Thursday, January 26, 2017

It's A Zchus

Rav Moshe Schapiro ztz"l was once at a chuppah. He related afterwards that he was standing next to a few gvirim who were worth about 20 billion dollars all together. But, he added ruefully, not everybody has the zchus to give....

I, too, was recently davening in a shul in Manhattan and was standing next to hundreds of millions of dollars. I wouldn't want to be them but I did wish I had the opportunity to help others like they have.  

Rav Moshe remarked on another occasion that if all of the wealthy people in Klal Yisrael would give just 10 percent of their money to tzedaka, then the entire Olam Hatorah would be saved and taken out of its dire straits. It is very rare to find any Yeshiva or Kollel that isn't struggling financially. 

So people say - WHAT?? A married man who isn't working?? How can that be? A person must work and learn on the side!! LIKE EVERYONE ELSE! Well, the Rambam expressed the same sentiments. I have heard it on countless occasions. I am not sure that the statement always comes from a place of Ahavas Hashem and Ahavas Hatorah. [From the Rambam it was].

Many many gedolei yisroel in the following generations argued with the Rambam and proved that one should sit and learn if possible and the Rambam himself writes [at the end of hilchos Shmita Vi-yovel] that there are individuals who are kodesh kodashim that can aspire to lead purely spiritual lives. 

In our generation specifically, many gedolim argue that since there is so much impurity outside of the Beis Medrash, it is like a mabul and the תיבה to save us is in the Beis Medrash. 

It is really a matter of Emunah. Does one believe all of the amazing things our tradition says about one who learns Torah?? That one who learns is bringing refuah to the world, parnassa to the world, that he is fulfilling the very purpose of creation etc. etc.That when one learns he becomes one with Hakadosh Baruch Hu, כביכול. That learning Torah is greater than any mitzva. That one can only merit תחיית המתים if he learns Torah etc. etc. I believe that people, even those who learn, are weak in their Emunah. Do people REALLY BELIEVE that one line of Tosfos is worth more than all of the money in the world? Hardly. 

So what we need is to be mechazek our Emunah in the significance of Torah, the power of Torah and the crucial necessity that we all learn Torah as much as possible. 

If people who had the means would believe this then so many avreichim would be able to learn with מנוחת הנפש. Now they drown in debt, which is no boon to focus, concentration and simchas chaim.

And if one doesn't believe in the idea of married men learning full time - then he should at least support the Torah of our holy, pure children.  

It is a HUUUGE zchus that pays eternal dividends.