Esther Mann’s column is one of the highlights of the 5TJT. She usually answers spot-on.
However, the response to the woman who wrote about her friend whose husband sits in kollel (“Mindbiz,” November 23) was not complete.
Of course, she should not go behind her husband’s back, but there is a thing called a Yissachar and Zevulun partnership, where a person gets the great z’chus of supporting one who sits and learns. As we know, there is nothing greater in life than the holy Torah, the purpose for our existence. Everyone has to give ma’aser from what they make, and here you have a best friend who chose a life of Torah.
We are taught that three things come with yissurim: Eretz Yisrael, Olam Ha’ba, and Torah. This friend is living that life plus having children; it is an honor to help her.
What I would have suggested is that she go to a rav with her husband. If her friend’s husband is genuinely learning Torah, what’s the issue about helping them? The letter-writer and her husband obviously have money. Ask about a partnership, where they get a monthly stipend and maybe some quarterly bonus for yom tov and for emergencies. After getting advice from the rav, she should speak to her friend honestly and openly.
I would also suggest that the well-off friend and her husband learn a lesson a day from the saintly Chofetz Chaim who wrote in his sefer Lovingkindness that if a person falls 100 times you have to pick him up 100 times.
Yes, there are many wonderful causes to give to, but here you have someone she loves and knows is sincere and dedicating her life to Torah with mesirus nefesh.
I’m not saying to throw money at her, but maybe the letter-writer should discuss some sort of a plan with her husband and a rav.