The Kollel Revolution!
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- This topic has 186 replies, 42 voices, and was last updated 14 years, 3 months ago by oomis.
November 20, 2008 1:05 am at 1:05 am #588698yashrus20Member
I personaly think that its a high point in Klal Yisrael where so many people are making learning, their lives. Everyone i assume would agree in terms of needs (money..) its much easier to learn. Pros-Many more bnei torah. Cons-to a lot of ppl its become superficial and it is these bochurim that need to work (they end up in being futzers). Just wanted to here the Chashuva oilam’s opinion regarding the subject.November 20, 2008 1:36 am at 1:36 am #627258JosephParticipant
We need more Yidden learning.
We need to encourage yungerleit to sit and learn.November 20, 2008 1:48 am at 1:48 am #627259illini07Member
I wouldn’t say it’s easier to learn all day than make a living necessarily. If it were, why would that be a pro?November 20, 2008 1:55 am at 1:55 am #627260tzippiMember
Trying to figure out what you’re getting at: what does “Everyone i assume would agree interms of needs (money..)its much easier to learn” mean?November 20, 2008 3:16 am at 3:16 am #627261shtark bochurMember
lemaseh we have to keep learning shtark those that batul should definrtlyworkNovember 20, 2008 3:19 am at 3:19 am #627262mw13Participant
it is extraordinarily important for those who can learn to learn, but those who can’t/don’t should stop taking tzedakka and start giving it.November 20, 2008 3:46 am at 3:46 am #627263rabbiofberlinParticipant
Last time I looked, there seems to be a couple of gemoros who deal with this…Have you ever learned the mishna in Kiddushin ? “Chayiv lelamdo umnus” …Maybe you only learned berochos..oh, do you remember the gemoro about “harbeh osu velo olso bejodom”?
The fact is that it is not a mitzvah for EVERYONE to learn all day. It is not something that ever happened in Klal Yisroel and for a very simple reason….it is not practicable or feasible!November 20, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm #627264eli levParticipant
1-theres no contradiction between lomeid umnus & then sitting learning kollel as long as possible. many have done this & many are doing this now!
2- “harbe asu velo…” does NOT refer to our many kolell ungelite of our time. as we see.
3- i dont know y u feel the need to make a degrading comment [did u ever … maybe u only…] to the above writer
if u disaagree with rav ahron kotler & gedolim bidoreinu then check out the posuk veasisa kichol …November 20, 2008 1:22 pm at 1:22 pm #627265
What “Everyone i assume would agree in terms of needs (money..) its much easier to learn”
Means that it is easier to live on MOFES (Medicaid, welfare, food stamps & Section 8/ HUD) and not pay tuition, get breaks on food, etc. since you are in Klei Kodesh than having to pay tuition, and have to work for your food (the curse of Adam).
In addition, most people who work (in the USA) have to deal with the commute, early fridays, Yom Tov, staying late for deadlines, co-workers, limited sick days, and most of all a resposibility to do the job. All of these do not exist in Kollel (except for some Kollels that have tests)(they do if you are a Rebbe or a Rav).
So yes, it is easier to live in Kollel (especially if you have the shver supporting) than it is to work.November 20, 2008 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #627266
BTW my Moshgiach agrees with me and uses this arguement to convince beis medrish bochrim to stay in Kollel (convincingly, I might add).November 20, 2008 3:38 pm at 3:38 pm #627267intellegentMember
It doesn’t sound good to me that people would commit to full time learning because it’s easier. It should be done because that is what you believe is the right thing for you (and you would do it even if it’s hard). Maybe I misunderstood your post. Please clarify.
BTW, I don’t agree that getting money from the “Shver” makes is so easy. It is not so easy to take money from parents.November 20, 2008 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #627268jewishfeminist02Member
“it is easier to live on MOFES (Medicaid, welfare, food stamps & Section 8/HUD) and not pay tuition, get breaks on food, etc. since you are in Klei Kodesh than having to pay tuition, and have to work for your food (the curse of Adam).”
It may be easier in terms of what one is physically doing, going out to work vs. sitting and learning, but it is particularly difficult to “live” on the meager handouts the government gives, especially for large families (as is often the case with those who choose to learn in kollel.) Those subsisting on food stamps receive only $21 per week, or a dollar per meal. Can you imagine purchasing a week’s worth of groceries for $21? (And frum families don’t have the option of taking advantage of McDonalds’ Dollar Menu!)
In the past year, countless lawmakers as well as ordinary Americans have taken the Food Stamp Challenge, which is to step into the shoes of those living in the poorest sectors of American society and live on $21 for one week. If you Google “food stamp challenge” you can find dozens of blogs about how difficult (and eye-opening!) the experience was. I read one blog by a frum woman who said that she couldn’t afford to have Shabbos guests for that week because the budget was so tight. Here’s an article about the challenge from the Washington Post:
For thousands of Americans, this is daily reality because they cannot find jobs or cannot work for whatever reason. I don’t understand why anyone who is capable of working would choose instead to take this route.November 20, 2008 3:50 pm at 3:50 pm #627269
Joseph- While it is very important to learn Torah, how are you expecting these Kollel Yungerleit to support their families?November 20, 2008 3:59 pm at 3:59 pm #627270JosephParticipant
smartcookie, Emunah in the Bashefer.November 20, 2008 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #627271Feif UnParticipant
mw13, unfortunately, in today’s world, not everyone can give tzedakah, and many people, even those not learning, need to take it. How many people have medical bills? How many people are told because they work, they can’t get a break on tuition, and can barely afford to put food on the table because of it?
Look at organizations like Tomchei Shabbos, and see how many people desperately need their help, whether working or learning. The fact is, I already support kollel people. I pay their rent through HUD, I pay for their insurance through Medicade, I pay for their food through welfare, I feed their children through WIC… need I go on? My taxes pay for their needs.
It would be nice if the only tzedakah needed was to support people sitting and learning. Unfortunately, that’s not teh case. other people have tzaros also.November 20, 2008 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #627272
Pum Fakert! Any reason is a good one to stay in learning! Metoch shelo Leshma Ba’ah Leday Leshma. (this assumes they learn and don’t just sit).
As far as the second point: With the Shidduch Crisis, its geting easier to extort, I mean convince the Shver help out the young couple. Particularly whan the girl has been told by her Sem teachers that Kollel is the only way to go.November 20, 2008 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #627273[email protected]Participant
Our seminary teachers do not teach us that kollel is the only way to go, they show us something called emes. and I feel I WANT to marry someone learning because that is what HaShem wants not what people have told me. the more emuna you have the less hishtadlus you have to do, so If you truly believe HaShem will support he will. It says man should work for bread, they explain it either as they work on torah (learning) and HaShem will support, but if someone doesnt feel that is right for them they can work for bread. so you will get the same bread it just depends what you put your work into.November 20, 2008 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #627274
Thank you Joseph, but while Im a very big Maamin, I believe in a bit of Hishtadlus too.
Let me ask you a more personal question:
Do you learn during the day(when not on YW)or do you work?November 20, 2008 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #627275rabbiofberlinParticipant
It is amazing how many of our good Yidden have been brainwashed…oh,well, what else is news?
I am not going to comment on many of the above postings. Suffice it to say that I do not believe there is any mitzvah for everyone to learn in kollel.About the only way to show one’s displeasure of this is not to contribute to a kollel.
elilev- looks like you believe that the laws of economics have been suspended for today’s dor, even as it was surely part of the time of our Tanoim and Amoroim.
And, actually, yup, I do disagree , on that item, with the Rabbonim you mentioned. Thank G-d, I have many other rabbonim (and gedolim) who feel like me, starting with the Tanoim of the Mishnah.
The comments I made were not necessarily degrading (as you intimate) but just a gentle reminder that one should look at the original sources.
I am pretty sure that if I say to you that we should ignore a Mishnah or gemoro on another item (say–about women learning gemoro)you would call me an apikoros. Strange ,isn’t it, that you ignore plenty of mishnas and gemoros and yet, you don’t find it wrong. “Hajitochen?”November 20, 2008 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #627276intellegentMember
I thought of that quote as well it’s very nice and all but your whole mentality sounds quite twisted!
I think your last post is sick! “With the Shidduch Crisis, its geting easier to extort, I mean convince the Shver help out the young couple.” !Sick!
(and by the way, my husband is in full time learning and we hope he will stay for a very long time up until forever, but I would faster convince him to go to work than live with such an attitude.)
(I am not just trying to “hack”, I am truly disturbed.)November 20, 2008 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #627277
It is still easier than getting a job that will feed and tuition a large family, particularly when the husband has no job skills (since his yeshiva did not allow him to go to college). In fact, Kollel has become the choice of many due to it being the only method of supporting their families, as once they leave Kollel, they will lose all of the breaks that they get.
And I see I forgot WIC, which as these are large families, will also add a significant amount of cash/food to income.
Also, if you are on food stamps you should be feeding your family rice and beans, not having company for shabbos meals! It is forgotten what it means to be “Pas B’Melach Tochal”!November 20, 2008 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #627278
I thought of that quote as well it’s very nice and all but your whole mentality sounds quite twisted!
I think your last post is sick! “With the Shidduch Crisis, its geting easier to extort, I mean convince the Shver help out the young couple.” !Sick!”
I agree. Thats why its so sad. If only the Roshei Yeshiva would do something about it…November 20, 2008 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #627279
You must have gone to a seminary where they do not say “When you marry a Kollel boy…”
Good for you.November 20, 2008 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #627280
I have no problem with men learning in Kollel, provided that their wife can fully support them. No person in Kollel should be on WIC, food stamps etc.
I personally think our welfare system should change to reduce the people who are not working rather than just handing out food and money. I think its tantamount to stealing from the rest of the population. I pay a boatload in taxes to people who are fully capable of going out and getting a job.
My husband would love to sit and learn, but it just isnt economically feasible if we dont want to go on government services. And we dont. I remind him that when he wakes up at 4 oclock in the morning to learn and go to minyan, he is working much harder for his schar than someone who is having someone else pay their way. Its easy to learn at 11 oclock in the morning. Its not so easy to learn when you have to get up at 4 am to do it.
I could go on and on…but I’ll stop here.November 20, 2008 5:17 pm at 5:17 pm #627281[email protected]Participant
no, they never did, they taught us appreciation for torah, showing how the whole world stands on torah, which is maybe why I am more open to it than people who have been told it their whole lives. I am expecting my parents to support and then we will take it from there. I do understand my standards will have to be lowered than what I am used to now and still willing to give up for something that is realNovember 20, 2008 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #627282
intellegent, while I agree its sick to extort the in-laws, many feel its the only way they will marry off their kids. Then again, we could spin off into a shidduch crisis…
As for living on $21/week – I could do that easily if it wastn kosher food. I coupon shop for everything and there are so many good deals for non kosher food. So yes, I could easily live for $21/week. The only thing I would have to cut out is organic fruits/veggies for my son, which I would prefer not to do but could.November 20, 2008 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #627283tzippiMember
Re Shtark Bachur: newsflash – those who work should learn too! My kids have B”H had such good examples of men in their lives who have worked yet are tremendous talmidei chachamim too that they understand that there are different derachim for different people, or even different derachim for the same person at different times in his/her life.November 20, 2008 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm #627284zevi8Member
What is so good about learning in kollel all day? What is so noble about living off the government and your inlaws? Jewish people are supposed to be a light unto the nations. How are you supposed to do that if you are sitting inside all day, never going out into the world? Can someone please quote a phrase in the torah where it says to sit and learn all day and mooch off people?November 20, 2008 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #627285
V’higeasah bo yomom vo’layla v’yimooch mi’bnei odom. Happy, pappy?November 20, 2008 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #627286
SQUEAK- Are you supporting a family?November 20, 2008 6:08 pm at 6:08 pm #627287
I have no personal Sem experience, but I have to agree (based on those who I have seen) that pushing Kollel can easily backfire. Even for those for who it does not, they can end up looking for the “Kollel experience” vs. someone who is serious about learning (which does not require Kollel, as many have pointed out), which brings us back to the original point.November 20, 2008 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #627288headMember
I have no idea where you came up with $21. I have SEEN (not read in some newspaper) people getting $6-800 a month.November 20, 2008 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #627289WolfishMusingsParticipant
“Can someone please quote a phrase in the torah where it says to sit and learn all day and mooch off people? “
There may not be a pasuk, but I think that it is in our own self-interest to have people learning day and night. We need people who are going to become talmidei chachomim. We need people who are going to be experts in halacha to answer shailos. We will need people who can give us a Torah perspective on events in the world. As such, I think it is in our own self-interest to have people learning all day and preparing to fill these roles.
However, I also believe that the current kollel paradigm is not sustainable. Nor do I think that it is good for the community or the individuals involved. I believe that kollels should have strict entrance requirements, so that only a certain percentage will remain. They should (like any advanced student) be required to prove their competency from time to time and maintain a sufficient level of scholarship (must like you must maintain a good GPA to remain in a graduate program).
Everyone else should go to work and support those who are learning, as they, too, have an interest in the next generation of leaders of k’lal yisroel. As they also have a requirement to learn, I think the yeshivas should have an open enrollment policy for night/weekend sedarim, allowing anyone who want to learn to come in and learn during those periods.
The WolfNovember 20, 2008 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm #627290cantoresqMember
This discussion in pointless. The various POV’s are well known to all. Sadly, the ramifications of those POV’s are now well known as well. Those who advocate more people learning didn’t implement safeguards to prevent the creation of a society based on an expectations of entitlements, who scorn those who work for a living. Those who advocated living “tzum Gott und tzum leit” allowed for the creation of a generation of amei haaretz who scorn serious Torah scholarship. Extreme positions, never helped Klal Yisrael.November 20, 2008 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #627291zalmyMember
“the more emuna you have the less hishtadlus you have to do, so If you truly believe HaShem will support he will.” – boredatwork
this excellently sums up the common contemporary chareidi perspective on life. it also excellently sums up much of what is wrong with today’s chareidi society.
the clear implication of this ideal (where it comes from, i have no idea, please enlighten me [email protected] – and “my seminary teacher said so” is not good enough) which creates an inverse relationship between “emunah” and hishtadlus (so more emuna = less hishtadlus, and more hishtadlus = less emunah) creates an air of superiority among those who perform less hishtadlus (a.k.a. work), and encourages them to look down upon those who are performing hishtadlus (i.e. working) in order to live.
i challenge anyone to HONESTLY deny that “work” has not become a dirty word in today’s yeshivishe’ velt, and that those who work for a living are not viewed as spiritually inferior (or having less “emunah” in [email protected]’s equation) than those who do not.
when i was young i thought that “emunah” had to do with what was in your heart. i didn’t realize it was all based on how many hours a day you do (or don’t) work.
the result of [email protected]’s inverse proportion is that one must necessarily conclude that all of our chachamim throughout the doros (tanaim, amoraim, rishonim, and achronim, too many to list)who did work must have been deficient in their “emunah”, since many of them worked. accordingly, the average kollel guy in lakewood or mir, etc., must have much more “emunah” than the rambam, chofetz chaim, etc., ever did.
rabbosai – have we gone mad??November 20, 2008 8:24 pm at 8:24 pm #627292Mayan_DvashParticipant
Rav Hutner ZT”L once said “Better for someone at work to regret not being in Bais Medrash than C”V the other way around.”
Why? because that can negate all the learning he did! That’s why he allowed boys to go to college.
I heard this from Rabbi Perlow at a Daf Yomi Shiur, nephew of the Novominsker Rebbe at a Daf Yomi Shiur he gave recently.
Based on this we can apply the following: Kollel is only for those with a thirst for learning. Once that thirst is “satisfied” it’s time to go to work. This way it will be less likely for one to think such things, because he will not (less likely to) regret the learning he did when he “needed” to learn.November 20, 2008 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #627293jewishfeminist02Member
head, “some newspaper” is the Washington Post. If you don’t trust their standards (and it is one of the most respected and well-known newspapers out there!) I don’t know whose you will.
Food stamp benefits vary depending on the size of the family and their assets (any savings they have in the bank as well as income of any kind automatically lowers the amount of food stamp benefits for which they are eligible.) However, the average American family living on food stamps receives $21/week.
The minimum benefits of the food stamp program have not been raised since the mid-70s despite inflation. $21 may have been sufficient for a week’s worth of groceries in 1975, but it isn’t in 2008. Maybe it’s “easy” to live on $21 if you have access to newspapers that advertise sales and a car to drive to the stores that feature them. But citizens who are poor enough to be eligible for food stamps don’t have any of that. They can’t get coupons and often are restricted to one or two grocery stores that are walking distance from where they live, so comparison shopping is not really an option.November 20, 2008 9:17 pm at 9:17 pm #627294
SQUEAK- Are you supporting a family?
By my calculations, at least a dozen….November 21, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am #627295shtark bochurMember
tzippi: thats exactly what i meant learn in the morning b4 shacris and learn one night seder, this is only if you cant learn full timeNovember 21, 2008 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm #627298
shtark bochur – should you learn full time if you have to take charity from people? Especially when that charity could be better served by giving to people who have no food, rather than people who could get a job?
One thing this generation doesnt seem to understand is that kollel is a LUXURY. I do not believe in supporting LUXURIES when there are mouths to feed. All men are obligated to learn and working doesnt remove that obligation.
JFem, as far as I am aware, the sunday paper is available everywhere (in inner cities as well). The $1 spent on the paper well covers itself and most grocery stores take the money. Granted its not a lot, but I could do it easily.November 21, 2008 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm #627299
SQUEAK: Are you Mekayim Vhegisa Bo Yomom Vloloh?????? Do you learn day and night?November 21, 2008 4:11 pm at 4:11 pm #627300ModernGuyParticipant
There is nothing wrong with someone learning full time, as long as it does not put a strain on anyone or anything. If the wife has to work three jobs while running the household, if the in laws have to dig into their retirement savings, if the government has to dole out food stamps, hud, welfare, wic which drains resources from those who truly need it but aren’t able to earn a decent wages, if any of those situations apply, learning full time is not appropriate in my opinion. I highly doubt hashem is sitting on his thrown, looking down at the married buchor and saying ” that’s my boy” as his wife struggles to put food on the table.November 21, 2008 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #627301
Please, if you are not supporting a family at this point, think twice before you comment because you dont understand what Parnassah is until you are the head of the household.November 21, 2008 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #627302tbParticipant
Modern Lakewood Guy – Maybe the wife is happy to work 3 jobs if it means her husband can learn.November 21, 2008 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #627303
tb – thats fine IF they arent on government services. Otherwise you are putting a strain on the entire country by draining its resources.November 21, 2008 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #627304tbParticipant
SJSinNYC – Let’s say for argument sake (isn’t that what people come to the coffee room for?) that a guy got a very minimal grant to do some research for a cure for cancer. Since he is married and has children the grant money won’t cover his cost of living expenses. So his wife works (one, two, three jobs, whatever). But it is still not enough to make ends meet. And he is legitimitly eligible for goverment aid. Do you feel it is wrong of him to apply for Jersey care, Wic etc? Given that scenario should he just say, never mind cancer research, lets leave that for the millionaires and go into real estate?November 21, 2008 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #627305headMember
“The minimum benefits of the food stamp program have not been raised since the mid-70s despite inflation”
I have no clue where you get your info from. Food stamps are adjusted for inflation. I know many people on FS “NONE” of them get $21(even with one or no kds). The people that do the $21 “experiments” have agendas to push. Don’t take everything you read in the WP, NYT, LAT etc. at face value. Think for yourself and find out for yourself.
I can go through with you almost every single article in the NYT and show you ommissions, half truths, half-lies, agendas and writers’ point of view. You have to be a critic while you read and double check with oter sources.November 21, 2008 5:28 pm at 5:28 pm #627306
SQUEAK: Are you Mekayim Vhegisa Bo Yomom Vloloh?????? Do you learn day and night?
Yes. See Menochos 95bNovember 21, 2008 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #627307mw13Participant
SJSinNYC, it’s worth putting a little strain on the country for torah.November 21, 2008 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #627309
tb – here is the flaw in your logic. What you are saying is that the guy cannot do proper research part time. If he can do part time research, then yes, he should go out and get a job and do research part time. If he cannot, only then should he take services.
Most men in kollel should get jobs. They can work 1/2 days. They can learn around their jobs. My husband does. The rest of the men in our families do. There is no need for such a large portion of our society to sit and learn and strain everyone else.
And most certainly, they should stop putting down working so much, when they ask us for money. I do not support kollel because I think this attitude is terrible and VERY prevalent. They cant have it both ways.
MW13 – would you say the same thing if we were support Christian scholars with our money? Or giving it to Planned Parenthood for unneccesary abortions?
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