Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Torah Study requires a mind free of worry about Parnossa

Netziv (Devarim 33:4): The Mechilta (BeShalach) states: The Torah was only given to those who eat the manna or secondarily to those who eat teruma. The reason for this is that successful study of Torah requires a clear peaceful state of mind and this is impossible except to those who are sustained by manna. That is because they have total security in the sustenance without concern that the distributor will give it to someone else. Those who eat teruma also have security but it is less than those who eat manna but more than those who eat ma’aser. That is because the owners of teruma are afraid to keep it in their house because if a member of their household should accidentally eat it there is punishment of death at the hands of Heaven (Devarim 26:13). However since the owner has the right to choose the recipient those who eat teruma are less secure than those who eat manna. Nevertheless since they have an assured source of sustenance they have the strength and fortitude to be immersed in Torah learning…. In contemporary times we find parallels. Some of those immersed in Torah learning live with their parents with dignity and respect - are comparable to those who eat manna. Others who are sustained by the gifts of others who want the merit of Torah study - are comparable to those who ate teruma. 

 Berchas Netziv (Mechilta BeShalach Vayisah 2): In depth study of Torah is impossible without a mind free and clear of worries of livelihood. This state of mind was found amongst those who lived on manna since they were guaranteed their food and were not dependent upon any person in any manner. Second best were those who ate teruma who were also secure that the people would give the cohanim more than the Levites got from ma’aser… But the cohanim had less security than those who ate manna since the donor had the right to give only to the cohen he wanted… In fact in each generation there are two circumstances for people to be able to study Torah properly. 1) The father who gladly supports his son and all his needs and that is similar to the eats of manna. 2) Support provided by benefactors who want the merit of Torah study and are similar to the donors of teruma…. This merit of the serious study of a talmid chachom is acquired by these masses only when they support him so that he is enabled to study properly. This occurs only when he is totally free of any worry about earning a living. 


  1. Btw, netziv disagrees with rambam on astrology

  2. The father who gladly supports his son and all his needs will live long enough to see his grandson raised in poverty and scarcity after the son selfishly uses all the money up on himself.


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