Would you equate the pursuit of the dollar to idol worship?
And I say no. I say it’s very important to pursue dollars. My personal opinion is everybody should be interested in making money.
Let me explain that to you.
If you are a man who is succeeding in the knowledge of Torah and you’re able to devote all your days to Torah and you have some source of support, even a minimal source, then by all means. But do not deceive yourself. Today unfortunately there are many people who are sitting in shtieblach and wasting their lives. They’re not learning. They’re growing big bushy beards but they’re not learning. They’re wasting their lives. And some are not even able to get married because they’re not working. It’s a ruined life.
If it’s necessary to learn a parnasah and make a living in order to get married, you must do that. A man who doesn’t marry his life is 100% wasted. And I don’t mean married at the age of forty when it’s too late to have children. You have to start young and raise a family.
Everyone should be ambitious to have a big family and therefore you must earn money to support a family. Tuition in the yeshivos is quite expensive. And even shoes and even rent. Everything costs money.
And that’s why it’s a very big error for people who become idealistic loafers – some have big beards, some have kapotes, and they act like tzaddikim and they sit all day in the shtiebel. Most of the day is devarim bateilim. They tell stories or just loaf. A little bit they look in the sefer. But otherwise they don’t accomplish anything for themselves and don’t accomplish anything for Am Yisrael. And they’re disappointments. Their lives are wasted.
That’s why it’s important to learn a parnasah, to make a living and raise a family and make a nachas ruach leYotzro.
TAPE # 760 (October 1989)