I am looking for sources/responsa that deal with a Rabbi's moral obligation towards his students - eg. a moral imperative for him to stay with his talmidim, or to continue his relationship.

Specifically, I am searching for a sourced reference to the Gemara (Makkos 10a):

תלמיד שגלה מגלין רבו עמו שנאמר וחי עביד ליה מידי דתהוי ליה חיותא

When a student is exiled, his Rabbi is exiled with him

Does anyone infer from here that a Rabbi should stay with his students, even at the expense of his own personal reasons?

[The famous story about R' Elchonon Wasserman returning to his community during WW2, and This question came to mind.]

  • See this article by Rav Adin Steinsaltz זצ״ל Makkot 10a-b: A Life in Exile steinsaltz.org/daf/makkot10
    – Edward B
    Commented May 21 at 12:38
  • @EdwardB It should be noted that like it states at the end of the article, it was written by Rabbi Shalom Berger based upon insights and chidushim of Rabbi Steinsaltz, as published in the English version of the Koren Talmud Bavli. It is not actually Rabbi Steinsaltz's work, but how someone else understands his comments. Commented May 21 at 13:42
  • 2
    @YaacovDeane many thanks for pointing that out
    – Edward B
    Commented May 21 at 13:57
  • Well the famous idea is that a teacher's students are considered like his children. But I think you want more than that...
    – Dov
    Commented May 21 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


The Rambam quotes this Talmudic teaching in משנה תורה, הלכות רוצח ושמירת נפש פרק ז׳ :

א׳: תַּלְמִיד שֶׁגָּלָה לְעָרֵי מִקְלָט מַגְלִין רַבּוֹ עִמּוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וָחָי עֲשֵׂה לוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּחְיֶה וְחַיֵּי בַּעֲלֵי חָכְמָה וּמְבַקְּשֶׁיהָ בְּלֹא תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה כְּמִיתָה חֲשׁוּבִין. וְכֵן הָרַב שֶׁגָּלָה מַגְלִין יְשִׁיבָתוֹ עִמּוֹ:‏

The Shulchan Aruch only quotes the second half of this teaching in שולחן ערוך, יורה דעה רמ״ו:

ז: אין מלמדין תורה לתלמיד שאינו הגון אלא מחזירין אותו למוטב ומנהיגין אותו בדרך ישרה ובודקין אותו ואח"כ מכניסין אותו לבית המדרש ומלמדין אותו:‏

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