Kollel Life – Reality?
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- This topic has 230 replies, 37 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by shulchanhashalem.
February 2, 2015 4:47 am at 4:47 am #1065810
@showjoe- I’m not sure if there’s an official heter or not. I started dating this boy going into 10th grade.February 2, 2015 4:52 am at 4:52 am #1065811
“From a typical, yeshivish, black hat family”? You’re still dating and he wants to learn in kollel?February 2, 2015 4:57 am at 4:57 am #1065812
Ffbt- If you dknt mind me asking- how did u become more right wing than Ur parents? Was it your high school? Cuz if you met him before u changed does that mean U changed for each other? Make sure to keep in mind that high school is an import timefir self identification (without boys). I grew up MO so for me It was the norm to date boys in high school. Aka it wasn’t shunned or unheard of. But I think for u to go to seminary could be eye opening- especially if you didn’t get the self growth experience in high schoolFebruary 2, 2015 5:41 am at 5:41 am #1065813bais yakov maidelParticipant
FFBBT613 – What does your husband plan on doing after a few years of learning in kollel?February 2, 2015 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #1065814
@YYBC- There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but yes. & just for everybodies clarification- WE ARE SHOMER!
OURtorah- I became more towards the right when I went to camp for a summer. I met him when I was in middle of changing, we were both changing not for each other. My high school I went to is amazing, and I don’t feel I missed out on any of the self growth that all the other girls went through.
@BYmaidel- Most likely go to work, but they way he’s talking right now, he wants to learn for a while.February 2, 2015 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #1065815
Sorry, no. I wasn’t going to say anything, but now that you are rationalizing that it’s okay because “we are shomer”, I must bring R’ Moshe’s teshuvah, which is a davar pashut, but if you read, you’ll see why he wrote it. Having a boyfriend/girlfriend, unless for the direct and explicit purpose of getting married, is assur even when shomer negiah and yichud.
http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=921&st=&pgnum=115&hilite=February 2, 2015 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm #1065816gavra_at_workParticipant
Agree with DY, but that being said, the girl is Syrian. She has her own Derachim and society that most here really don’t understand. All I can suggest is that you discuss it with a teacher or older female mentor who may be able to give you some hadracha.
Good luck.February 2, 2015 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #1065817
@DaasYochid- We are together because we want to get married. We’re not just together because we said hi let’s date we think it’s a good idea. Dating in my circle is very different.February 2, 2015 2:49 pm at 2:49 pm #1065818
& to clarify- I am not Syrian. My family is Ashkenaz but we are in with the Syrian communty- all my friends & parents friends are Syrian, I go to a pretty much all Syrian school. The only difference is my dad davens in an Ashekenaz shulFebruary 2, 2015 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #1065819
From the OP:
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
We’re talking about a possibility, and nowhere near immediate. The three years until now is water under the bridge, but from now going forward, continuing to see him is dangerous and assur.
If you’re ready to get married, get engaged and married (quickly). If not, you must stop seeing him until you are. Probably, one of you should go to Eretz Yisroel and one stay in the US.
Gavra, do Syrians have a different yetzer hora? There’s no way to rationalize a 3-4 year relationship as a necessary prerequisite to marriage. The Syrians I know, who follow halacha, do things similarly to the litvish/yeshivish: approximately 6-15 dates over a month or two.February 2, 2015 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #1065820
@DY- It is only a possibility depending on what I do next year, but thank you for informing me. I will take what you’ve told me into consideration.February 2, 2015 3:48 pm at 3:48 pm #1065821
Daas yachid- I just want to give you insight into a different community- this is in no way a disagreement with you because ideally that is what should happen. In a community like a more modern and open community it is normal for people to date for that long and still be frum and raise frum kids. The reason they don’t get married rigt away is because they don’t have the money and parents believe in further education and not supporting ther kids.
Please don’t be judgmental of FFBBT, I can understand exactly where she in coming from. And I know you are coming from a completely correct and halchic situation, but she met this boy and she is going to marry him. It’s just a matter of when. If Rav moshe was still alive and we bright this to him maybe He would say it was ok maybe he would or restrictions on the relationship until it was closer to date of marriage. That’s not for us to speculate. But if you don’t have insight in this community I suggest you don’t advise her on this. You aren’t wrong DY you just need to understand that this is standard according to her parents. I’m sure if she wanted to get married and live in poverty and live a kollel life she would. But she also has to balance that with kibbud av vaeim.
Life isn’t balck in white in the modern orthodox world- it really isn’t anywhere. But I can tell you from experiance that her situation isn’t abnormal. I’m sure she is dying to get married to him and that she knows he’s the one she just doesn’t want to throw her parents away and everything they believe in. Yes if she was from a classic yeshivish home then this might be a different story- but she’s not. She shouldn’t be penalized because of this, if she has found her basheret and they are willing to wait for the sake of things outside your realm that’s for them to know and not you to judge (even if your not judging your just stating Halacha).
Sorry again for the rant- just felt compelled to state thatFebruary 2, 2015 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #1065822gavra_at_workParticipant
Gavra, do Syrians have a different yetzer hora? There’s no way to rationalize a 3-4 year relationship as a necessary prerequisite to marriage. The Syrians I know, who follow halacha, do things similarly to the litvish/yeshivish: approximately 6-15 dates over a month or two.
Maybe she becomes a pelegesh? 🙂
Put a comma in between. I agree with you regarding the Yetzer Hara, but don’t think the sem vs. college vs. getting married vs. going to Kollel is something I should opine on. For example, Satmar has its own derech for Kollel, and it is not for me to say that is right or wrong.February 2, 2015 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm #1065823AZOI.ISParticipant
No guarantees in life ever, but why rush to get married before youre independent and can support yourself? Theres so many serious Kollel boys, you will surely be able to find one when youre independent too.
The Torah-Kollel lifestyle is one that teaches us that love comes after marriage, and what anyone feels before marriage isnt the real thing. Real love is something that is born at marriage, and builds and gets greater after years of devotion to one another.
Seems from the posts here that no one has seen devastation and despair in couples who were starry eyed and thought they could live the Kollel life without generous wealthy parents. Unfortunately I have seen it a lot. Some make the best of the struggle, in differing degrees, some are unhappy throughout their lives and raise children in an UNHAPPY Torah-dig home.February 2, 2015 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #1065824
DY: Every community is different. Every community has different types of interactions between different people. And yes, the Yetzer Hara is different depending on your lifestyle (e.g. the guy who went to public school has different Taavos than the Chassid who has never seen a woman before, just because of what they’re used to so things affect them differently). What this couple did is not abnormal in the Syrian (and Persian, honestly) communities and many do so while being entirely Shomer Mitzvos.
We can be Dan on that T’shuvah of R’ Moshe all day, but at the end it boils down to a psychological assumption that he makes (he says so explicitly). That assumption is probably not true in the communities under discussion here.February 2, 2015 4:55 pm at 4:55 pm #1065825
OURtorah, I’m not sure what your point was. I wasn’t judging, just stating the obvious and explicit halacha.
Gavra, I wasn’t even discussing the kollel aspect.
Sam, sorry, you’re way off base. This is not a subtle issue, I don’t see where R’ Moshe made any psychological assumptions (even if he did, his “psychological assumptions” are based on nothing but kol haTorah kulah), left room for distinctions between communities, or, in fact said anything of practical consequence which is even a chiddush.
He seems to have only written it because there was a situation l’maaseh (which, agav, doesn’t sound like there’s any reason to believe that the fellow in question came from any particular community).February 2, 2015 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #1065826
DY- My point was that to you its explicit but to the communities I’m talking about it’s not. It’s just that simple. I didn’t learn that halcha until I got to seminary. So yes there is a distinction between communities because the people who don’t know about Rav Moshes response it isn’t explicitFebruary 2, 2015 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm #1065827zahavasdadParticipant
What was Gedolim’s response to someone who was not listening to their Psak, would not likely listen and any Tochacha might or did more harm than goodFebruary 2, 2015 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm #1065828
That’s why I wasn’t judging the individuals.February 2, 2015 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #1065829
DY- Your correct and I’m sorry for usInng tthe word judging. I just wanted to tell u that’s its not simply explicit. This girl probably has never heard that Halacha before (assuming her parents don’t seem to care too much that she’s been dating for 3 years). Please forgive me, I really didn’t mean to say thatFebruary 2, 2015 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #1065830
Seems from the posts here that no one has seen devastation and despair in couples who were starry eyed and thought they could live the Kollel life without generous wealthy parents. Unfortunately I have seen it a lot. Some make the best of the struggle, in differing degrees, some are unhappy throughout their lives and raise children in an UNHAPPY Torah-dig home. “
AZOI.IS – that actually is what I was driving at, earlier – that there is a fantasy element to the “Kollel life” that really is not based in reality. And being brought back to reality can gbe a real shock for many of the girls.February 2, 2015 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #1065831
DY: R’ Moshe says his assumption there, black on white. He thinks having a friend who is a girl is always inherently Derech Chibah because why else would you be friends with the girl instead of with boys. Depending on the community, that logic doesn’t always apply.
And, in many cases in these communities, couples from 9th and 10th grade end up getting married. They just aren’t ready for a few years yet.February 2, 2015 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm #1065832
OURtorah, no problem, I just wanted to clarify.
Sam, are you really, with a straight face, trying to claim that the relationship described in this thread is not derech chibah? Come on.
If they’re not ready for a few years, it’s certainly assur.February 2, 2015 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm #1065833
No one “sees” a fellow boy since tenth grade. This is definitely derech chibah. That being said, I am not here to judge, just to clarify. And oomis, kollel is doable without parental support, as long as you have realistic standards. Are you going to say the same about every mono income family? If you say I’m gonna go on vacation to Florida for a week and my seminary teacher said Hashem will provide, then you may have a bit of a problem.February 2, 2015 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #1065834
DY: R’ Moshe has 2 Chiddushim. He extends the concept of “Kiruv L’Arayos” to just talking (which he quotes from some earlier sources but is not so Pashut) and claims that all talking within the context of a friendship with the opposite gender is Derech Chibah.
Agav, I have no idea what the Heter for dating for marriage is. If talking can be Derech Chibah then certainly talking to a date after a few weeks (or K”V a fiance) is Derech Chibah. So either everyone is Over this Issur Chamur, or we assume that when the goal is marriage someday then we assume there is a different Toeles in these conversations and therefore they are not inherently a violation of Kiruv. So what’s the difference whether that Toeles is 6 months away or 3 years away?February 2, 2015 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #1065835
Again, we are not talking about a case where it’s even remotely possible to say it’s not derech chibah.
The heter of dating is indeed shver. I’ve seen it discussed and explained as an extension of assur l’kadesh isha ad sheyirenah, which would be assur in any other context. It only applies to the extent necessary, which is never a matter of years.February 2, 2015 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #1065836lesschumrasParticipant
Oomis, it saddens me when I hear middle class girls come back from a year of seminary in Israel brainwashed into believing the ideal marriage is to live in poverty supporting a learning husband. Only someone who has never experienced poverty would willingly embrace it. The reason I said brainwashed is that, for the most part, the seminaries present only an extremely rosy scenario which then leaves the women woefully unprepared when faced with the realities of work, life can be very rewarding but seminaries should prepare their students to deal with the hard and difficult parts as wellFebruary 2, 2015 7:15 pm at 7:15 pm #1065837
Necessary is a relative term. If someone meets the right person at 15 but knows that not staying in touch might preclude a later ability to get back together, then necessary could mean years.
In essence, in communities that do this, “dating” means a best friend. And the person isn’t a best friend because they’re of the opposite gender, they’re best friends because they fit together as friends. And those same qualities that make them best friends could eventually lead to the same qualities that are necessary in a spouse.February 2, 2015 7:15 pm at 7:15 pm #1065838
You’re fooling yourself.
It’s pashut you’re wrong, and if you don’t accept my opinion, at least admit that you’re arguing with R’ Moshe, who didn’t find such a far fetched heter.February 2, 2015 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #1065839lesschumrasParticipant
somehow a phrase was misplaced
woefully unprepared when faced with the realities of work,unpaid bills, and an endless and exhausting day. Kolel life can be very rewarding but seminaries should prepare their students to deal with the hard and difficult parts as wellFebruary 2, 2015 7:37 pm at 7:37 pm #1065840
DY: I’ve admitted that I’m arguing with R’ Moshe. I have admitted that in the past as well.February 2, 2015 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #1065841A jew who caresParticipant
Sam2 – I’m quite surprised at your posts.
We obviously can’t judge anyone since everyone is coming and growing from different places and nor is it for us to decide what things they have to work on.
However, each of us do have a responsibility how we influence others and I wouldn’t think anyone would want to be liable for making things sound okay when they’re not.February 2, 2015 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #1065842
I don’t think SAM2 is looking for a heter, he’s just saying how it works in some communities. No one here disagrees with Rav moshe. I think it’s ideal and that’s why girls and boys should be separated from the start so that you don’t get to the “years of dating situation”. I’m sure FFBBT doesn’t want to still be saying this boy I’m sure she wants to be married to him already- I know this Cuz I was raised in that type of community. I’ve seen this happen to many people and bH they are fine. Those people also probably never heard of Rav Moshe (or at least his psak). It’s simply the community- no one is saying your wrong.February 2, 2015 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #1065843
You’re also arguing with common sense.February 2, 2015 8:00 pm at 8:00 pm #1065844
DY: Like I said, “common sense” is quite subjective here. The public school kid has different Taavos than the Chassid (the Gemara points this out). People have to know themselves. If they are going to be Over Issurim when dating at 15, then they shouldn’t date. But if they’re not, then I have a hard time understanding how it’s categorically Assur to “date”.February 2, 2015 8:28 pm at 8:28 pm #1065845
The whole point of this post was not to start a halachic debate rather to inform me of what a kollel life entails and how people do it.February 2, 2015 8:51 pm at 8:51 pm #1065846
OURtorah, unfortunately, Sam has (admittedly) argued on R’ Moshe, based on his own “psychological assumptions”.
FFBBT613, this is what happens in the CR. There really isn’t anything to debate here, but Sam insists on denying the obvious.February 2, 2015 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm #1065848apushatayidParticipant
If interested in “kolel life and how they do it” logic dictates you get to know a number of kolel couples and learn what you can from them. As for your male friend, where foes he stand? What yeshiva does he learn in and where would he learn post marriage? I’m also curious what his Rav has to say about his relationship with you, for that matter, what your Rav has yo say about your relationship with him. I assume you both have a Rav, mentor or some form of Torah guide you both turn to when faced with qquestions. Asay licha Rav, comes before kneh licha chaver.February 2, 2015 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm #1065849rewMember
FFBBT613,try to use a cheap shampoo, soap etc. try to eat fleishig only shabbos. if it doesn’t bother you now it shouldn’t bother you later either. It’s all what you’re used to and what you expect, what you think as necessity and what you can do without. it’s a personal thing. also why don’t you just get engaged officially, go to sem and get married when you come back?February 2, 2015 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm #1065850TheGoqParticipant
I have to think the reason some girls end up in the situation where they are supporting their family alone and are unhappy is because of low self esteem and fear, maybe they think that if they dont go along with the program and decide to be the sole breadwinner than maybe they wont get married so they figure ok so i will be working all the time and taking care of the house and kids but at least i will be married! that i think is a dangerous mindset.February 2, 2015 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm #1065851
If they’re not ready for a few years, it’s certainly assur. “
How much chibah was Yaakov Avinu concerned about when he worked for Rochel Emainu for SEVEN years living on site, before marrying her? Just sayin’ (though I get your point, honestly).February 2, 2015 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #1065852
We obviously can’t bring a raya from Yaakiv Avinu, who was closer to a malach than a human being (we also don’t have a record of how much interaction they had).February 3, 2015 12:05 am at 12:05 am #1065853
” And oomis, kollel is doable without parental support, as long as you have realistic standards. Are you going to say the same about every mono income family? If you say I’m gonna go on vacation to Florida for a week and my seminary teacher said Hashem will provide, then you may have a bit of a problem. “
It is ONLY doable when the girls have a completely realistic idea of what they are in for WITHOUT that parental aupport. Not only are they going to be fulfilling Chava’s requirements, but ODOM’S as well. Until they actually DO that, and in the best case scenario successfully maintain a home, experience a pregnancy, labor, delivery, and take care of a child or children, PLUS work full time to earn the parnassah, they have NO concept of what is in store.
There is a reason Hashem made a division of labor. None of those girls coming out of seminary (typically in E”Y where the standard of living is different), who have been strongly indoctrinated into the privilege of such a lifestyle by their Morahs, mentors, and Rebbetzins, have a clue as to what is in store for them. The rate of divorce among young Yeshivish couples has soared in recent years, often within a year of marriage.
I do not say a girl should not marry a learning boy and have the zechus to support his Torah learning. That’s something very special when it can be done. I AM saying, however, that both eyes should be wide open when she does. It is NOT a romantic fantasy of playing Rochel to someone’s R’ Akiva. Real married life is not easy under most circumstances. It takes hard work and commitment, as does anything worth doing. These issues need to be fully explored and discussed prior to embarking on a Kollel journey, the same as for anyone else who will be in a one-income family.
PS We could never afford to go to Florida, so we didn’t. I survived, B”H.February 3, 2015 12:08 am at 12:08 am #1065854
(we also don’t have a record of how much interaction they had). “
True dat!February 3, 2015 12:09 am at 12:09 am #1065855
I also find great truth in Goq’s recent post.February 3, 2015 12:10 am at 12:10 am #1065856
Okay rabboisai, this is getting nasty. Someone asked for advice on leading a kollel lifestyle, and we are gutting that person in her face. I think the ideal is beautiful, and Hashem will definitely provide. Al pi derech hateva it IS doable, contrary to popular belief, if you are willing to scrimp on Olam Hazeh for a greater purpose. Its the best investment you’ll ever make. We’re rooting for you!February 3, 2015 12:16 am at 12:16 am #1065857
Lesschumrahs, I find great truth in your words, too.
The bottom line for me, is TRUTH IN ADVERTISING is essential to anyone interested in the kollel life. Make intelligent decisions based on REAL knowledge of what to potentially expect. In worst case scenarios, there will never be any financial support from parents on either side. In best case scenarios, I believe there nonetheless really should NOT be, because the young couple will otherwise NEVER learn to stand on their own two feet, thus remaining dependent children and not real adults. And what will happen to the NEXT generation when THEY too, want to only sit and learn and be supported? They might be in for a rude shock. And that rude shock has caused many problems in Sholom Bayis for some couples.February 3, 2015 2:43 am at 2:43 am #1065858from Long IslandParticipant
FFBBT613: Of course I wanted my future son in laws to have college degrees !! But what I wanted and what my girls wanted were two very different things. By the time my girls started dating, they were mature, thoughtful young women, who knew what they wanted in life, and perhaps more importantly, what they needed to live a fulfilling life.
On an intellectual level, they know what they would be giving up – the clothes, the vacations, even the magazines they loved to read, on an emotional level, they were ready to go foreward to attempt their dreams. I had to recognize that they were rational, clear-headed and very, very determined to live a life different from the life they grew up with.
I had nothing to say about the young men they dated – why would I? I would not be marrying them !! I did make some suggestions of what the girls should take notice of (have no idea if they paid attention or not)
I did have, what I considered, important criteria about their families. It was important to me that they be ba’alei chesed/Tzedaka, involved in their communities, with a reputation of being loving FIRM parents. That is the kind of home I wanted my future son in law to come from. There are exceptions, of course, some kids turn out extraordinary despite/because of the homes they grew up in, in any event, I was not confronted with such a scenario.February 3, 2015 3:02 am at 3:02 am #1065859
As much as I want it I don’t truly know if I have the backbone for it- obviously I won’t know until I try. I just hope if I start out by marrying a learning guy and the kollel lifestyle is not working out he’ll be open to compromise.February 3, 2015 3:42 am at 3:42 am #1065860JosephParticipant
Well, you know already who you’re marrying. So why can’t you just ask him what he’s open to?
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