Administrator of Bais Yaakov Tells Father to Leave Kollel

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tuitionBy Kollel Guy

During  these difficult economic times, yeshivos and schools are feeling the pain of having no money and are doing everything they can to raise sorely needed funds. In other words, that translates to them being tougher on tuition collection.

But nothing can excuse the behavior of one Bais Yaakov administrator. In the course of discussing tuition for one family whose father learns full time in kollel, the negotiations were getting intense. The administrator told the father, “It’s time for you to leave kollel, get a job, and pay tuition just like anyone else.”

Although the administrator is under an unbearable burden of managing the budget, we have to examine carefully what he said. He legitimately feels that all parents should do their utmost to pay for their share in their child’s tuition. However, a school’s success is largely dependent on the makeup of the parents who choose to send to that school. Kollel families generally are of a higher caliber and raise the overall standard of the school.

Schools need fathers who learn in kollel just as they need families who are well off. The wealthy families, who could afford to send their children just about anywhere, will send to the school they perceive as being the best. “Best schools” are not created in a vacuum. They requires good teachers and attentive yet unintrusive management, but the most meaningful element is dependent on the makeup of the families who send their children to that school. Kollel families tend to have higher standards of chinuch, don’t allow their children to do things the schools don’t want them to do (going to ball games, watch TV, use internet, etc.).

Another huge plus that kollel families offer is that they don’t cause jealousy with the other kids by going to fancy hotels for Pesach and midwinter vacations to Florida.

Kollel families may not be able to pay the tuition he wants, but he still needs to appreciate the value that they add to his school.

{KollelGuy/ Newscenter}


  1. The administrator is right! Learning in kollel is not a right, it is a luxury. You can’t expect others to pay your bills for you. You can ask people for help, but it’s not something you can take for granted.

  2. “Kollel families generally are of a higher caliber and raise the overall standard of the school.”

    what kind of ridiculous statement is that

    And I was in kollel for a long time, (yearn to go back there and may do so soon) and I thoroughly appreciate every second that a yungerman is able to stay and learn.

    If you want to argue reasons why kollel families should get a discount. Fair. And Their are good arguments to be made.

    But please don’t write things like that. It does no good other than further the unhealthy elitist attitude that unfortunately has crept into the the “”Kollel families that are supposedly of a higher caliber.”

  3. I agree with the administrator. It’s time for him to take all the values he developed while learning in Kollel (“not going to ball games, watch TV, use internet”, etc)get a job, support his family, be Koveiah Itim L’Torah and live a life continuing those values. If he thinks he will lose those values after learning so many years-then his Torah didn’t penetrate-for which he should have only himself to blame.

  4. while I do not disagree with the fact that Kollel families raise the standard, there is one point that does not deserve the necessary attention, that is that the Rebbis and teachers are the ones who are being short changed.
    Is it fair to cultivate a learning-only society at the cost of our mechanchim??

  5. This BY that advised the Kollel yungerman to go get a job, is it the same one that inculcates the ideas that one should only marry a learning boy, a college boy is chazer treif, and H-m will provide? First they set up an impossible system and then they try to destroy families who live by the ideals they taught them?! It is very easy to teach Emunah and Bitachon and living the Kollel life when the stock market is flying and the dinner honorees are opening their wallets. Now when times are rough all of a sudden we lose our bitachon?! I am not trying to minimize that schools are feeling financial pressure just as families are, but how about a little seichel? a little yashrus? Before the Bais Yakovs tear down the system THEY created, let them give it some careful thought and come up with sensible, viable, Torahdik solutions.

  6. Nice concept, but it doesn’t pay the bills. You can certainly live a balabatish life as you describe without sitting in kolel. Yufeh Torah im derech eretz.

  7. “Kollel families generally are of a higher caliber ” What?!?!? Its That is such an ignorant statement. There are wonderful children from “Balleibatishe” families as well as kollel.

  8. I would agree totally that the administrator is out of line, but completely without the ‘lomdisha’ reasoning of the writer!

    The real reason it is outrageous is because the administrator of a Torah school ought to have proper appreciation for an avrech’s Limud haTorah!!!

    In addition to that, whoever appointed school administrators to be job counselors, telling people what they ought to be/ ought not be doing?? Would he say to someone: stop working in a butcher shop, go to law school, and become a lawyer???

  9. This article is ridiculous.

    I am in kollel, and there is nothing “better” about me. I really should get a job, so that I can pay full tuition.

    This article was written by a big baal gaavah.

  10. You, who are not part of administrating a Yeshiva, are talking in Theory only.

    We, who happen to watch the behavior and social interactions, of all children, can tell you absolutely, that there is no inherent difference between children of Kollel, and children of a working father.

    To the contrary some Mechanchim observe a greater discipline in children of working fathers.

  11. KOLLEL FAMILIES HAVE HIGHER STANDARDS? I know plenty of “working” families who have those standards. I do not have a tv, i don’t take vacations, and i certainly don’t go to a hotel for Pesach. I am working and am under the tremendous weight of my tuition bills (40% of my gross salary). I am crushed by my credit card bills (which are used to pay tuition). I think it is great that you have the opportunity to sit and shteig. But the proverbial camel’s back has broken. Something has to be done. The usual sources for funds are drying or have dried up. The yeshivas cannot continue on accepting more children and have less families pay because the father is sitting in KOLLEL.

  12. The article is full of specious arguments. No question, Kollel is the greatest thing… if the Kollel family is financially viable. Could a Kollel man go into a grocery store and make the same arguments as to why he should be let out of paying his bill? There is a limit to the breaks schools can give on tuition, and only so much they can collect from the public. In hard economic times, the amount they can collect from the public diminishes and a higher burden is going to fall on parents of students. The Kesef Mishne explains why we don’t accept the Rambam’s opinion that it is Assur and a Chilul Hashem be supported by Tzedaka in order to learn full time, nevertheless, you can’t say the Rambam doesn’t have a point! Indeed, the Bais Yakov administrator may have been correct to advise the Kollel man to find a job. What is wrong with a job in Chinuch, Rabbonus, Shechita, or Kiruv? These types of jobs maintain full involvement in Torah. Perhaps not to the extent of Kollel, but let’s just say to the Kollel youngerman, Es La’asos L’hashem…

  13. who decided that the children of parents learning in kollel are the better students
    was a survey done
    we all try to do our best with our children regardless if we are out earning a parnassa (something which the torah is matir much to the astonishment of many) the rest you need siyata deshmaya for of which no one has a monopoly

  14. Excuse me. I know plenty of working people who don’t have the internet, TV, don’t send their children to ball games, etc and are working. And I hapen to be one of them. What does paying your bills have to do with all of this. You can stil be “frum” and raise “torahdik” children who will be an asset to the school.

  15. This is completely insane. I was just discussing this with a chaver of mine.

    The number of “yungerlight” that are “learning” today is insane. The concept of lilmod al minas laasos is out the window. Most guys learning today feel that they will learn for 15 years, while their wives work like slaves driving in 10 months a year to brooklyn to go to touro, get a degree, run around doing EI or some other therapy, have kids every year, make supper, and then after 15 years, they will get a job as a magid shiur in some bais medrash, cause its passd nisht for them to get a regular job..

    The reason so many girls are having trouble getting married is because they all want “learning guys” cause thats what they ingrain in their heads in seminary

    The guys then go “hey, I can just sit here in a large yeshiva, no one has a clue what i am doing anyway, and the longer my shmone esrei, the richer my father in law”

    The guys then get red girls and choose from the prettiest or the richest (or both), completely ignoring important things that matter, as any man married to a rich or pretty girl will tell you that those perks are good until she is pregnant or chas vishalom her father gets his by this economy. than your just married and have to live with her…

    So they get married, the wife works and is out of the house by 7:30 – 8:00, and then gets home rushed at 5:30, to find their kid being raised by a Spanish babysitter, rush to make a semblance of supper, get all dolled up for the king who is coming home from “seder”, and we wonder why so many kids today are in need of therapy or have ADD..

    I was raised where my mother was able to focus her day on her children, my father had a chavrusa at 5:15 am and again at 8:30 at night, made a nice parnassa during the day, and I never needed one minute of therapy. My father today gives a shiur in his shul, has many chavrusas, and his nighttable is stacked with sforim.

    A yiddishe home isnt one where the woman runs to work, the husband gets a 3 hour lunch break, the kids are raised by a nanny/babysitter/etc…

    A yiddishe home is where the husband takes responsibility for his family’s life, doesnt think that marrying rich is called “winning the lottery”, sets an example that we act as children of hashem by the way we conduct ourselves with others, that we dont just learn torah, we VALUE what it says in it, that we dedicate those precious moments for learning.

    This administrator is probably right. If this kollel guy was a rebbi in that yeshiva and his check couldnt come on time, he would say the same thing. At least those rebbeim didn’t think they were too good for chinuch in younger grades and didnt wait for that position as magid shiur in brisk. I dont agree with his sentiment that kollel families add a significant value to his school. A family where the father learns every morning and night, pays their bills, has children that are stable and raised by loving and caring parentS (both), where the mother is genuinely involved in chesed and helping others,, That family is an asset to a school..

    In my opinion, its not age thats the shidduch crisis, its this cycle of events where the girl has to marry the learning guy, the guy then becomes a learning guy, no one plans for when theres 3 kids, an $1800 a month rent/mortgage, 2 tuitions, groceries, 2 cars, health insurance, etc.. There has to be a system where the guys who belong doing the learning, do the learning, but theres a method where your learning teaches you something.. how to act, how to be responsible, how to become a magid shiur in your shul while you work a regular job during the day.

    …. And all this ranting didnt make me feel good getting it off my ches

  16. Dear Kollel Guy

    Who do you think you are,why do you think because you learn all day you can be condescending to people that aren’t just like. I don’t think you developed this disgusting trite through the many hours you spend learning. There are many kollel families that have kids that are struggling with yiddishkeit and many working fathers that have kids at the top of the proverbial food chain when it comes to so called good boys.So get off your high horse and walk around down here with us OTHER PEOPLE and see that kids with working parents can be just GOOD as yours

    Its people like you that cause the divide that start a lot of problem we can all do with out.

    P.S. I hope you never find out what it feels like to have a kid that dose not come up short to your standards.

  17. To “Shocked” – Thank G-d there are people like you, who are able to articulate what you have. Thank G-d I’m not alone. Our nation has hope.

  18. It is well known that the world is supported by the learning of Torah. The administrator belongs in a secular field of work. Woe to those who forget the pillar on which the world stands!

  19. The problem here is that the people who are writing don’t understand the value of limud hatorah. They just spit out all the anti-Torah rhetoric that they read online. Keep on repeating the tired anti-Kollel matras if that’s what makes you feel good. The bottom line is that kollel made the Torah communities you see today.

  20. Unless the school administration or tuition committee members have an actual job the person can be put into immediately, they have no right to complain to a kollel, rebbe, unemployed, or poor person.

    Such talk is hurtful and is meant to stab a person who is already weak harder. Nothing good has ever come to the person who talked like this. If an administrator or tuition committee member reads this, please take this to heart.

  21. This posting is sad. We don’t know the facts, we don’t know who is saying what, what the tuition price is, what the parents are already paying or any of the details. We are just spewing opinions based on personal feelings and clearly there are people who have an issue with Kollel.

    That is not fair to the thousands of Kollel families who with the greatest amount of Simcha are choosing to live a life of less Gashmius and more Ruchniyus. Without Limud Hatorah our world would be lost. We would have nothing. Torah and Torah alone is what sustains us. For this alone rather then knocking the Kollel life we should support it.

    If you have an issue with certain people in Kollel then I suggest you go out and find the 1,2 or 3 Kollel families that after your research you know without a doubt they are the real deal and the ernstiga and most ehrlicha Kollel family and support them in the Yisochor Zevulun fashion. Don’t consider them a burden look at it as an opportunity. Go to the school where that family sends their children and offer to help with the scholarship money towards that family. Afterall you chose them as the real deal.

    There are great kollel families and sadly some Kollel families who may tarnish the Kollel concept just like there are great Balabatisha families with good values but also some families who tarnish the rest.

    Let’s not bash Kollel – Hashem is not smiling on us if we chase people who are seruious about their learning out of learning full time. we need tomorrow’s Gedolim and the only way to geth them is by supporting their Hasmada and their path to greatness.

  22. Kollel is a great thing. I wouldn’t knock it. Hashem loves people who are moser nefesh for Torah. This guy is under a lot of presure. Dont think sitting in kollel is easy. I’m a working guy. But when I was in kollel it was hard for me to sit and learn for hours and hours at a time.

    I think that it sounds like their argument got personal… and the administrator let out his frustration on the poor guy.

    I feel sorry for both of them and I judge them both favorably.

    May Hashem who is the true and ONLY source of sustenance send them both the funds they need.

  23. to comment # 24
    you are the problem the one who equates working for a living with anti-torah rehtoric
    it is you and the likes of you that have destroyed a generation of boys
    we were tought that “either you will learn or you will vaks ois a ballabos” and they said ballabos like it was somesort of a sickness.
    kollel did not exist in europe and europe produced ehrliche ballabatim

  24. #24.
    Your statement is true, BUT don’t force me to pay for you choice of lifestyle. When I choose to support someone in kollel, I want to decide who gets my money and whose tuition I should help pay. Just because you decided that you are worthy of sitting and learning all day, does not mean you are. Untill you start having some requirements for those DESERVING to sit in kollel, don’t complain about people not accepting your choice of life and wanting you to work. Set standards, weed out those that shouldn’t or don’t deserve to be in kollel and you will see attitudes change. I should not have to pay for your choice of life that I had no say in.

  25. Rabbosai, don’t listen to those who have no chashivus for kolle. AND BY THE WAY, NO ONE EVER FORCED ANYONE TO SIT IN KOLLEL OR SUPPORT ANYONE IN KOLLEL. if you don’t like it, don’t do it, don’t support it. But don’t tell anyone what to do with their lives. Would you like it if I told you to give up your grocery job and get REAL JOB? Since when do we tell people what they can and cannot do with their lives?

  26. True, we don’t appreciate limud hatorah as we should. But learning torah is a privilege and it comes with responsibilities which include paying tuition. If you find a way to learn in Kollel all day and pay your tuitions and expenses – you definitely have a tremendous zechus and you must realize that.

    If one is unable to pay tuition, he must ask a Sheilah if he can continue learning all day.

  27. Why would you assume the person in this story takes learning in kollel for granted? Do you know him? Or is it just because he learns in kollel and you dont like that so you assume he takes it for granted. By the same token the author of this article probably does not know what the administrator actually said or meant.

  28. It seems to me that both sides here are wrong.
    On one hand we have someone living and learning and taking for granted that he therefore deserves a break. He does have the “kesef mishna” to rely on which says today we “is an ies la’asos heifuch torasecha” and therefore nowadays a person may learn on someone else’s cheshbon. Nevertheless we must remember it is “hofuch torasecha”.
    On the other hand you have an administrator who is running a business and in a business the seller is in no way required to give someone a discount.
    Years ago, when someone opened a Yeshiva or Bais Yaakov, he knew it meant he would have to raise the funds needed to run it. Now it’s a business with tuition as payment and the CEO gets a 6 figure income.
    The goyim realize that the typical parent can’t really afford tuition so every gov’t in the world supplies free public school. Embarrassingly, we don’t.


    The overwhelmingly most important advantage of learning in Kollel is that you are learning. Simple as that. Torah learning is the highest, greatest, most glorious form of Avodas Hashem, which will get for you the greatest share in Olam Habah possible, much much more and much much greater than any other thing you can do for Hashem, including any other type of Mitzvos. Learning Torah brings by far the greatest nachahs to Hashem, the greatest benefits to Klal Yisroel, and the greatest benefits to those who do the learning, than anything else you can possibly do.

    Hands down, no contest.

    That’s why we learn.

    As an example: A man once came to the Chazon Ish asking him advice. He got 2 job offers, and he wants to know which to take.

    The first is Kashrus administrator of the rabbanut, a position in which he is confident that he would be able to change the kashrus standards in all of Israel, causing the public to eat only kosher food. If he does not take this job, they will hire someone who does not have his standards and the public who rely on this hechsher will not eat kosher (note: I do not know what the issues with the hechsher were, or how severe).

    His other choice is to be a rebbi in a yeshiva. If he does not take that job, the Yeshiva will hire a different Ben Torah, on the same level as him, so its not as if the kids are going to be less frum.

    Which job should he take, he asked.

    The Chazon Ish asked him, “Do you think, if you take the job as a Rebbi, that you could perhaps convince 2 of your students to learn during a Bain Hazemanim?”

    “Yes,” he said. “I think I can do that.”

    “Then you should know,” said the Chazon Ish, “that two kids learning Torah bain hazemanim as if it were the zman, is much more valuable to Hashem than making the entire Eretz Yisroel eat kosher!”

    This is the kind of material that boys are taught in yeshiva. This is the main motivation for learning in Kollel. The situation these days in Eretz Yisroel is terrible. We need to help our brothers there. What can we do, spiritually I am talking about now, to help? Well, the Chazon Ish said that learning one single Tosfos has the power to nullify many evil decrees on Klal Yisroel. It can take any where from a few minutes to much longer to learn a Tosfos. One single Tosfos — perhaps a few minutes of Torah learning – can nullify many gezeiros against Klal Yisroel.

    We say it every day; Talmud Torah Kneged Kulam. This means, say Chazal, that learning one word of Torah – one! word! – imparts more holiness than a lifetime of doing Mitzvos! The Vilna Gaon comments: So when someone learns just one page of Gemora, he covers hundreds of words, each of which gives him more Kedusha than a lifetime of doing Mitzvos. In Yeshiva, they teach this, that Torah learning – as opposed to any other form of Avodas Hashem – is by far, by very, very far, the highest and greatest act of Avodah that a person can be invovled in, and through it, one merits by far, by very very far, the greatest measure of Olam Habah; and through it, one releases, by far, by very very far, the very greatest measure of Hashem’s influence and Goodness into this world.

    Nothing compares. Nothing comes close. Not Kiruv, not Tzedakah, not Hatzalah, nothing. Please note, that all those other endeavors – the Mitzvah ones – are glorious and wonderful forms of Avodas Hashem. But Torah learning is a billion times greater. All this applies to the act of learning, even if it is done by someone who is not a Talmid Chacham.

    But the Talmid Chacham, even if he does not teach, even if he does not preach, is, more than anything else, the one most valuable thing to Hashem in this world. And no wonder. If one world of Torah learning can bring more kedusha into this world than a lifetime of anything else, then the very existence of the Talmid Chacham is a conduit of holiness and Hashem’s Influence into this world. The very presence of the Talmid Chacham benefits our world in ways that nothing else can.

    As Rav Hutner ZT’L used to point out – every utensil in the Bais HaMikdash had some kind of Avodah done with it. Except the Aron. The Aron did nothing but exist. The Aron represents the Talmid Chachom, the container of the Torah. It does not need to do any act. Its very presence is its success. (Of course, this does not mean that a Talmid Chacham does not have to fulfill the Mitzvos. Doing Mitzvos is part of being a Talmid Chacham, because if someone does not do what he learns, then obviously his learning is not meant seriously, and is not real learning.)

    But a Talmid Chacham does not have to be “employed.” The Vilna Gaon had no “job.” He was not the local Rabbi, Rosh Yeshiva, or anything. He was like the Aron Kodesh. In our days, the Chazon Ish, the Steipler, and yibd”l Rav Chaim Kanievsky had/have no “jobs”. Each are an Aron HaKodesh.

    Rav Ahron Kotler ZT’L said in his hesped of the Chazon Ish, that the reason the Chazon Ish was bigger than him, was because the Chazon Ish had no yeshiva to run; he had nothing in his life except Torah. The goal of becoming a Talmid Chacham is so, so, so desirable, that everyone is encouraged to pursue it. If you cant, or wont, for whatever reason, nobody is judging you. But no question — if our goal in this world is to bring Nachas Ruach to Hashem / to accumulate merits for Olam Habah / to sanctify the world / etc etc — becoming a Talmid Chacham is by far the best way to go.

    But even if you are not going to be a Talmid Chacham, being the closest you can become, is also the most desirable and glorious and highest goal for you. Learning itself is the greatest act of Avodas Hashem that can be performed in the world.

    One more important point: Contrary to the belief of many, it is impossible to predict who will become a Talmid Chacham. As the Chazon Ish said, “Every student is a possible godol hador”. The Roshei Yeshiva of today were not all the ones who people thought would become the Roshei Yeshiva of today. And vice versa. Talent and intellect help, to be sure, but effort and siyata dishmaya are more important to success as a Torah scholar. Becoming a “godol” is not just for the brightest. In fact, often it is not they who attain that goal. An average student, and it has happened that also below average students, have become great Gedolim and surpassed their more talented peers. Not everybody can become the greatest Talmid Chacham in the world. But everybody can become as close to the greatest Talmid Chacham in the world that he can. Those Bnei Torah, the ones who pour their heart and soul and life into learning Hashem’s Torah, merit, every single one of them, the greatest share in Olam Habah possible.

    That is the main reason people learn in Kollel. Because Talmud Torah Kneged Kulam.

    There are tons more good reasons — like the effect it has on your home, on your Mitzvah performance, on your personality, on your children — all of which are excellent reasons. But the main reason is, that our goal in this world is to go higher and higher. And there is no better way to go higher than to learn.

    Nothing even close.


    It was never for “the best” learners but rather for anyone who WANTED the honor of learning in Kollel, as the Rambam describes those who WANT to join Shevet Levi. He does not condition their membership in the Kollel community as having to be the best, but rather having the desire. The idea that only the “best’ should learn in Kollel is a baseless falsehood and it is against the Halchah as expressed by the Rambam which states that anyone who so chooses may learn in Kollel. See also YD Laws of Talmud Torah 246:21 and Shach ad loc. Kollel is a special privilege and status that anyone can go for if they so choose, the Rambam says.

    Sitting and learning all day is the ideal. “Talmud Torah kneged kulam.” Chazal say, one word of Torah is higher than an entire lifetime of doing these Mitzvos. Chazal often mention that Toroso Umnoso is the ideal, that we do nothing all day but learn. Nowadays poskim say that w cannot reach that level, but clearly the closer the better. Also, Shulchan Aruch Hilchos Toalmud Torah, in the Shach ad loc, says that nowadays learning all day is the ideal, and that if someone has the ability to do it, he should. The Shach adds that regarding learning all day in general, nowadays we cannot reach our potential in learning the way the Rambam etc. did, since we are not on that level. Therefore, we should learn all day if we can.

    The Rambam writes that a “working person” is someone who learns 8 hours a day and works 3. Not works 9am to 5pm.

    A few other falsehoods that need responding:

    1) All Chazals, such as Im ain kemach ain torah, just means that if you have no food, you cannot learn. Other Chazals say that if you have no food and you try to learn anyway, you will end up having to steal to eat, and what good is that. None of this has anything to do with Kollel. If you are supported by your parents, in laws, Yeshiva, or wife, you are not in a situation where you have to steal, and you have fulfilled the Chazal.

    2) All Chazals that encourage people to work are also fulfilled by our Kollel people, and only exclude someone who has no means of support. Learning in Kollel is 100% a legitimate parnasa. If I become a baseball player and I have people pay to watch me play ball, that’s OK, but if I become a scholar and have people pay me to learn – that’s not?? If I got a job in a think-tank thinking of stuff all day, that’s wonderful – but if I get a job in Kollel thinking of Chidushei Torah that’s not?? Why should learning be any less? B’H today we have people who specifically want to support Kollelim, similar to Yissachar-Zevulun. If I were hired by these people to dance for them, I would be considered having a job. And it is no worse if they hire more to learn and provide them with Olam Habah instead of entertainment.

    The exhortations in Chazal against being unemployed refer to those who have nobody who wants to pay them for anything, and are forced to take money form what was designated for the poor, which they do not have to be if they would get a job. But Kollel is not Tzedakah for aniyim. There is a big difference. Kollel support is support in return for learning. Tzedakah is support in return for nothing. As long as I am earning your support – regardless of whether it is through defending you in court or learning Choshen Mishpat – I am employed.

    None of this “living off tzedakah” material has anything to do with kollel people. This is a common error. Tzedakah means that I give you money for no other reason that you need it – I do not demand anything in return for my donation. If I do demand something in return for my donation, it is not a donation but payment for services rendered. So if I pay you to entertain me, to be my personal trainer, to sing and dance for me, to be my baby sitter, I am not a baby sitter living off charity, but rather a paid worker. And so the statements about people living off tzedakah refer to people who are given money because they are poor, with no expectation from the donor that they learn, or work, or sleep, or do whatever they want. However, if someone gives money to you because he wants to merit the zechus of supporting Torah, and expects you to learn Torah because that is what he is supporting you to do, then that is not tzedakah at all but rather a simple business deal, the same as if I pay you to play baseball.

    If I give you tzedakah money because you are poor, and you sit home all day watching television, then you may be an unproductive member of society but you are not a thief – I gave you tezdakah for food, and you are spending it on food. It was my choice to do that. But if I give you money to learn in Kollel and you stay home all day watching TV then you are a thief, because you took money specifically to learn and you did not keep your end of the bargain.

    Thus, taking money for learning in Kollel is NOT living of tzedakah. Since I, the recipient, must provide something in return for payment received, that is a simple business deal. If I do NOT have to provide anything in return for payment received, that is Tzedakah. Since Kollel people must learn Torah in return for the payments they receive, they are NOT living at all off Tzedakah. Not any more than any person who renders services for payment received.

    (As an aside, incidentally and for the record, the Halachah is that you are nowadays ALLOWED to live off Tzedakah to learn (see the Ramah and Shach in Hilchos Talmud Torah).

    Regarding maaser – The maaser goes to the Yeshiva. The Yeshiva pays the Kollel. The Maaser is only going to them in return for and under the condition that they learn. This is not living off Tzedakah. This is a receipt of money in exchange for doing something, which is not the same as living off Tzadakah. This is providing a service that is considered valuable to those who provide the payment. it is no different than a singer getting money to sing or a baseball player getting money to play. The fact that you are allowed to use your maaser to support these fellows is no different than the fact that you are allowed to use your maaser to support Tzedakah organizations that pay fundraisers, administrators and other workers. Maaser is not the same as Tzedakah. Nobody would consider the head of Hatzolah as someone who “lives off tzedakah” even though he is paid through donations given to the organization. The same thing applies to someone who learns, and because he learns, is supported by whatever source, including maaser.

    3) There is an obligation on every Jew to become as great in Torah as he is able. There is also an obligation to not steal, or not to put yourself in a situation where you will have to steal. Or to make sure the Torah scholars live respectfully and not as beggars. The ideal situation is to have both.

    But the standard of livelihood required is bare minimum. “Kach hi darkah shel torah – pas b’melach tochal etc.” — Bread salt and water – if you have that, you have parnasah. The Rambam writes that a typical Baal Habayis works 3 hours a day and learns 8.

    This is what a “working person” is. Three hours a day. 8 hours learning.

    What in the world does that have to do with today’s working man’s lifestyle where he works 8 hours a day and almost never even learns 3? It proves nothing that Chazal endorsed working, since working in those days meant learning 8 hours a day.

    4) The Rambam praises those who learn all day and don’t have jobs, as the elite “Shevet Levi” of our days. Clearly, even if working is endorsed, it is inferior to those who learn. To reconcile the Rambam with your Chazals, you can choose any of the commentaries available, some of which explain it similar to above.

    5) If learning in Kollel is against the Chazals about Melachah and Derech Eretz, then so is being a Rebbi or a Rav. See the Rama YD 246:6. He brings your Chazals and says that therefore nobody can be a paid Rebbi or a Rav either, since he relies on the congregation. But then he brings dissenting opinions, and rules that the custom is that Torah scholars do benefit from their learning, by support from the community.

    Then he brings other opinions that the community should support its Torah scholars even to the point of affluence.

    The Rama then says it is a Midas Chasidus – praiseworthy – for someone who can become a Gadol B’Torah and make an independent living, but continues that not everyone is capable of this. It is clear that he is saying that if you have a choice between becoming a Godol B’Torah or making a living, becoming a Godol B’Torah comes first.

    The Shach on the spot points out that the Halacha always follows the Minhag and the Minhag is like those opinions that one may depend on the community to support him in order to learn. He says that this is because of the Halachah of Ais La’Asos, meaning, even if it is theoretically prohibited to rely on the community, but because nowadays we cannot do both, become great in Torah and make independent livings, the right thing to do is to learn Torah and be supported.

    He continues by saying that if someone spreads Torah and spends all his time learning and teaching, even if he has a skill with which to make a living, it would be wrong of him not to allow the community to support him, since this way he would be able to spend his time learning and teaching, rather than working.

    See, its very nice to make an independent living, but it is more important to become a Godol B’Torah. If you cant have both, then Torah is the right choice. Whatever advantages there is in making money, they do not come close to those of becoming a great Torah scholar.


    The workplace, even frum workplaces, is not a place for a good Jewish boy. We have to be there, granted; we have to make a living for our families – which is a Mitzvah in itself – but we need to realize the price we pay for those necessities.

    There is a story in the mussar seforim, about a man who had a premonition that next year’s crops would be poisoned, so that whoever would eat it would become insane. He didn’t; know what to do — if he would eat the crops he’d become insane, but if he does not eat the crops, the whole world will be insane except him, and being the only normal one in an insane world is just as bad as being insane. Warning people about the crops is useless because nobody would believe him anyway. So he went ot the village wise man who told him, “You have to eat the crops. You’re right – that being the only normal person in an insane world is as bad as being insane. Plus it will drive you crazy anyway. But here’s what you do:

    “Tie a string around your finger to remind yourself constantly that you have eaten from the crops and you are insane. Being insane is bad, but in this case you have no choice. However, for the rest of the world, much worse than being insane is the fact that they will think they’re normal. Being insane is bad, but being insane thinking you’re normal is much worse. So tie a string around your finger which will always remind you that you are insane. You’ll be insane, but at least you’ll know you’re insane. Everyone else will think they’re normal, so you’ll be much much better off than the rest.”

    The nimshal is, there’s nothing wrong with going to work, and often it may even be a necessity. But to spend the gift of life that Hashem gives us for such a short time in this world selling cars or programming computers or whatever we need to do to make a living, is insane. It may be necessary, but it’s still insane. We have so little to live in this world (we should all live to 120 years, but compared to eternity in the afterlife, 120 years is nothing), and its our only chance to collect Torah and Mitzvos — how crazy is it to busy ourselves with other things??

    But we have to? OK, we have to. At the very least, let us realize that we do so out of necessity and that making a living necessitates our leading a life which, when you consider what we’re on this world for and the opportunities that exist ONLY while we are here, is insane. Let’s at least realize that.

    For those who learn all day, they may not need to tie strings around their fingers, but, unfortunately, in the materialistic and confused world that we live in, they need posts such as this one, to constantly remind them that their lives are very, very normal, sane, and healthy.

    The hardships of Kolel are nothing compared to the pleasures. Like Rav Aharon ZT’L said – that those who support learning might get Olam Habah like those who learn, but they surely don’t get Olam Hazeh like them. Money isn’t everything – even in Olam Hazeh.


    That’s why all this talk about those able to learn all day being an “exception to the rule” misses the point.

    Not everyone will become Moshe Rabbeinu, to be sure, but everyone should try to come as close as they can. And everyone admits that being Moshe Rabbeinu is something to look up to, strive for, and admire. Even if most of us don’t ever make it there.

    So too even if many people will not learn all day, we all must recognize that it is certainly a higher level, it is a prize and privilege and merit that we should all try to attain, since it provides us with a higher spiritual level, and reaching the highest level possible in this world is our goal.

    Today, thank G-d we live in a society where many, many people can learn all day. They recognize, BH, that learning Torah is better for your soul than practicing law. Or accounting. Or writing software. No question about it.

    The point is the values, not the behavior. Behavior represents Jews; the values represent Judaism. To say that not everyone will reach the high level of learning all day is acceptable. But to say that isn’t a higher level, is changing the Torah’s values. Talmud Torah Kneged Kulam. And that includes every second of learning.


    Gemilas chasadim is great; bikur cholim is great; hachnosas orchim, hachnasas kallah, levayas hameis — all great.

    But Talmud Torah Kneged Kulam.

    One word of Torah learning imparts more holiness than an entire lifetime of doing other Mitzvos.

    On The Reasons for Leaning Full Time

    Talmud Torah K’neged Kulam means always. There is no such thing as a “proper time” for learning, or an “improper time”. The Gemora says that only during a time when “it is not day or night” is the time for learning “not proper.” It’s not a question of right or wrong. The Halachah, as explained by the Ohr Sameach in Hilchos Talmud Torah, is that everyone has to learn an amount according to his level. The more a person understands the value of learning, the more time he must spend on it.

    But it’s not a question of Halachah, not l’chatchilah not b’dieved. It’s simply this: If I showed you a pile of coins and gave you 1 hour to collect as much as you can, you would spend as much time gathering the gold as you could.

    Torah is the greatest Mitzvah – one word of Torah, Chazal say, is more holy than an entire lifetime of doing Mitzvos.

    And we have one lifetime to gather our gold. Someone who appreciates that doesn’t care if he is halachicly obligated of not. Everyone agrees that learning Torah is gold. Even if you are not halachicly obligated to run after it.


    Nobody disagrees with the fact that it is better to have the mother home to raise the kids full time. But in a situation where you cant have that AND a Kollel father and husband at the same time, which of those two has to fall by the wayside?

    The answer is, you take whichever you think is MORE important: a mother always being home or a father who is the biggest talmid chacham he can be.

    Someone in Lakewood once expressed to Rav Schenuer Kotler ZT’L about how if he stays in Kollel his children will be deprived of many things they would have otherwise. Rav Schenuer responded that providing them with a father who is a Talmid Chacham is more important than any of those things. And he should think hard before depriving them of that.

    Yes, a woman’s place is at home. But also yes, the type of home you are supposed to have is a Torah home, a Torah-husband and Torah-father at its helm.

    The question is, if you can only have one of those two positive elements of a home, which is more important?

    The answer is having a husband and father who is a Talmid Chacham, or better yet, the biggest Talmid Chacham he can be, is the more important of the two.

    So if you can have both, fine; if not, then we choose learning.

    This is not considered making a “compromise” in religion, since either way you will have to give up something – the only question is what has to give.

    Furthermore, there is a special concept surrounding the Mitzvah of learning that does not apply to any other Mitzvah, a concept that affects both Halachah and Hashkafa, that is, Torah learning in the world is so important that we prioritize Torah learning in a way that we would never do with other Mitzvos. For instance, normally, if you have a choice between you doing a Mitzvah or you causing someone else to do a Mitzvah, we say chayecha kodem – your Mitzvah comes first. So if you can afford one pair of Tefillin, you use it yourself as opposed to giving it away to someone else. However, with regard to Torah learning, the Halachah is that if a father can afford one Rebbi, either for him or his son, if his son has potential to be a Talmid Chacham, he should give the Rebbi to his son, and forgo his own learning. Such an idea exists nowhere except regarding Torah learning.

    Another for instance: Living off Tzedakah is frowned upon in the Torah. However, the Shach writes that nowadays, if the only way you will be able to learn is to live of the public, then it would be an aveirah not to do so, because how else will we have the maximum amount of Talmdei Chachamim in the world?

    I would suspect that all this is a derivative of the Halachah of Eis Laasos – that with regard to the laws of Torah learning, in order to maintain Torah at it’s maximum strength, we jettison other Halachos. Eis Laasos applies only to the laws of Torah learning, not to anything else. In any case, in the recipe of a Torah lifestyle, Torah learning is all the way on the top of the list. And although it is true that kol kevudah bas melech penimah, and a woman’s place is with her children, an even greater merit than all that is when a woman is moser nefesh so that her home will be graced with as much of the light of Torah as possible.

    Here’s another one:

    Kollel life isn’t just about learning vs. working. You’re talking about a father who is home in time to prepare for Shabbos; who is there on Chol Hamoed dressed in his Shabbos clothing, together with his children; you’re talking about a chodesh elul being a real elul – a preparation for yomim norayim. You’d be surprised how hard it is for working people to make aseres yemei teshuva into aseres yemei teshuva. The mincah minyan at work goes just as fast – everyone has to get back to their cubes; erev Yom Kippur – do you take a day off or not? Rushing home erev Shabbos in the winter on the train or in the car and barely making it in time for candle lighting, as opposed to the learning man who can properly prepare for the Coming of the Shabbos Queen.

    You’re talking about someone who, instead of being exposed to the idle chit-chat of the men and women in his office – and “idle chit chat” is being very nice about it – is engrossed all day in kedushas HaTorah.

    Yes, you may not be able to go shopping as much as you like, but there are other, this-worldly benefits that to those who have them. more than make up for that.

    It is a very, very, very different life.

  35. Its about time someone OPENS THEIR MOUTH!! Kudos to the administrator of B.Y. the life and strain of Schools administrators. there is no reason why admins blood pressure should ballon

  36. This is obviously a joke and was posted to meet a quota for “stories” posted.
    In addition, R’ Hirsch Z”TL wrote in Igros Hatzafon (The Nineteen Letters)that it is wrong for laymen to poke at and ridicule Rabbanim or other that are totally engrossed in spiritual pursuits when all are held to the same standards, rules, responsibilities, and obligations, as all were at Matan Torah. This idea presented by R’ Hirshc Z”TL does not in any way dispute the Ram”chal Z”TL in Mesillas Yasharim that wrote that Rabbanim and Askanim that are leaders-teachers-activists,that may at times be in the lime light, are held accountable for Kiddush Shem Shamayim and challila, Chillul Hashem more so than others. Clearly, Ram”chal Z”TL is referring to the angle that as Rabbanim and Askanim, the public looks to them for direction and will follow the lead and example displayed.

  37. To # 30;
    If you learn in kollel and cannot pay tuition and have the potential to earn more money but don’t and therefore I have to pay more tuition. YOU ARE LEARNING ON MY CHESHBON. I don’t have the choice to decide who my extra tuition payments are going for.

  38. TO: BMG @12:05 PM

    “I am in kollel, and there is nothing “better” about me. I really should get a job, so that I can pay full tuition.”

    IF YOU ARE IN KOLLEL, AND POSTING ON MATZAV AT 12:05PM, then you really SHOULD GET A JOB!! So i think you are lying. YOU DON’T LEARN IN KOLLEL AT ALL.

    There is nothing “better” about someone who is enrolled in a kollel. There is only something “better” about someone who LEARNS in one!!

  39. Kollel life isn’t just about learning vs. working. You’re talking about a father who is home in time to prepare for Shabbos; who is there on Chol Hamoed dressed in his Shabbos clothing, together with his children; you’re talking about a chodesh elul being a real elul – a preparation for yomim norayim. You’d be surprised how hard it is for working people to make aseres yemei teshuva into aseres yemei teshuva. The mincah minyan at work goes just as fast – everyone has to get back to their cubes; erev Yom Kippur – do you take a day off or not? Rushing home erev Shabbos in the winter on the train or in the car and barely making it in time for candle lighting, as opposed to the learning man who can properly prepare for the Coming of the Shabbos Queen.

    You’re talking about someone who, instead of being exposed to the idle chit-chat of the men and women in his office – and “idle chit chat” is being very nice about it – is engrossed all day in kedushas HaTorah.


    Everyone must make a serious cheshbon hanefesh if he is really learning, and not let the klal shoulder the burden of his debt.

  41. please tell me where i can get a job to support my family! I have more than 10 mouths to feed @ my house, $20 in the bank, very little income, and demanding tuitions (yesterday we didn’t even have heat!) Signed cold and hungry. P.s. THIS IS FOR REAL. One admin of one of our schools suggested I go knocking door to door.! Where did HIS daughter go for the summer? answer: camp in Israel.

  42. A long term Kollel should be only for the cream of the crop ( top 1 – 2%) or those who can pay for it on their own accord.

    The schools should not have to provide thousands or ten of thousands of dollars of educational services just so someone can sit a nd learn in kollel for the long term.

  43. Can the Bais Yacov open their books so we the tuition payers can see how the money is being allocated? Do they realy need so many non teacher employees?

  44. You all make it sound like, someone who is working can pay full tuition. there are 100’s of families whose father is not learning and they still cannot pay full tuition. Yes, there is a time when a father has to go get a job but it doesn’t mean that just because he has a job he will be able to pay full tuition.
    Anyway, in Lakewood, Ir Hatorah, almost everyone pays full tuition (or just about – with a drop of a discount)

  45. I am astonished at both the contempt for Talmud Torah and the contempt for work expressed by some of the commentators (and allowed by the moderator). Chaza”l do not approve of either.

  46. Why is the author of the article afraid to post his name? Is he that unsure of his position? I agree that probably the average kollel guy has more ruchnius in his home than I do, but he also has fewer challenges. And since we are rewarded lefum tza’ara agra, i am not worried about how I compare to kollel guys, but rather how I cope with all the nisyonos that working guys have.

  47. The big question is whether this Bes Yakov advocates its girls marrying kollel guys over working guys, because if it does, then this is pure hypocrisy.

  48. it must be a full moon as all the crazy’s are coming out of the woodwork,

    who care’s who said what, big deal, lots of people say lots of things .

  49. <>

    You are saying that the familys of balabosim that work are of lower caliber. How do you know this is true? And how can you say such a gayvadik thing here!

  50. i would like to meet this YOSEF as his wisdom is unlimited & let us crown him as the wisest & all our hard issue’s should be decided by him.

    i am surprised that he finished. i am sure he is not working as he has that much time to write a whole Megillah

  51. The real question is as alluded to by a prior poster is whose obligation is to pay for yeshiva? Is it a pay as you use or an obligation of the entire jewish community to provide each child with an education? If the former then the yeshiva adminstator is correct but if the later than the adminstrator is way out of line and he not the parents go around knocking on doors to collect money! Since the declartion of Rabbi yehoshua ben Gamla guaranteeing every child a seat in a cheder than it is indeed the former and the yeshiva administrator is very very wrong indeed!!!

  52. “Kollel families generally are of a higher caliber and raise the overall standard of the school.”

    Putting aside the discussion of whether or not a yeshiva has a right to expect parents to pay tuition, I am appalled by this statement. Onaas d’varim? Loshon harah? Motzi shem ra? Do you think there are no working families who read this and were hurt by your statement? Whether my sons learn in kollel or get jobs, I hope they know better than to speak about themselves with such gaava.

  53. “Another huge plus that kollel families offer is that they don’t cause jealousy with the other kids by going to fancy hotels for Pesach and midwinter vacations to Florida.”

    Neither do the vast majority of us working families.

  54. Yosef – sounds like you need to learn more and write less. Kinda funny how much time you spent writing and all of the Torah learning you lost in the process.

    For the record you make some excellent points – but extremely bias. One case in point – you state that support for Kollel comes to Yeshiva which then give it to the Kollel. If you accept the fact that there is a limited amount of discretionary funds in the Jewish comm. and first priority should be for the Yeshivas/High schools. The ripple effect is that there is more pressure on those mosdos to come up with more money to pay their Rebbeim, and this in turn creates much more pressure on the parents. Kollel – a worthy endeavor indeed [- may be an expensive luxury we can’t afford at this time.

  55. Reading the story and comments it becomes real murky who to point a finger at.
    True not everyone should be in Kollel forever maybe indeed it is time for the Kollel fellow in the story to get a job. Also even if Mr. Kollel guy gets a job that should not mena that he stops learning completely.To say kollel families are more demanding in Chinuch standards -I cannot say however it may be fair to say that some in kollel adopt a level of intense observance that is dettached from reality. A level of observance that is unfair to impose on others and in truth may not be the true Ratzon HaShem.
    Some fellows truly treat their time in Kollel as a vauluable jewel making the most of each moment these fellows may have what is necessary to be the future of Klal Yisrael.
    To the Get a Job crowd—Why does anyone think getting a job is so easy? After obtaining my degree and license I ahd to work for myself because no one else would hire me and trust me I do not make much.
    TO administrator my sympathies and as I do not know what the circumstances were it is unclear whether you should be praised for telling the Kolle guy something he should have heard years ago or shame on you for hurting the kollel guy’s feelings
    What is important is all concerned should lookat the situation and be honest with yourself if remaining in Kollel is appropriate or not?
    And as adminstrator I recall my Rov once saying as much as you are running a business you are still running a shul.

  56. 33: we lack a body with the authority to tax, such as the US government (and even then look at people who employ loopholes).

    36: I love the quote about working 3 hours a day but that will only work for someone who is self-employed; there is no way my husband could get a job (and leave aside the benefits) for 15 or 18 hours a week.

    45, and others: what do you think the chavrei hakollel take with them when they leave? Anything? My husband, and others who carve out significant time every day to learn, are truly elevated and set the tone in the home. My husband does not have a significant chunk of vacation time as he has to use it for yom tov and family sichos. One year he had a few extra days and rather than take off for a week and maybe get something big done around the house took off Friday afternoons at the end of the year. I will admit, it was beautiful and I hear your point. I will also say that B”H our erev Shabbos is calm and beautiful, and he manages to come home early enough to change and make a contribution b’nachas.

    51: Good point. Let’s say this fellow leaves kollel. Just how many years will it take – training, entry level salary, etc. – till he can pay a meaningful amount of tuition anyway, and by that point, will he be able to? Lots of us working poor out there.

    And P.S. We don’t regret a nanosecond of (our years of unsupported) kollel, even if we’re struggling now.

  57. Firstly, the comments on this article are becoming very hot-headed and contentious. Apparently a raw nerve was touched! I want everyone to relax, as I think this is an issue that we can debate in good faith without getting angry! Secondly, this question is a Gemara Mefureshes in Kiddushin 29b: ???? ????? ???? ????? ? ??? ???? ????? ?? ????? ????: ?? ??? ???? ?????? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ??? ?????
    Ayin Shom!!!

  58. Seriously. Look at this. 60 replies as I write this and they’re just shameful.

    No, I don’t think having entire communities consumed in kollelim is of value. And I don’t think sending young mothers out to work full time is of value. I agree with whoever said that the “cream of the crop” (top 1-2%) should be in kollel, supported by the community. When the entire community is in kollel, the model breaks and institutions fall apart.

    I’ve voted with my wallet. I don’t give to any organizations that support such lifestyles. Even remotely support them. Period. And when you knock on my door, I’ll invite you in and explain to you, calmly and respectfully, why I refuse to give one thin dime.

    You want to live this way? More power to you. But when you insist on sending your children to a private school while refusing to work to pay the bill, please understand that someone else is paying for your children. Money doesn’t grow on trees. When you don’t pay and no one else can pay, you are stealing from the very teachers hired to educate your children.

    And to those “rich” working parents struggling to pay tuition to this very same private school: your girls are being taught that this kollel lifestyle is superior. And so are your boys.


    How sad we have become.

  59. I doubt anyone will read my comments- just another out of the 60 comments- surely a hot topic here, wow!!!
    We don’t know all the details- how long the man was in kollel for…
    My husband learned in kollel for a while but would you believe, his rosh yeshiva encouraged him to move on? Not everyone has to live in kollel forever! The administrator didn’t say to not learn in kollel at all, he just said it was time to move on (although it might not have been his place)
    Whatever- the whole story might have been taken out of context, but it surely got some people heated up here!!

  60. will the school administraters start making the same demands on rabbeim to become lawyers and doctors so they can pay full tuition instead of half?

  61. So let me understand this. Because I am a working man, i don’t understand the chashivus of learning torah. I wonder then why i wake up at 5:00 AM to attend a shiur at 5:45 AM, daven shacharis, learn with a chavrusah for a half hour, go to work and prepare on the train for the shiur that i will attend the next morning. Do i do this because I am not machshiv torah? Having been brought up in the 1960’s and 1970’s (in Mesivta Chaim Berlin) i was taught that it was a man’s responsibility to work and support his wife and family.

  62. There is nothing wrong with learning in Kollel. Halacha states that the Tzibur is to pay for the tuition of the city. We do not do it, because we can not enforce, but we all have to pay for our schools, even if you do not have children in school.

  63. I was in Kollel and wasn’t zoceh for any longer but you are still zoceh for me to pay your tuition (and lots of other stuff you live on).
    Enjot till your turn comes to pay back.

  64. Is this a joke? Is the author serious? He thinks the administrator was out of line?!?! Kol Hakovod to this brave and intellectually honest administrator.

  65. Lay off the writer, he is a tinok shenishbah. For his entire yeshiva life, he has been taught that he is above the rest, that secular studies are evil, that college is evil, and that work is evil. Only kollel is legitimate. He clearly internalized what he was taught.

  66. The issue is not really learning or not learning. It is rather dependency, arrogance,and selfishness. That is why so many commentators are upset.

  67. 72 (fedup) hit the nail on the head. When I got married 25 years ago support was NOT de riguer but kollel WAS encouraged. The way it was presented was that this was a beautiful start to marriage, and added fortification for them men when they would have to leave the cocoon of full time learning. IOW, for many kollel was to build solid bnei Torah for life. (And it was in the air then that one could still be such a ben Torah even if NOT starting out in kollel, as fedup attests to.)

    And those who managed to stay in the beis medrash: many of them left full time learning after a “mere” five years for teaching etc. positions. They are now rashei yeshiva, maggidei shiur, etc.

    Someone rewrote the rules. Anyone asking for less than five years support is now considered not such a serious learner, or a “short term” learner. No one stops to think – on whose shoulders is all this? The prosperity of the previous dor is fading. People like us are going into year two or three of serious recession pay cut (and we’re lucky to have jobs). There are some serious issues that need addressing. You can’t preach bitachon to a dor that has institutionalized the “five year plan” for their kids. The same five year plan that has increased Torah learning immeasurably, yet sadly is breeding such cynicism and resentment as we are seeing here.

  68. The reality is that the Orthodox Community is becoming more financially strained. There is a financial crisis in the Orthodox Community. It is time for serious folks to propose serious solutions.

  69. To me, it’s very simple – if you learn in Kollel on money someone who was working made, you need to show a lot more respect to people who work. If you can’t respect the people who fund you, what are you accomplishing by learning all day, exactly?

  70. The problem is that most people here seem to think that working and kollel are mutually exclusive. NEWSFLASH: If one is TRULY a ben-torah, yet still does not want to take advantage of free/reduced tuition, etc., he can do BOTH! Don’t say it’s impossible; happens to be my husband learns many hours and also works full time. How does that work? Try waking at 4:30 am and learning until 8:00 am, working a full day, and then learning again from 6:00 pm until 11:30 pm.

    So sorry if you are not on the madreiga to live that lifestyle, but please don’t put down those of us who learn a full 8 hours a day and also work hard to pay tuition and put bread on the table. And no, we do not buy designer clothes or go to hotels.

  71. and one more thing:

    It doesn’t say anywhere that only torah that is learned during the DAY hours supports the world. Maybe those who learn early morning/late at night support the world

  72. Hi, its me again. Firstly, I am sorry if I offended anyone with my previous posting.

    Let me take a second and clarify my remarks. At no time did I ever say that one should not learn in Kollel. My single biggest regret in my life is that I never applied myself to the best of my abilities so that I would consider myself worthy of being a kollel guy. If someone can figure out a way to support himself (or get supported) by learning hashem’s torah, more power to him. He is saving the world..

    My comments were really aimed at 2 points:

    1) EVERY GUY isnt a kollel guy. I was 90% smarter and can learn better than most guys in my grade/shiur. However, I dont have the ability to sit in front of a gemara for a minimum of 8 hours a day (which if kollel is like a job, it should be treated as such), and therefore I didnt feel it was appropriate of me to demand someone else go to work for me to sit in yeshiva and play brickbreaker on my blackberry.

    The guys who belong in kollel should be supported with every effort possible. the guys who dont belong in kollel should not ruin it for the rest of them. I have seen plenty of guys sit in yeshiva doing nothing until 6:30 – 7:00 cause he cant come home early cause his wife married a guy who has to learn for “X” years, and that type of guy doesnt come home at 5:00 when he has enough for the day.

    2) Being that point 1 will never happen, my second point was that even for the good kollel guy, doesnt it say “lishmo’a, lilmod, ULILAMED”, that one should hear, learn and then TEACH the torah? Shouldnt there be a semblence of an idea how to take the learning and teach it by living it??

    And for the guy who is a joke, isnt there a concept of self respect and self responsibility?? Shouldnt they aspire to make something of themselves by taking care of their families? As it is said, isnt there something to “being a MAN”??

    As for rebbeim getting breaks for tuition, The number of rebbeim out there is still VERY small, and until someone has the guts to stand up in front of a classroom of 25-30 kids, your kids, and teach them, discipline them, imbue in them an ahavas hashem/ahavas yisroel, they should keep quiet. To me, there is no more choshuv person than a rebbi and no better money to give than to support the yeshivas. This administrator wasnt talking to a rebbi, he was talking to a kollel guy and said listen, if we are going to give a break, we will give it to the guy who invests back into the yeshiva (a rebbi). Its no different than any other business..

    In closing, at no point should I nor anyone else diminish the chashivus of learning torah for as long as possible. But it shouldnt be a right for everyone, it should be a privilege for the best who can. (I know torah is for everyone; being married and taking care of your wife and kids IS for everyone).

  73. Those of us who work, and support kollels, Tomchei Shabbos, as well as give extra money to yeshivos to cover those who can’t pay tuition, etc., would love an apology from the writer for being dismissed as of a lower caliber, and our children as less of an asset to the yeshivos.

    By the way, I am happy to support the above causes rather than “going to fancy hotels for Pesach and midwinter vacations to Florida.” I don’t expect hakaras hatov from the recipients, but would like to think they are not looking down on me either.


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