Reply To: Working frowned upon in Yeshivos?

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The analogy to doctorates in the humanities is interesting but off the mark, in my opinion.

Most individuals who earn PhD’s — especially in the humanities — will not find gainful employment

as tenure track assistant professors. Those who do find such job will overwhelmingly find jobs at teaching oriented colleges (where research is not a main criteria for advancement and tenure). Their role is essentially as a me’chanech. They teach many classes, grade hundreds of exams and (pporly written) papers and do a little bit of research. The few who are hired at research universities have the expectation to both teach and do scholarship. Of these, a very small percentage will rise and become professors whose main “job” is to think and write. These are the super scholars and they are under great pressure to keep turning out books (with first rate presses) to demonstrate their worth and to justify why they have limited teaching loads. Perhaps this could be a model for the Kollel system. It preserves the special privileges to the truly outstanding and hard working scholars, and (as long as some accountability is built into the system) allows others who are talented but not brilliant to move to teaching positions in respectable yeshivas (each according to his ability). Finally, those who are not cut out for it can move along to other pursuits.