Thursday, May 26, 2022

How can people justify studying Torah all the time?

"And not only the Tribe of Levi, but any person whose spirit moves him to separate himself and stand before Hashem, to serve Him in order to know Him...behold he has become sanctified as the Holy of Holies, and Hashem becomes his portion, his inheritance for ever. And He will provide his basic necessities for him in this world, as with the Kohanim and Levi'im..."

Rabbi Moshe Isserlis (Rama) quotes Maimonides' first statement, that encourages earning a livelihood. He notes, however, that there are dissenting views, and that their opinion is the one that "all places in Israel" have adopted.


  1. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 26, 2022 at 1:40 PM

    Brisker Rav's interpretation is more convincing.

  2. The UO are the mirror image of the Reform. Both sides pick and choose what parts of Torah they care about.

  3. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 26, 2022 at 5:42 PM

    It's an interesting discussion - Rabbi Rackman made this point, but not in the same way . He argued that Halacha was "teleological" - that a certain objective or end point was desired to reach that psak. Of course, when he said that this is what we should do today, he was accused of being "Conservative". But these discussions, eg the quotes from the Gemara, show that certain end criteria allow us (or them) to do what suits us.

  4. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 26, 2022 at 9:57 PM

    If you point out that David hamelech was a military warrior, or rambam was a philosopher _ doctor, they will tell us "they were yechidim "

  5. who decides teleological
    Since the Torah is supposed to be pleasant that means no capital punishment mamzerim or prohibition of homosexuality

  6. David was not the only warrior, we had regular frum armies. Rambam was not the only intellectual, a large section of the Rishonim and communities , eg in Spain, held this kind of view.

  7. firstly, instead of encouraging all talmidei chachaim to think and be mechadesh, this elitism restricts it.
    No capital punishment was discussed by Chazal, each bringing a view of how they would minimize or abolish it.
    mamzerim, again, Rackman points otthat chazal tried to abolish it - they said if a fledgling was found, the chazakah was that it was not a mamzer, because the mother would rathr kill it since mamzerut is a fate worse than death.
    Prohibition LGBT is still there. Perhaps it was not as huge a problem 2000 years ago as it is now.

    re "cherry picking" , in general, do you mean that I point out certain statements, but statements on their own are not halacha, and that one needs to go through all the poskim, from gemara to current day, to know what the halacha is?

    In which case, books like the Kitzur SA should be thrown out, as should 90% of English language shiurim.

  8. the method of halacha is generally decided by halachists
    but they don't always agree with each other.
    there was a letter that Rav Elyashiv wrote to Rav Herzog, with great accolades for his mentor, but in the chareidi "kovetz" , this introduction was censored.

  9. If someone can learn Torah and live off Man or carob trees, that is perfect. But this does not exist today. If there ia a relationship with a rich cousin or friend, like Rambam whose brother was a wealthy merchant, it is also great.

  10. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 27, 2022 at 2:28 PM

    you could add on your rules for the blog that only Poskim can comment


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