Profile Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

Showing posts with label The Torah Way of Learning and Earning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Torah Way of Learning and Earning. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Part Five of the Yeshivas and Broken Families

If we study the Talmud and its related works, we see that ancient Israel raised its men to achieve four things: One, a Jewish man was trained to seek greatness in Torah. Two, he had to earn a living. And according to Rovo, if he learned Torah, he should strive for wealth, so that he would not be pressured by fiscal problems when he was learning. Thirdly, he had to learn Derech Erets and how to deal with his fellow, whether in family and marriage or general society, even with gentiles. Fourth, he had to learn basic worldly things, as the Talmud says, "Greater is one who toils with his hands than the G-d fearing."

A person as a child was trained to learn Torah, but also trained in the other things. Thus, Rambam says that one may not marry until he purchases a house (no mortgage) and has a steady income. Now, if people married at the age of seventeen or eighteen, and they learned in Yeshiva their whole young life, when did they get the money to buy a house? And how did they suddenly have a steady income? Obviously, the training of a child was to do what an adult should do. As the Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chaim tells us, after Shacharis one must go to work, because all Torah without work is waste. And without a steady income one enters into borrowing and eventually stealing and endless sins.

Working did not begin when the person was ready to get married. He was trained during childhood to prepare for life exactly as an adult would do: the major part of his time was learning, and part time the person works. If a child begins this program as a child, a decade plus later he will have extensive experience in business and other fields. He will have earned enough money to buy a house. He will have had years of setting money aside for investments. Thus, the students of Rovo told him that they owned real estate and it supported them so they only had to work part time. This began in childhood.

When such a child reach adulthood, he married solid in money, solid in Torah, solid in Derech Erets, learned by practical dealings with people for many years in business./ Because he was involved in Derech Erets, he also picked up basic skills needed to be "one who toils with his hands" that was greatly lauded by Chazal.

A wife in such a situation had a good income, a nice house, money for what she needed, clothes that cost more than her husband's clothes, because Rambam says that the husband must honor his wife more than himself, and this means spending on her, as Raishis Chochmo says. The husband has learned Derech Erets and can get along with people, and his wife benefits from this. And if something has to be done around the house, the husband is experienced with working with his hands. Such a woman is surely blessed and happy. Why in the world should there be, heaven fore fend, problems and divorces?

But what about today? Somebody goes to Yeshiva. He learns many years. He hears this shiyur and that talk but rarely does he master Torah. Rather, he masters the lecture that shows how clever the Rosh Yeshiva or Magid Shiur is. After years of this, he has forgotten the complicated shiurim and has only smatterings of this or that. I know somebody who has spent years trying to finish Shass Bieeyune, and he only needs a few more masechtose. But he is paid in Kollel not to finish Shas but to listen to lectures that the Yeshiva forces him to attend. And Shass may take years and years. So we have no Gedolim. But furthermore, we have frustrated Bnei Torah. Years of this kind of learning  rarely produces someone great in Torah. He surely rarely becomes great with wealth. Derech Erets? The Yeshiva culture is to encourage the greatness of a Talmid Chochom, that people owe him great honor and money. This is the opposite of the mitsvah taught in Rashi and the Zohar that "and he shall make his wife rejoice" means he makes her rejoice in marriage, not himself.

The wife may not appreciate her role in all of this. She works hard in a job to support her  husband to become a Gadol, but as time goes on, no how much he learns, the job of being a Gadol goes only to the family of the Rosh Yeshiva. Others just keep grinding away with no end. And the wife is not getting younger. More and more children arrive and she sees no end to her labors to support a husband who will need support for ever. When she mentions this to her husband he tells her that Daas Torah requires her to honor her husband. Without going into the gory details, we have a picture of why there are broken marriages and divorces. Yes, "A Yeshiva is Hashchoso." It destroys men. It destroys women. It destroys children.

Yes, there are a few people who can truly become Gedolim. But the present system is surely not the path to this. If so, why of the many thousands who have learned for many years in Yeshiva and Kollel, we have major Rosh Yeshivas who support gay rights and coerce husband with invalid Gittin producing mamzerim? And they, rachmono litslon, are considered by the Yeshiva to be "gedolim" that everyone must obey!