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Author:  Marc
E-mail:  not available
Date:  12/15/2003 7:28:00 PM
Subject:  Kollel
Message:  Kvod Harav,
Are people who take money for learning prostitutes?
   
Reply:  A bit rough on the wording there, but a very good question.
The story is simple. Throughout history people were supported in order to study Torah and become big Talmidey Chachamim (learned rabbis). In our society it would be very difficult to support one's family and also study enough Torah to reach that level, and be able to lead.
The Ramba"m is adamantly against taking any money for studying. He must have had a similar culture in his days, where the "Kollel" concept was abused. In reality, he himself was supported by his brother.
All the other Rishonim & Acharonim pretty clearly promote studying while being supported.
They have strong proofs from the Talmud.
That said......
The learning of today's Yeshivot is not learning. Sitting and analyzing line by line of Gemaras that are not even relevant today is not only ridiculous, but it also a sin. And to top it all off, they are doing it without hardly any knowledge of Shas, and usually without even reading Tanach.
The Gemara itself says this in many places (A"Z 19a, Shabbat 64a, Berachot 63b, Nedarim 38a, Sanhedrin 42ish) Look it up. Then check out the Mussar Sefer we all learn, Orchot Tzaddikim. He wrote an entire chapter dedicated to this. But who gives a hoot?! Next look at the Shu"t Chavot Yair, and look at the Shelah (Shnei Luchot Habrit (Shavuout section). He says it is a Chet Gadol VeNorah! (a huge sin). The Tzlach in Berachot near the end explains the cause of the destruction of the temple all based on improper study, from that Gemara in A"Z 19a. Well today we are still without a temple because of that same gemara just 2 lines away. Everyone is doing it because everyone else is doing it. That's also what happened in the time of Yeravaam. The Gr"a has a most beautiful piece in his explanation of the stories of Raba Bar Bar Chana in Baba Batra. On the story of Hahu Re'em Bar Yuma..... Check it out.
The Mishna Berura in his initial Hakdamah (preface) explains that the first learning must be on issues that are relevant. Not by reading Kitzur Seforim, but by learning Shas, and then, only then thoroughly analyzing the Law and attempt to determine the truth. But strictly under supervision, direction, and control of a qualified Rabbi.
The learning today is sin. It is the most ridiculous concept one can even imagine. If the people of the world just understood what they do in there, they'll be hysterical. Imagine a first year college student, on his first day in Biology 101, spending days and weeks analyzing in detail a complex microsurgery of the brain. What would you do? You get those nice people with the white coats to take good care of him. Well we are going to need a heck of a lot of men in white coats.
Every penny you donate to these organizations is a sin. Every time we give respect to the leaders of this lie, is a sin. Why are we such wimps, fools, and insecure children? We all know this is bogus. Everyone always told me, "you're TAKA right, but that's the way the Yeshiva learns." Well then burn the place down! This is why Jewish law is meaningless today. Our children are not brought up with law. Law is studied for 10 minutes on many mornings if you wake up. That's why the longer the guy sits in Yeshiva, the bigger and better the thief he is. Where are our leaders?! Busy shnorring money? What is going on? Am I completely crazy?
Didn't your mothers ever wonder how come after 22 years studying, you couldn’t answer a single question? Your children ask basic Hashkafa questions, like, "how do you know there is a God?" or "how can God be so cruel?" But you haven't got a clue so you doubletalk your way out. The answer is that you don't know anything. You barely know Chumash. Tanach is off the charts. You did some Mishnayos Baal Peh in Camp Aguda (whilst being fondled by some counselor). Then you went on to Yeshiva to learn Gemara. You started in fourth grade. Wow! Gevaldik! Till about 15 you have no clue of any of this. Well what do you know; it's a Mishnah in Pirkei Avot. Check it out. 5 yrs old to learn Tanach, 10 to learn Mishnayot, 15 to learn Gemara and by 18 you should be finished Shas for your first time (the last part is a Gemara in Shabbat). Your parents cheated you. Your teachers cheated you. Your Gedolim cheated you. The gemara says over a story where a son went up to the heavans and came back dow and the father asks, "son, what did you see." The son says, "Olam Hafuch Ra'iti," I saw an upside-down world. The father replies, "No! You saw a clear world (Olam Barur).
The Torah came from God. The Torah Shebaal peh came from God. These were passed down generation after generation. Why don't we read it and follow it? Otherwise, we are wasting our time and especially God's time being here at all. You say things like, but you have to learn how to learn. OK! So you go into training till you're 90 years old and then what? Robots! Robots! My dear Robots! Snap out of your trance, before it's too late. You, and only you, are responsible for what you do in this world. Don't blame it on no Rosh Yeshivah, Rebbi, or anything. Take out the good book and follow it, or...............
Mi LaHashem Elai! Let's change this craziness together!
AA

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