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Are there too Many Learners on the Dole?


Rabbi Jonathan Blass

17 Shevat 5763
With limited Financing availble today. Choices have to be made where Financial resources should go. In todays world we have more learners than ever was in Jewish History yet we have other needs as well. Jewish Poverty is high in both the US and Israel. Settlements need to be financed. Lastly in Israel this is causing great hatred among the non-Haredi population. While I am not against the Best of the Best learning many of the people should not be learning full time and this is causing great hatred among the non-Haredi people of Israel. Are there too Many Learners on the Dole?
Expenses on Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel are a relatively small part of Israel's budget, anti-settlement propaganda notwithstanding. In general, it is important for Jews to participate actively in the defense of the State of Israel by enlisting in the Israel Defence Forces - which is a very important mitzva. Jews outside of Israel can no more excuse themselves from this obligation than Jews living here. It is possible to excuse oneself from this obligation (as opposed to deferring it for a number of years) only under special circumstances when a unique contribution to the Jewish People is being made in another field. It is important for all segments of Israeli society to strive for self-sufficiency and to contribute economically to the national whole.
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