Yeshivish Girls/Wives/Rebbetzins in College

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    For many Yeshivish guys college is taboo. Not so for the girls. Very many get degrees, especially in health professions, from special ed to speech therapy to nursing.
    Some of these professional women are married to (very) yeshivish and/or kollel types. In fact, many charedi rebbetzins, whose husbands are against college, have degrees.
    Is the issue bittul torah or modernity or kifira or what? because it depends on how you look at it.
    Does it help people stay in kollel or is that type anyhow not very committed or has one step out?
    I would love to hear different views on the subject..

    Yabia Omer

    What makes a lady “Yeshivish”?


    Aw, can’t you take a more subtle approach?  I hate deleting your posts but there isn’t always any leeway.

    ☕️coffee addict

    Lol at commonsaychel’s mod, I like the comment!

    Re the OP I think it’s bittul Torah mixed with pritzus on college campuses both which women don’t have a problem with


    If a “Yeshivish Guy” wants to sit in Kollel or learn, obviously he is expecting his wife to provide parnassah for the family (unless the couple has wealthy parents willing to pick up the tab). While there are some exceptions, having a college degree (and sometimes a graduate degree) is almost universally a prerequisite to professions paying a good salary. If the guy wants his wife to pay the bills, she needs a college degree.

    Yabia Omer

    The kesuba says “va’afarnes…..”.


    Degrees making kollel more sustainable is a question… Often having to pay off college debt is a factor. And it takes years for a degree earning woman to make enough money to justify it – the same amount of time that an average yungerman stays in kollel, so the net gain is difficult to see.

    And by that time, the career will take its tool on many women’s ability to be a fully devoted mother and wife.


    Yabia – many rishonim hold that “eflach” and “efarnes” only applies to land owned by the husband. That’s because we find no other such chiyuv which goes beyond glima d’al kaspai, giving what you have, and requiring you to be mascir yourself for wages.

    Love how people drop words and phrases out of context.


    Avira, such kallah could finish or almost finish a bachelor degree by the time of getting married, at reasonable cost with loans to be paid over long time or even forgiven eventually if she doesn’t earn much, not sure of details
    She can then work a small number of hours at higher rate, exactly what a busy mother needs.


    Given that most men prefer to be providers after kollel or whatever rather than takers, a smart high earning lady essentially forces her husband to earn more than her, at which point she can stay at home


    Just to comment about how long it takes for the woman’s earnings to make it “worth it” – it really depends on what program she did and how quickly she can finish. I have a relative who had a lot of college credits when she finished high school due to AP and such, went to sem for a year, then did online college for a year after that while a madricha in a sem. After she returned to the US, she went to a nursing program that got her a BSN and they place the girls in nursing positions. She is going to be making around 100K at age 21.5. I don’t know how much debt she has, but perhaps her parents are going to pay that? Even so, she is not yet married and hopefully can pay it off quickly, perhaps before she even gets married.


    Why would you think that pritzus or Kfira in college wouldn’t affect women?


    I am a family law attorney (along with wills and trusts with decades of experience.
    My daughter all have college degrees, and professional degrees and are licensed professionals.
    That said, they did not leave with college debt. I would much rather pay to make sure they have earnings capability than to support a son in law in Kollel.

    Having handled far too many divorces over the years for Jews and non-Jews. The young lady will never lose her education and earning ability if the marriage ends in divorce, but the investment in a son in-law learning in kollel is thrown away money after the divorce.

    Let the man’s parents pay for it if they want to, but it is not the woman’s parents’ responsibility.


    Ctl, so when you begin a marriage, you already think it’ll end in divorce? That’s pretty sad.


    CT, I was shocked that you would just throw out there that “the investment in a son in-law learning in kollel is thrown away money after the divorce”.

    Support of a young man learning Torah has inestimable value and has nothing to do with an end result. But even if your support is only for the tangible benefit, the effect on children of a home where the father dedicates substantial time to learning is enormous and will have a lifelong impact regardless of whether the marriage ended in divorce. I sincerely hope you reconsider your position.


    As usual, CTLawyer makes a critical point. A college degree for the wife is in the interests of BOTH parties, especially if the guy is planning to shteig 24×7 for even a few years. More importantly, it is essential going forward for the wife so she never feels at risk of having to stay in a dysfunctional relationship solely for economic reasons. Hopefully, that will never be an issue but certainly it will be a net positive when the time comes to pay multiple yeshiva tuitions, summer camp expenses, etc.

    Dr. Nat

    I went to Kollel and subsequently to college and here’s my opinion. First of all, I’m not discussing a woman who wants to go to college for her own personal reasons. I’m solely addressing the question of, should a woman to go to college to get a better paying job so that her husband can stay in Kollel. To which my answer is, this derech is completely Krum. 1. A woman is the mainstay of the house, and should be the guardian of the Frumkeit and the Tzniyus. Sending her to college compromises this and should in no way be done for the “benefit” of the husband remaining in Kollel. If anyone goes to college, it should be the husband. This way, his wife can remain the mainstay of the house as she should be. If you will argue that there are temptations, I will answer you from my own experiences. The yeshiva guys who were in college when I attended were for the most part over 30. No shiksa is going for a 30 year old half-balding Jewish guy with a Boich. On the other hand, the frum women who attended were usually nicely dressed and made up, and wearing their shaitels. A lot more stuff can happen in the other direction, to put it mildly. That’s my opinion.


    Maybe we need to clarify what “going to college” means in practice. Are we talking about sending a BY girl into a remote party school with a reform clergy for gender studies, or, someone going to a local or online college for a technical degree? Some non-Jews understand this also. I had a young Saudi girl in a CS class I was teaching as a grad student. Before the boys were able to approach her after the class, her father’s chauffeur was already there. Worth the expense.


    *sigh*. HaGaon HaRav Elya Svei ztvk’l answered the OP decades ago.

    Speech from HaRav Elya Svei:

    It says further, in Targum Yonoson, that one should not be a false witness. I want to stop here. In public life here in Brooklyn, there is false testimony. We have merited, through blood and sweat and with the Almighty’s help, to establish large Yeshivos for the boys and Bais Yaakovs for the girls. And these schools produced students of whom all can be proud. But then someone comes and says that they are still incomplete. When the boys go out of the Yeshiva, they are still not finished — they still need more studies: they still have to go to “Touro College” to be well-rounded. That is the biggest false testimony against the Torah. The boys do not need such “completeness”.

    One is not allowed to be friends with them! One is not allowed to be partners with them! What will be with our children? From where will our great Torah leaders come? From Touro College they will not come! And mothers of Gedolei Torah will also not come from Touro College, because the Gemorah says that to merit children who will become Gedolei Yisroel, one has to have modesty. And modesty cannot be acquired in Touro College!


    So when beginning a marriage, do you think it will end in divorce?

    First: we do our best to make marriages work and last, but not all do.

    Second: if not planning for the possibility of divorce…
    A. Why do we learn Gittin before Kedushin?
    B. Why do we have the divorce settlement in the Ketubah?
    C. Why do clients seek Pre-Nuptial agreements?

    I would be far happier if another divorce case never walked through the doors of the CTL firm and people had happy lifelong marriages, but if a marriage is to be dissolved legally in the secular courts, I would rather it came to me (who insists on an equitable solution for husband, wife and children & even an agreement for grandparents to have visitation rights) than some of the vultures in the profession who attempt to decimate the opposing party.
    I remind my clients, especially those with children and more than 10 year marriages that it wasn’t all bad. A determination has been made that you can no longer live together in a marriage, but that does not mean your soon to be ex-spouse and parent of your offspring is the enemy.


    Money spent keeping a sim-in-law in Kollel is an investment. Money spent to ensure others in Kollel can remain and the Kollel stays in operation is Tzedaka hand that is money well spent.
    If the son-in-law remains such it is a good investment, if the marriage breaks up it was not a good investment.


    Ctl, I understand that you deal with divorces in your line of work, but just as an EMT doesn’t give advice to healthy people about how to spot a heart attack – even though he sees them every day – to too, should a lawyer not view a new marriage in light of the disastrous potential for divorce.

    As for clients signing prenuptial agreements, this is not done by the people we’re considering, namely lomdei Torah…for this very reason, because it’s introducing an element of doubt about the marriage before it even starts.

    Rav avigdor miller said not to mention the word ‘divorce’ with one’s spouse, even in passing, even when spoken about an unrelated person or event…the word is powerful, and it should not enter the minds of the young couple that such things might happen.

    As for why we learn gittin – there are times one must divorce a wife, such as in cases of infidelity. It’s also advised when they’re not having children under certain circumstances. But it’s not meant to be part of normative jewish life; it’s meant to be as rare as the circumstances mentioned above.


    Even if the marriage does end, your support of a person to learn is something you’ll have forever and ever… it’s not dependent on him being your son in law…sorry i missed that point earlier


    I think, and let me know if I’m mistaken, that most disagreed with this, because yeshiva guys getting degrees in Touro or Agudah or wherever, hasn’t been about becoming well rounded, it’s been about making a good living.

    Which is what makes this so interesting. There are plenty Yeshivish types that wouldn’t get degrees, but their wives do, either before they get married or after. But if the degree is for parnassah, it’s the same thing. So, they agree that if it’s about parnassah vs “well roundedness” it’s justified, no? Where exactly do such types stand on this issue?

    Furthermore, the argument that a mother belongs home with the children, while the husband is the provider seems a most glatt arrangement…yet people want to stay in learning…. perhaps it arose from people wanting to stay in learning, but is this justified? (The honest answer might be that it is best judged on a case-by-case basis. Is he really learning? Or is he pushing off his responsibilities? Will she be negatively spiritually impacted? Or is it someone who really just wants to maintain a certain image?)

    By the way, I don’t fully follow the argument “to merit children who will become Gedolei Yisroel, one has to have modesty. And modesty cannot be acquired in Touro College!”

    I imagine that the acquisition of modesty and Touro having nothing to do with each other. The acquisition is in homes and communities and schools. The better question might be, (and perhaps the intention) will they lose their modesty in college? And that is a very important question. Is it a frum place (i.e. Touro non mixed) or a non-Jewish place? Do they teach wrong things? Are there bad influences there? It’s a fact that many girls with degrees in special ed etc did not sacrifice modesty (although I bet some have, which is why a case-by-case basis is vital).

    All considered, I think I can give good general reasons to explain this, but it is still somewhat hazy. There seems to be a few elements here.


    You need a qualifier in your statement about lomdei torah and prenuptial agreements. They are not common, but they exist. I have executed a few over the years. It is usually true that if he is going to learn and she has to earn that there may be no fortune to protect, but sometimes there is a probable yerusha that affects the situation.


    Ctl, I’m also sorry to say this, but in deciding not to support torah, and rather prepare your daughters to do so, because of these xheshbonos, you are missing out on the opportunity to share in the reward of their learning as if you did it yourself…yissachar and zevulun.

    Is any potential monetary loss worth missing out on that tremendous schar? Isn’t that a worthy investment in itself, to be considered in olam haba as if you spent years and years learning torah be’hasmada?


    What are your thoughts on the Halachic Prenup @ctl?


    For a non expert, what is the difference between a ketuba and a prenup?


    Ok, ujm, thanks for the psak on touro, do you also have gedolim on record against columbia medical school and against asu online?


    “what is the difference between a ketuba and a prenup?”

    The first came from Chazal. The latter came from idiots.


    Aaq…a kesuva is made to prevent divorce, not in case of it. שלא תהא קל בעיניו להוציאה, that it shouldn’t be light in his eyes to divorce her. It’s also usually in effect for widows. It’s the opposite of a prenup.


    ujm, this is an opinion. It sounds that ketuba is the right way to do prenup. Ashkenazim our days are using a standard text. It is clear from the gemorah that people used to change value and property that is included, and sefardim still do that, as far as I know.

    Avira, I do not have a prenup, so I can’t compare the texts. I can see that there could be prenups that are not in the spirit of ketuba, for example protecting the husband. Although, I would say that conditioning ketuba on resolving divorce fully in Jewish court might bea reasonable idea.

    But otherwise, ketuba is preventing divorce exactly by making husband think about financial consequences. Gemora goes thru history of ketuba – first husbands would put money aside in home, etc – but it did not prevent them from making quick decisions.

    And you contradict yourself – provision for widows is not simply to make it light in his eyes. Unless you think it will prevent an abused husband from committing suicide as it will not frees him from paying to the hated wife. As in the famous “if you were my wife, I’ll drink it (poisoned tea)”

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