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 from work.
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.

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