Volume 23 Number 14
                       Produced: Sun Feb 11 16:18:52 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Harry Weiss]
Kollel (3)
         [Harry Maryles, Ira Benjamin, Moises Maya]
Kollel Solution
         [Zale L. Newman]
Meretz Yeshiva
         [Danny Skaist]


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Sun, 04 Feb 96 16:52:21 -0800
Subject: Kolel

There has been a considerable amount of discussion about Kollels.  I
would like to address two aspects that have not yet been addressed.  One
is a question of priorities.  The amount of funds available is not
unlimited.  Are the contributions that are going to support so many
kolel men being taken away from the support of the elementary and high
school Yeshivot. Many of these elementary and high school Yeshivot are
experiencing substantial financial problems forcing them to raise
tuition to unaffordable amounts.  Are the numerous Kolelim resulting in
numerous children being forced out of Yeshivas and into public schools.
Is that an acceptable trade off.  The people on the receiving end of aid
often deny that giving to one organization does not reduce from the
others, but that is not true.  Many people have a limited amount they
set aside for contributions and the more slices in the pie the smaller
the slices.

Another problem that I see is when I read the newspapers from the
communities that are the primary attendees of the kollelim.  There is a
very derogatory reference being made to Modern Orthodox.  Young men are
told that if they go to YU or another college they will destroy their
chance for a good Shidduch etc.  I was wondering if those of us that are
considered "Modern Orthodox" are not good enough, why is our money good
enough.  It is rare that a day goes by that I don't receive at least one
solicitation for some Kolel or another.  Another question is what
percentage of the funds solicited by telephone and Meshulachim are
actually going to the institutions and not to professional fund raisers.

I don't want to leave the impression that I oppose all Kolelim or
Kolelim in general.  I suppose one of the reasons I am on these list is
because I do support some of them.  The question is just how many of
them can we afford to support.



From: <Harrymaryl@...> (Harry Maryles)
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 15:00:34 -0500
Subject: Kollel

This is my first correspondence online and I appologise for any awkwardness.
I want to add my beliefs on the subject of Kollelim.  I, too, believe that
kollelim are abused in todays world.  What started out as a necessity in the
days of R' Chaim of Volozhin, i.e. the founding of the modern era yeshiva has
now become a monstrously abused instittution!   I believe all concerned with
this forum believe in the vital necessity of instttution of yeshios, but we
have gone way beyond " over saturation " to the point of not only of
counterproductiveness , but to the point of  harm to klal Israel!
The thrust of any charedi yeshiva is to indoctrinate every student to
continue his leaarning at any and all cost because Talmud Torah keneged
kulom, or Vehogeesa Bo yomim valilah, or because of the Desslerian view so
pervasively believed by virtually all
Roshei Yeshiva and Roshei Kollel.(i.e. that we need Gedolim so it is
legitimate to throw 1000 bocurim/yungeleit in the bais hamedrash so that
maybe one can rise to the top no matter what happens to the other 999)  
Yes, we do need gedolim! But, we also, need teachers, lawyers, accountants,
butchers,automechanics, and all the other professionals, skilled
craftsmen,etc. that contribute to the betterment of klal Israel and the
world.  If you take a look at vast numbers of students populating our system
today, you have to ask: Is this what Rabbi Dessler was hoping for, is this
what G-d wants of his people?  Wouldn't G-D and Klal Israel be better served
if some(if not most) of these students would go into some of the proffesions,
crafts or the like.  Furthermore, what is the percentage of these students
that are really on a level to be a gadol?.  How many are just there because
of peer pressure?.  How many are just sitting there just wasting time
This correspondece is becoming far longer than I had intnded but there is so
much more to say.  Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik has spoken and written Eloquently
on the subject and I woul be happy to post some of the main elements of his
philosophy in my next correspondence.
Harry Maryles

From: Ira Benjamin <benjira@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996 22:00:27 -0800
Subject: Kollel

I too have followed the vast and sundry responses regarding the issue of
Kollelim, studying Torah full time, taking money from the community at
large, etc. etc.

As an introduction, I'd like to say that I learned in Kollel for 4 years
after I got married.  When my family grew, BA"H, I made a decision to go
to work, and BS"D, can now support my family.  I can say with confidence
that I can see both sides of the ocean here...the "full-time Torah" life
and the "working" life.

A few comments.

As Mrs. Posen states many times, Torah is the WHOLE of our existence.
It is the reason for our lives to begin with.  Our approach to this
issue is not whether we work or we learn Torah, but rather do we learn
Torah full time, or LEARN PART TIME and also work.  Even a person who
works must realize that his/her time spent learning Torah is the most
important and productive time of his/her day.  Even someone who comes
home after a long day at work and learns for an hour or so must
understand that THAT HOUR is his life and livelihood, NOT the 8 or 10
hours he/she put in at the office.  The greatest treasure that Hashem
gave the Jewish people was the Torah, NOT a profession.  A child in
his/her mother's womb is tought the Torah NOT a profession.

If we fail to understand this then our work is completely secular with
no spiritual meaning.  A Jew's life is always spiritual at all times of
the day, even while working and making money.  Every minute of the day,
we must be aware of what and how the Torah and Hashem want of us.

The Rabbeinu Yonah in the beginning of Brochos in his discussion of
Birchas Hatorah asks the following quesion: If one makes Birchas Hatorah
in the morning and then goes off to work and does not sit down to learn
until nighttime, which according to our calendar is a new day, why don't
we have to make a new Birchas Hatorah for the new day which began at

His answer is quite amazing.  He says that Hashem truly wants us all to
just sit and learn Torah all day and night, that is the PERFECT WORLD.
But Hashem understands that it may become necessary for one to make a
living and support a family, so Hashem LENDS US THE TIME.  He allows us
not to learn during the day in order to support our families. But IT IS
A LOAN, and at night, when we are not working, IT'S PAYBACK TIME.  We
have an obligation to pay back the time loaned to us during the day to
take care of our mundane necessities, and now get back to what our real
obligations are, LEARING TORAH.

Now, I'm no actuary or even a great mathimatician, (I can't even spell),
but I work eight hours, at least, a day.  When I get home at night I
learn for about 2 hours.  So, according to my calculations, I STILL OWE

Might I be so bold as to suggest that supporting Kollelim helps us pay
back Hashem the time he loans us each day?  By supporting those who have
devoted themselves to full-time learning, maybe we can come to Hashem
after 120 years and say, yes, our books are balanced, for even though I
myself did not have the strength or fortitude to learn full time, but I
contributed to those who do, and thereby fulfilled my obligations.  I
have paid you back, Hashem.

Another point or two.  

I heard that the Posuk which states "Elef LaMateh, Elef LaMateh", "One
thousand to a tribe, one thousand to a tribe" has a very deep meaning.
The question is asked, why the repetition?  Why do we say it twice?  And
although I cannot find the commentary that says this, I once heard an
answer that I believe with all my heart.  I heard that the meaning of
this is that for every thousand soldiers that went to fight the war for
Kllal Yisroel, another thousand went to the Bais Hamedrash to learn, AND
EACH CONTRIBUTED EQUALLY TO THE VICTORY.  Without the thousand fighting
the war could not be won, and without the thousand learning the war
could not be won.

In our secular world we have trouble grasping the PHYSICAL effects that
Torah learning has upon our lives.  Let's not diminish it.  Torah
learning helps keeps us PHYSICALLY healthy.  Torah learning helps keep
us PHYSICALLY safe.  And by supporting Kollelim we can be selfish and
say, "I'm not doing it for them, I'm supporting them to help myself."

One more.

I have never seen or heard a discussion or argument as to the merits of
supporting a cancer research facility or a heart disease research
facility.  Those who work there just do research.  They may be there for
20 years and not come up with anything earth-shattering and yet we feel
that supporting those researchers is fine and noble.  Those researches
are not leeches or parasites even though they are living off the grants
of governments and donations of communities.  But why aren't they?
Well, because they are contributing to society, to the advancement of
medicine, they are helping us all by trying to cure deadly diseases.

Try and understand that the Jew is Torah and the Torah is the heart of
the Jewish nation.  Those who spend their days researching it are our
greatest asset.  They are keeping all our hearts healthy and free of
Spiritual disease.  They deserve all the donations they can get because
they contribute to each and every one of us every minute that they are
learning.  To say that we need Kollelim that contribute to our
communites by becoming Rebbis and Teachers, is to say that we don't
believe that the act of sitting and learning itself is massively
contributory already.  IT IS.  It contributes to us all.  All the money
that we give to Kollelim, we get back a thousand-fold, JUST BY THEM

Thanks for listening.


From: <moem@...> (Moises Maya)
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 1996 08:57:31 -0500
Subject: Re: Kollel

Responding to Adam Schwartz in v23n6: 

There is a yeshiva in Old City, Jerusalem called Midrash Sephardi which
has a similiar Rabbinical program in which the Rabbi's must spend a
certain amount of years serving a community in the diaspora. They have
done an excellent job in the last 16 years. They also go under the name
Shehebar Sephardic Center, if anyone is intersted.

Moises Maya 


From: Zale L. Newman <ce125@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 17:32:58 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Kollel Solution

> I agree with your approach that ideally Kollel fellows should actively
> contribute through teaching to the Jewish community.  I would just like to
> point out that in a meta-physical sense Kollel men ARE contributing to the
> welfare of their communities and to Klal Yisrael simply by virtue of the
> Torah they are learning.  Tis is the justification for Yeshiva exemptions to
> the Israeli army - the concept that yeshiva bachurim are indeed "serving"
> their nation through the Torah they are learning.  I remember when I was in
> Kol Torah at the time of the Yom Kippur War, the entire Yeshiva was called
> back into session immediately after Simchas Torah (one week earlier than
> scheduled) because all "soldiers" (and please, I on no way mean to dishonor
> Tzahal or Hesder) must serve without breaks during wartime.
> Elozor Preil

Of course, it must be understood by all Jews that the study of Torah
lishma (ie: for its own sake) is beneficial to the entire nation. I feel
though that the stress must be not only on "lilmod" but also on the
commandment "lilamaid". Ideally, I feel that a kollel member should
learn two siddorim a day and teach at least one seder. Furthermore, I
still think that they ought to contribute to the community in an ACTIVE
way after they complete their years of study.

It is my contention that "while the trains are on the way to Aushwitz"
every Jew should do thier utmost to "save" whomever we can and not to be
self-centered but rather nation-centered. To this end, the kollel
members can do an immeasurable amount to help "save" those who are on
the "train" of assimilation, intermarriage and ignorance. Perhaps they
are even uniquely positioned to make their particular contribution as
they can concentrate on Torah matters the entire day.

Zale L. Newman - Toronto


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 96 14:41 IST
Subject: Meretz Yeshiva

>Schwartz Adam
>This is the system that has always been employed by Yeshivat Mevasseret
>Zion, known by the acronymn "Meretz".  (no relation to the political

Aw c'mon, you left out the best part.  The head of Meretz Yeshiva is one
Rabbi Yossi Sarid. (no relation to the politician)



End of Volume 23 Issue 14