Thoughts on Torah, working, living in Israel and how they go together.
The issue of Torah and work came up recently. I showed to a fellow the Rambam in avot. He was shocked to see the opinion of the Rambam. He also mentioned that this very issue had come up the previous day. Then he mentioned the other famous Rambam from the laws of Trumah. And he asked as concerning what you would call halacha lemaasa. Well at first I said that there is no contradiction in the Rambam at all. Trusting in God is not the same thing as making a kollel and getting a monthly check. But then he asked as many from Israel have asked me--what to do now? If the state is still paying one to sit in Kollel and learn should one refuse? I said no. One should in that case just sit and learn. The idea of trust in this case means that ones sits and learns and accepts money If and when it comes to him. The prohibition is how the kollel system was set up in the first place and used to extort monies from the state of Israel. This alone is forbidden. But once the system is in place it is preferable to sit and learn.But this is referring to my own context which is Israeli at this point. As for kollels in the USA, I have disdain for them.To me they are operating on a whole different level than the kollels in Israel. In Israel one learns in kollel because he loves Torah and also tit is very very hard to make a buck in Israel. It is like pulling teeth. In the USA kollels operate on the level of fraud. That is they are fighting the forces of Evil in the universe and if one supports them he gets into heaven.This is pure cultish thinking.and the danger is that these kollels and rabbis in the USA control peoples conscious and very sense of right and wrong. This is a vast power that goes beyond political power.And in the hands of unscrupulous people is is very dangerous.
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