Kesuba vs Kollel

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  • #2102087

    This is a good question on difference between Torah and general jobs, thanks to both of you for raising it. Again, maybe I am too sensitive here to the holiness v other jobs, following rambam .. let me try to clarify where I see differences:

    #2102102

    I think I posted one part in a different thread about comparative ethical behavior in chinuch and general jobs. A lost post, $1 reward for finding it …

    another aspect – comparative effect. An accountant may lose some money; a doctor – someone’s life, teachers/Rabbis – someone’s neshomos … To invert a famous comparison that respect to a Rav is more than to a Parent: giving olam habo v. haze: then a bad teacher is worse than a bad parent; if a mother is tired and does not want to feed the kid, or father watches TV all evening, the kid only loses out some olam haze; but a teacher who is not inspiring loses the kid.

    To admit, a part of current system of keeping low salaries is designed to only keep dedicated teachers. As one principal argued to me that his teachers might make mistakes, but at least they are not malicious: “they are not here for the money”. This might have worked earlier, but now there are so many people who do not have other job prospects that they are going into chinuch out of necessity. Again, maybe OOT gets it worse and things are different in the heart of Jewish civilization.

    #2102103

    > if we were talking about a family struggling with the idea of taking their kids out of public school to put them into a frum school

    you are right. For me it was shocking because the parents are both learned and at least one has great middos. They understood what the kid needs but felt trapped. I would be indeed less shocked knowing what some am haaretz would do. I think you are kind-off see my position as corrupt learners v. honest amei haaretz. Not so. I am suggesting that learnt Jews should grow in their middos (and learning) not that they should lower themselves.

    #2102106

    > Do kollel men or Torah teachers not have wives?

    Indeed, these exact words is what a Mussar rebbe’s wife whispered to his father when he attempted a mussar shmooze after Shabbos Maariv ๐Ÿ™‚ The difference is that the working man’s wife can tell her husband to go work harder, look for another job. Wife of a person with limited work prospects has it harder, especially as she initially signed up for it. Let’s even say, she is ready to continue live in poverty provided he learns, but she sees that he lost interest and is biding his time. Of course, she can read him some mussar, but can she make him to love learning again to be worthy of her hardships?!

    #2102109

    Welcome to episode number 5 of ‘show AAQ his errors and watch him Segway to something tangential’

    #2102397
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Always_Ask_Questions,

    “Again, maybe I am too sensitive here to the holiness v other jobs, following rambam”

    You want Torah Yidden to be perfect – we all do. We should be careful though because the yetzer hara doesn’t just use our taivos against us, it can use our holiness against us as well, changing a desire to build up into acts of tearing down.

    “Again, maybe OOT gets it worse and things are different in the heart of Jewish civilization.”

    I’m also OOT, and maybe things are different in your corner of OOT. But here, there are a lot of MO who express hostility towards kollel learning and kollel learners, R”L, perhaps using the Rambam as cover. And thus, those learning in kollel here are truly mesiras nefesh for their Torah, and they give back to the community with shiurim and chavrusos. And some go into other professions after learning for a number of years, but those learning seem genuinely to be on fire for Torah. That’s why I find it hard to process your stereotypes of the lazy and sinister kollel man.

    #2102430

    Avram, a good point on yetzer hara, but I am not sure why the lame excuse “we are not perfect”. Our community has no problem on taking on various chumros, but suddenly in the matters of lifestyle and integrity, we are looking for kulos. I am thinking of incremental measures that can help raise the standards, such as using modern business methods to monitor what is happening in schools or get feedback from kollel families. To mix the subject: while I was going around at the start of covid, trying to explain with a CO2-meter shuls that windows need to be opened, one local public school system has these measurements online in real time .. I know measuring learning is not as easy as CO2, but still …

    #2102431

    I don’t see high hostility from MO to kollel in my area. some interact and come to learn, others – ignore and have their own learning. We might be an outlier as MO community is mostly academic and medical, not business or finance or other argumentive professions ๐Ÿ™‚ Where I see problems is from people arriving from “in town”, mostly into professional teaching, showing hostility to MO or anything that is not “their way”. Mahybe we are getting those who were rejects in their local educational system.

    #2102896
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Always_Ask_Questions,

    “Avram, a good point on yetzer hara, but I am not sure why the lame excuse โ€œwe are not perfectโ€.”

    Where have I made any excuses? Jews are not perfect – Bilaam saw that too, but was Hashem happy with what he did? I know you feel that you are giving tochacha and not trying to curse, but your tochacha is unspecific, based on negative stereotypes, and sounds like it was lifted off the pages of the Xian bible’s rants against Pharisees. Listen to the feedback you are receiving, think about what is motivating you.

    “Our community has no problem on taking on various chumros”

    It seems like you do have a problem with it.

    “but suddenly in the matters of lifestyle and integrity, we are looking for kulos.”

    Are we? Have you conducted a poll?

    #2102897
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Always_Ask_Questions,

    “I donโ€™t see high hostility from MO to kollel in my area.”

    Old-ish joke: A lady in Century Village down in Florida was watching the news, and saw a breaking story about a wrong-way driver in I-95. Knowing her husband was driving home from the store, she called him frantically. “Irving! Get off the road right now! There’s a maniac going the wrong way down I-95!”

    Irving said, “One maniac? I see a hundred!”

    #2102948

    > wrong-way driver in I-95

    I am trying to stay on the sidewalk rather than risk driving the wrong way. That is, I am not participating in partisan activities. I may sound like a partisan to you as I am addressing several specific points where I think community is going in a wrong direction, but that does not make me a liberal goon, I hope. (My kids said that they have to assure their friends that I am not a liberal because I am pro-mask).

    #2102949

    > your tochacha is unspecific, based on negative stereotypes

    I was making some specific suggestions in the middle of stereotyping. If you feel any of these issues worth addressing, feel free to propose your specific solutions. It is, in fact, the right approach when you hear tochacha that feels very unfair – any tochacha is valuable, so search even an unfair one for possibly something relevant. for example, based on your comments, I’ll try to check more often how many cars are going the wrong way even if I don’t think I do ๐Ÿ™‚

    #2103503
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Always_Ask_Questions,

    “I may sound like a partisan to you as I am addressing several specific points where I think community is going in a wrong direction”

    Partisan is too mild a word. When your “specific points” are exclusively directed at a community that you are not a part of, and are not based on reason or personal experience, or any limited personal experience is processed in a biased way to amplify the negative and negate the positive, that is not partisanship, that is prejudice.

    “I was making some specific suggestions in the middle of stereotyping.”

    Specific suggestions that ignore communal needs, values, mores, and culture are meaningless. You’ll make more headway telling the public schools you adore that they need more God and prayer in their classrooms.

    “It is, in fact, the right approach when you hear tochacha that feels very unfair โ€“ any tochacha is valuable, so search even an unfair one for possibly something relevant.”

    That may be if the tochacha was directed at me, but I am not in kollel. My goal in this conversation is ื•ื—ื™ ืื—ื™ืš ืขืžืš

    #2103505
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Always_Ask_Questions,

    “If you feel any of these issues worth addressing, feel free to propose your specific solutions.”

    Also, this is circular reasoning, because you are presuming the existence of these issues.

    #2103601

    > Specific suggestions that ignore communal needs, values, mores, and culture are meaningless.

    If communal norm is to, say, rely on welfare to support learning; or to refuse transparency by suggesting “trust us”, it is worth questioning those.

    #2103666
    Ray Kaufman
    Participant

    A Kesuba is a contract much like any commercial contract one may see in the secular world. Like any commercial contract it has Standard Terms and Conditions (sometimes referred to as “boiler plate”) which, among other things, obligate the Chasan to feed, house, clothe and otherwise support the Kallah. This is what is often read at the Chasannah. Also like a standard commercial contract, it can have appendices, called tosfos ha’kesuba which can specify, explain or limit the standard terms and conditions. It is my belief that any deviation from the standard kesubah, such as the kallah or her family supporting the Chassan in kolel, be stated in the tosfos with specific durations, amounts and other conditions as may be agreed upon. (P.S. these conditions or modification need to specified in the kesubah, not the tenayim,)

    #2103714
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Always_Ask_Questions,

    “If communal norm is to, say, rely on welfare to support learning;”

    So I got married right after getting by BS from a university, and we started having children while I was in grad school. We relied on some government programs such as Medicaid, and my parents and in-laws helped us a lot to make ends meet. My wife received some government grants to help her complete her bachelors degree. After grad school I landed a job, but based on our income and family size we qualified for housing assistance, and lived for a while in a rent-reduced apartment. When we purchased a house, we utilized a large interest free loan via a Federal homebuying program to help us scrape enough together for the minimum down payment. Now B”H we aren’t relying on any government “welfare” programs, but due to our family size, KA”H I don’t end up owing much in Federal income taxes, yet I still drive on Interstate highways, rely on the USDA for my food’s quality, and so far have not had foreign armies raiding my street. And I feel no guilt for any of it. Am I a bad person?

    “or to refuse transparency by suggesting โ€œtrust usโ€, it is worth questioning those.”

    This seems to be you taking a bad personal experience and projecting it onto an entire group of people.

    #2103715
    amom
    Participant

    AAQ- as a kollel wife, I find your responses sadly misinformed. There are a very small percentage of kollel men that learn more than 5 years in kollel. They either leave because they can’t sit and learn anymore (nobody wants to sit and not accomplish- it doesn’t feel good) or because there wives say ENOUGH! Most kollel husbands want to please their wives, like most husbands in the world do. They care about their families. Many of them are very successful in the business world, and some aren’t, just like the rest of the world.
    The few kollel people I know that are learning long term are doing it because they and their wives want it.
    When discussing kollel men in Israel one runs into a different topic where people are learning not to go to the army, which causes many problems.
    Men going into chinuch is also a completely different topic than kollel men.

    #2103893

    Avram,
    you are humbly describing your productive lifestyle using available government program as part of it. I also used welfare for several months when I was in a similar stage of life. I still get paid by the government by applying for competitive contracts … In the considered – hypothetical – case, if there were a government program listing Torah learning as an allowable occupation (a sign Moschiach is coming?) one can make a case for taking that money, despite Rambam’s opposition.

    #2103894

    amom, I hear you. (and I am sure Israeli kollel wives will deny that they have difficulties and find a tirutz for your concerns).

    We have a lot of halochos that are built to maintain good social behaviors even in the face of potential bad behavior. As the daf is starting ketubos – we encourage chatanim to spend some money on the wedding – so that he has hard time deciding soon after the marriage that single life was better, why just not give her a get … and, in general, we have a ketubah and not saying “most husbands will be good”. what I am saying here, there are modern mechanisms to monitor business and learning processes – and I am wondering whether they are used or could be used. Say, I can see how my kids learned math by looking at standardized test. I can’t evaluate their mishna skills with the same precision, and you probably can’t evaluate your husband’s learning – or even his learning when you were getting married. Maybe, every rosh yeshiva provides exact feedback on the level of learning to brides & wives, do they?

    #2103895

    Avram > projecting it onto an entire group of people.

    to a degree, yes. Some people with whom I had such experience, clearly felt superior based on superficial look at our demographics without knowing anything about the family and talked from that perspective. I perhaps talk similarly when asked about statistics of something by an amateur (and I probably did it here when we were doing covid numbers). In my defense, I can say that none of the Talmidei Chachamim that I consulted about these issues, tried to correct my misunderstandings and mostly commiserated. Not because I was out of control – I was specifically asking whether I am reacting correctly.

    #2103896

    amom > Men going into chinuch is also a completely different topic than kollel men

    I see it as relates topic of men not getting prepared to earn parnosah. Again, not to deny the wonderful Rebbes and learners. I am talking about those for whom this derech is not working out.

    Just read R Avigdor Miller who is speaking very carefully: yes, it is a good idea to teach a kid the language of the country so that he can earn a living. No, it does not mean that if your yeshiva is not teaching that language, that this is wrong. don’t think that. But, if your yeshiva does teach that language, they are doing the right thing. I hope I reproduced this pretzel correctly.

    #2104223
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Always_Ask_Questions,

    “your productive lifestyle using available government program as part of it”

    Is full time Torah learning not a productive lifestyle?

    “I can say that none of the Talmidei Chachamim that I consulted about these issues, tried to correct my misunderstandings and mostly commiserated.”

    Are you talking about kollel learners or Covid restrictions here?

    #2104266

    > Is full time Torah learning not a productive lifestyle?

    not from the point of view of taxpayers – other than classes accredited academically and qualifying for educational subsidies. Maybe, if we behave in a way that Americans see the value of learning and write it in the law and regulations, then it will be great. Say, one who gets unemployment/welfare can either be learning a profession, search for work, or learn Torah. For example, Aleph has a certified program that helps prisoners and they are teaching Torah there, leading to earlier release.
    Would it be possible to qualify kollel classes as educational the way some yeshivos/seminaries do? Maybe PhD in Yevamos?

    #2104402

    It’s hard to believe anyone who values Torah could Come up with that. Certainly no respect for it, but even value it.

    #2104416
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Rif and the Rosh are used as two poskim from three (Rambam) by the Mechaber to determine halacha. They don’t bring what is called ื”ืœื›ืชื ืœืžืฉื™ื—ื” halachas which currently don’t apply but will apply at the time of Meshiach. So the Kollelim have to concentrate on producing poskim and emphasizing the halachas derived from the learning. Even though there is a mitzva to learn, it is not the responsibility of individuals to support learning where halacha is secondary. The emphases should be ืžื‘ื™ืŸ ื“ื‘ืจ ืžืชื•ืš ื“ื‘ืจ understanding one thing from another.

    #2104438
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Always_Ask_Questions,

    “not from the point of view of taxpayers”

    Who cares what the taxpayers think? I want to know what you think.

    “other than classes accredited academically and qualifying for educational subsidies. Maybe, if we behave in a way that Americans see the value of learning and write it in the law and regulations, then it will be great.”

    Ah, but they do. There are yeshivos and kollelim that offer academically accredited degrees such as BTL or BTS, and even graduate degrees. Semicha (religious ordination) is also a generally recognized accomplishment in the U.S. that can lead to employment as a clergyman. So if a yungerman was accruing these degrees or working towards semicha while sitting and learning, would that check your productivity boxes?

    “Say, one who gets unemployment/welfare can either be learning a profession, search for work, or learn Torah.”

    The median income for a 25-29 year old who is the proud and productive recipient of a bachelors degree majoring in humanities or liberal arts is just north of $40,000. The poverty line reaches that income with a household of 7 people, 5 of them being dependent children. So the question you should be asking your taxpayer friends is if it is valuable to the United States for people to get married and have children, and raise them in a culture that produces peaceful, extremely low crime communities with vibrant businesses and lots of travel.

    #2104463

    > would that check your productivity boxes?

    sure, as long as one uses 3rd party funds as they are intended, I am fine with using them.

    > and raise them in a culture that produces peaceful, extremely low crime communities with vibrant businesses and lots of travel.

    Again, I have no problem using gov funds for their intended purposes. I do think, gov should subsidize (responsible) parents. I think T-s tax reform let us get deductions for children regardless of income and I felt very good – not just for the thousands dollars “saved”, but for the fact that the country values our parental contribution.

    Another way to demonstrate the benefit of your culture is to organize a local government, such as in Lakewood/Monsey/New Square, where you can collect local taxes from your business people and support Talmidei Chachamim under watchful direction of gedolim. If such a community prospers, everyone could see the numbers in the town accounting and look up to it. Let me know if we have an example to review.

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