By 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.