Translate

1.2.17

When Torah is used for money as in kollel, this tends to cause what is known as Chilul Hashem.חילול השם desecration of the Divine Name.

This idea was not stated as such by the Rambam who simply said it is forbidden to use the Torah to make money or even to accept charity for learning.
Still the basic effect seems clear. When yeshivas are run to make money, they chase away all sincere people, and that leaves just the dregs.
This leaves great doubts about the Torah itself in the minds of many people that see this.

I myself have experienced this kind of thing,-- as I am sure many others have also. If you try to sit in a yeshiva and just learn Torah (as they claim to be doing), you will as a rule be thrown out unless they think they can make money off of you.

"תורתו אומנתו" does not mean to use the Torah as a means to make a living. {The permission not to pray is for a person whose Torah is his occupation.} The  yeshiva world as a rule purposely confuses this issue to make simple Jews think they ought to give them money. Maybe they should as some scholars thought like the Beit Yoseph. And maybe they should not as the Rambam thought. But one way or the other, that does not give permission to pervert the meaning of statements of the Chazal (Sages) in order to trick people.
[שכר בטלה means שכר הניכר. That is also a flimsy excuse. You can pay a person to judge a case if h is occupied in a job. You pay him the same amount that he was making. Not what he would have been making if had a job. plus שכר בטלה is for a judge and has nothing to do with our subject here.]


Still, in any case, I always  depend on lenient opinions when I find myself in need (which is all the time). So I can not blame people for depending on the Beit Yoseph. [In fact I have told people to stay in their kollels in Israel because of my being aware of their situations.] All I am saying is: the effect of this in the long run seems to cause something which is a sin to all opinions-- Chilul Hashem.

That being said I should admit that I was very impressed with a few Litvak yeshivas in NY and Ponovitch in Bnei Brak. But that is about it. Everything else seems to be  a scam. THEY LEARN Gemara in order to impress people. Not because of any real love of the holy Torah.

Branches of Ponovitch or places that were started by those that learned in Ponovitch also seems very good. I have to mention Shar Yashuv which is a place with no reputation, but to me it seemed to be the most sincere and also had an amazing level of learning, not just for a baal teshuva yeshiva but even the best of yeshivas. You might think I am being silly but to me it seemed that the Mir in NY was a step down from Shar Yashuv. [Being in Israel I think was a major step up but it seems to me today that for that to have been permanent I would have had to be learning Torah in some kind of Litvak environment.]

kollels were never right in the first place. They were invented by Reb Israel Salanter and were only because of the need of the hour. But since then the whole concept has deteriorated into using the Torah to make  a living.