Moving to the suburbs to escape the Orthodox ghetto

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  • #1380420

    Joseph
    Participant

    Q: The Rav mentioned tonight that we are constantly being tested in this world by our environment. What would be the best plan for us to succeed in overcoming this test?

    A: First of all, the most important thing is that you must choose your environment. It’s of the utmost importance to live among frum Jews. If you want to be the best, you must live among the best!

    It’s a very great error to move to the suburbs! Like one person who came here, and I said to her, “What about coming to live in Brooklyn?” So she said, “We want to get away from the ghetto.” And that’s a terrible sin against the Jewish people. We should seek to be as close as possible to our people. And instead, those who want to get away from the ghetto – that means from the Jewish people – are moving further and further away. And what that means is that they’re moving further and further away from Hashem. And closer and closer to Gehenim.

    Some people even moved out to California to get away. And now, even that’s too close for them. So they’re moving into the Pacific Ocean, to the Phillipines. They’re running away from the best environment there is.

    So number one is, associate with frum people. That’s the very best way to overcome the tests of the environment. There are more ways that that, but that’s number one.

    Rav Miller, Tape # 801

    #1380468

    kitov
    Participant

    Rav miller said this decades ago
    When orthodox Jewry was mostly located in the Brooklyn costly ghetto.
    Now however Orthodox Jewry has spread all over country (thanks in no small part to the chabad movement) and one can move away from the Brooklyn costly ghetto and live an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle while saving on housing costs at the same time.
    I can talk from personal experience since I moved from queens to Cleveland.
    Here i can purchase a home with in walking distance of a synagogue for less then the cost of a rental apartment back home in queens.
    Plus I save on property taxes too.
    Last but not least yeshiva tuition vouchers are available here in Cleveland.
    If rav miller would be alive today he would recommend orthodox Jewry move to Cleveland.

    #1380494

    Joseph
    Participant

    The intensity of Yiddishkeit in Cleveland doesn’t come close to Brooklyn. The large number of Yeshivos, Butei Medrashim, Makomos HaTorah, the large number of Bnei Torah, Rabbonim, Gedolim, Rebbes, plain Yidden, Chesed organizations — Tzedokos, Hatzolah, Shomrim, Chaveirim, numerous Bikur Cholims, Gemachim, health services, etc., in Brooklyn is unparalleled elsewhere in chutz la’aretz.

    #1380498

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    B’H, there are many “Orthodox Ghettos” in the U.S. to escape TO….and they provide considerably higher quality and healthier “environments” than the congested, noisy and polluted environments of the older heimeshe neighborhoods R’ Miller was probably referring to. With frum shuls, yeshivos. mikvahs and kosher markets sprouting in multiple states from coast to coast, frum yidden now have many choices which are considerably more affordable for younger families and also have high quality environmental attributes as well.

    #1380516

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    chutz la鈥檃retz is not the same as chuz l’ BP and Willy. For a young frum couple just starting a family, being able to afford tutition at a good yeshiva, finding an affordable home in a nice neighborhood and not having to have both parents working to maintain a decent quality of life are just a few reasons to “escape” to the suburbs. At some point, the sheer concentration of the mosdos you reference is a contrarian indicator to quality of life,

    #1380526

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Last I checked Monsey, Kiryat Joel and Lakewood were all Suburbs

    #1380529

    Joseph
    Participant

    The best yeshivos tend to have the lowest tuition. You are confusing best yeshivos with best private secular education. The two have nothing to do with each other.

    And, incidentally, Yeshiva tuition in Brooklyn tends to cost much less than elsewhere. Another plus for young families.

    #1380533

    kitov
    Participant

    Joseph , the rav was talking about communities that have no Orthodox Jews.
    Cleveland has everything an orthodox Jew needs to thrive.
    Granted it doesn’t have the size or the intensity of Brooklyn.
    But it doesn’t need to have it.
    It depends on the depth of ones commitment to Orthodoxy.
    If one wants to remain orthodox
    one can easily do so in Cleveland.
    If one wants to go off the derech he can also do so in Brooklyn.
    I think rav miller would agree with that.

    #1380547

    kitov
    Participant

    Joseph listen to me.
    Cleveland offers free yeshiva tuition vouchers.
    New York and new Jersey doesn’t offer free yeshiva tuition vouchers period.

    #1380548

    Joseph
    Participant

    It’s easier, and one is more likely, to remain on the correct derech when living in a more intensely frum environment surrounded by more frum Yidden.

    #1380549

    jakob
    Participant

    moving away from the busy city can actually bring you closer to Hashem when a person wants to move to a quite suburb to devote himself to a life of torah & ruchnius & away from gashmius in Brooklyn NY or other big cities.

    Lakewood used to be a little town that people moved to if they were ready to devote their life to torah & ruchnius. To sad that today its values have changed (all for a few peoples pockets to fill) & now it is a city filled with fancy restaurants & the most exquisite ladies clothing stores etc….

    Cleveland today is a good example of the original Lakewood. It is a town of simplicity & ruchnius if you are ready to serve Hashem then Cleveland[& other quite simple & frum communities] are a great location to focus on serving Hashem with no distractions of gashmius filled physical pleasures & desires. I remember 20 years ago when Lakewood was kadosh like cleveland is today with no yetzer haras of gashmius to distract you from focusing on a life of ruchnius

    Brooklyn is filled with distractions & desires. removing a person from FULLY focusing on his ruchnius & serving Hashem

    #1380559

    Joseph
    Participant

    There is more Torah and ruchniyos in Brooklyn, and in its frum neighborhoods less gashmiyus, than in suburbia with their sprawling homes and swimming pools and larger intermingling and friendships with goyim, who are more likely to be their neighbors.

    #1380560

    馃憫RebYidd23
    Participant

    “It is better to bake when one has all ingredients readily at hand, rather than running to buy or borrow every ingredient as one goes along.” – Author Unknown
    Don’t live in the city when it means paying two months salary for one month’s rent for an apartment the size of a broom closet.

    #1380583

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    If the choice is between Brooklyn and Cleveland, than perhaps I’ll make a one time exception and side with Joe…..my point was there are at least 5-10 cities outside of the NYC metro area where one can easily raise a family consistent with daas torah and Halacha. Several of those cities run ads here on YWN trying to break though the parochial and insular view of many frum yidden who still follow R. Miller’s dated perspective

    #1380613

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    Joseph.Boro park and williamsburg are the epitome of mingling and gashmius.
    Go to cleveland or detroit to s see it first hand.

    #1380615

    akuperma
    Participant

    One moves to the suburbs because one prefers suburban life to urban life. The are frum neighborhoods in both the cities and the suburbs (at least in New York, and some other cities). Since frum neighborhoods tend to be a bit more expensive (and sometimes much more expensive) , there is always the option of moving to an urban area with less frumkeit.

    #1380617

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    My parents left Brooklyn more than 65 years ago to own a business, a house and raise their children in a Connecticut city.
    They did NOT move to the suburbs.
    The poster writing about Cleveland is not writing about moving to a suburb of the city with the ghetto. Waterbury, Rochester, etc. are not suburbs.
    These are all cities that have had orthodox communities for decades, dating back to the 1800s. Young families are encouraged to repopulate these communities and make use of the infrastructure that exists and was paid for by earlier generations.
    My parents raised their children in Connecticut, we raised our children and they are raising their grandchildren. Day schools, yeshivos, mikvaos, cemeteries and shuls exist. The buildings are long paid for. It is much better to repopulate the neighborhoods that suffered white flight in the 1960s and 70s and the decreasing birth rate among non-frum American Jews than turn these buildings into ‘Black’ churches or charter schools.

    Rav Miller’s words were very specific and they applied to direct suburbs of the large city frum ghetto, they should not be extended to cities that have had long standing orthodox communities and institutions.

    #1380618

    Spreadthetruth
    Participant

    It’s a free country and anybody can choose to argue with Rav Miller if they choose. But it’s wrong to superimpose your own own ideals onto those of the Rav. The Rav said many times that it is preferable to choose to live in the most densely Jewish populated area. He said that the more crowded with frum Jews, the better. Of course, when it came to individual people asking for advice, he took a lot of other factors into consideration, but as a general rule, he said that it is preferable to live in a place that is most densely populate with other Orthodox Jews. It wasn’t just an issue of, “Does the suburb have the basic needs to live a faithful Orthodox Jewish. He believed that the ratzon Hashem was that we should live among as many Jews as possible in an environment that is bustling and crowded with frum Jews, all trying to serve Hashem as best as they could. Not only that, but he understood this ideal as being the basic pshat for why the Toras Hashem says that walled cities in Eretz Yisroel have a higher level of kedusha than unwalled cities (see his peirush on Va’yikra 25:29, 25:31 as well as many of his shiurim where he discusses the din of a metzora having to leave a walled city because of its inherent kedusha).

    #1380619

    Spreadthetruth
    Participant

    Gadolhatorah,
    Rav Miller taught us to be insular and parochial. Why is that dated Torah?

    #1380620

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    There are reasons to live in Brooklyn just like there are reasons to live in Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, etc. I am against trying to impute what a “godol” said years ago about Brooklyn to today’s society. I doubt even members of Reb Avigdor Miller’s family would guess what he would say today with the migration of frum communities across the USA. One thing I am convinced of…..the five boroughs is no longer the only place to live.

    #1380655

    Joseph
    Participant

    The underlying reason for Rav Miller zt’l’s point is well understood and was explained by Spreadthetruth above. His point is no different today than when he said it. And how he would apply it today is clearly understood.

    #1380662

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Insularity and parochialism can be viewed from many lenses…even Rav Miller provided many useful insights still applicable today with respect to how yidden should live in a pluralistic society such as the U.S. in a way that protected their yiddeshkeit while simultaneously avoiding behavior that would promote or perpetuate anti-Semitism. B’H we have today a greater role in the governance of the United States that, in turn, has provided opportunities to strengthen the opportunities of our children and grandchildren. One can travel across the country and find flourishing yiddeshe communities with yeshivos, mikvahs, etc. Frum observance is growing by leaps and bounds while Conservative and Reform shuls are consolidating and closing in a struggle for survival.

    #1380669

    apushatayid
    Participant

    The way of life many torahdik yidden in brooklyn live is the antithesis of the slabodka mussar rav miller lived and breathed. I think it is fair to speculate what he would say today if one had to make a choice between brooklyn and say Cleveland or Baltimore or Detroit.

    #1380670

    Spreadthetruth
    Participant

    Again, you are more than welcome to have your own opinion on this matter, as well as quote from other talmidei chachomim who might differ with the Rav about this issue. But to claim that he would say differently today, is nothing but conjecture – and it’s probably wrong as well. If you listen to a few hundred of his shiurim, as well as read his many seforim, you would see what he believed was the proper Torah hashkafa. I would look to his seforim and shiurim, before turning to his “family” to determine what he would say today. Leaving out the problem of the expenses (which he would deal with at an individual level when he spoke with you) , he would definitely say to stay in a dense and crowded Jewish community.

    #1380695

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Also, R’ Miller’s admonition to yidden of a prior generation with very different options has to be interpreted by each family based on their own needs. For some, simply being close to elderly parents alone is sufficient reason to stay close to home…for others, being at some distance from the machatunim is sufficient reason for relocating. At the end, this is clearly a shared decision of a husband and wife as to what is best for them and their children and not something that can be dictated by a Rav, family member or friends in a “one size fits all” decisional framework.

    #1380722

    Spreadthetruth
    Participant

    Apushetehyid,
    It’s not fair at all to speculate unless you were close to Rav Miller, asked him many personal questions, listened to thousands of hours of shiurim, and read all of his seforim. Maybe you can argue, but you can’t speculate (at least with any accuracy) about what he would say. He wasn’t saying this idea in the 1930’s.He was still alive in 2001, by the way, and was still saying the same thing. And for reasons that you have yet to grasp, because you aren’t aware of his hashkafa – except for some bits and pieces you hear along the way.

    #1380773

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    To spread the truth.
    Dass torah is a newly manufactured word.
    What tav miller was saying/writing was haskafa and mussar. Haskafa and mussar is not halacha. And rabbi miller was not know as a posek hador perse but rather one whp gave mussar and hashkafa.putting mussar and hashkafa in the same sentence is tantamount to kefira.

    #1380800

    Mammele
    Participant

    Okay mods, I鈥檒l try it this way…

    Joseph, what say you?

    It鈥檚 not just an issue of economics, even Williamsburg ain鈥檛 what it used to be beruchnios.

    So Satmar Rebbe Aron Teitelbaum is asking his followers in
    Williamsburg to move to the Suburbs.

    Below is part of an article from the Israeli site Chareidim.

    诪爪讜拽转 讚讬讜专 讜’砖诪讬专转 注讬谞讬讬诐’: 讛专讘讬 诪住讗讟诪专 拽专讗 诇爪讗转 诪讜讬诇讬讗诪住讘讜专讙

    讗诇驻讬 讞住讬讚讬 住讗讟诪专 讛转讗住驻讜 讗转诪讜诇 (专讗砖讜谉) 讗讞专 讛爪讛专讬诐 讘讛讬讻诇 讘讬转 讛诪讚专砖 讛讙讚讜诇 砖诇 住讗讟诪专 讘砖讻讜谞转 讜讜讬诇讗诪住讘讜专讙 砖讘讘专讜拽诇讬谉, 砖诐 谞砖讗 讛讗讚诪讜”专 诪住讗讟诪专 讗转 讚专砖转 ‘砖讘转 砖讜讘讛’.

    讘转讞讬诇转 讛讚专砖讛 讚讬讘专 讛讗讚诪讜”专, 砖诪拽讜诐 诪讜砖讘讜 讘拽专讬转 讬讜讗诇, 注诇 住讜讙讬讛 砖诇讜诪讚讬诐 讘讛讬讻诇 讛讬砖讬讘讛 鈥 ‘诪爪讜转 诇讗讜 诇讛谞讜转 谞讬转谞讜’, 讜讗讞专 讻讱 注讘专 诇讚讘专 讘注谞讬讬谞讬 讛砖注讛, 讚讘专讬 诪讜住专, 讛转注讜专专讜转 讜讛转讞讝拽讜转.

    讛讗讚诪讜”专 讛转讬讬讞住 讘注讬拽专 诇诪爪讜拽转 讛讚讬讜专 砖诇 转讜砖讘讬 砖讻讜谞转 讜讜讬诇讗诪住讘讜专讙 讻讗砖专 讘砖谞讬诐 讛讗讞专讜谞讜转 讛专拽讬注讜 诪讞讬专讬 讛讚讬专讜转 “诇住讻讜诪讬诐 砖讗讬 讗驻砖专 诇转讗专 讘讻诇诇”. 注讬拽专 讛诪爪讜拽讛 谞讜住注转 讘讙诇诇 讙讜讬讬诐 砖讗讬谞诐 讬讻讜诇讬诐 诇砖诇诐 讗转 诪讞讬专讬 讛砖讻讬专讜转 讘诪谞讛讟谉 讜注讜讘专讬诐 诇讛转讙讜专专 讘讜讜讬诇讗诪住讘讜专讙, 砖诐 讛诪讞讬专讬诐 讝讜诇讬诐 讬讜转专.

    讘讚专砖讛 讘讬拽砖 讛讗讚诪讜”专 诪讞住讬讚讬讜 诇注讝讜讘 讗转 讛砖讻讜谞讛 讜诇注讘讜专 诇讙讜专, 讻诪讜 讘讗专抓 讛拽讜讚砖, 诪讞讜抓 诇注专讬诐 讛讙讚讜诇讜转, 讘注讬拽专 讘讙诇诇 讘注讬讜转 ‘砖诪讬专转 讛注讬谞讬讬诐’ 讛拽讬讬诪讬诐 讘砖讻讜谞讛 诇讗讞专讜谞讛, 讘砖诇 讛转讜砖讘讬诐 讛讞讚砖讬诐.

    #1380803

    Mammele
    Participant

    Mods, Is there a no Hebrew rule here?

    Posts with a lot of Hebrew sometimes get automatically marked as spam. Sorry about that.

    #1380807

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    To Tango2
    I would not be quibbling over the gadlus of R.’ Miller. He is highly respected across all segments of the tzibur and his books and tapes constitute one of the largest bodies of source material on “daas torah” or whatever you to call the subject matter.

    #1380811

    Joseph
    Participant

    Mammele, yeridos hadoros. Of course. But where is better?

    As far as Satmar (or Skvere) is concerned, they have their isolated shtetl that’s 100% frum. That’s even better, of course. (Including their newer exclaves that attempt to replicate Kiryas Yoel.) But most Yidden don’t have the opportunity to live in as a wholesome environment such as KY or NS.

    #1380813

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    Im not quibbling over rabbi miller gadlus. As a mmatter of fact im a big fan of his in mussar . But when it comes to dass tora or halacha he is not the go to person by most people. He gave great personal advice but he was not a posek perse. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    #1380815

    Spreadthetruth
    Participant

    Takes 22 tango,
    I didn’t mention da’as Torah. And I didn’t mention halacha either. But instead of throwing around code words, you should be talking tachlis. And tachlis is, that Rav Miller guided people in living a life infuses with Hashem. And that’s the ikar of life. You can argue from now till tomorrow about da’as Torah and Hashkafa and kefira, but you’re missing out on your purpose in this world. (And regarding your view of hashkafa being non-binding, even Professor Kellner “Does A Jew Have to Believe Anything” and Professor Shapiro “The Limits of Orthodox Theology” don’t go that far and they themselves are bordering apikorsis. Did you read all of the Rambam’s writing? Did you read Rav Sadia’s Emunos V’dei’os?)

    #1380816

    Mammele
    Participant

    With all due respect, I think Reb Aron Teitelbaum meant Monsey as an alternative as well, which does include the masses.

    I think Rav Miller zatz鈥漚l was referring to a time and for those that the suburbs was/is a route to assimilation. Even Lakewood has expanded, and while those on the outskirts are initially among non-Jewish/irreligious, those communities usually become majority Frum very fast. Not everyone can or should be a nachshon – depending on the neighborhood (or even 鈥渂lock状) moving to they have to be very firmly rooted in their Yiddishkeit – so I definitely see his point. And couples have to be honest with themselves as to the primary reason for their move.

    But making it a blanket rule can be very detrimental to the klall. Most Brooklynites aren鈥檛 fleeing to the suburbs of secular NY, Long Island or NJ nowadays. There鈥檚 more than a subtle difference.

    #1380819

    Joseph
    Participant

    I agree that Lakewood and Monsey carry the same status as Brooklyn according to Rav Miller’s intent in his comments. As does KJ and NS, even more so.

    #1380827

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    takes2: You claim “Dass torah is a newly manufactured word.”. To my knowledge it isn’t so new….at least it was used by Rav Pam TZATZAL in a drasha he delivered. (I am not sure the exact year). He is quoted as saying “many of you have come tonight thinking you will hear daas torah. All you will hear is Daas Avrahom Pam”.

    #1380832

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    You guys are making one big mishmash between halacha and hashkafa.
    Halach is not hashkafa and hashkafa is not not halachah. If rav miller says something regarding where to live etc its his personal hashkafik eitza. Not halacha. Stop putting don people for not agreeing with your hashkafa.

    #1380855

    Joseph
    Participant

    Quote from Maran Rashkbhag Hagaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein ztvk’l:

    鈥淭here are people who maintain that Talmidei Chachomim are not qualified to decide political matters, that Gedolei Yisroel should limit themselves to Torah and Halacha. Such people cannot be considered within the Torah camp. One might well say ignoring the advice of a Talmid Chochom is far worse than violating a commandment. One who violates a commandment because he is too weak to resist temptation, at least knows that his action is wrong. By contrast, one who ignores the advice of a Talmid Chochom denies that a Torah scholar鈥檚 wisdom is superior. This is a far more serious breach.鈥

    (Reb Moshe, p. 123)

    #1381233

    apushatayid
    Participant

    1. 2001 is not 2017.
    2. I can speculate all I want. I have no right to make any definitive statements in his name. Nobody does, except perhaps his closest talmidim or his sons.
    3. You are making assumptions that are quite frankly incorrect. Not that it makes me an expert in his shirts and it certainly doesn’t give me a right to make definitive statements in his name, but I am pretty familiar with his hashkagos and shittos having davened in his beis medrash and attended his shiurim for a number of years.
    4. I still maintain that a) despite all the Torah and chesed in brooklyn, the lifestyle lived by many is contrary to the slabodka Mussar he lived and taught and b) because of that I believe he might direct people to places like Baltimore or Cleveland over brooklyn. Feel free to disagree.

    #1381261

    Joseph
    Participant

    There are far more people in Brooklyn living as close to the Slabodka mussar lifestyle that you’ll find anywhere today than in any of the other cities you mentioned.

    Stop looking for the bad and start looking at the so much good. So much good.

    #1381264

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Most likely Rav Miller said this in the 1960’s or 1970’s when white flight was in issue in Brooklyn. In 2001 Brooklyn was already having a renaissance, but he might have seen it

    #1381272

    馃憫RebYidd23
    Participant

    It is no longer an issue of whether or not to live in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is full to the brim. There are no houses available. The issue is how to cope with having to live somewhere else.

    #1381283

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    To RY
    You say that, “Brooklyn is full to the brim. There are no houses available:”. You should contact the Realtors’ multiple listing service and Zillow websites and tell them the 22,000+ listings of homes and apartments for sale in Brookly are all FAKE….

    ;: ‘

    #1381289

    馃憫RebYidd23
    Participant

    They’re only real for billionaires.

    #1381292

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There are plenty of houses for sale in Brooklyn, As long as you have a spare million. If you only have about $10,000 or less, you are out of luck

    #1381301

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    “There are plenty of houses for sale in Brooklyn, As long as you have a spare million. If you only have about $10,000 or less, you are out of luck”

    For $10,000 you cannot buy a house in Shlabodka or anywhere in the “suburbs”….but you don’t have to spend $1 million either. There are thousands of homes and apartments for sale in the range of $350K-$600K. Obvioualy, if you have chosen not to work and earn a good parnassah, didn’t marry for money and haven’t won the lottery, you may have an issue.

    #1381327

    chiefshmerel
    Participant

    Why should anyone care where other people live?

    #1381347

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, you still haven’t justified people moving to Lakewood and Monsey in the 1970s and 1980s when they were small communities in light of your support of Rabbi Miller’s position.
    In addition, Rabbi Miller was not considered a Gadol Hador by most authorities. Why do you feel anyone is bound by his point of view?
    Lastly, you can’t have it both ways re Daas Torah. Talmedai Chachomim are not infallible , especially on subjects on whi h they have no knowledge ( despite anecdotal stories to the contrary )

    #1381356

    馃憫RebYidd23
    Participant

    Chiefshmerel, parents care where their children live.

    Gadolhadorah, I think ZD might be referring to down payments on a mortgage, not to the total value of the house.

    #1381360

    Yoeli kokosh
    Participant

    Funny thing is that in the suburbs of Cleveland there’s a yeshiva called Yeshiva Tiferes Avigdor, which is run by the grandson of Rav Avigdor Miller, who I’m sure had the blessings of Rav Miller. There’s nothing wrong with moving somewhere that is affordable and livable. Many great talmidei cchachamim in Cleveland area.

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