CTRebbe

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  • in reply to: Seminar #2038519
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I recommend speaking with girls just a little bit older than you who know you and know the different seminaries today. My impression is that most seminaries are very similar and the differences are very slight (assuming you stay within the yeshivishe ones). Your school should also be able to help somewhat, Strangers who don’t know you don’t seem to be a very good resource for making life decisions (especially very expensive ones).

    in reply to: Denigrating Gedolim #2038461
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Avira: Get it straight, Ner Israel never had college classes on campus. Never. Boys do get college degrees-off campus. The yeshiva helps them to use yeshiva credits to finish faster. If you consider learning gemara, rishonim and poskim and getting college credit for that then you would be correct.
    However, that would be the same for most yeshivos today including BMG. Guys have been going to college in Ner Israel (off campus) just as long as guys in Chaim Berlin and Torah Vodaas.

    And by the way: there are a lot more boys in BMG currently enrolled in college than Ner Israel.

    I find it so strange how people make rumors with no basis to reality and accept them as fact.

    in reply to: WILL HASC CONCERT TICKETS GET CHEAPER THAN FIVE HUNDRED MEYOS??? #2038447
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Who says you are halachically allowed to attend a live concert?

    Did anyone notice the connection between this post and the complaint about the $111 dozen donuts?
    Concerts and super luxury donuts are not a right for every person. We have a nation of “haves” and “have nots” which is nothing new. The problem we have as a society is when the have nots think they are entitled to everything that the wealthy have too. Although certain activities may have been more available to everybody a few years ago, perhaps this is G-d’s way of telling you that “you don’t really need this”

    in reply to: Denigrating Gedolim #2037925
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Aviradeah: Please explain your statement. What does Rav Ruderman have to do with college in the same building as a yeshiva? There is no such thing in Ner Israel and there never was.

    I think that rumor started in the same place that said Jews have horns

    in reply to: Denigrating Gedolim #2037768
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    UJM: I don’t understand why you are confusing Rav Slovetchik the man with YU the institution. Rav Aharon also had an issue with Ner Yisroel in Baltimore allowing boys to go to college bec. he felt it would be better to be in learning full time without anything else. Rav Aharon would speak very strongly against it. That does not mean that he treated Rav Ruderman with the slightest bit of disrespect. He held Rav Ruderman in the highest regard. He may have disagreed with Rav Slovetchik on more issues but he still held Rav Solovetchik to be a gadol shebisyrael.

    Even the other gedolim who taught in YU may also not have agreed with the hashkafa of YU the institution but that does not change their gadlus. Do you have an issue with R. Shimon Shkop? Rav Dovid Lifshutz? etc.

    Another point to keep in mind is that while Rav Solovetchik may be seen as the leader of modern Orthodoxy that does not mean that he agreed with all that MO created. In fact he fact a bigger kanoi on a lot more than the public attributes to him.

    Anyone who speaks badly about a bona fide talmid chacham is playing with fire.

    in reply to: Denigrating Gedolim #2037692
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    There are a few important points here
    A) there is a difference between learning someone’s seforim and how we address or categorize gedolim. Before anyone here denigrates Rav Kook or Rav Yosha Ber Zt”l first ask yourself how the gedolim of their time treated them. My understanding is that both were revered tremendously by the other gedolim of their time (ex. R YS Sonnenfeld and Rav Kook, R Moshe and R. Aharon with Rav Yosha Ber). Some gedolim may have seen a danger in what their philosophies may lead to but they held these “questionable” gedolim in the very highest esteem.

    B) The danger posed by various philosophies changes over time. I think most people would agree that haskala is not a major threat to Orthodox Judaism today. It is just not where the yeitzer hara is investing right now. So too with religious zionism of the 1920s and modern Orthodoxy of the 1950s

    C) UJM’s classification of “gedolim” is way off base. To put Avi Weiss, Saul Leiberman and Rav Kook in the same boat is lunacy.

    in reply to: Jewish Celebrities #2030818
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I don’t think pride is the feeling that should be evoked. Pity is more appropriate. These are tinokos shenisheu. It should make one take a step and recognize the immense power and talent that has been endowed to klal yisrael. We excel in everything that we do both for the good and bad. You would be surprised when you look at the genealogy of the majority of Hollywood actors and actresses. If I had to make an estimate I would say that over 50% have either a Jewish mother or father. Imagine if all that raw talent was used to serve Hashem instead of Hollywood.
    We are fortunate that a few have not sucked into the anti-israel left but that is a very small consolation to the tragedy of the fact that they represent a symbol of how many of our brethren we have lost to assimilation.

    in reply to: The most famous coffee room members are #2029236
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    zahavasdad

    in reply to: Six Figure Salaries #2025813
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    UJM is making a good point but the question still stands. Do you really think that most families are earning a total of $150k per family? (This is the figure that several authors have posted a frum family needs to get by)
    It would seem that UJM’s observation would seem to be correct. Homes are built more luxurious than in the general public, stores in Jewish areas charge top dollar for products (clothing stores, baby items, take-out food establishments etc.), excess income to support married children, lavish weddings etc.

    Is it true that only a few poor shnooks are the ones struggling to get by (and the “haves” are generously supporting the “have-nots)?

    in reply to: Six Figure Salaries #2025289
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I think the consensus answer is “it depends”

    A nice follow-up question would be “how many families are actually earning this?”

    Most articles that you read in Jewish periodicals say that the average frum family needs a minimum of $150k to get by. Has anyone conducted a survey in the Chareidi population to see how many are making this much? Is it possible that the average frum family is underwater?

    in reply to: cleaning help #2024948
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    More than anything else I am glad to see CT Lawyer back in the swing of things in the YWCR. Baruch rofeh chloim and may your recovery continue and be complete.

    Hopefully now we can get some more intelligent discussions going and boot the trolls that have recently been lurking in our sacred space.

    in reply to: Why does Israel abuse frum people #2021918
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Perhaps, but we do need to advise Romain on how to get spell check on his computer and possibly a grammar check too.

    in reply to: Why does Israel abuse frum people #2021516
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Ask the other way-do frum people in Israel do anything to draw anger and hatred against themselves?

    Do the frum people in Israel ever say thank you for all the support they receive for yeshivot?

    It is very easy to play the victim card. It is harder to look in the mirror and ask what you can do differently

    in reply to: do goyim have bchira chofshis? #2021517
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    There is no such thing as more bechira or less. It is a yes or no question. It is not even a question that of course all humans have bechira. (bechira for angels is a harder question).
    It may be harder for some people to choose right over wrong but that does not mean more or less bechira. It is also harder for some Jews to choose right over wrong. If a Jew grows up in South Dakota and never met a frum Jew in his life it will be very difficult for him to chose and decide to follow the Torah. Someone with a physical handicap is also challenged in different ways. No one would say a Jew in a wheelchair has less bechira than his friend who is not.

    in reply to: why are there no daughters in the Hagadah #2018391
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Sons is lav davka. The mitzvah is “vehigadita lebincha” which applies to daughter too.

    A better question is why we don’t make a drasha to say “lebincha vlo lbnosecha” like we do by the miztva of learning Torah?

    in reply to: What does “Yeshiva World” mean? #2016427
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I did not say religious level-YO said that. There is a big difference between that and affiliation. Perhaps “societal religious affiliation” would be more accurate.
    We all choose how we want to dress and that choice is a reflection of how we want others to view us and with whom we want to afilaite. Someone who wears ripped jeans and a t-shirt is making a statement that he would like to affiliate with a certain segment of society and someone who regularly wears a suit and tie also makes a statement. It is the same with yarlmukas. If a person wears a white kippa seruga he makes a statement and if he wears a big or small one he is also making a statement as to how he would like to be classified. These are self classifications. If you wear the yarlmuka of gerrer chasidim or those of Toldos Aharon chasidim that is also a statement.

    I agree that anyone who would try to judge a person closeness to G-d, his level of Torah knowledge or yirat shomayim by looking at his kippa is and idiot bec. he thinks HE is G-d (i.e. only G-d really knows this stuff).

    It all goes back to the same principle of the OP- we choose to affiliate and label ourselves with the group that WE choose. If a Livak wakes up one day and decides to become a Chabad chosid that will be his decision on which society he would like to affiliate. Hopefully most people decide to label themselves based on the path in avodos Hashem that he feels he can best accomplish his own personal mission in life and achieve his greatest potential.

    in reply to: What does “Yeshiva World” mean? #2016094
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    We do not HAVE to make labels but it seems that people like to make them for various reasons I am sure people can add to this list but here are a few thoughts

    1. People like to feel like part of a club. If everyone else in the club is good I must be good too. If I am a Yankee fan and the Yankees are doing well I must be a winner.

    2. It helps us categorize things in life. The same way we deal with all people we meet. You meet someone and try to decide if you want to get close to them. You slap a label on their forehead and say in your mind “you are a nerd, greasball, frumak, JAP, rich, weird, smart, black, cool, bad dresser etc. and therefore I will or will not associate with you”

    3. It is easier on the brain. When you read an article or listen to a speaker, you don’t need to think about the points they make. You can just label the writer or speaker by saying that he is a liberal, a frummy, chasidishe, not frum, etc. and therefore I do not need to consider the intellectual points he is making.

    4. It gives us a sense of identity to make us think we know ourselves

    5. It gives us a false sense of pride (e.g. “everyone knows that Yekkes have the most authentic mesorah and therefore I must be doing the right thing)

    Labels are not used exclusively by Jews but it could be that we rely on them more than the rest of the world and that our labels are much more detailed than any one else. Try explaining to a gentile that you can judge a person’s religious affiliation by looking at the size, material, color of his yarlmuka. He will think you are nuts

    in reply to: What does “Yeshiva World” mean? #2016000
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I think you need to chill out a bit.
    Yes, it is a modern term that stems from a label. Labeling is not a new invention and in the previous generation, we just had different labels. For the last generation, they created labels based on country of origin(Litvaks, Yekkes, Morrocan, Galicianer), city of origin (Brisk, Warsaw), or religious/philosophical affiliation (Chasidishe, Conservative, Mizrachi).
    As time goes on less people care about these labels so we created new ones. Essentially the label “yeshiva world” is based on self-identification. There are also degrees of how closely a person will want to affiliate with his chosen label. This will be demonstrated in his dress, manner of speech and other external manifestations.
    Keep in mind none of this is related to a person’s personal Judaism which has solely to do with his/her closeness to G-D.

    in reply to: Car Repair courses needed in Lakewood #2005776
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I disagree with Orangecountychapper. That mindeset of leaving “non-emergency repairs to the professionals” is what sends many people to have work done by the repair shop in the dealership which costs double or triple the price. I am not saying that everyone can do every repair but you would be surprised how much you can do on your car (and at home) by watching a few youtube videos. I think the rule is to know your own limitations and time constraints.

    in reply to: Is the frum “business/economic model” sustainable? #1999417
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    huju: Yes you are correct that there is a high cost of living but you have not proven that it is not sustainable. The last 50-70 years actually prove otherwise.

    I don’t know if it proves anything about the smell of your shoes but I am grateful to commonsaychel for sharing that line (I am surprised I never heard it before)

    in reply to: Why can’t we TALK??? #1999414
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Yes it is a metter of pikuach nefesh. People who did not take the vaccine have died and are currently dying. If you have verified facts and science to back up what you have to say let’s hear it. If you just want to pass around hearsay, speculation and fear then I see no problem with silencing such people. Freedom of speech does not allow people to use it when others are harmed (yelling fire in a crowded theatre).

    What doctors are threatened? Do you have anything to back up what you say?

    in reply to: Is the frum “business/economic model” sustainable? #1998606
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I agree that it is not logical. However, it does seem to be working. Drive around Lakewood and tell me if you see the average family starving and begging for food. On the surface, it appears that there is plenty of money floating around and somehow people are making it in “business”. Until I a reduction in the following I will assume that your assessment is wrong

    Very comfortable houses that are remodeled and more expensive than the average American house

    Peasch hotel programs or families vacationing in Orlando

    High-end clothing stores in frum neighborhoods that charge 2-3 times the price of similar items in the non-Jewish world

    Travel/ Sleepaway camps that charge exorbitant prices

    A high demand for non-essential food items with prices reflective of the “because we can get away with it” inflated price

    Lavish simchas

    Late-model automobiles (compare the parking lot in BMG with 30 years ago)

    Etc.

    It looks to me like the majority of the frum world is “living it up” while a vocal minority “have not” kvetches make a stink about in coffee room discussions

    in reply to: Leave of Absence #1995956
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Best wishes for a refuah sheleima and a kesiva vechasima tova. You will be missed and I will try to hold down the CT fort during your convalescence. We hope to see your contributions again soon.

    in reply to: Charaidim #1995877
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I am surprised that no one made the point that being chareidi is more an issue of externals (dress, manner of speech, mannerism) than it is about halacha or hashkafa. UJM is way off on this one.

    I apologize for contributing to troll post and ignoring the rule of never supporting a troll.

    in reply to: Men and tznius #1991493
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Tznius is more than dress. It is about attracting attention to yourself. It is the car you drive the simchas you make the vacations you take etc. Spending $100k on a wedding and driving a tesla are not very tznius in my mind.

    in reply to: Top Five Yeshivas #1985053
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    @CTLAWYER-Point taken. It is then a testament to all the parents that “send” their children to learn in Waterbury (all boys in Waterbury are technically adults over 18 and make their own decisions as to where to learn). They choose a yeshiva based on one question “will my son be able to maximize his growth in this institution?”. They do not ask how many beer bottles are littering the streets half a mile away from the yeshiva.

    This question of maximizing growth is answered by examining many different factors such as the Rebbe-talmid relationships, the philosophy of the yeshiva, the atmosphere in the BM and dorm, will they be happy there, what are his long-term trajectory if he attends this yeshiva etc. Kudos to all parents and sons that choose a yeshiva based on the boy and his potential for growth and not on petty factors such as cleanliness of the city where it is located. Even greater credit goes to those who choose a yeshiva based on growth potential and ignore questions such prestige, shiduch points, quality of the food, and “what will my neighbors say?”.

    Granted safety is a factor but speak to any talmid of Waterbury past and present and see how many felt in danger. How many suburbanite families consider safety as a major factor when sending their children to learn in 770 or Gush Etzion?

    Getting back to the suburban dream city in which you live, how is the crime and the filth in that city? Based on this link removed it looks like your city is considerably worse than Waterbury.

    in reply to: Why “Peysach”? #1984993
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Stick that in your cholent pot and let it stew!

    in reply to: Why “Peysach”? #1984991
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Lowerourtuition-It is clearly a cholam. Take a look a this week’s parsha perek 24 pasuk 11. Look at the word “Oyvai” which has a cholam and also a yud. If all cholams were pronounced as “oy” there would be no need for the yud. According to the yeshivishe/chasidishe way of pronouncing things that would mean there is an extra letter in the Torah.

    in reply to: Top Five Yeshivas #1984935
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    CTL- Apparently the 250+ families disagree with your assessment of the Waterbury Jewish community. The Yeshiva K’tana there is currently the largest day school in the entire New England with an enrollment that is larger than all the other k-8 day schools in Connecticut combined. The Rabbeim there are top-notch.

    Housing prices continue to rise and new neighborhoods (within the area that you deride) are flourishing and expanding.

    Waterbury is still the most attractive community for a yeshiva style family within a two-hour drive of NY

    Sorry to be so rough, but how are things working out in your part of Connecticut? Outside the compound that is…..

    in reply to: Why “Peysach”? #1984933
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    It’s the Yiddish translation of the passover holiday. It is the same reason for many other commonly used phrases in the Orthodox world that have no source in classical Judaism or are simply grammatical errors

    Shaloch manos (as opposed to Meshloach manos)
    Shabbosim
    Zechusim
    chanukah mesiba (as opposed to mesibas chanuka)
    chal hamoed
    shlashudos

    I am sure the oilam can add to the list…

    in reply to: Top Five Yeshivas #1984065
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I am surprised by some of the responses, especially from CT Lawyer. What makes IVY Leauge colleges the “Top colleges”? Is it not how hard it is to get into? Don’t children of alumni get special privileges there too? Do you really think a major donor to one of the colleges will not have an easier time getting their kid in? Granted their criteria may be different than yeshivas but there are many parallels.

    We also need to address the question based on the meaning of the questioner. He probably meant which have the smartest guys. I believe that anyone with seichel realizes that this means little when it comes to what really counts. Those things are much harder to quantify. Such as

    middos development

    growth development (A yeshiva whcih takes a boy from level 1 to level 6 should be better than a yeshiva that takes him from level 9 to level 10)

    connection to Hashem

    ability to think about and deal with real life issues including emunah and bitachon

    breadth of knowledge (some yeshivas produce guys who know many achronim on shas but are ignorant of halacha)

    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Also because Benjamin Franklin was not chasidish. Perhaps if there was a meeting between and the BESHT the saying would have come out different.

    in reply to: Market for Jewish Books: Substance vs. Fluff #1975727
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Many more resources are necessary to produce the substantive seforim you are looking for. Perhaps you should volunteer to raise the money to put out these worthwhile seforim? It is a huge undertaking. Think about how many sponsors there are for each volume of the Artscroll shas and they still need to charge a whopping $50 retail per volume (granted most people don’t pay that but you get the point). Much less effort is needed for fluff. Even fluff has a value so I don’t hold it against the companies for putting them out. The publishing companies are meant as a money-making business and it would be ludicrous to make an effort to increase the demand for scholarly works.
    I applaud companies like Artscroll for putting in tons of money for volumes they KNOW will lose money (ex: Yesrushalmi). They do that totally lishma

    in reply to: Bochurim Self-Funding #1975722
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I think we need more information on the type of Yeshiva before we comment. Is this a mainstream yeshiva where the expectation is for most boys to be self-motivated. Or perhaps is it a yeshiva where most of the boys struggle and the ONLY way to get them to learn anything is with positive reinforcement?

    in reply to: Confession #1970506
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I think that R. Tzvi Berkowitz from Baltimore made very good points that relate to the second part of what you say. Try not to get caught up in the details of how it happened, who was at fault etc. Humans do this be c. we like to be in control and try to find understanding in everything. It is really an escape.

    Even if you are having a hard time connecting to the tragedy maybe that is the message for you. Maybe what you need to work on is feeling more connected to every member of klal yisrael. If secular Israelis are pouring out thier hearts in pain (maybe not all but many are) you can learn to emulate them. It is an avodah but worth working on.

    in reply to: Why do yeshivos give off or end early on Lag Baomer #1969425
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    UJM: bad analogy. It is a very good question and I have asked this for years. The question is stronger on lag baomer which is really a quasi yom tov. On a regular yom tov there is an inyan of “chatzi lachem” and simcha. There is no such inyan on lag baomer or chanuka.

    What is especially bafling on lag baomer is that we don’t just give off but we go play baseball (at least that is what they did in my day).

    in reply to: Gadol vs. Rebbi #1969114
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Chosid: What makes you think that the random person in the Yeshiva World coffee room is not the gadol in question? Where else does an adom gadol go to chill?

    in reply to: Gadol vs. Rebbi #1968809
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    UJM: If you are referring to the obligation from zaken mamre of ” lo sasur” (Devarim 17: 10,11) that is referring to a psak in halacha given by the sanhedrin. Yes, we have a system in place (Torah obligation as you put it) in how to follow halcha when there is a machlokes. Apparently the question of the OP is one that relates to either hashkafa or personal guidance, not a bona fide machlokes involving a majority opinion against a daas yachid.

    Once again I ask you to give a source that says for personal guidance a person should ask a gadol shebeyisroel before (or after) he asks his own Rav/Rebbe.

    in reply to: Gadol vs. Rebbi #1968635
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    UJM- Just to clarify, bring a source that says when a person has a question he should go and ask a gadol before (or after) his Rebbe/Rav.

    in reply to: Gadol vs. Rebbi #1968634
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    UJM- a phrase that is bandied around the yeshiva world is not a valid mekor. You can do better than that

    in reply to: Gadol vs. Rebbi #1968561
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Perhaps the whole concept of going to a gadol for advice on a personal issue has no classical basis in Judaism. Can anyone bring a source that does or is it perhaps a modern phenomenon? My understanding of “asei lecha Rav” is that there are many different pathways, hashkafot, derech in pesak etc.” and one needs to just choose a path. A person therefore needs to find a Rav/Rebbe who he feels is closest to is own style and way of thinking and go with it 100%. You do that with the understanding that there are other legitimate ways but you need to choose one.
    As a simple example, let’s say you come across something that is a machlokes in halacha between R. Moshe & R. Shlomo Zalman Zt”l. Who an I to determine which one is a bigger gadol? So I need to choose someone to give guidance and a psak.
    I wonder if the idea of “going to a gadol for eitza” in place of going to one’s own Rebbe coincided with our turning gedolim into props for a photo op? Do all the people that come to ask questions to R. Chamim Kanievsky first ask the same question to everyone else on the totem pole and no one could give an answer until the only place to turn was R. Chaim? Or do we just look for an opportunity to tell people “Do you know how great I am? I had a question and I spoke to R. Chaim….”

    And all this is coming from THE Rebbe of CT!

    in reply to: An Observation on the Way Some Jews Pronounce Words #1963164
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    One that bugs me this time of year is when yeshivishe people refer to chal hamoed. For every other cholam vowel they love to say “oi”, so how did the intermediate days of pesach and sukkos become chal hamoed?

    in reply to: Israeli vs. American hand shmura matzo #1955177
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    RabbaiM-You use 40 pounds of shmura matazo over eight days (or is that just for the seder? Can I ask how many people you are hosting? Is this normal?
    As AAQ pointed out is this normal for a family that asks for tuition breaks to eat so much hand shmura matzo (not that I am making judgments specifically about Rabbaim but curious if this is common (or anywhere near normal)

    in reply to: Is there a middle class frum family financial crisis ? #1946659
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Random 3X-Thank you for directing me to that article. It seems that all she does is raise the same questions but “bleibs shver” as we say in Yeshiva. She does not offer any real answers.

    in reply to: Is there a middle class frum family financial crisis ? #1946384
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    To clarify:

    1. I do not want to quible about the numbers. I generously put the cost of a house at $400,000 since it seems to me a person could buy a very comfortable house in a frum neighborhood (even on the East coast) for about that much. The fact that people CHOOSE to squeeze themselves and pick houses in expensive areas is a choice. That fits into the comfort area. A person can’t buy a $1M dollar house in Boropark and then kvetch how much it costs to live there. No one told him he needs to live in BP. It seems to me that you can still buy a modest house even in the environs of Lakewood for $400K and certainly for a lot less in other fine frum communities.(If necessary we will spell them out for you)

    2. My point was to ask a question. If we say say that these things such as basic shelter, food, education etc. are necessities do you think that the MAJORITY of frum families are not able to afford these basics and would therefore be considered in crisis or would you say most frum families have no problem affording the basics? Perhaps they have trouble affording the extra comforts but that is the next step of the discussion.

    3. My unscientific observation seems to be that since so many people seem to be enjoying a life that is beyond the necessities (into the comfort zone) my guess would be that most people are doing OK. I find it hard to believe that the system can sustain itself otherwise without collapsing. But hey I could be totally wrong in my observation and conclusions.

    That is why I threw it out there for discussion

    in reply to: Is there a middle class frum family financial crisis ? #1946269
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Gadolhadorah made a good point about creating a metric for the question. Since I am the OP I will take the liberty to create a metric that will likely upset some. Since we will never really be able to agree on any of the specifics here I will try to create somewhat of a guide as to what I was thinking.

    I agree that there are some basic necessities and beyond that there are comforts. If the majority of frum families in North America are struggling to cover the necessities then I would agree there is indeed a crisis in the frum community. If the majority are OK with covering necessities but struggle with comforts then hopefully the system will soon correct itself and the societal pressure to pursue these comforts will dissipate. I realize that at various stages of life people experience different expenses so I will try to be broad.

    Again, please do not attack me for what I will label as necessities and comforts as I am just trying to put together something for the sake of the discussion. Try not to get hung up on the details.

    Necessities
    Tuition (at whatever figure you have worked out with your child’s yeshiva) child care etc.
    Utilities (gas, electric etc.)
    Mortgage . For argument’s sake let’s put it at the average mortgage for a home for which you paid $400,000 including renovations to move into (the US median home price is under $300,000 but I bumped it up for frum neighborhoods)
    One car per person in the house working. Bought not leased and keep the car until it is at a minimum of 10 years old or 120,000 miles. Not fancier than a Honda or Toyota
    Medical insurance
    Food. Average food cost for a kosher home when 98% of the food is prepared at home. (I guess we could allow for going to a pizza shop once a month or so and buying challah from a bakery for shabbos). Family tries to shop for food on sale and avoids unnecessary pricey food purchases (as determined by the average purchaser in the general public).
    Clothing: Hard to determine what is basic but let’s say they look for the cheapest prices around for average clothing and avoid frum clothing stores when possible (I am not getting into the halacha of “buying Jewish” but let’s face it, frum stores are high end)
    Home maintenance: For people that have the skills they do their own home maintenance. Areas beyond your skillset you hire but only as needed.

    Comforts

    Vacations: I consider summer homes and annual vacations costing more than $500-$700 to be a comfort.
    Simchas: B”H we can make simchas but anything beyond the basics of what REAL Rabbonim call basic is a comfort. In my mind a basic Bar Mitzvah would call for Tefilin, a modest kiddush, hat and suit for just the BM boy. For a wedding just a lchaim, no vort, basic takanah package in Lakewood for about 250 people etc. In other words the kinds of simchas that simple people make. No trips to E”Y for a BM boy, no elaborate sheva brachos for the entire extended family etc.
    Supporting children in kollel. It’s a beautiful thing if you can afford it but not if you can’t
    Eating out. It seems to me as if restaurants have become much more accepted than they were 30-40 years ago.
    Leased cars
    Yom tov in a hotel or rented vacation home
    Trips to eretz yisrael for pleasure or family simchas
    Home beautification bound what is necessary for functionality

    I also realize that many may disagree with any of these points but let’s not get hung up on details. I guess my concept of what is normal is from looking at what was accepted by most frum families 30-40 years ago. Those from the older generation will argue that we considered basics in those days were also comforts.

    in reply to: Is there a middle class frum family financial crisis ? #1946030
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Thank you 5TResident for addressing the issue. My follow-up question to people like you is “do you feel that you are the norm or the exception?” I have spent some time in the five towns and my impression is that you seem to be the exception. Drive around and see how many houses (bought at very expensive prices) have been renovated. Look at the prices in the supermarkets and the amount of luxury items people buy. During vacation times it seems like people empty out to high-end places etc.

    My point is that if it is true that the admission of “5T Resident” is so common I would expect at some point for the system to collapse or correct itself as it does in the rest of the economy. Why do we constantly see pesach hotels expanding, expensive sleep-away camps growing, people driving newer fancier cars, more newlywed couples living in Israel on parents dime, etc.

    My question is not what should we should be doing. My question is what is the reality? Are most people like “5T resident” just squeaking by?

    CTRebbe
    Participant

    When an OP throws out a vague “fact” that is known only to him in order to generate repsonses it is called troling. Does he mean closed and utilizing zoom, does he mean closed for good? Does he have any evidence to back up his claim?

    What does this mean? Please explain

    in reply to: Touro #1921093
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    You should consider why you are choosing Touro vs. other frum programs out there. I believe there are several programs that allow one to get a degree in a very short time (1-2 years) which brings down the costs significantly. The more credits you can achieve through independent tests and yeshiva/seminary credits the less you will need to pay for with in-person learning. You can also check out the rankings in US News and World Report of different colleges. Most of the frum programs give degrees from colleges that have higher rankings than Touro.

    in reply to: Name of an Abe Rottenberg song #1920517
    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing.

    Mitzva lefarsem

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