5: A person should always study Torah and then marry; for if he marries first his mind is not free to study. However, if his evil inclination was overcoming him such that his mind was not free to study, he should marry and then study Torah.
Q1: Again, here, what is the essential Halakha – or is this just good advice – *etza tova kamasha lan*? Also, this bears comparing the Rambam in MT Deot 5:11 and the Kessef Mishna there.
KB: The essential Halakha is torah study. The good (or bad) advice is to marry or not.
YE: R, in Deot, cites the Gemara in Sotah which indicates that the proper way is to first find a profession, build a house and then marry; but the fools marry first etc. The Kessef Mishneh raises the problem that R changed the order from the Gemara – in the Gemara, (Sotah 44a); the ideal order is to build a house, find a profession and then marry; Kessef Mishneh answers that the main objection is to marrying before being “set-up” for married life; the profession and housebuilding are not of concern, as long as both of them come first. In any case, this is almost certainly an *etza tova* – good advice; there is certainly no Halakhic restriction to marrying before study etc.
Q2: Why accommodate the *yetzer hara*?
KB: W/o yetzer hara the world would be a wilderness. It’s not evil in the conventional English/Xtian sense.
YE: True; also, the main goal here is to be able to learn. If you are not bothered by single-hood, then clearly it is easier to concentrate on learning without the responsibilities of family life. However, someone whose singlehood gets in the way of their other endeavors – that person’s attempt to learn will be relatively futile. In that case, you are doing what is necessary in order to learn. This does point out the difference between a point of law and good advice; if it were prohibited to marry before, let’s say, completing three Massechtot [tractates] or some other “learning accomplishment”, I doubt that we would make an exemption because your human nature is getting in the way.
Rambam, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.