Kudos to the Parents – The Unsung Heroes


bmgBy Kollel Guy

One week ago, the Lakewood Yeshiva held its annual Shabbos of Chizzuk / Dinner in Brooklyn. As usual, it was well attended – from the crowded shuls on Friday night to meet the Roshei Yeshiva / Mashgiach to the beautiful singing by the Oneg Shabbos in the homes of the many hosts, to the opulent dinner on Motzoei Shabbos.

Lakewood is a yeshiva that everyone has some connection to, and is surely the foremost Torah institution on this side of the world. Not many yeshivas can boast an enrollment of over 6,500 self motivated bnei Torah, who spend their days learning full time purely for the sake of Torah, and not for any other consideration.

The long lines of people waiting to greet the Roshei Yeshiva at the various events held throughout Boro Park & Flatbush as well as by the dinner demonstrate the esteem they are held in for standing at the forefront of this great fortress of Torah. They spend their days and nights toiling endlessly on behalf of the yeshiva’s existence, and if not for their mesirus nefesh the yeshiva could not possibly exist.

However, there are many other unsung heroes who deserve a similar recognition for their efforts, and the impact they have on the bnei Torah of Lakewood is far greater. These are the parents of the kollel couples of Lakewood, who put their lives on the line so their children can have the financial means to allow the husband to sit and learn without having to concern himself with needs of supporting his family. These heroes are of all kinds, from the very wealthy who can easily afford the cost of supporting their children in kollel, to the mechanchim and kollel people themselves who can barely manage to support their own families, yet manage to scrape together the funds to allow their children to continue their learning.

You see, while the Lakewood yeshiva has approximately 2,168 yungeleit on the payroll, there are thousands more that need their parents to fund their stay in kollel. Even those that receive the small stipend from yeshiva still need their parents support.

It is obvious that without the mesirus nefesh and self sacrifice of these fathers and mothers, all these thousands of kollel yungeleit in Lakewood would not be possible. These people are the true supporters of Lakewood, and yet they get no credit for it. Yes, it is still important to donate money to the yeshiva who provides the infrastructure and some extras. But at the core of Lakewood are the thousands of struggling parents who graciously provide the possibility for their children to learn – and who get almost no recognition for their devotion.

Let’s give them their due.

{Kollel Guy, Matzav.com}


  1. How about the fathers who get heart attacks from the stress or the middle age couples who split up due to the financial stress this plays in their lives. That’s not what being Mosser Nefesh is pointing to.

  2. How about the policy that in order to get a Kollel check you have to first be 4 years in kollel. It should be the other way around – you should get paid for 4 years and then they should stop paying you.

  3. “However, there are many other unsung heroes who deserve a similar recognition for their efforts, and the impact they have on the bnei Torah of Lakewood is far greater. These are the parents of the kollel couples of Lakewood,…”

    And what about the wives who have to work to support their husbands at the expense of their children??

  4. So many adjectives: long lines, opulent dinner, crowded shuls. sounds like this letter writer’s purpose was mainly PR.

    Please don’t be afraid to post this, BTW the last comment I wrote was not posted yet.

  5. At what point does the full mesirus nefesh (because there might well be some on the parts of the young couple, even with support) end? And the parents being able to pay full or more tuition for their younger kids and support local mosdos with their discretionary money begin?

  6. …..and how about all the people who catch a cold while saying kidush levonah. if you can’t,don’t. but please fargin people who can.

  7. #1 … the folks in the examples you cite didn’t exercise good judgment did they? There is a time to say “no” to your kids. Nonetheless, there are many who deserve the credit and praise of the article. A few people with poor judgment doesn’t take away from the decisions of many to be moser nefesh on behalf of other family members.

  8. I would imagine that any kollel wife would be slightly insulted that she was given no credit for being moser nefesh for her husband, and sacrifice her childrens chinuch and have them go off the derech so her husband can learn.
    They are really the ones who deserve credit for helping the next generation

  9. while i learned in kolel, the mesiras nefesh was on my wife and myself. this was our decision to learn full time, part time or go to work etc. the issue of “support” and “entitlement” is not only in the yeshiva world rather in our community at large.

    the shidduch scene is an absolute disaster; causing parents to commit to what they truly can not out of fear that their childrenÂ’s prospects for marriage will be limited.

    When children are ready to get married they should take the responsibly of supporting their families on themselves.

    In few cases; people should be supported to learn full time. Klal Yisroel needs talmedia chachimim, rabonim, shoichtim, rebbiem, rosh yeshivas etc….. not only the parents of the these few and chosen ones should support them but ALL of us. Conversely, everybody else should take care of their own needs.

    It is a parents pleasure and pride to help their kids. It should be just that. a help rather then a handout. Teach the kids to stand on their own two feet.

  10. #11 – i dont think this is a question of “fargining”. The social pressure is just too much. shidduchim have become a business deal of “support”. Tray to “NO” and see where it leads the common folk. we all live in the same community. so the question is how can we lower the bar, expectations and entitlement?

  11. What’s really beautiful are the people tht are REALLY learning & not gettin supported! Parents shuld NOT be pressured to support their children for their children to find shidduchim

  12. Answer to Dovid (4): “Who will be their Zeidies if not we….”

    And I should have been more explicit when I referred to the mesirus nefesh of the young couple: of course it is the young women who deserve equal hosannas.

  13. To #21,
    Thank you. I had much more to say but it was deleted by the moderator. On Matzav.com the truth often hurts and they are not interested in letting it be heard.