Yafeh Talmud Torah im Derech Eretz

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  • #601677

    I’m wondering: How does the segment of society (which I believe exists) which feels that the appropriate “road” in life is Kollel for many years interpret the mishna of “Yafeh Talmud Torah im Derech Eretz?”

    #845653

    sam4321
    Participant

    There is a lot on this topic. First what is the definition of derech ertez? It is a machlokes how to learn it. Whichever way you want to learn it, Torah is definitely more important(Avos 6:5,Berachos 35).

    #845654

    sam4321
    Participant

    There is an idea from the Brisker Rav that there is a majority and a minority when it comes to learning full time.Abaye said Many followed R’Yismael and succeeded and many tried to follow the shitta of R’Shimon and did not succeed. There is a minority who are able to do it, but majority does not follow this way .

    #845655

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    This reminded me of this:

    I mentioned to a friend of mine recently that I had borrowed Lamm’s Torah Umadda from the library and was reading it. He asked me why I hadn’t just borrowed his copy. He told me he of course has a copy- he is Modern Orthodox.

    This friend went to Gush for a year, and then went to University of Pennsylvania.

    So I was wondering: He was m’kayeim the “madda,” but what happened to the “torah”? Doesn’t the book say you need torah and madda both? Doesn’t Lamm’s Modern Orthodoxy call for both?

    Why are you asking how they read the mishna? How do you read the mishna? Do you think yafeh torah im derech eretz means to work 50 hours a week and learn 5?

    #845656

    Avi K
    Participant

    There is a yishuv of the famous machloket between Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Shimon on this subject (Rav Ovadia and others) that Rabbi Shimon’s way is not for the majority but it is for a small elite (see also HeEmek Devar Devarim 10:14). Who is in which group? This is part of the general question of the individual’s avoda which each person must clarify.

    #845658

    Popa:

    1. How I read the mishna is a fair question. (The reason I didn’t answer it is because it seems that the mishna could easily be read to be specifically speaking out against kollel.)

    2. With regard to your friend, I’m guessing (pure conjecture, here) that Dr. Lamm would have suggested that he attend (a school like) YU where he could receive education in Torah and Madda.

    3. “Do you think yafeh torah im derech eretz means to work 50 hours a week and learn 5?” If, as I seem to recall, most commentators read the “derech eretz” of the mishna as livelihood/culture (not the minority opinion of good manners), then yes, I think your 50:5 derech eretz:torah ratio (for a layman) is easier to defend than advocacy of a 0:infinity one.

    4. As to how I read the mishna, I think it is saying essentially the following “It’s good to learn Torah and to engage in livelihood, because your time will be gainfully spent, averting you from sin (because your schedule will be full [depriving you of time in which to sin] or perhaps because you will be emotionally fulfilled, having done numerous positive things with your time).”

    #845659

    Avi K
    Participant

    Correction: He’emek Devar Devarim 10:12

    #845660

    Please see the next few words of the mishna. Sheyegias shneihem mashkachas avon. Nowadays with the ‘outside’ world being the way it is, which “road”, in general, is more mashkachas avon? The working road or the kollel road? By the way the Rambam’s example of torah im derech eretz is learning nine hours and working three(Talmud Torah 1-12). Popa, you hit the nail on the head.

    #845661

    srugee123
    Member

    Ask a better question: How do they ignore an explicit Psak of the Shulchan Aruch that says you should work after learning in the morning??

    #845662

    Torah4Me
    Participant

    It means if you learn Torah you will then do business honestly. You will know how to re-act according to the Torah in numerous situations. (Rav Avigdor Miller Zt”l)

    #845663

    moi aussi
    Member

    It means that a man needs to be mefarnes his wife (as per the ketuva). At the same time he needs to be kovea itim laTorah.

    It certainly doesn’t mean to put the yoke of parnassa on the wife. Unfortunately girls are brainwashed in seminaries, to become martyrs. It’s not what Hashem wants from us.

    #845664

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    It can be two people.

    One does Talmud,

    The other does Derech Eretz,

    And they join as partners.

    #845665

    Avi K
    Participant

    Sam, on the contrary derech eretz kadma laTora. The Netziv, in his introduction to Sefer Breisheet says that it is called “Sefer HaYashar” because the Avot even acted civilly to lowly idol worshippers – this laid the groundwork for Matan Tora. When Rav Yisrael Salanter’s granddaughter was looking for a shidduch he told her to first see if he is a mentsch. If he is also an ilui that is a bonus.

    In the sense of work, there is a Chatam Sofer on Sukka 36a (which was censored by the anti-Zionists) that any work one does is a kiyum of the mitzva of building the Land. Even in Chutz laAretz, if there is no flour there is no Tora and if there is no Tora there is no flour. Similarly, if Yoav had not made war david could not have made justice (Tora) and vice-versa (Sanhedrin 49a). The point is taht there is a symbiotic relationship between Tora and Derech Eretz. Rav Asher Weiss asks how Yissachar could sell half of his reward for talmud Tora. He answers that by enabling Yissachar to learn half of the mitzva was Zevulun’s by right. Similarly, a bachur once came to the Chazon Ish and told him that his kalla was willing to support him on condition that she received half the reward for his learning (she wanted to put it in hte ketuba). The Chazon Ish told him that in that case she would get three-quarters.

    #845666

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    sam4321: Whichever way you want to learn it, Torah is definitely more important(Avos 6:5,Berachos 35).

    AviK: Sam, on the contrary derech eretz kadma laTora.

    Avi, I will teach you something interesting. Sometimes, the same words can mean something different! Imagine that!

    Google it if you don’t believe me.

    #845667

    Abelleh
    Participant

    popa_bar_abba: “Avi, I will teach you something interesting. Sometimes, the same words can mean something different! Imagine that!”

    That’s true (though harsh). But it may or not be applicable here. But even if one were define derech eretz as work in all situations, I think the kollel system would still not be undermined. Jost because it beautifies Torah does not mean it’s necessary. And even within the current kollel system, no expects you to learn as a parnasah for ever. You’ll work eventually.

    #845668

    Toi
    Participant

    what i find intersting is why the posters who have an obvious agenda against kollel cant fathom that the torah giants of the last 50 years might have had a better understanding of the mentioned mishnayos and tshuvos then they.

    #845669

    Avi K
    Participant

    Chassidish, look the Rav’s explanation that together they sap his strength so that he does not have the koach to do aveirot.

    Popa, i look at he sources you cited and I do not to what you are referring. Can you be more specific.

    Toi, after the Holocaust there was an urgent need to rebuild the Tora world that was destroyed. The only way to do that was to send everyone into kollel. As the Haredi population was very small this did not cause either internal problems from guys were were not suited for this or external problems from people whjo were unwilling and/or unable to support them. Today, the Tora world is greater than ever and the Haredi population is much larger. This is causing tremendous social problems among young people who are not suited for sitting and learning all day but do not have a socially acceptable alternative. In addition, the non-Haredi population is not willing to support such a large segment of the population which is not willing to work and sources inside the Haredi sector are drying up as the older generations that worked are leaving us and those who do work are feeling the pinch because of the world financial crisis.

    Thus it is now necessary to “change the diskette” and go back to the traditional system of the vast majority working and only a small elite learning full-time for life. The rabbanim understand that and thus give haskama beshetika to Haredi job-training institutions. However, the extremists, who are simply sociopaths, react with violence to any suggestion of deviation from their party line (they even stoned Rav Eliashiv because he reached a compromise on moving graves to make room for a new road).Apparently some kind ofpush will have to come from both hte grassroots Haredim who are sick of poverty and constantly borrowing from one gemach to pay another and the outside world which will give them tough love (see Shach Yoreh Deah 249:7). This will have thew added benefit of allowing Tora institutions to pay decent stipends to those few who are suited just as, lehavdil, universities give generous stipends to research fellows (and, in fact, evn one of the Meretz MKs said that those few who are suited for kollelim should receive the same as doctoral candidates).

    #845670

    Mayan_Dvash
    Participant

    Kollel is for people who can do it, which is much less than the amount of people enlisted in Kollel. I learned in Kollel for a year. Learning before working will prepare you for “derech eretz.” Some people probably need more prep. so they should stay longer — they are the ones who need to train in the other kind of derech eretz — bain adam lachavairo.

    ;

    #845671

    Feif Un
    Participant

    Avi K: I’ve posted the same thing before. The Chazon Ish said it. He said things needed to change for 3 generations to rebuild the leadership, then it should go back to the old ways.

    poppa: I went to yeshiva and then to college. I currently work full time. When am I mekayem Torah? I go to a shiur a few nights per week. When mincha is late enough so I can daven after I get home from work, there is a shiur between mincha and maariv every evening. I learn a sefer on the Parshah every week so that on Shabbos I’ll have what to say over at the table. That’s just the learning part.

    I also like to think that for the most part, I live a Torah life. I try to make a kiddush Hashem at work every day. There are some people I work with who, to put it mildly, are slightly uncouth. I try to be the opposite, and be a good example of how a proper person should act.

    I think this is what RABBI Lamm means.

    #845672

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Absolutely. I’m happy to.

    The mishna which states ??? ????? ???? ?? ??? ??? is read in different ways. It refers to either working to earn a living, or to having good midos. I’ll quote the meiri whom I just found by searching bar ilan:

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

    ??? ???? ??? ??? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ????? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ?? ??????? ????? ????? ????? ??? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ?????? ???? ???? ????? ???

    (There are two interesting points to note in this meiri.

    First, the reason he says that work is necessary is that this way you will not need to steal for food- this implies it may not be as necessary if there is a welfare system which will feed you.

    Second, the reason he says that middos avoid aveiros is that the people you give tochacha to will respect you, and will not dig up your aveiros, so they will be “hidden.”)

    The phrase “??? ??? ???? ?????,” is a paraphrase from ????? ??? ?:

    ?”? ??? ??? ?”? ???? ??? ???? ????? ?????? ??? ??? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ??? ??? ???? ????? ????? ?”? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ??? ?? ??? ?????? ????? ?????? ?????? ???? ????? ??? ???? ????? ??? ???? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ???? ?”? ?? ???? ?”? ???? ???? ?????? ?”? ??? ?? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?? ?”? ??? ?”? ???? ???? ???? ?????? ????? ?? ????? ?”? ?????? ??? ??? ???? ?? ?”? ??? ?????? ??? ?”? ?? ??? ????? ??? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ????? ??????? ????? (????? ??) ???? ??? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ????? ???? ???? ??? ???? ??? ??? ???? ???? ?”? ??? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ??? ?? ????? ?? ????? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ???????? ??? ?? ??? ??? ????? ???? ??????? ?”? ?? ??? ??? ??? ??? ?????? ???? ??? ???? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ??? ??”? ?????? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???? ????? ???? ??? ??? ?? ????? ??”? (?????? ?) ????? ?? ??? ?? ????? ??? ?? ??? ??? ???”? ?? ????? ?? ????, ????? ???? ????? ?”? ???? ?? ??? ?? ??????? ??????? ?? ???”? ?????? ?? ????? (????? ?) ???? ??????? ???.

    As you can see, it is clearly talking about having good middos.

    The OP assumed the reading of the mishna in avos was that it referred to working. If it does, then the medrash of kodmoh l’torah which refers to having good middos is not related at all.

    #845673

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    poppa: I went to yeshiva and then to college. I currently work full time. When am I mekayem Torah? I go to a shiur a few nights per week. When mincha is late enough so I can daven after I get home from work, there is a shiur between mincha and maariv every evening. I learn a sefer on the Parshah every week so that on Shabbos I’ll have what to say over at the table. That’s just the learning part.

    I also like to think that for the most part, I live a Torah life. I try to make a kiddush Hashem at work every day. There are some people I work with who, to put it mildly, are slightly uncouth. I try to be the opposite, and be a good example of how a proper person should act.

    I think this is what RABBI Lamm means.

    Feif: I didn’t mean to denigrate people who work for a living, and try to live as torah jews. In fact, I am also no longer in yeshiva (obviously, considering the hours I spend online).

    I was responding in kind to the OP. OP seems to think that we should live our lives based on what we read in pirkei avos- I think we should live our lives based on what our rebbeim say. So, ??? ???? ???????, I responded to OP that his lifestyle was also not like his reading of the mishna. Then I bickered with AviK because I like to.

    #845674

    Feif Un
    Participant

    popa, while you say a welfare system removes the reasoning, I have to disagree with you. My brother told me that there are people in Lakewood who teach you how to get WIC, Food Stamps, and other government programs when you really don’t qualify for them. I think the welfare system causes MORE stealing, not less.

    #845675

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    feif: yes, that is a good point. I was more thinking about the Israel (european) style welfare state with no requirements to skirt.

    #845676

    sam4321
    Participant

    Avi K: As I said before there are different approaches to the words of the Mishna,but you will find throughout shas that there is nothing greater than Torah. Since you brought up derech ertz kadma l’Torah,there is an idea that we go by the way of creation first one starts with worldly affairs and moves on to spiritual.First man was created and then his nefesh ,so too here first derech eretz than Torah.

    #845677

    Abelleh
    Participant

    Toi: I don’t think the current kollel system in effect now is the one the Gedolim 50 years ago advocated. If you look at what Rav Aharon Kutler intended for the original kollel, it was only a few year program for a smaller number of people.

    #845678

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    If you look at what Rav Aharon Kutler intended for the original kollel, it was only a few year program for a smaller number of people.

    R’ Aharon Kotler was obviously MO. Don’t you know R’ Kotler held of Rav YB Soloveichik? Who was the featured speaker at the first Chinuch Atzmai dinner (R’ Aharon’s project?)

    #845679

    Toi
    Participant

    GAW- stop t- some people might take you seriously.

    Feif- funny how youll quote the chaon ish on this but on sheirut le’umi you forget his opinion.

    #845680

    srugee123
    Member

    The Rambam clearly defines “Yofeh TT im derech eretz” as getting a Job. Look it up in Peirush HaMishnayos. The Rambam knows wat hes talking about no?

    #845681

    Toi
    Participant

    sru- ill bet there are a few thousand rambams that you’re michusar havanah in- dont you think theres a possibility that theres a pshat in this one you havent been zoche to yet?

    #845682

    Abelleh
    Participant

    gavra_at_work: I’m not sure what you’re trying to say.

    #845683

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Abelleh:

    #845684

    sam4321
    Participant

    Srugee123: Tosfos Yeshanim on bottom in Yoma 85b considers the words derech eretz to mean good deeds not a job. It is a machlokes how to interpret it.

    #845685

    sam4321
    Participant

    The Tosfos Yeshanim is all the way on the bottom ( http://www.hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=6&daf=85b&format=pdf )

    #845686

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    I don’t understand. How does yafeh torah im derech eretz preclude sitting in kollel? If one gets paid for his learning, doesn’t that mean he has a livelihood?

    #845687

    Abelleh
    Participant

    yitayningwut: The term “derech eretz” doesn’t mean getting paid; it means working. By being self-supporting, you improve you person which is a fundamental part of Torah growth. Look at Avraham, Yitzcahk, Yaakov, and the Shvatim. They were all shepherds, which the Abarbenel calls the “avoda kedusha”.

    #845688

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    The term “derech eretz” doesn’t mean getting paid; it means working. By being self-supporting, you improve you person which is a fundamental part of Torah growth.

    That is an interesting idea. There may even be a rishon who says it. But you should find that rishon before you argue with the other rishonim that have been quoted here.

    #845689

    Feif Un
    Participant

    Toi: I don’t always follow the Chazon Ish. However, in the matter of the kollel system as we know it now, he was the one who said it needed to be done, and these were the guidelines he set for it. For sheirut le’umi, there are many other opinions on which to rely. For the kollel system, he’s the one everyone relies on. Therefore, he should be followed.

    #845690

    yitayningwut: The next words in the mishna are “sheyigias shnayhem” – “throught toil at both of them.” It seems like it’s referring to some sort of exertion. Which seems to imply an understanding similar to that of Abelleh.

    #845691

    By the way, I’m familiar with the interpetation of “derech eretz” as “proper manners.” I was under the impression that that was a minority opinion among the commentators. (I guess I can look into that.) I suppose all

    Follow-up question: According to those who interpret “derech eretz” as “proper manners,” it’s kind of hard to oppose the study of mussar, isn’t it?

    #845692

    sam4321
    Participant

    The point of the Mishna is to be a good person and do what is required of him in the best way.Derech eretz is essential to being a Torah observant Jew.It is a big misconception that the point of the mishna is to reduce the importance of Torah study.

    #845693

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    The next words in the mishna are “sheyigias shnayhem” – “throught toil at both of them.” It seems like it’s referring to some sort of exertion. Which seems to imply an understanding similar to that of Abelleh.

    brilliant exposition. Again, maybe you should find a rishon who says that, since I cited at least one who disagrees with that approach.

    By the way, I’m familiar with the interpetation of “derech eretz” as “proper manners.” I was under the impression that that was a minority opinion among the commentators. (I guess I can look into that.)

    So then you made two mistakes. First, trying to read a mishna instead of relying on your rebbeim. Second, assuming that we always follow the majority opinion in rishonim.

    Follow-up question: According to those who interpret “derech eretz” as “proper manners,” it’s kind of hard to oppose the study of mussar, isn’t it?

    No, it is completely irrelevant. Those who opposed the mussar movement didn’t do so because they thought you are supposed to have bad middos. (why did you translate it as manners? manners is which fork you use and not putting your elbows on the table. middos are the way we act and how we think and feel….)

    #845694

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    middos are the way we act and how we think and feel

    Tee hee.

    #845695

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    You people are unbelievable. According to your logic, anyone who has an easy job, or someone who gets paid to simply be themselves by showing off their talents such as a musician or an artist; or someone who gets paid to sit on their tuches and simply spend time thinking and figuring things out – not much different than a kollel guy; or for that matter, anyone who isn’t working in a coal mine, is wasting their life.

    Admit it, your question wasn’t so innocent after all. You have an agenda, you don’t like the idea of kollel for other reasons.

    #845696

    Sam2
    Participant

    Well done PBA. I smiled at that reference.

    Toi: I think his explanation of the Rambam is fine. The Rambam is very clear in what he thinks of learning in Kollel. We may not hold like him, but he makes himself very clear.

    #845697

    Health
    Participant

    Feif Un -“popa, while you say a welfare system removes the reasoning, I have to disagree with you. My brother told me that there are people in Lakewood who teach you how to get WIC, Food Stamps, and other government programs when you really don’t qualify for them. I think the welfare system causes MORE stealing, not less.”

    This is pure Motzay Shem Ra on a Frum Yid trying to help out other Yidden get what they are entitled to. There is a feeling amongst a lot of people that Frum Yidden have no right to take Gov. programs. Now why is that? Is it because they feel Frum Yidden shouldn’t be poor in the Goldene Medina? Are they ashamed of their poor Brethen? Well if this is the case, let them start giving more Tzedaka to poor Jews and they wouldn’t need to take all these gov. programs!

    And since I’ve been here the gov. has gotten much stricter with their programs. They (the Feds) even changed the whole HUD/ Section 8 regulations because they didn’t like what some Frum Yidden were doing in Lakewood with those regs that were on the books. To me that is classic Antisemitism!

    #845698

    Popa:

    “Through toil at both of them” seems to be the pashut pshat in the mishna. (Artscroll writes it without citing anyone.)

    Also, I realize that those who opposed the Mussar movement did not do so due to an aversion to good midos. Considering “yigias,” if it’s referring to derech eretz, it’s referring to studying derech eretz, no?

    #845699

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    “Through toil at both of them” seems to be the pashut pshat in the mishna. (Artscroll writes it without citing anyone.)

    Also, I realize that those who opposed the Mussar movement did not do so due to an aversion to good midos. Considering “yigias,” if it’s referring to derech eretz, it’s referring to studying derech eretz, no?

    Noch amol?

    No. We don’t darshen mishnayos by ourselves. Especially when it is a mishna that has numerous rishonim which explain it.

    #845700

    Avi K
    Participant

    Popa, the welfare system will not support someone at a decent level unless he is living alone in some very low-rent set-up.Even then, Chazal and all of the Rishonim and Acharonim presumed that one should be ashamed calling this “nehama d’kisufa” (bread of shame). Thus, the highest form of tzedakka is to give someone a job (Shach Yoreh Deah 249:7). Te proper exception is if someone has a pension or is otherwise financially independent (as was Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai when he began to learn full-time).

    #845701

    srugee123
    Member

    My brother Toi- 2 things: 1. The Rambam is 100% clear in what he says about ‘Derech Eretz’ meaning getting a job as he writes (and please look it up yourlself) “Rotze Lomar Derech Eretz hene HaOsek BiParnasa etc.- CLEAR AS DAY. Its also pretty clear from RASHI that Derech Eretz means Parnasah. Guess who also interpets it like that RABBEINU YONAH- wow! these 3 Gedolei HaRishonim all telling us to work!

    #845702

    srugee123
    Member

    sam4321 my previous post is also intended for you as well. Its a very nice Tosafos Yom Tov but look at what the Rishonim say.

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