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Another Moderate Haredi Speaks Out

“I have daughters to marry off and the husbands they want to marry will not accept daughters of someone who is working!”
Rabbi Berel Wein

Rabbi Berel Wein

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My hope is that people like Rabbi Berl Wein will increasingly make their voices heard. He is not the only Charedi Jew who thinks like that. As his anecdote shows, Charedim would clearly be willing to work except that it will hurt their reputations and thus their children’s Shidduch opportunities!

Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope. During my last visit to Israel I had a discussion with some young people about the dire poverty situation for Charedim. I was told by one individual that many rabbinic leaders had come into their town to discuss ideas of how to do better financially. This included better budgeting of finances, various investment strategies, and the proper way to use free loan associations. But none of the solutions included getting a job. One very bright young Charedi student asked, ‘Why isn’t that an option?’ ‘What’s wrong with working?’ This fellow is at the top of his very Charedi class in high school. Needless to say his high school never heard of Limudei Chol. The question was left hanging.

I think it is high time for the rabbinic leaders in America to speak up for their brethren in Israel. The answer is not to ‘Adopt a Kollel’ which was touted at the recent Agudah convention.  That will not generate anywhere near enough money to alleviate the increasing poverty this community faces.Walking in lockstep with an educational formula that is ‘killing’ people in Israel does not do anyone any favors. As Rabbi Wein points out, we are ill served by rabbinic leaders who refuse to change the current miserable status quo. I could not agree more.

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About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


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13 Responses to “Another Moderate Haredi Speaks Out”

  1. Rabbi Wein is not "haredi".

  2. Rabbi Wein is not “haredi”.

  3. Alan Ash says:

    Where is the daas Torah on this that the robonim can pasken that their people be ignorant and not
    Contribute to society and even a burden to society , shame on them .

  4. Ben II says:

    It’s time for them to come out of the 19th century. People are allowed to work.

  5. Myriam Obadia says:

    So how can Haredi men actually practice the Mitzvah of Keeping the Shabbat holy, if they don't work the rest of the week? Jews are supposed to rest from work on Shabbat (not just abstain from handling money and flipping electric switches). If there is no work done the 6 other days, then the Shabbat is devalued and not set aside. When studying Torah and praying are the only activities performed all 7 days, there is no longer a difference between the days.

  6. Myriam Obadia says:

    Moshe, how do you know whether Rabbi Wein fears Hashem or not? Isn't that supposed to be the true meaning of Haredi? Or has the meaning changed to Jew dressed in the 17th century Lithuanian fashion?

  7. @Myriam Obadia: "Or has the meaning changed to Jew dressed in the 17th century Lithuanian fashion?"

    Yes, it has.

  8. Why don't you think he's haredi? How would you define haredi? Not hasidic, but haredi. I would say he is.

  9. @Laura: His views are in clear and direct contradiction to those of the hareidi political parties (UTJ and Shas) — as his article cited here clearly demonstrates.

  10. he may not be politically haredi – or aligned with the haredi political parties in Israel – but he is certainly religiously haredi.

  11. THE LIBERAL RABBIS ARE TRYING EVERYTHING TO SILENCE ME. PLEASE MAKE CERTAIN THIS IS SEEN EVERYWHERE. I WAS KICKED OFF THE CONSERVATIVE RABBIS LIST SERV. FOR ATTACKING OBAMA AND RABBIS FOR OBAMA WHO HELPED PUT HIM IN OFFFICE. THIS MUST GO VIRAL. RABBI ROSENBERG

    —–

    On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM, <chaimdov@aol.com> wrote:

    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg SAYS President Obama You Have Some Nerve. ISRAEL Will Not LISTEN To You : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig8c795KymA#t=63

    Trying to speak to Roosevelt behind closed doors didn't help the Jews of Europe, 6,000,000 Jews were slaughtered, murdered, burned, vanished!

    Speak Up!

    לנסות לדבר עם רוזוולט בדלתיים סגורים לא עזר ליהודי אירופה, 6,000,000 יהודים נטבחו, נרצחו, נשרפו, נעלמו!

    דברו בקול רם!

  12. Ch Hoffman says:

    the problem with "work" is like the problem with "America" in the 1890-1920 and "Palestine" in 1918-1939. If there is any competing influence on the young man (with or without family) life, the leaders of the Haredi camp are afraid that their own control will be compromised.

    It's called dictatorial exclusivity; and it works until those who are its victims recognize that their lives are the ones that are being ruined.

  13. Anonymous says:

    End of the day; some should be learning full time and some should be working- it depends on the desire of the student. We need a certain say 10% full time learners to develop the future rabbis and poskim who will guide us. It takes 15-20 years of full time learning to develop the giants that can lead us only a few of many will achieve it. that is we need many to enter into the system to get there. Each one must make his personal decision for him and his family. Right now the number of learners is growing and way less than 10% so its not off balance. We would not have any problem if people gave their 10% to the learners in Israel.
    Each learner influences many others to return to Torah. This is all good. Of course we don't like that they are poor- we need to support them. Why do we justify the $500,000 in taxes thats needed to produce every surgeon and we don't justify the need to finance learners. In short we need these learners.

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