Two points from this weeks Yated – Kollel & Agudah
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July 5, 2011 1:36 pm at 1:36 pm #597795
1: R’ Avraham Birnbaum’s article regarding moving out of Lakewood, debt and the Gashmius that current Kollel families need vs. Kollel from yesteryear.
2: Rabbi Schonfeld & Bloom’s discussion regarding whom Agudah honors and allows to speak at their dinner (John Doe, you owe me an apology).
Your thoughts?July 5, 2011 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #787344WolfishMusingsParticipant
For those of us who don’t normally read the Yated, can you please summarize the points made in the articles?
The WolfJuly 5, 2011 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #787345
1: R’ Birnbaum (in an article) compared the current Kollel situation to the Greek debt crisis, because kollel families live off others (parents, debt & the community) who will soon be no longer able to pay. His suggestion was to strengthen the out of town kollels, where there may be more money.
2: Rabbi Schonfeld of KGH (in the readers write) complained (regarding a recent point by Rabbi Bloom) of the Agudah honoring/allowing to speak politicians who do not share our values (such as the leader of the NYS Assembly, and the recently disgraced congressman in NYC). Rabbi Bloom agreed that it is a disgrace, but the halachic decision of the Agudah was that since they fund mosdos, they will hold their nose regarding the other issues (such as the recently passed bill in NY), for the good of the Khal. However, he, as a now “free” individual, can say that they are a disgrace.
If my paraphrase is incorrect, please feel free to correct me.
John Doe, I still expect that apology.July 5, 2011 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm #787348
I like Rabbi Birnbaum. He’s had a lot of good stuff, out of the bos stuff to say. And out of town is a great place to live and raise a family. Kollelim are booming in our city and frankly, I don’t know where the funding is coming from. It can’t all be coming from the gevirim.
And as for Rabbi Bloom, he is an adom gadol. I am grateful for the clarity he gives us on so many issues. At the risk of inciting all sorts of ire, often I read him and I leave with, now I know what to think on this issue. I haven’t read the current Yated yet but am looking forward. I’m sure that Rabbi Bloom thought long and hard before sharing his thoughts with the olom. (Interesting dovetailing with R’ Avi Shulman’s column of the same week on airing linen.)July 5, 2011 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #787349simcha613Participant
Another suggestion to number one is not having so many people learn in kollel. The Gemara in Chagigah says that Hashem cries for those who don’t learn Torah and should, and for those who learn Torah and shouldn’t. Full time kollel is not for most people, it is for the individuals. Too many people use kollel as an excuse for not working, and too many people feel entitled to support from their parents and in-laws. The kavod of Torah has gone down because of the way people abuse kollelim. People need to take life more seriously or else there will be no more money for future generations.July 5, 2011 4:48 pm at 4:48 pm #787350bombmaniacParticipant
lets get mexicans to sit in kolel for us…but seriously it is a problem. everyone is EXPECTED to sit in kolel. when i was in 12th grade…well in is a bit of a misnomer…i missed the majority of 12th grade…so when teh time came for me to go to beis medrash i just decided not to. instead i got a job and worked. i was criticized by some including my rebbeim…because tehy felt i would gain from going to beis medrash (and tehy ahd a valid claim, there are things im missing because i didnt go, i freely admit it) but most peopel were like :O you didnt go to BM?! omg! not because of any spiritual losses on my part…but because you MUST go or you arent frum!!!July 5, 2011 5:37 pm at 5:37 pm #787352
Bombmaniac, the way the system is set up, and with the relative prosperity we have, there is a certain level of literacy that most boys can achieve, which will take having some beis medrash (maybe use another acronym) experience necessary. Sad to say, an experience like yours means a kid’s not with the program. Nothing against such kids, I’m proudly related to some. Just saying that they’re off the beaten track, and the track, to some degree, is good for a good many boys. It’s not being given permission to work that’s an issue. There are so many people who have maximized their learning, by working/learning, from a younger age and ashreihem.July 6, 2011 2:08 am at 2:08 am #787354DepotMember
At least the Agudah is openly moida they do it for they gelt, while holding their noses, when honoring these shmutzidika oisvurfs, and it isn’t l’chatchila. It gives credence though to their critics in the Torah community.July 6, 2011 2:10 am at 2:10 am #787355DepotMember
Full time kollel is not for most people, it is for the individuals.
Most people don’t go to Kollel. If anything we could use more people in Kollel. What percent of Jews are in Kollel? .00001%? Even what percent of Frum Jews are in Kollel? Not much more than that.July 6, 2011 6:42 am at 6:42 am #787356OfcourseMember
Yasher Koach to Rabbi Birnbaum who has the courage to say what many people think and hesitate to say openly.
Im witness to many post-Kollel couples who want to be independent after their learning years but cant catch up financially and envy other post-Kollel couples who have wealthy or uniquely generous parents and/or inlaws who endlessly offer financial help while the other couples, are always in the red, because when they leave Kollel they arent prepared to pay their bills and the family size increases and expenses soar. Ain Somchin al Hanes.July 6, 2011 7:17 am at 7:17 am #787357aries2756Participant
That is very hypocritical of the Agudah and sets a very poor example.July 6, 2011 8:48 am at 8:48 am #787358apushatayidParticipant
I didn’t read either article, and don’t intend to. My thought on “kollel” is; everyone should be moser nefesh for torah, it seems though that these days most of the mesiras nefesh is coming from the zevulluns, not the yissachars.July 6, 2011 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm #787359Feif UnParticipant
So the Agudah admits it’s for the money. How things have changed! Everyone knows that R’ Gifter zt”l bashed YU in a famous speech, but how many people know exactly what he said? He bemoaned the fact that YU allowed a certain club in one of their graduate schools so they wouldn’t lose funding. R’ Gifter asked, what’s more important? Our values, or money? How dare we sell out our values for a few dollars from the government?!?!
Now, it’s openly said that the Agudah is doing exactly that. They honor these perverts just to get some funding. R’ Gifter, up in Shamayim now, must be horrified.July 6, 2011 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #787360bombmaniacParticipant
tzippi, my point wasnt taht beis medrash isnt important. on teh contrary…i KNOW it is. i and one of my friends opted out of beis medrash and another one of our friends is in his 3rd year and i really see a difference between us. i KNOW it makes a difference. my point was simply that people believe in it not necessarily because of its importance but because of belief in the “system” especially with kolel. prime example of this is one of teh first questions posed to girls when they want to get married “do you want a kolel guy or a working boy?” seriously? thats teh first question?July 6, 2011 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm #787361TheReaderParticipant
Agree fully with aries.
Rav Schwab, zt”l, who was part of the Agudah, would NEVER have agreed to this. His motto was always that Torah Values cannot be compromised for money. He mentioned this many times. Shame on Agudah to sell our precious Torah for $$$.July 6, 2011 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm #787362mexipalParticipant
bombmaniac if learning after high school makes a big difference as you admit why should it not be the first shidduch question? yes, there are people who work who are better than people who learn but whether or not a boy is learning speaks volumes about him. always? no. most of the time? yes. what else should a boy be guaged by? his parents wealth? whetehr they stack plates?July 6, 2011 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #787363OfcourseMember
apu, I didn’t read either article, and don’t intend to. My thought on “kollel” is; everyone should be moser nefesh for torah, it seems though that these days most of the mesiras nefesh is coming from the zevulluns, not the yissachars.
Absolutely brilliant! The Zevuluns are killing themselves to do the right thing, and some are up at 5 am to learn!July 6, 2011 8:43 pm at 8:43 pm #787364
As far as mesiras nefesh yissochor vs zevulun goes, at this stage I am a zevulun. When I was first married, I was a yissochor for 8 years. I would say that to a large extent that is correct. I get up earlier than I ever did before. I have a shiur early in the morning and late at night, plus a chavrusa late afternoon, after 5:00. My son in law starts his day at 7:00.
But I can tell you that although dollars do not come to us easily or plentiful, no expense gives me more pleasure than the monthly check I write to my daughter and son in law. My daughter is raising the cutest baby in the world, and due for her second any week now. My son in law is a masmid of the highest order. He may not be a 16 hour a day masmid, but he is a 60 minute an hour masmid. More focused than I ever was. And I thank Hashem every day for giving me the opportunity to be the zevulun to such a yissochor.
As far as the Rav Gifter reference is concerned, he was speaking about YU actually recognizing a MZ club in the university. The school itself was recognizing the toeva. That is far worse then offering a platform to a frum politician who supports legislation. The Aguda can not be accused of sanctioning the toeva themselves. There is a good chance that Rav Gifter wouldn’t be happy with this either, but it is not at all what he was speaking about in that famous “Gifter slaughters Lamm on Passover” speech on Chol Hamoed Pesach 1986.July 6, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm #787365
Midwesterner, b’shaa tova!
Rabbi Birnbaum brings up an interesting point. Perhaps parental support goes further out of town. Though the parents doing the support still have to deal with the issues of their own current tuition, etc. expenses. (Or if these are their younger children in kollel, possibly they have to deal with helping their parents out. We’ll be seeing a generation coming up that has not saved for retirement, is B”H living longer so have more long-term care need issues, etc.) I’m not sure about more jobs being available, it’s all proportional and depends on what kind of jobs you’re looking for. For someone coming out of kollel, I see such a family as still needing support during the transition time. It’s probably harder to find a decent job with out a serious school time commitment out of town than it is in the east coast tri-state area. I’d love to see him address these kinds of issues.July 7, 2011 2:56 am at 2:56 am #787366
This is Midwesterner’s wife. Our daughter is going to school so we are supporting her until she graduates and then she will IY”H use her education to support herself in her profession. Our son in law also takes some side jobs to bring in some support while in kollel. Yes we still have tuition for our younger ones, but Hashem helps.
I actually think it’s somewhat easier to find a job out of town since people know you and your competition is less than in the tri-state area.
About putting away money for a nest egg for retirement, yes that is scary but we trust that Hashem won’t let us down. There is some leap of faith we all must take as frum Yidden who have higher tuition, food costs, Shabbos costs, tzniusdik clothing… our expenses are so much greater than those of the outside world. Some of it we do have to leave up to Hashem, yet still do our hishtadlus.July 7, 2011 2:58 am at 2:58 am #787367
“As far as the Rav Gifter reference is concerned, he was speaking about YU actually recognizing a MZ club in the university. The school itself was recognizing the toeva.”
YU takes government money and is therefore subject to government anti-discrimination regs. YU also “recognizes” Christian clubs.
Think about that the next time you complain about how the government refuses to fund yeshivot.
I am sure that Richard Joel would be quite happy to accept your contribution of ten billion dollars; that would enable YU to turn down future government money.July 7, 2011 2:59 am at 2:59 am #787368
“The Zevuluns are killing themselves to do the right thing, and some are up at 5 am to learn!”
My Daf Yomi shiur is a little later, at 7:30am. It was particularly good today!July 7, 2011 3:10 am at 3:10 am #787369
“How dare we sell out our values for a few dollars from the government?”
I will add that it is easy to be righteous on these matters when you aren’t the person who will be responsible for handing out the layoff notices when you’ve turned down the government funding and have to close the institution. The fact is, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which is where the Christian and Gay clubs are, is pretty much the only truly frum-friendly medical school in America. Students never have to worry about a class on Shabat or Yom Tov. The cafeteria is kosher. There are multiple minyanim every day, many shiurim, an active beit midrash, several orthodox rabbis on campus, a large Shabat-observant student population that lives on campus, and a few frum faculty members like myself. And we do pretty well in the medical school rankings; I just found out today that yet another of my research proposals is getting funded. Would I prefer that my institution adhere more strictly to halachah? Absolutely!!! But it may not be possible to run a medical school totally according to halachah in the United States. Would it be better to shut it down? I now have a sufficiently strong reputation as a researcher and teacher that I am sure that I could get a job somewhere else that would respect my observance. Junior faculty might face a harder time. And students have no ability to say “no”. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine makes sure that they do not have to be placed in that situation.July 7, 2011 4:35 am at 4:35 am #787370Josh31Participant
“to strengthen the out of town kollels”
The original Shevet Levi also got dispersed.
They were given 48 small towns throughout the other tribes.July 7, 2011 1:04 pm at 1:04 pm #787371
About putting away money for a nest egg for retirement, yes that is scary but we trust that Hashem won’t let us down. There is some leap of faith we all must take as frum Yidden who have higher tuition, food costs, Shabbos costs, tzniusdik clothing… our expenses are so much greater than those of the outside world. Some of it we do have to leave up to Hashem, yet still do our hishtadlus.
Having Bitachon that a Makas Medina (such as not saving for retirement) will somehow miss you is in the catagory of “Somchin Al HaNes”, especially noting that both Medrish Aicha & Esther specificly say one must have a nest egg for situations of Makas Medinah (learned out of Pesukim from the Tochacha).
More likely, people who don’t save for retirement will work until they can’t anymore, and then live on SS/Medicare (what is left of it).July 18, 2011 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #787372
BUMP. (Part of my mood)July 18, 2011 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #787373
Not that anybody cares, but the daughter that I mentioned before had her baby boy last night!!
Also, to Dr. Hall. It would be worth your while to take the time to listen to Rav Gifter’s speech. Among the things that he does there is that he acknowledged the constitutionality issue. He then said that it is the derech haolam to stake out a position that they feel is correct, and then hire a legal team to defend it as best possible. His taana on Rabbi Dr. Lamm was that he did not hire a legal team to defend the university’s right to take money, even with banning the club. He hired a legal team to defend the club’s right to exist! Not the other way around.
If after attempting to defend the Torah position Dr. Lamm still lost, then there could be a difference of opinion. Rav Gifter said he still wouldn’t take the government money under those circumstances, Dr. Lamm would. That is a debate worth having, without public machaos. Rav Gifter’s Macha’ah was against hiring legal help to defend the anti Torah position, and not even attempting to take the high road.July 18, 2011 9:01 pm at 9:01 pm #787374bptParticipant
I’d contribute my 2 cents, but last time I checked,I was banned from this thread.
(sorry)July 18, 2011 9:22 pm at 9:22 pm #787375maskingtapeMember
Mazel tov Midwesterner! Lot’s of Nachas from this one and all the other ones!!July 19, 2011 1:18 pm at 1:18 pm #787376
Mazel Tov midwesterner.July 19, 2011 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #787377
Rav Gifter’s Macha’ah was against hiring legal help to defend the anti Torah position, and not even attempting to take the high road.
And isn’t it interesting that the Agudah has decided to follow Rabbi Dr. Lamm’s approach?July 19, 2011 5:28 pm at 5:28 pm #787378
GAW: And how do you see that?July 19, 2011 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #787379
midwesterner: That was the point of Rabbi Bloom’s response. The high road would be not to honor/allow to speak at their dinner those who vote for anti-torah laws. However, Al Shelosha Devarim Haolam Omed (Kesef Mammon Gelt!) says honor him to get (or not risk) funding.
Seems like the same to me (and Rabbi Schonfeld of KGH,. I would imagine).July 19, 2011 7:10 pm at 7:10 pm #787380DroidMember
gavra_at_work: So I take it you are to the right of the Agudah (ala Eidah HaChareidis, Hisachdus HaRabbonim, Satmar, etc.)?July 19, 2011 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #787381
Like Ron Paul is to the right.July 19, 2011 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #787382DroidMember
You’re a Ron Paul fan too?July 19, 2011 7:58 pm at 7:58 pm #787383
Ron Paul is like Avraham Avinu in a specific way (L’Havdil). Willing to be the Ivri, and stand up for what he feels is correct, even with everyone else on the other side.
There are certain things that I don’t like about his policies, but yes, I think well of him as an individual & a politician.
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