Rav Avigdor Miller on Leaving Kollel

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Q:
The Rav has spoken to us often about common sense being an important part of how we approach certain questions. Wouldn’t common sense tell us that one has to work in order to make a living? So is sitting in Kollel common sense?

A:
You have to know that you have touched on a very important subject. If a person has funds or if his wife is an idealist and she prefers to work so that her husband can sit and learn, then as long as she prefers that, it will be a mitzvah to continue to learn in Kollel. But if she does not want or is not able to work, then he is michuyav to support his wife. He made a kinyan when he got married. He committed himself. “Ana eflach.” I am going to work. “Ana eizan.” I am going to support my wife. He’s michuyav to go to work.

It’s impossible for a decent man who doesn’t have any income to continue learning when he doesn’t have any way to support his family. Certainly he’s a choiteh! No question about it. And those people who dodge their responsibility and they therefore live in poverty and they’re suffering all kinds of troubles – just because they’re not willing to go out and support their families – those people are “asidin li’tein es ha’din.” No question about it. To be in Kollel when it’s possible to be in Kollel is a beautiful ideal. But when it’s not possible, it becomes a cheit.

TAPE #E-189