Is working at a Kollel considered “working”?

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  • #1288849

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    If a man teaches at a kollel, is he considered a “working man” or “kollel man”?

    Wondering where the line is between working and studying Torah.

    Thank you ☺🔯📚

    #1288861

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Who says there’s a line?

    #1288870

    Chaver
    Participant

    What about if someone learns Torah in an office? Is he considered a Kollel man or a working man?

    #1288869

    Geordie613
    Participant

    Do you mean as a Rosh chaburah, or Rosh Kollel? This is usually referred to as a “Klei Kodesh”, literally a ‘holy vessel’. Rabbis, Dayanim, Roshei Yeshiva, teachers etc all fit into this category. These are the people who keep Klal Yisroel going.

    #1288864

    Joseph
    Participant

    It sounds like the best job ever.

    #1288942

    apushatayid
    Participant

    The best job is called Eved Hashem. There are many aspects to that position. Saying a chaburah in a kollel is one of them. so is earning a paycheck working as a CPA or baking rugelach. Speak to your Rav/Rebbe/Mashpia, Madricha, or whatever it is you call the person who you turn to for guidance, to help determine how you can be the best eved hashem you can be.

    #1288964

    Joseph
    Participant

    Do you reckon that if an individual can be an equally good and effective a) Klei Kodesh b) CPA or c) computer programmer, that he is being the same Eved Hashem should be choose ‘b’ or ‘c’ rather than ‘a’?

    #1288967

    chabadgal
    Participant

    apushatayid- AGREE

    #1288973

    akuperma
    Participant

    Is the person teaching/learning in a kollel paid? If he pays tuition and/or room and board, he is clearly not “working.” If he receives renumeration such they he “lives off” of it, it’s a job. Whether one juggles it in a way to avoid taxes is a different matter.

    #1288977

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Is the person teaching/learning in a kollel paid? If he pays tuition and/or room and board, he is clearly not “working.” If he receives renumeration such they he “lives off” of it, it’s a job. Whether one juggles it in a way to avoid taxes is a different matter. (akuperma)

    akuperma: Thank you for your explanation! You answered my question. 🙂

    In reply to additional posts relating to the OP: Thank you! Of course there are billions of ways to be a true Eved Hashem and all of us have unique missions in life, thanks to Hashem. My OP was asking because I wanted to understand the definition of working in relation to kollel, or learning.

    To make sure I understood correctly, here is what it sounds like….

    “Working” means getting paid
    “Kollel” means not getting paid.

    —-And ummm revelation, ALL men who learn Torah in a kollel pay tuition?*
    *Not considering Teachers or Rabbonim or Rosh Yeshivot or anyone who gets paid.

    If yes, then I guess that makes sense that they would pay since their teachers and Rabbonim and Rosh Yeshivot have to earn a living too. At the same time, I didn’t realize that even when a man is married and his wife provides for him and his family, their household income also goes towards paying the husband’s tuition to learn. Is that correct?

    Thanks 🙂

    #1289085

    funnybone
    Participant

    Generally speaking, kollel gives a stipend. It isnt minimum wage. It just helps pay the bills. Most people wouldnt consider it work or a job.
    Im not aware of a kollel where you have to pay to learn there.

    #1289193

    apushatayid
    Participant

    @joseph. Im not your Rebbe, I dont know you, your strengths, weaknesses, or potential in any given area to make such a determination. Ask your Rebbe.

    #1290873

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    As funnybone wrote, kollels usually give a stipend. There are some that don’t give any stipend, and some that give a very small amount, and there are others that give more. A lot of it depends on location (Eretz Yisrael, Lakewood, out-of-town, New York), but it also depends on the specific kollel.

    Nowadays, I think it would be very rare or impossible to find to find a kollel that pays enough to live on, but whatever they do give is definitely needed in combination with the wife’s salary. Often, the couple/family is only able to manage due to the kollel stipend combined with the wife’s salaray.

    #1290876

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB – to answer your original question, it depends. Some people call it learning, and some people call it working. When people ask me what I’m looking for, I say that I am looking for someone who works in Klei kodesh. That could include someone who is a Rosh Kollel, Rosh Yeshiva, RAM, or someone who works in kiruv. I would call all of those things working, but some would call them learning (besides for kiruv). I could hear how it could be called either – it depends how you define your terms and what point you are trying to make.

    #1290877

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Akuperma – it sounds like anyone who receives a kollel stipend would be considered to be working according to your definition. Is that what you mean? (I’m not criticizing – you can define things however you want to – I’m just clarifying).

    #1290881

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Is “sponsoring” a kollel learner a common thing? I know someone who does that, and I’ve heard that helping someone learn Torah by providing financial assistance for him to keep his learning is a mitzvah too.

    Wondering if some people are sponsored or if that only happens in some cases on a longer-term basis if someone has a friend or connection somehow

    Thanks

    #1290887

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Oh but this “sponsorship” is definitely not “working.” If anything, maybe it’s like a scholarship to help brunt some of the costs of learning, but not in a way that it is profiting or considered working. The person would be studying anyway, so it just helps and brings chizzuk too!

    #1290891

    bmyer
    Participant

    “Is “sponsoring” a kollel learner a common thing?” Yes it’s very often done by the in-laws…

    ‘I’ve heard that helping someone learn Torah by providing financial assistance for him to keep his learning is a mitzvah too.”
    You’ve heard well. The next-best mitzvah you could do to learning yourself is supporting someone else’s learning…
    (It might actually be equal…)

    #1290905

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    LU, thanks!! Okay so that validates my feelings that working in a kollel is still on the kollel learning spectrum. 🙂
    So both akuperma’s and your definitions can be true at the same time.

    LU, thanks for explaining Klei kodesh! I think I’ve heard that before here, and that totally helps me see the gears and tiers of a kollel and Torah leadership in a bigger picture – falling under Klei kodesh 🙂

    Bmyer, thanks! Oh yea! In-laws, I forgot! Yes so true, I’ve heard that’s common, especially for couples starting out. Excellent point 🙂

    By the way, if a woman supporting someone’s Torah learning financially, is that considered like giving birth to him? (Please excuse me if I got the saying wrong, but you know what I mean, where one who teaches Torah, it’s like having a son?)

    Thanks! 🙂

    #1290929

    bmyer
    Participant

    I don’t know this as a fact but I think there’s a difference between them. The chazal says “one who teaches” not sure if that would apply to one who enables..though it might…

    Just curious, what difference would it make?

    #1291611

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB – sure!
    I was assuming that when you wrote “working in a Kollel” you meant a Rosh Kollel. Is that what you meant?

    If you meant being a secretary in a Kollel (or something similar) that would be different. It would definitely be a big Mitzvah and a big zchus, but no one would refer to it as “learning”. Obviously, none of this has anything to do with an individual’s schar in Olam haba which is something that none of us knows and is based on how well one fulfills his own individual tafkid in life. I am simply talking about the terminology “learning” and how the term is used. My point is not to “grade” people. Only Hashem can do that.

    #1291615

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    As I wrote previously, a lot of it depends on the “point” that one is trying to make when he/she uses the terms “learning” and “working”.

    For many (possibly most) people, the point they are trying to make is that they (or their husbands, etc.) are learning Torah all day. So if he has a job that involves learning they would call it learning regardless of the fact that he is paid. The issue for them is not the pay, but the learning.

    So, for example, they would refer to someone who is a Rosh Kollel or someone who is a Rebbe in a Mesivta (high school) or Beis Medrash (post-high-school) as learning, since he is learning even though he gets paid for it. When you teach adult men, or older boys, you are learning. On the other hand, they might not refer to a second grade Rebbe as learning, since he is not learning even though he is teaching.

    On the other hand, there are others who have a different point to make when they use the terms “learning” or “working”. For example, a girl who values learning but doesn’t feel that she would be able to support her husband in kollel might refer to someone who is a Rosh Kollel as “working” because her “point” is that she wants to marry someone who has a parnassah, so for her the difference between “learning” and “working” has to do with the paycheck.

    Sometimes, the point is something different. Sometimes, people want to make a statistical point about the percentage of Chareidim who “work”. In that case, they would include anyone who teaches, since there is no reason not to count someone who teaches Limudei Kodesh as working, just like you would include someone who teaches limudei chol.

    So like any other categorization, who gets included depends on the way you define your terms, and the way you define your terms depends on the reason why you are setting up these categories in the first place. I think this is also the reason why different people have different ways of categorizing terms like “Chareidi”,etc.

    In any case, I think that a lot of people, if not most, use the first definition I gave.

    #1291648

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    LU!!!! Genius! So TRUE.

    Thank you!!!! Okay — just read your latest post and, WOW, yes! All in perspective what the point is in the conversation. All of a sudden, when you mentioned the wife and how her husband’s kollel job may be bringing in parnassah — I could see how that’s working, when the other day I for sure put it in the learning category!

    Thanks for showing me how definitions can be flexible 🙂

    #1291645

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    LU, for the first post you said, “If you meant being a secretary in a Kollel (or something similar) that would be different. It would definitely be a big Mitzvah and a big zchus, but no one would refer to it as “learning”” (LU)

    You got it right! 🙂 I meant “working in a kollel” like having a job that is like teaching. Is there only one Rosh Kollel per kollel? I would think like someone who may be teaching a class and has to learn as part of his job to teach as someone in the category of working in a (or at a) kollel.

    #1291814

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    To add to Bmyers comment a ways up, the supporter of Torah (“zevulun”) in some ways is valued more than the learner (“Yissachar”) since the latter is devoted to Torah but gets the pleasure from learning Torah, so it is “easier” for him to do so, while the latter is devoted to Torah without getting that personal pleasure of learning, so his job is harder and therefore his reward is even greater (based on the Chasam Sofer).

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