anything – everything’s a chessed and a matnas chinam from the rebono shel olam. Hashem gave us the power to do good, and whatever good we do never is perfect, so how can we demand things? We’re constantly mispalel to do the ratzon hashem; this is an ends in its own, and there’s nothing we can really ask for in return, since hashem gave and gives us the tools and ability to do His will. My other rebbe also once said, when discussing the issue of agunos, that usually people stop saying ‘it’s not fair’, when they’re 4 years old, since by that time, they grow up enough to know that the world and G-d dont owe them anything.

    Complaining is a very bad middah – it brings people down, and is a complaint ultimately against the rebono shel olam, that he did something bad by you cv’s, and that I’m correct, I know what’s right and what’s fitting – no, we’re supposed to be mekabel these things(halevai tuituion is the worst thing to ever happen to someone) with ahavah and simcha, that we’re having averos blasted off our chesbonos, and so on. Before beginning to complain, look at all the great things we have in our lives and have some hakaras hatov, like we say in nishmas kol chai – even if our tongue was stretched out like the sea we wouldn’t have reached the end of hakaras hatov for the endless gifts hashem showers upon us.

    Grada, our grandparents had nisyonos that would mmake us tremble – the hasala was ripping through klal yisroel still at that time, shmiras hamitzvos was at such a shvach state that people continually use them as rayos that things are ok when they are openly against halacha – my grandparents mixed danced, so it cant be so bad, etc.. the nisayon of staying clean from chamur issurim back then was very difficult. Noadays, just stay in the bais medrash; back then you couldnt..it’s something that brings a tear to my eye, now a guy can learn without stopping..totally wrapped in kedushah; in prevous generations, they didnt have that alternative, only yechidim did, and now, like the rambam says, ANYONE, not just the talmidei chachamim, can join the ‘shevet halevi’ and learn! (grada, the rambam wouldnt be too impressed with us, back in his time, the average baal habus learned 9 hours a day, pretty much like a kollel yungerman!, but we have our excuses that we are on a lower madrega than in those times).

    The reshoim who put down our kollelim are among the worst destroyers of klal yisroel – I dont want to even know what’s going to happen to them in the olam haemes when they see how much they’re destroying and how much cynicism that they’re instilling in yidden to despise the torah that we’e now able to learn and glorify what was sent to odom as a curse(bezeyas apecha toichel lchem) – hashem yerachaym.

    This is why we need kollelim – check out the pachad yitzchak, rav hutner hit the nail right on the head when he said that communities are transformed by kollels – when a kollel opens up, frumkeit increases and the whole kehilah is uplifted. Our dor needs it as much as possible to fight all the tumah out there – it’s a shame our zeidy’s couldn’t have what we have, but now we have something more to have hakaras hatov to the rebono shel olam for!

  3. Would you prefer to have lard thrown in your face and live in with pogroms rather than a high tuition bill? I often here people say “I wish we lived in the shtetle back in Europe” Do you really?

  4. Matis wrote: “The reshoyim who put down our kollelim are among the worst destroyers of Klal Yisroel.”

    I truly regret that you wrote these words.

    From my own understanding, the critics of kollelim mainly decry an economically untenable situation where too many are in kollel who do not belong there. Instead of following a halachic mandate to support their families and alleviate their own terrible poverty, these individuals have absorbed the mantra of “full-time learning forever and for everyone” to their own and Klal Yisrael’s detriment.

    I personally agree with this position. It is certainly supported by the halachic mandate for a Yid to teach his son a trade. Kollelim are for the best and the brightest. They are the primary educational resource for our future gedolim and poskim. The vast majority need to know when to get up and leave the bais medresh…join the ranks of balei batim…and put food on the table and clothes on the backs of their wives and children through the effort of an honest day’s work.

    For this you would call me a “rasha?” (chas v’shalom)

  5. #4 – you got it.

    I had many friends (most of them unfortunately no longer with us) who lived through Churban Europe, not to mention the socially-acceptable anti-Semitism that came before it.

    Every time I read the cry “Anti-Semitism” or “Nazi” coming from someone these days whenever the government, or whoever, dares criticize them or do something they don’t like, I think, “Brother, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    I once read about an informal poll taken of teenagers in a Bais Yaakov in Brooklyn. Not one of them had ever personally experienced an anti-Semitic act. Nowadays if we run a red light and the cop pulls us over and gives us a ticket, we holler “Anti-Semite!”

    Baruch HaShem, very few of us have experienced true anti-Semitism or true poverty. We truly live in a malchus shel chessed, and even those of us who live in Eretz Yisroel and have lived through so many wars do not experience discrimination on a daily basis the way the generations before us did.

    Yes, it’s not fair. It’s not fair that we feel so entitled, so “I deserve it – it’s coming to Me!” that we have lost track of very important values that our ancestors took for granted – despite their lack of formal education.

  6. Firstly,who said life is supposed to be fair. Secondly, the definitioin of “fair” is whatever hashem decides 4 us.Last but least,our teachers and rabbeim are taking care of our future,and many of them give up such bright “careers” 4 our children,and they do it with such care and dedication,I would be petrefied to make any comments about them, you`re starting up with hashems most beloved

  7. sniffle sniffle grab a tissue!
    what is this guy crying about- my little sister was crying yesterday coz she thinks someone
    ‘looked” at her. she threw a tantrum and screaamed “its not fair”.
    Can MATZAV contact me to post my story

  8. My grandfather told me once that if they tell u to take ur stick and run listen to them,
    Yes in America reshuim r growing
    I stopped at a gas station in Monticello to use the bathroom they told me it’s out of service but just then they gave the key to someone else, I ask what’s this the responds was out of service for the Jews.
    People fled from Poland to Hungary and told the Jews that the Nazis r killing us run we laugh don’t make the same mistake, it can happen here to.

  9. When I said putting down kollelim, I meant it for a number of reasons:

    1. Gedolei yisroel support them, right from the time we were able to begin them(with reb ahron and his talmidim) – it’s chutzpah for that reason alone.
    2. I was more specifically talking about the ones who scream ‘get out and work and dont be supported’ and the usual other nonsense. Being against the practical details of HOW our kollels work is one thing, and it is totally open to discussion, as quite often the ones running them are not gedolei yisroel, but to be against the idea of kollelim being open to all who seek them is wrong and, and those that do so are reshoim.(it’s not my line – read reb moshe’s teshuvah called ‘atzas reshoim’, when he talks about those who encourage college lechatchilah instead of learning).

    The rambam writes the shevet halevi is open for ANYBODY to join. This of course does not mean one should lead himself to poverty, but even the poorest americans are hardly near true poverty – their kids not having bugaboo strollers simply doesn’t necessitate leaving kollel, nor does having to live in a basement apartment or be supported by someone.

    The ‘mantra’ is not for ‘everyone’ – it’s for anyone who wants to. Big difference. Also, the supposed looking down on those that do not learn all day is only partially true – no one ever said it’s bad to work chas veshalom, it’s just that it’s better to learn. So, peolpe will be machshiv the ones who simply do more and achieve more – if those that work dont like it, well, too bad – the torah places more importance on learning than it does working – it’s a davar pashut. The average person should, as what gedolei yisroel have said, learn for as long as it is practical and then go make a parnosah – this is for everyone. You can also just as easily say that the spiritual benefits of raising your children in a kollel atmosphere where he learns to love torah outweighs whatever physical things will be missed – pas bemelach toichal – kach darka shel torah. ‘depriving’ children in the materialistic way america defines is it not a part of our lexicon.

    I am against how certain things are done too – as are a lot of people; it needs tikunim, and it needs a lot of work; thats not what I was talking about – however the laiztonus and total chutzpah that is so common online(and offline), putting down those that are supported to learn, is unacceptable.

    Grada, I have a job – that’s the irony. The standard is the standard, emes is emes no matter what i do, or where I’m holding – I may not be able to learn all day, but I look to those who do as towering giants and our nation’s most precious members.

  10. ‘mandate to teach his son a trade’

    Oh please – this has got to be one of the oldest, tired tainos – im sure you know the terutzim; everyone knows them, reb moshe addressed it(as did every other gadol – forget gadol, any reasonably educated yeshiva guy knows the terutz) – toraso umnaso, as the mishnah berurah says, now that we can take schar for lteaching, it satisfies the gemora in kiddushin just fine – of course, reb baruch ber famously brought the statement of reb nehurai ‘I will forego all umanos and teach my son only torah’

    Feh – you honestly think people who learn all day somehow overlooked an open gemora in kiddushin which every 6th grader learned? This is part of the chutzpah I mentioned – having the audacity to think gedolei yisroel and the biggest talmidei chachamim just made a little mistake and overlooked open gemoras – learn the sugya, it’s a davar pashut that there’s no problem with learning all day. If reb nehurai could teach his son only torah, back then when there was so little food for even the most hard working men, kal vechomer us nowadays..you accuse these great men of breaking halacha, I hope these accusations come from pure ignorance(maybe some communal sentiment too) and not sinas chinom, I truly do.

    It’s pashut rishus to accuse all the gedolei hador who worked so hard to get people behind the idea of a kollel system of breaking halacha with their efforts.

  11. shua – are you also aware of the fact that the rambam writes that the average balhabus, who worked, a ‘working guy’, learned 89 HOURS day!? clearly, there is a heter to work, it is just that – a heter. Rav Yaakov Hillel, shlit”a, recently spoke about this at the bostoner beis medrash – going out to work is a HETEr, and an even shvacher one nowadays, since one is so busy with his job, he cant think about learning while working(tyhis is what the sar shalom of belz said on the gemora about ‘haneheneh meyegias kapo’, while his hands are working, his mind is free for learning. It used to be the poshiteh yidden who were working on shoes all day had time to learn in their heads – now, I can tell you when I discuss mortgages with my clients, I cant think in learning! It’s a shvach heter, again, but you could dig one up. However the important thing, and what my rebbeim always stressed, is that sometimes the spiritual motivations for things are as important as the etzem maysoh – if you go to work thinking you’re contributing to this amazing thing called being a balhabus while those lazy kollelmen rip off people cv’s, then you’re bordering on apikorsus, since chazal praise learning torah as superior to working, never mind the hashpaos you get from the secular world(one of these hashpaos, grada, is thinking there’s nothing wrong with getting mushpah from the secular world – which opens a nice pesach for the yatzer to just jump in).

    I dont change the standard, why do you? Why do you insist that we change the definitions of lechatchila and bedieved, why, in the face of the gedolei hador, do you have the chutzpah to say that only those who are the best should sit and learn? why cling to the forgotten bedieved world where no one was machshiv torah and where the gevirim were the ruling class?

    See the shach in hilchos talmud torah, where he says that learning all day is the ideal, but that circumstances limit us from doing so – iodeally, this is what we should do – it is also what we should believe in, even if we cant do it.

    If you will say the other, tired modern orthodox argument(of course, which lacks mekoros to explain it, much like when people quote pesukim out of nowehre asking how we can keep shabbos if it says to love hashem and you dont love shabbos, or other nonsense) that the rambam learned secular studies and had a parnosah as a doctor, I will refer you to Rashba Teshuvos I:414, Chosid Yaavetz in Ohr HaChaim 10, where the Rambam himself is quoted as just sprinkling his daily schedule with secular studies aftter learning exclusively torah many, many years. That’s a far cry from the ‘centrist’ rambam who loved hevel hevolim we always hear about from certain people.

    Furthermore, Rav Shimon Schwab asks a question on Rav Hirsch, if today given the diffeent circumstances, if rav hirsch would still advocate having secular knowledge at all lechatchilah – he blibes shver.

    The mekor for the rambam saying that one who joins the shevet halevi(in their lifestyle, learning all day) gets tremendous zchus is in hilchos shmita 13:13, he says such a person is a kiddush hashem.

    The moderator at the frumteens site(which I thank for the mekoros I qwuoted above as well), had this fascinating maysoh to share:
    As an example: A man once came to the Chazon Ish asking him advice. He got two job offers, and he wants to know which to take. The first is Kashrus administrator of the rabbanut, a position in which he is confident that he would be able to change the kashrus standards in all of eretz yisroel, causing the public to eat only kosher food. If he does not take this job, they will hire someone who does not have his standards and the public who rely on this hecsher will not eat kosher (note: I do not know what the issues with the hechsher were, or how severe). His other choice is to be a Rebbi in a yeshiva. If he does not take that job, the Yeshiva will hire a different ben torah, on the same level as him, so it’s not as if the kids are going to be less frum.

    Which job should he take, he asked.

    The Chazon Ish asked him, “Do you think, if you take the job as a Rebbi, that you could perhaps convince 2 of your students to learn during a Bain Hazemanim?”

    “Yes,” he said. “I think I can do that.”

    “Then you should know,” said the Chazon Ish, “that two kids learning Torah bain hazemanim as if it were the zman, is much more valuable to Hashem than making the entire eretz yisroel eat kosher!”

    But I guess selling mortgages is more important. Oh well.

  12. matis: Besides for the gemara in Kiddushin, there is also the kesubah that a man gives his wife when they get married. In it, it says the husband will feed her, clothe her, and provide for other basic things. In a kollel family, it’s the other way around. Maybe they should write a new kesubah for kollel guys?

    I would also like to point out that R’ Ahron Kotler was not in favor of having just anybody join his yeshiva. He only allowed a select group to join. It was his son, R’ Schneur, that opened the doors to anyone.

    As for the idea of having everyone in kollel, my Rosh Yeshiva told me that was only to rebuild what we lost in WW2. We lost so many gedolim, we needed to rebuild our base of rabbonim. He said that when that was accomplished, things should go back to the way they were before WW2, with only the elite in kollel.

  13. To #15-who is your Rosh Yeshiva?Whats his name? It sounds like he was close to Reb Aharon Kotler and he knows his real rotzon.IT also sounds like he knew R’Shneur. SO maybe tell us his name.

  14. Matis:

    My original comment was a protest against your sweeping denunciation of people who “put down kollelim” as “reshoyim.” Your exhausting and lengthy reply seems to be a reiteration of the premise that anyone who believes that there are people who do not belong in Kollel and who should be out working are to be condemned. If I am incorrect in this, please forgive me for not understanding your position.

    I cannot (and will not) address each and every one of your mareh mekomos. However, I will sight the following:

    (1) Rabban Gamliel the son of Rabbi Yehuda the Prince said, good is Torah study together with a worldly occupation, for the exertion in both makes one forget sin. All Torah study without work will result in waste and will cause sinfulness. (Pirkei Avos 2:2)

    Rabbeinu Yonah, Bartenura and R. Hirsch understand p’shat that when one works full-time and studies Torah in his remaining time he will be too busy to think about sinning.

    Rashi, Meiri, and the Ruach Chaim explain that “forgetting” sinning means safeguarding a person from temptation, which will result from combining Torah study with earning a livelihood.

    “Waste and sinfulness?” A person who cannot support himself (and his family) will be tempted to beg, accept handouts, commit fraud and steal in his desperation, all because he was too “holy” to leave the beis medresh and get a job.

    (2) Chazal state further in Pirkei Avos: “If there is no flour, there is no Torah; if there is no Torah, there is no flour.” (3:21 ) Without a steady means of support there is no Torah whatsoever.

    (3)Powerful words from Rambam: “Whoever thinks he will study Torah and not work and will be supported from charity, profanes G-d’s Name, shames the Torah, darkens the light of knowledge, causes harm to himself, and takes his life from this world.” Talmud Torah 3:10)

    Bottom line: Chazal viewed earning a living as a binding obligation of the Torah. Unless there is a change of direction, poverty in the chareidi community will endure because there is simply no way that the rest of Klal Yisrael can support all those who “want” (as you say) to sit and learn.

    If you believe the status quo is acceptable, then of course the present kollel system should go on, unchanged. But I insist that it is a terrible thing to hold that advocates of change are “reshoyim” because they disagree with you. They have mighty shoulders to stand on.

  15. Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Let us please lower the volume on this and drastically change the tone. As I write these words, I have just heard the news of the death of Dovi Levitan, a 5-year-old boy whom I do not know. But both of his grandfathers are rabbeim of mine and their hearts have just been torn.

    Whatever your feelings about the kollel system, I cannot fathom that God wants you to argue about it in any way that produces sinas chinam.

    The purpose of this post was to highlight that despite our “problems” in this century, we have been blessed by the Good Lord with “shefa, brachah, vehatzlachah.” We must continually strive to find ways to come together and find excuses for love rather than discord.

    I am all for healthy debate. But if you believe in something deeply enough you don’t have to gnash your teeth to prove a point.

  16. shua: let me clarify – Rather, I explained based on the rambam, that anyone has a right to choose to learn all day – those that do, says the rambam, are a kiddush hashem. This seems to contradict the rambam you brought, or possibly you can ferenfer that rambam the way the mishnah berurah does(as does every other posek on the spot) that the rambam was talking about a case that’s nt shayach anymore today since we take schar for learning nowadays, he brings other reasons why there’s no problem in being supported today at all.

    Also, things get lost in translation – the rambam is talking about tzedaka, from the community, i.e., normal tzedaka for poor people who make themselves poor – that is a chilul hashem, says the rambam.

    He is NOT talking about our systems, which is stam support. Support means my shver tells me ‘moisheleh, i’ll support your heilifge learning for as long as possible’, or the kolel gives you money, etc.. – that is not tzedaka, that is a share in the zechus of the mitzvah and has no bearing on that rambam. Fakert, rambam says anyone who learns all day(shevet halevi) is a kiddush hashem! Tzedaka means you’re a nebach and I’m helping you eat – yissachar zevulun is quite different, and totally permitted even according to the rambam – this is kollel life – not tzedaka, but support; big difference –

    Grada, The rem’a and shach in hilchos talmud torah say tnhat it’s even ok today to live of of tzedaka to learn al day since e desperately need talmidei chachamim and cannot do it any other way – you cant bring a rambam and pasken halacha based on rishoni(thi si itself a halacha, brought extensively by cacham ovadiah, that we need achronim al pi din to pasken)

    by your own admission you admit to not knowing the sugya enough to anser the mekoros I brought – why then, id you give me ore wor to do with a ne set of mekoros? Anyway, here’s the terutzim:

    1.Like all chiyuvei mamones, the ishah has a right to mechila, or to say she does not want the money and instead ants the torah. The kesubah can be nimchal if the ishah wishes to, or if she will be earning money herself, or if the man will be supported. So that’s totally irrelevant.
    2. the rambam, kena”l
    3. ‘toroso umnaso’ fulfills all of those chazals about working – torah is an ‘umanah;’ as well, al pi what R. Nehurai said ‘I will forego allumanos and teach my son only torah’.
    4. Re; rabbeinu yonah and me’iri: I see no greater safeguard from temptation than learning all day: berasi yatzer hiora, vebarasi torah tavlin. Again, torah is an umanan – they were going on those mishnayos which are explained azoi.

    Aditionally, nowere does the kesubah say to earn a living – it says to provide for her. If a man is rich from the lottery, that would be fine as well. So too here – even if she;s not ochel, if he gets supported, and has a parnosah that way, then he is fulfiling the kesuvah.

    Ain kemach ain torah means if you dont have money for food you will not have torah because you will be too weak to learn – fine, but the kollel men have plenty of food. Nisht ken shailah.

    ‘all torah study without work will lead to sin’ – this is again taling about having money; he irresponsibly goes out to learn without a plan of support. This is because he will not have any money,and may come to steal. This does not chas veshalom mean that one who learns all day will sin – it means if you do so irresposnibly, without a plan of support or getting money somehow, you will come to sin. It also means that the yishuv hadaas you will have from being financially stable will not tempt you to steal – all of these things can be satisfied by our current system of support – especially given the vast differences between their society and ours – here, we’re so comfrtable it’s ridiculous. see reb moshe’s fsmous teshuvah about this – it’s an eye-opener.

  17. As one last clarification – it is better to learn all day than to not. Therefore, those that do are simply more chashuv and do more for the world. This does not mean those that work asre chas veshalom bad or not good yidden – of course not, the issue is not right and wron, evil and good, but rather, good, and better.

    I said that those thst say the system is wrong, i.e., people should not be give the option to learn all day, are reshoim, because they believe in ideas which the torah disagrees with, as well as because they are trying to stp limud hatorah, never mind the lashon hora abiut them being lazy cv’s, and the chutzpah about the gedolei hador who encoourage kollel – combined, this is just rishus – hence, my ohrase ‘reshoim’. I did not say those that work are rreshoim cv’s – they have their heterim, what I said was that those who are against the concept of learning all day, i.e. beshita, that it is no good for people, are reshoim – that’s a huge difference. I myself do not learn all day – however I understand and am modeh that those that do are way above me. one is ‘bekoyach’ and one is ‘bepoel’ – to be not learning all day bepoel is one thuig, but to be against it bekoyach is another altogether.

  18. orthoatch – thats a nice idea, but it’s [ashut not what rav ahron said. It;’s not what his son, the forebearer of his mesorah, said either. Rav Ahron said why he said what he said, was because of the supreme command of torah study, lishmah – nothing else. Not because of WW2, not because of fledgling orthodoxy in america, no just because this was an opportunity to fulfill the rsatzon hashem. what one rosh yeshiva says does not negate the poskim like reb moshe, and several others who all said kollel is the ay to go, and he was way after ww2.

  19. so, you can ignore th mekoros quoted above and just say ‘feh, rb ahron was a horaas shah’, or you can see that this is what our mesorah teaches.

  20. cj – there is no ‘debate’ – it’s a davar pashut, with all th4e gedolei hador, reb moshe included, siding one way, and baal habatim who learn mishnayos and rambam’s without ahcronim on the other side – no one significant disagrees that it is better to learn all day than it is not to.

    Please dont bring rav hirsch – see reb barcuh ber who explains rav hirsch just fine, as well as a nice sefer put out by breuer’s shul about 12 years ago – they did a fantastic job. Also even reb yosher ber solovetichik was modeh to this, as he wrote ‘if one can avoid secular culture, so much better is it for the soul’ – i heard from rabbi abba bronspiegel, a talmid of his, that RYBS wanted a kollel and felt it was extremely important – i dont think one significant posek has come out against this ‘bekoyach'(in the realm of hashkafa, not practicality), while some have said that is is not feasible even today(albeit a tiny minority), no one has said it is not a good idea hypothetically, and no one has said it is not what the torah wants from us.

    I find it quite interesting that when it comes to the sizes of mechitzos, cholov stam, bare legs, the size of yarmulkahs, and many other psakim, the same people who rely on these kulos from reb moshe are the same ones who disagree with the 4, 5 or more teshuvos reb moshe had about kollel(not to mention secular studies).

  21. thank you anonymous – some people think it means saying that they’re wrong(while they of course, are free to say we’re wrong, and, as one rabbi did, call us ‘cavemen’ – I never heard such sinas chinam, from a head of a yeshiva nonetheless)