The Matzav Shmooze: Rabbonim Need to Be Able to Sleep Properly

Dear Editor, 
Sadly we hear of rabbanim and others who are niftar, and sometimes, at the levaya, it gets said over that because of their great involvement with the community, they greatly minimized sleep etc.
While the mesiras nefesh (self sacrifice) is something great, it is indeed mesiras nefesh, and it comes to a point where it can be too difficult, and simply a great strain on one’s health. Yet, we know that the matters that they are involved with are of paramount importance, and that therefore they overstrain themselves, and we would most certainly as well, if we were involved.
I think a solution is that we make an emergency campaign that every rav and involved askan etc. have an assistant who can help him in his kllal work. We hear of rabbanim of even smaller shuls who are very involved with the kllal – beyond the members of their shuls. While this is very special, they need sleep too! Therefore, this would most certainly help. And who knows, maybe some people might even be more confortable speaking to the assistant first, as they might feel that speaking directly to the rav makes them into a ‘case’ (although this is most certainly not the case!:). I think this is something that can help greatly, and will only benefit the Kllal more in the long run. It is amazing how matters continue to run smoothly in a community because of the involvement of rabbanim and askanim. As has been mentioned, whether it is help with specific issues, or just to discuss matters, and ‘clear one’s thoughts’.
An additional benefit that would come from this is the concept of shimush — that one who is learning halacha gets. It is a given that one who is learning to pasken shailos (halachic queries) must, in addition to taking tests on the subject, have shimush (lit. ‘assistance’) by a rav, to get actual ‘hands on’ experience with how he deals with shailos . If so, why not for hashkafic and communal matters as well?! I think the work of these assistants will definitely help to expand what the rav is already doing. I would think that they should also deserve a salary for their time.
Let us do what we can to help out in this area, whether personally or monetarily.



  1. And yeshiva and day school menahalim!
    They are working 20 hours a day!
    The schools need more hands and more funds.
    Don’t forget about the backbone of the future of klal yisroel!
    A proud family member of a menahel that is moser nefesh daily for klal yisroel.

  2. Many Rabbanim shlita are masters at utilizing their most precious commodity, time properly. In fact a very prominent posek upon being offered an assistant, refused stating that it would consume too much of his time!

  3. I think a solution is that we make an emergency campaign that every rav and involved askan etc. have an assistant who can help him in his kllal work.

    Where are you going to find an assistant who people will trust? What makes him worthy?

  4. Well, some issues/shailos are very personal in nature and the one asking only feels comfortable discussing it with his Rav, not some young wannabe askan listening in. A Rav is a yiras shomayim. An askan who made a few dollars flipping real estate, I’m not so sure. Leave things the way they were for the last 5000+ years. We don’t need any help from a couple of yentas.

  5. “Rabbonim Need to Be Able to Sleep Properly”


    Proper, adequate (quality and quantity) sleep is a human need, in the category of ונשמרתם מאד לנפשותיכם.

    But not only רבנים need that, non-rabbonim need it as well.

    רבנים should also not be expected to travel to every simcha, especially when long distances are involved. People should have רחמנות on them. After all, they are people too.

  6. Most ofRabbonus these days is counseling individuals and Families so why not have a Therapist and advisor on staff in the Shul/Kehilla to assist the Rov so as to free up the Rov time and focus On Psak and other areas of Rabbonus and not just be a Counselor and Social Worker all day

  7. How about if we paid Rabbonim a full salary?? Then they can devote themselves exclusively to their Kehilla and the needs of the tzibur at large as is possible. Nearly every Rav needs to have 1 or 2 other jobs in order to support his family. Many even have to do private tutoring to make ends meet. If we paid a Rav a full salary with benefits then he’d be free to limit his involvement to being a Rav and not to be a Rebbi, Mashgiach, insurance agent or tutor. He’d also be able to give more time to yechidim and the members of the families of his shule. How many teens would be strengthened by a personal Rav??? How many Sholom Bayis problems could be nipped in the bud. How much more learning would go on in each shule??


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