Are Kollel Folks Better Jews Than The Rest Of us?

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  • #1174478

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Yes.

    #1174479

    squeak
    Participant

    I am too. I am confused as to why we are discussing some hypothetical abuse that no ben torah would possibly consider doing, rather than discussing the use of the programs as they are intended.

    #1174480

    squeak
    Participant

    If you have something to say to me, say it. If you don’t want to say it publicly you know how to find me.

    ?

    #1174481

    frumnotyeshivish
    Participant

    It is more than a breach of contract. It is a crime.

    #1174482

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    squeak,

    its stated openly in the HUD contract that the owner is not a family member of the renter.

    Thanks, good information. Zahavasdad assumed it was legal, e.g.,

    its legal and not against Halcha, but it certainly doesnt smell good.

    and thus I took it as a given. My question to him still stands, even if the example employed in this discussion does not.

    It’s breach of contract. Which may or may not be illegal.

    Is it a breach of contract (not illegal, but could result in termination of arrangements and/or financial penalties), or is it providing false (or witholding) information on an application for funds, which would likely be illegal?

    #1174483

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Obviously you dont get my point, A person who is a Kollel person should not just study torah, he should live torah and people should be able to look at them and say What a Kiddush Hashem they are.

    When people have to do things to surive to learn in kollel that are bordering the fence between legal and illegal it does not create a kiddish hashem .

    A kollel family should not just keep the torah to the letter of the law, they should go above the law and not even come close to the greyish area. They should be examples to the community and the world as a whole.

    The ‘Smell good” term was used to describe this greyish area of legal vs illegal

    #1174484

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I am still confused. If the contract says the owner can’t be a relative, then presumably unless there’s been an oversight, if the owner is a relative, they won’t give you the benefit. If you manage to sneak it by them, it’s illegal (I’m not a lawyer, but can’t imagine taking program money on false pretenses isn’t theft) and gezel.

    So what situation are we talking about that is not assur and illegal but “smells bad”? I’m not disagreeing with the concept, but what is the application here?

    I also don’t know why you, ZD, apply this only to kollel people. Everyone should be honest.

    #1174485

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Of course everyone should be honest. Unfortunatly sometimes excuses are made because of financial situations.

    People who work and have decent jobs would not likely be in this situation except if there was some sort of an emergency (Like a medical emergency).

    #1174486

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Fair enough.

    I still don’t know which situation you are referring to which is not illegal and assur, yet “smells bad”.

    #1174487

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    zahavasdad,

    Obviously you dont get my point, A person who is a Kollel person should not just study torah, he should live torah and people should be able to look at them and say What a Kiddush Hashem they are.

    Actually, I get your point, and it may surprise you, but I agree.

    What I am disagreeing with is your arbitrary definition of a “legal yet still gray” area.

    When people have to do things to surive to learn in kollel that are bordering the fence between legal and illegal it does not create a kiddish hashem.

    So a while back you stated that a person receiving EBT benefits should not own a nice car. I asked for an explanation and didn’t receive one. You are making the same type of case in this thread, so perhaps you can explain to me now why owning a nice car is a “gray area”?

    The ‘Smell good” term was used to describe this greyish area of legal vs illegal

    That’s different from what you wrote above. Above, you stated that something could be legal, both from a civil and halachic standpoint, yet still fail some sort of arbitrary smell test. I think we can agree that it’s not a good idea to flirt with illegality, but who gets to be the arbiter of what wholly legal activities smell good or bad? What if I decide one day that Kollel people shouldn’t drive red cars on Interstates, because people who buy red cars must be speeders. Just doesn’t pass the smell test. ?

    #1174488

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    What if I decide one day that Kollel people shouldn’t drive red cars on Interstates, because people who buy red cars must be speeders. Just doesn’t pass the smell test

    Look we all know what the real knock on Kollel people is and its about money. The realiity is people need money, they have to pay for housing, Pay for food, utilities and other things to people who really dont care about your learning and have their own expenses and need to earn a living too. It is not worshipping money to realize you need a roof over your head and its not free to get that.

    Nobody really knocks people who speed, however you hear alot about people who get unwarranted Food Stamps, Section 8 and other government money.

    And I said a Nice car not a car. You posted before about a Honda Odeyseey. That is not a nice car. people need a car to get around. Now if you said a Lexus. Then they Kollel person should not drive a late model lexus and many people can tell the difference between a 2000 Lexus and a 2015 lexus

    #1174489

    newbee
    Member

    “but who gets to be the arbiter of what wholly legal activities smell good or bad?”

    There is only legal and illegal. Smelling does not matter. And a judge determines if it is legal or not in this country.

    This thread is getting really off topic and silly, I wonder how much longer its going to last.

    #1174490

    Joseph
    Participant

    “I wonder how much longer its going to last.”

    Probably another 7 years.

    #1174491

    Mammele
    Participant

    Some of the greatest crooks are actually rich people with pressure to keep the money flowing so it’s not so simple as to who has the bigger nisoyan to cheat.

    Also, while I’m not advocating for a smell test, when one has a trial by JURY, smell tests unfortunately are sometimes part of the equation. The perfect example would be all the ethics scandals swirling around New York State lately. While I haven’t been following any of those close enough to know all the nitty-gritty, from cursory reading of the news it seems a lot of the stuff being alleged are not a matter of simple black or white regarding legality.

    On the other hand, when a prosecutor wants to “get” someone, he too is in my opinion charging with crimes — as they say in Yiddish “aroisgezoigen fin finger” — in a shady matter.

    #1174492

    flatbusher
    Participant

    OK, so is it legitimate to claim government benefits just so a person can remain in kollel? If a person is able to earn money by working, is it right for a person to use food stamps and get section 8 just to support their kollel lifestyle? Has any rav or rosh yeshiva addressed this issue?

    #1174493

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    They probably never thought of it.

    #1174494

    newbee
    Member

    “Probably another 7 years.”

    lol

    #1174495

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    zahavasdad,

    Look we all know …

    Look, are you ever gonna answer my question? Why can’t a person receiving EBT own a nice car, or wear nice clothing, or have a nice bag?

    Nobody really knocks people who speed, however you hear alot about people who get unwarranted Food Stamps, Section 8 and other government money.

    We are not talking about unwarranted assistance, but rather legally received assistance that you happen to have a problem with simply because the recipients are Jewish and in Kollel.

    And it’s funny to me how one moment you decry the evils of even coming close to the legal line, and the next you out-of-hand dismiss an outright illegal act. Speeding can kill people, by the way, whereas a Jew in kollel receiving food assistance is pretty safe for bystanders.

    And I said a Nice car not a car.

    Umm, I said nice car too.

    You posted before about a Honda Odeyseey. That is not a nice car.

    What? I guess you haven’t been in one lately. A new Odyssey runs around $30 to $45k, which is right in line with the Lexus ES (sedan) or NX/RX (SUV) series.

    people need a car to get around.

    Right, so if a man with a good job and a Lexus suddenly becomes unemployed and needs government assistance, would you demand that he give up the Lexus?

    #1174496

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    newbee,

    There is only legal and illegal. Smelling does not matter. And a judge determines if it is legal or not in this country.

    I agree. And to a large extent, the “smell” says more about the smeller than the doer.

    This thread is getting really off topic and silly, I wonder how much longer its going to last.

    Do you think this digression is sillier than the OP??

    #1174497

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    flatbusher,

    OK, so is it legitimate to claim government benefits just so a person can remain in kollel? If a person is able to earn money by working, is it right for a person to use food stamps and get section 8 just to support their kollel lifestyle?

    Is it legitimate to claim government benefits so a person can raise a family while going to grad school?

    #1174498

    newbee
    Member

    “I agree. And to a large extent, the “smell” says more about the smeller than the doer.”

    Yup, its nobody’s business “smelling” what other people are doing with their finances behind the scenes unless they work for such a governmental agency. The government is more than capable of taking care of itself against poor kollel families if it chooses to thank you.

    #1174499

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Not all crimes are the same, the crime of speeding is not the same as fraud. Speeding nets you a slap on the write (A fine) or if a repeater loss of license. Fraud can land you in jail

    We are not talking about unwarranted assistance, but rather legally received assistance that you happen to have a problem with simply because the recipients are Jewish and in Kollel.

    Government benefits in the US are set up for temporary assistance , not a permanent lifestyle (Although some think its a permanent solution).

    And If people (not the frum olim) knew that there were people who refused to work, spent time studying all day and took government benefits for an indefinite period of time, Do you think the majority of Americans would be in favor of their tax money going to this?

    #1174500

    squeak
    Participant

    Avram – I understand that you weren’t aware that zd’s example was not a grey area, so it’s not part of this discussion and we will drop it. Plus, I have no answers anyway, just reading what I see.

    The way I see the nice car issue, which is a good example of legal but smelling bad, is one of jealousy. It’s not hard to imagine how someone with EBT could afford to drive a new Lexus SUV (e.g. saved up for a long time, or received a gift, or had enough to put down to drive off the lot but will eventually lose it, etc) but to the hard working guy driving a 10 year old Buick it can be difficult to fargin. Why should I work so hard and have no disposable income while this guy gets to take it easy and have everything I have plus more? Not easy to answer, because the hard working guy’s advantages and superiority are not nearly as visible as the advantage of the Lexus over the Buick. But it’s not hard to understand how the guy who gets everything handed to him wouldn’t artificially limit his conspicuous spending either when he has no need to worry about how to cover his next months’ expenses.

    #1174501

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Squeak, according to your stated reasoning, would he not be equally jealous of someone who inherited wealth or won the lottery? Yet, I don’t think anyone would sayvit smells bad.

    I think you’re omitting a factor, that he’s receiving government assistance.

    #1174502

    squeak
    Participant

    When I said taking it easy I meant taking public money.

    Btw, there’s plenty of disdain for “rich kids” that comes from the same place. But there is no tayneh that the money is being taken from hard working people under the guise of desperation for charitable assistance (its being taken from hard working people under the guise of we own you plebes)

    #1174503

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Is it legitimate to claim government benefits so a person can raise a family while going to grad school?

    Just because others are doing something wrong, doesnt mean we should copy them. We should be on a higher level

    #1174504

    Joseph
    Participant

    Just because others are doing something wrong

    ZD: So you’re saying that you believe that it is wrong for a married grad student with children to collect SNAP or WIC?

    #1174505

    flatbusher
    Participant

    I agree with Zahavasdad. We’re supposed to be on a higher level, in any case grad school uses last shorter than the average kollel stay. What’s more the assumption is one going to grad school is gaining knowledge and training that will qualify them for employment and in effect they will “repay” what they have gotten through taxes of earned income. A person leaving kollel is really not prepared for any parnasa, and don’t get me started on the fact that many go into chinuch even though they have no training as teachers.

    #1174506

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    How long is the average kollel stay?

    You think it’s okay for grad students because you see the value in what they are doing. If you would see the value in what kollel men are doing, you would probably think it’s okay as well.

    #1174507

    flatbusher
    Participant

    I am talking about the monetary value, that the eventual training will help them earn a living. Sorry to say, but kollel doesn’t do that. That’s my point. Average kollel stay is longer than 2-3 years of grad school. I was told that 2-3 years in kollel is not “serious learning”

    #1174508

    newbee
    Member

    “And If people (not the frum olim) knew that there were people who refused to work, spent time studying all day and took government benefits for an indefinite period of time, Do you think the majority of Americans would be in favor of their tax money going to this?”

    Do you really think law makers lack the ability to know whats going on? Stop feeling bad for the federal and state government. The system works the way it does, kollel families can choose to use it or not for their benefit so long as they are not breaking the law. There is no smell test. People are expected to feed their families if the law allows for it, its built in to the system.

    Trump, a BILLIONAIRE, openly brags about taking advantage of the system legally for his benefit. But I dont see you complaining about him, only poor kollel families. If they are putting pressure and guilt on individuals for support thats one thing, but dont feel bad for the system. Take your gripes to the politicians and law makers not the poor kollel families.

    #1174509

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Why does it have to be monetary value?

    Why do you assume that most kollel men are doing what you call “serious learning”?

    I think many are in kollel for just a year or two. They feel it’s important to start marriage that way to set the tone for a home where Torah is central, but aren’t in it long term. These are the ones who are often (not always) less dedicated and learn fewer hours.

    The other thread (http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/being-in-kollel-but-not-a-ben-torah) is probably the place to discuss whether this is worthwhile. I think it is.

    #1174510

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I think many are in kollel for just a year or two. They feel it’s important to start marriage that way to set the tone for a home where Torah is central, but aren’t in it long term. These are the ones who are often (not always) less dedicated and learn fewer hours.

    I have quite a few family members in Kollel, they are not in it for a year or to. They are in it for the long haul

    Trump, a BILLIONAIRE, openly brags about taking advantage of the system legally for his benefit. But I dont see you complaining about him, only poor kollel families. If they are putting pressure and guilt on individuals for support thats one thing, but dont feel bad for the system. Take your gripes to the politicians and law makers not the poor kollel families.

    So L’Havel we should stoop to the level of trump? We are better than that

    #1174511

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I have quite a few family members in Kollel, they are not in it for a year or to. They are in it for the long haul

    How many, and how many family members not in long term kollel?

    #1174512

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    BTW, kein yirbu, but I don’t think long term learners are a huge percentage of the frum population.

    #1174513

    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: In E”Y they certainly are.

    #1174514

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    DY: In E”Y they certainly are.

    Is that in answer to the thread title?

    #1174515

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There is more than enough to make a minyan with room to spare.

    One of them when she was dating was read a shidduch from a guy who could only promise to learn for 10 years because he didnt know the future, she refused and instead married a guy who promised to learn indefinatly

    #1174516

    yitzy99
    Member

    Aside from government funds, another frequent source of support for kollel families is their parents.

    Does asking a parent to delay retirement so he can go to kollel place him on a higher level than someone who actually helps support his elderly parents?

    #1174517

    Joseph
    Participant

    It places the parents on a higher level for supporting Limud Torah.

    #1174518

    flatbusher
    Participant

    DY: You are entitled to your opinion but it’s not based in reality. From what I hear among the chasidim, one or two years is standard for kollel but I really don’t hear that to be the case for non-chasidim and wondering where do you get that perception from?

    #1174519

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Aside from government funds, another frequent source of support for kollel families is their parents.

    Does asking a parent to delay retirement so he can go to kollel place him on a higher level than someone who actually helps support his elderly parents?

    The parents can always say “no”, or “My learning is more important than supporting you or your husband learning”. That they don’t is their problem.

    Besides, they aren’t the real learners anyway, as discussed earlier.

    #1174520

    yitzy99
    Member

    “The parents can always say “no”,…”

    I would imagine there is the fear of not being allowed to see the grandchildren if they say no, among other things.

    #1174521

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    “The parents can always say “no”,…”

    I would imagine there is the fear of not being allowed to see the grandchildren if they say no, among other things.

    So you are talking about someone who would blackmail their own parents for money, with the threat of withholding visitation or dis-owning the parents.

    Why bring learning or Kollel (vs. any other material want, such as a car, house, weed, etc.) into the picture?

    #1174522

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    squeak,

    Why should I work so hard and have no disposable income while this guy [on government assistance] gets to take it easy and have everything I have plus more?

    Aha! Thank you for this speculative answer. This is the type of answer I was anticipating from zahavasdad to my question, although he refuses to answer me. My response to this line of thinking is that its root is a sentiment (born partly from Puritan theology) that effort and wealth are directly proportional. This sentiment has some good to it: it is motivational and a pillar of the American Dream. But it also can result in an attitude towards poor people that their poverty is their own fault. Because if they just work harder, then they wouldn’t be poor. And the fact that they take government assistance instead of lifting themselves out of poverty by their own bootstraps demonstrates that they are lazy. This may be true in some cases, but it is certainly not the rule.

    If I see people on government assistance driving a Lexus, I can make a number of either favorable or unfavorable assumptions based directly on the observation. They were recently well off but fell on hard times, the car was a gift, they have poor budgeting/spending habits and therefore bought something they couldn’t afford and are hurting for it, they have poor impulse control, they have deep insecurity and desire a fancy car as a status symbol, they stole it, they’re kleptomaniac millionaires who hid their wealth from the government because they love Medicaid more than their employer’s insurance benefits, etc. etc. But lazy? That not logically follow from seeing a Lexus. That assumption is born through the prejudice of the observer.

    #1174523

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    zahavasdad,

    Is it legitimate to claim government benefits so a person can raise a family while going to grad school?

    Just because others are doing something wrong, doesnt mean we should copy them. We should be on a higher level

    You think that is a wrong use of government benefits? I spoke to a social worker who was involved in processing applications for these benefits who said that that is the “poster child” case for these programs. What on earth do you think is a legitimate case?

    #1174524

    yitzy99
    Member

    “The parents can always say “no””

    Even if the parents do give support, just knowing that they may be delaying their retirement and perhaps working while they may have age related health problems, should cause someone who is a “mensch” to reconsider taking their support.

    #1174525

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    flatbusher,

    What’s more the assumption is one going to grad school is gaining knowledge and training that will qualify them for employment and in effect they will “repay” what they have gotten through taxes of earned income.

    Based on this reasoning, would you advocate for universal free or heavily subsidized college or university education for all US citizens? After all, a few years’ investment would eliminate the need for low income assistance, and thus it would ultimately pay for itself and reduce the Federal budget beyond that, right?

    #1174526

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    A legitimate use of Public benefits is someone who temporarily lost their job and is in need of temporary support for a limited set period of time (Welfare benefits are limited to 5 years lifetime). Another legitimate need is someone who cannot work (like incapcited people) or someone who works, but is underpaid and cannot find a job to make ends meet.

    It is really a shame her that for many when given the economic argument against Kollel, use the argument “Well others do it, we should too” We are an Am Kodash and Or LaGoyim. An Or Lagoyim should not take government benefits when we can work just because its done in the ‘hood that way

    #1174527

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    squeak,

    But there is no tayneh that the money is being taken from hard working people under the guise of desperation for charitable assistance

    Hence my recent ranting OP. Why think of government programs as charity, as opposed to insurance, or a safety net? Yes, hard workers pay taxes that go towards these programs, but if one day Heaven forbid that hard worker gets sick or injured, or gets laid off, or whatever, those programs are there to ensure that they and their families do not starve, have access to antibiotics, and can keep a roof over their heads.

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