Rabbi Yitzchok Etshalom
Talmud Torah 1:05
5: A person should always study Torah and then marry; for if he
marries first his mind is not free to study. However, if his
evil inclination was overcoming him such that his mind was not
free to study, he should marry and then study Torah.
Q1: Again, here, what is the essential Halakha - or is this
just good advice - *etza tova kamasha lan*? Also, this bears
comparing the Rambam in MT Deot 5:11 and the Kessef Mishna there.
KB: The essential Halakha is torah study. The good (or bad)
advice is to marry or not.
YE: R, in Deot, cites the Gemara in Sotah which indicates that
the proper way is to first find a profession, build a house and
then marry; but the fools marry first etc. The Kessef Mishneh
raises the problem that R changed the order from the Gemara - in
the Gemara, (Sotah 44a); the ideal order is to build a house,
find a profession and then marry; Kessef Mishneh answers that the
main objection is to marrying before being "set-up" for married
life; the profession and housebuilding are not of concern, as
long as both of them come first. In any case, this is almost
certainly an *etza tova* - good advice; there is certainly no
Halakhic restriction to marrying before study etc.
Q2: Why accommodate the *yetzer hara*?
KB: W/o yetzer hara the world would be a wilderness. It's not
evil in the conventional English/Xtian sense.
YE: True; also, the main goal here is to be able to learn. If
you are not bothered by single-hood, then clearly it is easier to
concentrate on learning without the responsibilities of family
life. However, someone whose singlehood gets in the way of their
other endeavors - that person's attempt to learn will be
relatively futile. In that case, you are doing what is necessary
in order to learn. This does point out the difference between a
point of law and good advice; if it were prohibited to marry
before, let's say, completing three Massechtot [tractates] or
some other "learning accomplishment", I doubt that we would make
an exemption because your human nature is getting in the way.
Rambam, Copyright (c) 1999 Project