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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 21:33:43 -0500 (EST) Subject: Difference between Univ Research and Kollel support The discussion on Kollel continues. Someone asked the difference between 'getting paid for doing university research' and 'getting paid for learning torah'. Isn't this a legitimate business activity these days. I actually asked this question once during shiur to Rabbi Soloveitchick. His response was that University research has 'no Kedusha' and therefore it is permissable to take money for Torah. I have tried to understand the underlying prohibitions in more basic categories. Perhaps the following has some value. In a profession there are 'standards' 'hierarchies' and 'ways of doing things'. I for example cannot train people to be electrical engineers--I am not qualified. If I did so train them and something happened I could be sued. Furthermore the professional leaders may have set 'quotas' on how many engineers they want per year--this would then inhibit certain people from coming after the threshold. But these 3 things---standards, lawsuits, quotas--are exactly what we DON'T want in Talmud Torah. Let us go over each of them separately STANDARDS: Of course we want standards in halachah. But not in Talmud Torah. If a person loves Gematrias, or a certain Midrash or an obscure seder of Mishnah then he should feel free to learn it, teach it, or enter into chevrutha. We do NOT want him attacked because he is not using the 'standard' learning tools. We want to encourage all learning. QUOTAS: We never want a situation where the Rabbonim say 'we have too may people in the Rabbinate--let us upgrade standards to lower the flow in' LAWSUITS: Of course, we want posayks to be responsible for what they are doing. But we want the general public to be able to learn without fear of reprisal. The goal of talmud torah is the PROCESS of learning not the RESULT. If a person wants to add a chumash and rashi shiur then whether that person is Dr Leibowitz or John Doe (and not explaining every Rashi properly) we want to encourage the learning process and activity itself. I feel that it is for this reason that it is prohibited to take money for Torah---it discourages an atmosphere of 'standards', 'quotas' and 'lawsuits'--it encourages an atmosphere where anyone can set up a shiur and pursue things according to their own understanding. (Again: Psak halachah is an exception). I hope this insight helps Russell Hendel; Phd ASA; Math; Towson Univ Moderator Rashi iS Simple; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/