The guilt of the Rebbi

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Many Rebbeim were people who were once in Kollel. They once had high ambitions that they might one day become Gedolim. That they will be leaders of the Jewish People. That they might author some important Sefer. And then they could not stand the financial situation they were in… so they got a job in Chinuch.

On Rosh Hashana I asked such a Rebbi if that is what he would prefer. Would he prefer, instead of spending time teaching, to spend the day in his own spiritual growth?

He said that many times, he wishes he would not have to spend his time teaching on levels that were below him, but instead grown on his own level.

I had the Rambam opened to the very beginning of the laws of Talmud Torah. Here is what it says.

רמב”ם הלכות תלמוד תורה פרק א הלכה ב
כשם שחייב אדם ללמד את בנו כך הוא חייב ללמד את בן בנו שנאמר והודעתם לבניך ולבני בניך, ולא בנו ובן בנו בלבד אלא מצוה על כל חכם וחכם מישראל ללמד את כל התלמידים אף על פי שאינן בניו, שנאמר ושננתם לבניך מפי השמועה למדו בניך אלו תלמידיך שהתלמידים קרויין בנים שנאמר ויצאו בני הנביאים, אם כן למה נצטוה על בנו ועל בן בנו, להקדים בנו לבן בנו ובן בנו לבן חבירו.

The Rambam starts off the laws of Talmud Torah – about the Mitzvah of teaching, before the Mitzah of learning. The Mitzvah of teaching is at the root of the Mitzah of Torah. This is the most important part of the Mitzah. The meat and potatoes. How could you want to give that up?

About the author, Yosef

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