Friday, July 16, 2004

Berachos 8a

Gemara: R' Chiya bar Ami said in the name of Ulla: One who sustains himself from his own handiwork is greater than one who is a Yarei Shamayim. Because, by a Yarei Shamayim it is said, "Lucky is the man who fears Hashem," and by someone who sustains himself from his own handiwork it is said, "When you support yourself from your own handiwork, you are lucky and it is good for you." [The gemara elaborates:] You are lucky in this world, and it is good for you in the world-to-come. But by a Yarei Shamayim it does not say, 'It is good for you.' "
It seems to me that we can explain this gemara based on the mishna in Avos 2:2. "R' Gamliel the son of R' Yehuda the Nasi says: Learning Torah is good, when it is accompanied by work - because working at both of them causes sin to be forgotten." If so, then one who is a Yarei Shamayim, and presumably spends a lot of time learning still has his Yetzer HaRah - while the one who sustains himself from his handiwork (and also spends time learning, of course) forgets to sin! That means that he doesn't even have the Yetzer Harah, so of course he's on a higher level, in that sense, than the Yarei Shamayim.
Please note: This should not be understood as an attack on the Kollel lifestyle, or an endorsement of the Torah uMadda or Torah Im Derech Eretz Lifestyle. That is left up to you and your Rebbe/Rabbi. Anyway, as it happens, most Kollel people do work some side job besides their regular Kollel learning.   


Blogger RelatioNet said...

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19/7/04 2:55 AM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Thanks, I found it by myself after I came up with the eSefer name independently. There are also books on the site which are decidedly NOT sifrei kodesh... Caveat emptor!

19/7/04 3:05 AM  

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