I don’t want to learn

Lifted from Hashkafa.com

I see a lot of articles about guys who are frustrated b/c they do not want to learn all day and can’t find girls interested in a guy who wants to have a job and be kovea itim (setting aside time daily to learn Torah).

What about guys who aren’t interested in being kovea itim either? I’m talking about guys who just want to go along, be Orthodox, maybe they’ll go to the shul rabbi’s shiur (lecture) once in a while, but are not interested in learning regularly. For whatever reason, it isn’t for them. They just don’t like it or find it stimulating or whatever. They’ll still go to davening and all the other stuff. They just aren’t interested in learning.

What happens to these guys? Do they have to lie about it and these are the people found in advice columns where the wife is upset her husband doesn’t learn more? Is there some kind of code word or phrase used in shidduchim to denote these kinds of people? Are they the ones who are “older singles?”

HSM: So dear readers, how would you respond to this letter?

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  1. Isaacson says:

    Its a mitzvah! No one is telling these guys they have to be a talmud chacgham (for which there is no mitzvah) but how hard can it be to set aside a little time each day to learn something, anything? Saying you’re not interested in doing that is like saying you’re not interested in growing and becoming a better person (can you really do those things with out some kind of learning?). And hearing that would turn off many potential spouses – everyone should be open to putting in the effort to improve!

    • Mark says:

      I think you misunderstood, the boys are saying they don’t want to learn full time. They are saying they want to work and learn periodically in the evening, shabbos, etc.

      • batya from NJ says:

        mark, this blog is specifically referring to guys who don’t want to be kovea itim not those who don’t want to learn full-time. the full-time learners are only discussed in the first paragraph & then the article goes on to discuss those that don’t want to learn regularly & not on a nightly or several time a week consistent basis…

  2. The Law says:

    well Isaacson – the mitzvah is fulfilled technically by saying shema twice a day.

    I think that the author if this post has an overly narrowly definition of whats considered “learning”. once we can dismiss that narrow view, i think one would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesnt learn or enjoy it…

  3. batya from NJ says:

    I know of many girls who ideally want a guy that will be “kovea itim”/set aside time for learning but when they are actually married, & especially when they are busy with the little ones at home, the women sometimes have a change of heart b/c the learning takes away from the quality time that they want to spend with their husbands even though they originally thought they wanted to marry someone who was kovea itim in addition to working at a job.

    i think it’s important for guys to be honest with potential shidduchim/dates. they should not pretend to be interested in learning when it’s not really something they want to do (even on a kovea itim basis) b/c that’ll likely cause tensions down the road especially if the wife does hold the husband to his pre-marital promises to be kovea itim. many seriously frum girls will likely be turned off while dating if the guy says that he doesn’t want to be kovea itim at all (ideally) b/c if that is something that she most likely thinks that she would want from a potential spouse & they may not really be on the same page hashkafically/philosophically which may cause problems in the marriage (lack of respect for the guy for his dishonesty etc)

    on the other hand, i would imagine that there Orthodox girls out there who would be happy to marry an Orthodox guy who admits from the outset that he doesn’t want to be kovea itim but (a) the girls may be too embarrassed to admit it to the shadchanim or (b) they may be less of a seriously frum kind of girl b/c the girls who tend to be more seriously frum girls often do ideally want their husbands to be kovea itim since limud/learning torah is a man’s mitzvah that they would want their husbands to participate in…

  4. Vicki says:

    If someone wants to learn Torah all day as opposed to working, who pays for it and how does such a family usually obtain income?

    • hadassahsabo says:

      generally the wife goes out to work – teacher or OT / PT. Some kollels (where men study together full time) actually pay a stipend to their learners which usually comes from donations. If these full time learners are lucky they marry into money or are from wealthy families themselves.

      • Vicki says:

        Thanks for answering. What happens if they have kids and the wife theoretically can’t work? It must be hard to be a full-time learner.

        • hadassahsabo says:

          she goes back to work after 6 weeks or however long her maternity leave is for.

        • batya from NJ says:

          Vicky, it’s a REALLY tough way to live IMHO & i personally have a big problem with the lifestyle b/c it’s especially hard on the wife. she has the babies, bears the brunt & sole responsibility as the breadwinner & she of course responsible for the general maintenance of the home (cooking, cleaning) as well. what skeptics like me always wonder, “Who is going to support the next generation of full-time learners when this generation of grandparents who are slaving away to support their kids die”? just wondering…

  5. Lady Lock and Load says:

    Oh, I got you hooked on hashkafa.com!

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