What To Do (And Not To Do) When Asking To Leave Kollel

BMG_BldgBy Kollel Guy: Many people feel that leaving kollel is something that needs to be discussed first with a Rov, Rosh Yeshiva or the like. And they should, especially since this is a major decision in their life. No one should be in the position of making such an important decision without first seeking proper guidance. However, one must be very careful when presenting the issue that he does so in an open and straightforward manner. Why is this so? From my experience in interviewing many friends and acquaintances who went through the gut wrenching process of departing from kollel, there are many pitfalls to be avoided at all costs when presenting the matter to a higher authority.

First of all, it is very important to be open and honest about your feelings. Its not time to act self righteous or make believe you are something that you aren’t. If you do, you will be causing the advice giver to err in his response to you, since he will be basing it off an erroneous assesment of where you are holding.

Second of all, it is crucial that he hears your wife’s side of the story. The best situation would be if she could come and speak for herself and present her feelings about this issue, but that is not always so practical. Your wife’s feelings play a major role in the advice he will give you, and most of the time the husband is not fully aware or capable of giving over a true picture of her side of the story.

We have seen time and time again, especially with regards to the issue of when and how to leave kollel, that the response is what the person asking the question wants to hear. The biggest favor you can be doing for both yourself and your choice of daas torah, is to fairly and honestly present your feelings – and your wife’s feelings. That way, the person can hear you out and give you an answer that is the best for you.

Being honest about your feelings is probably the hardest part of this whole process. Work on yourself BEFORE you get advice. Otherwise, you will cause untold harm to yourself and your family.

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  1. I have much to say on this topic…but for now, one wor of advice..before getting ready to leave to the workforce..start up a seder in mussar.
    They say over from Rav Nosson ZTL, someone asked him about certain yungerleit who after 5 years removed from Kollel they were undiscernable from others who hadn’t spent their years “bein koslei bais hamedrash”. To that he responded, those are the ones who while in yeshiva didn’t learn mussar.

    ( Not that I ever learned Mussar seriously…but) Mussar will keep you attached to yeshiva..with mussar you will never “leave kollel”.

    On that note, Chovos Halivovos..Shar Habitachon..should be required for all who embark in any business endeavor.

    By keeping to a serious mussar seder ..that in itself will keep you in check. It is easy to certain things and still learn a sugya..one can justify things to themselves. But if they are attached to their mussar seder..they will either curb (or not start any behavior) or have to stop learning mussar. So if one is steadfast on never stopping the mussar that will be a shemira forever.

  2. There is a difference between those who have leave to make a parnusah or those who go out to make money! The one going to make money was seemingly never in kollel in the first place (said from r’ yosef rosenblum)

  3. The problem is that people leave Kollel only when they are stuck and need a lot of money and at that point it is very hard to make money, every job needs training and breaking into and in the begining you need to sometimes work for little money “to get into the field” , people have to leave before its too late

    BTW, where are all the BYE girls today?

  4. I see so many yungerleit that wake up one day and realize they have four children, their wife has no ability to juggle so much responsibility anymore, and they can’t even learn because they are so busy helping around the house. They rely on HUD and food stamps and they don’t know how to get out of the situation they are in. There is no job that would pay them enough to warrant getting away from all government programs. They become depressed, and do not know where to turn.
    I do not understand why the yeshivos don’t interview each potential kollel man and ask him what the future plan is. Are you taking a course twice a week? Are you going to work for the shver? If you plan to learn forever, will you get semicha? Be a rebbe? A rov? They need to be told the truth. Rebbeim get paid small salaries, sometimes no salary. I see so many marriages that are miserable, only because there was no planning at all.
    Yes some are lucky and find their way without any plan. But way too many kollel men could have been spared the suffering with the right hadrochah from the hanhala of their yeshiva.

  5. It’s hard for me to hear such words from my friends in Lakewood. Everybody learning is saving a velt. Learn the nefesh hachaim to see how great each of your learning is.One should learn not to become a Rov, but because Hashem wants us to.
    Since when is govt programs wrong, as long as it’s legal, why not enjoy the govt’s handouts.That’s why they are there ,otherwise, why would the govt. give it out if noone will take it.
    A little sechel hayashar please.

  6. Number 8!!! Of course you know what your talking about your a social worker and in Lakewood that means there is no one smarter then you. Especially since social work is all based on Torahdigah ideas not Chas V’sholom on Menus and Apikurses

  7. Why us your saychel yoshor? I think you sound very krum. Yes learning is very important. But so is the chiyuv you have to support your family. I commend your ability to overlook that you are. Living off the sweat of others for your. Spiritual lifestyle.

  8. This letter is not about weather or not one should sit in kollel. that is a something that should be decided before getting married and the whole “kollel movement ” so to speak , weather it is good or not is a whole different argument.

    what is posted here is a whole different topic and thats the move from kollel to the work force. or more precisely what to consider and how to present it to the people who you want to guide you.

    i would like to add a few of my own thoughts.

    the first honest question one needs to present , is when he falls off of cloud 9 sometime between a year and about 15 years after marriage and realizes that , yes maybe one day he may have to work- should he wait until the very end or should he start doinf something to mentally or educationally prepare before.

    also i would advise everyone to go to some sort of counceling with their spouses because it can cause many issues as it is a major change.

    i would also advise that for maybe a year before he should start learning full time outside yeshiva , in other kollels or beis medrishes it gives a much clearer and less bias view into making a decisions. to may people just sit around because all thier friends are there, and as soon as they move out they realize that . if someone moves out and leaves his chabura is still 100 % sure he wants to stay at learning a year later he knows its not just peer pressure.

    and last but not least

    DONT FOOL YOURSELF whichever road you choose ONLY YOU (and your kids) WILL GET HURT

  9. To #11.
    I do not understand what you find so krum. My wife and kids have ample food and clothing. what difference does it make to you whether I am working or not. Learn to be happy for someone else.Fargin yenner.
    Saical Hashor tells you, if you are being supported and if you go to work, that support will stop, then don’t go to work.

  10. Chazal say, Odom Rotzeh Kav Shelo Yoser MiTishah Kabim Shel Chaveiro.

    According to Chazal, therefore, seichal hayashar tells a man to work for his own living.

    This is besides for all the other problems caused by a husband not working, specifically an overworked wife and the sjhalom bayis issues

  11. Whats the chidush? who ever went to ask a rov a shailah usually wants to know what to do, so obviously you ask the rav the shailo without missing out important details. Unless your just seeking approval for your decision in that case dont bother asking a rov try working on your self esteem..

  12. I’m asking this to open my mind a little bit I honestly don’t understand, I don’t mean offend anyone but the way I was taught was that it is the mans job to financially support his family and the womens job to raise the children and obviusly it is eqaully important for the man to be kovaya itim latorah so I don’t understand when everyone started switching roles and the kids are raised by who again?

  13. As a yungerman going through the situation myself let me state some points.
    This part of life is a reall challenge for most people going through it. Most wifes are already on some path in thier carrers and the poor yungerman doesnt even know were to turn for help.The wife losses respect for her husband and soon the mariage is in the dumps. Yes there are mosdos that try to help. They do thier best but how much could we expect from them.
    If you feel that your time is coming closer to leaving start looking for something before you leeve kollel. This way you will still have structure and respect.

  14. i am not here to push kollel or anti kollel but i think people should start asking shailos much earliers

    1. at 18-19 when you decide not to go to school.
    2. when you get married. how long you should plan kollel for.
    3. every 2-3 years in kolllel you should take a full picture look at yourself.
    4 when you start thinking about leaving.

    kollel is great for those who can do it for the rest of their lives. but for those that cant – chochom einav berosho. and dont fool yourself.

  15. To 17, once our leaders, the einei haeida decided that this is the right way, who are we to ask questions.
    to 13, how am I being machshil anybody? I am being mezake people in helping me. I do not feel that they are doing me a favor, just the opposite, I do them a favor by taking their money.
    to 18, I sure hope everybody that chooses to marry a yungerman will respect him. If you do not like the kollel life, then why marry a yungermen.
    Remember, the Torah was given to the eater’s of the Mann.

  16. I learn in kolel and work too. Wht does it have to be “leaving” kolel or not. A persons tafkid is to learn as much as he can. He also has to support his family. But you don’t have to “leave” kolel.

  17. Poet, that’s exactly right and that’s the way the world is meant to be. If everyone would be like sam and always taking who would be there to make parnassah to give? Learning is very important- as is supporting ones family

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