July 10, 2017 12:46 am at 12:46 am #1313903HaimyParticipant
I’m all for Kollel & the benefits it brings to the individual & the tzibbur. I learned until recently in BMG & saw firsthand the positives of full time learning post marriage. I am now post BMG & many of my age group 36-42 are financially toasted. The transition from Kollel to parnossah is a nightmare for us, there simply isn’t enough guidance or support for the post Kollel man. A chashuver Ball Habayis put it this way ” the main misiras nefesh for learning in Kollel is after you leave, while you’re there it’s not that difficult”
We need a better organized well funded plan to help those that sacrificed their 20’s & 30’s for limud Hatorah transition to respectably paying Jobs. This will take better training programs with reduced fees & the hiring of former yungerleit by those in the business world.July 10, 2017 6:35 am at 6:35 am #1313987LightbriteParticipant
Maybe a career counselor to help transition in the next years.July 10, 2017 8:23 am at 8:23 am #1314005
This is from Sotah 44a:
תנו רבנן אשר בנה אשר נטע אשר ארש לימדה תורה דרך ארץ שיבנה אדם בית ויטע כרם ואח”כ ישא אשה ואף שלמה אמר בחכמתו הכן בחוץ מלאכתך ועתדה בשדה לך אחר ובנית ביתך הכן בחוץ מלאכתך זה בית ועתדה בשדה לך זה כרם אחר ובנית ביתך זו אשה
It is a valid point that learning after marriage before engaging in parnosoh has its benefits. But the question to ask is whether this is the derech the Torah guides us to follow. The above excerpt from the gemora tells us clearly that this is NOT what to do. It does not say go to college, but it does clearly demand that parnosoh not be delayed or postponed.
It is said that this was posed to Rav Aharon Kotler ZT”L as a question when he was embarking on establishing the kollel concept in America. He responded that this was a הוראת שעה. Even Rav Aharon fully recognized that the Chazal were smarter than us, and that they did not believe in the current trend to ignore the fundamental responsibility of ואפרנס ליכי that is spelled out in the כתובה. Learning is always great, but it does not absolve anyone from the Torah obligation to support a family. And it is not the chiyuv of the community or the public to fund that desire to learn.
The same proponents for the filling of the kollel beis hamedrash have nothing to advise for the sufferers of the post kollel financial crisis. How do they assume the responsibility for placing yungerleit there?July 10, 2017 9:19 am at 9:19 am #1314009jakobParticipant
there are many affordable programs for learning a professional parnassa. look into PCS (Professional career services) they have many courses on many job professions which are affordable & not such long courses thus letting you start supporting your family not long after you stop learning (or can take while your still learning for that matter)
HatzlachaJuly 10, 2017 9:20 am at 9:20 am #1314011
The point has been made here repeatedly on multiple topics and in multiple contexts. The notion of a very large percentage of chareidi young men foregoing any secular education and vocational training and instead spending 10+ years shteiging while throwing their families on the welfare rolls is a true chillul hashem (overused term) and totally inconsistent with how prior generations (with exceptions for a few future gaonim) found the time to do both. These yungerleit fully know the hole they are digging for themselves and their families by rejecting all the available options today to combine secular studies and job training with their learning so the laments about making the transition after 10 years of zero effort on acquiring the skills for a paranassah cannot be taken credibly.July 10, 2017 9:48 am at 9:48 am #1314039DaMosheParticipant
I have 2 brothers, as well as my closest friend from high school, who had to deal with this issue. One brother and the friend both have a lot of resentment towards the yeshiva system now, for not informing them how difficult it would be when they finally needed to go support their families.
My friend asked R’ Bender about it, and he replied, “You’re right, it’s a big problem! I try to help out my talmidim, but there needs to be a change, we need to do something to help out everyone!”July 10, 2017 10:27 am at 10:27 am #1314059
Anyone who tries to give contructive critism of the topic is usually shouted down. There will be no changes.July 10, 2017 10:34 am at 10:34 am #1314117ayidParticipant
I find myself in the same matzav b”h, after 12 years of kollel, and six children ke”h. for the past two years i was still in kollel but also managed the train myself in computer programing and more. but still I can’t find a job that would offer me more then $70k, and now that we all know that relying on government supplements is not an option 70,000 can’t get you anywhere. any solution?July 10, 2017 10:49 am at 10:49 am #1314130
The mean income in the US is #$53,000. to expect $70,000 with no education and no experience is unrealistic.
The only jobs that pay higher salaries like that are professionals like Doctors or Lawyer or sales people and a few other scatterd jobs that you need degrees for.July 10, 2017 11:01 am at 11:01 am #1314138adocsParticipant
“My friend asked R’ Bender about it, and he replied, “You’re right, it’s a big problem! I try to help out my talmidim, but there needs to be a change, we need to do something to help out everyone!”
Are you saying that R’ Bender thinks the system needs to change? What is he proposing? Because when R Bender wants something to happen, he usually gets it done.July 10, 2017 11:01 am at 11:01 am #1314140HaimyParticipant
I went to PCS they said 90% of employers aren’t interested in hiring a 37 year old with no work experience & a large family to support. An entry level paying job leaves you poorer than beforehand due to increased childcare expenses & major reductions in social services benefits. The fine gentelman at PCS said I’m sorry, the yungeleit show up too late I can’t help many of them.July 10, 2017 11:18 am at 11:18 am #1314153
Are you saying that R’ Bender thinks the system needs to change?
Isn’t there a kollel in his yeshiva?July 10, 2017 11:19 am at 11:19 am #1314152
The mean income in the US is #$53,000. to expect $70,000 with no education and no experience is unrealistic.
He said he wasn’t offered more than 70k, but that implies that he was offered 70.July 10, 2017 11:21 am at 11:21 am #1314158
An entry level paying job leaves you poorer than beforehand due to increased childcare expenses & major reductions in social services benefits.
This is a huge problem, and not just in our community. The way benefit eligibility is structured, there’s often a strong financial incentive to not work (and this has nothing to do with whether the person would otherwise be learning or not).July 10, 2017 11:23 am at 11:23 am #1314164
If he was offered $70,000 he should have taken it and be very gratefulJuly 10, 2017 11:59 am at 11:59 am #1314172
DY: It’s more of an issue for families with many children, such as most of our communities and largely not so much in non-frum communities, since government social benefits are financially much more valuable to a larger family than to a smaller family.
So the head of household with many children who takes a not so high paying job loses much more social safety net benefits than a head of household with few (or no) children.July 10, 2017 11:59 am at 11:59 am #1314174HaDaiya vHaDiburParticipant
While I was learning in Kollel 3 sedarim I used my bein hasedarim times (including Erev and Motzaei Shabbos) to take on-line courses and prepare for tests. When it came time to leave Kollel after a number of years I had the education to obtain a job and start supporting my family.
Perhaps we need to have advisors associated with the Kollelim that can advise individual Kollel members on how to start preparting for earning a parnassa during their down times in Kollel so that they are prepared and trained to find a job as soon as they leave Kollel. Why haven’t these advisors been established already, and what have Kollel yungeleit been doing with their bein hazemanim and bain hasedarim times?
Kollel yungerleit are smart, resourceful, proficient and trained to do do several things at one time and should be positioned to land some jobs that can provide serious parnassas!July 10, 2017 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #1314176MammeleParticipant
ZD: he said he studied computer programming plus, so that’s not exactly “no education”.
The first job is usually the hardest to land and least paying. Many people take the best offer they get and try to find something more profitable after a year or so. In other cases once he proves himself/the employer doesn’t want him to leave, he can get a nice raise.
It’s almost never a good idea to hold out for an unrealistic number, even if in the short term it makes no sense.
Part of the shock comes from thinking that only when learning does one struggle for parnassah. News flash: most of us struggle financially no matter how long in the work force. And of course we must (individually and collectively) reassess our spending standards.July 10, 2017 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #1314177
Unlike employers, who set a salary without regard to family size (young single guys can be paid a fortune while married guys with many children can be paid a pittance), government entitlement benefits pay more benefits the larger the family size. Thus a larger family loses more when switching from government benefits to employment than a smaller family.July 10, 2017 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm #1314195
Mamale, I have a BA from a regular secualr college in computer Science, I am very well aware of the field and I can tell you the job prospects arent as good as some think. They outsource programming to India, B’H I never got a programming job even though that was my original planJuly 10, 2017 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm #1314201
Several commenters used some version of the phrase “losing government benefits”. This is objectionable. These are entitlements for which one needs to qualify. If someone gains employment, they do not really lose benefits, and it was not theirs to lose. All that really happened was that they progressed in life to where they no longer qualified. I don’t fault those who express themselves this way. we are conditioned to feel entitled, that these benefits are ours. Well, no, they are not. They might be given to us if we are eligible. Just look at how we have been trained to think. We have a huge problem in attitude that underlies the myth of “kollel for everybody” and the propensity to calculate these benefits as part of the family budget. It is this attitude that leads way too many to be מורה היתר with regards to compromised honesty and the circus that affected Lakewood these past 2 weeks.July 10, 2017 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm #1314286waterburyParticipant
Learning secular studies during bein hasedarim — if all kollels introduce that concept how would the kollel be different from Lander’s, Ner Yisrael or Yeshiva University? Isn’t that what these programs have been doing for decades?July 10, 2017 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm #1314301akupermaParticipant
If the secular press (both blue and red versions) is to be believed, all young adults have great problems of insecurity. Indeed, that seems to be an aspect of being a young adult. If someone goes to kollel and then decides they want to change career tracts (i.e. not become a Torah educator or other communal functionary), they need to expect to retrain – but that’s true of almost every young adult who wants to change career, and changing careers is something young adults do frequently. If fact, former kollel students are in some ways better off since someone who goes to a private university in the hope of a career in humanities will be deeply in debt from student loans, and just as employable in the “real world” as a kollel person, and without the option of working for the Jewish community (e.g. compare the prospects of a PhD in Classics to a kollel student leaving kollel).July 10, 2017 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #1314304
Learning secular studies during bein hasedarim — if all kollels introduce that concept
The primary differences would be how “officially” it’s integrated into the makeup of the kollel, and at what stage in one’s kollel “career” does one begin.July 10, 2017 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm #1314306
TLIK, you can pontificate all you want, the fact is that people at a certain threshold are worse off financially for earning more money.July 10, 2017 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm #1314307
I also find it hypocritical for Yungerliet to “blame the yeshivos” for not training them and providing them the needed education to earn a parnassah. Hello??? If you are sitting behind a shtender in a beis medrash for 10 years and shteiging 24×7 what would you expect? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that your are not going to get hired at a good salary (outside of chinuch or perhaps as a mashgiach which itself requires special training) if you have not secular education, are not proficient on computers, etc. Its your OWN FAULT, not that of the yeshiva which you yourself voluntarily chose to attend. We have recently seen the courts throw out lawsuits filed by college grads against their schools for not adequately training them for good paying jobs. IN those cases, at least they had some training and education. For someone to metaphorically hide themselves in a cave for 10 years, then come out and cry “gevalt” about their limited options in the job market is laughable and doesn’t warrant any sympathy.July 10, 2017 1:32 pm at 1:32 pm #1314323DaMosheParticipant
Regarding what R’ Bender said:
Does he think it needs to change? I guess so, but the question is how. I can tell you what he does.
He established a special gemach specifically for alumni of Darchei. He also set up a program to teach vocational skills to both kollel members and community members who are in need. They can learn plumbing, electrical work, and other skills. They have classes in computer skills. You can start taking advantage while a kollel member – they have classes scheduled at times that can work for most people. I believe the cost is also significantly reduced for kollel members.July 10, 2017 1:33 pm at 1:33 pm #1314334ywcomment2Participant
I may be skewered for this idea … but wouldn’t someone who sits and learns for over 10 years be expecting to stay in klei kodesh, not go to the regular workforce? Maybe there should be better planning and advice for kollel guys at about years 5-7 in kollel … presumably they are barely 30 and can either head for training and work at that point or continue on in avodas hakodesh.July 10, 2017 1:37 pm at 1:37 pm #1314332
You wrote, ” you can pontificate all you want, the fact is that people at a certain threshold are worse off financially for earning more money.”
That is correct. But that is an anomaly of the government systems that give these handouts. I would fully agree that this matter should be examined for modification. But that is the legislators’ problem. We continue to be left facing a harsh reality. It is simply impossible to enter the world of career at a late stage and expect to make the progress to the level of someone that has been there much earlier. And that is precisely what the prevailing belief is in the frum community regarding kollel, and that is exactly the definition of the “Post Kollel Financial Crisis”. If we keep believing that fire is not hot, we are at risk of continuing to get burned.
There are not enough chinuch, rabbinical, or communal jobs to accommodate the population of bnei kollel. Davening for this to change is, at the very least, a תפלת שוא. It is also a fantasy to expect every kollel yungerman to qualify for such positions. Does anyone honestly believe that sitting in kollel for 12 years prepares someone to teach elementary school yeshiva students? And with the glut of supply for mechanchim, simple economics would keep salaries dangerously low. That’s a no win situation.
We certainly need to make wages in chinuch competitive, and this can be made reasonable by requiring training before getting a position in the chinuch profession. But that would help a tiny fraction of yungerleit who need to establish themselves as baalei parnosoh. We need to abandon the attitude that makes a working Ben Torah into a second class citizen. And we should be encouraging the inclusion of קביעות עתים לתורה into the working life as a norm that is a source of pride to Klal Yisroel. I would group such people together with the כלי קודש who derive their parnosoh from chinuch, serving as rabbonim, magidei shiurim, etc. The inclusion of all לומדי תורה is a source of great pride to הקב”ה, and this is ישראל אשר בך אתפאר.
But as long as we deride career as a source of shame, we will continue to see young families live in their delusion and fantasy for several years, only to be rudely awakened later.July 10, 2017 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm #1314369
The point that no one has addressed is why it is impossible for these bochurim to get basic secular education (writing, mathematics, computer etc.) training and skills so if they decide at some point to get their families off welfare and handouts, they have a reasonable opportunity to find employment (part or full time). Its this mindless refusal to consider any secular training that defies logic, even if one wishes to pursue limudei torah on a full time basis for some period.July 10, 2017 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #1314388lowerourtuition11210Participant
GadolH: Are you talking about this thread or in Klal Yisroel in general? I for one agree with you. My children know that I am not in a position to support. Most of my older children work at least part time.July 10, 2017 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #1314389
The other point that no one has addressed is: Why is more not being done to educate baal habatim on the importance of supporting Limud HaTorah?July 10, 2017 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #1314416akupermaParticipant
to Gadolhador ah, re: “why is it impossible”
Probably for the same region humanities graduates for universities tend not to go into areas involving mathematics, computers, etc. – it doesn’t interest them. If you don’t like manual work (machinists, construction work, farming) and don’t like math (rules out engineeering and most sciences) and can’t stand the sight of blood (forget about become a shochet, or a doctor). If someone was inclined to be tool and die maker, or an engineer, or a professional “geek” (computer expert), or something medical, they probably would have planned on doing so from the start.
The goyim have the same problem with millions of unemployable humanities majors who skill set, and inclincations, leading them to unemployability. Perhaps the solution is to expose children in elemntary school, to various fields of STEM, mechanical skills, etc, in hopes the kids will develop an interest. We should stop worrying that there is something wrong with “our” schools, since the problem is shared with everyone else’s.July 10, 2017 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #1314504
The other point that no one has addressed is: Why is more not being done to educate baal habatim on the importance of supporting Limud HaTorah?
People with large familes only have so much extra Tzdekah to give, once they give their Maasar, pay the bills and maybe a little extras, there is little left overJuly 10, 2017 3:19 pm at 3:19 pm #1314410
There are many dedicated learners who are fortunate to have affluent parents and/or in-laws or a wife who has a professional career who can provide the resources to support a family in comfort. However, in the absence of those options, one presumes that those choosing to learn full-time have developed a plan or strategy for economic sustenance beyond “the Ebeshter will provide” or “the taxpayers of NY/NJ have an obligation to support my wife and family”.July 10, 2017 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #1314752
What is the oilem’s thoughts about those that marry someone davka who comes from a moneyed family (or is producing a good income herself) in order to enable himself to remain in learning much longer?July 10, 2017 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #1314795hujuParticipant
I find this discussion sad and depressing. Grown, married men with children have no business “learning” until they have a clear and sound plan for parnassah. Yeshivas and kollels are partly to blame, and parents who let their sons think the Kollel fairy (tooth fairy’s frum brother) will provide for their families are the biggest threat to the future of frum Jews.July 10, 2017 3:54 pm at 3:54 pm #1314783HaDaiya vHaDiburParticipant
“We need to abandon the attitude that makes a working Ben Torah into a second class citizen.”
I’ve seen many very well respected professionals who dedicated a significant number of years to learning in Kollel before persuing a parnassa and they now earn a respectable salary while giving regular shiurim in the community in areas such as Daf Yomi, Halacha L’Maaseh, Parshas HaShavua, Gemara Bekius and B’iyun and are not viewed with any sense of shame.
These “Talmidei Chachamim professionals”, including accountants, actuaries, financial advisors, and even doctors, precisely because they were serious in their learning during their Kollel years but also kept an eye on parnassa, developed the skills to be able to become Marbitzei Torah in their own right, and are currently looked at by others as models of self-sufficient (with the help of the RBSH”O of course) talmidei chachamim.
They prove this method can be successful!July 10, 2017 3:54 pm at 3:54 pm #1314787
Sorry, but you are in la-la land.
Firstly, Klal Yisroel gives fortunes in tzedokoh. While there is likely a small number of people who are miserly and give less tzedokoh than they can, it is mostly the other way around. Our community can boast of countless tzedokos for hachnosas kallah, infertility, medical costs and needs, feeding poor families, and others. There is also a staggering variety of gemachs. Add to that, there are massive amounts of tzedokoh that go on between people that do not involve organizations or publicity. No one takes being machazik Torah lightly. With all that is already going on, in very handsome numbers, all yeshivos are hurting. Before making an accusation like you did, just ask. There is a lot being given to support Torah. The needs are far greater.
Second, you are talking party line, and completely ignoring the real issue. You are once again allowing anyone who wants the label as Kollel Yungerman to take it, without demonstrated merit, and at the expense of everyone else (community support and government). That is foolish, futile, and dangerous. That is what led to the current matzav. The culture of dependency is found nowhere in Torah. In fact, we specify in ברכת המזון, that we do not want to be dependent on others.
ונא אל תצריכנו ה’ אלקינו לא לידי מתנת בשר ודם ולא לידי הלואתם.
We baalei batim have all the education we need about supporting Torah. That does not include supporting someone who should not sit in kollel for years of unproductive time. It does not mean assisting someone to achieve the status entry level – low pay jobs when he has already a sizable family. This is an aveiroh for the yungerman, and all the helpers carry the responsibility as מסייע לדבר עבירה. If you are looking to re-educate me, spare yourself the wasted time and effort.
Lastly, as ZD said, there are wealthy people who give generously to so many causes. The rest of us are making ends meet (hopefully), and our tzedokoh dollars are limited. If you had your way, most all the baalei batim would be barely eking out a living so that there would be hardly any tzedokoh available from them for supporting Torah. Rethink your comment please.July 10, 2017 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #1314824
I don’t see how this:
Our community can boast of countless tzedokos for hachnosas kallah, infertility, medical costs and needs, feeding poor families, and others. There is also a staggering variety of gemachs. Add to that, there are massive amounts of tzedokoh that go on between people that do not involve organizations or publicity.
No one takes being machazik Torah lightly.July 10, 2017 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #1314826MParticipant
Asking for input. Many yungerman are a bit surprised when they are 29 or 34 and not sure where to start looking for parnassah. When they were 23 they probably did not realize how much it would cost to raise a family, and maybe even how money “really” works. Would it help if yeshiva alumni, maybe CPA’s or similar, would give a short one-hour presentation to guys when they’re second, third year beis mederash, and so these issues would be a bit on their minds much earlier on. Maybe the Agudah would put together some sort of seminar on the basics of finances, which might be helpful way down the line when someone is thinking more seriously about the rest of their lives. Thoughts?July 10, 2017 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #1314830
People with large familes only have so much extra Tzdekah to give, once they give their Maasar, pay the bills and maybe a little extras, there is little left over
Case in point.
Supporting Limud HaTorah is a charitable cause. You can use your Maaser to support Limud HaTorah.July 10, 2017 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #1314829
You missed the point. If this is your question, then your comment would be interpreted as implying the need to re-educate Klal Yisroel to redirect all tzedokoh funds to yeshivos and kollelim, and to render all others secondary. That thought frightens me greatly, and I doubt you will find any support for such an idea, not in any reputable Torah sources, nor among Gedolei Hador.
My message was that there is a wealth of tzedokoh being given, and no one needs more education on the subject. Yeshivos and other Torah related causes are recipients of generous support from the entire Klal. No one doubts that the needs are greater than the proceeds they get. But it is bizarre to think that there is education that will alter what is already going on. Either such education won’t work, or it looks for non-existent monies. It is probably also inconsistent with the halachos of tzedokoh as in Shulchan Aruch and Rambam. I would put you to the challenge to demonstrate, with Torah references, that one must divert tzedokoh from all other causes to Torah institutions.July 10, 2017 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #1314836
There are big Ba’alei Tzedakah who give tremendous amounts to other causes, but not nearly as much to yeshivos, and it’s not because they’ve run out of money.
Ask anyone who does fundraising for Yeshivos.July 10, 2017 6:08 pm at 6:08 pm #1314838MParticipant
Meno – tremendous tzedakah is given for limud Torah. Even ignoring the tremendous costs of tuition (is that not the most beautiful example of “supporting Limud HaTorah”?!), many communities have local yeshivas and kollelim which they help support, in large sums. And all this is after they contribute to poor people who cannot help themselves. As it is, I’m sure that BMG and similar kollelim receive millions of dollars in donations per year. Of course that’s not enough to support everyone! But, do you expect everyone to just double their donation?! And then if every random kid on the street wants to sit and learn, that the tzibbur should pay him to learn? This sounds a bit crazy to me.July 10, 2017 6:08 pm at 6:08 pm #1314839
Supporting Limud HaTorah is a charitable cause. You can use your Maaser to support Limud HaTorah.
So you are asking money for things like masbia, Hatzolah , gemachs and other situations where its dire and the person maybe cannot control the situation be diverted to someone who chooses to to in kollelJuly 10, 2017 6:08 pm at 6:08 pm #1314861PhilParticipant
Supporting a person who can’t work is tzedaka, which is mandatory. Supporting an able-bodied adult who chooses instead to learn in hachzokas hatorah, which is voluntary.July 10, 2017 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #1314890
Meno gets it.July 10, 2017 6:38 pm at 6:38 pm #1314895
You crept into another hole. It is not for you or me or anyone else for that matter to determine whether someone has given enough tzedokoh, nor are we authorized to allocate it for them. I know many fundraisers for yeshivos. They always want more than they get. But, for that matter, so does every single fundraiser for any other tzedokoh. There is nothing that will be done that can accomplish the redirection to yeshivos and kollelim. It remains my choice completely whether to give to a yeshiva, a keren for chassanim and kallos, a soup kitchen, or countless other causes. In fact, the Purim scene is flooded with kids collecting for yeshivos, when hachzokas Torah is not a tad different on Purim than any other day of the year (the collectors consider it so, as do the yeshivos). In reality, all of these causes are worthy, and this goes without debate. Donors are free to allocate as they see fit.
But again, you changed the subject. Is it permissible (halacha, yashrus, common sense) to enter long term learning on yenem’s expense? Doesn’t it create voluntary poverty and dependence? Or should the yungerman who wishes to learn begin some degree of the process of getting prepared for a career? How should one approach the financial crisis of the emerging kollel yungerman who no longer has the youth or the time to engage in career training? And there are two questions here. One – should this situation be avoided? Two – once in this matzav, what should one do?July 10, 2017 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #1314898
Meno gets it, indeed.
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