The Girls Parents Supporting

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    this is a topic that i don’t understand, and it upsets me terribly!

    why is it expected that the girls parents support??? why not the boys parents? after all- it’s the boys choice to learn. that’s my first question.

    number two, what girl in her right mind would have tha audacity to ask her parents to support her???????!!!!!!!!! what right does she have????????????????? her parents have nurtured her, brought her up… for the past 19 or 20 or 21 yrs or something like that, and that’s the thanks they get?????? that’s disgusting!!!!!! why do all girls and boys feel like they have everything coming to them?????? in my opinion, if you want ur husband to be learning, u should work for it, and u should be ok with living much more simply- with a lot less! that’s what m’sirus nefesh is for torah anyway! how do you think parents feel when their kids call up “mommy/ totty, it’s the (fill in number)of the month, is our check coming?” that’s disgusting!!!!!!!

    now, if the parents want to give money every so often, the children don’t ask for it, that’s fine- kol hakavod! but i don’t understand when in shidduchim the boys who are sitting and learning expect to be supported. they should go for the rich girls! don’t bother looking at the rest of us!

    my parents personally will not be able to support me. i would never ask them to. they brought me into this world and i am forever indebted to them. i want someone who is learning. if not all the time, then most of the time, maybe on the side he should be in chinuch.i will be working. my parents will be paying a lot for my wedding. how can i ask more of them? why would i want to?

    no one said supporting a learning husband would be easy. but isn’t that what m’sirus nefesh is for torah? and if we really can’t get by, can’t my husband get some job in chinuch or something?

    can someone please shed light on this subject for me????? are there any kollel couples out there who were not supported by parents who can share their experiences?

    any advice, comments….. would be appreciated.

    Ben Torah

    Its kind of like a dowry. And dowries have been provided by the kallah’s family to the choson throughout Jewish history.

    pascha bchochma

    Ben Torah: Actually not. Yaakov worked for Rachel. Rabbeinu Yonah on Parshas Vayerah speaks about how terrible the practice of the girls’ family paying dowries is to society, that the man doesn’t appreciate something he hasn’t worked for.

    Ben Torah

    I’m not commenting if it is good or not. I am saying it has been practiced for many many hundreds of years by shidduchim. This is merely one of the modern day versions of it. (Another example is the girls side often pays for the wedding hall.)

    pascha bchochma

    Yep. So was polygamy. A little less recently.

    Ben Torah

    What’s your point about polygamy? (The Yemenite Torah community still has a minhug to do so, as did many sefardim until the last few decades.)

    If it is ones minhug, there is nothing wrong. For Ashkenazim there is a gezeira against.

    pascha bchochma

    You’re right that if it’s one’s minhag there’s nothing wrong. However supporting the boy is not a minhag, at best it’s minhag hamakom. For generations, the boy had to have a way to bring food to the table and did not expect support.

    My point about polygamy was just to point out that not everything that was always done, continues to be done. Besides for which it expired. But yes, it is besides your point about supporting the boy being akin to dowries.

    Ben Torah

    Supporting the boy allows him to continue learning Torah HaKedosha full-time. That is a major accomplishment and zechus.

    pascha bchochma

    It is true that supporting Torah is a major accomplishment and zechus, and we all want to be in that position. However, it cannot be the “minhag” that EVERYONE follows, because we are not Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and carob trees don’t spring up for me when I’m hungry, and I will also confess that water does not miraculously rise in my cup. If it does for you, good, but this is not the way of the world and we have to face it.

    In a normal world, most people need to do hishtadlus. It is not sustainable to expect one generation to do hishtadlus, the next to be supported in learning, and the next… what does the next generation do with no one to support them?

    As for the merit – I’m just wondering if this could be why the mishna in Pirkei Avos about work is followed by mentioning that we cannot compare the greatness of different mitzvos:

    ???? ??? ??? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ?????’? ?????? ?? ?? ????. ???? ???? ????? ??? ??????? – ???? ??? ???? ??? ???? ?? ?????

    Ben Torah

    “However, it cannot be the “minhag” that EVERYONE follows…”

    It isn’t.

    Ben Torah

    we cannot compare the greatness of different mitzvos

    “Talmud Torah Kneged Kulam”


    I’m sick and tired of all these people bringing up the same old learner-earner, live-off-the-parents argument. It’s usually either someone who can’t afford to support, or it’s someone who is working hard to make a buck and has a hard time with the fact that others are learning.

    Ignorant people actually tend to focus on the issues that they hear about. I don’t think it’s any of your business if my husband learns or works. How we make things work (with me and my two degrees) is not your concern. And if my neighbor needs government programs to get by, well, so do lots of other people in this economy.

    I’m not saying there aren’t flaws in the system- but that’s the point: there are flaws in EVERY area of our society, no matter what your lifestyle.

    Torah is paramount. No matter what. If parents CHOOSE to support, or decide to do so out of social pressure, it’s their problem. Not YOUR issue to air out in public so that everyone will start dishing out horror stories of overworked kollel couples. It’s a beautiful life. For as long as we can manage.

    Sorry if I sound mad. But enough is enough.


    Well said shan. Thanks for making your very valid points.

    Everyone should check out this thread:

    pascha bchochma

    Ben Torah: You said that it has been practiced for many hundreds of years and is just another iteration of dowries, which I took to imply that, like dowries, it is a normal situation that we should expect. Was I wrong?

    Also, you can’t go cherry picking with Chazal like that. You say “Talmud Torah Kineged Kulam” and then I say “Derech Eretz Kadma Latorah” and then you say “Istakel B’Oraysa Ubara Alma” and we can go on all night throwing quotes at each other and not have a productive discussion.

    This thread is discussing the girls’ parents supporting. We all want to support Torah, but is it possible that there’s a problem when boys expect to get supported and it’s not sustainable?

    Ben Torah

    Like I said, not everyone takes this approach. Those who do, should be praised. As far as the girls parents supporting, I am pointing out that the girls parents making a large dowry is not a new phenominon. We always hear old stories of how tzadikim raided “Hachnoses Kallah” so the kallah can pay a dowry and get married.

    pascha bchochma

    Shan: It is very important to discuss, since we as a community are trying to serve Hashem. Some of us learn, some of us work, and some of us are trying to decide what we want for ourselves and our children. It’s the latter group who need and want threads like this one, and the input from people who have decided helps us.

    pascha bchochma

    Ben Torah: Your name should be “Talmid Chacham” as a “ben Torah” in shidduch parlance refers to someone who works. 🙂

    Yes, a dowry is not a new phenomenon, but I’m not sure that supporting after marriage is the same as a dowry. A dowry helps the marriage start on a stronger financial footing, while support basically pledges that the couple won’t need to be independent financially.



    What I object to is the community acceptance and the seminaries/yeshivos that teach that this is a normal (or, the ONLY way) to go. To have the boy demand that the girl’s parents support him. To have the girl’s parents (in many situations) worry how they will marry off their daughters when there is no way they can afford to support son in laws.

    I’m sorry, but I agree wholeheartedly with HashemLovesMe. I think it is sad that this is considered the ‘ideal’ in many places. I could never be happily married and raising a family knowing that i was mooching off of my parents and that they had gray hair from worrying how they were going to pay their mortgage bill that month. The very thought twists my insides. I owe my parents so much; I also owe them that when I am old & mature enough to get married, I will find my way just like they did.

    If someone has enough money to live comfortably AND support their kids?? Then go right ahead! I have no problem whatsover with that! But reading some other threads on the CR here, somehow it doesn’t seem to be that way very often… (just look at threads regarding tuition in various communities).

    And just by the way: the fact that my father works makes him no less of a talmud chacham than others who learn. BH, my father happens to be very learned, and spends a nice amount of time each night in beis medrash. This, in addition to working hard all day. The concept of you either go out to work or you go out to learn is completely untrue. If you truly want to, you can do both.

    Sorry for the rant. Phewwwwwwwww now I feel better. As some people know (kapusta, you around here anywhere??), this is a topic I feel very strongly about.



    A piece of advice, if your parents cant support you (or you dont want them to) look for a guy who can make a living and support a family. Trust me its not a mitzvah to live without money.

    From personal experience my parents couldnt have supported me so i looked for a guy who works and guess what? My husband turned out to be a wonderful husband and a great father b’h.


    The only problem I have with parents supporting is the supportees attitude of “its coming to me”. They feel that because they are learning/have a husband who is learning, they deserve every thing. Not true. And I hope they realize how much their parents sacrafice for them, and I hope they thanks them accordingly.

    Just a thought: What happens at the next generation, when we have a whole group of men who have never earned a living, and they are expected to marry off children?


    My friends family believes in long time learning so what they do is they set up their girls with an education and then a good job. Yes they dont get married at 19 20 but they get married at around 22 23, but by then they have a nice size bank account and a really good paying job, that there is no reason for the parents to help. The parents do here and there give money or food but they don’t give a monthly check. Believe it or not but the boys mothers still ask if my friends parents would support.


    thank you paschabichachma and the.nurse for ur input, it’s good to see that i’m not the only one who feels this way. mybat, i wanna start off with my husband learning, and then if we see that in the near future we will need help, he’ll be open to looking for a job. i’m working now, and hopefully i’ll start studying for a degree right after sukkos.

    i just wanted to know if i’m being too “straight out of seminary” minded, or if i am somewhere down the right path.(opinions on this will vary of course)

    thanx to everyone else too,i enjoy hearing what diff ppl have to say! keep em coming!

    sacrilege, i was wondering the same thing-now, ppl are being supported by their parents, but what happens when they try to marry off their kids…….?


    shan, calm down. poschabchochma is right- i’m in the group of ppl trying to decide what i want for my future, for my children…. i was not asking you to pour out your life story to me. frankly, once you saw the subject, you didn’t have to read further if you did not want to. you did not even have to reply. i am simply asking that if anyone is WILLING to give advice or tell me if being a true blue kollel couple is possible at all without support, and set me straight if i’m totally wrong. that’s it. nothing more. u are right, it’s none of my business how or if you are making it financially. well, that’s why that’s not what i asked.

    Ben Torah

    tell me if being a true blue kollel couple is possible at all without support

    Yes, it is very possible.

    pascha bchochma

    Being a true blue kollel couple is possible without support, if the wife works very hard, or they get support from the gov’t… money does not grow on trees.

    pascha bchochma

    Oomis: Sadly, VERY sadly, we have gotten away from Hashem’s prime directive to us, to the point where the girl who does not work outside the home in order to support her husband is considered to NOT be an aishes chayil. I seriously doubt Hashem ever wanted Jewish children to be raised by nannies and housekeepers, especially in their formative years.

    Very well put, especially about girls who don’t work outside the home. I personally want to be home with my children as much as possible, and feel that to be a good mother the worry of food on the table should not be on my shoulders when raising children.


    “And dowries have been provided by the kallah’s family to the choson throughout Jewish history.”

    You mean in recent Jewish history.

    But more true: Jewish men have worked and supported their wives and families throughout Jewish history.

    With one exception, all my sons-in-law work and B”H learn before and after work; and I’m very proud of them. I also have a son-in- law who learns and is supported by his father who works and learns before and after work; and I’m proud of both of them.


    HashemLovesMe, I agree. I think this is a product of the “everything is coming to me on a silver platter” mentality which is unfortunately the norm today. And what bothers me more than general support (food, rent etc) is when the children are driving expensive care (two!) and taking vacations all while totty and mommy are working two jobs each. (And then the children move in for as long as they like while the poor younger sister spends Shabbos afternoons changing diapers and cleaning up toys.)

    I know someone who has children in high school and is still supporting her husband who is learning. Her kids understand that totty is not bringing home an actual salary, and if it means wearing something a few more times rather than getting something new when they feel like it, its ok. That, IMO, is being Moser Nefesh for Torah. Not being handed everything in a box with a bow on top.

    (And yes, if the parents are able and want to do it, then go right ahead. Its just that today, how many people can really do it?)



    Ah yes, the resentment against being pressured by social pressure, and then getting mad at society. Cute. Silly, though. Maybe resist the pressure, instead of demanding society change? “They made me do it” is something we drop in kindergarten, hopefully.

    But as far as the real question of – is it possible for a young kollel couple to make it without support? Yes, but it’s rough.

    Let’s take eretz yisroel-

    Min. 8000 NIS

    Wife works like a dog as a secrectary – 4000NIS

    Husband’s kollel check (good check) – 3000 NIS

    Ok – another 1000? Sell snoods – 1000 NIS

    and that’s bare bones. Assuming you’re will to forgoe meat during the week and live in tel tzion.

    America? $2500 a month min. Same lifestyle. If you’re willing to go to an out of town kollel, it’s very doable. Dallas/Tronto/LA/Cinnanati – are all paying nicely (though in today’s crisis, I’m not sure who is accepting).

    But don’t get mad at the people who have money. Or at the Bachurim who ask for it in shidduchim. Shidduchim are a supply and demand game. Simple economics.

    Why so much anger? It seems like sour grapes to me. True, if someone is wasting his time, he needs to get a life.

    But if a Ben Torah of caliber wants to learn b’menuchas hanefesh for years, and a family of a fine girl is willing to make that happen, and he wishes to prioritze that shidduch – what is wrong with that? Yes, “Kest” has been happening for hundreds of years.

    What has changed is that now it’s more mainstream. There were less learners then. Much less. But supply & demand will always rule; even working boys ask for money (a house, etc.)

    I don’t think we should be mad that other people have things we don’t. Kinnah is forbidden.

    tomim tihye

    I am grateful to my parents for A)raising me to be mistapek b’muat; B)urging me to work during teenage years and save all earnings; C)pushing me to get a degree (and not teach and do real estate like I wanted to).

    These factors contributed greatly toward my husband’s several years in Kollel without support.


    HashemLovesMe, yes he does love you and he gave you not only bechira but as a woman a “bina yeseirah”. Which means you have the smarts to understand what is right for YOU! It doesn’t matter what others are doing do what is right for you.

    A parent has an obligation to teach their sons a parnassah. It is a mitzvah for a man to be mepharnes his own family and yet it is a mitzvah for a man to study Torah.

    Everyone must choose for themselves what is best for them. Some parents choose that they want to support their children in learning for as long as they can. This is their greatest pleasure and that is the type of sons and sons-in-law that bring them the greatest nachas. YOU can’t take that away from them and it is not the daughters that demand it. Yes, maybe some do, but parents have the right to say no. Personally that is not my derech nor what makes sense to me.

    So please look for the right fit when seeking your bashert. Don’t do what your sem teachers told you to. Do what your own heart and brain are telling you to those are the thoughts and clues Hashem is giving you.

    Hatzlocha Rabba.


    Hashemlovesme, if you are looking for shorter term Kollel (a few years), its very doable provided you have a job that can support you plus the approximate number of children you can have in that span of time.

    Also, it would be prudent to find a guy with a plan – like learning full time but taking classes at night (my BIL did this). This way at the end of whatever time you are talking, your husband could start earning a living right away rather than go through initial training. Its a lot harder to stop what you are doing for school when you have 3 children to support.


    Putting government benefits aside (which I think is unethical to take because you want it rather than need it, but read my past posts on that), it ultimately affects your neighbors in more ways than you realize.

    Tuition? My cousins are a long term Kollel family – he is still learning after all these years and his oldest just came back from seminary. How do they do it? They get scholarships for school, scholarships for camp, reductions on everything thats even possibly negotiable. Did you read about the Yeshivas closing due to financial considerations?

    So yes, if you are self supporting 100%, go for it! Otherwise, realize that you are forcing others to sacrifice for Torah, not necessarily you.

    My friend’s parents support her 100%. They are wealthy. They support her with a living wage including things like tuition. She isn’t affecting the community negatively.


    Moq: I agree with you 100%. You just also have to add the seminaries that push kollel onto unsuspecting girls who never learned “Kach He Darko Shel Torah”, and Brachos 5a:

    ???? ??? ????? ?? ????? ???? ??? ????? ????? ??? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ??? ?”? ?????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ????? ?????? ???


    It is possible without support. There. Case closed. Problem solved. Been there, done that. You just need a JOB and BRAINS.

    And if you need a COFFEE ROOM to help you decide what kind of future you want for your children, well, I have an issue with that as well.


    shan – I’m sensing a lot of suppressed anger. If you love what your doing and love your decision, why would you care what other people say, think and do?

    Dr. Pepper


    As I posted in another thread- my brother and sister-in-law are able to make ends meet without support from either set of parents or the government.

    My sister-in-law got a mail order diploma and my brother learns full time. I don’t know specifics about their finances but I do know that he goes to a morning kollel and night kollel and takes bechinos on the material that he learns to earn some extra money. My wife suspects that he also tutors during his free time.

    They live on what I consider to be the bare minimum.

    (They also pay full tuition albeit it is cheaper in Lakewood than Brooklyn.)

    If a couple wants to be moser nefesh for learning and they are serious about it, it can be done without external support. But it does mean giving up on allot of gashmius.


    Another few points:

    1. I didn’t realize that you were a seminary girl trying to figure things out. Thought you were a grown adult “picking” at what you don’t like about other lifestyles. It makes me feel better, however, it also worries me that after a whole year of seminary you still don’t know what type of lifestyle is right for you, and are addressing your concerns over here. That could give me a whole new rant about seminaries, but I’m sticking to the topic.

    2. You can try to plan, however, realize that plans only get you so far. Don’t say you’ll work for x amount of years, you’ll get x degree and make x money so you’ll be ok. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. You don’t know how long your husband will be able to learn no matte how mch money you make. This is NOT in your hands. Yes, do your hishtadlus. Get a degree. But don’t give yourself all of these time frames, etc… Life has a way of happening and Hashem has a way of making the most carefully laid plans go out the window. It shouldn’t scare you. But it’s the truth. You do your best and let Hashem guide you the rest of the way. You take it slow.

    3. I’m done with this topic. It’s obviously emotional for any of us who have been bashed and commented upon for years. Please get yourself a MENTOR and discuss. Save coffee room discussions for recipes and tips/ideas. Not life-altering decisions.


    Sacrilege: NO ANGER AT ALL! Just annoyance.

    But if you look at a pattern on these blogs and other sites, you’ll see SOOO many people bashing this lifestyle, and after a point, you just feel like enough is enough. Live and let live. However, read my above post and realize that I did not notice that the original poster was so young and curious, thought its was just someone looking for a good juicy discussion…:)

    World Saver

    There is a serious misconception here. When a boy that wants to learn looks for support, he is looking for the type of family that wants to support and feels good doing so. The boy is part of “shevet levi” and his match should only be someone that fully understands and appreciates “shevet levi”. Other people that are koveya itim are very respectable and are doing a great thing by making time to learn every day. However, shevet levi is something else entirely. Rav Shach speaks about this at length as well as the Brisker Rov in Parshas Chayey Sara. R’ Shach said that people that support them are taking more than they’re giving, and therefore the taker is not even obligated to say “shkoiyach”!


    Shan, its possible. But what % of Kollel families make it on their own with no government support and no scholarships?


    “Supporting the boy allows him to continue learning Torah HaKedosha full-time. That is a major accomplishment and zechus.”

    Why has this zchus fallen on the shoulders of the girls parents? dont the boys parents want a share of this great accomplishment and zechus?

    Ben Torah

    APY: Dowry.

    SJS: There is nothing wrong with government support that is legal and available. Yidden shouldn’t not accept what they qualify for, when other yidden pay tons of taxes and other goyim take advantage of the system to is maximum legal extent. A yeshivaleit is no less.


    Shan –

    “But if you look at a pattern on these blogs and other sites, you’ll see SOOO many people bashing this lifestyle, and after a point, you just feel like enough is enough.”

    Who cares about other people? If this is what works for you then good. Beautiful. You really shouldn’t take what everyone says too personally.

    World Saver –

    “When a boy that wants to learn looks for support, he is looking for the type of family that wants to support and feels good doing so”

    This would be beautiful…. it it were true. In my experience it isnt, and I think in most people’s it isnt either. My parents, my they live and be well, are in a position to support, when I was adorable and naive (and maybe just a little spoonfed) I wanted a “forever” learner, and when I was dating those kinds of boys when thay asked for support it wasnt for my fathers hashkafos rather for his wallet and to ensure the boys financial security.


    “Yidden shouldn’t not accept what they qualify for, when other yidden pay tons of taxes and other goyim take advantage of the system to is maximum legal extent.”

    I actually agree with this (which is shocking, the extreme fiscal conservative that I am…) But I dont think it is wrong to accept available government assistance where needed to secure your footing. What bothers me is when that privilege is abused.



    Is there something wrong with a boy who wants to sit and learn and have financial security? Sounds reasonable to me.


    Ben torah. “support” does not = “dowry”. they are 2 different words, both in english and yiddish. This is how Websters defines the word dowry.

    Definition of DOWRY


    archaic : dower 1


    : the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage


    : a gift of money or property by a man to or for his bride


    : a natural talent

    moreover, lets assume that supporting a family for “x” years IS a dowry, the argument that it has been done this way for quite some time is only partially true. Yes, the girls parents gave a dowry, for the BEST bachur. It was NOT common for ALL bachurim to be supported by their inlaws. Saying otherwise is revisionist history.

    I have no problem if ANYONE wants to support their son, son inaw, daughter or daughter inlaw for 5,10, or 100 years. I am just disagreeing with some of the comments being incorrectly thrown around.

    Ben Torah

    APY: Girls have historically provided dowries even if not “the BEST bachur”.

    When you hear the various stories of rabbonim helping raise hachnosos kallah for a poor bride’s dowry, the indigent brides weren’t marrying what you call top bachur.


    Ben Torah, your post makes me wish I hadn’t just eaten lunch.

    WIY, you did ask what’s wrong with society today.

    Ben Torah

    SJS: Is it my fault you ate lunch at 11:00? Whoever heard of such an early lunch…


    Ben Torah, I get up at 5 am. I ate at 11:30.

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