Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Not everyone can learn full-time!!!

On one of her dates a friend of mine asked "what would you do if you had all the money in the world?"

He answered, being a businessman and stock market investor, that he would stop working and teach about investing.

My friend got annoyed at this answer, and seriously reconsidered giving him another date. I got annoyed with her for reconsidering a guy because of this. In her messed up little mind, there was no reason why a guy wouldn't sit and learn full time if he had all the money in the world. I tried to convince her that not everyone was cut-out to learn full-time, but she didn't seem interested enough to hear what I had to say.

My friend, B"H didn't reject him for this, she rejected the guy for a different reason, but regardless of the reason, she found nothing wrong with potentially rejecting someone for hypothetically not wanting to be a full time learner.

I couldn't help it and I found myself really irritated with her. I told her that if she were to marry him, and they somehow came up with alot of money (enough to never have to work again), and the guy quits working and begins teaching, that would be a good thing as long as he is doing it in a good way, and that, many times, is up to the wife. For example, say he begins to teach investing to married men in kollel. He would, in a sense, be learning vicariously. I explained, that kollel guys usually find themselves in very tough/tight financial situations. By teaching them to invest (any excess money, if say first year of marraige and wife has good job), or even if just by teaching them some form of financial literacy, would help alot of these families. I told her, that as long as he specifically says on the date that he wouldn't teach in a mitzvah sort of way, there really is no reason to break up with the guy. Not everyone is cut out for learning!!!

She was extremely stubborn and decided that Hashem wouldn't make it a mitzvah to learn if "not everyone were cut out for it", what she failed to grasp was that not everyone is cut out for FULL-time learning, infact I would feel safe betting that a large majority of lakewood is full of guys who are NOT cut out for it.

Anyway, I don't know where girls get this type of information from. She went to HS with me, and I know our HS (as retarded as it was) did not teach us that everyone is cut out for learning full-time. Maybe seminary does this? Probably just the seminary she went to because I have friends who completely frummed up at seminary yet they still understand not everyone can learn full-time!!


Orthoprax said...

"Hashem wouldn't make it a mitzvah to learn if "not everyone were cut out for it""

Wow. That's the same reasoning I get when people refuse to accept that homosexuality has a biological basis. How could God make it a sin if it isn't a free choice?

frumskeptic said...

"That's the same reasoning I get when people refuse to accept that homosexuality has a biological basis."

I get that too!

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

It's well known that the Rambam and those who follow him (meam loez on 'avot' for e.g.) have a very negative opinion towards ANYONE who lears full time (meaning, it's 'assur' for everyone).

Science has proven that being productive (through working) is part and parcel of being in good health.

There is much more to say on the topic, but this suffices for here...

[and's assur to gay with another guy... it's not a sin to want to, it's a sin to contemplate and all the more so do. Rabbinic tradition has it that Jacob didn't have sex till his eighties. Sexual activity of any kind isn't a necessity. I want to have sex with a lot of girls, but I'm not allowed to...most guys don't seem to think having sex with girls is the hardest mitzva.. I's a long story, but I personally feel the Conservatives and Liberal Jews have slightly the wrong approach to it, though it needs more studying..]

Anonymous said...

Hi, its me, your fav anonymous. Just reading the comments...I actually agree w/ you on s/t, the homosexuality does have a basis, and people that are born that way and don't act on it; well H' gave them a huge test in life and if they act accordingly to Torah then they should be hugely rewarded...anyhow in regards to your friend (is it frum girl?) I would ask her if she got upset that the guy responded that he would do something besides learning full time or if she got upset because he didnt respond with doing some out right mitza.

Anonymous asked her husband the same question (a long time ago), and anonymous' husband said that he would take yeshiva boys fishing so they can relax and they can teach him Torah on the boat...Anonymous loves her husband :) and would make him learn half the day...yes, I said MAKE, think of me as an eishes chayil :)...

Husband will have more to write later.

Jessica said...

While I completely disagree with her about the "Hashem wouldn't make it a mitzvah to learn if "not everyone were cut out for it" thing, I don't think you can fault her for having a certain preference in the guys she dates. Take, for example, yours truly. I refused to date anyone under 6 feet tall and I never did (mostly because the first guy I dated, I married and he's 6"4). Most people have that "something" that they won't let go of when looking for a potential spouse. Mine was height, hers is learning full time if they were to come into a lot of money.

frumskeptic said...

I have no idea what you want to be called:
"It's well known that the Rambam and those who follow him (meam loez on 'avot' for e.g.) have a very negative opinion towards ANYONE who lears full time (meaning, it's 'assur' for everyone). "

I love RamBam. I read that before,and it made me so happy :). My teachers on the otherhand were really ticked and had nothing to say until they asked their Rabbi's. :) And their answers were completely retarded, like "Its different now-a-days" type of thing.


Lol... Take them fishing, thats the funnies thing I've ever heard. :).

Jessica: I dont mind if she has a preference. She just thinks that the only reason one shouldnt learn full time is only because of money. Meaning if say I won all the money in the world, and I didnt go too more shuirim or s/t, that would be a bad thing and somehow in her twisted logic "assur".
Plus...this situation is so hypothetical, I think its even ridiculous to go by something like that.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Um, I'm basically writing this only for Anita's sake; if one really doesn't know their opinions, these are some of the things said in defense of learning full time-

1. The Rambam himself did (for a tenure).

[The only people who fully followed the opinion of the Rambam were the Jews in Yemen, where there was no scholor who did't also have a trade.]

2. The Rabbi's in 'Ashkenaz (France and Germany) never accepted that. The 'or zarua' (Austrian-Jewish scholar or the 14th century) wrote specifically that their should be people who get paid from communal taxes to 'be Rabbis' (only one per community).

3. From a historical perspective with the rise of industry came the rise of 'high schools' and 'universities' (as opposed to monasteries) in Europe. With the rise of post grade school education among goyim, came the rise of post grade school yeshivas in Europe. It can be said that post high school yeshiva is, in a way, paralel the 'cheider' of old.

4. From a halachic perspective some are of the opinion that one must learn as much as they can, while still having at least some food, clothing and shelter. Rabbi Israel Meir Hakohen (mishna berura) was of such an opinion for example.

5. Society in 'lower' that is was before, so we need more of a forteified protection from it.

I personally don't agree with any of that, but it's good to know everyones opinions.

Jessica said...

I hear what your saying. It is irritating.

Oh, and I noticed I'm on your blog list. YAY!

Jessica said...

So I know that you've moved on from this post already, but something still feels unsettled to me about it and I couldn't help but comment... again.
You wrote that you bet a majority of Lakewood guys that learn full time aren't cut out for it, but I don't see how that can be true. This is what they are trained their whole lives to do. If you were to say that there are probably many who are not passionate about learning, I would tend to agree with you, but I don't believe that loving what you do and being good at it necessarily coincide. Also, what other option do these full-time learners have? Many of them are not encouraged to go to college, some are probably even told not to go. If these guys get rid of their full time learning, what else are they supposed to do?

frumskeptic said...

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט:
Thanks, found the info rather interesting. Like you I do not agree with those opinions.

Jessica: “I don't believe that loving what you do and being good at it necessarily coincide.”

I agree, However, there is a difference between not being passionate about a career and not being passionate about learning. A career usually is just a tool to make money to live. Most people, even if they love their job would not keep it if they had all the money in the world, even if they really enjoy their jobs, simply because there are other passions one wants to persue. Learning Torah is not a tool. Learning torah is supposed to be a passion that happens to also bring one a “better life”… if one learns without passion there is no purpose to it.

“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” Leonardo da Vinci

This quote I feel highlights the exact problem in the frum community. A lot of the boys learn simply because (as you pointed out) that’s all they know. In reality they really don’t know anything, and then you end up having ridiculous chumras and random banning. It ends up just competition on who can be frummer, because that literaly all they know. “who can keep the Torah better?” There isnt even a passion to it, its more like a sport. So these boys study without passion, and they (and alot of the frummies as a whole) have forgotten the real meaning to being frum.

About the whole they cant even go to college thing..that really worries me. But they did that to themselves.

Jacob Da Jew said...

I agree with the dude you quoted.

In fact, when I went on an interview with a frum firm, the convo moved towards religion and I firmly declared myself as the kind of guy who will work till he dies, I do not look forward to "sitting and learning when I retire".


Lemme open a small shop selling cool stuff and enjoy life that way.

Bas~Melech said...

The girl has a right to want a husband who's more interested in learning... but regarding her standing up for the mitzvah, she should bear in mind that many more mitzvas are directly related to business or farming. Now, "would Hashem make it a mitzva" if people were meant to be learning all the time? The world runs on business for a reason, it's part of His plan.