February 6, 2011 1:35 am at 1:35 am #738767
Many Goyim in this country look at people taking government programs as lazy bums who live off others ( unless there is a very valid reason). Look in the Gemora I mentioned to understand how much Chazal were concerned about this. You can’t use some lame excuses. Mila is not objectively questionable. Living off others is.February 6, 2011 2:57 am at 2:57 am #7387682qwertyParticipant
I know the easiest way to solve this argument…
Contact SNAP or read their eligibility requirements and see if this program was meant to be used by kollel or college students or not.
I was quickly scanning through their site and i noticed things like: not owning a car worth over $2k and Able-Bodied Adults should either work 20+ hours per week or join their Employment & Training program.
If someone truly fits their eligibility then kol hakavod (pun intended).February 6, 2011 3:23 am at 3:23 am #738769mw13Participant
“MW13, it’s a matter of values. And while my citations are subject to other interpretations, the point I wanted to make is that in G-d’s natural order, after Adam comitted original sin, is that one works to earn his living.”
If you truly believe that working is part of a “natural order” that we must uphold, must somebody who wins the lottery work anyways? If working is truly what Hashem intends for us, how can anybody ever retire?
“it’s a matter of values”
It certainly is. We believe that learning is more important than working; you seem to think quite the opposite.February 6, 2011 3:55 am at 3:55 am #738770
@mw13: For a long time I’ve harbored the irrational fantasy of winning the Megamillions jackpot. Call me a kid at heart, but it’s a fantasy of mine. In every scenario that I imagine my life were I to win, it includes me working. Perhaps not as a lawyer, but I would certainly continue to work in some fashion. I may decide to go back to school, but it would be do something else as a job, like teaching. As to retirement, it’s the reward for work done during one’s life. But I well recall an old kibbutznik I once met. He was then 83 years old and still awoke at 5:00 a.m., went to the first minyan on the kibbutz and was in the fields by 7:00 a.m. I asked him if he wasn’t tired of it all already, didn’t he want to rest? His response was: “Nishan bakever, harbeh yoter mimah shetzarich” we’ll all sleep more than we need to in the grave. An interesting perspective. Personally, I greatly admire those retirees who devote themselves to volunterrin work. And indeed working if far more important that learning, at least for the overwhelming majority of people. It’s a mistaken ideology to say otherwise.February 6, 2011 3:59 am at 3:59 am #738771eclipseMember
KAVOD HATORAH,I only read your post to me just now.You know what I mean:If you need it,yes take it,don’t be ashamed.If you don’t need it,don’t take it,it is shameful to take what you don’t need.
Clearer now?February 6, 2011 4:05 am at 4:05 am #738772zaidy78Participant
If the income reported on your credit card application and mortgate application match the income reported on your food stamp application then ok. If not, no.February 6, 2011 4:13 am at 4:13 am #738773DanielMember
If you need it and legally you qualify for it then no need to be embarrassed and hashem should give you parnassah beharchava.IF YOU DONT NEED IT AND YOU SCAM IT THEN YOU SHOULD BE EMBARRASED. You would never be mechalel shabbos ,so why would you steal other peoples hard earned money. I dont know why people think it is OK to scam . I work in a school with many modern orhtodox teachers and one of the biggest topics of the teacher’s room is how is that frum people are so dishonest. One of the teachers husband works in mnhattan with a chasidish yungerman, The yungerman told him without any embarasment exactly how he scams even tho he has a job that he can live nicelyFebruary 6, 2011 5:07 am at 5:07 am #738774mw13Participant
“For a long time I’ve harbored the irrational fantasy of winning the Megamillions jackpot… In every scenario that I imagine my life were I to win, it includes me working. Perhaps not as a lawyer, but I would certainly continue to work in some fashion.”
That doesn’t answer my question: Do you think the people who have already made more than enough money to live on must continue to work?
“indeed working if (is?) far more important that learning, at least for the overwhelming majority of people. It’s a mistaken ideology to say otherwise.”
I cannot imagine how somebody could even say this. Working is a curse, necessary only so we have what to eat and where to sleep for our short stay in this world. But doing the mitzvos, and especially learning Torah, are why we are here in this world!! This is what Hashem put us here to accomplish!! The working should only be in order to be able to do more mitzvos, to be able to help others more, to learn more Torah, and to serve Hashem better!
But to glorify working as a an end inofitself, not just a means?! To say this should be what we are focusing on, how we should live our lives? And not just that, but to pass it off as a Jewish ideology?! Are you serious?!February 6, 2011 6:16 am at 6:16 am #738775Derech HaMelechMember
What about someone born to a rich family? The father gives him 100 million in the bank or whatever and the kid supports his own family off the interest. Never works a day in his life. Is that scenario impossible?
Also I’m not so into politics, but why exactly should we care if goyim practice toeiva marriages?
It is also interesting to note many gedolim learned for crazy of numbers an hour every day sleeping very little and when asked about it gave the same answer “I have time to sleep when I’m dead, now is the time to learn”.
And indeed working if far more important that learning, at least for the overwhelming majority of people. It’s a mistaken ideology to say otherwise.
You would be doing a big mitzvah for me if you can point me to a sefer that expresses this ideology.
Mila is not objectively questionable. Living off others is
The proof that milah is if anything subjectively questionable are the movements to ban bris milah. How can you say it is not objectively questionable when such movements exist?
How about kashrus? Some countries have already banned shechting animals in their countries. Should they not eat kosher meat so as not to cause chilul Hashem by those that think we are being cruel to animals?
anon for this:
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but limud Torah is also a mitzvos asei. And a mitzva that Jews throughout history have risked their lives for. We both know that using food stamps is not a mitzvah. But if using food stamps will allow one to be mekayem the mitzvah that is shokul kneged kol hamitzvos, I haven’t been convinced yet that I need to worry about what the goyim think.February 6, 2011 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #738776
DHM, convoluted and lame excuses won’t work!
And just because some idiots have ta’anos on the bris mila, it does not mean it’s objectively questionable. BUT something, which an unbiased and normal outsider may question and be upset about, is a problem.February 6, 2011 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #738777
DHM, is CHillul HaShem an aveira? A big one, maybe?February 6, 2011 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #738779Derech HaMelechMember
I’m not quite sure I’m following your logic here:
Bris Milah is not objectively questionable…and those that question it are idiots.
When we say something is objectively questionable or not, we mean that from a non-biased point of view doing something may be wrong or right. The problem here is that we (you and me) are biased to say that it is unquestionable because it is our halacha. Those that argue against it say that we are mutilating a child’s body there is risk of complication and we are hurting the child.
To these people we are clearly making a chilul Hashem with every bris just like the prevailing belief in New Zealand is that shechita is inhumane and b extension a chilul Hashem.
According to your logic we should stop eating meat so that we don’t make a chilul Hashem for them either.
This is not true though. So you have to say that the application of “Chilul Hashem” does not apply to anything and everything that the goyim reject.
I didn’t say you need proof. I just said that the proof you offered was not a good one. Also your explanation is not a sevara as it is not based on logic but rather your personal negative feelings to taking money from the government.February 6, 2011 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #738780
What about learning guys and the rich parents give them everything possible -new house, new car, new clothes, etc…, but it’s not in the children’s name. They technicaly are eligible, so they take gov. programs. Comments?February 6, 2011 9:35 pm at 9:35 pm #738781kavod hatorahParticipant
taking food stamps is not a mitzvas aseh but talmud torah kineged kulum!!February 6, 2011 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #738782
DHM,living off a government charity is a poshute, universal ta’ana. Stop dreing, already. Lame and convoluted explanations are no heter for Chillul HaShem.February 6, 2011 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #738783
“living off a government charity is a poshute, universal ta’ana.”
mdd: if its really such “a poshute, universal ta’ana”, i guess you have taainos against those living on tzedaka! most of us, i think, do not, have any such taainos. i even think one is allowed to take tzedaka in order to learn…February 7, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am #738784
Government programs were meant(as Tsedoka) for people who fell on hard times and can not (temporarily, usually) put bread on the table. Forget about your Yeshivishe negiyos, think about how it looks to an unbiased outsider.
One is allowed to take money from people who want to support your learning, but the American public never volunteered, and some people might(c^v) have ta’anos.
Stop already your outrageous crume excuses!
Shlishi, did you use to be “myfriend”?February 7, 2011 4:47 am at 4:47 am #738785
To all of you who nustify taking food stamps and other benefits based on the first Mishne in Peah, consider this: Talmud Torah can also be a mitzvah habah b’aveirah. Learing Torah can also manifest itself as navel birshut haTorah. Funny how no one EVER thinks about Talmud Torah in those terms.February 7, 2011 9:27 am at 9:27 am #738786
cantoresq — I don’t understand your last post — until this point I disagreed with you but heard where you were coming from. But “mitvah habah b’aveirah??” Taking food stamps may or may not be hashkafically justified, but assuming you honestly qualify, what aveirah is there? And “naval birshut haTorah” as far as I’ve ever heard it be used is talking about behaving inappropriately without technically violating any aveiros (Rashi’s famous example in Kedoshim is one who gorges himself in an excessive feast, but all the food is kosher). It is not talking about doing a mitzvah — it is talking about something that is muttar — neutral so to speak, but not in the spirit of how a Jew should behave. I’m having a lot of trouble understanding the application here.
As far as the original question, I personally belief the whole welfare system in the US is set up in a ridiculous fashion, and that these government programs should be designed to be only a stop – gap measure for true emergency situations. I think our community as a whole would benefit more from lower taxes (and therefore more of a maaser obligation) than from continuing to subsidize these programs which after everything benefit other, far less deserving communities much more than Kollel learners. HOWEVER, as long as that is not the case, and the system continues the way it is, why must someone in Kollel be more stringent than the government? If everything is yosher (obviously I am not referring to the stories above describing abuses of the system — I think we all understand that stealing is an aveira), and one honestly qualifies, why can’t they benefit just like anyone else?
As a former union member in NYC, I once read a column in one of the union newspapers, lauding an individual who decided to boycott Walmart even though as a result he was forced to apply for food stamps as his cost of living went up when shopping in more expensive stores. He was admired for his principles — and no one had a word of criticism for his “sponging off the government.” Those who resent Jews, or frum Jews, or Jews who learn will always find fodder for their resentment, but if one is not doing anything wrong, that usually does not constitute a chillul Hashem.
Just for the record, I never received any government welfare while my husband was in Kollel, except for about 1 year while I was still finishing graduate school and was expecting and qualified for the WIC program only. Once I graduated my income was such that we never qualified for anything, B”H.February 7, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am #738787Shticky GuyParticipant
…When was the last time you walked through Harlem and someone came up to you and said “You Jews, you can’t be so reliant on government programs you need to get jobs…”
Exactly. Most say the opposite – you’re all too rich, you control world banks, you control the media etc etc
PS A badchan once said “al shlosha devarim haolam omed… ;
– Al hatorah (the husband goes to kolel);
– Al Ha’avoda (the in laws must go to work);
– Al gemilus chassadim (food stamps)
From the corny Shticky Guy;
(Kernel-In-Chief)February 7, 2011 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm #738788
M in Israel, kindly, re-read my previous posts. I think, I was quite clear.February 7, 2011 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #738789
And by the way, it was Ramban, not Rashi.February 7, 2011 3:17 pm at 3:17 pm #738790
m in Israel, unethical does not always mean illegal.February 7, 2011 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #738791
It’s not unethical for a guy who sits and learns, who really needs it, to take it. It might be unethical, if due to their family, they live the lap of luxury, but they take it because technically they have income within the guidelines!February 7, 2011 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #738792
health, it isn’t even unethical to receive food stamps if you technically qualify under the legal guidelines that determine eligibility, even if your parents are Rockefeller but you are an adult child who has no income. as long as he honestly answered all the questions on the food stamps application and they approved it correctly, that is all that determines its ethics. and im talking in general, not about kollel people or any specific subgroup. (kollel people actually do not live in the lap of luxury.)February 7, 2011 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #738794
I do not think it is unethical, but we have to be worried how it may be percieved.February 7, 2011 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #738795
shlishi – “health, it isn’t even unethical to receive food stamps if you technically qualify under the legal guidelines that determine eligibility, even if your parents are Rockefeller but you are an adult child who has no income”
If your parents/inlaws give you a lot of money and/or merchandise, and you really Can survive without the gov. programs, then- Yes, it is UNETHICAL!
“(kollel people actually do not live in the lap of luxury.)”
A good percentage of kollel people do! (Not all.)February 7, 2011 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #738796
IMO, its unethical for a person who has the ability to support themselves to choose not to and live off of the charity of others.February 7, 2011 4:15 pm at 4:15 pm #738797Avram in MDParticipant
M in Israel, if one uses to stolen money to support his limmud Torah, it is a mitzvah habah b’aveirah; just like using stolen money to buy Arbeh Minim. If one uses public funds to support his limmud Torah in those instances which you acknowledge it may be hashcafially inappropriate to do so, what else is it, if not navel birshut haTorah? Halacha may technically allow it, but it is disgusting.
I would like to get a better understanding of your position.
Suppose a man with a family worked as a janitor and received minimum wage. Would you be opposed to this man receiving government assistance to live?February 7, 2011 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #738798
SJSinNYC – “IMO, its unethical for a person who has the ability to support themselves to choose not to and live off of the charity of others.”
In the opinion of many Rabbonim, it’s perfectly fine to live off charity, even gov. charity, if you are in kollel!February 7, 2011 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm #738799
Avram in MD, I would have no such objection. But I would also expect the janitor in your hypothetical, to look for ways to get off of public assistance.February 7, 2011 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #738800
Health, I said in my opinion.
If you (the proverbial you) want to live your life on charity, I can’t stop you. But I can let you know I think your behavior is unethical.February 7, 2011 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #738802Avram in MDParticipant
But I would also expect the janitor in your hypothetical, to look for ways to get off of public assistance.
Ok. So now consider a man learning in kollel. Would you be opposed to this man receiving government assistance to live, provided he was looking for ways to get off public assistance?February 7, 2011 5:37 pm at 5:37 pm #738803
cantoresq & SJS – It’s one thing to disagree; it’s another to deligitmize anyone you have a disagreement with!
Can you bring any Rabbonim who say like you?
Even if you can, you still would have to say -Ayloo v’aloo divrei etc.February 7, 2011 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #738804
Avram did your hypothetial yungerman start out in Kollel relying on obtaining the benefits, or anticipating going on them at some point in the future?February 7, 2011 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #738805
Health, how did my position deligitimize anyone who disagrees with me?
There are rabbonim who allow plenty of things I disagree with – including tax evasion. It doesn’t mean I have to agree with them.
Avram, he should get out of Kollel ASAP and figure out how to start supporting a family.February 7, 2011 9:15 pm at 9:15 pm #738806
There is such a thing as Da’as Torah, even if SJSinNYc and Cantoresq think whatever they think. Acording to you, SJSinNYC and Cantoresq, is it o.k. for someone to be in kollel and rely on the financial support of others? Have you ever heard of Issochar and Zevulun? Of Chachazokas ha’Torah? Why is it o.k. for universities to receive grants for their work? As far as the government programs go , it is a different sha’ila.February 7, 2011 9:23 pm at 9:23 pm #738807
mdd, Yissochar/Zevulun is not charity. Its a business relationship. I’m actually in favor of that if you pay the Kollel man enough to earn a living wage. It may take a few families to sponsor that. I have no problem with voluntary support of people learning Torah.
Why is it ok for universities to recieve grants? Grants are in place to foster learning, creativity and ultimately, the betterment of society. There are tangible benefits to government grants.
I don’t know what chachazokas ha’Torah is. Can you please explain?February 7, 2011 9:29 pm at 9:29 pm #738808ProfessionalMember
is it fair that working ppl sponsor the non working who choose not to work?February 7, 2011 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm #738809
mdd, it should be surprise that my formulation of da’as Torah and its limits are far different that yours. Be that as it may, I fully support the Yissocher/Zevulun relationship when the parties enter into it voluntarily.February 7, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm #738810
On the subject of Yissocher/Zevulun, can a non-Jew really participate in such a relationship?February 8, 2011 3:55 am at 3:55 am #738811
SJSinNYC, Chachazokas ha’Torah is providing financial support for Talmud Torah. In an Issochar/Zevulun arrangement (which is a type of chachazokas ha’Torah), Zevulun gives 50% of his income to Issochar and gets 50% of his zechus of Talmud Torah. If one gives something to suppport learning, one gets a big mitsva, but not 50% of the zechus.February 8, 2011 4:18 am at 4:18 am #738812yunger mannMember
Thank you Hashem for the government programs that you give me. That allows me to sit and learn!February 8, 2011 1:21 pm at 1:21 pm #738813
Thanks mdd. I’ve never heard that term used before. I know what a Y/Z relationship is 🙂February 8, 2011 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #738814
“M in Israel, if one uses stolen money to support his limmud Torah, it is a mitzvah habah b’aveirah; just like using stolen money to buy Arbeh Minim. If one uses public funds to support his limmud Torah in those instances which you acknowledge it may be hashcafially inappropriate to do so, what else is it, if not navel birshut haTorah? Halacha may technically allow it, but it is disgusting.”
I don’t know anyone who would disagree with your first sentence, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything. Obviously if one is using stolen money it’s a problem. My understanding was that we were discussing money that was NOT stolen – i.e. if one is legitimately eligible for a program, should they avoid it so as to avoid Chillul Hashem, or because it is better not leave Kollel rather than be dependent on some form of “tzedakah”, etc. I said it “may be hashkafically inappropriate” — referring to the previous posts, not agreeing to the statement. I was saying that even one who feels there are Hashkafic problems can not legitimately say it is an “aveirah”.
mdd — I wasn’t addressing your arguments in my post, but as you seemed to feel I was, I will expand on my point. You may believe (as I in fact do believe) that government programs should be designed “(as Tsedoka) for people who fell on hard times and can not (temporarily, usually) put bread on the table.” However in the US today that is NOT the case. Most people who receive the more substantial forms of government assistance receive it for a lifetime. Many use it for numerous purposes other than putting bread on the table. If you believe otherwise you are out of touch with the reality of life in most “welfare” communities.
Judging the reality as such, if a legal program exists, with no particular “looking for work” requirements, and one qualifies 100%, I fail to see any ethical reason to avoid it, particularly if one is doing this in order to be involved in Limud Torah. Halacha does allow one to accept Tzedaka in order to learn (in fact in many situations supporting someone learning is actually one of the higher priorities in Tzedaka). I do not consider government funding an issue of tzedaka as the “givers” have no choice. I am just addressing the concept that seems to be recurring here that there is something innately wrong with “living of others” for the purpose of learning. I agree there is a problem with the nature of how such programs are set up, but fail to see how that incriminates one who participates in such a program.
In all honesty the only argument here that sounds reasonable based in Torah hashkafa as opposed to a WASP work ethic is the question of Chillul Hashem. Chillul Hashem is a HUGE aveira, as you mentioned earlier. (One for which even Yom Hamisa does not bring forgiveness.) But as with all mitzvos/ aveiros, the definition of Chillul Hashem is not what makes sense to you, or even based on some random critical comment. There are Halachic definitions and parameters, and as many poskim permit participating in such programs, I find it hard to believe that this is an “obvious” application of the Halachos.
From a logical perspective, I have listened to numerous talk shows, read articles, etc. from people who are vehemently opposed to the welfare system,and have yet to hear anyone complain about those learning in Kollel. I worked in the secular workplace for many years, and unfortunately heard many complaints about Jews, but never that they were too poor or a drain on society! It seems to me that if there is an issue of Chillul Hashem in this situation, it is in the eyes of other Jews, unfortunately. (Again, the main inyun of Kiddush Hashem/ Chillul Hashem is in front of Jews, so it doesn’t change the issue, I’m just addressing previous posts.)February 8, 2011 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #738815
It is not true that the main yinyan of Chillul HaShem is in front of Jews.
What I am talking about is telling people to go on the programs, swelling the number of Frum on the rolls, and risking Chillul HaShem. The fact that there are Rabbonim who hold it’s not a problem is not a raya — their heteirim are shvere.February 8, 2011 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #738816
M in Israel, if the Goyim have ta’anos, and the ta’anos are reasonable and fair ta’anos — it is a Chillul HaShem. That is the geder for this aveira.February 9, 2011 3:59 am at 3:59 am #738817
m in Israel: very eloquently stated!
the goyim do not have any reasonable taanos, plus like you pointed out, you dont even hear goyim complaining that there are too many Jews on food stamps or welfare.February 9, 2011 8:35 am at 8:35 am #738818
mdd — Chillul Hashem is actually a complex Halachic discussion, and I have not gone through the sources in many years. However according to the Rambam is his Sefer Hamitzvos, the main inyun of Chillul Hashem IS in front of Jews (certainly in the classical case of Chillul Hashem, and the Halachos of when one must give up one’s life for the sake of Kiddush Hashem — it is the presence of a minyun of Jews that turn the situation into Kiddush Hashem bfarhesia — even if there are many goyim present). According to most sources, Chillul Hashem also occurs when one acts in a way that will cause Goyim to feel that you are behaving in an immoral or unbefitting way (somewhat unclear if it means immoral according to their standards or according to their perception of Torah standards), hence the common use of the term. All agree it would apply to situations such as acting in a rude or inconsiderate manner, etc. But this is not a simple issue, and certainly in a situation like this when it is questionable whether the taanos reflect a violation of any moral code, or if they actually exist (see my previous post). Each individual should consult with their Posek, but are you in fact qualified to say that all Rabbonim who hold it’s not a problem have shvere heteirim? Are you a baki in this inyun of Chillul Hashem? If so, I am not (hey, I’m a lady!),and stand corrected. If not, perhaps be careful about passing such a blanket condemnation on groups of people in Klal Yisroel.February 9, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am #738819600 Kilo BearMember
You should be embarrassed to use any food stamps you do not print yourself.
Seriously, being on food stamps for more than a year or 2 of kollel is really not right. After that, the community should provide all support to those who really should be in kollel for longer and the rest need to get out there and work.
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