Search This Blog

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chasam Sofer wrote that it's more important to work in Israel then to learn Torah!

What? Is that true? Is DIN making all this up? Oy vey, what will all the charlatan Roshei Yeshivah in Israel say to this Chasam Sofer?
 That he is a heritic? 
Don't believe one word I say, read the Chasam Sofer for yourself!
and now a comment from Rationalist Judaism
Rabbi Tzvi Liker sent me one of the most extraordinary Torah perspectives I have seen in a long time. It's all the more amazing because of who it comes from. Rav Moshe Sofer, a.k.a. Chasam Sofer (1762–1839), is widely considered to be the "father of Orthodoxy." He was the Rosh Yeshiva of Pressburg and a staunch opponent of any reformations of Judaism, leading to his famous saying, "That which is new, is forbidden by the Torah." 

The discussion relates to the well-known dispute in the Gemara between Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai about learning Torah versus working. Rabbi Yishmael teaches that the study of Torah is to be accompanied by earning a livelihood, as per the verse that we recite in Shema, "Ve'asafta deganecha - And you shall gather your grain." Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, on the other hand, says that one should devote oneself to Torah, and God will ensure that one's needs are provided for. Abaye observes that many followed the lead of Rabbi Yishmael and succeeded in both working and learning, while most of those who followed Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai did not succeed in either.

Enter Chasam Sofer. He cites a view that one should ideally follow Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and dedicate oneself solely to Torah, arguing that when Abaye observes that many people didn't do well in that path, this is because they didn't really devote themselves to it properly, but a special person who is truly dedicated to Torah will manage to succeed. Chasam Sofer himself says that "we" (it's not clear who he's referring to) follow Rabbi Nehorai, who argues with Rabbi Meir's instruction that one should teach his child a trade, and says that he will only teach his son Torah.

So far, this sounds very much in accord with someone representing the right wing of Orthodox Judaism. But now comes the "but." And it's the "but" to end all "buts"!

But, says Chasam Sofer, but, this is only true in the Diaspora. In the Diaspora, there is no reason to work at a trade except to earn a living; furthermore, enhancing the economy of one's host country accentuates the fact that the Jews are in exile. Accordingly, if one can truly dedicate oneself to Torah and succeed that way, there is no reason to work, and this is what Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was referring to (and Chasam Sofer argues that even Rabbi Yishmael would agree).

In Israel, on the other hand, it's entirely different. Here, Chasam Sofer says, one does not only work the fields in order to make a living. There is also the mitzvah of yishuv ha'aretz, settling the land. In the same way as one stops learning Torah to put on tefillin, says Chasam Sofer, one stops learning Torah to farm the land, which is the mitzvah of yishuv ha'aretz. Chasam Sofer explains that yishuv ha'aretz does not just mean living in Israel; it means developing the country. He further says that not just farming, but all industries and professions, are part of settling the land and giving it honor. Chasam Sofer adds that it would be a deficiency in the honor of Israel if a certain profession does not exist there, requiring products to be imported from abroad.

This is staggering! According to Chasam Sofer, there is a mitzvah for people in Israel to leave yeshivah and learn a profession quite separate from the requirement to provide for one's family. It's important for Israel to have doctors and engineers and all the professionals that a country requires in order to have honor (and to counter the brain-drain that currently exists). Likewise, people who make aliyah to Israel and bring their professional skills are fulfilling the mitzvah of yishuv ha'aretz in a much more significant way than merely by living here.

Chasam Sofer states this idea in two places. Don't take my word for it - above is a scan of both passages. Read and be amazed! And share it with those who believe that anyone encouraging people in Israel to leave yeshivah and enhance the workforce can only be a Torah-hating Amalekite!


DIN:
I also refer you to the introduction to the Chasam Sofer on Chumash.

There he decries the practice of not teaching your son a trade and having him learn full time.

This, he says, will result in boys marrying only for money and creating issues in Jewish homes and marriages.

I guess that today he would be called a sonei dos.


16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree.
I'm from Lakelalaland NJ.
The inyan is to learn all day and let the other non learning yokels do the charisha and zriyah. Mheiche tayseh , that a ben-Torah should bashmutz himself with secular work?
Learning a trade should be done in the beiskiseh where learning Torah is not permitted. Not even in Eretz Yisroel , or as the Zionist usurpers call it- State of Israel.
The Chasam Sofer's shittah is lich'orah shver , but here in our wonderful golus, where we have so much freedom from the malchus, it's a sofek if one is permitted to learn a trade, get a job etc, when we can learn all day, promise our nerdy and naive father-in-laws, (Shver) with Olam Haboh for helping us shteig. To live in Ey is a wonderful thing but we're not yet near the real geulah, so for what? And giyus on top of that!! Shimu Shamayim.. A draft? The chilonim should guard us, let them offer their sons,to protect yidden and klall Yisroel.- but we? We sit and learn. The Ch. So. bichlall lived in a different era.
In any case , we have gadolim who differ or bichlal aren't goiress the Chasam Sofer bizmaneinu because of the aforementioned reason. Especially since we aren't permitted to live in Eretz Yisrael just yet. We have to shepp as much golus as we can, while we can.To learn in galos is more imporatant than living and doing charisha in EY. Aye, you ask it says that it explicitly says that avir of chutz l'aaretz is tomei?
That my friend, is only a klal. Bur Lakelalaland is an exceptional pratt.
In Lakelalaland, we have affordable housing so we don't have to brech a kupp about rent, look for work or learn a bittul-Torah trade and be exposed to chitzoynius and stamm hevel, especially if the olam haboh-promised nerdy shver is so generous with his hard-earned gelt.
Though I don't want to chas vesholam argue with the Chasam Sofer as far as shittah is concerned, I WILL learn his Toireh purely as a geshmake pshat in a posuk. That much I'll grant you.

Anonymous said...

It seems clear that the Chasam Sofer is not referring to a time when Eretz-Yisroel is in the hands of a secular government.

There is no logical reason to think that he would obligate to bring "Kovod" to a secular country.

A little "Saichel" please...

Jacob F said...

There are Achronim that dispute the Mitzvah of "Yishuv Eretz-Yisroel" as a "Choyv" while there is exile.
And the Chassam-Sofer quoted here does not indicate otherwise.

In other words, this Chassam-Sofer is most likely referring to when Eretz-Yisroel is/was in the hands of Torah-Jews exclusively. NOT when it's run by a secular government.
(He refers to "bringing honor to the country". Do you really think he means "honoring" a secular country that contains churches, women in the military, "Gay-pride" parades, rampant Chillul-Shabbos, movie theaters, mixed-swimming beaches and pools, Non-Kosher eateries, etc. etc. ??!!!!! )
Come on! We need to use our common-sense. IMHO this is making a mockery of the Chassam-Sofer ZT"L !

I can well understand the importance of Parnossah.
But the Chassam-Sofer here is certainly not discussing the Israel of nowadays.

Anonymous said...

To the 2 Anonymous above explaining away the Chasam Sofer.
Listen, except for a few years under Shlomo Hamelech's reign, Jews were not observing the Torah as should be. Vhu Reiyeh... 2 , not 1, but 2 beis Hamikdashes were destroyed.
The extraordinary aveiros recorded in Nach are incomprehensible especially in the Malchei Yisroel territory. In other words , to borrow your phrase, a secular government... Here, let me record a few of them , actually with your help... I'll almost copy and paste... Chillul Shabbos, homosexuality,non-kosher eateries, desecration by kohanim who exposed their behinds in the heichel, a king that slept with his mother, murder, robbery, oppression of widows and orphans and churches ( altars, bomos to avodah zoroh),,,,,,,. Nevertheless, the mitzvah of working the land of Israel still pertains. Hence, the Chasam Sofer speaks for all time.
That said, there are also RISHONIM who dispute what YOU said and that mitzvas yishuv DOES pertain to exile. Ramban is one of them.
Hashem's signal to return to Eretz Yisroel was rejected by you the frummies, or to put it your way , you with seichel. Hence, they, the dedicated pioneers worked the land, defended it, bled for it, died for it and brought G-D's word into fruition have a zchus that you, the small-minded critics can't imagine.... And many, many of them were frum Jews from Poland, Germany, Hungary and Russia. Many, many frum who worked together as one with the chiloni. BTY... for another topic and another day, I'll explain why som many broke from dati religion..( Hint, hint, wink, wink,... Look in the mirror.) . You don't know the zechusim of even yourselves, much less anybody else's.
You had the choice of immigrating en masse and make it a religious country but you didn't. You listened to rabbis who told you stay in Golus and the results were a bloody end. You DON'T know the ways of Hashem. Don't read the megillah on Purim because Esther, a Jewish woman married a goy against the din of the Torah. For this act some parents sit shiva for their children. Yet, yet, yet , the miracle happened davka this way. Do you understand it?
Read a little more of Harav Kook and Harav Teichtal who will explain it to you.
Stop whining about the secular state. It's here because of Divine Providence and there are miracles there every moment. Hashem's hand watches over this so-called secular state.
To deny it is kefirah, apikorsus. In other words, lack of "seichel."
On second thought, I don't even want a religious government until Moshiach comes. Who's going to run it ? Belz? Lakewood? Mizrachi? Sephardic? Yemenite? Who?
You , the chareidim have no achdus anyway and you'll be fighting over money and kovod all day, so who need it?
It's rather obvious, that you'll use any argument, any farvorfene svoreh to attack the State and explain away the Chasam Sofer. It's not going to cut it. I consider myself part of the mainstream pro-Zionist Jewry who resent the hijacking of the Torah and Yiddishkeit by the extremist , barbarian zealots who are battling against us in Lakewood, Williamsburgh, Mir, Brisk, fanatical Sefardim, chareid weekly and monthly rags demeaning our Holy Land. The things I hear about its future coming out of the filthy mouths of extreme frummies is horrible. That it C"VS won't last. Too bad. We won, you lost. It's here, growing, new homes,new roads, medical facilities, good economy, more Torah there than anywhere in your lover's lair. (Galos)
. Be honest..... You really don't like EY, do you? secular or religious makes no difference... It's a bone in your miserable throats, ain't it? Why? Why are you afraid of it? Hold on.. Lemme ask the meraglim...
There.. I feel better already.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jacob F,
Do you or don't you believe that the Ribbno Shel Olam wants every Jew to be frum? Certainly you do. In that case be exemplary role models from whom they could learn.
Teach them, be mekarev them, show them the light. Why should they be frum? Your money hungry leaders and religious MKs fight over the $$$$$, chareidim don't want to share the burden, attack chilonim as well as fellow chareidim and modern Zionists with rocks, spittle, curses and uber-chumras. Ordering women off buses throwing rocks on Shabbos,joining ultra-leftists and post-Zionist radicals in distorting facts about the history of Israel, repeating fanatical Muslim mantras and falsehoods about the State, etc.
What kind of role model is that??
Using the Torah to evade army responsibilities, re-interpreting Chasam Sofers to fit square pegs into round holes,pretending to understand Hashem's ways when the facts show the opposite. Teach and show the chilonim about the nissim that occured in every war with the Arabs, teach and explain the nissim that occur every moment. But first, you have to recognize it yourselves, You don't. In that case,who are you to revise a Chasam Sofer?
You know what the biggest crime that anti-Zionists like yourself are guilty of?
Cooling the hearts of the regular amche Jew towards EY. Throwing cold water on the excitement that after 2,000 years Hashem has stepped up and has mercifully returned us from exile, a stunning revelation that hasn't happened to any civilization since Sheshe yemei breishis.. Poo-poo-ing the warmth we have for this land, casting doubt in Jewish minds and hearts about the validity of EY. Name-calling Jews like me who accept and believe the extraordinary miracles, not because of the non-religious , but in spite of them. Loving EY not because we approve of chillul Shabbas... but IN SPITE of it. See the difference?? Why, there are Christian denominations who believe in the events that are happening and are excited for Israel, their motivations not relevant. That, my friend, is your biggest crime.Instead of preaching and helping Jews get excited about Aliyah, you reject it, waiting here for who know what...
Interestingly, unless someone shows me otherwise, Dovid Hamelech's prayers about enemies that wanted to do him in, prayers that Hashem should save him,those enemies were for the most part Jews... Frummies... very little about other nations... but frummies who wanted to hijack the religion.. Talmidei Chachamim... those that misinterpreted the famous posuk about Moabites...That he wasn't permitted to rule as king.. They, the Sanhedrin even, were wrong... He was right.

Anonymous said...

AND, machlokes between Chasidic dynasties over $$$$, property and leadership,brother against brother,against uncle, dynasty against dynasty, Litvishe rabbonim infighting. What validity do they have that we should listen to them? They're only unified when it comes to their hated medineh.
What inspiration do they offer? What right do they have to criticize chilonim? What is the difference, in fact, between them and chilonim anyway?

Anonymous said...

I'm only , as they say in Yiddish, a "Grooder Mechel" from near Pikin Ave, East New York-Brownsville Brooklyn, 2 blocks from the defunct Lowe's Theate and pushcarts on Belmont and Prospect.. Grew up with old American born Yankee Jews from Depression days who were never mechallel Shabbos in those years.. you wouldnn't be able tell just by looking at them... Humble, G-D fearing , non-judgmental , lovers of all types of other Jews,, Holocaust survivors,a motley crew of the usual nebisches, shlemazels who were dear to our hearts, loved them , and also successful types, luckier ones. Shalosh seudos in shuls was a diet of soft reddish looking herring similiar to today's Matjas but not quite the same, had a distinct , let's just say, odor, and leftover sponge cake (pseudo lekach)from earlier day- kiddush. It was only recently that found out why. In those days , the people with few teeth were better able to chew on these. Couldn't afford dentists, bridges, caps, whatever..!! What I would give to see these Jews one more time. Mechel, Sam, Max ,the grocer, Mrs.K..... with her red cheeks, Holocaust survivor, selling onions, bananas and potatoes from a pushcart. Arguing with a skeptical customer over the quality of an onion. She sliced one onion open, put it near the lady's nose and said in exasperation" Versuchen Sie... taste it.." The seltzer man, friendly, non-judgmental, frum? not frum? Who knows, who remembers, who even cares. A good Jew, poshut, hard working. I miss , not the poverty of that era, but an aspect of that era... non-judgmental Jews living together from all stripes shades, all listening to Jewish radio on WEVD, Israel not issue, kollels non-existent... No young lady telling her father, as my friend's eligible but critically brainwashed daughter recently told him about a prospective shidduch date with a certain good bocher " Only bums go to work, I won't date bums"
Whatever !!!! That's not what I want to bring out.


Sefer Chareidim, perek 59:

"... Tzarich kol ish yisroel lchavev es eratz yisroel v'lovo Aylehu meafsei eretz bitshuko gedolah k'ben el cheik imo, ki techilat avoneinu shenikbeah lanu bechiya ladoros, yan moasnu bo, shnemar' Vayimasu be'eretz chemdah'."
This is from a tzaddik living post churban beis, and urging Jews to make Aliyah.
Furhermore,he states....Smichas Amalek and biyas Eretz isroel are connected to show that just like the biyah rishona Amelak came to block the door, so too in the end, Amalak will come to block the way. and he adds.... K'asher eineinu royos hayom tomid...!!!!!!

I was in total simcha when I saw this, because I've rebutted those who claim that Israel is a source of anti-Semitism by pointing out this very same fact.

It's a great day when the Chareidim shows Torah proof of what I said.
In fairness, he DOES warn against sin in Eretz Yisroel in strong terms. Nobody argues that. So how to fix it? Please read my earlier posts for a way to start.. Thanks

Dusiznies said...

To Jacob F
The Chasam Sofer clearly does not distinguish between secular and a religious Eretz Yisroel.....

Which "Achronim" dispute Yishuv Eretz Yisroel?
The Vilna Gaon? The Baal Shem Tov? The Netziv? Reb Yisroel Salanter? The Chasam Sofer?
They all attempted to make Aliyah and only because of the Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel, there was no other reason!

Anonymous said...

What would the Chassam Sofer say about those able-bodied men who sit and learn while collecting government subsidies at the expense of the "shmucks" who go to work??? Talk about Yashrus

Jacob Friedman said...

Dear Commentors,

Most of you misinterpreted my comments.

I carefully and specifically avoided revealing my personal thoughts on this topic. (regarding working/learning)
I only wrote that this particular piece by the Chassam-Sofer does not apply to the current situation.

Perhaps you will find proofs from other sources. Maybe even other Chassam-Sofer writings. Fine. But THIS Chassam-Sofer is not a valid proof. That's all I said about this Chassam-Sofer.

As for the Mitzvah of loving the land of Eretz-Yisroel... read carefully what I wrote and you will notice I did not write anything contrary.

(Even the Satmar Rebbe Z'L loved the land with all his heart. His original intention was to continue living there. He stayed in America [after coming here for a 1-year "visit"] only because of intense pressure from his American Chassidim and Reb Michoel Ber Weismandell Z'L. Rav Weismandell passionately argued that the Rebbe will accomplish much more while in America.)

As for the Mitzvah of living in E.Y. that too I did NOT contradict. (Heaven forbid.)
All I wrote is that there are numerous Posskim that hold it's not a "Choyv" (mandatory obligation) nowadays.
In other words, it certainly is a Mitzvah to visit, live and/or settle in the land (provided one keeps the Torah and Mitzvos)... it's just not an obligation like Shofar or Lulav-Esrog. Not until Moshiach.

In regard to the other topics (working, learning, Army, Chareidim, etc. etc.) that would require many pages of discussion.
(IMHO some Commentators are over-simplifying the issues, as if it's all simple "black and white".)

p.s. Disclaimer: I hereby do NOT endorse the spitting and rock-throwing and etc.
Thankfully they are committed by only a small percentage of the Chareidim. (Despite what the media would have us believe.)

Dusiznies said...

To Jacob Friedman
I never said they didn't love Eretz Yisroel
I said they are against the mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel
The Mitzvah of Yishuv is amongst the Taryag Mitzvahs according to most "monei Hamitzvos""
The Rambam doesn't mention it but does mention all the mitzvos that are Nogai only in Eretz Yisroel
I direct you to the pesicha to R' Yaakov Emden written in the 1700's that says that All Tragedies that befell the Jewish people is only because they do not make the effort to go to Eretz Yisroel
About the Satmar Rav , I believe he may have loved Eretz Yisroel but succeeded in planting a rabid hatred in the souls of his followers against Eretz Yisroel!

Anonymous said...

Jacob,
You're right--- It's not all black & white. By the same token, the other side should treat our side the same. Not all black. The fanatical "other side" aka "sitra achrah" finds nothing good about Zionists and Zionism.

Re: Satmar Rebbe.
Why is everyone kissing up to this man?
Under his reign, people were assaulted, cursed, machlokes, vandalized stores, businesses and terrorist acts. I'm what Italian-Ameicans call "long in the tooth." Old enough to remember this stuff. Let me use this opportunity to coin a new moniker for him : The Teflon Rebbe... Nothing stuck to him, he was able for some reason to get away with this shtick. The Teflon Rebbe is revered by the Lakelala crowd because R' Aron ( founder of a million$$$ Kotler dynasty ) Kotler was also anti-Zionist.
His denial that Zionists saved his life. Telling his people back in Transylvania not to run but he ran. ( See: Footnotes in back of book, signed affidavit from survivor... Kastzner's Train by Anna Porter) The spot he took on Kasztner's Train meant that somebody else went you know where.
His annual Seudas Hodoeh. I don't know anybody Holocaust survivor that made a party with hats and tin whistles.
His book, Al Hagula V'al Hatmurah is a falsification of facts. His language against the Zionists is abominable and baseless. His facts about the 6-Day War are so childishly false. Anybody who lived through that time of June 1967 can easily dispute his nonsense. Why is he getting away with this? Because he was teflon, stupid.

Anonymous said...

I want to amplify on what I wrote about teflon.
I'm not suggesting nor have proof that he ordered or even condoned the hoodlumism, which included harassment of rabbonim including Klausenburg and Reb Moishe.
I'm saying that if you're head of IBM, Chicago Cubs, president of an organization, you take responsibility for the actions of people under you. If you can't control them , you simply resign. Resign, and punch a clock and try to sneak in a little overtime to boot, like the rest of us semi-dolty, millionaire wannabee Ludvigs, squeeze in on the F train during the rush hours put up with the boss and then call it a day.
How come nobody questions this? Why is being led off the hook?? That's all I ask.
Where was he, what did he know, and when did he know it, as the Watergate investigators asked.
It's not a fair question? What are , shuckling robots?
The "Who me?" attitude that some of his fawning Ludvigs want to attribute to him isn't going to cut it.
I truly feel bad for the temimesgig Satmar chosid who did no wrong, believes in his Rebbes, goes bdarche Hashem and doesn't bother anybody. The shvitzers, hockers and various and sundry shleppers and nudniks have hijacked the debate, falsified the facts, thrown in conspiracy theories about Zionists and swept the good people with them.

Ahh. the conspiracy theories about Zionists, collaboration, blah, blah ...

Did you know that :

Zionists bribed my flat tire repair shop last Tuesday davka when I caught a flat and couldn't get it fixed.

Zionists and a breakaway illiterate sect from Willy conspired to change BOROUGH Park to BORO Park.

Zionists and the Bildeberg Group control the US government.

Zionists planted blood vials in Mendel Beillis's jacket pocket..

The Elders of Zion was written by Herzl himself.

Nikita Krushchev was a Portugese Marrano with Zionist sympathies.

The wedding takonos; less food, less music, small guest lists, fewer gifts exchanged between chosson/kallah is a Zionist ugly plot to rid ourselves of our Holy mesorah.

Zionists spread disease on the Mayflower so that the people will hate America and sail to Israel instead.

Zionists in the secular, shmad State are financing the non-gebrochts, Pesach cakes ( Oooooo! Unbelievable, tastes just like the chometz cakes) , Daf-Yomied Pesachlukshensouped treks to the hotels for Pesach so they can break up Dati families
who used to sit together as a family unit together with Bubby/Zeidy as it was in the Alter Heim, spending hours discussing yetzias mitzraim..

What, if any role do the Zionists have in the disappearance of Flight 370?

Pohkahantas was a Zionist koifer'te and apikoires'te who tried to get John Rolfe to revolt against the Galus Indians and move everybody, whole kit 'n" kabbodle out of America , B'Choime no less, and eventually settle in Palestine, and steal that land from the indigenous Arabs.

Did you know all that?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:35-
I feel a need to make a protest for the Kavod of the Satmar rebbe. You obviously do not know anything about him. Whether you agree or disagree to his opinions on Zionsim it is clear that he was not stupid. By all acounts he was a genious. You obviously have not read Divrei Yoel al hatorah or al hamoadim to see what chochma he has in his divrei torah. When he got on the train he was helping others escape don't lie about the history. Al Hagula V'al Hatmurah is filled with historical truths and you just don't want to accept them becaue the 6 day war being a miracle is a common kiruv argument which is unfornetly no true. But that doesn't matter. You don't have to agree with him on any of it. But please do not call him stupid. Many Zionist rebbeim even if they disagree with him they treat him with respect because it's clear to everyone that he was a tremendous gaon and talmid chachom. You know nothing of which you speak.

Dusiznies said...

Anon 11:30
My background happens to be Satmar, so don't tell me that I " obviously know nothing about Satmar"
I know that this "smart and tremendous gaon" drove his nephew the Klausenberger Rebbe to run from Williamsburg to the Gauls in a Union City, because his Talmidim were terrorizing Klausenberg, Lubavitch and Belz...
He may have been a great man but he managed to instill hate against his fellow Jews.... And to say that the 6 day war was not a miracle and was the actions of the "sitra Achra" as he says in his Sefer , is out right apikorsas .... So what he is saying is that the רבש״ע doesn't run the world the " sitra achra" runs the world חס ושלום!
By the way your argument that he was a great Talmud Chochum means nothing to me . אלישע בן אבוהו was a תנא and שבתי צבי was also a great Talmud Chochum , just saying!

Anonymous said...

Dusiznies- I was not saying you know nothing about satmar I was saying to Anon 7:35. He does not at all say in his sefer that the sitra achra" was what ran that 6 day war. Its one of the biggest misconceptions. He writes that just because the zionists say there was a miracle does not mean that it was good meaning it could have come from the Satan. But then He says that in the case of the 6 day war it was NOT THAT THE SATAN did anything it just was not a miracle. I hope that your not comparing him to Elisha ben Abuya. He did fight Zionism but the people in Satmar today and the "rebbes" today are nothing like him, make a lot more Sinah that Rav Yoel did.