Lakewood Mashgiach: Saying Lomdei Torah Don’t ‘Share the Burden’ is Apikorsus

(Wednesday, March 6th, 2013)

rmsThe daily Yated Neeman quotes Lakewood Mashgiach HaGaon HaRav Matisyahu Solomon Shlita telling talmidim that one who believes lomdei Torah are not actively ‘sharing the burden’ is speaking apikorsus.

The Mashgiach explained that there are those who believe “we simply take from others without contributing. They believe that we do not share in the burden. Chazal teach us that one who says מאי אהנו לן רבנן is an apikorus for every talmid chacham who studies Torah give the world more than all the others.”

The Mashgiach explained “We are aware that we give more than we take, but the world perceives the situation differently, as if we take without giving a thing. Rav Solomon explained the need for caution and having the proper kavona when learning and the need to learn Sifrei Mussar towards properly understanding this inyan properly.

He spoke of the enormous responsibility resting on the shoulders of the lomdei Torah for this is the koach that has the potential of saving us all including from those trying to pull lomdei Torah to a different path chas v’sholom.

HaRav Solomon said if there are מקטרגים on the Torah, the Gra teaches us that this is a sign of the תביעות against us in Shomayim and while today we do not have prophets, one can know this is bases on מידה כנגד מידה and we must look and see from where the פורענות come from and this is the area where the teshuvah and מעשים טובים must be focused.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

16 Comments

  1. criticism says:

    I once heard Rav Yaakov Hillel speak to Bal Habatem.
    He said that he tells his bachurim and yungeleit that I see in America that people work many long and hard hours. Therefore, if we are taking money from them, we should also treat out learning the same way.

  2. truthsharer says:

    Btw, it would help if occasionally Charedim would acknowledge the opposing view.

  3. rebbenachman says:

    Again, I think what the Hilonim mean by “share the burden” is that Israeli law requires them to join the army and fight in the event of war, etc. And therefore, their lives are in danger and many times lost.

    Someone learning in yeshiva or kollel is not in mortal danger like someone in combat is.

    This is their point and it is valid.

    Frum Jews also have a valid point, that torah learning sustains klal yisroel and the world for that matter.

    BUT, the two arguments should not be compared, confused and made into a salad.

  4. old man says:

    With much respect, the logic is faulty. On the one hand, there is far more torah learning than ever before. Tens of thousands of boys devote their days to only torah. Torah protects more than anything? It is a far greater contribution to society than anything else? Then we have nothing to worry about, no harm can come to us. And yet, we are at fault for the mekatrigim ? If our torah learning is so powerful, it should have no trouble neutralizing those annoying mekatrigim.

  5. Mrs. D says:

    I raised my children as Yeshivish as it gets. However: Whenever we visited Israel, I taught them that if they were in a room or on a bus, say, and a soldier entered, THEY MUST STAND UP for him. Why? Because whether that soldier even realizes the significance, or whether he even made the active choice to join, he is willing on a daily basis to offer his life for all of klal Yisroel al kiddush Hashem! The highest of levels! I believe fully in Rav Solomon’s thoughts, however, were i there when he spoke i would have asked him to please expand:what about being very careful to make sure our derech is communicated in such a way that there is no chilul Hashem? Also, what of the concept of hishtadlus as it changes in each generation based on the relationship we have as a whole with Hashem’s Hashgacha? Even in Tanach there is a lot of discussion about how kings of various generations faced wars with enemies (and we are talking about milchemes mitzvah as today’s wars may be considered); one king would “lie down” completely, as he understood there was no active fighting needed and Hashem would bring a victory for us, while others (b’nei Torah of the time)got up and all-out fought the enemy…and a few levels of effort in between. Yes, there needs to be a base of learners bringing us zechus, but what of the actual direct fighting that Hashem might indeed expect from us in this generation? We are not exactly the most zakkai! Lashon Hara and sinas Chinnam are still our greatest enemies. I think we need some answers here. There can be harmony among the camps.

  6. Efratian says:

    A couple of points-

    first- there is no bein hazimanim in the army- no summer vacation not every Friday and Shabbat off-
    If they really think that they are saving the country it should be a 24/7 job

    second- When Beni Yisrael were about to cross the Jordan to capture Israel the 2 1/2 tribes wanted to stay in the land on the other side of the Jordan- their offer to Moshe was that they would lead in the fighting- Why didnt they offer to start the first yeshiva and the would just sit and learn?

    There is no expectation today that every Yeshiva student join a co-ed basic training army base. All that is being asked of them is that they help in the “kievush” of Eretz Yisrael. I am shocked that the yeshiva world has not noticed the chilul Hashem that they are making in front of the whole world insisting that they have no obligation to do anything but sit in yeshiva as a whole- No one believes that every single one of their children is cut out to be sitting and learning-
    They could write their own ticket today as to what they wanted to do in service of their country- One idea would be security in the local kindergardens- they would be done by 2pm and then the could go learn 8-10 hours. There are many worth while things they could do and still be able to remain shomrei torah and mitzvot-

    As a side note I am yet to see anyone say that the reason we have gotten such a blessing of rain this season is because they are drafting the charadim

  7. lkwdmama says:

    Perhaps klal Yisrael wouldn’t be faced with these gezeiros if we stop finding fault with the opinions of our gedolim. We need to be machshiv daas Torah again.
    Mordechai hatzaddik begged the Yidden not to attend mishteh Achashverosh, but they, with their limited knowledge and understanding, thought they knew better than the gadol hador. They went to the party and we all know what happened next.
    It’s time to stop listening to our own ideas and opinions and start listening to our rabbanim again.

  8. Aaron Chaim says:

    2, 3 & 4.
    Your point are addressed excellently by Rabbi yonasan Rosenblum in the Mishpacha magazine, the edidtion that came out just before purim. Have a look…

  9. michali says:

    It says in Pirkei Avos:

    “Rabban Gamaliel the son of Rabbi Judah the Prince said: Great is study of the Torah when combined with a worldly occupation, for toil in them both puts sin out of mind. All study of the Torah which is not supplemented by work is destined to prove futile and causes sin.”

    IMO forcing Chareidim to join the IDF is unrealistic. Personally, I would not want soldiers (secular or Chareidi) to join the army if they do not want to serve. However, I agree with MK Moshe Feiglin who suggested that the IDF should be made voluntary and incentives should be given to those who join. The following is his proposal:

    ● The army must be allowed to draft those individuals who it can professionally train and from whom it will truly benefit. Those not needed by the army could give to society in National Service or Civil Service, as well as in their preparedness for active duty during emergencies. Those not wishing to do their part in any way will remain at “the end of the line” in any domain in which society encourages those who give to it.
    ● This proposal will make the army more effective while freeing those currently forced to perform mandatory conscription (be it in the army or in yeshiva) to enter the work market. Instead of funding unemployed soldiers and yeshiva students who do not want to enlist, a wave of young workers will enter the workforce and create a more just distribution of the economic burden on the shoulders of Israel’s citizens.

    http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/moshe-feiglin/a-solution-to-the-draft-controversy/2013/02/13/

  10. Gefet says:

    1. Since there is no real reason for chareidim to be exempt from military service, their only recourse is the same old tactic of besmirching those who don’t share their hashkafa.

    2. #9, I wouldn’t look to Mr. Feiglin as someone with ideas worthy of serious consideration. He is, after all, the same genius who promised the inhabitants of Gush Katif that disengagement wouldn’t happen.

  11. rozzy says:

    Michali’s Pirkei Avot reference is extremely apt. Creating a true gadol hador was never meant to be a volume business. We have to be extremely selective otherwise we end up with marginal teachers and ignorant leaders and a population of “deadbeats” who have no true sense of accomplishment and who have not given back to the community. Not every kid has what it takes to be a kollel student. We are turning into a nation of all Yissochars. This is unsustainable. The post war generation made money and sent their children to good schools. The next generation did even better, thank g-d. However, the current generation is living off their parents and having many many children. The interest has been spent and the capital is almost gone. What will happen to the children? The poor Kollel wives are the true heroines–having babies and working their fingers to the bone. I reiterate; it’s unsustainable and unacceptable.

  12. About Time says:

    “Since there is no real reason for chareidim to be exempt from military service, their only recourse is the same old tactic of besmirching those who don’t share their hashkafa.”

    There is no mitzvah whatsoever to be serving in the Israeli military (at most there is a special z’chus for those who do it with pure intentions).

    Gefet, you malign, besmirch with the worst of them,
    have you a positive thing to say?

  13. Chaim Shnaim says:

    Old man #4, you say the logic is faulty but you do not have anything to say about Rav Saloman’s logic only his conclusions. Do you know what logic means? Look it up in a dictionary.

  14. Efratian says:

    to lkwdmama-
    interesting you bring up the Purim story maybe in your yeshiva they used a different Megilah than I use but I was not able to find any reference to Mordachai’s begging the jews not to go- in fact it is more likely that Mordachai was himself at the party
    I have heard it explained that the reason for the rise of Haman was that the Jews had the chance to go back to Eretz Yisrael ( Koresh allowed them to go back) and didn’t take advantage What happens to a generation who can go back to E”Y and doesn’t? you get a Haman or a hitler to wake us up- Tyhat explains what the Gemara means in explaining why the dates are set to walled cities from the days of Yehoshuah- to give “chashivus” to EY- So people could understand the real story- How far we have come from that

    After haman is killed- Esther does not ask for the Jews to be a “protected minority” who would sit and learn by the King but rather the right to fight- She understood that the only way to have a strong nation is thru military might-

  15. About Time says:

    #14 Efratian
    You flip lkwdmama’s classic pshat for one of your own.

    “I have heard it explained that the reason for the rise of Haman was that the Jews had the chance to go back to Eretz Yisrael ( Koresh allowed them to go back) and didn’t take advantage What happens to a generation who can go back to E”Y and doesn’t?”
    What happens – you get Shevet Ephraim that went from Mitzrayim or the Ma’apilim in the desert (funny, the zionists used the word ma’apilim for themselves).

    When the nevi’im and chachamin told us to go, we went posthaste. And when they tell us not to go..

  16. jewishflorida says:

    Many are making some very valid points. My addition to the conversation is that I commend highly those who work a full day to support their family and Jewish community, yet find time to attend minyanim and some nightly shiurs. Yes, even in Lakewood there are men who balance both. But if you are supposed to learn all day, and not putting in 100%, then you should find a new daily schedule.

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