Kollel life with no parental support

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    I feel like I’m the only one I know who’s husband is in kollel with no parental support.
    Anyone out there in my shoes?
    How about we give each other some support.


    You’re very very far from the only one. Many people are in the same shoes.


    Torah mitoch hadchak; you’re one of the pillars of the world – you have one of the biggest bank accounts in shomayim that’s possible. Ashreich vetov lach!!




    amom – much Hatzlacha to you. Almost 30 years ago, my wife and I found ourselves in a similar position. The conclusion was that it was time for me to leave Kolel and find a job so that we could support ourselves.

    I spoke with my R”Y, Rav Yisroel Belsky ZT”L, prior to taking this step. He told me then that what’s more important than when one leaves Kolel to join the working world is the attitude one takes when leaving – i.e., does one continue to place one’s obligations to Torah and Yiddishkeit at the center of one’s value system, or does one push it to the side to pursue the American dream. I’ve striven to make sure that, while fully active in the professional world, Torah comes first – I’ve continued to be Kove’a Itim since, including, while still in the US, still showing up in Yeshiva for morning Seder on Sundays, since I did not have work obligations then (Sunday afternoons were reserved for doing things with my family – they deserve some attention too, after all).

    Much Hatzlacha to you, whatever way forward you ultimately choose.

    an Israeli Yid


    For from it. There is a kollel up state for Israelites, that I am so amazed by them almost everyone there is not supported by parent plus they are not entitled and getting anything from the country section 8 food stamps etc

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    This is truly a moment for tears. People looking down on kollel is nothing new. Same as people looking down on anyone trying to be as close to Hashem as they can. The harder you work, the more pressure you get to stop. That is what nisyonos and the yetzer hara have built into the system.

    So if people want to talk about kollel families as if they are lowly or uneducated, that will follow them til 120 and I need to learn to let Hashem defend His own. Anyone stupid enough to say that knows inside it is a grueling level of learning and disciline that they probably can’t compete with so better to nullify it (standard defense mechanism by the way)

    But now we have a new level of yiredas hadoros. It isn’t just to make the kollel family into something disdainful, we have decide that they are worth celebrating. But not their connection to Hashem, their hasmada and perseverance. Nope. We will celebrate them if they can figure out their finances! Do you even register the weight of your thoughts before you put them out there in public? It’s not Torah immersion that makes us sing, it is freedom from giving them anything for their sad choices. Or just them not taking from anyone even if it’s not you. That is how you talk about people who spend all day learning Torah. And you aren’t ashamed?

    Or, I’ll try to judge favorably here, perhaps that is how we deal with all of our friends and aquaintences, right? It’s totally normal to count your tax bill and compare it to your friend’s income. I have no doubt you asked your friend whose child is in sloan kettering if they gave up their take out before grabbing handouts from RCC. And for sure you chastised the battered woman staying in the shalva shelter when you saw her take her kids out for ice cream. Can you imagine using community funds when you have enough money for ice cream!!? And tomchei Shabbos?! Oh I sure hope you get addresses and account numbers before you donated a single dime! I heard they bought clothes at Walmart instead of the thrift shop. Perhaps your cousin should fill you in on what he really did with his tax credit. I think some of it may have gone to his portfolio instead of his kids.

    I guess if you treat ALL your friends this way, it isn’t so offensive.


    No financial support, or on emotional support?


    who were u responding to, syag? i can’t see any post which deserved such a disgusting tirade.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    based on past postings i’m not exactly sure what value your opinion or perspective offer. but hey, you know what commonsaychel would say about opinions if the mods would let him.


    @ amom
    We didn’t receuve financial support from our families because they couldn’t afford it. That doesnt mean they didnt support us is other ways. Or that others who received financial support from their parents were necessarily better off. Please enjoy the fulfillment and נחת of having household revolving around Torah for as long as you can.


    Hey, I chose this life and am very happy BH. Yet, I don’t know why, but the other people I know whose (thanks takamamash) husbands are learning have monetary support from their parents, so I feel like our lives are not really relatable. Years ago I think it was more common, but today…..
    Do you realize that I didn’t get a single response from someone in my shoes- just shows……


    You are not getting people who are similar because most of the people whose husband’s are in kollel ( that I know) are not on the internet. They don’t have smart phones and computers. Some don’t even text.
    Maybe ask around other kollel wives. Many like that


    amom > Years ago I think it was more common, but today

    I think this is because a couple of generation ago, there were working families that spent their meager earnings to send their kids to yeshiva and then even kollel out of love of Torah and out of fear of devastation that was happening with the Jewish community in America. Currently, you often have (statistically, I am not trying to stereotype) parents who do not have serious earnings with, Baruch Hashem, large families, and they are not able to support everyone. Others, and this sounds like your MiL, discovered that there is now a strong community that can support ehriche yidden who earn a living and stay true to Torah, and so they see that their children can combine both. This is a difference of opinions and everyone can easily bring proofs for their side and the answer may be different for different people.


    I don’t know whether kollel wives are not on internet, but I think most are on the sister site.


    A true Kollel family is where neither the husband nor the wife own or have access to a smartphone.


    Dear Ujm,

    It sounds like the studying of Torah is superfluous.


    Amom kudos to you for living the kollel life for the right reasons and may Hashem support you and your husband.
    I think an important question is if parental support is really necessary in today’s day and age. It seems to me that there are many jobs available for kollel wives that bring in a very respectable salary and kollelim themselves provide a much higher stipend than in the past.

    Let’s say the wife can earn $35-40 k and the husband can bring in another $12 K from a kollel check. Add in some nice donations from the government in the form of child tax credits, medical insurance, wic etc. how much more does a couple need to get by? Granted if they want to live the high life with late-model SUVs and high-end baby strollers and clothing it will cost more. But can’t a kollel couple get by very comfortably today if they live a modest lifestyle?

    What am I missing?


    “you have one of the biggest bank accounts in shomayim that’s possible..”
    Thats true, but you are likely to bounce the rent check if you try paying the landlord with a check drawn on that account. Even your tuition check for the kid’s yeshiva may likely be returned for insufficient funds (at least in olam hazeh which I surmise is the OP’s current situation). One of the respondents above notes that when confronted with that reality, he made a decision to find a more balanced lifestyle where he earned a parnassah to supplement his wife’s income while still learning. Bottom line: Either marry a wealthy kalah or make some common sense decisions to share the responsibility to support the family while learning as much time as possible.


    While it is always great to have others to speak to who relate to your situation, I think every individual is capable of coping with their nisyonot through limud Torah and mussar. Every Jew struggles with something, the yetzer hara makes sure of it. Some can discuss it with others and others can not. One thing is for sure, Hashem won’t send you a nisyon you can’t handle. “They aren’t going through what I am going through” is a common sentiment, albeit mostly to oneself, that in many circumstances prevents us from accepting that our nisayonot are analogous to almost anyone else’s in its own way. I hope that Hashem sends you someone who can can truly relate to and alleviate that feeling that caused you to post here. But please also know that, if Hashem knows what Hes doing, you already have the tools you need to accomplish just that. Hasslaha raba!


    Today a person can get by with living modestly and prevent themselves from dangers of dept and others if they just remember and keep to one line in life


    try it for a month and see how your finances are coming along. Make yourselves a budget from every tiny expense to ALL income amounts including gifts etc… So you will HONESTLY know where your holding financially (are you just making it from paycheck to paycheck, are you able to boruch Hashem put some into saving for your daughter’s wedding? Or chas vshalom overspending on honest bills and going inti dept which requires immediate assistance so it doesn’t grow and get worse)

    A financial advisor

    May Hashem give everyone Hatzlacha if we do our hishtadlus and only spend our money Hashem gifted us with on NEEDS and NOT ON EXTRAS like 3 cars and 3 Vacations. There’s plenty of affordable vacations for the entire family close to home without the need to run to Florida Israel or Los Angeles Vacations


    Looking at some of the other posts of the OP it seems like her husband is actually a long-term kollel fellow (8+ years?). That changes a lot

    1. I think it is rare for parents to give support to children for the long term. It may be true that short term (1-4 years) many but not all kollel families receive parental support but long term is rare.

    2. While indicated that it seems to me most couples should be able to make it in kollel without the need for parental support all the rules change once you start talking about long term kollel. Once you get into issues of multiple tuitions and a growing family it is a whole different ballpark

    3. Yes you will find people even in the chareidi community who will be skeptical about long-term kollel families. Many of the families in these situations are there by accident not because it is part of a life plan. We don’t know the situation of the OP but don’t be surprised if people assume that you are part of that majority that just fell into it.


    This is why the shidduch system should stop frowning upon Working Bochurim


    Not sure if this is still relevant.
    I have heard of many people in this situation who chose to join out of town kollelim.
    Generally these pay significantly more than in town kollelim, giving people the opprotunity to continue their growth in learning.
    Not sure why this has not been mentioned yet.


    How are we doing in this chat since a year ago when I last wrote to advise everyone to live on one thing and it will make your life more affordable


    please let me know as a financial advisor if there’s any way I can help you and advise you to make your family and Kollel life more affordable and enjoyable so you or your spouse can remain in learning for longer.

    Perhaps a spiritual step is to make a daily learning seder together of Chovos halevovos which is made in English also as Duties of the heart.


    The best segula is to have chovos halevovos shiur immediately after the end of the work day 6 days a week.


    Not sure what you guys mean by all these “chovos halvovos and work”-“spend what you need”.

    We are talking about people who are looking to learn full time.
    Unfortunatly Kollelim in town do not provide enough even for what you “need”….


    MB10- I think most in town kolleilm are expecting the wife is working to bring in at least one salary. Between that, government programs and the kollel check, you can live very comfortably if you spend on what you need. The kollel check is meant to be that last bit to help make ends meet, not to be full support.

    It gets back to the question of which kollel years are we talking about? For the first 1-5 years this plan can work well. If you are talking about say years 5-10 that is a different parsha once things like tuition come into play.

    If anyone has numbers to prove otherwise I would love to hear them.


    Many times a wifes salary will be enough for a couple of years. (IF she is able/has a good job…)
    The question is after a few years. (I think it is less than 5. Unless the wife is working VERY hard.)
    Those who wish to continue their Torah growth will quite often be in a challenging situation.
    I think this thread is about that point.
    That is where many will turn to out of town Kollelim.
    Other ideas?


    Dear Mb,

    With BMG now giving 1000 a month, five years is attainable. There is also a ‘tuition should not be the reason to leave kollel’ awareness among the mosdos. Besides, if people want to live cheap, they should still be putting money into savings at five years.

    Also, Torah does not stop for a Ben Torah when he goes to work.

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