March 3, 2009 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #642005
Thank you kiruvwife. I very much appreciate your kind words. The Netziv has an interesting essay on the Akeidah. He writes that Abraham had a dilemma as G-d was being inconsistent. On the one hand He commended that Abraham offer his son as a sacrifice. On the other hand, there is an issur in the Torah of “et bincha at titein laMolech,” that the Torah prohibits child sacrifice. Abraham, not hvaing a ready solution, relied on the 13th hermeneutic of R. Yishmael: “Vchein shnei ketuvim hamakchishim zeh at zeh ad sheyavo hakatuv hashilishi v’tachriah beineihem” when two verses in the Torah contradict one another, a third verse will resolve the contradiction. Thus Abraham did as he was told, and waited for the deus ex machina to resolve the Divinely created contradiction. I’m doing the same. On the one hand I’m obligated to do everything in my power to provide a torah education for my children. On the other, the same body of Halacha seemingly prohibits me from using all my skills to do so. I’ll continue exploring whatever avenues are apparent and G-d will have to do the rest. That resolution might take the form of my winning the lottery, or caming into some other cash windfall, it may come in the form of lowered tuition. It just might even come in the form of a heter from a well regarded posek to sing in a church on Sundays. I wouldn’t go to a non-Orthodox schul unless there was a halachik basis to allow me to do so. But I will explore every possibility, hoping G-d takes pity on me.March 3, 2009 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #642006SJSinNYCMember
Mod39 you are right, sorry for veering.
JayMatt, there is a big difference between a chiyuv (in this case, keeping Shabbos) vs something that is not 100% a requirement.
My grandparents could only afford to send one kid to yeshiva – so they sent my uncle. My mother went to Talmud Torah. They are both Torah observant (shomer Torah u’Mitzvot). So a yeshiva education is not a REQUIREMENT for being Torah observant, but does pave a much easier path (as a general rule).
Kiruvwife – I am assuming most of the people you meet are either not observant and becoming or at the very cusp. And for them, I would say Yeshiva is even more important. But if you grow up in a Torah observant homes, are involved in a Torah observant community, I think there is more leeway. Granted, I am not suggesting people don’t send their kids to Yeshiva, just making the distinction. Please correct me if I am wrong in my assumption.
aaaa – I’m not looking to IMPROVE my financial situation, I’m looking to be able to pay my bills. While I understand that Hashem can take away all my money in a heartbeat, I trust that Hashem has given me a profession that is generally stable (even in these bad times) and that I can rely on my salary. But, I cannot rely on money that will not be coming in. I cannot make the money appear out of thin air, and I don’t think Hashem will lean down from shamayim and hand me a pot of gold. I have to do my hishtadlut, and part of that is making sure that I can provide food and shelter for my family.
There are plenty of reasons why I don’t want to have ten kids, but tuition is the driving factor to me limiting the number to a much smaller number.March 3, 2009 4:55 pm at 4:55 pm #642007
Not sending kids to yeshivos is not an option. Not. My pet peeve is that the amount of money that they charge is way more than it should be.March 3, 2009 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #642008kiruvwifeMember
cantoresq-continued hatzlacha in your pursuit
SJS- yes, I was referring to those not yet observant Jews, but I don’t think there is any leeway for any Yid who wants Torah to be a part of their progeny and future descendents. What to do about the overwhelming cost is a difficult dillema, but I know my feelings are give as much as you can, and do with less (and I don’t mean children as I will now explain.)
As far as children, no one knows how much light each neshama is supposed to bring into this world. The amount of tza’ar gidul banim is not something we have control over, and each person has to consult their Rov to make their own cheshbonos. But the hashkofa of understanding that each child is a brocha, and has a tafkid far beyond our human understanding, should help us and give us strength to realize that we have to throw that burden (of tuition) onto Hashem responsibly.March 3, 2009 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #642009tzippiMember
SJS, about your mother’s education,I don’t know how old your mother is. But I do know American-born women of my mother’s and aunts’ generation, we’re talking early 70s, who didn’t have a BY education, or an abbreviated Jewish education, and yes, they have more yiras shamayim in their little fingers than all their fancy female descendants combined.
But that was then, this is now. It’s pikuach nefesh for our girls to keep them in a strong Jewish environment. Just read Wendy Shalit’s books to see what they’re up against.
I’ll daven for you, you daven for me – may you have the physical and spiritual resources to raise your children to bring nachas to you, klal Yisrael and HKB”H and build a bayis neeman b’Yisrael.March 3, 2009 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #642010
Squeak, what is one to do when s/he can’t afford that amount of money and assistance is not available? It’s easy to pontificate about the absolute necessity of yeshiva education. The hard part is making it affordable. The only real solution to the problem that I see is to lobby government to make private school tuition payments tax deductible. Fat chance of that ever happening though.March 3, 2009 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #642011
Good question. But the real shanda is that the schools have no workable tuition schedule. I mean, it’s not like only a few families here and there have more than a couple of children. By and large most frum families have between 5 and 12 children in school at any given point in time.
Is it reasonable to put $120,000 on the tuition form? No way. So it is incumbent upon the schools to prepare for this situation as it is closer to the rule than the exception. Affordibility should not be an issue except in rare cases, otherwise, we have a terribly flawed system. From what I can see, it is rare that anyone finds yeshiva tuition affordable. This is ridiculous.March 3, 2009 7:21 pm at 7:21 pm #642012tzipMember
MOVE TO ISRAEL!!!
seriously! 🙂 while we live pretty simply (combined income around $35K/year) we do not have any trouble making ends meet. tuition is extremely affordable – we are paying about $900/year for elementary school tuition in a semi-private school . ganim cost more and are about $1500/yr.March 3, 2009 7:35 pm at 7:35 pm #642013
Another possible solution:
If just one Kollel Bochur was told his child had to go to public school (and then go ahead with it), it might scare the rest into paying/raising realistic tuition, lowering the burden on the rest of us. The kollel bochur’s child will not be affected (as much as the “base” child) due to upbringing, background and values instilled by his/her parents. Within a few weeks, the parents will have raised the money. Continue for other parents and they will get the point.
Mrs. Tzippi will argue that the child will be lost in the outside world. I don’t believe that is true for a younger (5-8 year old) child, and if it is, make sure you have money (beg, borrow or sell yourself, live in a studio or with your parents) to pay a minimal tuition.
Everyone will yell at me, and they are all correct. However, it is a realistic solution that can be implemented by us, as opposed to expecting MOFES to become V’MOFES (V for Vouchers). Also note I don’t say full tuition, just minimal to cover expenses. The schools can help by cutting out trips, “sponsored by the PTA”, Shabbatons etc. which just raise expectations and force the school to raise for those who don’t have.
P.S. Someone just told me he paid $150 for his son to go on a trip to Lakewood for Shabbos. He said it was hard to afford, but he needed to do so because the child would feel left out otherwise due to him not joining the rest of the class. I told him that for that price, he could have had his son home for shabbos, and taken his child to Six Flags on sunday (assuming it was warm), and gone to Mincha in Lakewood for little over half the cost, and his class and yeshiva would have nothing to say (since he was off on sunday to “come home”).
The education may be worth it, but the extras are not worth a wooden nickel.March 3, 2009 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #642014
As a follow-up and case in point:
In EY, in order for a girl to get married (in the charaidi circles), her parents must (from my limited understanding) buy an apartment for the young couple. Obviously, one who has been learning for their entire life (or even working, unless you have a trust fund) can not afford an apartment. But the other side of the equation, not marrying off their daughter, is unacceptable as well. So what to do?
They RAISE the money, mostly by going door to door in America. If they don’t do it then their child simply doesn’t get married. Simple consequences from non-action force the parents to do something for their children, instead of expecting everyone else to pick up the tab. The same idea can be implemented here as well.
Of course there should be exceptions for people who lose their job and the sort, where Gemach type loans would LEND the money until a job is found (with collateral, like engagement rings, homes, etc.) and they are able to repay, but it would not be systematic like it is now.
CV anyone should find themselves in such a situation, and Bezras Hashem no one should know of it. But if it were an exception instead of the norm, the community/yeshiva may have the wherewithal to absorb the exceptions.March 3, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #642015
gavra-at-work, your ideas, while harsh, have merit. They do not however address the tuition issues vis-a-vis the more modern schools which are not populated by kollel families, but have exorbitant tuitions. There is something very wrong when providing our children with a firm grounding in a Torah based school of thought, becomes too expensive for all but the most wealthy.March 3, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #642016YW Moderator-39Member
cantoresq, I think you are failing to mention 1 major point about the modern schools. They have much shorter schooldays. In my high school, English periods started at 3pm. In other words, most teachers were in our school as a second job. They all worked in public schools in the morning, earning their city benefits and pensions, then came for a second check. It is quite difficult for a private school to compete with public schools vis-a-vis teacher compensation (i.e. when there is a scheduling conflict)March 3, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm #642017tzippiMember
GAW, I disagree that children from “stronger” homes will be able to hack it. I know people whose kids are in special programs in public and private schools, in more self-contained rooms even so not subject to the general atmosphere and it still kills them.
Where did I just read this story…of a (I think frum) Holocaust survivor (nebech, can’t judge) who decided to send his teenage son to a college in the Bible belt to give him the opportunity to stay strong among the goyim, as he himself had had to do as a young man. Disastrous.March 3, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #642018
39 is american. And don’t even think of editing out the evidence.
What makes you think I still am?
YW Moderator-39March 3, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #642019BemusedParticipant
Why is 39’s identify important or relevant, on this thread or any?March 4, 2009 4:00 am at 4:00 am #642022JotharMember
The solution is obvious- quit work and go (back) to kollel in order to get affordable tuitions.March 4, 2009 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm #642024
cantoresq: In those cases, they have extras over Charaidi yeshivas (Gyms, sports, better english, nicer building etc.) which accounts for much of the additional cost. It may be needed to lure in children who would otherwise go to public schoool.
Mrs. Tzippi: In that case, the father practicly abandoned his child. In my scenario the child would come home every day and be able to learn from his parents or a tutor. In addition, I can imagine the parents not raising the money within a couple of weeks. If they don’t try, then the child has the din of a Yasom and then different halachas apply (i.e. he becomes a ward of the community).
Jothar: Not a joke. It is true, and I imagine people have gone back to kollel to avoid tuition.March 4, 2009 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #642025
cantoresq, I think you are failing to mention 1 major point about the modern schools. They have much shorter schooldays. In my high school, English periods started at 3pm. In other words, most teachers were in our school as a second job. They all worked in public schools in the morning, earning their city benefits and pensions, then came for a second check. It is quite difficult for a private school to compete with public schools vis-a-vis teacher compensation (i.e. when there is a scheduling conflict)
That is a good point. But as I understand it, more and mroe public school teachers are unwilling to take on the second jobs in yeshivot as they once did. I think this is especially true in suburban New York areas.March 4, 2009 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #642026kiruvwifeMember
ames-probably meant to type identity
R’ Jothar–There was a friend of mine’s husband who was seriously considering the idea of quitting work and going to learn in kollel just for that reason. They make just enough money to not get a break in tuition, but then after they pay tuition are in trouble in certain areas financially. I told them to go for it, but they thought I was being facetious.March 4, 2009 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #642027
OK, so I understand why some moderator would want to delete my post that answers Mod39’s question to me, but at least let Mod39 see it!
Maybe I was the Moderator who deleted it 😉
YW Moderator-39March 4, 2009 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm #642028SJSinNYCMember
Tzippi, I agree that a yeshiva education is very important. But, its not a requirement. Please see JayMatt’s post above that says “This sounds like the same conversation people had 60 years ago just replace the topic of “yeshivos” with “keeping shabbos”. There were also ‘ehrlich’, ‘frum’ and ‘heimish’ people then who felt they couldn’t afford to keep Shabbos (and, unfortunately chose not to).”
There is a major difference between keeping or not keeping Shabbos (a chiyuv) vs sending your kids to Yeshiva. A kid CAN grow up Torah observant and go to public school. Its not really recommended, and there are a lot of pitfalls, but it doesnt compare AT ALL to being mechalel shabbos.
Kiruvwife, I agree that every child is a bracha, but every family has to decide what is right for the family. I know for my family, having too many children will put a tremendous burden on my community. I trust that Hashem has given me the seichel and Rabbinic leaders to help me guide through this.
As for the shorter days – are the days really shorter? My right wing elementary school went from 9-4. When I went to high school, my hours were 8:45-5:45 and then we had extra curricular activities (I was on the softball team, chess club…then we had learning program, middos programs etc…). On a regular day I left the house at 7:30 and came back around 7 pm. Do Bais Yaakov schools have longer days? I kind of remember my sisters being in school 9-4 in a Bais yaakov high school. Are only boy schools longer?
**EDITED**March 4, 2009 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #642030yossieaParticipant
“Joseph, Birth control, for financial reasons, is assur. “
IIRC, the Shulchan Aruch disagrees with you. If there is a time of famine, not only is birth control muttar, I believe it’s required.March 4, 2009 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #642031yossieaParticipant
One of the main problems is accountability. As Squeak mentioned, most schools don’t show the books. You can ask, but then your kid won’t get into that school. They label themselves as a church so they are not required to file a 990 with the IRS.
Tuition + Mandatory Fees should not be close to ALL of someone’s expenses.
My suggestion was posted a while back, but the mods never approved it. I think it depends on which mod is active. Some mods will just delete my post without letting it through.March 4, 2009 9:33 pm at 9:33 pm #642032JotharMember
Joseph is right on the birth control issue. i’m not fully clear why this is true even after one has a boy and a girl, but I will hopefully get some clarity later.March 5, 2009 2:04 am at 2:04 am #642034JosephParticipant
Jothar, I’m right, but squeak doesn’t like absolute statements.
yossiea, “IIRC” doesn’t cut it. Please provide a mekor. Additionally, even if your quote about a famine is correct, that would apparently be a pekuach nefesh issue not a financial issue.April 1, 2009 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #642035HaQerMember
What is “IIRC”?April 1, 2009 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #642036YW Moderator-39Member
If I Recall Correctly
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