How can a kollel-man know when it’s time for him to leave the kollel to work?
Never. As long as he is being supported, then he should continue to learn. Whether the kollel supports him, or his or her parents support him, there’s no reason to leave. It’s never too late to go out into the world. And when he goes out with more learning and more ripeness of experience, more seichel, he will be more successful.
However, one criterion he must follow, and that is if they don’t have parnasa. When his wife says, “I don’t want you to learn anymore; I want you to work,” that’s it. A man can only do it if his wife gives him permission. Otherwise, the condition of the kesuvah takes over. אנא אפלח – I will work. And even though they made a condition beforehand, once she says that, he must go out and make a parnasa.
By the way, I want to tell you, when there’s a shidduch and the boy says, “I want to learn forever,” so have somebody talk to the boy. Ask him, “Do you really mean forever, mamish?!” And if he says yes, then good-bye.
If your wife is willing to work to support you, then let her go work as long as she’s willing. But as soon as she says she’s not willing, then the contract is changed now, and you fall back on the kesuvah contract, אנא אפלח – I will work and support you.
TAPE # E-94