Chofetz Chaim: It's not just a Yeshiva. It's a way of life.
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- This topic has 50 replies, 38 voices, and was last updated 3 years ago by The Alter.
February 23, 2009 7:31 am at 7:31 am #589455strivingMember
I was talking to my married friend and she said, “I have this guy for you and he learns in Chofetz Chaim.”
We went through the basics: good middos-check, Torah is the main part of his life-check, nice family-check… So I said, “So you can redt it.”
“He’s a Chofetz Chaim boy,” she reiterated.
“Uh, I heard you. I hear it’s a good yeshiva…”
“You sure you want a Chofetz Chaim boy?” she asked.
“What are you getting at?”
“Just know that Chofetz Chaim isn’t just a yeshiva, it’s a way of life.”
Pretty dramatic sounding, if you ask me.
What does that mean? I’m new to the parsha so I guess I my seem a bit naive. But I’ll risk that. What is it about the yeshiva that puts it in its own category?
I’m not looking for a negative or derogatory explanation – neutral or positive will do. Thanks in advance!February 23, 2009 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #989112teenMember
my sister married a chofetz chaim boy….great guy…go for it 🙂February 23, 2009 8:57 pm at 8:57 pm #989113chofetzchaimMember
Here is a response I am posting for a friend:
Striving, I’m a Chofetz Chaim guy so I feel qualified to answer this question from an insider’s perspective.
Chofetz Chaim is unique in that:
1. We follow the mussar mesorah of the Slabodka Yeshiva;
2. we strongly emphasize a kesher with the yeshiva;
3. We strongly emphasize a kesher with a Rebbe, since nobody can see their own faults and blind spots. In fact, our divorce rate is lower than at other yeshivos for this reason;
4. We strongly emphasize klal work after semicha;
5. We hear a great deal of hashkafah from the Rebbeim, ensuring that our opinions on how to view things are sculpted by our Rebbeim and not by our chevra;
5. All of the Rebbeim follow this derech, ensuring that the bochurim receive a consistent message.
I wish you much bracha and hatzlacha in your shidduch endeavors.February 23, 2009 9:29 pm at 9:29 pm #989114gavra_at_workParticipant
Happens to be Chofetz Chaim boys are great (I am not one, but know a few). An example of what makes them great:
They are makpid to wear a tie during davening, as that is Kavod for standing before Hashem.
I say go for it:)February 23, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm #989115
My friend is in Chofetz Chaim and I asked him for something unique about Chofetz Chaim and he told me the following:
They also have elementry schools in Brooklyn, Miami, Las Vegas etc.
With more in the works!
So it seems from what my friend told me that Chofetz Chaim really is “a way of life”!February 23, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm #989116aziParticipant
They dress normally.February 23, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #989117TJMember
I went to a Chofetz Chaim high school, and I know several guys learning in Kew Gardens Hills. I can’t speak for all of the guys there, but the people that I know have excellent middos and are strong lamdanim. Some people in the yeshivish world claim that it has CC a reputation for being a little “cultish” (which may explain your friend’s attitude), but that is not true at all. The guys who go there are not only normal, but they generally have superb middos and derech eretz.
CC’s methodology is unique in some regards:
* Going into chinuch is a central principle at CC, and it is common for CC guys to eventually move out of town to teach at or start new branches of the yeshiva. Often, guys will also take positions at non-CC schools and yeshivos.
* There is a very strong emphasis on mussar and introspection. CC emphasizes that people should be aware whether the motives for their behavior are lishma or not. CC also generally encourages talmidim to focus on growing in the area of bein adam lachaveiro prior to bein adam lamakom.
* Analysis of the Gemara, rishonim, and achronim is generally far deeper and more extensive at CC than at other yeshivos. As a result, usually less blatt are covered in b’iyun seder than at other yeshivos. (Some people in the yeshivish world make fun of CC for this). However, the Gemara that is learned “bekiyus” at CC is probably more thorough than bekiyus at most yeshivos, as the talmidim apply the same analytical technique to their bekiyus learning.
* Because of CC’s somewhat different approach, guys at CC usually stay there through kollel rather than switching in and out of other places. Often, a talmid straight out of high school will learn in a CC branch for three years, then learn in Kew Gardens Hills Beis Medrash program for the next four years. Then they spend the next seven years in the kollel and get semicha. Then, around age 31 or 32, they typically take up a job in chinuch. As a result of all that training, CC rabbis are usually very highly qualified. Many of the guys also get master’s degrees in education or psychology or something similar by going to night school during their kollel years.
* In some regards, CC is considered a bit modern by people from some other yeshivos. One reason is that a lot of guys get bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Keep in mind, though, that those credentials are often important for forays into chinuch. Another reason why CC is considered a bit more modern is because some guys there wear blue shirts instead of white, or gray hats instead of black.February 23, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm #989118coke not pepsiMember
from what i know about chofetz chaim is that they have a diff mehalech in learning that they will learn beiyun and they will not go on untill they know it perfectly the joke in my family is that they learn 1 blatt a zman(note to mods this is not deragetory bec they know what they learn extremely well)February 23, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm #989119YW Moderator-99Member
coke not pepsi –
The joke is that they “learn” 1 blatt a zman as opposed to other Yeshivas that don’t “learn” even 1?
Uh oh! Fellow mods – please don’t delete this – lolFebruary 23, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm #989120coke not pepsiMember
oh whateverFebruary 23, 2009 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm #989121strivingMember
Hey. Thanks so much for the answers! YWN Coffee Room people are so cool! 😉
Question: Do a lot of CC ppl have internet in their homes (or movies) or is it as varied as any other yeshiva?February 24, 2009 12:58 am at 12:58 am #989122teenMember
striving : yes we are the coolest
mod99: uh oh i think we need mods modding the mods 😛February 24, 2009 4:02 am at 4:02 am #989125
Striving- from what I understand- cc people are as varied as other yeshivas regarding movies/internet and its very possible that less people have it then in other yeshivos.
I was looking aroind online to see if cc has a website and I couldn’t find one. So that should be a good sign!February 24, 2009 8:42 pm at 8:42 pm #989126chofetzchaimMember
Once, someone was dating a Chofetz Chaim guy and told him, “I heard in Chofetz Chaim they don’t know how to learn but they have good middos”.
He responded, “And I heard that in other yeshivos they don’t know how to learn AND they don’t have good middos!February 24, 2009 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #989127SJSinNYCMember
To be honest, its one of the few places that I havent heard negative things about. Thats got to be a major positive!
[my only problem was the fundraising people who called and annoyed me. I told them I didn’t want to pledge money but to just send a card and I would send in money. They really beat on me until I agreed to give $10. I probably would have given more, but I felt brow-beaten into it…but I realize they are just trying to do their job.]February 27, 2009 5:00 am at 5:00 am #989128liddleyiddleMember
By the way, they also have a branch in Monsey.February 27, 2009 8:19 am at 8:19 am #989129asdfghjklParticipant
liddleyiddle: we know!!!!! btw welcome back, i see you rejoined us!!!!!!!!!! join the fun!!!February 27, 2009 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #989130miamimiamiMember
i have kids in the chafetz chaim schools and i’m very impressed by both the elementary school and the high school!! now, if they only had a girls’ high school…..February 27, 2009 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #989131myshadowMember
They’re totally real, what you see is what you get.February 27, 2009 4:15 pm at 4:15 pm #989132
Miamimiami- they have a girls high school in los angelesFebruary 7, 2010 4:30 am at 4:30 am #989134fan of pdMember
could i ask a question? if a CC boy usually stays learning what about the cc boys who are working….does that mean they went off?February 7, 2010 5:42 am at 5:42 am #989135oomisParticipant
SJSinNYC, when someone calls me (often during dinnertime) and tries to browbeat me, I politely say, “thank you for your call,” and hang up. Doing a job or not, they are entering YOUR home with the phone call, and if they cannot be polite, they can take a hike.February 7, 2010 7:12 am at 7:12 am #989136bombmaniacParticipant
fan…learning all day is not for everyone,February 7, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am #989137Baruch C. Cohen Esq.Participant
I’m very proud that I learned in the Chofetz Chaim Bais Medrash for 6 years post-high school before becoming going to law school. It’s 30+ years later and I still maintain a close kesher with the guys (now Roshei Yeshiva) who were learning in the Yeshiva at the same time as I did. The Rabbeim were/are exceptional and highly principled dedicated mechanchim who really cared/care about our development and growth. The exceptional derech halimud and the dedication to learning mussar are life-long mission statements that have proven the test of time and work. And they work not only for those alumni who have gone into Harbotzas Torah, but for alumni like myself who have pursued a career in law. The Rosh Yeshiva’s chinuch and hashpaa on me is felt to this date – there isn’t a day that that goes by that I don’t think what my Rebbi (ztl) would have done if he was in my situation. The clarity of gemorah that I had while in the Bais Medrash is something that I reflect on constantly. The young crop of guys that I meet in Los Angeles continue to impress me as to their ehrlichkeit. A shidduch to a chofetz chaim guy usually means a serious ben torah, who is dedicating to klal yisroel, striving for a balanced life. If your internal compass attracts you to such wonderful bochurim, then care not what the scoffers will say.June 22, 2010 1:16 am at 1:16 am #989138
My friend went to meet the rosh yeshiva about shidduch possibilities and he emphasized to her very strongly that a shidduch with a cc boy means she will be supporting him for at least 10 years, $50K-$60K a year. And he made her understand that SHE would be supporting him.
IS THIS TRUE??????????????????????June 22, 2010 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm #989139
Not Necessarily. I know some people who married boys learning in CC and only supported for a short time. It depends on each specific person. (I think they do generally encourage boys to marry girls with a degree of some sort since it generally has higher pay.)June 22, 2010 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm #989141
But that means that CC boys EXPECT their wives to be supporting them totally? Or is there such a thing as “shared support” with boys in this yeshiva?June 23, 2010 4:34 am at 4:34 am #989143
No, I don’t think they will say no to a shadchan about a girl who will not support him completely (for the first few years, depending on how long the boy plans to learn), but as with many Yeshivos, it is preferred. Very often, CC boys will get Smicha and become a Rosh Yeshiva pretty soon after (sometimes out of town).
WolfishMusings, I don’t think the Rosh HaYeshiva was dictating financial terms for dating a boy, just that most of the boys are looking for that. CC encourages support from a wife rather than parents.June 23, 2010 4:47 am at 4:47 am #989144music lover29Member
It’s funny cuz I was just discussing this with my friend on the way home from a vort tonight because it was a CC vort. And someone I know there said she thought of a CC boy for me. But can someone explain the blue shirt/white shirt thing to me?
Do all CC boys wear blue shirts?
Does it mean something if they do/or don’t?June 23, 2010 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #989146
So basically, the “promise” of a ‘serious ben torah, who is dedicating to klal yisroel, striving for a balanced life,’ who is deep, connected to his rebbeim, focused, with a strong emphasis on personal growth and has quality middos (MY DREAM IN A HUSBAND!!!) comes with a very big price.
It’s not as simple as it seems.
Chaval on the way things have come to today.
I’ve been turned down once or twice because I want to be a teacher (even though I do want to be a qualified, legitimately certified (not only seminary certificate)teacher to teach in all areas of the education field, hoping to even get a masters in education and/or reading) and at this point in my life I personally cannot contribute any more than my part time job salary and my parents offer of shared support. And I’ve also been rejected because I’m not going into any of the higher paying professions like OT, PT, ST. My heart is in teaching. My heart is also in Torah. It’s a funny situation because I’m doing all I can, but apparently it’s not enough.
I am not complaining. I have full trust in Hashem that everything is going to work out just the way it’s meant to. I know there is a guy out there who has all those qualities I’m looking for, and the logistics will work out just fine. I’m just commenting on the sorry state of affairs in the world today.June 23, 2010 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm #989148
Chaval on the way things have come to today.
You are completely right, but this is not a CC issue. Other Yeshivos may ask for $x per year whether it comes from a wife or in laws. CC asks for no less than any other Yeshiva, just that it comes from a wife instead of being handed a check every month.
As a side issue, if you are completely certified in education, do you work for the BOE? Bacause I have heard they pay much better and give benefits.June 23, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm #989149
I’m still working on my undergrad degree… that’s part of the problem because I personally cannot bring in money (except for my part-time job that I fit in with my course schedule), hence my parents are willing to help out for the time-being.June 30, 2010 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #989150yehudajMember
re internet: I did not see this question answered well. I know that they yeshiva is against it at all costs (almost) There was a huge vaad about it and they Yeshiva is very strongly against guys having internet (I dont have it and i’m a balla baas, even more so a computer programmer lol) Anyways like every rule you’ll find exceptions and those who just flatly don’t listen. But if you ask any rebbi they will strongly discourage it
Movies: Each guy is different like every other place I personally watch alot of caillou (new cartoon fad for toddlers lol kidz)
L613: If your looking for a guy who will learn for 10 years thats true everywhere they overhead costs! no different in CC, CC has it’s fair share of “learner earners” if that’s what your looking into but I understand your quagmire you want the learner but don’t wanna be the earner lolJune 30, 2010 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #989151artchillParticipant
Personally, parnassah is NOT the wife’s responsibility. The rationale for the girls working was explained to me by the Rosh Yeshiva, the yeshiva doesn’t want to put their bochurim in the situation of being dependant on the moods and demands of the future in-laws.
Agree or disagree, the Rosh Yeshiva has a point!!June 30, 2010 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #989152apushatayidParticipant
“But can someone explain the blue shirt/white shirt thing to me?
Do all CC boys wear blue shirts? Does it mean something if they do/or don’t?”
There is no blue shirt/white shirt “thing”. There is no “thing” about clothes, other than the responsibility of a ben torah to dress like a mentch. If the shirt is blue, white, grey, pinstriped, whatever, the key is to look like a mentch.
No, all guys do not wear blue shirts. Some white, some pinstriped, other grey, although I wont go so far as to say “its a regular rainbow” because I dont think you’ll find purple or pink 🙂
Does wearing a white shirt or blue shirt, mean something in (not picking on a specific yeshiva, just naming the first 5 that popped into my head) Chaim Berlin, Mir, Torah Vodaas, BMG or Tez?
For what its worth, when I was in a “very greasy” (prefer not to say the name, but “very greasy” is how people describe it) yeshiva for several years (I switched out to CC) many of the “greasy” guys wore blue shirts and brown pants, admittedly, that was 25 years ago, but still, white shirts are a relatively new phenomena and has become the de facto uniform of “yeshivish” guys and those looking to fir into the mold.July 1, 2010 12:17 am at 12:17 am #989153mosheroseMember
“My friend went to meet the rosh yeshiva about shidduch possibilities and he emphasized to her very strongly that a shidduch with a cc boy means she will be supporting him for at least 10 years, $50K-$60K a year. And he made her understand that SHE would be supporting him.
IS THIS TRUE?????????????????????? “
Asking for such a high price for buchrim shows the chashivus of Torah and learning. A girl who really values Torah will pay for it.July 1, 2010 1:26 am at 1:26 am #989154LAerMember
Okay, so now I KNOW that mosherose is writing tongue-in-cheek here…July 1, 2010 3:33 am at 3:33 am #989155Max WellMember
The point mosherose made is a very valid one.July 1, 2010 3:50 am at 3:50 am #989156apushatayidParticipant
“Asking for such a high price for buchrim shows the chashivus of Torah and learning.”
Actually, the Rosh Yeshiva was not selling his bachurim on the open market and he was not setting a price. He was explaining the reality of life that the bachur might be learning in 7-10 years from now and bezras hashem 4-5 kids and tuitions, rent, food, clothes etc. 50k-60k a year is what is necessary to live. To suggest the rosh yeshiva was saying anything else is insulting the rosh yeshiva.
“A girl who really values Torah will pay for it.”
Or as the rosh yeshiva was explaining, would have to have the ability to earn such an income.
Of course, any kollel couple, even with no kids, that has to have the nicest apartment, the newsest car, a budget for eating out 3 nights a week, vacations in florida during bein hazmanim, is constantly updating their wardrobe also needs 50k a year, altough I dont know how it shows much in their way of chashivus hatorah.April 19, 2013 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #989158AriellahParticipant
yehOctober 11, 2013 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #989159miguel28gsMember
So, did you get married to the Chofetz Chaim boy?October 13, 2013 3:34 am at 3:34 am #989160rebdonielMember
I can attest to the gadlut of CC guys. They’re beautiful bnei torah, and if I were a woman, I’d see them being great husbands.October 13, 2013 4:23 am at 4:23 am #989161jewishfeminist02Member
You can still, as a man, see them being great husbands. Just not for yourself.October 13, 2013 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #989162torahlishma613Participant
What I don’t understand is that it is the mans obligation to support the woman. I have nothing wrong with people wanting to learn. I think it is a great thing! But people need to make money, and for the man to rely on the woman for parnasah is wrong. If he is learning to become a rebbe, then he will be making money a couple of years later so that’s fine. However, too many guys will learn in kollel until they are 30, and then they will start to think about work. They will often have 4 or 5 kids at that point, and will be living off of other peoples money, also assur according to the rambam. So my question is, why does the yeshiva encourage the type of behavior that you should live off of someone elses money, or your wives money? The rambam was a doctor and learned. the chofetz chaim owned a grocery store. Why can’t todays bochurim work and learn?November 24, 2013 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #989163bklynmomParticipant
Support is needed when marrying any Yeshiva boys.
BTW many parents will share support from both sides (girl & boy) plus many many CC guys do their histadlus in parnasah too. There are those that tutor, lein on Shabbos, selling esrogim, hashgacha, involved with Senior nursing homes and kiruv activities.
Also CC life in Queens is more on the simple side than in other larger Yeshivish kehillas. The cars, apartments and furnishing are nothing special and Jewelry is not abundant. Simpler life style in all.November 25, 2013 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm #989164BustercrownParticipant
I took my son out of the chiofetz Chaim in Brooklyn due to a very modern parent body in his class and unwillingness by the hanhala to deal with the vast majority of TV-owners as well. Their response to me when I brought up the tv issue, although their application specifically asks if you own tv, was “The whole FLATBUSH is modern. We can’t change the world for you.”November 25, 2013 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #989165Torah613TorahParticipant
To answer the OP: Chofetz Chaim people are on a higher madreiga than everyone else. If you’re not on that madreiga, it could be hard for you to keep up.
So they have to discourage you 3 times from marrying into Chofetz Chaim. If you marry someone from CC anyway, it shows you’re able to stay on the madreiga.November 25, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm #989166HaMaivin YaavinMember
Keep your useless rhetoric to yourself and don’t say WE’RE the holier than thou ones, while you just openly bash a legacy openly.
A TV that is contained in a parent’s room that the bochur con not use is modern? you need to get you’re haskofos checked out, buddy. Maybe the yeshiva is being realistic, and have an HONEST parent body that won’t just lie about the TV as many other yeshivas’ parent body would easily do.
The Maiven gives Mussar
Yosef lives on.November 26, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm #989167achosidParticipant
From what I understand, CC guys do not keep learning indefinitely until they have to start working like guys from other yeshivas do. CC only lets them stay in yeshiva as long as they feel is necessary after which they make them leave and get jobs. But for the ones. Who plan to get smicha they feel that it is necessary preparation for their job to learn in kollel for a few years after getting married and since they don’t encourage living off of tzedaka they therefore look for wives who have jobs and can support a family for a few years before the husband himself gets Smicha and starts earning a living as well. Either way, the husband’s parnasa is not going to be much as a Rabbi so the wife has to have a decent-paying job. Plus as mentioned above, many of the guys work side jobs during kollel so this sounds very much in line with the Rambam.November 27, 2013 1:56 am at 1:56 am #989168Torah613TorahParticipant
Of course it’s not a Yeshiva, look at the name! It’s the way of life for those who want life. If you want to live in Germany, go to Chaim Berlin.
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