Kollel Life – Reality?
Home › Forums › Family Matters › Kollel Life – Reality?
- This topic has 230 replies, 37 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by shulchanhashalem.
January 30, 2015 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm #614775
I am currently at a big cross road in life- deciding between Seminary, College, & possibly marriage. It is very possible that next year I will be married. The boy I have in mind currently wants to learn in Kollel the first few years of marriage. I come from a Modern family- both my parents are well established, college graduated/oriented type of people- not likely to support me or my husband financially, especially when/if there are little ones. He comes from a typical, black-hat, Yeshivishe family- however they are open minded. I want my children to grow up in a Torah home- I want them to grow up feeling a connection to HaShem and a love for Torah, to see the beauty in it. It is expected that I graduate from college, so with that said, it is possible that I will be married, in college, and working to support my (possibly growing) family. Can somebody here please tell me what a Kollel lifestyle is life, and the difficulties? Is it realistic for me? Is it not right for me to ask him to compromise, possibly learning half a day, working the other half?January 30, 2015 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #1065759
FFBBT613 it is a wonderful thing marrying a learn and I can guarantee u Hashem will provide ample suppsence for ur familyJanuary 30, 2015 9:55 pm at 9:55 pm #1065760
*Kollel life is like- please excuse the typo.January 30, 2015 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm #1065761
FFBBT613 have simcha all the time knowing what reward u and ur family will get in Olam Habah cause u husband is learn Hashem’s torahJanuary 31, 2015 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #1065762RabbiRabinMember
Go to a decent seminary go to some of the thousands of English Speaking kollel families living in Eretz Yisroel for Shabbos (many from modern backgrounds whose parents initially would not agree to offer any support) and find out how they are doing it and how long the average does it for. Does the wife have a degree? how did she get it? Did parents come around? etc Hashem certainly doesnt lack funds to be able to take care of the thousands of kollel families I’m pretty sure one more young couple wont break his bank. There is nothing greater for your marriage and for your future progeny than spending the first few years of your marriage in a kollel setting. Husband learning and you and him being mosser nefesh for Torah. Good LuckJanuary 31, 2015 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #1065763Chochom-ibberParticipant
Mamish this weeks parsha. Many things can be derived from Parshas Ha’maan.
1) The tzadikim didn’t have to go far, the maan was deposited close to their doors. (less hishtadlus)
2) Those who needed more got more whether they took more or less.
There is many many more things to learn in regards to Hashem providing parnosa. One can start a separate thread on this topic.January 31, 2015 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm #1065764
Ffbb613, forgive me for asking, but did you NOT grow up ffb, which presumably means you grew up in a Torah home? Did you never feel a connection to Hashem in your home? If your crossroads decision includes possibly going to Seminary, then your parents must be machshiv Torah in their way. I think you should speak with them first and foremost and address your feelings with them. Also make sure you discuss kollel life with real kollel wives who are NOT being financially supported by their parents, and see how they feel after a couple of years of solely supporting their families while raising a family. Take the fantasy out of the equation and make your decisions based on REALISTIC expectations. Hatzlacha rabbah.January 31, 2015 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #1065765
Oomis even if her parents were always frum it does not mean she grew up in a Torah home sad to say.February 1, 2015 12:33 am at 12:33 am #1065767
Oomis- My family is frum- my father grew up in a very Yeshivish home but the black hat life style was not for him. My mother grew up knowing nothing, she can’t understand the value of sitting and learning unless it’s out of a college textbook. My family is more modern than i am. Both my parents are supportive if I go to Seminary or not. They’ll support me as far as I want to go in my Yiddishkeit, just will not support me and my husband if I decide to marry a boy who learns.February 1, 2015 1:22 am at 1:22 am #1065768
FFBBT613 have u asked ur father’s brother he might support ur husband learningFebruary 1, 2015 1:25 am at 1:25 am #1065769from Long IslandParticipant
My husband and I are MO, college educated. Our daughters wanted the kollel lifestyle. We convinced them to get educated before marriage.
They are both married, with children supporting their husbands in learning without any parental support.
It is not an easy (financially) life, but a spiritually rewarding one. I cannot imagine how they would survive without the education that allows them to make a decent living.February 1, 2015 1:35 am at 1:35 am #1065770
Why are your grandchildren supporting their father?February 1, 2015 1:52 am at 1:52 am #1065771
Goq, I try to not be chosheid b’ksheirim. And just because someone is modern Orthodox, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a Torah home. That kind of thinking is both faulty and nonproductive.February 1, 2015 1:55 am at 1:55 am #1065772
Ffbb, and THAT is exactly why you need to be very certain of what you can potentially expect in choosing this lifestyle. That’s all I am saying.February 1, 2015 2:42 am at 2:42 am #1065773
That was not what I meant at all oomis, my family was a frum family, but in a Torah true home would a child be mentally and physically abused? would a person born with disabilities be made to feel ashamed and guilty in a Torah true home? in a Torah true home would any parent ever hate their child and relish in making sure that child knew that in their eyes he was worthless? they were frum but they did not live the Torah in my house.February 1, 2015 3:09 am at 3:09 am #1065774
@from Long Island- did you care if the boys whom they married had a college education/GED?February 1, 2015 3:10 am at 3:10 am #1065775
& Baruch HaShem I have amazing, unconditionally loving, parents.February 1, 2015 5:28 am at 5:28 am #1065776
FFBBT613 I will support ur husband and u,February 1, 2015 5:41 am at 5:41 am #1065777old manParticipant
Your financial problems have been solved. Just send any bills you can’t pay to Rema711 and RabbiRabin. They guarantee you won’t have any problems paying your bills.February 1, 2015 6:23 am at 6:23 am #1065778
old man I will support u as wellFebruary 1, 2015 6:59 am at 6:59 am #1065779cozimjewishMember
FFBBT – There are seminaries that give you college credits. That way, you could do both sem and college (when you return).February 1, 2015 7:55 am at 7:55 am #1065780
FFBBT613 the best seminary to go to is NeveFebruary 1, 2015 8:28 am at 8:28 am #1065781Daniel Q BlogMember
I have a few tidbits on the Kollel lifestyle, but I will save for another time.
Two points though for now – one general, one random.
One – life cannot be planned. Sort of obvious, but worth noting. Many couples ready to learn for the long term have various things that disable that future, and couples who are planning on a year or two max might end up learning for a while. The basic yesod is that the couple is functioning and happy. This at times is due to external pressures that cannot be changed. However, I heard from an Adom Gadol on the topic of a girl who only wants to have a guy learn a year max. Well, if during the year, there is harmony, she sees her husband grow, and everything is solid. Then she might change her mind and say well one more year etc. On the opposite end, a girl might be theoretically ready to support for life, but after year might find the lifestyle too restricting etc. In other words, plan, do one’s histadlus, but don’t think of things too much in a box especially if they have not happened yet.
Second, a great profession for a girl wanting to support is be an accountant. It’s solid, not as often done, and more options than a therapist of some manner or teacher…not to mention often more lucrative. Touro has a good program from what I hear. And btw, husbands that work often also need their wife to help out. 2 jobs is the reality for most in the frum world. It’s not a degree l’vatelah if your husband goes to work.
B’sha tovah u’mislachkas.
DQBFebruary 1, 2015 8:56 am at 8:56 am #1065782February 1, 2015 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm #1065783
@Rema711- I was thinking about The New Seminary & killing two birds with one stone.February 1, 2015 1:14 pm at 1:14 pm #1065784mominjerusalemParticipant
The kollel lifestyle is so so rewarding, but it is also difficult.
I do not have any form of degree, (although i’m about to take an online course) we do not have any form of support financially. Its definately been difficult, but all i can say is that there is no lifestyle that you see Hashem more clearly than this. We live month to month, and baruch hashem we are making it.
But you have to really want it to push through the hard times. Hashem is with you even in the hard times.
I grew up ‘traditional’ and also very comfertable financially. My parents definately don’t get it. But were pushing on, and its going great.
Hatzlacha in whatever you choose!February 1, 2015 1:52 pm at 1:52 pm #1065785
You are very kind yybk ty, my only reason for mentioning it is some people think frum = pure, good, holy all the time and sadly this is not so.February 1, 2015 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #1065786Avi KParticipant
Reality check: it is prohibited to rely on miracles (see, for example, Iggerot Moshe, Orach Chaim 2:111 and 4:48 on buying insurance). if you have a lucrative profession and are willing to work full-time while juggling kids and your huband has a future in Tora (= he has the potential to be a r”m/rosh yeshiva/rav/dayan) then it is possible. However, if you do not have such a profession (kollelim pay very little – when they pay) you are heading for a life a poverty.If you do not mind that is your decision but you should go in with open eyes. Moreover, if your husband is just going to warm a chair in a bet midrash it is really questionable if it is even permitted l’chatchila. Better that the place should go to someone who has a reasonable future in Tora and you and your husband support Tora institutions.February 1, 2015 2:16 pm at 2:16 pm #1065787anon1m0usParticipant
This week’s parsha also says: ???-???????? ?????; ??????? ???-??????-??????????, ??????????.
A person needs to do hishtadlus.
@FFBBT613- Do what you like, but it is selfish of you to expect someone else to support you. Either support yourself or you need to accept your lifestyle. As you stated, this is not a question of your parents accepting a kollel lifestyle; since it seems they do. They won’t support nor it is their responsibility to support you. If you feel you are old enough to get married and raise a family, you should also be old enough to support yourself.
The decision is ultimately yours, no one else. As people explained, it is hard. Be ready to accept not getting new clothing, limited amount of choices of food and not always paying your bills. As people explained, it is doable, but don’t make the decision lightly.February 1, 2015 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #1065788JosephParticipant
FFBBT613: A Kollel life is by far the best decision a new couple can choose. Giving up materialism for ruchniyus is almost a no-brainer. What you gain far exceeds what you lose. While it isn’t always possible for everyone to achieve this lofty goal, anyone who can would be foolish throwing this once in a lifetime opportunity away. To get places in life we all need to make some sacrifices. But at the end of the day you will be happy you did.February 1, 2015 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #1065789
FFBBT613 go to Neve and also get a degree online thru U of PhoenixFebruary 1, 2015 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #1065790
FFBBT613-I think I can say I’m sort of in a similar boat to you. I’m just a bit older but your background sounds pretty identical to mine. I think the most important thing for you to remember is what @DQB said (you said it beautifully: do not rely on your parents. My parents are also more modern than me and they have told me many times they won’t support me. Is it hard to see other people get married run off to Eretz Yisroel on their parents credit cards- yes, a bit. But that’s life and HaShem gives everyone their own challenges.
What I did was I went to seminary and now I’m in university studying To become a nurse. I do not think getting a one year degree is gonna get me an income I will be happy living off of (assistant teacher secretary etc.) I personally have a love for helping others and I’m interested in health and how the human body functions. I’ve actualy grown closer To hashem in the secular university I am in.
Life isn’t always ideal, but it’s how you decide to live it and take Yor challenges that will make R life how it is. Just learn to rely on yourself (of course via hashem) but not your parents. They seem like wonderful loving people, but this is Ur choice, live it and make it your choice.February 1, 2015 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #1065791
I agree with you all & I’m not expecting/was never expecting my parents to drop money down on the table but possibly help with expenses here & there. Please don’t think that’s what I was trying to say, & the boy I have in mind, I know for a fact he won’t just be ‘warming a seat’.February 1, 2015 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #1065792
Yeshivos offer close to the same amount of credits peer semester that colleges do. If he has aBA whatever it becomes necessary to leave Yeshiva, he is only two and a half years away from a degree. This is not such an extreme amount of time. Meanwhile, there are plenty of jobs that a BA qualified you for that only require a minimum of training and pay respectably. From a financial stand point, kollel is viable, besides for the fact that hashem supports those that sit and learn his Torah. That is the lesson of the Tzinetes HaMann.February 1, 2015 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #1065793zahavasdadParticipant
We just read Pashas Manna this week
The Manna fell and even for the Tzadikkim the Manna only fell by their front door and they had to go outside and get it, it did not fall on their Kitchen Table ready to eatFebruary 1, 2015 5:38 pm at 5:38 pm #1065794
That was not what I meant at all oomis, my family was a frum family, but in a Torah true home would a child be mentally and physically abused? would a person born with disabilities be made to feel ashamed and guilty in a Torah true home? in a Torah true home would any parent ever hate their child and relish in making sure that child knew that in their eyes he was worthless? they were frum but they did not live the Torah in my house”
And you are correct – “frum” does not always = good and kind (but then again, I don’t consider abusive people to be frum – just my personal feeling). You had a rough time, and I am so sorry for your tzoros growing up, but that is also the point. Modern Orthodox does not mean that someone does NOT have a Torah home. I would consider my sister and brother in law to be VERY MO, but my brother-in-law is VERY machshiv Torah, gives all his kochos to his Shul and community, has commissioned the writing of Sifrei Torah, and sets a beautiful example for his family.
Until Hurricane Sandy, my sister wasa machnisat orchim bar none. They helped send my kids through Yeshivah, as well as others, when we were going through tough times. Being MO is not a negative. Neither is shukling in Shul and sitting in Beis Medrash all day indicative of a person’s real character. Each person should be judged on his/her own actions.
BTW, apropos of kids getting married and running off to E”Y on their parents’ credit cards – in my opinion, that is not a
Kollel lifestyle. It is a FAKE Kollel lifestyle. Kollel wives need to be prepared to sacrifice for that zechus. If the couple expects their tab to be picked up by their parents, they are just living the same as they did before, only married.February 1, 2015 6:13 pm at 6:13 pm #1065795
I never said one word about modern orthodox jews.February 1, 2015 6:29 pm at 6:29 pm #1065796
oomis and GOQ- beautifully written! you have an incredible mindset, and you are helping to bring moshiach closer! I think what Goq was getting at was misinterpretted by you, and that was just a miscommunication. Goq, thank you for your insight into your upbringing. You are correct, many people show they are from a “Torah home”, whatever we might define that as, but really they are just faking it. I think we can all agree that a true Torah home would never abuse their children, treat others badly, teaches negative middos etc. That is not that the Torah teaches.
FFBBT613-I know you werent saying that, I am just saying, it could be an incredibly mature thing to come to your parents saying here is my plan (whether that be going to seminary, getting married etc.). Your parents want to see you are on your own two feet. It is easy to imagine being married and working as a secretary, having kids etc. It is alot harder to go throuhg with it, therefore I suggest you lay out the pros and cons of everything. What are the pros of doing the degree through seminary- what types of jobs will that get you in the future- will you be happy with the salary of that job, or will you want something more. Are you the type of person who enjoys shopping, or will want to cook up extrvagnat meals? Are you a huge red mest eater- thats expensive! Start looking into the price of living, how much is rent, where do you want to live.
The most important thing here is to know yourself. Know your limits and know what you want out of life. Don’t rush into life without knowing yourself first (that could mean take the year to go to seminary and learn more about yourself). Remember, you have the rest of your life to enjoy marrige BH!February 1, 2015 9:33 pm at 9:33 pm #1065797showjoeParticipant
FFBBT: im just a young kid without much experience in the world, and therefore, while i wish you the greatest hazlacha in life, i dont really have any good advice.
however, im a little confused about your situation. are you thinking about going to seminary next year? if so that would put you in 12th grade. that seems a little early to get married, unless you are now chassidish (which is not the way your story sounds). and even if you think you are ready to get married now, how to you know this boy if your in 12th grade? the only possibility i can think of is that he, like you, moved over from left to right, and you know him from your MO days.
if you already the normal age to get married, wouldnt it be to late to go to sem?
whatever age you are, are you sure this boy would marry you? are you sure hes ready to get married? have you/are you dated/dating him?
have you discussed marriage wit your parents yet?February 2, 2015 12:07 am at 12:07 am #1065798
@shoejoe- I am currently in 12th grade however in my circle (not Chassidish) it’s pretty normal to get engaged the summer after graduation or the following year. It is not too late for me to go to Sem, seeing as this boy will be in his Shana Gimmel year in Yeshiva in E”Y. We have been dating now for almost 3 years- I would hope he wants to marry me & from the conversations we’ve had around marriage they’ve all been positive ones. My parents would love for me to go to college and explore the world but I want a different life than them. We wouldn’t be getting married iyh if it happens, most likely around the Pesach/Summer of next year as we are both not fully ready yet.February 2, 2015 12:08 am at 12:08 am #1065799
@showjoe- *forgot to add, he comes from your typical black hat yeshivish family, however he is more modern than they are. He has a very warm and open minded family BH.February 2, 2015 12:34 am at 12:34 am #1065800JosephParticipant
FFBBT613: I’m really curious to know which non-chasidish communities commonly has people getting engaged starting the summer following the end of 12th grade. Is it also common for people to start dating in 9th grade, as you’ve done with this boy?February 2, 2015 1:27 am at 1:27 am #1065801
FFBT- “My parents would love for me to go to college and explore the world but I want a different life than them.”
Just because you go to college doesn’t mean you won’t have a different life than them. I fell like you almost resent the way you were raised and that you just want everything different for you and your family.
I only say this, cuz that is what happened to me. I came home from seminary with a very yeshvish outlook, and I was like I am not doing university, I want to lead a kollel lifestyle. But then I matured, ALOT, and I realized that one thing doens’t mean the other can’t exist.
Just as alot of people here are saying- you can lead a kollel lifestyle and be supported by your parents, eating at fancy resturants every night, going on beautiful vacations having the faniciest phones and posting it all to your instagram account. Or you can live a life with none of that and compeltly dedicate your resources to Torah and Tzeddakah. I’m not saying one of the other is right. I’m saying it is ok to find a balance.
What your parents want from you is one thing. But I don’t think they are wrong. Getting a degree is super helpful in todays stressful economy and they want your life to be as stress free as possible. Going to college doesn’t mean your following their path, it means you are opening the doors to a great career with a good income, and your family will only benefit from it. I don’t think to be a “real kollel wife” you need to sacrafice your talents to be a teaching assistent if there are other things you will enjoy more. I don’t think it means you have to cut yourself off from your past and everything you were raised with. I think part of your growth process must be to evaluate your past and bridge it with your future.
Sorry for the rant, theres just so much in your story that resembles me and I had a very difficult few years that I feel I need to get off my chest.February 2, 2015 1:30 am at 1:30 am #1065802
@Lior- The Syrian circle, & it could be other girls started then, just nobody talks about it. Two girls in my class are already engaged.February 2, 2015 2:05 am at 2:05 am #1065804
Goq, if I misunderstood what you meant (and I apparently did), I am sorry, and also sorry that my response could have been unintentionally hurtful in any way. I know from your various posts that you have been through a number of nisyonos, and yet you have come through them with a good heart and kind soul. You are absolutely correct that being “frum” (appearing to be frum) does not equate with a Torah home necessarily. It SHOULD, though.February 2, 2015 2:06 am at 2:06 am #1065805
OurTorah – thank you.February 2, 2015 2:11 am at 2:11 am #1065806
@OURtorah- 100% fine with me, rant away haha:) I understand the value of a college education don’t get me wrong- I feel that guys who sit and learn should get one JIC (BH most Yeshiva offer such an option) but I just feel like i Can go to college and have a family at the same time while my parents do not necessarily agree.February 2, 2015 2:14 am at 2:14 am #1065807
thank you so much oomis no offense was taken but i appreciate the apology, thank you ourtorah for your kind words.February 2, 2015 4:08 am at 4:08 am #1065808
oomis- you rock! I always have appreciated your posts, you are sensative to every type of jew and thats why your post before came from an innocent and heartful place! It is so nice to hear the way you apologized to Goq- I have alot to learn in the middah of rachemim, and reading your posts are a good place to start!
Goq- Thank you for YOUR kind words! You are always so thought provoking in your posts as well. I was not aware of the many nisyonos you went through as a child, but I can tell now that you are an articulate, well thoguht person with incredible iontentions to help others! Thank you for inspiring me, and others around you!
FFBT- thanks pal 🙂 You can! It will be hard, but it is doeable. That is something they will have to get over though. My best advice on thqt note is that if they arent supporting you, they shouldn’t have a say whether you have kids and are in school- you are supporting yourself. You can decide to take out student loans as well (intrest free!) if you are in collage, which can help you support your family until you get a job! Keep strong, and Hatzlacha!February 2, 2015 4:13 am at 4:13 am #1065809showjoeParticipant
whats the heter to date in 9th grade? is there one, or to ppl just to it? or do you guys really thinking about marriage in 9th grade?
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.