Are Kollel Folks Better Jews Than The Rest Of us?

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee Are Kollel Folks Better Jews Than The Rest Of us?

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 217 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #616946

    flatbusher
    Participant

    In some recent threads that I’ve participated in, I get the impression that there are people out there who seem to suggest that somehow people who are in kollel are better than Jews than the rest of us frum people. Is there any basis for believing that?

    #1174323

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Who cares what othe people think is better. I think people who are working are better than the rest of frum people. I doubt anybody in kollel cares what I think.

    Just do what you/your spiritual adviser thinks is best FOR YOU and dont worry which group they think “are better Jews”

    #1174324

    Joseph
    Participant

    The question is are people who learn Torah all day better than people who learn Torah an hour a day.

    Simplifying the question will make it easier to answer.

    #1174325

    flatbusher
    Participant

    OK, so answer it.

    #1174326

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    We can phrase questions all sorts of ways.

    Are people who combine Torah im derech eretz better than Troah alone?

    Are people who decide to learn all day, not work and subside off tzedaka better than people who dont?

    Simplifying the question doesnt always make it easier to answer.

    More importantly. Why does it require an answer?

    #1174327

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    How about a balabus who learns eight hours a day vs. one who never cracks open a sefer?

    How about about a balabus who never cracks open a sefer vs. one who learns five minutes between Mincha/Maariv?

    How about a guy who works but learns eight hours a day vs. a guy in kollel who learns two?

    How about a kollel guy who learns fourteen hours a day vs. one who learns ten?

    How about a kollel guy who learns ten hours a day vs. one who learns ten minutes?

    How about a guy who works in the kollel store vs. someone who eats cholov stam but is makpid on a sticker on his Twizzlers?

    How about a guy who cheats on his taxes vs. a guy who smokes pot?

    How about the Jets vs. the Patriots? With or without a deflated ball.

    #1174328

    newbee
    Member

    “The question is are people who learn Torah all day better than people who learn Torah an hour a day. Simplifying the question will make it easier to answer.”

    Joseph, if its simpler now, can you provide an answer?

    #1174329

    Bored_on_the_Job
    Participant

    Everyone has different life circumstances. Some people are being good jews by being in kollel and some are being good jews by working. Only G-d can judge who is doing what is right or wrong.

    In general no one should ever feel better or worse than anyone else.

    #1174330

    Joseph
    Participant

    Everyone’s demanding an answer!

    The teretz is that all other things being equal, a person who learns Torah more is better than a person who learns Torah less.

    #1174331

    newbee
    Member

    One must also ask: is a pulpit Rabbi better than a simple school Rabbi? Is a kohen better than a levi? is a levi kollelman better than a yisroel kollelman? is a yisroel kollelman better than a kollelman who is a ger? is a man who learns 4 hours a day better than a woman who doesn’t learn at all? Is someone who can learn well better than someone with a learning disability?

    What is the relationship between a superficial or hereditary societal hierarchy structure to individual worth, effort and purpose?

    Complicating the question will make it easier to answer: since the answer of who is “better” is impossible to give in olam hazeh.

    #1174332

    Meno
    Participant

    That doesn’t answer the question

    #1174333

    flatbusher
    Participant

    Better in who’s eyes? Is there a source anywhere that suggests that people in Kollel are better Jews? Learning longer doesn’t make a person better unless it translates into better middos, and I am sorry to say I have observed that this is not to be a given.

    Bored: I agree with you, and my point is that there is a perception by at least some sectors that being in Kollel automatically makes a person a better Jew without considering middos, temperament or any other factors that go into making a person. Some of the comments I have read elsewhere include that a Kollel home is more spiritual, but I don’t know if I agree. There are people who are not even frum that have great middos when it comes to bein adam l’chavero

    #1174334

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Do you think there is absolutely no correlation between Torah learning and middos and/or ruchniyus (spirituality)?

    #1174335

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Do you think there is absolutely no correlation between Torah learning and midos and/or ruchniyus (spirituality)?

    Anecdotal evidence (from enough sources that it would be somewhat statistically credible) indicates a slight negative correlation between one’s learning (or better, Klei Kodesh involvement) and the Middos of one’s children.

    The only places where I think there would be significant correlation for the person themselves is at the tails (the guy learning 12+ hours a day (excluding davening and meals) on a consistent basis, and the guy who is to lazy/”busy” to open a sefer). Everywhere else I would think there is no correlation, but have no statistical evidence.

    #1174336

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “Is there a source anywhere that suggests that people in Kollel are better Jews?”

    Yes

    there is a source for everything. There are sources that say that working is better (as indicated above). I’m sure those who learn have a heter to avoid work.

    Why focus on who thinks they are better. You should think you are the best you can be, and if not strive for it. I dont understand the question, who cares what they think?

    #1174337

    newbee
    Member

    “Do you think there is absolutely no correlation between Torah learning and middos and/or ruchniyus (spirituality)?”

    There is no connection between middos and being an inherently better person.

    I know a man who had great middos his entire life, but now when he is very old in his 90’s he cant learn anymore and he lost his filter and is kind of rude and blunt with people- saying whatever comes to his mind. He often hurts people’s feelings. But most people dont take it personal because he is very old and thats how old people often are. But he is usually very caring.

    Is he a worse person now that hes old and more blunt now than he was 20 years ago?

    #1174338

    Avi K
    Participant

    It depends. If the kollel guy is goofing off he is just as much a robber as the guy who spends the day in the office surfing the Web. On the other hand, if the working guy is productive he is building the world. If he does it in EY it is a great mitzva (Chatam Sofer Sukka 35a). There is also the matter of knowing what Hashem wants each one to do. The Netziv says on “what does your Gd ask of you” that Hashem asks different things of different people, communal leaders, talmidei chachamim, baalei battim, etx, and it is almost prohibited for someone in one group to do the job of someone in another group. The Chafetz Chaim likens this to someone who is assigned to one army unit going to another against orders. The biggest avoda is knowing what your avoda is.

    #1174339

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Joseph,

    The teretz is that all other things being equal, a person who learns Torah more is better than a person who learns Torah less.

    I agree; however, it is fundamentally impossible for two separate people to have “all other things” be equal. So this answer is functionally meaningless.

    #1174340

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    flatbusher,

    In some recent threads that I’ve participated in, I get the impression that there are people out there who seem to suggest that somehow people who are in kollel are better than Jews than the rest of us frum people. Is there any basis for believing that?

    Wait a minute, you mean to tell me that there are people out there who justify their own life choices by insinuating that they are better? I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

    Welcome to humanity 🙂

    #1174341

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Newbee, you didn’t answer the question.

    #1174342

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    So this answer is functionally meaningless.

    Wait a minute, you mean to tell me that there are people out there who justify their own life choices by insinuating that they are better? I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

    It is functionaly meaningless (or worse) if used to justify life choices, and especially if to be haughty.

    It is not functionally meaningless if the values and prioritization of values are used to make life choices.

    Avi K says everyone needs to do their job. Okay, but what if someone has the ability to do either? Should he choose to spend most of his day learning Torah or computer programming?

    Should a girl want to marry a talmid chochom? If a boy wants to devote a number of years to learning, does this give him a better chance than if he doesn’t?

    Do we show more respect to talmidei chachomim than to non talmidei chachomim? Halachah says we do. Perhaps political correctness says we don’t?

    Personally, I would show more respect to Rav Chaim Kanievsky than to an erliche balabus who is koveia ittim. Is there anyone here who disagrees?

    None of this says that a kollel guy is automatically better, but let’s be honest – Yiddishkeit puts tremendous value on Torah learning, on many levels, and even though we value every Yid’s contributions, let’s not forget that Talmud Torah k’neged kulom.

    #1174343

    malka85
    Member

    Everyone is unique & has his/her own strengths & weaknesses. so it is quite impossible to say on 2 differ people from 2 differ. backgrounds and differ life stories that one is better. Each has his/her challenges. For one it is to learn 1 hour but the second finds it difficult to learn 4 hours straight….So the premise of the question is that they are comparable which is unequivocally wrong.

    TO ANSWER CLEARLY :If 2 people are the exact same (which is not possible) and one learns all day and the other one hour- The whole day guy is definitely better and loftier. Simple calculation. Make more money= richer.

    #1174344

    Joseph
    Participant

    Avram in MD,

    The teretz is that all other things being equal, a person who learns Torah more is better than a person who learns Torah less.

    I agree; however, it is fundamentally impossible for two separate people to have “all other things” be equal. So this answer is functionally meaningless.

    The point certainly does have meaning once you understand the underlying message. Namely that learning more Torah is better than learning less Torah. So the act of being in Kollel and learning seven hours a day is better than working seven hours a day and learning one hour a day. So for an individual capable of it, it certainly is better to be in Kollel and learn more Torah than to work and learn less Torah.

    #1174347

    zogt_besser
    Participant

    the gemara itself (berachos 8) gives a rule to go by: gadol haneheneh miyegia kapav yoser miyirei shamayim. there is intrinsic value to working. While I think this gemara is a guzmah, you could interpret it literally to mean that a worker is a better Jew than a yirei shamayim who does not work.

    #1174348

    Mammele
    Participant

    I don’t understand why some of you are becoming defensive. Ask yourself if you can (usually) recognize a kollel yungerman (one that’s actually learning of course) of at least a few years from someone that is working a while — just by the eidelkeit on his face and his conduct.

    There’s no question that Torah purifies, and whether or not someone is doing the right thing given his situation doesn’t detract from the fact that for the most part legitimate Torah learners are actually — yes I’m saying it — holier. And it’s pretty obvious, if he hasn’t tainted himself with other pursuits.

    Life is life, but despite the necessity of our choices, the good effects of learning are not to be denied. And yes temimos is a good thing.

    #1174349

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I don’t understand why some of you are becoming defensive. Ask yourself if you can (usually) recognize a kollel yungerman (one that’s actually learning of course) of at least a few years from someone that is working a while — just by the eidelkeit on his face and his conduct.

    I saw a picture of a man with real erlichkeit and hadras ponim, and thought he must be a big tzaddik. Unfortunately, he turned out to be Ayatollah Kohamani.

    All kidding aside, how many hours does the person spend on avodas Hashem? If it is every second like Rav Chaim, then he gets the respect he deserves. If it is less than a union work day, then no one will respect him.

    Al pi rov though, most people see the baal habos who is koveh ittim as working harder on avodas Hashem than your typical kollel guy, who is there for a few years to get a shidduch and shver supported honeymoon. And yes, the typical kollel guy takes away from the kavod hatorah created by those who are serious and put in 12+ hours every day.

    So split the population and ask the question again.

    #1174350

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Should a girl want to marry a talmid chochom? If a boy wants to devote a number of years to learning, does this give him a better chance than if he doesn’t?

    No. A girl should want to marry an oved Hashem. And no, years demanded does not increase either probability of being a talmid chacham or an oved Hashem. In fact, it is probably a Siman of not being so serious.

    #1174351

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    ?”? ????? ????? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?”? ????? ??? ??”?

    ????? ??

    #1174352

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    DY – I would understand the gemorah that the talmid chacham is presumed to be an oved Hashem, just like it is presumed that the talmid chacham is not an apikores. No one would recommend marrying Acher, even though he was a talmid chacham by any definition.

    But sure, if you can be certain that you have an oved Hashem, a talmid chacham is a major plus. The problem is finding a real one, which is not so easy. Finally, a guy who insists he wants 10 years kollel and the support to back it up may not be the best place to find one.

    #1174353

    newbee
    Member

    ?”? ????? ????? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?”? ????? ??? ??”?

    Is a nice aggadic message stressing the importance of learning Torah but its not taken literally or taken to say a talmid chacham is a better person than a woman or a man who has a learning disability. Or person A should marry person B.

    Im not sure what question I didn’t answer that you are referring to.

    #1174354

    feivel
    Participant

    DY. that was in ancient days in a foreign land. We’re in America now in the twenty-first century.

    We’re both modern and enlightened.

    #1174355

    newbee
    Member

    ?”? ????? ????? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?”? ????? ??? ??”?

    Is a nice aggadic message stressing the importance of learning Torah but its not taken literally or taken to say a talmid chacham is a better person than a woman or a man who has a learning disability. Or person A should marry person B.

    Im not sure what question I didn’t answer that you are referring to.

    Can you tell me why my posts keep getting blocked.

    It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out

    #1174356

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Mod80/feivel – As Reb Yonasan Rosenbloom said recently, 21st century affluence has allowed anyone to learn in kollel.

    My addition is then they claim to be “talmidei chachomim” or “best in Lakewood” and demand support. So yes, we have become “modern”, but not “enlightened”.

    I don’t think we (or DY) are really disagreeing. My point is that a true talmid chacham IS better. I’ve seen many baal habatim, rabbonim, rebbes and mageidei shuir as talmidei chachomim. Kollel guys, not so much (granted, in town may have a different perspective). And girls go for the kollel guy but miss the prerequisites, so they end up without an oved Hashem (or worse, unmarried, or even worse, divorced).

    #1174357

    Joseph
    Participant

    Gavra, if you pay him union wages then you can ask him for a union workday. 🙂

    #1174358

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Joe – I’ll sign up too 🙂

    #1174359

    feivel
    Participant

    You and I live in different worlds gavra.

    I’m surrounded by so many men,with large families, Who learn full time in Kollel. Whose faces glow with Kedushah. Tzadikim, big Talmeidei Chochomim, honest sweet generous men, menchim every one.

    I don’t know a single one who does not learn with a fire and love. I know no one who just hides in the Kollel from working. They all Daven for parnassah. They don’t demand anything.

    I am so very fortunate.

    I suppose there are people that you describe gavra. I just never saw one.

    #1174360

    newbee
    Member

    “It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out”

    I honestly have no idea what part of my statement you are referring to. Im saying we cant know who is better than anyone else. What is wrong about that.

    I was referring to your new thread attempts. I don’t see any other blocked posts

    #1174361

    What does “a better person” mean?

    Would it perhaps be more helpful to ask whether a kollel man

    is likely to be a better person than a non-kollel man?

    [H]e is very old in his 90’s he cant learn anymore and he lost his filter and is kind of rude and blunt with people- saying whatever comes to his mind. Is he a worse person now that he’s old and more blunt now than he was 20 years ago?

    Rav Avigdor Miller said that it is as if that person was niftar already. He is no longer that person. (If a person becomes senile and forgets all his learning, he’s obviously not going to arrive in the olam ha’emes as an

    am ha’aretz .)

    #1174362

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    DY and Feivel

    “?”? ????? ????? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?”? ????? ??? ??”?”

    “that was in ancient days…”

    A few years ago at irgun shiurei Torah hookup Rav

    Shteinman was asked if a person has a choice between a bas talmud chacham or a bas rich person who can support him, who should he pick?

    Rav Shtienman asked the questioner: what about middos?

    Questioner: They are the same

    Rav Shteinman replied (witha grin) that there is no real talmud chacham bezman hazeh

    #1174363

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    ubiquitin – thanks for showing my point regarding support. I imagine there are people as feivel describes, who are older and live with nothing to be moser nefesh to learn. They are true heros. They are also not who I see or think of when discussing kollel. More like the kid in this story who wants to marry for support.

    Like I said earlier, the question needs to be split before responding.

    #1174364

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Ubiquitin and gavra, I’m curious as to how you understand the story.

    #1174365

    homer
    Member

    Sadly I have found far to often that people BELIEVE that Kolel people think of themselves as better. Therefore they resent Kolel people and all they represent.

    #1174366

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    DY – just another instance where support comes into play as a factor. I won’t guess as per Rav Shteinman’s cheshbonos, which I’m certain are valid based on the situation. However, hearing yet another story with the guy looking for support doesn’t help my frustration with the whole shidduch, divorce, dependency, and other issues that I have with our society as it is today.:-(

    Also, it shows thr Rav’s Anivus, as opposed to the Amoraim who would respond “like me”!

    #1174367

    Joseph
    Participant

    homer: That isn’t so true. What is more true is that some non-Kollel people are jealous of Kollel people and thus resent them.

    #1174368

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Sadly I have found far to often that people BELIEVE that Kolel people think of themselves as better. Therefore they resent Kolel people and all they represent.

    I also imagine those are the people who I think of as “kollel kids”, not those who are long term, moser nefesh, live with nothing kollel men.

    #1174369

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I think it’s a real stretch to say that shidduch and divorce problems are a result of kollel. Do you have any sort of control group to compare to, which is relatively free of these problems?

    #1174370

    Avi K
    Participant

    DY, maybe he should do both. Work half a day and learn half a day as some do (some employers even offer “job sharing” plans to avoid layoffs). Some can also make enough money to retire early and live on investment income iy”H or can get pensions while they are still active. I heard about someone who started learning five hour each day after work at age 40. At age 50 he convinced his employer to let him work half a day and learned the other half. At 65 he retired and joined a halacha kollel. He achieved “Yoreh Yoreh” and “Yadin Yadin”. At 88 he was learning Kabbala.

    #1174371

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    You can’t bring rayos from individual stories. Most people can’t work half a day.

    Besides, if you think that’s ideal, why do you look to have him retire young and learn full time? Let him work half a day as long as he’s physically able. You obviously do recognize the chashivus of learning (full time).

    Ela mai, financial necessity? I never disagreed with the idea that at some point, the vast majority of kollel guys must (and do) go to work (I’m referring to chu”l where military duties don’t factor in).

    I also think that if one were to be faced with the option to dedicate younger years to learning or plan to retire young and dedicate later years, he should choose the former (for a number of reasons).

    #1174372

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I think it’s a real stretch to say that shidduch and divorce problems are a result of kollel. Do you have any sort of control group to compare to, which is relatively free of these problems?

    Kollel is a siman, not the sibah. As I’ve mentioned before, the root problem is the expectation/requirements for seminary in Israel. I’m not going to go through it again, read the prior threads on the topic.

    As for a control population, chassidim or pre1990 yeshivos would work.

    #1174373

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Kollel is a siman, not the sibah.

    How so?

    I don’t think Chassidim are much different in terms of divorce rate, perhaps even a bit worse, and you can’t take a control group from a different era, because there are too many other factors, mostly the overall moral decline of society.

    Point is, your assertion that there’s some type of correlation between kollel and marriage issues is an invention of your own with no basis in reality.

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 217 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.