Rav Miller On a Frum Man Who Doesn’t Help Out at Home


rav-millerWhat is the Rov’s opinion about a frum man who takes very little part in helping his wife and his children in the kitchen and so on?

Rav Avigdor Miller:

And the answer is, it depends on circumstances. Sometimes a man works very hard for Parnoso, and he has to take a lot of ill treatment from his boss or from competitors, or from customers. Sometimes a man comes home so broken that the house is like a hospital for him. And therefore he deserves a lot of consideration. However, if it’s a man who has a comparatively easy life, and he comes home in good condition, there is no reason why he shouldn’t help out a little bit. There should certainly be some token assistance, especially if the wife wants it. Now some women don’t want the husband to putter around in the kitchen. They tell him to keep out of it. He is a lucky man. But even then he should make some motions as if he is trying to help out, until she tells him to go out. But there is no question at all, everybody should feel it’s his duty to help carry the burden of the house.

Now I want to say this, when it comes to taking care of the children’s Torah education, it’s a very big error to let the burden fall on the woman. Some women have to take care of coaching the children in their Torah lessons from the Yeshiva. A father must shoulder that responsibility. A father must help out. Very many children need help even Aleph Bais, they need help. Father must help. Chumash they need help. And some fathers neglect that, and therefore the children grow up failures, and sometimes they are dropouts Chas V’shalom from the Yeshiva, with the most terrible consequences. It’s not the children’s fault. The blame is on the father. If he can not have patience to do it himself, he must spend money. He has to hire a boy to teach his little child or a girl to teach his little daughter. You must see to it that your children’s learning is supervised. Don’t rely on the Yeshivos. Don’t rely on the teachers. Day to day check on your child if he is keeping up with the class. If he falls behind even one lesson, it’s a tragedy, because the next day it will be two lessons, and he will be discouraged, and he will loose Chaishek, Chalila. And sometimes he becomes an enemy of learning as a result.

So it’s up to the father to constantly be on guard. This surely he has to shoulder the responsibility of the Chinuch of his children. In Aleph Bais, in Chumash, Hascholas Gemara. If he is not capable, he must hire help.

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  1. Rav Avigdor Miller ZT’l was one of the greatest gadolim of the previous generation. He left a hole which has yet to be filled. I certainly miss him.