Leading rabbi:
'Those who support Torah are treated as Torah scholars'

Arutz Sheva and Echad L'echad join together to support Torah learning and the next generation of Torah scholars.

Together with 'Echad L'echad' ,

ארכיון: לימוד תורה בישיבה
ארכיון: לימוד תורה בישיבה
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Arutz Sheva and Echad L'echad are continuing a joint special project to strengthen learning and support those who choose to study Torah for several years in order to raise the next generation of leaders and Torah scholars.

“It's clear that, like any discipline, Torah requires people who specialize in Torah,” said Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein, co-head of Yeshivat Har Etzion, when discussing people who choose to stay in yeshiva and learn.

“The role of the yeshiva is a dual role,” he continued. “On one level, it's to provide basic high-level Torah knowledge and the experience of Torah Lishma to everyone. We expect every yeshiva high school graduate to come to yeshiva and spend time immersing himself in the experience of Torah Lishma.”

The yeshiva also has a second role, explained Rabbi Lichtenstein, which is “to create Gdolei Torah – to produce the Torah leadership of the next generation or of this generation, and that of course has to be done by people who stay in the field. The lifeline of Torah in the next generation is the group who's going to stay in yeshivot and devote themselves to Torah throughout. They must, of course, be familiar with the outside world, exposed to it, conversant with it, but nevertheless they stay in the field and develop it.”

Regarding support for the yeshiva students, Rabbi Lichtenstein pointed out that “like everything in life - 'if there is no flour, there is no Torah.' We always need support for such projects. If you want someone to devote himself to Torah, you have to provide him with the material support so he can live comfortably and not struggle. It's not only a question of having enough money in your bank account to pay your grocery bill. It's also a question of how society treats students of Torah. If society thinks that professors and art curators and museum directors deserve to be paid properly because they serve a productive function in society, so too people who teach Torah deserve to receive the same compensation. A society which treats its teachers and those immersed in its basic spiritual needs as being in a lower rung of the socioeconomic scale has a problem with its value system.”

By supporting yeshiva students, one enables Torah to produce, which otherwise wouldn't be done because the person would be doing other things instead of studying.

Furthermore, said Rabbi Lichtenstein, “Judaism believes that a person belongs to a spiritual realm not only if he does it, but also if he aspires to it. The Gemara says that one is considered a native of Jerusalem if he either dwells there or aspires to dwell there. The same goes for Torah: Either a person has the opportunity to sit and learn and to develop, or he aspires to do so. Aspirations, which are expressed by support, are different than aspirations which are vague. When a person backs up his aspiration with support, it's a sign that he's dedicated to Torah and we treat him as a Torah scholar, because anyone who aspires to be a Torah scholar is considered spiritually as such.”

Click here to support outstanding yeshiva students.