Sunday, April 12, 2009
Is this what Torah wants?
Yuntev has its advantages. Yes, there's the vicious cycle of eating, drinking and sleeping, and maybe some learning and davening thrown in for good measure, but it's a strain. Yet, you get to meet family and friends. that you may not have seen since last Yuntev. Many of those friends are readers of the blog and have lots to say about it and how its being conducted. They especially want the comments section to be cleaned up. "No more pointless comments that just repeat you hate, Rebbe hates, you goy, etc." You may spend hours catching up with those friends, and you may get to hear about meeting they've had with old schoolmates and friends. How despite all those years the friends have just grown to be so much more full of themselves. Yes, we're biased, but so would you once you hear the contrast in two situations. You can also help me decide whether the whole "Torah-learning" Keveyochol is worth a hill of beans.
Friend from out of town meets me and tells me his story. Picture this: He meets an old schoolmate on the 2nd day Yontev. After Mincha they stand outside shul and catch up on years of missed contact. Old schoolmate tells him how he's continued a life of complete devotion to Torah even after close to a decade of marriage and several kids. Old Schoolmate tells FFOOT that just like he was from the very best in Yeshivah, as OSM surely remembers, so too now. Now he lives - where else? - in Lakewood and has a modest brand new 5 bedroom house adorned by two cars for him and the missus. After all, getting to and from BMG every day can be cumbersome, and a late model Japanese import is needed for that daunting task. Being that the missus b"h need not work there's no need for a live in cleaning lady, only a 6 day a week four hour a day variety.... You get the picture: rich kid marries rich girl, gets everything he needs, PLUS gets to think that he's a Ben Torah, since he goes to BMG every morning... But, wait! there's more. FFOOT tells OSM that he won't settle for anything but the best when it comes to schools for his little ones. Only the absolute best. And he uses every contact and connection he has to basically take the place of some kid from a good family who doesn't have those connections.
Now, contrast that with OSM's relation who has the following situation: He has a sick oldest child, r"l. They had to leave Eretz Yisroel, where the husband was Hurreving in Torah, so that the child could get proper care here in the States. Not to be outdone, he continues to sit and learn here mitoch dachkus, living in a two bedroom Apartment with six kids. To say that they have ample food on the table is an overstatement. They get hand-me-downs from other hand-me-downs, third hand in other words. Cars are man dichar shmey, as are cleaning help and other amenities some of us are used to. So we have two families here, both supposedly "sitting and learning," and both supposedly "Kolel families." Bnei Torah, if you will. But we really don't. Living on someone else's dime, better than most people who work and try to be Kovea Itim, is no life of Torah. Especially if you sit there and patch zich in beichel. The clown is apparently "worried" that he may have to go work some time soon, for whatever reason, but he's not worried. He says he'll just go to law school and will find suitable employment soon after graduation. I guess in zechus of his "mesiras nefesh for Torah," right?