For the week ending 30 June 2007 / 14 Tammuz 5767

Cutting Short a Learning Career

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Question: I have a son studying in a yeshiva to whom I plan to someday pass on my business. He is adamant, however, in his desire to continue his Torah studies and refuses to come home to be trained for management. I feel that he is never going to be a Torah giant, and that he has learned enough to be a pious businessman. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: A similar complaint was once made to the Chafetz Chaim by the well-to-do father of a student in the Radin Yeshiva. In response the Sage asked him if he was the richest man in his community and if he had any expectations of ever becoming the richest. When the fellow replied that he had no such ambitions, the Chafetz Chaim made his point.

"You admit that you are not one of the richest men around nor have you any hopes of becoming one of them. This doesn't stop you from conducting your business as usual and you are not bothered by the thought that you have already earned enough to be called a well-to-do businessman. But you expect your son to be satisfied with the spiritual riches he has gained till now just because you think he will never become one of the Torah giants of his generation?"

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