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Maran R’ Chaim Kanievsky: ‘It’s Reached Epidemic Proportions – A Fast Should be Declared’

Registration for yeshivos gedolos is well underway and a number of roshei yeshiva have conferred with HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita regarding acceptance of talmidim for the coming year.

Rav Chaim Shlita used the opportunity to discuss the trend with young chasanim requesting an apartment before wedding arrangements are even finalized, the weekly BaKehilla reports. The Rav explained that he receives telephone calls from mothers of young girls, explaining they want an apartment and as a result, there cannot be a shidduch since they simply cannot accommodate.

“When we were young, we received sheds to live in, and only rentals at that” exclaimed the rav.

“It has crossed acceptable boundaries. Today, every bachur who learns four or five years believes he has attained a level of worth higher than his father-in-law and therefore, he is entitled to an apartment. We must fight this trend. A fast day must be declared to stop this epidemic”.

The Rav called on roshei yeshiva to combat this trend and to use their influence with talmidim to begin turning this around. He added that at most, one may request half of the cost of an apartment from each side, but that is the limit.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

69 Responses

  1. I had a visit last night from a choshuva gentleman from Eretz Yisroel who normally comes to see me for sponsorship for a publishing project that he is involved in. This time he was collecting as his daughter has just become engaged. When I suggested to him that he had to buy the young couple an appartment, he told me that he was not prepared to do this but he would help the couple with a deposit and the rest they would have to pay with a mortgage. This is the correct approach, if renting is not a option. On that basis I gave him a donation. But to those who come with Vaad Hatzdokoh certicates which show that they are collecting for personal chovos
    due to having purchased apartments for children, when they themselves have no way of paying for these apartments, I am forced sympathise, but as I myself have to pay my own mortgage, I have to decline to assist. For those who suggest that this is a hard-hearted approach let me assure them that my Tzedokoh account for other causes takes up my Maaser money and more!

  2. Entitlement society. The world is ill. If he knew what “learning” boys in America “demand” he’d ask for 50 Taanasim!

  3. While not questioning Rav, Shlita, why should a fast be declared for this? This seems to be a case where the “metzius” needs to be changed by educating the Chareidi public, and Chasanim specifically, to have a lower set of expectations. A Ta’anis is usually declared to ask for Rachamei Shamayim regarding a Gezera, or to do Teshuva for a specific fault. Is there something more that the Rav said as an explanation?

    an Israeli Yid

  4. If someone has five sons and five daughters, what’s the diffence if he gives 50% towards an apartment for each child or if he gives 75% for daughters and 25% for sons? The point is that one man can’t buy five apartments however you cut it! Logically, help with a down payment is about the max that should be expected from parents. But when you have a daughter in shidduchim and this is the expectation, your choice is to let her sit and then end up paying when she’s “getting older” OR do it when she’s 19 or 20 without putting her through the mill. It will not change until and unless ALL Roshei Yeshiva agree to change the system.

  5. When a Godol asks for a Taanis, he really means that action must be taken along with fasting. How far have we fallen if we must impoverish parents, some who have already taken a beating in today’s economy, just to provide an entitlement for some “average” talmid. Some proposed shidduchim ask for a car…and not any car will do. What ever happened to the traditional “yeshivashe” car?

  6. Although in reality I think it’s crazy in the poor countries especially in todays economic situation to ask for an apartment wen one should not be a snob and rent. I look at the other side of the coin and ask myself, if a shidduch is happening and one of the reasons for it is because the boy must sit and learn kol yemei chayecha, coz if ch”v he will go out to work it will belittles the families of boy and girl etc, which has also become a crazy trend in past few years, doesn’t the boy have the right to demand a security for his learning and not being able to afford an apartment himself by securing a mortgage free apartment so he can stay in learning without worry. Even if his wife will work her meager income certainly won’t suffice supporting a family and rent. kollel men also earn too a meager wage for this. Especially wen everything is so expensive today. I would rather my sons (in law) work for their money if i couldn’t afford this security for them.

  7. i learned full time in kollel for 13 years and continue to keep one seder there and am now B”H married over 42 years. when i got married the cash and cheque gifts we received were used to pay the caterer, etc. today’s msiras nefesh begins after a home, a late model car a 20,000 dollar dining room set, etc, etc. are in place. besides a taanis, how about some Torah true education for the boys in this “ess kimt mir altz” society?

  8. with all due respect to Harav ( and plenty respect is due)
    You dont need to tell the roshei yeshivos to educate the chasanim not to demand.
    Harav Chaim should educate and give muasser to the roshei yeshivos themselves. I personally know of 2 cases where the boy was told to leave a shidduch because he deserved more, and further i also know of boys who were told they deserve full support.
    This contributes to the shidduch crisis.
    BTW I wonder if the boys father would be paying for his tachshit’s learning, after seeing his son go to daven after the father is already at work, i wonder how long the boy would be supported with squeezed out funds.

  9. I once came up with a crazy idea. Why don’t people do what I did. When you get married, GET A JOB! that can pay for an apartment. I am not bashing Kolel in any shape or form, If you can afford to sit and learn, good. If you can’t afford to sit and learn, then get a job. Don’t support your self on the backs of your parents.

  10. well informed yid: while american bacharim got a lot, it can obviously not be compared to the price of BUYING AN APARTMENT, your comment is therefore not true

  11. #8, with all due respect, roshei yeshivos hold one way and boys will often do what they want. To ask roshei yeshivos to bear down on this more, is an understandable way to ensure that not just lip service is being paid to doing the right thing.

  12. I am actually surprisee that the Rosh haYeshiva gave a number (50/50 at the moost). If you are gebentched min hashamyim with several children as we all ask for, the costs are astronomical. Considering the fact that many of these apartments are bought on the backs of collections is really eroneuos. Should we focus on suppprting Aniyim that are trying to live with just the basics and can’t?

    The fact os that the Roshei Yeshiva have to put in a seder every day called “Derech Eretz” or “common sense.” These childrens expectations have to be common sensical, because if they are reminded that in 20 yrs they wioll be in the same boat……

    May we only have issues as they relate to Simchos and may our children see the light and ask the Ribono Shel Olam to give them Gezunt, Parnasssa, and nachas; that they shouldn’t have to rely on others.

  13. In 9 I meant to write

    “SHOULDN’T” we focus on suppprting Aniyim that are trying to live with just the basics and can’t?

    Sorry about that

  14. it seems prettty clear that all the comments are
    from people who recognize that this issue is a
    major factor in the shidduch crisis.

    truth be told, we all should respect learning in
    a kollel because we will always need rabbanim &
    roshei yeshivos. and the boy needs the yishuv hada’as to sit & learn without financial burdens.

    having said that, why does buying an apartment
    become a need for the boy to stay in learning?
    renting an apt. is enough with a working wife
    & supplemental help from both sets of parents.

    it’s also important for everyone involved to be
    realistic. is this boy really aspiring to be a
    mechanech, rosh yeshiva, etc. is this something
    he can be successful in?

    working for a living and being kovaia itim for
    learning is also an acceptable option. there should be no ‘lower status’ assigned to those who
    follow this derech.

    it really is time to approach this issue with a
    very open mind.

  15. Who would want such a selfish son-in-law? I am all for helping a new couple get started. But there should be a time limit in the frame of months not years.

  16. Unfortunately this problem is like a bad sickness that spreads.
    It exists here in U.S.A. in our backyards such as Brooklyn and Lakewood.
    There are great girls, accomplished , educated, baalei chesed who are aging on account of this problem.
    Fathers who were encouraged to stay in such as learning or other Klei Kodesh who have daughters are watching them age.
    A personal story where a father of a real so called good boy was read two great girls. One whose father is still learning and the other father a businessman. The father of the girl went to ask the Rav who told him to go with the businessman’s daughter. He was honest and told the Shadchan the reason for his decision. The answer got back to the father who is in learning who happened to consult with the same Rav.
    This father Talmid Chacham approached this Rav and told him “you encouraged me to stay in learning and now you are against me”.
    This Rav happens to be well known and whose name comes up in many issues often!
    The boys are grabbed, and as someone told me “even a boy who measures half of the criteria of what one would expect of a good boy to be could luck it out”.
    On the other hand if you look around there are quite a few parents of boys who their parents did the opposite. These parents valued their sons learning and quality who wanted to make sure that they stay in learning and they looked for girls who would appreciate it and they are supporting them.
    Yes, this is a small percentage but it B”H happens.
    Yes, the Rabbonim of the world should speak out…but in these days…is it chas v’shalom too late.
    Parents, wake up …if your son is walking around with a cell phone and a credit card in his pocket he is really not a learning boy! He may just know how to study!…yes, there are a lot of bochurim who are studying not learning!!!!!
    B”H we are looking to help our grandchildren in the future with Hashem’s help!

  17. Rabbosai, as long as there are more girls dating then boys this will NOT get solved. Change the AGE GAP factor and it will no longer be the girls responsibility.

    When both side have to participate equally watch how fast things will change.

    Its not rocket science.

  18. To “the commissioner” #9 – what a novel suggestion – work!

    If you can excuse the expression, I remember a the Dobie Gillis TV show from the ’60s, where one of the characters was a “beatnik” – (the predecessor to hippies) and any time he heard the word “work” he would scream out “WORK!?!” as if it was the dirtiest word and most foreign concept imaginable!
    Sadly that is the way that word is viewed by many today, – while THEY learn (some do) on the cheshbon of those that DO “work” – while (often) looking down at them as their inferiors.
    Except for the few exceptional iluyim, the future Gedolai HaDor, wasn’t what the Torah had in mind for the other 99.9 percent of us, to work and support ourselves and our families, and be kovay’a itim for learning?!?!
    Anyone remember those words “shayshet yamim ta’aseh melachtecha…” – I know I heard them somewhere…

  19. It’s strange that those who start the fire are the first ones to run to put it out and are declared the heroes in this craziness (some call it a crisis). Why couldn’t they just leave well enough alone? It worked very well for thousands of years. This of course is a rhetorical question for those with a bit of intelligence.

  20. AZ, that is not an answer. It is a band-aid for a very real problem. Yes, of course, if the boys married older girls there would be less single older girls. But does that fix the problem. And if we change the AGE GAP factor, WHAT will no longer be the girls responsibility? Please explain. There is no simple fix to this multi-faceted problem, and it does a tremendous disservice to our community if we blame only the age gap on many of our marital and pre-marital problems.

  21. #15 I am looking at tit very open mindedly.

    MONEY should not determine a shidduch! Final!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    There is absolutely no one in the forum that said GO TO WORO out right. They said if you can’t afford to sit and learn, then go to work rather than put your parents through financial gehinom.

    That being said, buying and apartment has nothing to do with sitting and learnig. While I was in Kollel. I rented, as many of my friends including those still learning!

    Again and again I will repeat that these boys demanding the apartemnts today and making it a deal breaker shouldn’t fortget that with the Ribono Shel Olam’s help, in the not too distant future their future son-in-laws will be returning them the favor!

  22. Must_hock:
    I don’t know what apartments cost in Israel, but I do know that, Chosson watches – $1500+++ in America. Cufflinks- over a $1000 for anything decent.
    Fancy tallis with big silver atara a few $100
    Menorah huge, silver, about $1000
    2 cars plus insurance a FORTUNE.
    Wedding in Ateres Avraham $50,000 for a cheap wedding!!!
    Rent for a decent apartment for 5-10 years = apartment in Israel.
    Living expenses, VACATIONS, utilities, phone, cell phone clothing…health insurance, $30,000 + per year. All this and more paid by rich Shver or even not so rich Shver who wants his daughter to marry a “learning boy.”

    Something is very wrong in America!!!

  23. To Ainohdmilvado,
    The word “work” isn’t part of the vocabulary
    here in Lakewood. Did you really think that bnei torah would use four letter words like “WORK”?

  24. #19 you are quoting the eminent philosopher Maynard G Krebs.

    Has anyone considered the logic of the finances? How can one set of parents afford 6-8 apartments after years of supporting many children through yeshiva and paying for weddings? Also, what will happen to the many children of learning couples who can barely support themselves let alone make chasunas and buy apartments. Even wealthy people cannot do this.

  25. Rabbosai, as long as there are more girls dating then boys this will NOT get solved.


    This isn’t an age gap issue, it’s an economic issue. The “price” of a groom is rising to the point where it is unaffordable. It has nothing to do with the ages of the bride or groom.

    Ultimately, it make take Adam Smith’s invisible hand to solve the problem.

    The Wolf

  26. #24, while I know what you mean, and while I know we all benefit from bnei torah supporting the world spiritually, still there are many hard-working people who reside in Lakewood, and still there are many who do Yeshiva, sadly, in a routine way and should prepare also, to be competent and productive in a good job.

  27. There is din v’cheshbon and there will come a time when these boys and their parents will pay a heavy price for the tzar they cause and the blackmail they are guilty of. I feel sorry for the poor girls who have been brainwashed that there is no other path to attain the highest levels of Yiddishkeit and they realize it when it’s too late.

  28. I heard this true story from my chavrusa. He and his other chavrusa were sitting and learning in a beth hamedrash (in America). Next to them were learning two Bochurim. One of them (who was on the heavy side ) had a rishon open in front of him. He was nibbling on dipsy doodles in one hand and a large diet coke in the other. When he didn’t understand the Heilige words of that rishon,he used very inappropriate language (not be printed on any Jewish forum). When my chavrusa’s chavrusa heard that,he told my chavrusa ” I’m sure that this feller will not settle for anything less than a Lexus from his future shwer” vehamayvin yovin

  29. This whole thing about staying in kollel l’olmei ad is a foreign concept to our mesorah. Don’t care who tells you otherwise we never had such a thing. The yechidei segulah who will be the leaders, mechanchim, and rabbonim sit in kollel maybe 6-10 years and then give back to the klal by taking a position. This will also miracously allow them to support their families.

    Where’s the mesiras nefesh, torah is niknes byisurim, how does that shtim with my brand new volvo, $500,000 apt, and 9:00am minyan? Get a grip people, we’re paying many heiligah son in laws to drink coffee and shmooze in a beis midrash (another huge aveira), until age 65.

    Any bochur that demands anything from anyone is migalleh that he’s not deserving of it by his own krum middos! Many of the rebbeim that encourage this are themselves beneficiaries of said system.

    Finally, if we want true binei Torah, let them learn until 23, 24 with piece of mind, no wife and family before dating. This trend of 2o year old marriages is terrible on a thousand fronts.

  30. The issue is much larger. The girls have been instructed to only marry a boy that “learns.” That in turn has transformed the whole learning culture into a business. It might take a generation or two to fix.

  31. And…
    While we’re at it, one more thought…

    I’m always puzzled by the guys who say “My plan is to learn as long as I can, and then when I have to, I’ll go to work.”

    What is the reality of this philosophy???

    When the shver says “I’m sorry, but I’m getting older, I have to make more chasunas, and I just can’t support you any more” – then WHAT???

    Then this fellow who has now been married 5 to 10 years, is now 25 to 35 years old, and now has 4 or 5 or 6 kids (or more) – NOW this guy with NO marketable skills and a BIG family to support is going to go to work!?!?!
    To do WHAT exactly?
    He can’t afford to go to school –
    He can’t live on the income of some crumby job that MAYBE he CAN get –

    Can someone please explain to me the logic of this “plan” I hear all the time about people having?!?

  32. Perhaps it’s just me, but I never understood the concept of *demanding* anything from your in-laws.

    Yes, my in-laws helped us out. But I did not demand (or even ask) it and I would have married their daughter even if they didn’t give me a cent.

    Yeah, I know the dowry is an old tradition in both the Jewish and non-Jewish world — but perhaps it’s time to retire this tradition.

    The Wolf

  33. Eretz Yisrael is much cheaper, You can get a decent wedding for $7000 to $10000, gowns, hall, pictures, band, food, etc. You however could also spend |$40000- $50000. An apartment starts depends where you want to live. Normally they buy a 2 bedroom with ablity to add on which cost $175,000 to $200000 since we can’t build on our land thanks to the obamanation. They use to start 10 years ago at $80000 to $100000. Today unfortunately you need a minmium of $1000 a month
    with out an apartment for food, lights, transportation, telephone, water, arnona, sheitel settings, medicines.You should be able to cover with this 1 child. I know many people who are recently married. In Israel even if both work it is hard and many seculars today are also helping the children to buy flats.If you both work you can make about $2000 it isn’t great. In Yerusalem today all rents start at over $1000 A MONTH

  34. FORGET one important thing if you go out to small cities they pay better and many can get jobs afterwards in the city. Not everybody needs to live in Yerusalem, Bnei Brak, Kriyat Sefer, Lakewood, Monsey; look around and many community will pay ypu to come to learn like in Scotland, Midwest and France

  35. If a shver has nothing left to eat because he needs to spend it all on a son-in-law, he might as well declare a Taanis

  36. #11 Moshiach,
    I disagree with you.
    Its not the roshei yeshivos say one thing
    and the bochurim do something else.
    Its the roshei yeshivos
    who actively encourage to ask
    (that means demand) for money.
    They are known to say dont settle for less than x number of dollars.
    Old fashioned blood sweat and tears.
    One wonders if this is called
    Marrying for money?

  37. These days a boy won’t do without a “deerah.” The girl would never consider living the in in-law’s house.

    So let’s take a look at Parshas Chayay Sorah where Yitzchok brings Rivka into his mother’s tent.

    It is only then that “vayehehovaho…” He starts to feel something for Rivka. There is so much to learn from that passage. Unfortuately it is lost on kinah, tayva and kovod.

  38. To#33, one can get full financial aid for a B.A.
    Touro offers many programs which are suitable for any yeshiva boy looking to enter the work field.
    Go to avenue J on a Monday or Wednesday evening and see for yourself.
    The problem is that many of these so called learners are a cover up for what they really can’t do,which is the minimal skills to go through schooling and a blue collar job “past nisht” so they stay in kollel. We are not talking about when they get there or leave daily!
    The kollel for them is like an Urei Miklat, somewhere where they can escape to.
    It’s simple, visit any kollel or yeshiva midday and look who is outside either smoking,shmoozing, talking on cell phone, sitting in a car eating or doing two at one time and you’ll have the answer.
    Again the rachmanus is on qualified girls who are considered “older once they reach 22” and made to feel cheap and worthless.
    My suggestion is that these girls, in groups should visit the Rosh Yeshivas on a consistent basis so that the gedolim see the reality of what they caused with this philosophy.

  39. BSD This one of the differences b/t the chassidishe world and the misnagdim / yeshivish world. With most chassidim the chossonim go to work right after marriage. The chosson has his select bais midrash time b/t high school and his chassunah.If he wants or needs further training for a parnossoh, all the parents help out, and this is discussed long before marriagae – after just a few dates. Even Lubavitch has a limit on kollel. A Lubavitch chosson is accepted to learn in one of their kollel for a maximum of two years – that’s it – two years – then the chosson & kallah go out on shlichus, or they join the work world, so to say. During these two years the boy receives a small stipend, most kallahs work at least part-time, and the parents agreed on support arrangements right after a few dates.
    Today the misnaggdishe world suffers from aa uniqu shiduch crises in addition to all the above. I wonder if anyone is “brave” enough to speak with Rabbi Kanievsky Shlita about this. Whn the boys are finishing bais medrash they begin to date and they only want to go out with younger girls and where possible, also girls with money in the family. This is the emesdike situation, and if chas vShalom a girl didn’t get married when very young she has a much harder time to find a date, let alone a shidduch, because even the “older” boys want only the youngest of girls. So how are these boys raised, in what atmosphere? What have their parents taught them, or failed to teach them? In many cases the boys are merely copying their parents.
    ALL boys MUST have a class on shidduchim and dating while still in bais medrash. It should be a requirement by each Yeshivah in the world – if they don’t take the class, they cannot go out on shidduchim. No, not a chassan class, not to learn matters of taharash hamishpachah – but a class on how to be a mentsch when going out, how to decide what kind of girl you are really looking for, how to treat the girl when out with them, or on the phone, how to deal with her parents or other family members if they get enough to meet them. The class can be called shidduchim in today’s world. Just a few weeks, but these few weeks can possibly change the world for the better, kol blaha.

  40. WellInformedYid, how common is the scenario you described? I know people from various NY communities, and have never heard or seen even one of them “demanding” or otherwise getting anything close to what you describe.

    Incidentally, and I am happy to see that HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlit”A, spoke out about this apartment issue.

  41. To WolfishMusings (comment 34), who wrote: “Perhaps it’s just me, but I never understood the concept of *demanding* anything from your in-laws.”

    I’m with you. I’m wondering if you are, perhaps, a ba’al teshuva (like me). I think that, on the whole, ba’alei teshuva come to yiddishkeit with a far more rational set of priorities in the parsha of dating and marriage.

    My children — both daughter and sons — are products of the chareidi educational system (with extra years of learning in Eretz Yisrael), but are also college educated and responsibly employed. And the three that are married have spouses who are responsibly employed. I’ll never understand FFB social mores and, in point of fact, have little sympathy for them.

  42. well informed yid: lets be real, very very few inlaws supply vactaions, and all living ecpenses.
    In most cases the shver pays rent which is at most $1500 month (1000 in lakewood)
    that is nothing near where 200,000 for an apartment !

  43. Many choose to sit and learn because under our system they are not tested and there is no real competition as there is in the work world or in a high school or college where there are tests. Go make fun of YU but they have real bechinas and are held accountable even in the kollel.

  44. To Lia #42:
    I accept what you say about my comment (#33) re tuition assistance for college, BUT – While this fellow is going to college, who is going to pay for his rent, his family’s food, his yeshiva tuitions, etc., etc., etc.???
    This way of doing things is NOT a way of doing things!

  45. There is this wonderful word that I would advise people to learn and use….

    “NO”. When a punk kid “Demands” an apartment I suggest you use it.

    If you are old enough to get married you should be old enough to support a family by yourself.

  46. #47
    Charvona, you are proving to all your qualification as a “NON BAR BEI RAV D’CHAD YUMA”[no, not “the rav”].

    If anything the problem in [real] Yeshivos is the reverse. A Talmid in a Yeshiva can NOT hide his status in learning, in a yeshiva system.

    The competitive atmosphere [pressure] is immense. unlike the institution of upper Manhattan, One cannot HIDE behind a “TEST SCORE”.

    Every time a discussion in learning occurs, you are totally exposed.

    Pondering this subject, I was wondering if the Staff Professors that create these “BECHINOS” must include a RAINBOW COALITION in their ranks…

  47. AZ, parents of boys can’t afford their 50%; the age issue is irrelevant. Rav Chaim shlit”a’s not bemoaning the fact that girls are going unmarried because of demands, he’s bemoaning that there are demands.
    And said demands are NOT an economic result of the surplus of girls and the boys thus being able to make demands. I think that golus has battered us, and this stage of galus, the malchus shel chessed era, has spawned es kumt mir to unprecedented degrees.

  48. In a few years, we will be in the shidduch zone…. i have not a single intention of asking or helping with buying a property for my children. I am sorry, but we rented an apartment when we got married and worked for our first owned property. Imagine, (gasp) we even bought our own furniture – the few pieces we needed to have.
    My husband works for a living, as do I part time, I would never dream of living off my parents or in-laws money. Now I’m seeing the next generation of kids marry and they expect the parents, of my age bracket, to ‘give them what they deserve’. It’s just not there!

  49. The 100 or so finest learning bochurim I know DID NOT demand support! They married wonderful girls-I, my sisters, relatives, and friends were among them.
    It’s the less fine bochurim who are demanding the expensive gifts and support. Why settle for those guys? There are still some normal ones around.

  50. some people here are writing without fore thought. In Chassid kollel there are test also. I know I have Chassidic brothers that their children learn in Chassidic Kollels. As far as a college education which I have it is not all people say it is. Today the employers in Eretz Yisrael are searching for former Kollel Yungeleit especially in programing since they know how to keep repeating things from chazorah. They are depending since they need a panasuah; some take night courses and go to learn rather than go to college to party. People in the States pay a lot of money so their children can have 4 to 5 years of a party life or their children are strapped with loans.It would be better to work and learn so not to get cash strapped.

  51. And what about the parents who say they want big bucks up front (no less). They’re the ones who screen the girls before their precious sons go out. So if you’re a parent of son, do you tell the shadchan you care more about the type of girl he is mentioning, or do you say “Can the girls father support?”

  52. Some of these girls older or not are also demanding.
    I am a Baal Teshuvah and when I was in my 20’s and looking for a shidduch (which I never found for me)I did go out with girls older then me but even with my willingness to do so it was still very hard to find anyone for me to go out with.

    I did not stand a chance with the “FFB’s” since a Ball Teshuvah would never be good enough for them.

    I had no money to speak of (though I did at the time, have a good job) and did not have enough to steay dn yeshivah and learn for very long and I certainly did not have Yichus or Gezsher so I gues I was (and still am) just a throw away.

  53. For all the smart aleck baalebatim who are responding to this with derisive scorn toward a person sitting and learning as opposed to being kovea itim let me explain something to them especially the genious who quoted “shaishes yomim taaseh melachtecha”. Every person has a chiuv of talmid torah, talmid torah comes before everything else, and it is not enough to be kovea itim as we say every night uvahem negeh YOMAM VALEILA. Now some might say that it is to hard to stay in yeshiva with all the financial restraints my answer is man up live with less. Another thing is if a person does choose to work he has a chiuv of being kovea itim every day, now if you take a look in shulchan aruch siman reish lamed aleph at the biur halacha there the chofetz chaim writes that a person has to be at a minimum kovea every day and to learn the entire shabbos (to make up what he missed during the week). Another requirement to even think about working is that there should be no shemetz whatsoever of even the slightest isur (d’rabanan and of course d’oraisa).
    And for the “learned” balebatim who tend to quote the rambam that it is assur for a person to be supported by the community the chofetz chaim writes that is not at the expense of his torah learning and if that will suffer he is better off learning even according to the rambam. Just to finish off R’ Moshe Feinstein ZT”L writes that it is not so simple that the rambam even meant that it is assur there are other pshotim, however even if it is pshat in the rambam that it is assur to be supported by the community it would not apply today because of ais laasos lahem haifeiru torasecha. So to all my dear friends i have nothing against going to college and/or working however please understand that there is a viable other side. In reference to the apartment issue it is ridiculous and if you marry a girl whose parents are willing and able to support fine, but if you do not it is just as good.

  54. to normanl jew:
    What you say is correct but taking tzedaka money (kollel check) and not learning is equal or greater issur than the ones faced in work. I am familiar with the biur halach you quote but take a look at what the chofetz chayim writes in toras habayis about kivias ittim in “free time”. I myself am a mechanech, spent 7 yrs in kollel, but learnt with a goal of harbatzas torah. Sitting in a beis midrash and eating over an open gemara is NOT learning!

  55. In response to #58: Talmud Torah has to be done with 100% Kosher Money.
    Learning in a Kollel based upon support from in-laws is only a Mitzvah, if the support was obtained without any misrepresentation or extortion.
    Those who learn in Kollel only do so during the full and willing Mechillah (forgiveness of the Kesubah obligations) of their wives.

  56. to #48 Touro is an evening program. You work or learn by day and study at night. Plenty women get their degree this way while juggling home, work and school so men could do it too.

    to #57 A good solid Baal Tshuva should have no problem doing a shidduch even with a FFB girl.
    If you are a solid real frum person belonging somewhere and have a Rav a shidduch shouldn’t be a problem. There are too many eligible women that give anything a chance because they don’t want to remain single.

  57. It basically begins and ends with the following.

    This was recently receied by the NASI Project and was handed to me to post for all to see.

    My name is (deleted) , I made aliyah from Toronto Canada a few years ago and I am now living in Yerushalayim. As part of my Masters Degree at the Hebrew University my partner (deleted) and I wanted to research the shidduch crisis in religious circles in Israels. Our advisor (non-religous by the way but very concerned about the topic nonetheless) suggested that the age gap between husband and wife and the high rate of population growth is in large part responsible for the phenomenon. In my research I discovered your organization, and the video you produced, Yasher Koach for brining the topic to the awareness of the community and illustrating the issue so well!

    We are in the midst of preparing an academic paper on the topic, and would like to know if there is any information we can share with each other to advance this important topic. You mentioned on your website that the age gap between husband and wife is 2.5 to 3.5 years, and the population growth is 4 % per year. The Center for statistics in Israel has done some studies on the Charedi population in Israel and found that the annual growth rate is 7.1% and the average age gap is 1.72 years. This gives a difference in population size of boys and girls of (1.071)^(1.72) = 12.5 % strikingly similar to your total but based on very different figures than yours. The most recent study was done in 2001 (it is attached though it is in Hebrew), (AZ-sorry I dind’t now how to post the attachement)

    What I find most interesting about the results for Israel, is that the average age gap between husband and wife is less then 2 years, nonetheless the mismatch between the size of male and female populations stands at 12.5%. At least in Israel, recommending that the age gap between husband and wife be no more than 2 years would appear not to be enough to minimize the problem.


    AZ- In North America the Population growth is not a explosive but the Age gap is larger thus yielding similr results




  58. Close the age gap and the Primary enabler of bad middos etc. is taken away but why debate it the data is there for anyone to see…..

    ever wonder why in the chassidishe velt it doenst exist??

    is it because they miraculously have such better middos????

  59. To: “Normal(?)Jew” #58 –
    I am the “genious” you quoted who mentioned ““shayshet yamim ta’aseh melachtecha…” ”
    You wrote “my answer is man up live with less”.
    That is a great idea, but who is willing to do it?
    Oh yes I know Yerushalmis that are truly mosair nefesh for their learning. They live on, and with next to NOTHING so they can devote themselves to learning.
    BUT… here in America? While you’ll probably find a FEW exceptions, the VAST majority of the kollelniks have beautiful apartments, beautiful furniture, very nice cars, beautiful clothes, etc., etc. and with NO mesiras nefesh because its all on the cheshbon of their parents!
    The big question IS… how many of them would STILL want to learn full time if it meant a TINY apartment, NO car, a minimal amount of food in the fridge, a minimal amount of clothes and shoes, etc., etc.???
    “LIVE WITH LESS” – any takers out there?

  60. To 65,
    And the ones who don’t have, are extremely jealous of the ones who do. Maybe you have a handful who are soimeach b’chelko.

  61. How about going to WORK and EARNING a livelihood?? Ever heard of such a novel idea? Most parents are not wealthy and the new generation who received everything without working for it,cannot today do the same for their children. The ‘boys’ are told that life consists of learning and having large families. Work is not even mentioned.Secular education is forbidden and therefore there is no way to get a decent job or learn an honest trade. You cannot expect the ways of 75 years ago in a different country to work in 2010. GET REAL!

  62. To number 67 it can be inferred form your article that you feel limud hatorah is not an honest trade, I hope you do not truly believe that. (Please clarify). By the way there are plenty of people who do just fine without parental support and learn. One other thing you should be careful about blatantly telling people to go to work because you are taking achrayus for there bitul torah

  63. There is a standard for “me she-nasa-ow libo” (one who is truly motivated to accomplish in learning and is willing to make the needed sacrifices) which is the few and another standard for the rest of us.
    Pushing those not suited for full time learning into Kollel is highly destructive.
    One effect: Resources that should be going to those who are really motivated and able to be marbitz (spread)Torah (like #59) get diluted.
    While there is a standard of “pas b’melech to-chal” mentioned in Pirkei Avos; our goal is to minimize the mesiras nefesh (sacrifice) of present and future mechanchim (teachers of Torah).
    The original Shevet Levi was only 2.5% of the Jewish people, so that they could be supported in a dignified way by the rest of us.

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