More Discussions for this daf
1. The best of doctors 2. Rebbi Yehudah 3. Woe to the father of daughters
4. Parnasah 5. Rambam 6. Teaching a child Umnus
7. Animals at Work? 8. Rashi's Approval? 9. Prohibitions
10. נקייה וקלה 11. נקייה וקלה

Lipman Z. Rabinowitz asked:

The Rambam clearly paskans like R.Meir. He is opposed to earning a living from Torah. Therefore a parent clearly has an obligation to see that he has a trade from which he can derive income.The rambam was a physician. Your comments sound apologetic for those who wrongfully advocate that everybody learn in a kollel. Also that the frum community in Israel has no obligation to provide their sons with a solid secular education..

Lipman Z. Rabinowitz, Netanya Israel

The Kollel replies:

It is not uncommon for people to make the sweeping statement that the Rambam was "opposed to earning a living from Torah." This is patently false. The Rambam himself was in a Yissachar-Zevulun partnership with his brother who was a merchant. This only stopped when his brother was killed in a shipwreck on a business trip to India. It is true that the Rambam did not permit "being paid" to learn Torah, and it is widely held that this is why he opened his practice in medicine.

Additionally, the Shach (Y.D. 246:20) quotes many commentaries who argue on the Rambam, and says that the custom clearly follows their opinion. He says that without people being paid to learn, Torah would have been forgotten from Israel. Therefore, the Shach states, even if the law should follow the Rambam, it is clearly under the category of "Eis La'asos La'Hashem Heifeiru Torasecha" to permit this today, the same reason Rebbi used for writing down the Oral Torah. The Rambam would clearly agree to this. After all, do you think that the Rambam preferred that Torah be forgotten?

Additionally, is being in kollel deemed "being paid?" The Binyan Olam says that in many kollels where the stipend being paid is well below minimum wage, the Rambam would agree this is not called being paid. This logic is not a new creation, but rather the same way Dayanim are paid, known as "Sechar Batalah" -- "being paid for abstaining from work" (as they cannot be paid for judging). All of the above is clear reason, without having to be apologetic, why learning in kollel is not only permitted, but praiseworthy. It is also the reason why you now have an answer to your question.

Regarding advocating that everyone learn in kollel and the frum community in Israel etc., I would advise that you seek out someone who has this outlook and discuss it with them or their Rabbi at length if you really would like it explained to you. It is a little beyond the scope of this forum.

All the best,

Yaakov Montrose