Fine Fiction at Yediot

letter-447577_1280

From the Yediot Achronot, we learn that “We yeshiva students barely study.” According to their report, an unidentified kollel student showed up in their offices and proceeded to spend an hour or two ragging on his peers, delivering such gems along the way as “You don’t study much Gemara,” “It’s mostly a social framework,” and, of course, that when we talk about “frum” and “frei” (religious and “free”, or secular), we mean that the secular are “freier,” suckers, for paying those ridiculous yeshiva stipends.

If you want to attempt to separate truth from fiction, just take note of his claim that “there is no poverty in the haredi society,” and move the entire article to “Trash” where it belongs. No contrary opinion, no fact-checking, no verification… just “hey, we have this guy here ready to badmouth the yeshivos, let’s give him space.”

The icing on the cake is Yediot’s characterization of an anonymous diatribe as a “courageous monologue.” Courageous? He’s no more courageous than an anonymous blogger — and, for that matter, no more truthful. Apparently, if you are working at Yediot, “courage” has nothing to do with an actual backbone, only whether you’re ready to play Benedict Arnold against the Orthodox.

You may also like...

Dov
4 years 9 months ago

YM – nothing I wrote indicates what babies or bathwater I am or am not throwing out. And I certainly am only relating to life I see here in Israel, not in America where I know that things are very different.

I’m the first to be in favor of working men being kovea itim, and I know many many people who do so by anyone’s standards. Just last night I went to a neighbor’s siyum, a guy who had gotten inspired last Pesach to learn more bekiyus and in a half a year was mesayem two mesechtos. I know balabatim learning issur veheter or other halacha be’iyun. Many people learning in the mornings before working “U.S. hours” jobs in the afternoon and evening. Many “evening kollel” or “kollel yom shishi” programs. There are lots of batei midrash here that are packed in the evenings and before/after shacharis in the mornings. And this is not to mention all the daf yomi and the like.

Could many balabatim learn more than they do? Sure. But that doesn’t detract from the huge numbers of balabatim learning very respectably. And it doesn’t in any way detract from the discussion previously, of the problems caused by forcing whole groups of men to learn full time regardless of their own “netiyos” (tendencies) and regardless of other impacts on society.

YM
4 years 9 months ago

Dov, I guess enough people must be giving them money. But the bigger issue is that you and many others want to throw out the baby with the bathwater here. You should note that in America, many of us were/are socially raised to consider ourselves failures if we can’t earn a six figure salary or work in a certain list of respectable occupations. Why isn’t anyone campaigning to change THAT? Isn’t it better that societal pressure be for greatness in Torah learning rather than making money? When someone works in Hedge funds and Wall Street, we show them so much kavod, even though [HYPERBOLE ALERT] they are destroying our secular society, right?

And lets see, how many out there are working all day and then learning for 3-4 hours straight after work? How many are working part-time so that they can put in a solid morning or afternood seder of limud? I don’t see too many hands raised.

Dov
4 years 10 months ago

YM, how many people have to be collecting door to door to make it clear that the money isn’t there? How many people have to be relying on food kitchens and other tzedaka organizations to make it clear that the money isn’t there?

I have 20-30 people knocking on my door for tzedaka every week, and there are 4-5 people outside each of 30 stores every Erev Shabbos. And that’s just in my small town. Many of them are young enough and able enough, they just don’t have the money for food for Shabbos or they don’t have the money to marry off a kid. Less than a fifth of them have a heartbreaking story like illnesses or disabilities.

I would love to give to everyone, but you know, I have debt too, and I am saving up to buy a house just like they want to help their kids buy apartments, and I have kids approaching marriage age just like theirs, and you know, my answer to all this is to work harder or save more, not to stick with a kollel stipend until it’s too late and then beg from others.

Again, there’s a reason that Chazal told us to lilmod li’bno umnus BEFORE HE NEEDS IT.

But note that all this is off the topic of the Yediot article. Let’s assume that everyone who possibly can learn should learn. That’s no reason to socially raise all chareidi men to consider themselves failures if they leave learning or even prepare for parnasa, and it’s no reason to socially raise all chareidi women to consider themselves failures if they don’t support guys in learning all all costs.

L. Oberstein
4 years 10 months ago

In former times when our ancestors lived in ghettos, the authorities had a lot of power to make people conform to communal norms. This is called a “coercive community”. Today’s frum world still operates on that model. If you deviate, your child will not get into the suitable school, if your son goes to the wrong school, your daughter will not get into the right school. If she doesn’t go to the right school, she won’t find a suitable shiduch. if you dress differently, express opinions that are non conformist, in many cases, if you have a job, you will be less than suitable. Once enough people break out of that ghetto, once enough men have jobs , once men who go into the nahal chereidi are more than a few losers, but include more suitable boys, then the dam will break. The coercive power is what is holding this community together. As far as money is concerned, they have more now then in the past generations. The Yerushalmim for yesteryear subsistted on far less than what poor people subsist on today. If the subsidies are cut, will they simply return to an earlier life style or while they look for a way out of the trap. Time will tell.

YM
4 years 10 months ago

Dov, if the money isn’t there, then the men will have to leave Kollel almost by definition – you need some money to live, correct? However, the money is there, at least at the present time.