Photo Credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90
Illustrative Photo: Yeshiva Bochrim (Students)

A quick perusal through newspapers, magazines and recent books reveals a plethora of titles such as “The Pre-Adult Male: Listless and Confused,” “Where Have the Good Men Gone?” and “Why There Are No Good Men Left.”

These all bemoan the difficulty the modern woman has in finding an educated and employed mate. Some posit that women have left men behind as they pursue higher education at greater rates than men and are outperforming and out-earning them in their careers, which has resulted in a difficult dating scene for successful women seeking educated men with a job. Per a recent study showing that 75 percent of women wouldn’t date an unemployed man, this would seem to be a widespread problem.

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As you would expect of a nation with the mission of being an ohr lagoyim, we have avoided this problem entirely. In fact, we have pulled a hoax of such proportion that one almost expects to see the Elders of Zion crouching in the shadows and pulling the strings to effect it.

We have educated our young women, our future wives and mothers, to believe that not only is a young man with a job or a degree not to be sought after, but he is in fact someone to be avoided at all cost. Our daughters now seek precisely those men who are incapable of supporting them and their children.

While such an arrangement may bear fruit for the Rebbe Akivas and Rachels among us, have we attained such heights of hubris as to believe that our chinuch produces no other product? Our girls have been trained, en masse with no regard for whether or not they are suited for such a lifestyle, to ignore, repress and reject every urge they have for self-preservation. How our educators have managed to overcome thousands of years of maternal instinct and biological imperative boggles the mind and should inspire vast amounts of research by anyone with totalitarian ambitions.

We have arrived at a point where single men defer leaving yeshiva to attend college or begin working because they fear the negative impact this will have on their shidduch prospects! This is worlds away from the model demonstrated for us by Yaakov Avinu. The Seforno explains (Bereishis 29:18) that Yaakov offered to work for Rachel for seven years because he had arrived at Lavan’s home penniless and without a means of supporting a wife and children, and “there is no doubt that a tzaddik wouldn’t marry a wife and raise children without the means of supporting them.”

We are doing these young women and men a grave injustice. Entrusted with their education we have extolled a lifestyle that is antithetical to Torah and condemns many of them to a life of financial difficulty. Many studies reveal that a primary cause of marital conflict is financial stress. Today, with marriage under attack on multiple fronts, do we truly feel comfortable adding the virtual certainty of monetary difficulties to the many challenges already facing married couples?

Sowing the seeds of marital destitution and dissent, we saddle our women with the curse of Adam in addition to the curse of Chava. Who is held accountable when these young women are exposed to the harsh light of reality as they struggle to act as mother, wife and breadwinner with a husband who, even if he desired to assist in supporting his family, has none of the prerequisite experience or education?

Isn’t it time to admit we have extended proper motivations to the point of absurdity?

The Ohr HaChaim (Shemos 18:21) questions why it was necessary for Yisro to be the one who advised Moshe Rabbeinu to establish a system of courts. After all, this suggests a lack of wisdom among Bnei Yisrael as no member of the tribe had arrived at such a solution. Not only that, but the Torah portion in which we are given the Aseres Hadibros is named after this newcomer! He answers that this advice had to come through Yisro to teach future generations that Jews have no monopoly on intelligence and that we should seek wisdom from all sources.

There are many faults and flaws in modern, secular culture, and it is as astounding that we would need to turn to outside wisdom for this truth as it was in the case of Yisro, but can you imagine the reaction of single women in secular society who despair of ever finding a working man if they knew we were actively encouraging our daughters to seek men who have no means of supporting them?

We have become so accustomed to the situation that, like the proverbial frog in the boiling water, we fail to recognize how unnatural and dangerous it is. Throughout the ages, society – Jewish and non-Jewish – has recognized the obvious insanity of such a course. Why don’t we?

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Dr. Ari Lapin is an emergency medicine resident and entrepreneur living in Manhattan who writes on Torah issues, politics, culture, and his experiences in the never dull world of shidduchim.

242 COMMENTS

  1. I was thinking about this the other day. A lot of this has to do with the same fear that is messing up a lot of people the world over, good people, bad people, religious people, anti-religious people, everybody. There is a fear taking the world over of either losing power, failing to regain power once lost, or losing freedom of some kind, expression, choice, or independence. In the case of Jews going nuts no matter the belief system or background, so many seem terrified of themselves or others being fooled or had by somebody else’s influence. I see Frum and non-frum terrified of each other and their respective surroundings. I see Frum especially terrified of anything secular. It seems to me the biggest driving factor toward this must learn must not work ideal is the fear of what might happen to a young man exposed to any secular environment that is necessary to be educated or to work with others in a job. So as not to reveal this fear, they romanticize about the holy life of a kollel guy. I normally hate the criticism of “you should be more secure in your beliefs rather than be so strict about not being in contact with other people” because usually the person leveling that criticism is being condescending, but I can’t help but think it in this case. 🙁

  2. I don’t understand why the author or editor chose the photo of the hasid on the front, but if I am right as to why, it is total loshon hara, public humiliation, slander, and should be taken down.

  3. I was thinking about this the other day. A lot of this has to do with the same fear that is messing up a lot of people the world over, good people, bad people, religious people, anti-religious people, everybody. There is a fear taking the world over of either losing power, failing to regain power once lost, or losing freedom of some kind, expression, choice, or independence. In the case of Jews going nuts no matter the belief system or background, so many seem terrified of themselves or others being fooled or had by somebody else's influence. I see Frum and non-frum terrified of each other and their respective surroundings. I see Frum especially terrified of anything secular. It seems to me the biggest driving factor toward this must learn must not work ideal is the fear of what might happen to a young man exposed to any secular environment that is necessary to be educated or to work with others in a job. So as not to reveal this fear, they romanticize about the holy life of a kollel guy. I normally hate the criticism of "you should be more secure in your beliefs rather than be so strict about not being in contact with other people" because usually the person leveling that criticism is being condescending, but I can't help but think it in this case. 🙁

  4. The article is good except for the fact that is a gross over generalization. It is the same generalization that leads the secular media to preach that no charedim work, to which many readers happily buy into. There are two sides to every story, and this article highlights one extreme side as if it were the truth.

  5. Not to be a downer, but living in a modern orthodox community I don’t believe we are so much ahead of this community other than the lack of Torah learning. When $200k will leave you to a life of relative poverty (I.e. having to ask for assistance and not being able to cover expenses if you have 4 children) as has been demonstrated in other blogs, I don’t think we are in such a position to throw stones.

  6. I live in a neighborhood where most young men go to work full time.THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE MAKING A LIVING!!! The dirty little secret (and it is not such a secret) is that mommy and daddy are being used as an ATM. Pick on the yungerleit all you want. With few exceptions…mommy and daddy pay most of the rent,tuition,mortgages,food,SUVs. If you feel superior because you don't learn you are only fooling yourselves.A pack of "fronters".

  7. Working in the Educational system providing “equitable” services to yeshiva students, I constantly come across boys from the Chassidish yeshivas who cannot read or write in 8th grade. Many of these yeshivas do not start English until they are I third grade Yiddish/Hebrew and stop learning English when they go into 9th grade. Shame on the schools for discouraging English Education, shame on the parents for going along with it.

  8. The article is good except for the fact that is a gross over generalization. It is the same generalization that leads the secular media to preach that no charedim work, to which many readers happily buy into. There are two sides to every story, and this article highlights one extreme side as if it were the truth.

  9. RABBI DR, BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    KINGS AND QUEENS, PAWNS AND KNIGHTS: THE ‘GLATT GAME’

    “THE SHIDDUCH CRISES”

    The Jewish populace seems too busy confronting themselves to realize that there is a shidduch, the tragedy before them. All of us are engaged in the “I am Frumer (more religious) Than Thou Game.”

    Yes, the chess game of the Jewish people does exist and it consists of numerous players including Kings, Queens, Pawns and Knights. Let us analyze these players. The Kings and Queens are found everywhere. They are better known as the “Better Than Thou” contingency representing, with nose held high, the so-called “ultra ultra”, whose main function in life is to supervise and interpret the motives of others.

    The J.A.P., a term which applies equally to both sexes, reigns supreme. A true J.A.P. is one whose true emotions and feelings of dedication and idealism are hidden under the heavy burden of appeasing self-righteous motives. Is it any wonder that some young Jewish singles seek elsewhere?

    AND YES, let us not forget the elite, the “Yechis (status) Seekers”. “Remember my son, you belong to a righteous family; avoid the Baal Tshuvah (a non-observant Jew who became religious), after all they may change their ways. Remember who you are and where you came from.”

    And if these were not sufficient, the Kings and Queens engage themselves in the “I AM GLATTER THAN THOU PAGENTRY.’ This requires the ability to openly criticize others regarding their mode of dress, their eating patterns, recognized certified Kosher products are not acceptable, the fictitious Glatt pickle is preferred, and, of course, an open attach against religious leaders, their ammunition being the infamous non-existent 14th century Chumrah (strict legal view) entitles one to acquire membership in this select group. The only problem is that no one wants to be a follower and thus the leaders continue quoting profound statements found in the tractate “Buba Meisah (fairy tales).”

    Now, the heroic Knight enters the arena. This individual, male or female, traditionally minded and filled with the love of Torah, wages an heroic campaign. The Knights are represented by clergy and lay leadership who open their hearts to Jewish young people communicating the love and harmony of the Torah. Numerous Rabbis are fighting on the front lines to create a vibrant Jewish community. Young people are engaged in Shabbatonim, retreats and seminars in an active attempt to spread Yiddishkeit; yet, too often, Jewish organizations seem more interested in the establishment of plush swimming pools than in financing such religious projects a community mikvah (ritual bath).

    THESE KNIGHTS, however are confronted by numerous foes. Rabbis are challenged by the Glatt contingent whose battle cry seems to be “The Mechitzah (separation between men and women in the synagogue sanctuary) is not high enough.” Some musmochim (rabbinical school graduates) forget that they are not the leaders of the congregation and consider Shabbat and Yom Tov a day to play “Challenge the Spiritual Leader.” Others are more compassionate; instead of aiding the Rabbi, they just lean back awaiting the opportunity to privately render their illustrious Psak Din (Legal decree). This is the prelude to the “Let’s create another Shtibbel (synagogue) game”, starring these above mentioned unassuming geniuses of Jewish Law.

    Forgetting the great “Tuna Fish and Bubble Gum Controversy” of yesteryear, let us turn to other significant and crucial issues. The agunah, divorce and conversion procedures, together with the existing problems of Mamzeres require our immediate attention. Yet, they too cannot escape the “I am glatter than thou game.” We are informed that a sanhedrin (universal Rabbinical Court) is needed in order to solve many of our numerous halachic difficulties. The only problem, of course, is that we cannot agree on membership to the Sanhedrin.

    Why is there a Shidduch crises? Perhaps it is because in the chess game of life, it is the PAWN who suffers the most.

    THE TORAH holds the answers to all our questions; however, human beings, with G-d’s help, are needed to overcome so called obstacles.

    If only we, the pursuers of Torah knowledge, would realize that the battle is immense and the time is short. Instead of playing the Glatt Game called “Frumer than Thou,” let us communicate love and knowledge , let us act in the image of G-d; only then will we be worthy to be called Frum Yidden who walk in the “Glatt path”. In the words of Rav Kook, “Just at the Second Temple was destroyed by acts of brotherly hatred, the third Temple will be built by acts of brotherly Love.”

    >

    Subject: : "Dating in the Yeshiva World" OR ANY OTHER WORLD BY DR. ROSENBERG

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  10. The “Shidduch Crissis” It used to be, that a girl wanted a “Learn & Earn” Boy. Now, its all “Resume’s” Do you stack, Do you use a second Table cloth for Dessert on Shabbos, Etc, Etc. “It has gotten out of hand already. There are pleanty of good girls, and guys out there, that are “NOT” making “Six” figures, or come from a back ground of “Yichus” all the way to Moshe Rabeinu. Lets stop and focus on “Midos” that is the “Key” word here. The “Divorce rate is so high today, because the “Parents” are the ones that push their kids to get married right away. Checking out ones back ground, is important, but up to what extent. Enough labeling! Guys and girls can go out and be the best shidduch for one another. Its the parents that are at fault, because they want to look good, and take all the credit. if you brought up your kids with the right tools, and gave them the right Education, and Hashkafas, then you shouldn’t have a problem. I wish that all Familes have Nachas from their children, and realize that time is of an essence, and ‘Stacking Etc” is really “Not” so important.

  11. Working in the Educational system providing "equitable" services to yeshiva students, I constantly come across boys from the Chassidish yeshivas who cannot read or write in 8th grade. Many of these yeshivas do not start English until they are I third grade Yiddish/Hebrew and stop learning English when they go into 9th grade. Shame on the schools for discouraging English Education, shame on the parents for going along with it.

  12. Torah learning as the highest ideal is a beautiful concept. There are practical realities, however, that are being ignored. The paradigms keep shifting and they will continue to do so. We're in the middle of of one where there won't be too many wealthy in-laws who can float the young couple. We have to stay open to various options. Poverty is really tough on Shalom Bayis.

  13. When I moved to Passaic NJ 25 years ago, the joke was that I was the lowest life form. I was a single guy that worked. I was not on “parental welfare.” And, B”H, I had a good job. I see the families here, I know who get supported and who does not. But, for the kids in their teens and twenties, they’re told that you should Collect all of the government subsidies you can. This is what they’re there for. And, if the other “minorities” can collect them, why can’t we.

    So, we’ve turned into white trash that wear black suites and white shirts.

  14. The "Shidduch Crissis" It used to be, that a girl wanted a "Learn & Earn" Boy. Now, its all "Resume's" Do you stack, Do you use a second Table cloth for Dessert on Shabbos, Etc, Etc. "It has gotten out of hand already. There are pleanty of good girls, and guys out there, that are "NOT" making "Six" figures, or come from a back ground of "Yichus" all the way to Moshe Rabeinu. Lets stop and focus on "Midos" that is the "Key" word here. The "Divorce rate is so high today, because the "Parents" are the ones that push their kids to get married right away. Checking out ones back ground, is important, but up to what extent. Enough labeling! Guys and girls can go out and be the best shidduch for one another. Its the parents that are at fault, because they want to look good, and take all the credit. if you brought up your kids with the right tools, and gave them the right Education, and Hashkafas, then you shouldn't have a problem. I wish that all Familes have Nachas from their children, and realize that time is of an essence, and 'Stacking Etc" is really "Not" so important.

  15. When I moved to Passaic NJ 25 years ago, the joke was that I was the lowest life form. I was a single guy that worked. I was not on "parental welfare." And, B"H, I had a good job. I see the families here, I know who get supported and who does not. But, for the kids in their teens and twenties, they're told that you should Collect all of the government subsidies you can. This is what they're there for. And, if the other "minorities" can collect them, why can't we.

    So, we've turned into white trash that wear black suites and white shirts.

  16. I have a brother who is a “learning boy”… its hard. Im hardly able to work and raise my kid and husband….I didnt sign up for both curses and i dont intend on keeping my husbands share. I am def ganna work less….. and pop more babies ( a few more) let the men deal with parnasha

  17. That is the point but you don't see it. The people on parental welfare are still the same people WHO GO TO WORK.Not only can't they support their families they have to ask their parents for help.And when everything is said and done what do they have.Torah?No.Money?No. Between tuition and property taxes (especially in Passaic) and even with six figure salaries they still use their parents as an ATM.Sounds like people either don't value the highest value or are jealous.When you were single was one thing.Having a family is another.

  18. amen to that sister. I agree with this article and you very much. It is a shame that we have led boys to believe that working is a shameful thing to do and that girls are marrying less of a person if doesnt learn all day. This is where our society breaks. Values have been twisted and the worst part is that they go against the torah even though people will say that the opposite is true. It’s in black and white. Yaakov WORKED for Rachel, not the other way around!

  19. Good job! Goebbels would be very proud. You make unfounded and unsupported declarations, and compare our chinuch system to totalitarian regimes. Have you ever come to Lakewood, where you will find hundreds of charedi yeshiva-educated men working to support their families in an honorable way? Have you spoken to the wives who, knowing the sacrifice entailed and feeling the pinch, still want nothing more than for their husbands to stick it out in kollel just a few more months? I see them. I live among these beautiful souls. Rabbi Akiva has set an example for us all to attempt to emulate, if for no more than a couple of years. Shame on you!

  20. It is now an honor to live on Section Eight and Food Stamps, it is no wonder that many in the Frum community voted for the Democrats including Obama. Only one question, when the yeshivas have no one to support them, where will they get their funding? It is no wonder that here in Florida hundreds of families are sending children to public school. It is our responsibility as parents to educate our children, and it seems many parents have failed.

  21. I have a brother who is a "learning boy"… its hard. Im hardly able to work and raise my kid and husband….I didnt sign up for both curses and i dont intend on keeping my husbands share. I am def ganna work less….. and pop more babies ( a few more) let the men deal with parnasha

  22. the wives of those in kollel were indoctrinated from birth that that is whats expected of them…same with the men. how about we call this what it is. these children are brought up in a closed society and as i stated above are indoctrinated into believing that is what is supposed to happen. if u dont let children play with children from other beliefs/religions they will never have a opinion about the world except the ones they are given. a friend of mine grew up in a community like lakewood. super religious and all. went to israel for they almost obligatory year after high school. saw how the world is and went off the deep end…others go the opposite way and shut themselves in a kollel. and honestly yes, charity is a mitzvah…but knowing u need to give it because those in there place dont want to work. (would u support me if i told u i want to play videos games all day, never leave and i wont chip in to the place???? absolutely not…i guarantee it

  23. Although I agree with your thoughts, yael sadykov-ibragimov, I must say I find it appalling that you plan to “pop more babies”, what a crass and disgusting way to refer to your childbearing abilities. Please grow up a little before you decide to mother other humans. And I do hope that your reference to raising your “kid and husband” was a typo…unless your spouse is underage as well….??

  24. amen to that sister. I agree with this article and you very much. It is a shame that we have led boys to believe that working is a shameful thing to do and that girls are marrying less of a person if doesnt learn all day. This is where our society breaks. Values have been twisted and the worst part is that they go against the torah even though people will say that the opposite is true. It's in black and white. Yaakov WORKED for Rachel, not the other way around!

  25. Good job! Goebbels would be very proud. You make unfounded and unsupported declarations, and compare our chinuch system to totalitarian regimes. Have you ever come to Lakewood, where you will find hundreds of charedi yeshiva-educated men working to support their families in an honorable way? Have you spoken to the wives who, knowing the sacrifice entailed and feeling the pinch, still want nothing more than for their husbands to stick it out in kollel just a few more months? I see them. I live among these beautiful souls. Rabbi Akiva has set an example for us all to attempt to emulate, if for no more than a couple of years. Shame on you!

  26. My question is about the frum families and educational system outside of Israel and East Coast? Of course the system isn’t perfect, but there countless of Shomer Mivot “Charadi” or “Yeshvish” Husbands who attended Yeshivah and now work in the professional realm and are respectable.
    Or the Balai t’sehuva women who chose to be Kollel wives.
    There are so many more complexities in Orthodoxy and Judaism.

  27. It is now an honor to live on Section Eight and Food Stamps, it is no wonder that many in the Frum community voted for the Democrats including Obama. Only one question, when the yeshivas have no one to support them, where will they get their funding? It is no wonder that here in Florida hundreds of families are sending children to public school. It is our responsibility as parents to educate our children, and it seems many parents have failed.

  28. the wives of those in kollel were indoctrinated from birth that that is whats expected of them…same with the men. how about we call this what it is. these children are brought up in a closed society and as i stated above are indoctrinated into believing that is what is supposed to happen. if u dont let children play with children from other beliefs/religions they will never have a opinion about the world except the ones they are given. a friend of mine grew up in a community like lakewood. super religious and all. went to israel for they almost obligatory year after high school. saw how the world is and went off the deep end…others go the opposite way and shut themselves in a kollel. and honestly yes, charity is a mitzvah…but knowing u need to give it because those in there place dont want to work. (would u support me if i told u i want to play videos games all day, never leave and i wont chip in to the place???? absolutely not…i guarantee it

  29. Although I agree with your thoughts, yael sadykov-ibragimov, I must say I find it appalling that you plan to "pop more babies", what a crass and disgusting way to refer to your childbearing abilities. Please grow up a little before you decide to mother other humans. And I do hope that your reference to raising your "kid and husband" was a typo…unless your spouse is underage as well….??

  30. My question is about the frum families and educational system outside of Israel and East Coast? Of course the system isn't perfect, but there countless of Shomer Mivot "Charadi" or "Yeshvish" Husbands who attended Yeshivah and now work in the professional realm and are respectable.
    Or the Balai t'sehuva women who chose to be Kollel wives.
    There are so many more complexities in Orthodoxy and Judaism.

  31. Jason Bokow
    One may argue points regarding what you refer to as indoctrinated expectations. Your canard, however, against Kollel members as those who “don’t want to work” and equating them with video gamers is shameful. Your vitriol makes manifest your jaundiced bias.

    I have spent over a decade in each world, in Kollel and in the professional business world. The 8-10 plus hour days I now work in a high pressure, high expectation atmosphere as a consultant to CEO-level clients, is still not as rigorous as the time I spent toiling full time in Torah in Kollel. My wife and I entered Kollel life willingly with eyes wide open, knowing in advance the sacrifices we would make, and we felt privileged to do so. My wife was not “indoctrinated” into this. She was brought up in a mixed gender day school out of town. She is simply a true Torah idealist. We never took any government programs, and never “demanded” support from our parents. We have friends of similar circumstance.

    In Egypt, 1/12 of the entire Jewish Nation, the tribe of Levi, did not “work” with the rest of their enslaved Jewish brethren during their entire sojourn there. They, the priestly class, “sat and learned”. Hashem saw fit to command the Jews to give them the priestly tithes of Teruma and Maaser, Torah ordained “charity”, if you will, to do so. Yet it was these offspring of Levi, Moshe and Aharon (and Miriam, et al), in whose merit and directly through whom, the Jews were emancipated from Egypt.

    Hashem has sustained Klal Yisroel throughout the millennia even against all who have risen to destroy us, only in the merit of our accepting it, and learning it to pass down to out progeny. It is Torah learning that has supported Klal Yisroel as a whole.

    Yes. As you say, charity is a mitzvah. Therefore we who learn Torah will continue to help support you, even if you want to play videos games all day, never leave, and don’t chip in your part of the Torah learning obligation to the place…

  32. Another piece of evidence that these religious rules, values, way of life may not be as divine as some of us were brought up to believe, but rather the agenda of a group of people who seek to control the way of life of others. Good article. A man who doesn’t support his wife and kids is a loser period.

  33. Jason Bokow
    One may argue points regarding what you refer to as indoctrinated expectations. Your canard, however, against Kollel members as those who “don’t want to work” and equating them with video gamers is shameful. Your vitriol makes manifest your jaundiced bias.

    I have spent over a decade in each world, in Kollel and in the professional business world. The 8-10 plus hour days I now work in a high pressure, high expectation atmosphere as a consultant to CEO-level clients, is still not as rigorous as the time I spent toiling full time in Torah in Kollel. My wife and I entered Kollel life willingly with eyes wide open, knowing in advance the sacrifices we would make, and we felt privileged to do so. My wife was not “indoctrinated” into this. She was brought up in a mixed gender day school out of town. She is simply a true Torah idealist. We never took any government programs, and never “demanded” support from our parents. We have friends of similar circumstance.

    In Egypt, 1/12 of the entire Jewish Nation, the tribe of Levi, did not “work” with the rest of their enslaved Jewish brethren during their entire sojourn there. They, the priestly class, “sat and learned”. Hashem saw fit to command the Jews to give them the priestly tithes of Teruma and Maaser, Torah ordained “charity”, if you will, to do so. Yet it was these offspring of Levi, Moshe and Aharon (and Miriam, et al), in whose merit and directly through whom, the Jews were emancipated from Egypt.

    Hashem has sustained Klal Yisroel throughout the millennia even against all who have risen to destroy us, only in the merit of our accepting it, and learning it to pass down to out progeny. It is Torah learning that has supported Klal Yisroel as a whole.

    Yes. As you say, charity is a mitzvah. Therefore we who learn Torah will continue to help support you, even if you want to play videos games all day, never leave, and don’t chip in your part of the Torah learning obligation to the place…

  34. Another piece of evidence that these religious rules, values, way of life may not be as divine as some of us were brought up to believe, but rather the agenda of a group of people who seek to control the way of life of others. Good article. A man who doesn't support his wife and kids is a loser period.

  35. Sharon Akins Eiseman – you are right, of course. But, and it is a big ‘but’, the other members of the scummery do not go around declaring how holy and moral they are…………

  36. I went to college, and so did my wife, and neither of us can find full-time jobs. Meanwhile, I see yungerleit in Williamsburg who speak broken English make it big. Education has nothing to do with parnassah – it is all in Hashem’s Hands. That is the big lesson of the Manna in this week’s parshah.

  37. the Rambam learned for most of his life – he only got a job after his brother, who supported him in learning, got lost at sea. We always talk about Rebbi Akiva starting to learn alef beis when he was 40, but the same was true of the Rambam when it came to learning secular studies.

  38. I went to college, and so did my wife, and neither of us can find full-time jobs. Meanwhile, I see yungerleit in Williamsburg who speak broken English make it big. Education has nothing to do with parnassah – it is all in Hashem's Hands. That is the big lesson of the Manna in this week's parshah.

  39. the Rambam learned for most of his life – he only got a job after his brother, who supported him in learning, got lost at sea. We always talk about Rebbi Akiva starting to learn alef beis when he was 40, but the same was true of the Rambam when it came to learning secular studies.

  40. I’m sorry, but it is flatly wrong and quite ridiculous to say that “Education has nothing to do with parnassah”. Being educated is strongly correlated with being employed and earning more money. There will, of course, be exceptions, especially in a poor economy. But your surest way to employment is to be educated and qualified for in-demand jobs.

  41. I went to an orthodox yeshiva through the end of high school and I have no idea. What is “Stacking”? And why would one need a second table cloth for dessert? And why do people keep making up all this new insanity?

  42. Stop adding “Rabbi” to your name. It is time to be ashamed to be one. We are being punished for our complacency, for blindly relying on small-minded, sef-appointed leaders who call themselves “Rabbis”. Don’t be like them. Hopefully, Hashem will have mercy on you and give you a job.

  43. Yitz Finkelstein it means when u take off from the table on shabbos do u put a plate on top of each other to clear the table or take each plate individually resulting in the woman going back and forth ten thousand times – but – oh – it looks better — bec no one else does — stupid!!

  44. chaim – or how the best shiduchim was made in brooklyn college bec all single girls AND boys were there and everyone “hung out” in SUBO or the Hillel House – or back when in Kosher Kountry and now in the Kosher Cafeteria. much more normal conversations betweens them with substance not this superficial – so where did u go to school and how thin is she.

  45. I'm sorry, but it is flatly wrong and quite ridiculous to say that "Education has nothing to do with parnassah". Being educated is strongly correlated with being employed and earning more money. There will, of course, be exceptions, especially in a poor economy. But your surest way to employment is to be educated and qualified for in-demand jobs.

  46. I went to an orthodox yeshiva through the end of high school and I have no idea. What is "Stacking"? And why would one need a second table cloth for dessert? And why do people keep making up all this new insanity?

  47. Stop adding "Rabbi" to your name. It is time to be ashamed to be one. We are being punished for our complacency, for blindly relying on small-minded, sef-appointed leaders who call themselves "Rabbis". Don't be like them. Hopefully, Hashem will have mercy on you and give you a job.

  48. Dear author,
    I would like to thank you and the Jewish Press for publishing this. I hope no editorial heads will roll.
    I think the situation is hopeless. The destruction of our communities has begun and nothing will stop this process from running its course. There are several generations that have been "wired" to rely on charity and to have others do their thinking for them. Until we all hit the bottom of poverty, until our children abandon us in disgust, until we suffer bloody attacks on our places of prayer and learning, blindly relying on government to protect and feed us, we are not going to wake up. Woe is to us!

  49. I don’t think it’s a matter of whether its ok for them to be educated. The problem is the college atmosphere. If there are colleges that have kosher atmospheres, or online college, then why not?

  50. Jason Bokow I am calling it like it is. There are many who have been indoctrinated to believe that learning Torah is a waste of time, and therefore they will compare it to playing video games. We understand that there can be nothing better than immersing ourselves in Torah, which is why we will sacrifice a lot of comforts and necessities for the privilege. If that’s called brainwashing, I’m glad that my brain is clean enough to allow me to pursue something more worthwhile than a video game.

  51. If a parent or in-law does not want to support a son or son-in law in Kollel they have the option of saying" no". There is not a gun to their head. Parents have no obligation. But I hate the deceit! Parents who buy their kids everything,from mansions to $2,000 dollar suits,SUVs, yeshiva tuition and try to play their friends and tell them their son is a successful so and so while hiding the fact the sonny boy's income is from the parent no different than some deserving kollel student..It is simply a question of keeping up appearances and trying to denigrate the honor of the Torah and those who learn it.

  52. Ihr HaTorah Lakewood and Mike Olivson, there is nobody trying to impose this lifestyle on anyone. If they are truly miserable living that way, they don’t need to do it. You’re right that not EVERYONE needs to emulate that example, but Rabbi Akiva was hardly the only one. Tens of thousands of men, from the earliest point in our history down to this day, have made tremendous sacrifices for Torah, and have been happy in doing so. It’s not a new phenomenon at all. Go read some history.

  53. Yitz Finkelstein it means when u take off from the table on shabbos do u put a plate on top of each other to clear the table or take each plate individually resulting in the woman going back and forth ten thousand times – but – oh – it looks better — bec no one else does — stupid!!

  54. chaim – or how the best shiduchim was made in brooklyn college bec all single girls AND boys were there and everyone "hung out" in SUBO or the Hillel House – or back when in Kosher Kountry and now in the Kosher Cafeteria. much more normal conversations betweens them with substance not this superficial – so where did u go to school and how thin is she.

  55. Yitz Finkelstein I agree with the rabbi. I know too many laid off professionals with more than three degrees (including lawyers and computer engineers! ) and people with zero college who own stores ,Satmar Chasidim who are making money hand over fist. BTW-So many of the college grads are buried in student debt that would take three lifetimes to get out of.

  56. Jason Bokow I am calling it like it is. There are many who have been indoctrinated to believe that learning Torah is a waste of time, and therefore they will compare it to playing video games. We understand that there can be nothing better than immersing ourselves in Torah, which is why we will sacrifice a lot of comforts and necessities for the privilege. If that's called brainwashing, I'm glad that my brain is clean enough to allow me to pursue something more worthwhile than a video game.

  57. It seems you missed the point of the article, and have redirected the focus to today's US economics. If your point was that boys in Yeshiva should go find a job instead of going to college, then the point is well taken. However, the writer was focusing on the lack of interest by the boys in our communities to find ANY method of gainful employment, and instead choose to stay in Yeshiva for fear of not getting the best shidduch,. The situation is deplorable, and must be rectified.

  58. I live in Lakewood too, and I know plenty of miserable women. Miserable that they're overworked between work and home. Miserable that they can't give their kids what they need. Miserable because they're already in debt, and haven;t begun marrying off their children. They may not admit it to you, but they have to me. Why do they do it? Either because they feel they have no choice, or because they were convinced this is what God wants. I too live among these souls, and it pains me to watch them suffer.

  59. Boys who plan on sitting and learning and not making a living are a burden on society. This cannot be the way of the future for the Jewish people. If you dont make a living, dont get married, and dont bring children into impoverished lifestyles. These yeshiva boys/men should be working and adding to the society. And then in their free time, no one is stopping them from learning too. PS. Hi darling Ari!!

  60. Ihr HaTorah Lakewood and Mike Olivson, there is nobody trying to impose this lifestyle on anyone. If they are truly miserable living that way, they don't need to do it. You're right that not EVERYONE needs to emulate that example, but Rabbi Akiva was hardly the only one. Tens of thousands of men, from the earliest point in our history down to this day, have made tremendous sacrifices for Torah, and have been happy in doing so. It's not a new phenomenon at all. Go read some history.

  61. Boys who plan on sitting and learning and not making a living are a burden on society. This cannot be the way of the future for the Jewish people. If you dont make a living, dont get married, and dont bring children into impoverished lifestyles. These yeshiva boys/men should be working and adding to the society. And then in their free time, no one is stopping them from learning too. PS. Hi darling Ari!!

  62. The “Make it big” because they typically have PhD’s or some other family business that they “fell into”. And believe me when I tell you that there are MANY shady practices in that area, not to mention fraud across many boundaries…That is NOT the “light unto the nations” that we are supposed to be.

  63. Too much of one thing in life can be detrimental to your health. God is the Master builder, and we are His buildings. He loves to have us draw near by studying His Word and those of His prophets, but not at the expense of losing vigilance toward our worship, our families, and our community. We must strive for balance in our lives – study without resulting action is meaningless.

  64. This generation in America may be able to afford to have many of its sons learning in Kollel. Many of the parents are well-off and can subsidize. But this is not sustainable in the next generation when the Kollel husband/father will not have the means to subsidize his kids. This is becoming obvious in Israel where the trend is the reverse: to go out to work despite the word of the gedolim because otherwise no food
    on the table. So oddly, america is trailing israel in this regard.
    What I cannot understand is where is the money going to come from to pay for yeshiva education for the knainahara many children on one salary+food stamps+Kollel stipend??
    Don’t the community leaders or rabbanim see the impending disaster? Or are they expecting a nes?

  65. The "Make it big" because they typically have PhD's or some other family business that they "fell into". And believe me when I tell you that there are MANY shady practices in that area, not to mention fraud across many boundaries…That is NOT the "light unto the nations" that we are supposed to be.

  66. Too much of one thing in life can be detrimental to your health. God is the Master builder, and we are His buildings. He loves to have us draw near by studying His Word and those of His prophets, but not at the expense of losing vigilance toward our worship, our families, and our community. We must strive for balance in our lives – study without resulting action is meaningless.

  67. I agree wholeheartedly. Not only is it ridiculous to put your family in financial strain, which is tremendously stressful and difficult, but to also squash the passions and talents of individuals who have so much to offer the world?

  68. Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski What do you mean by secular studies? Studies for a parnassa? In terms of general “secular” studies, the first book he wrote (in his 20s or teens) was a treatise on logic, not connected to religion.

    Rambam commentary on Pirkei avot: 10: Anyone who decides to be engaged in Torah [study] and not to work, and will be supported by Tzedaqa – this person desecrates God’s name (*Chillel et Hashem*), degrades the Torah, extinguishes the light of our faith, brings evil upon himself and forfeits life in *Olam haBa* (The world to come); since it is forbidden to derive benefit from the words of Torah in this world. The Rabbis said (Avot 4:5): Anyone who derives benefit from the words of Torah in this world, forfeits his life in Olam haBa. They further commanded and said: (Avot 4:5) Do not make them [the words of Torah] a crown to magnify yourself or an axe with which to chop. They further commanded, saying: (Avot 1:10) Love work and despise positions of power (*Rabbanut*). And: (Avot 2:2) Any Torah which is not accompanied by work will eventually be nullified and will lead to sin. Ultimately, such a person will steal from others.

  69. Rambam commentary on Pirkei Avot: 10:

    Anyone who decides to be engaged in Torah [study] and not to work, and will be supported by Tzedaqa – this person desecrates God’s name (*Chillel et Hashem*), degrades the Torah, extinguishes the light of our faith, brings evil upon himself and forfeits life in *Olam haBa* (The world to come); since it is forbidden to derive benefit from the words of Torah in this world.

    The Rabbis said (Avot 4:5): Anyone who derives benefit from the words of Torah in this world, forfeits his life in Olam haBa.

    They further commanded and said: (Avot 4:5) Do not make them [the words of Torah] a crown to magnify yourself or an axe with which to chop.

    They further commanded, saying: (Avot 1:10) Love work and despise positions of power (*Rabbanut*).

    And: (Avot 2:2) Any Torah which is not accompanied by work will eventually be nullified and will lead to sin. Ultimately, such a person will steal from others.

  70. Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski What do you mean by secular studies? Studies for a parnassa? In terms of general "secular" studies, the first book he wrote (in his 20s or teens) was a treatise on logic, not connected to religion.

    Rambam commentary on Pirkei avot: 10: Anyone who decides to be engaged in Torah [study] and not to work, and will be supported by Tzedaqa – this person desecrates God's name (*Chillel et Hashem*), degrades the Torah, extinguishes the light of our faith, brings evil upon himself and forfeits life in *Olam haBa* (The world to come); since it is forbidden to derive benefit from the words of Torah in this world. The Rabbis said (Avot 4:5): Anyone who derives benefit from the words of Torah in this world, forfeits his life in Olam haBa. They further commanded and said: (Avot 4:5) Do not make them [the words of Torah] a crown to magnify yourself or an axe with which to chop. They further commanded, saying: (Avot 1:10) Love work and despise positions of power (*Rabbanut*). And: (Avot 2:2) Any Torah which is not accompanied by work will eventually be nullified and will lead to sin. Ultimately, such a person will steal from others.

  71. Rambam commentary on Pirkei Avot: 10:

    Anyone who decides to be engaged in Torah [study] and not to work, and will be supported by Tzedaqa – this person desecrates God's name (*Chillel et Hashem*), degrades the Torah, extinguishes the light of our faith, brings evil upon himself and forfeits life in *Olam haBa* (The world to come); since it is forbidden to derive benefit from the words of Torah in this world.

    The Rabbis said (Avot 4:5): Anyone who derives benefit from the words of Torah in this world, forfeits his life in Olam haBa.

    They further commanded and said: (Avot 4:5) Do not make them [the words of Torah] a crown to magnify yourself or an axe with which to chop.

    They further commanded, saying: (Avot 1:10) Love work and despise positions of power (*Rabbanut*).

    And: (Avot 2:2) Any Torah which is not accompanied by work will eventually be nullified and will lead to sin. Ultimately, such a person will steal from others.

  72. Been saying it for years, which has subjected my family to ridicule, but lately we have heard the same from multiple fronts, as the Jewish world is beginning to realize that the system is unsustainable. Many of my son’s friends from the Mir, whom he would have thought would have been learning at this time, are now in the university or in jobs, as they learn to support a family.

  73. Been saying it for years, which has subjected my family to ridicule, but lately we have heard the same from multiple fronts, as the Jewish world is beginning to realize that the system is unsustainable. Many of my son's friends from the Mir, whom he would have thought would have been learning at this time, are now in the university or in jobs, as they learn to support a family.

  74. I actually did leave Yeshiva to work and try to support my family. My salary doesn’t even pay our rent, much less the billls, property tax, and buying food. This is a no win situation without bitachon b’Hashem, He helps us always, we just need to recognize it and maybe a lot of the things we “need” are actually things we can live without.

  75. I actually did leave Yeshiva to work and try to support my family. My salary doesn't even pay our rent, much less the billls, property tax, and buying food. This is a no win situation without bitachon b'Hashem, He helps us always, we just need to recognize it and maybe a lot of the things we "need" are actually things we can live without.

  76. I am not sure if this has been said already, but if I remember correctly Yaakov Avinu spent 14 years learning in Yeshiva before he went to find himself a wife. It does not tell us he was looking for a job before he looked for a wife. Lavan saw that he was tending to the flocks for nothing and then offered him a job in return for his daughter’s hand in marriage. He was at that time 77 years old. So maybe we should be telling the bochurim to find a rich father in law if you want to bring a proof from that story.

  77. Eli Gray everyone has their own agenda. The percentage of Jews learning full time is tiny. If someone wants to do research they should see what percentage it really is and what the total cost to the klal is. I would venture to say it is less than a chomesh! Money has to be given away anyway. G-d setup the system perfectly as usual!

  78. I am not sure if this has been said already, but if I remember correctly Yaakov Avinu spent 14 years learning in Yeshiva before he went to find himself a wife. It does not tell us he was looking for a job before he looked for a wife. Lavan saw that he was tending to the flocks for nothing and then offered him a job in return for his daughter's hand in marriage. He was at that time 77 years old. So maybe we should be telling the bochurim to find a rich father in law if you want to bring a proof from that story.

  79. Eli Gray everyone has their own agenda. The percentage of Jews learning full time is tiny. If someone wants to do research they should see what percentage it really is and what the total cost to the klal is. I would venture to say it is less than a chomesh! Money has to be given away anyway. G-d setup the system perfectly as usual!

  80. Everyone should support themselves, I agree. Unfortunately our State Universities are so liberal it is a moral imperative to send our kids to Jewish Universities. Lander’s College allows men to both learn and study and our leaders need to send their crew there. Women and children need to live comfortably. Welfare needs return to being taboo. If we teach our kids to live off of government programs or charity what will become of this generation?

  81. Reb Yitzchak, there is bitachon and hishtadlus. You need to do your Hishtadlus (getting an education, applying for a job, etc.) but also have bitachon that Hashem will help you out the rest of your way. The ones that get by in life without an education are getting an education elsewhere. There really is no free lunch.

  82. Rabbi Joseph Kolakoski, are you basically saying that a person can jump off the roof because it’s all in Hashem’s hand? Because “some” people make it big doesn’t mean that’s the right way…

  83. What’s wrong with u devo shiffer obviously I was just joking. Its called a figure of speech . Acclimate yourself to a Sense of humor . It might make you a little happier.

  84. My rebbe from college holds a degree from Columbia University and last I checked, BP and Flatbush are lined with frum owned businesses that are in plain site and hundreds maybe thousands that you don’t even know about. This article is stupidly damaging.

  85. Whats wrong with You Devo Shchiffer. Obviously I was just joking. Its called a figure of speech. Acclimate yourself to a sense of humor. It might make you a little happier.

  86. The fundamental issue here is that you assume that women need to be supported financially by their spouses. I certainly understand that women may not want to be married to a working man, but at the same time, women have the right to have careers, too, and support their families equally.

  87. I agree. I’ve met women who were so proud of their daughter’s engagement and marriage to a “learning boy” and that their daughter would soon be a wife, employee, mother and homemaker – expected to work at a job to financially support herself, her husband and future children, as well as take care of the home doing the food shopping, cooking, cleaning, get the children ready for day care or school while the husband would be off “learning” all day. As an educated woman, I was (and am) so confused as to her excitement for her daughter – a life of slavery work – with what sounded like would be little participation from her husband other than to help father their future children and study and learn to help bring about moshiach. I couldn’t understand why the husband, even if capable, couldn’t contribute financially to the household as well as make time for study each day. My view of marriage is quite different – a partnership requiring participation from both spouses on all levels of their abilities — emotionally, financially, physically, intellectually — and each helps to bring out the best in the other. I believe that in the right partnership both partners can achieve their highest best, but if there is little input and participation from one spouse or the other, that is a breeding ground for future resentment and failed marriage – the very thing I believe these couples and others supporting them are trying to avoid. I don’t believe anyone goes into a marriage expecting it to fail – but expecting one spouse to “do it all” while the other simply “learns” all day, doesn’t seem a sound plan to me. In fact, I know some religious and observant couples who seem to have figured it out where both are working now and one stayed home for a few years while the children were young and now that the children are older he has the ability to carve out time for his learning.

  88. Robert Grunstein Robbie, without some statistics, I can’t come close to agreeing with you. I still believe that this article talks to a segment minority. Aside from the tone and tenor of it, there is nothing constructive to be read here.

  89. Good article. I do agree that our universities are not good places. However, the secular world ignores the need for skilled tradesmen. Jobs like plumbing and auto mechanics get little respect in the secular world. I know that in a lot of the observant world getting the hands dirty is nearly as big a sin as mixing meat and milk, but what about computer and other equipment repair, machinist, etc.? I think we need trade schools for frum men, with entrepreneurship classes included,. Then our very intelligent young men, who have been taught to think by their long years of learning, can become effective, successful businessmen-lomdim and help their families and the community both by their learning and with their money.

  90. yes, you are right for the most part. chassidish communities have not embraced this nonsense and so make room for the real lamdanim to shine. It seems to be endemic in the ‘yeshivish’ world

  91. Jonathan Greenberg While I cant speak for your rabbi I can talk from my own experiences. My college tuition is costing around $100,000. Now my plan is to get a job the second i graduate. The chances of me paying off that debt in a comfortable amount of time is almost nill. And that is with me working from day one. Now imagine me taking a few years off to learn in kollel… I would be outdated and out of luck. In addition I found that i was grossly ill prepared for secular schooling with my background in both ultra orthodox and orthodox Jewish education. I have 18 years of pure and committed ultra orthodox Jewish ideology and education under my belt, yet in no way was i prepared for the real world. It is blind to think that this is one in a million scenario. My life and countless others who were broken by the system are proof of that.

  92. It also depends on the degree you get. If you’re an art history major or historian it’s going to be harder to find a job. Just saying. A lot of people major in sociology or art history because it’s easy. Well the easy way out has its consequences. While some people can make a good living from these degrees most cannot. So many of my friends had to go back to school because they realized this too late.

  93. i am happy to have a secular education, and to share it with bnei Torah, but it is impossible to find work with a democrat in the White House taxing the job makers out of America – when Bush was in the White House, I was making 50k and gas was less than $2 a gallon – when Obama came into office, my salary fell to 12k and gas went up to $4 a gallon

  94. Yitzchak Baruch Fishel so again, not agree with his point of view is antisemitism? Interesting because from what I understand Antisemitism is more akin to harming someone or verbally abusing them due to their Jewish race. But now I understand. Its when your trying to just introduce another point of view and bring to light an issue. Thanks for clarifying…. Wow. I’m so glad I don’t have to think like you. You must have a lot of hate and fear in your heart, since most of the world doesn’t have your same beliefs.

  95. Pnina Super I do not really see shlichas as an issue. While it is not the path to wealth, most shluchim will get by. Much better option from a financial point of view than the Kollel life.

  96. Shoshanna Silcove there are sooooo many disenfranchised wanna be shluchim couples and there aren’t enough positions. Starting a whole new chabad house poses all kinds of logistical nightmares etc that most young couples are unable to handle. Job creation like working under a head shaliach is their best bet and that ranges from janitorial work (I’ve seen it) to teaching to anything that gives a slight parnassa, of course with the expectation that the wife will work as well. Often in her chosen college or equivalent profession.This is a very complex imbalance that the author of this article wrote about, affecting most frum communities. No-one is immune to this stream of education, some of the most illustrious schools have educated their bas Yisrael’s to get a good degree so their husband’s can ‘learn’…

  97. I think schools that discourage boys from seeking a profession and encourage girls to marry non-working boys are doing a terrible disservice to these young people. What happens if they have special-needs children, and the mother can’t continue working, or if she herself gets sick or has childbirth complications? I don’t understand how any self-respecting young man can sit and learn all day while his wife works, then comes home to a full-time job as well. Who is taking care of the kids?

  98. Ahron Ebert — Rabbi Akiva married the daughter of a rich man who disinherited her because he disapproved of her choice of a husband. Read the sources to see how destitute Akiva and Rachel were for the first years of their marriage. And yes, they did have children.

  99. @ Yehuda. Why Shame for bringing out a real problem that obviously needs to get discussed? The shame is that nothing is going to happen as a result of this article and so many like it. It’s just hand ringing. Where’s the next steps and plan of action?

  100. it`s nice to see when bal teshuvas romanticize the lack of education ( to be able to find a job). it`s more the way of how our communities work that helps us to find jobs. as a hassid you go to people of your kehilla and they 100 % help you finding a job (that`s at least in satmar). the problem in this is that we remain dependent on the goodwill of others instead of being able to survive by ourselves. education is very important and has to go together with Talmud Torah …

  101. yes there are many Shluchim who are basically destitute, some are bankrupt very sad, a couple in a small community cannot raise enough money to support their activities and pay themselves a living wage.

  102. Nice article. Just thought I’d share though, I see this problem in a completely different light. I know many fantastic single young women who are looking for very frum guys who are planning on making a living. However many of these young women are forced into saying they are looking for learning guys just to be taken seriously in getting a date with a serious frum guy. Yes there are some girls who say, and legitimately mean, they only want a guy who will be learning and won’t have a parnassa but I find that type of girl very rare to come upon. Let me explain from my personal perspective. When I was in the dating scene about 7 years ago, I knew (from experience) that I had to tell all the shadchanim I wanted a guy who was only going to learn for at least a year in the beginning if I wanted to be taken seriously about wanting a good frum guy. And even then, when I added that I additionally wanted a guy who would go to college and had plans for a future parnassa, I was responded to with sneer remarks such as “Oh so you think you could get the best of both worlds” or that I would never find someone who is really sincerely committed to yiddishkiet if he were to go to college. My take on this issue is that it is not the girls (since I know personally many many girls who want good frum guys who will go to college and have a profession), but the rabbeim and the yeshiva system who have literally forced the girls into a position where they seem to have no other choice. The rabbeim in many yeshivas seem to be really discouraging boys from going out there and getting professions and going to college. They encourage the boys to stay in learning as long as possible and in many instances dissuade them from going to college altogether. They leave no real choice for the girls but to say that is what they want, because they don’t think they could easily get the alternative – a sincere learner/worker. It’s as if the Rabbeim who are encouraging this don’t realize that such a lifestyle is completely backwards and unsustainable. If a husband does not even have a plan to fall back on, the whole worry and responsibility for parnassa falls completely on the woman (who will also be having the children and taking care of the household.) Who will be there to bring these kids up? Besides for the fact that it’s the responsible thing for a guy to go out and help provide for his family, men have an inborn work ethic and have a need for an outlet; to get out and do something else besides learn could be very healthy for him and his family. This doesn’t make him any less of a frum person, on the contrary, it makes him a responsible frum person. I don’t see the problem here stemming from the fact that this is what the girls ideally want, and so the boys are bending towards them. I think it is stemming from the encouragement of the Yeshivos & Rabbeim to not pursue a college education or profession, which leads to most of the good sincere frum guys going down that path, which then leads to the girls having to shape what they say they’re looking for to adhere to it.

  103. I am not a Rebbetzin in a Yeshiva, those are the types of shadchanim who spoke like that. Which helps prove my point further that this is how the yeshivos and rabbeim think about the whole ‘college/profession’ topic.

  104. The Morah’s omit the fact that rabbi akiva’s wife did not leave her kids in day care, go to work, then shop, clean house, cook, work, leave her kids in day care, work, work, cook, clean, do laundry. She was home with her kids. Ans almost all the Rishonim and Acharonim WORKED.

  105. Truly spoken Melanie. Again, this was really a great article Ari and I applaud you for bringing up such a pivotal point! I think the “problem” is clearly multifactorial; however if we are going to get to the root cause of it I am pretty sure something needs to change with the yeshiva system and rabbeim and where they are steering the next generation’s fathers, husbands, and ‘breadwinners’.

  106. The far more serious issue here is the communal “acceptance” of dishonest behavior from money laundering to parking in front of fire hydrants. We need to get back to basics with strong secular education and good skills to earn an honest living which does not in any way – negate true Torah learning and observance.

  107. and this mentality has made it easy to make a minyan in federal penitentiary. Teaching kids to drop out of high school and have no reasonable options for earning a living is truly putting a stumbling block before the blind. The much more reasonable approach is to promote excellence in both secular and Torah education with a strong focus on good skills that allow young people to get good jobs and earn a parnassah in an honest way. How many of us know of Shuls where it is well known that they are supported through money laundering and gimmicks. Take a break from the party line for a minute and think about what is best for our young people.

  108. I am a true Bais Yaacov Lakewood girl and do have great respect for those who are able to humble themselves and devote themselves to the kollel life. But it is definitely NOT for everyone and shouldn’t be shoved down the throats of young couples that will crack under the pressure. I don’t feel that collage degrees are the answer though, since many years of education does not garauntee employment anymore. An other major factor which I wish this article had mentioned was how our standard of living today is, in my opinion, rediculously comfortable and the pressure to “keep up with the Schwartzes” is out of control. Keep life simple, appriciate what you have and don’t waist learning time to chase the American dream, which is really a nightmare.

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