Lieberman: “Kollel Is Worthless, They Eat, Drink Coffee & Discuss Politics”

Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaks at a conference. (Bar Association spokesperson)

Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman continues to prepare for another election by inciting against Chareidim, saying on Monday that kollel studies are worthless.

Speaking at a Yisrael Beiteinu party meeting, he addressed his intention to drastically reduce the budget of the yeshivah world.

“They can’t act against the coalition and also receive money from the coalition,” he said. “Coalition funds for talmidei yeshivos totaling NIS 446 million will be deducted. Part of the budget for yeshivos is included in the budget base but quite a bit are coalition funds that don’t need to be given to yeshivos.”

“Most of the money goes to kollelim where they learn until retirement. They sit in the kollelim, people come in the morning and eat a sandwich there, drink coffee and talk politics. Then they flip through some books and go home. Limudei kodesh are worthless. There’s no reason to fund them.”

An Israeli social media user responded by stating: “I missed the part at the end: ‘If it pleases the king, let it be written to destroy them.'”

UTJ Meir Porush responded by stating: “Instead of speaking out against the Arab schools in Israel that teach PLO studies and incite against the State, Lieberman tries to davka close Chareidi schools.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. “Then they flip through some books and go home.” That’s hilarious. Does he not know what the definition of a politician is? What does he do all day besides spewing all this garbage? If he keeps opening his mouth against Torah, he will just make his ultimate undoing even more satisfying. Many nations tried to stop Torah learning, and they failed, just like this fool.

  2. As awful as it is to say it, Lieberman is partially correct. A very small percentage of yungerleit have the motivation and mental capacity to learn all day and shteig. For the rest of them, there ought to be trade schools to learn and pursue a productive livelihood. If only I’d had that foresight many decades ago.

  3. “They can’t act against the coalition and also receive money from the coalition”, I think Lieberman has early onset cognitive disorder- he forgets the huge amounts he has transferred to the arab parties, to terrorists and murderers. He forgets the millions his “boss”, Bennett has taken to renovate his private home and feed his family while creating havoc to others.
    In what office don’t people eat sandwiches, drink coffee and sometimes discuss politics? Sounds like normal social behavior between hours of work or learning.
    Yeshivas will get what they needs. As Mordechai told Esther….

  4. Unfortunately, there is a grain of truth to what he is saying, which is what enables him to get away saying this.

    The learning today has lost its connection to yiddishkeit. It R’L has become like college where they lehavdil study the subject of Torah without any connection to lemaaseh.

    Today’s learning lacks the connection to yiddishkeit in that the learning is not in order to keep the Torah and Mitzvos, but R’L to just hock in pilpul without Alibah d’hilchisah. R’L he’s right about this.

  5. Sadly, people like Lieberman have made their politics about attacking others, then he complains that those he attacks are discussing politics.

    There is a solution, if politics had nothing to do with frum people, it would cease being a topic of interest to us. But we all know that won’t happen, as Leiberman knows his core base, and serves up hatred as a means of consolidating his own power.

  6. The Knesset is worthless. People come in the morning and eat a sandwich there, drink coffee and talk politics and then go home.

  7. and what do these people do in the keneset Eat and drink and discuss politics and fight a little, and get paid much more then people in kollel, did these people do anything to help the society in the last 70 years ? one minute of Torah helps the society much more ten these people did in the last 70 years, עפרא לפומיה !!

  8. Sounds exactly like what he does, yell about politics and about everyone he hates, eats and drinks, and yells some more.
    Why is it that these types of people always think that everyone else is exactly like themselves, isn’t that the ultimate closemindedness?

  9. Lieberman is exaggerating and is anti-Kollel BUT he’s not completely wrong. I remember days in my Brooklyn Mesivta when I would see kollel guys either hanging around the pay phone area (this was the early 1980’s, way before cell phones) or standing outside on the street talking and smoking. By no means was this the majority, but there are bad apples there.

  10. Everyone reading this knows the description is absolutely true. Of some guys learning in yeshivas and kollels. And also knows it’s not at all true about many others. But it’s a real problem that’s not dealt with (a sichas mussar isn’t actually dealing with the problem), and now good people are punished with the batlanim.

  11. that’s precisely why so few charedim make aliya. They would have to face the same struggles they faced in the US plus a million more

  12. This heretic is obviously wrong, but even if this heretic were in any way right, his only excuse to do this would be if they totally dropped the IDF requirement to allow the Chareidim to work without the Zionists shmading them in their shmad army first and without the Chareidim subjecting themselves to the Zionists’ intentional abizrayhu diArayos when the Chareidim attempt to get their exemptions.

    In other words, the Zionists would need to make their paradise like a normal country, where people graduate whatever HS and then optionally go to the country’s army or, otherwise, study whatever on their own dime for as long as they’d like and then go work.

    But the wicked Zionists won’t do this because Zionism is shmad and the Zionists need to shmad their “citizens”.

  13. By his own admission, he does not deserve a single shekel in salary at the expense of the taxpayer. After all, this is his exact job description:
    “People come in the morning and eat a sandwich there, drink coffee and talk politics. Then they flip through some books and go home.”

  14. Lieberman and his ilk will never understand the uniqueness of Torah study. This applies to the SED in NY that wants to stop our way of teaching Torah. In Parshas Bechkosai it says אם בחקתי תלכו Rashi says this means שתהיו עמלים בתורה The word חקת usually refers to a mitzva the non jews or not frum jews deride and mock. What does חקת have to do with עמל in Torah? The sefer באר שמות הנרדפים says עמל means effort. The Malbim in Sefer איוב פרק ה, ז also says it means effort. When someone is studying for any job or profession it’s the end result that matters you could give a billion percent effort but if you don’t pass the test you don’t get the degree or license. Torah is unique that every drop of effort you apply is counted and rewarded by Hashem. Second, try to explain to Lieberman and his cronies that you can read the same book once, twice and even a million times. There is a famous story with Rav Moshe Fienstien, he called his nephew Rav Michel Fienstien to tell him that he gets a Mazael tov for completing shas a 2nd time. When Rav Michel asked. “but I know you finished shas many times” Rav Moshe answered, “Its the second time I learned it 101 times.”(see gemara Chagiga 10.) Can a person like Lieberman or the non jew in the SED comprehend this?

  15. And what do Knesset members do?
    Eat, four-course meals, drink hot lattes and grope their female aides.
    Yet he never pushed to reduce the budget for Knesset members.

  16. He is talking like a little baby. Maybe some of the Chevra are discussing politics Bein HaSedarim. The real majority are seriously learning.

  17. I think this nutcase missed his calling. He has the makings of a great mashgiach in Ponovez or the Mir or somewhere, doesn’t he?

  18. The truth is he’s afraid of the people in Kollel because they use their brains and they would never vote for this poor excuse for a human being.

  19. this man deserves to be in Ukraine…not in Israel, how shameful that this filth was elected…I now pray to HASHEM to do what is needed for removal..

  20. Sometimes the RBSH”O sends a message to Klal Yisroel through people who are Reshaim but who make a valid point.

    While by no means is he describing many of the Kollel yungerleit who are moser nefesh to resist taking a regular job in order to learn and disseminate Toras Hashem, however each one of us in Kollel need to take careful scrutiny of our limud HaTorah and whether it is worthwhile to support us from government funds which is paid in taxes by Klal Yisroel.

    We are supposed to be “Toraso Umnaso” – Torah is our business. Do we give the effort to knowing Torah like one who has his own business and needs to grow and maintain that business?

    Are we learning effectively? Do we come away knowing the sugya well so that we can summarize all the shitos by heart or are we looking for an opportunity to come up with a creative sevara or shlug up someone else’s sevara, leaving us with pitifully little at the end of the day?

    Perhaps Mr. Lieberman is affording us an opportunity to have that heart-to-heart discussion with ourselves to see if we are a true Ohev Torah or are we Mr. Lieberman’s frightful description of a Kollel yungerman.

  21. I’m not sure what everyone expects from him. He’s just calling it how he sees it. If this is the image we are exuding it’s our fault. He has no comprehension of anything. What else should he conclude? Has anyone ever tried explaining it to him? Or has any yungeleit worked on giving off a different image? And to see all the comments here cursing him?? I’m not sure who is worse is or him. The people who know better or the guy who doesn’t know any better?

  22. Question for arizona, M, Lieberman and others. All of this money they are saving by these cuts, are the taxpayers getting any breaks at all? Or is it going to his pockets?
    At least with people like Trump, as an American, I get tax breaks and even stimulus checks. What’s happening here? Political fat cats getting richer in the name of saving money? Saved for whom?

  23. Let the Kollel families disprove him. Let them show that what he says is truly ridiculous and out of line. Let him feel ridiculous. Words are cheap! Let’s show him with our true dedication that he’s wrong!

  24. jdf007 – Why do you think that the money can somehow go into Lieberman’s pockets? Even if he wanted it, of course there’s no way he could just take it.

    More importantly, when responsible politicians, leaders, board members, etc attempt to reduce spending, the point isn’t so they can then turn around and spend that money elsewhere. And when governments cut costs, they rarely do it so they can cut taxes the following year. They do it because that’s the responsible thing to do. If they’re not careful with spending, then of course at some point someone will have to pay for it. And that someone will be taxpayers.

    The government should certainly fund yeshivas and kollels. But does that mean it should pay for every single person that wants to sit and learn for as long as they want to? Give me a break.