Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Atheists in Kollel?

"Our Rabbis taught: When R. Eleazar b. Perata and R. Hanina b. Teradion were arrested, R. Eleazar b. Perata said to R. Hanina b. Teradion: Happy art thou that thou hast been arrested on one charge; woe is me, for I am arrested on five charges. R. Hanina replied: Happy art thou, who hast been arrested on five charges, but wilt be rescued; woe is me who, though having been arrested on one charge, will not be rescued; for thou hast occupied thyself with [the study of] the Torah as well as with acts of benevolence, whereas I occupied myself with Torah alone.

This accords with the opinion of R. Huna. For R. Huna said: He who only occupies himself with the study of the Torah is as if he had no God, for it is said: Now for long seasons Israel was without the true God. What is meant by 'without the true God'? — It means that he who only occupies himself with the study of the Torah is as if he had no God."

-Talmud, Avodah Zara 17b


Interesting, no?

13 comments:

Baal Habos said...

No problem, they don't Pasken like Rav Huna ;)

Anonymous said...

You don't think Kollel people do acts of benevolence?? Which world do you live on??

Orthoprax said...

Anon,

"You don't think Kollel people do acts of benevolence??"

Funny how you phrased that. Do you think _all_ Kollel people set acts of benevolence on equal rank with Torah study?

jewish philosopher said...

Kollel people are so busy being benevolent, they don't have time to read this blog.

Rabbi Joshua Maroof said...

Perhaps learning in Kollel is associated with atheism because it is a serious hillul Hashem (as per the Rambam).

A more benevolent thing to do would be to support yourself through working and contributing meaningfully to society, "yegia kapecha kee tochel, ashrecha v'tov lach".

Miri said...

the thing is, in theory no one disagrees with the concept that learning Torah and doing "acts of benevolence" (does not yelling at someone for bumping into them accidentally count as an "act of benevolence?")are equally important. the problem is in the practical application; this is what ppl don't take so seriously...

alex said...

While Rabbi Maroof bluntly claims that learning in Kollel is, according to the Rambam, a serious hillul Hashem, the following link provides a more worked-out understanding of the Rambam: www.torah.org/learning/rambam/talmudtorah/tt3.10.html

Rabbi Joshua Maroof said...

The peshat rendering of the Rambam is that he would categorically prohibit Kollel. This is how he has been understood for centuries.

Alex said...

Hi

Please consider writing news pieces or an op-ed for Jewrusalem: Israeli Uncensored News. We strive to present different views and opinions while rejecting political correctness. Ideally, we try to make the news "smart and funny." Thus, your input is very welcome.

Best,
Alex
www.jewrusalem.net/en

NYAPIKORES said...

fascinating. does this mean that serving in the israeli is ok by rav huna?

Orthoprax said...

NYA,

I presume you mean the Israeli army? - I would suspect so. The modern kollel movement is unlike anything ever seen in Jewish history and was simply impossible economically before modern times.

Virtually all the Rabbis of the Mishnah and Gemara had regular jobs too.

alex said...

"Virtually all the Rabbis of the Mishnah and Gemara had regular jobs too."

You took a survey of the twenty-four thousand disciples of Rabbi Akiva?

Orthoprax said...

Alex,

I was referring to the common names that we are familiar with.