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Learn or Earn: Am I bound by my son’s Rebbe’s hashkafa?


My son is close to completing a 4-year post-high school Bais Medrash program. The message from the Rosh Yeshiva is loud and clear: Every talmid (barring few exceptions) must become a full-time learner for life, and hence , he should expect to marry someone who can support him in Kollel.

Is my son bound by this hashkafa? He feels that he is not allowed to go against his rav. He also points out to me that learning Torah overrides kibbud av v’em. Secondly, am I AS HIS FATHER bound by it? I learned differently: I learned that there are other legitimate interpretations of “talmud torah k’neged kulam” –i.e., that one may seek employment in addition to meeting the minimum requirement of learning once in the morning and once at night. In line with my own hashkafa, I would like to keep my options open for my son, and do not want to look for a shiddukh with such a restrictive condition in mind. Yes, if it turns out that she could support his full-time learning, that is a bonus –but I don’t want to make it a l’khatlikha requirement when seeking a compatible match. Is that okay? Or am I bound by my son’s rebbe’s (Rosh Yeshiva’s) hashkafa?




Let’s forget about your son’s Rebbi’s hashkafa for a minute, what does you son feel about this? What kind of girl is he looking for? It is hard to imagine that the Rosh Yeshiva actually means that everyone has to stay in Kollel his whole life, and not aspire to be a marbitz Torah in a Yeshiva like he is. Most probably what he means is that your son should dedicate himself to living a life of avodas Hashem and torah, but not specifically, that he should be only in kollel and nothing else.

What your son is saying though regarding learning vs. kibbud av v’em is correct. If a father wants his son to stop learning Torah, the son does not have to obey, because Hashem wants him to learn, and he has to obey Hashem first.

Regarding your hashkafa, I see a large difference. From what you are writing, a person should work, and meet the minimal requirement to learn. You son’s Rebbi’s hashkafa is that a person should learn and meet the minimum requirement of having parnossa. The difference is what is important to the person in life, parnossa or torah.

In any case you are not bound by your son’s Rebbi’s hashkafa. However as stated, the main focus here is what does your son want, what kind of girl does he want, and how does he want to steer and live his life.

Best wishes


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