I have a question – is it right for every person to strive to be a rav or a rosh yeshiva or something like that, a gadol batorah?
Should every person aspire to be a rav or a rosh yeshiva? And I say, definitely yes. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be your livelihood. You can be in parnasa and still be a rosh yeshiva. No contradiction. It’s possible for a rosh yeshiva, a gadol batorah, to have real estate income and he doesn’t need his yeshiva to support him. We had great men who were wealthy enough to be supported outside of the yeshiva.
But to be a rosh yeshiva doesn’t mean you want the kovod of a rosh yeshiva or you want the glory of being a rav. You want the status of success in Torah – that’s what you have to desire, success in Torah. Every Jew should want to become great in Torah.
And therefore, everybody should strive for greatness. And even though you are far away from it, in your heart you should feel, “I would like to be a talmid chochom; I want to be a gadol batorah.” Yes. Everybody should want to be a gadol batorah.
Now what about a woman? That’s a question that arises. What should women want to be when it comes to limud hatorah? Every woman should want to be a wife of a gadol batorah. And even though she married an ordinary man, she should feel that it would be her great privilege that her husband should learn – and the more he learns the greater her privilege. And the more she helps her husband to learn, the more it’s her zchus. She has 100% share – not 50% – in everything that he learns.
And if she has children, maybe she can realize all of her dreams in her children. And then again, many people who don’t have children, nevertheless if they identify with those who do have children and they support the yeshivos where other people’s children go and they’re happy to see others who learn, even that itself is a big achievement – just identifying with the Klal Yisrael that loves the learners. If you love the learners, that in itself is a big accomplishment for yourself.
TAPE # 934