- Accepting Compensation for Teaching Torah
- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- In general, one is not permitted to take money for teaching Torah.
The gemara cites instances where Amoraaim would take compensation for
judging cases (teaching) if they lost time from their work. But if
they didn't lose time, they would teach without compensation. Note
that it is only a 'permission', to accept funds, not an 'obligation'.
So one has the right to refuse compensation even if he does lose time
- The concept of not accepting payment was discussed by a Rabbi in
Pirkei Avos, where it mentions not to have benefactors to the Torah.
The Torah cannot be viewed as that which gains from another source. It
belittles the impression it will have on people. Additionally, one
should not make a barrier to those interested in learning. I also feel
it violates the principle of not using the Torah as a spade to dig
with, "don't make it (the Torah) a spade to dig with".
Meaning, the Torah cannot ever function as a means to something else.
It must be the ends of all activities, as learning must always be
shown to be the one prized involvement preferred over all others.
- I don't believe Moshe Rabbeinu or Avraham Avinu ever accepted a cent
for all of their efforts. We actually see the opposite, Avraham spent
money on others to teach them.