Out Of The Mailbag – To YW Editor (Big Event Fund, Or Rabbeyim Fund?)


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yw logo1.jpgDear Yeshiva World News, 

We have all heard about the money loss regarding the Big Event concert and about the rabbonim who will raise the money to cover the losses. But I think that we must take a step back and realize that before raising money for singers, who can make it back in a few weeks (not that i have anything against singers), we should put some serious thought into setting up funds to help Rabbeim (or for that matter any struggling family) who do not know where their food for shabbos is coming from.

Many are being choked by rent/mortgage, chinuch (believe it or not), and bills etc., and will soon “go under”. There are many michanchim who are owed weeks of their salaries, and don’t have other sources to take from.

Now I don’t want to label this a crisis like every other issue, but something must be done to help those who are selflessly giving up so much for the future of Klal Yisroel. How can we sleep at night, knowing that our child’s Rebbe is probably twisting and turning thinking “how will I get the money for rent”?

With all the money that there is in our community B”H, we ought to start paying our rabbeim somewhat decent salaries(i.e. $75,000-$100,000)instead of $40,000-$60,000. If we want to show Hashem what we truly value this may be a good place to start!!

Yours truly,

A bochur watching society.


  1. Bochur, you seem to miss the point. The talk of raising $$ is not for the singers but for the producers who are now out hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of this ill-timed ‘ban’.

  2. Before we discuss which comes first, it is important to clarify why the rabbonim are raising money for the organizers etc: Is it to get things quiet and shut them up or since a ‘hefsed’ was caused, even based on good cause, the people should be compensated.
    If we chose #1, then there is no way that anything else will have priority.
    If we chose #2, it is a little grayer but I believe you have an obligation to pay someone for a loss incurred before you give tzedakah

  3. I am sick and tired about hearing about struggling Rebbeim. Rebbeim are getting decent salaries, and are eligible for Section 8, Food Stamps, Medicaid, etc, which when combined are a very healthy salary. When they need to pay tuition they get breaks, the get breaks before yom tov + bonuses, every time they make a simcha people raise money for them, in the summer they go to camp and get free room and board.

    Take however a working person making a salary of 1000/week (which many don’t make) who is not eligible for public assistance, needs to pay for a bungalow etc, and since he’s ‘working’, is being forced to pay full price tuition – at the threat of expelling his children.

    So overall, who has it better?????????

    The rebbeim need to stop complaining, and we need to stop feeding into it!!!!!

    I challenge any rebbe to document publicly his costs and earnings, and compare that to the average yingerman working in B&H, and let’s see who is better off!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. “The rabbonim will raise money to cover the lose”. I will belive it when I see it. I myself heard Sheya Mendlowitz say that the losses incured were well over $300,000. probably closer to $450,000. Id like to see the rabonim come up with that kind of money. And if they do, then there something really wrong with our society.

  5. Tzedaka money seems to flow to chessed organizations faster than it flows towards limud HaTorah. I’m sure that if people would ask their rabbonim which takes precendence and then give tzedokah accordingly, the melamdim would earn a higher salary.

  6. The plight of rabbeim is a legitimate issue, but it has absolutely nothing to do with this one. You suggestion that singers can make it back in a few weeks, besides for being wildly innacurate, is also wrong. First of all, if the singers lost the money they should be paid back regardless of whether or not they could earn it back. But this is not about the singers. It’s about the producer and the organization which spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of mamon hekdesh on this event.

  7. I definitly agree Rabayim should be paid more!!!
    However the money should be raised and not covered from raising tuition which parants can’t pay as it is!

  8. Admirable goals. Who will be paying this money? Where will the additional 35,000-40,000 per Rebbi come from? Should tuition be raised by an average $1,400 to cover? Or, if we’re talking about 50 schools with 20 Rabbeim each to estimate costs in the tri-state area, should communities raise $30,000,000 annually to cover your proposed raises? Being a Rebbi is a tough job, no doubt about it. It also pays far less than someone of that caliber could earn in another profession. Unfortunately, there’s no realistic way to pay them significantly more: parents are choking under their own burdens, a significant portion of which are tuitions.

    I don’t mean to belittle your idea, and it’s always nice to give away other people’s money, but this isn’t happening. Furthermore, I’m not sure why the Big Event incident spurred this. While the losses incurred by the investors (if not reimbursed) will be significant, they pale in comparison to the amount of money your plan requires.

  9. Dear Bochur, everything you said is 100% correct, execpt for the word “before”,which should rather be “after”.
    After they collect all the funds that they are out of because of the ban,they should start paying more money for rabbiem etc..

    Take care one problem at a time .

    Once we see what these rabbonim have a koach of getting done there are many things to tackle, there are many more issues other than the rabbeim not getting paid enough.That is only one of many.

  10. As mentioned above, the money is not for the singers, rather to pay back the producers for the monetary LOSSES. So far, it does not seem that they will see even a penny of the PROFITS that were taken from them by the Kana’im and their work for the past few months at least, will likely go unpaid.

    Lipa has mentioned that he will forfeit over 100,000 to listen to the Rabbis. This is an unbelievable Kiddush Hashem as well. And while he may have abilities to make this money back over the next year or so, it does not change the fact of what was done to him.

    Being a Kanai does not make stealing/murder allowed unless someone is Pinhas and he is totally Leshem Shamayim. The facts will come to light regarding the exact situation, but the only Leshem Shamayim that I see here, was by Sheya Mendlowitz and Lipa listening to the Rabbis. May Hashem pay them back a thousand-fold and open all of our eyes to see the real TRUTH and not be disillusioned by a false send of Kiddush Hashem.

  11. “I am sick and tired about hearing about struggling Rebbeim. Rebbeim are getting decent salaries, and are eligible for Section 8, Food Stamps, Medicaid, etc, which when combined are a very healthy salary. When they need to pay tuition they get breaks, the get breaks before yom tov + bonuses, every time they make a simcha people raise money for them, in the summer they go to camp and get free room and board.”

    ny100k are you dreaming?How can you get a decent salaryand be eligible forprograms. The gov. doesn’tsay rebbeim can make more and still be eligible. And also last time i checked people collecting tzedakah for you to make a simcha is not something we really hope for. Since rebbeim are community paid it becomes acommunity responsibility to pay them enough. This doesn’t mean that othrt people aren’t struggling it just means we should live up to our part of the deal.

  12. Regarding this concert, the Rabbanim are not responsible to reimburse them just because they gave a psak assering the concert, no matter when said psak was given (unless, maybe, they asked beforehand and they changed the answer, from Yes to No, on the organization and artists, after the commitment to pay).

    I feel that to help the organization and producers and cover their loss is exemplary ahavas Yisrael, and, therefore, a wonderful thing to do, but I don’t see why anyone has a chiyuv to bail them out, whether it’s mamon hekdesh or mamon chaveiro, nor do I feel that it necessarily takes precedence over any other tzedakah.

    As far as Rabbeim and their salaries, I think that for working what roughly amounts to a half-time job, (8 AM-1 PM or 8 AM-3 PM, 9 month per year plus vacation Pesach and Sukkos and more), for parsonage and automatic free or reduced tuition, Rabbeim do very well. I don’t mean to minimize lesson prep time and phone time with parents, but it is not a full-time job.

    Personally, I’d be happy if the rabbeim were certified teachers who also taught secular studies – I think that would save our mosdos a good amount of money and give the rabbeim a full time job for 9 months per year. So if $60K is a reasonable starting salary, a Rebbi would be justified in making $45K, since he the other quarter-year to do what he wants with.

    I am not a CPA, but here is a theoretical comparison. After taxes, someone making $60K (or $30/hr full-time) brings home, say, $40K, and that’s before health insurance, so he really brings home $30K.

    On the other hand (again, I am not a CPA, but my understanding is), a Rebbi can use a portion of his salary towards living expenses. As a result, if he’s being paid, say $40, he is, for tax purposes, only being paid $20K, at which point he owes no taxes and still only works part-time for MORE money that someone who is off slaving all day in the city.

    I think it’s the working poor, who are out of the house at least 10 hours per day 5 days per week (home a little early on Friday, of course) and make the same or less than rabbeim who work part-time, are the ones who are getting the raw end of the deal.

  13. #11, Blue Pinky, I think you are absolutely right. Furthermore, just because this fund raising is being highly publicized, doesn’t mean that there aren’t rabbonim, askonim, and ba’alie tzeddakah who are collecting and giving huge amounts for rabbeim and other poor people that goes by without notice, as it is a constant battle that doesn’t look like it’s ending soon, unfortunately.

  14. 18, I’m one of the working poor, I definitely feel your pain, but when you do the crunching for the part time job, factor in the prep, grading, and many more hours of work rebbeim and teachers put in.

  15. I totally agree with the concept of seeing to it that Rebbeim are paid more. They are wholly underappreciated, even though they are so vital to our children’s upbringing. But, first I would like to see a concerted effort to get rid of the rebbeim who should never have been rebbeim to begin with. There are too many stories of yeshivas refusing to sack people who, to put it kindly, are detrimental to the emotional and physical health of their talmidim. But, perhaps that should be a subject for another “out of the mailbag”

  16. Its very nice your concerned about our Rabbayem.
    What about the avg. middle income hard working Baal Habayis who can’t make ends meet on his salary. He has a seder in the morning and at night and earns an honest living not working 9 months a year working 4 hours per day . Wife works as well and comes home to her second job. In addition to the the Rabbeim expenses they have additional yeshiva tuition, baby sitting expenses and dont take handouts from the govt and organizations.
    Why are you not pleading for them?

  17. I would like to adress the issue of Rebbe salaries. The issue of the concert is one that should be laid at the door of the kannoim who caused this hefsed.

    One idea could be for the Rabbanim ha-ossrim to say to the kannai, “Hamaschil b’mitzvah omrim lo g’mor” (You started it, you finish it) Now go and reimburse the concert organizers for their losses which you caused . If you were really l’sheim shomayim it wouldn’t be a problem.

    To those who say that Rebbeim only work half a day, I suggest that you try it. After teaching from 9-2 dealing with 25 precious neshomos, a normal person is completely wiped out.

    The fact that most rebbeim have to go to a second job is a disgrace. A good Rebbe needs a short break and to go & learn for a couple of hours undisturbed. (THIS SHOULD BE A REQUIREMENT FOR ANY REBBE) When he gets home he has to deal with homework for his own children, phone calls from parents and class preparation.

    Do you really want your son’s Rebbe to be someone who has spend his out of classroom time preparing for 2 classes (1 kodesh & 1 chol), his own children’s homework, class phone calls all of this after 7 pm. When is he supposed to grow in learning so that he can be a mashpia to your child.

    BTW Rebbeim work 6 days a week. Rebbeim don’t have Sundays off. Try working 6 days a week for 6 months with onlu 1 or 2 days off for Channukah. Some yeshivas don’t even give that.

    Whilst it is true Rebbeim don’t work in the summer, they almost all have summer jobs because they can’t survive without them.

    In no way do I minimize the suffering of the struggling worker. Their needs are also important and also need to be addressed. I don’t know of any Rebbe being paid $60,000 for his limudei Kodesh work alone.

    Maybe what needs to be addressed here are our hasagos of what is necessary & what is not. The list is endless and for other people to comment on.

    Have a Good Shabbos

  18. Please see Choshen Mishpat 25: “If a dayan wrongfully ruled to force one party to pay, the ruling remains, and the dayan must reimburse the wronged party from his house (his own assets).”

    Of course, this is not a real comparison, as we know without any doubt that gedolei doreinu were NOT wrong in their ruling to ban the “Big Event”. The only point I’m trying to make is that there is room for consideration to reimburse parties who stepped down from sponsoring an event that would have brought them substantial profits, and are instead left with a substantial bill to pay for an unused auditoriom. Whoever gives generously for a cause like this is doing a highly noble act. In the words of the late Reb Shmuel Birnbaum ztvk”l: There are some tzveks (emergency causes) that are too delicate to ask the tzibur, and those individuals who rise to the occasion and contribute to these “hurtful” causes are koneh a very special place in olam habsh, even amongst great contributors of more mundane tzedaka causes.

    It is lopsided and farkrumt to suggest that we should instead give this $$$ to other needy causes, namely rabbeim. Albeit is a tremendous mitzvah to help our chinuch people, who by and large have large families ba”h and are very needy. But to suggest that to take from deserving people who are less needy – with the ridiculous reasoning that “they can easily make the money back by performing at other events” – ang give that money to more needy individuals is reminiscent of the Communist system that takes from the rich and gives to the poor, and is against the very essence of the Torah’s ways, of “Lo sehedar pnei dal”.

    Bochur, I think your nose is stuck in your books, and you don’t have a look at the real world. It’s mighty hard to make a buck today. And, you wanna know something, these people in the music industry also have families and bills to pay. It is a time to give them as much chizuk as possible, and not to suggest that we should perhaps take the bread from the mouths of THEIR children and give it to the mouths of the rabbeim’s children. Reb Yisroel Salanter zt”l or Reb Chaim Shmulevitz zt”l would have been very turned off from your suggestion.

    Go get a job (at a time when you’re not learning)!

  19. First off I agree with the bochur that the Yeshivah’s should be first and for most. It states in the Torah that if a father can’t educate his son the father is obligated to hire a tutor and that tutor are those Rabbanim not the singers.

    Second thought the heck with the singers yes the producers lost money but are we not FORGETTING WHO THE CONCERT WAS ORIGINALLY FOR?

  20. First of all I don’t understand the difference between the singers losing money and the producers. Just because you think the singers can make it back means you can decide to take it away from them? On the flip side, did the rabbonim reimburse the sheitel machers when they paskened that sheitels from India couldn’t be used? or the restaurants and other food service providers when they said that filters had to be installed? or how about all the people who lost money based when takonos for weddings went into effect?

  21. I dont understand if the Concert is Assur why does anyone have to pay ??

    We did not violate any Halacha it is they who violated & nobdoy should have to pay & i am not saying it should or should not be Assur but according to these Rabbis nobody should have to pay anything as this concert was against the Halacha.

    If somebody is going to open his store on Shabbos & we tell him to close or better force him to close do we have to pay ??

    If organizers decided to do against the Halacha we dont have to pay them anything at all & according to these Rabonnim its Assur & therefore we should not pay anything at all.

    To all those who want to pay for the damages, you have my blessing & could not care one way or the other but i will put my money to better use.

  22. Just for the record. There are many dedicated and devoted rebbeim who are in yeshiva by 8:30 or even 8am (that must be after shacharis and breakfast) and teach all day (as tiring as it may be) and then go home a spend many hours preparing, much time with parent communication etc. Please, a rebbe’s job is 6 days a week and more than full time. Have some appreciation. Send a note of to you child Rebbe. A raise in salary is needed.

  23. If $40-60K is the actual salary info, rebeeim are quite well paid. In addition to being a part time job with more vacation than any other job on the planet, said salary is more than many other qualified people in other professions earn. The supply also far outstrips the demand so these salaries are morally inflated.

  24. # 25. not every non-Rebbe has only 1-2 kids, some of us K’AH are blessed with families in the 7-12 range also.

    Wishing all my friends a wonderful Shabbos.

  25. #7 100k: The eligibility for government programs is due to low income. Any individual in that same income bracket is entitled to the same government benefits. And anyone who is making less than 1000/week, probably has no business renting a bungalow.

    #19 Hakatan: You remind of a chaver of mine who once went to the hanhala of a kollel they he learned at in the afternoon. (He was a Rebbe in the morning.) He made an elaborate cheshbon with the Rosh Kollel that based on his hours and compensation, he was making only some small amount per hour. The Hanhala got back to him, and said, “From now on, instead of coming second Seder from 3:15 to 6:30, you can come at 4:00. It’s not so many hours, so now you’re making more per hour.
    The fact that they have hours off around the chagim, does not in ANY WAY help them support and raise a family. You can’t get part time jobs like that. Imagine if you were an hourly worker, and your boss cut your hours. Would you say, “No big deal. I’m still getting the same rate?” Absolutely not!! The fact that rabbeim work fewer days in the year doesn’t change the way that they have to support their families.
    Also, a job in chinuch, or b’emmes any public service is very emotionally draining. I know in my job, I have a job description, and I have just one or two managers that I need to please. Anyone in chinuch, or avodas haklal, wherever they go, every parent/community member that they meet, thinks that they’re his boss and can tell him how to do his job. Compensation just for that, should be waaaaay more than it is.

  26. first of all i don’t understand why the rabbonim have to reimburse the producers. let say if i am a rov and i tell my misspalem not to go a cretin restaurant or etc. and they listen does that mean i have to reimburse the restaurant owner. and for ny100k who left a comment #7 about rebbaim, do you feel that $35,000 maybe $40,000 salary is sufficient. even if they get Section 8, Food Stamps, Medicaid, etc. do you think that a way to live. besides the tremendous debt they have. and you think they go to the country to relax, they all work ethier as rebbeim or head counslers etc. they never have vaction.

  27. As far as Rebbes salaries, and struggling baalei batim:
    Lets just all agree that both categories need help. I happen to work for a living, and while 10 years ago it might have been easy to make a buck , today it is far from the case. Baruch Hashem, I am not lacking anything. However as yeshiva bills , buying a house or renting a house instead of an apartment , more children BH and more expenses come into play, obviously a person would have to make much more, which is not always possible.

    Do I give tzedaka to kollels & yeshivot? yes
    Do I give tzedaka to the poor working class? yes
    They both need help and theyre both part of klal yisroel. One difference to point out though is that a person who works for a living is doing his hishtadlut in order to lead a slightly better life, while a kollel guy or school rebbe is not expecting to live an above average life because he is depending on his fellow klal yisroel workers to support him. So I do feel worse therefore for the guy who works all day long trying for a better life, and still comes home empty handed.

    Lets look at the real world, yes a rebbei is VERY important, theyre the ones teaching our children , however working 3 hours with precious neshomos as someone said is not any more exhausting than traveling on 4 planes a day sometimes to go meet with customers etc. That is a foolish comment. If one person works 8 hr days 12 months a year, and one person works 5 hr days 9 months a year, which do you expect should be paid more???? a frum jewish working man today is up by 600-630 AM, and doesnt get home until 630-730 pm, after which he still has to go out to learn. Let the rebbeim go teach him and make more $!There are plenty of opportunities for them to make more $. I feel bad for rebbeim or people who try hard to make a living and still are having trouble, but i dont feel bad for a rebbei or anyone else who teaches or works 4 hrs a day and doesnt try to ever make an extra buck on the side.

    Simple math –
    -Avg Rebbei lets say makes 50,000
    -he can teach baalei batim at night and make another 10,000
    -he can tutor or teach in morning another hour and make another 10,000 . Good tutors are paid at least 50 bucks an hour nowadays.
    thats 70,000 without working more than anyone else. Dont forget the money isnt really taxed as a working man so the actual take home $ is much more than you would think. I dont know why people seem to think that a working man makes 2-300,000 a year – but they dont all. most make 75K-150K.

  28. 1. A Tzedaka called Simchat Zion was supposed to benefit from the concert. They pay for weddings of orphans in Eretz Yisroel.

    2. How can someone quote a Rav that the concert should be banned, but change their mind if the Rav committed to reimbursing the producers of the show. If the Rav did it, he must have had a valid reason…It’s amazing how everyone likes to pick and choose what opinions they like.

    3. saying that giving Tzedaka to Limud Torah is more important than Chessed is obsurd. Of coarse Limud Hatorah is important, but sick kids aren’t. We’re not talking about supporting a yeshiva so that kids don’t end up in public school. Do we need so many yeshivas doing the same thing. In my neighborhood there are four high schools aimed at the same group of boys. If they were all under one roof, or even two, there would be less administrative costs and less to support. In the old days, Torah Vodaas had six levels of classes. Whether you attended the top shiur or the lower shiur, you could still say that you went to Torah Vodaas, but now that wouldn’t work, because everyone is so worried about being stigmatized by being in the same school as someone who’s not such a good learner. It’s that attitude that created the shidduch crisis.

    I wish that many of you would grow up and look at your middos and how you judge others, and instead judge yourselves.

    good shabbos

  29. Kollelman1, exactly when do you want your rebbe to prepare for all those shiurim that he can give?When will he find the time to call you to give you some nachas or otherwise? Should he also be a guest at the home that he lives in? Do you want his biological children to know him as well as his students do?

  30. #37 That is fine and dandy to tutor and all and all night. What about the Rebbi’s family and his children? Sorry but your idea is not sound and maybe he could tutor in the morning ut please let the Rebbi see his children. I have been there and done that with my jobs in pre-hospital care not seeing my children 3 nights per week and it is hard on them as well as my wife and I.

    My question are you a rebbe? Or who here is a rebbe? The Rebbi’s I know have to prepare lessons as all teachers do. So #37 where did you find the time you mentioned for all this tutoring? What about his students that he teaches daily and the lesson plans he the Rebbi must work on? From what I gather here the posters have no idea or have I seen or read anything of what preps must be done to teach our children. All I see is the Rebbi can do this or that to supplement their income. How about this a parent to work extra hard (let’s say 90-100 hrs/week) to pay a higher tution? That sounds fair, no?

    I feel that if the Rabbanim want to pay the singers for those lost wages ’cause of a concert than have those singers donate say 15% of their earnings to a Yeshivah to support a Rebbi. This sounds like a plan, no?

  31. The whole issue of paying rebbeim raises another question: what about the pay given to teachers who happen to be women? These teachers educate our daughters and our younger sons, and often devote much time to them outside of school hours, just as rebbeim do, yet they generally aren’t as well-compensated as rebbeim. True, some of these women may be single and living with their parents, and therefore not need the income as badly (although I’m not sure exactly how that justifies less pay); but many are supporting large families too. Yet we are not as concerned about raising money to supplement their incomes or pay their life insurance. Why is that?

  32. if rabonim decide that something is treif or shatnez , do they have to reimburse the owners?
    if rabonim think these concerts are not good for you, obviously there must have been a shailah, then the producers should have asked rabonim before hand for a hechsher.

  33. #7 – A working person “needs” to pay for a bungalow? Since when? Tzitzit, tefillin, kosher food, Shabbat, rent/mortgage, etc. – these are “needs.” A bungalow is not a “need.”

  34. I agree with the letter writer that more money should be paid to Rabbeim in yeshivas. We should also contribute more to the yungeleit in kollel. I know a yungerman with 6 children. Although his wife works and he gets support from his in laws, he complains about how hard it is to keep his mind on his studies in Kollel with all his money trouble. It would be a great Kiddush Hashem to use some of this money collected for the concert to support learning in kollel.

  35. What does the needs of the person have to do with what we should pay them? It’s not our business to judge what a person needs or desires. He should get paid based on his ability and quality of his work. If he ‘needs’ money to pay his mortgage or rent but his teaching qualities are poor,why should he get paid more than someone who is a fantastic educator but has no expenses?Does the worker who works a 40-hour job deserve less?He’s the one struggling to pay the tuition that helps pay the rebbie/teacher.Should his family be allowed to suffer?Is he less frum than the rebbie? Does he deserve less respect?

  36. this is crazy on a yeshiva site to have so many people k’neged torah these rabbeim are the future of klal yisroel and yes there are many strugling people in busines but being a rebbi is a community job so its our responsibilty to pay their salaries TO ALL THOSE COMMENTERS WHO SAID “WHAT ABOUT THE POOR WORKING CLASS” BEING A REBBI IS ALSO WORKING AND PROB A HARDER JOB, YOU TRY PLEASING 25 BOSSES. it makes me sick to read the comments of the complainers where are your priorities c’mon is this where klal yisroel is at?? this is scary , why would moshiach come if we dont show HASHEM who and what we care about .
    to all those who complained about this please to teshuva send your son’s rebbi a check or if you can’t at least a nice letter with the shalich monos telling him how much you appreciate what he does. b’zechus this we will be zocheh to see moshiach b’mheirah biyamienu amen!! thank you
    yours truly,
    A non Lubavich Moshiach activist!

  37. midwesterner: I agree that a person needs x hours in a day to earn his living, which is why I suggested that Rabbeim also teach limudei chol so they get enough hours in the day. That way, the school saves money on double-personnel and other expenses, and Rabbeim can earn a full-time salary for their nine months per year (+vaction) of work.

    That Rabbeim need to work a summer job is normal and not, in my opinion, a problem. Again, a typical working person works the entire twelve months a year. So if a Rebbi chooses a job that is only available 9 months per year, he should be paid accordingly, especially since there are options for him to work for two further months (usually with salary plus free room and board for his family in a camp or colony), so he ends up working 11 months out of 12, plus gets more than a month paid vacation during the year. Compare that to a working person who works 8+ hours per day for the entire year, and may receive a week or two of vacation time, depending, who, as I posted above, likely ends up with less money.

    As for Sundays, even on a High School level, Rabbeim have a reduced schedule, whereas in many elementary schools they have a 5 day workweek like most working people, except that Rabbeim work part-time.

  38. Thinking clearly (#17) asks how anyone can get a decent salary & be eligible for programs. It’s very simple…many people are paid off the books. Therefore, their taxable income is very low & they are eligible for all the State, City, & Federal benefits that the rest of the middle class poor don’t get. The MCP are too rich for benefits & too poor to live normally (by Kashrus, Tzchar Limud, & Tzedaka standards.)

    While I don’t pretend to understand the ins & outs of The Big Non-Event, & frankly I don’t particularly care, there are many genuine cases of hardship amongst Jews. But I don’t believe it’s right to tell the rich what to do with their money (I’d hope they know that already)& I don’t believe it’s parents’ responsibility to pay any more to support the Rebbes than they are able to afford.

    Tuition is NOT enough to pay salaries & the costs of running a mosod. But to keep demanding more & more from already over-taxed parents is very stressful for both parties. There are other ways to get money for mosdos: one way is to apply for grants. There are plenty out there; I know, I write them.

  39. With the greatest respect to #46, has your friend with 6 kids ever thought of doing something really radical & outrageous…like GETTING A JOB!!!

  40. And BTW, why is it MY responsiblity to support “mature” men in Kollel who are too incapable, lazy, or secure in their sponging off others to understand the concept of working for what they want. If 46’s friend worried about making ends meet, it’s probably because he’s terrified his Shver will keel over from the stress of supporting all these sons in law. Then what would he do?

  41. DEAR hml;
    you said that the guy in kollel is lazy?!
    and incapable!? I have news for you THE AVG GUY IN KOLLEL IS VERY CAPABLE OF WORKING AND MAKING LOTS OF MONEY. As a good portion of them have their heads on their shoulder’s. They gave up the money to hold up the world.And about being lazy why dont you try to sit 8,10,12 hours a day learning, you couldn’t. this is what we are for, to support those who learn thereby getting a cheilek in the learning. Instead of complaining be happy to support your local yungerman!
    Anyway the topic of the letter is about rabbeim who do work more then full time (and don’t get paid “pay and a half”)for their overtime!!

  42. Hey, #51 &#52 AKA hml, did it ever occur to you that when the kollelleit are learning, THEY are supporting YOU? YOU are able to make ends meet BECAUSE this guy is sitting and learning! Show some respect!

  43. 46, kollel is incredibly sweet, for the learner and his wife, and those supporting them. There does reach a point though, where one should leave, with an exit strategy having been planned with a mashgiach, mashpia, etc. If at this point this young man should still be learning, perhaps because it is clear that he could become a magid shiur, posek, etc., then my feeling is that the yeshiva should have some sort of plan possibly in conjunction with the community he’s in, or its major supporters, to specifically invest in him to produce this end product. But if that is not where this young man is heading trust me, he is torn up inside because of his feelings of impotence in being able to make appropriate hishtadlus to take care of his family. (I almost said because of his inability to take care of his family but even if he had 15 degrees, it is all just a matter of appropriate hishtadlus.)

  44. The subject of Rebbe salaries is irrelevant to this concert not-to-be, and should be discussed separately. As regards the concert, the organizers, producers,musicians and singers all make a living through the frum Torah true Jewish segment of the population. This group is or purports to be totally subservient to the gedoilim and rabbanim. So if the gedoilim say “No”, then the concert masters have no case. Hapeh she’assar hu hapeh she’hitir, ve’al pihem anu chayim.

  45. A Rebbe teaching limudei chol? On condition that he spends the time in class explaining the issur of learning such subjects. Where are your heads, yidden? The holy yeshiva of Volozhin closed down for this very reason.

  46. #56 well put, but the minimum should be 5 years before leaving killel as per psak of the gedolim after the holocaust.
    #61 Reb Moshe Feinstien in igros moshe (will get exact siman back to you)paskened b’feirush it is assur to learn limudei chol the only heter for a yeshiva to teach it is, if the kids would otherwise go to public school (when Rav Moshe lived people were more into chol then now and that was his psak)I hope no frum person is in the parshah of sending their children to public school
    The Rambam knew medicine from his father and didnt have to go through chol classes!
    If we feel the need for jewish doctors then we should devise a plan as to how we do that l’fi halacha

  47. I think most readers have misunderstood the simple point that the original poster is trying to make:

    When a highly publicized concert is cancelled due to a Rabbinic p’sak, many people feel that we should try to reimburse the losing parties, since they are suffering a big loss, and this is an EMERGENCY.

    While at the same time, some of these very same people don’t seem to think that it’s an EMERGENCY when the Rabbeim and teachers of their children can’t afford the basic neccesities of life such as adequate amounts of food, clothing, and shelter. People – you are not aware of the dire straits that some of our finest fellow Jews are going through.

    The point is well taken.

    *************** WHAT ABOUT THIS?? ***********

    Apparently, Madison Sqare Garden is still available on March 9th. Why don’t all the signatories of the ban come in and offer a collection of shiurim, divrei bracha v’chizuk on that day? Or maybe a giant Chinese auction with the proceeds split between mechanchim and the original producers?

  48. can’t you folks see that for thousands of years, the derech of halacha wasn’t posting kol koreh signs,

    but there were shaalos & teshuvos, not people ‘voting’ on ‘popularity’ of what their Roshei Yeshiva say, vs. what other Roshei Yeshiva say…

    Anybody heard of ‘am k’shei oref’, sinas chinam, or the whole set of halachos of tocha’cha?

    Why do all who disagree, at best have approval removed fm them & at worst become pariah’s w/in the supposedly ‘frum’ world? Don’t we have enough troubles fm others that we have to create more for ourselves?

    Doesn’t anybody seem to behave as if they have learned the p’shat in chazal on v’ahavta l’reyacha kamocha – that you have to cause others to love HaShem thru your actions – like Avraham Avinu? Now wonder, considering that Avraham Avinu is buried in Hevron IH”K, & the current state of affairs in the Jewish world is reflected in how we have nothing but troubles in that holy city from the Arabs?

  49. holtzichfest

    why a child needs limudei chol:


    if your reading and typing and spelling then you probably learnt english subjects.

    it is not possible to live in this world without learning limudei chol! Also limudei kodesh and limudei chol go hand in hand.

  50. # 61,
    You are entitled to your hashkafah, but it is a false one. It is very typical of the watered down American so-called Torah attitude. The true gedoilim in Eretz Yisrael have repeated often that only Torah learning is permissible. All of your questions deserve the same answer, and this is the answer of the gedoilim. The doctors , accountants, store owners and everyone else owe their existence to the Torah learning population. They must work to support the learners, and that is their purpose in this world. If they had been taught and raised properly, they would have been learning themselves, some of them may be considered tinoikois shenishbu. But learning and learning only is the key to the survival of klal yisrael.

  51. People have asked, why reimburse the producers of The Big Event? The producers of the Big Event relied upon a long-standing heter by Rav Moshe permitting concerts with mixed seating for purposes of raising money for charity. They spent money to put a deposit on Madison Square Garden — money that is owed whether the show goes on or not. Given the amount of money involved, the producers could conceivably be forced into bankruptcy if they can’t find the money to pay MSG. So lets be realistic; assuming that the production company goes bankrupt, and a trustee is appointed to collect the debts of the company, then that trustee will not be concerned for the niceties of not suing rabbis or going through a beis din. They could very well bring suit in bankruptcy court against all of the signatories of the ban for interference with contract. This could lead the rabbis to personally be exposed for litigation expenses and liability for the losses suffered by the company as a result of the ban. Under New York law, an action for interference with contract exists where there is (a) a valid contract between plaintiff and a third party; (b) the defendants know of that contract; (c) the defendants intentionally solicit the third-party to break the contract without legal justification; (d) the third party breaks his contract; and (e) damages result. It seems to me that all of these factors exist in this case (and given the previous heter by Rav Moshe, and the rabbis’ non-objection to other charity concerts before or since, no legal justification for breaking the contract can be raised), the rabbis are all very exposed to liability under secular law should the right to sue go to a bankruptcy trustee – who would then be acting in the interests of the creditors. So if the rabbis have truthfully said that they will make sure that the promoters of the concert will not lose money, it is easy to see that it is in their personal interest, as well as the interest of simple fairness, to make this commitment.

  52. The late Rosh Yeshivas of Chaim Berlin, Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner, used to say that one does not educate with issurim. Issurim may be necessary, but they are at best a very rough chinuch tool.

  53. #68 your ignorance is only surpassed by your ignorance. I agree that earners should support learners. But why can’t the learner be an earner. the same way a person needs to sleep and eat to survive, he needs to make a parnossa. Of course the main thing is learning but you could work too. It very easy for those roshei Yeshivah with high salaries or the spoiled brats who are supported from all sides to tell us to have bitachon. Just try telling them that, next time you have to pay tuition try telling the rosh yeshivah, don’t worry about tuittion, have bitachon. Let’s see what they answer.

  54. #68 “You are entitled to your hashkafah, but it is a false one”, since when are jews entitled to false Hashkafos. You obviously said that statement to give, in your mind, yourself a moral high ground. Maybe, tou have something better to do in your life than pump up your own ego.

  55. Pashuteh Yid: Thank you for telling the story of Shimon bar Yochai. I have often argued that the debates the frum world has today existed in Shimon’s day, too, especially in his debates with R. Yishmael, who argued that it was possible to learn Torah and a living also. Based on Hashem’s rebuke of R. Shimon, one would think that the issue would be dead by now.

    But I recall a conversation more than 10 years ago between two old friends of mine who were both at Ner Israel together. One of whom is now a yesiva rov and voiced his opinion that those who are frum and dedicate themselves to Torah should wall themselves away from those who are more modern, and perhaps less observant. The other friend was Amram Feldman, zt’l, the son of Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, shlita, and the nephew of Rav Aharon Feldman, shlita (the Kollel at the Yeshiva of Greater Washington is named in Amram’s memory). His reply was forceful: “Do you remember all of the dedication plaques at Ner Israel honoring the people who helped build the yeshiva? Do you think any of them, especially those from back in the early years, was a shomer Shabbos? Of course not! Yet, because we did not close off ourselves from them back then, we were able to attend yeshiva and study Torah. Without them, would we have had the same opportunities?”

  56. To # 75, 76.
    You are correct, a Jew is not entitled to a false hashkafah, so I suggest that you get yourself a proper one. You are obviously angry , please calm down. Your attack on roshei yeshivas (high salaries?)is blasphemous, there is an al chet for that as you must know. Your snide remark about wealthy people who learn only (spoiled brats) is out of line. You did not even relate to the opinion of the gedoilim, who we must obey without question. They pasken that learning is the only permissible activity, no half and half. Your attitude is quite prevalent , no doubt , and represents the we-listen-to-the-gedoilim-when-it’s-convenient hashkafah. Puts on a good show, but it’s low on content.

  57. #79 you argu you scream yet you have not answered me with a substantive claim.
    P.S. If you so strongly believe in your Hashkofas why are you wasting your time on the internet. I’m sure you know the Gedolim assured it.

  58. #68

    Thank you for setting my priorities straight. I though I was doing some good by taking care of cows and sheep so people could have safe, reasonably priced milk and meat to eat.

    I would probably be doing more good sitting in a bet medrash for 10 hours daily and absorbing at most one hour’s worth of content.

    P.S. Does it not seem unusual that most if not all of Reb Moshe’s progeny have university degrees?

  59. Derech Hayashar finally somone who understands yiddishkeit the way yidden lived it before the 20 and 21st centuries. kol hakavod to you. Don’t give up your fight for the Torah lifestyles to these modernists!!!

  60. 62, I don’t know if my earlier comment got in.
    Personally I never heard of this 5 year psak. You could say, correctly, that it’s because as a woman I don’t read teshuvos, etc., but since this has a direct impact, I certainly should have been taught this.

    Was this just hora’as sha’ah? Does it still apply? I’m surprised that my father’s rosh yeshiva let him go to work as early as he did in the late 50s. (And believe me, when the Rosh Yeshiva zt”l told him to jump, he did.)

    And if it still applies, unfortunately we can’t, at the moment make sure our kids stay that long. It’s not a matter of more mesirus nefesh on our part. We’re still living with mesirus nefesh from our 4, unsupported years in kollel. (Not that we regret a nanosecond. And Hashem runs the world, people get laid off etc and are unemployed for long periods of time and can still be in difficult situations even without having spent time in kollel, etc.)

  61. Chulent for Chulenteater. Chulenteater is saying what many of you chose not to face. Yiyasher koach ! I do not mean to be presumptious but rosh yeshivas are overpaid precisely because they only teach Torah rather than lead us. If leaders were always worthy of being leaders and “gedolim” are untouchable, why would Hakodosh Baruch Hu provide a mitzvah of “vne’elam davar m’enai h’kahal”. Insofar as comments on al chets for Chulenteater,we can find one al chet for everyone including the “derech hayasher” poster. Only the beis din shel ma’alah will judge if Chulenteater is wrong. The ziknei h’edah were and remain responsible to us and to G-d for their communal actions or inactions. No, we must not obey all the gedolim without question because they do err in their judgement as did our Avos and Imahos. How many thousands of Jews died in Auwshvitz (my grandparents included z”tl) because Gedolim dictated that nothing be done. It is not an aveirah to expose the shortcommings of “gedolim” provided they are not shamed. A true Gadol leads by example, is not afraid to accept mussar and leaves the beis medrash to publically defend Jews and Jewish interests. I have known few gedolim. B’ahavat Yisrael. Chazak ubaruch to all.

  62. Rebbeim making more money….they are totally deserve it…However, not at the expense of hard earning families.

    Let’s face it..chinnuch is not the same it used to be.. It has become a business where administrators are making 6 figures, rebbiem are getting great perks..Parsonage..and having as many babies as they could, while struggling earning familes limit their sizes of families to pay tuition through the roof..I think rebbie’s should pay on the same scale that these hard working families do.

    Let the “grossa” fundraisers use that money towards their Grossa salaries once operating budgets are cleared…Let rebbiem tutor, write books, get degrees in counseling, or even….fundraise??? get with it people Yeshiva has turned into a business with executives (deans and admins) eating up the tuition dollars as they claim parsonage, and get breaks in the community and support their 6-7 children…!!