Friday, December 11, 2009

cartoons to laugh by and it is better to work at nearly any job than take charity

According to the Sages there is a  tradition that a person should sooner hire himself out to for idol worship (avodah zara) than accept charity from others. The  Sages comment that this maxim was misunderstood by Rabbi Yehonatan, for its true intent was that a person should accept work that is not what he ordinarily does (avodah she-zara lo) rather than accept charity. To support this interpretation, the Gemara relates something that Rav once said to Rav Kahane - you should be willing to skin animals in the marketplace and get paid, and you should not say that it is below the dignity of an important person such as yourself.

The Rashbam explains that there is no embarrassment involved in working for a living, so there is no hillul ha-Shem for a scholar to work, even in tasks that appear to be demeaning.

While the Talmud Yerushalmi rules that a dayan - (a religious court judge) - who is serving the community, should have servants appointed so that he should not have to perform work in public, there is certainly nothing wrong with him taking on private work or choosing an occupation that is not degrading, and it is encouraged in order to keep from becoming a burden on the community.  A parallel question to this one is whether a scholar is permitted to be supported by the community. The Rambam forbids this in strong language in his Commentary to the Mishnah in Pirkei Avot, but it has become accepted practice in most Jewish communities.
Love Yehuda