Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend
Rambam

Rambam

Rabbi Yitzchok Etshalom
Talmud Torah 3:7

7: Perhaps you will say: "I will gather much money, then I will return to study" [or] "I will acquire what I need and then, when I can neglect my business affairs, I will return to study" - if such a thought occurs to you, you will never merit the *Keter Torah*. Rather, make your Torah *Qeva'* (a fixed matter, the first priority) and your work *Arai* (temporary, secondary - opposite of *qeva*) - and do not say: "When I have free time, I will study" - perhaps you won't ever have free time.

-Q1: Is this Halakha addressing someone who is already studying and thinking about taking a "leave of absence" or someone who is making a career choice?

KS: The former. He says "return to study", not "begin study".

YF: I would think that in the first part of the Halacha R would be talking to someone who wants to sit and learn all day, but is alos worried about parnasah. In the second part -make your Torah *Qeva* and your work *Arai*- he is talking to every Jew.

Q2: Does R literally mean that even entertaining such a possibility permanently disqualifies you from achieving *Keter Torah*?

KS:Realistically, yes. If that's your attitude, you will be permanently sidetracked.

YF:R is trying to tell us that once you involve yourself in making money you will never be satisified and will not want to stop, and that at the same time you are working you are wasting precious time.

Q3: How do we understand *Qeva*? Accordingly, how do we understand *Arai*?

KS: It's a frame of mind. Qeva might be translated as "vocation" and Arai as "avocation". Qeva is what you ARE and Arai is what you DO.

YF: Qeva would mean your main goal and Arai secondary. Even if you have to work all day and only have a small amount of time to learn your learning should still be more important to you.

Q4: Note that R adds (following the Mishna in Avot) - "perhaps you won't ever have free time." - isn't it important to learn right now, even if you were assured of having free time later?

SG: We are guaranteed at least 24 hours of "free time" once a week, on Shabbat. This would seem the place to begin any commitment to a first priority of study. But, if someone cannot make the commitment to study even on Shabbat, when he does not have to work, how could he possibly make it "qeva" when he is faced with the demands of the work week?

KS:R isn't talking about average every-day type of learning. He's talking about dedication. If I were assured of having free time later, I would say, let me concentrate on something else now, and I will concentrate on Torah then, without distractions. But it doesn't work that way. Dedication means grabbing every spare moment, now and always.

YF: Even if you know you're going to have time later, it is, of course better to learn now - but what R is telling us is that, first of all, if you push it off now you will also push it off later. And that if you use the time now your time later will be better used and you will reach a higher level.

Rambam, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

The Rainbow Coalition
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

People In Stone Houses Should Not Cast Bricks
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

The Shame Of Cham
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

> The Name of HASHEM
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Raising Children: The Secret of Success
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Generation to Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Investing in the Land
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Improving Our Own World
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Immorality Around Us
Shlomo Katz - 5759

ArtScroll

Priorities Define A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

A World is Built!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Survival Syndrome
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5775

Looking for a Chavrusah?

“Live & Let Live?”
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Taking the Initiative
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

If it Hurts, Scream!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Who By Fire, Who By Water
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information