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Jerusalem - Amid Financial Crisis Jews Pray For Aid

Published on: November 15, 2008 07:35 PM
By: MSNBC
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Jerusalem - Will prayer help deliver world markets? If around 2,500 Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel have anything to say about it, hope may be on the way.

Concerned about the health of the global economy, Jews in 11 major seminaries across Israel prayed Thursday night for a fast resolution to the world’s financial crisis – and for Jews who contribute to Israel’s cash-strapped yeshivas.

The religious schools rely heavily on donations from American philanthropists, and consequently, the seminaries have started feeling the pinch from the crash of world markets and the weakening of the U.S. dollar.

Image: Ultra-Orthodox Jews participate in a prayer calling for the end of the worldwide financial crisis
AP file
Ultra-Orthodox Jews participate in a prayer calling for the end of the worldwide financial crisis at the Yeshivat Ha-Ran Jewish seminary in Jerusalem, Thursday.

The Ateret Shlomo Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, a city just east of Tel Aviv that is comprised predominantly of Haredi Jews who follow a conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, was packed with seminary students on Thursday evening.

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The students were studying and debating in a big hall with some bowing back and forth on their chairs while praying intensely.

But at 7 p.m. all eyes turned as their rabbi walked in.

Rabbi Israel Bunem Shriber, the head of the yeshiva took his place in the front row and turned to the students with a strong message: the financial crisis is overseas, but everyone should be prepared because its coming our way very soon.

“You students might ask, ‘What is it my business if a wealthy Jew in America is suffering from economic problems?’ Well, I say that if there is an earthquake in Honolulu it should matter to us since troubles always come closer and closer,” said Shriber.

Soon everyone had joined Shriber in wailing in prayer.

On the way out, Aria Englard, one of the seminarians, explained how many of the students were already taking actions to thwart the economic crisis at home. “Our wives carefully calculate what to buy and not to buy. We buy only the basics just so we can last through the month.”

The U.S. dollar has fallen sharply against the Israeli shekel in the past year as the financial crisis gathered pace.

Yeshivas are not the only institutions to feel the pinch in Israel: many hospitals, universities and other non-profits also depend on donations and have reported fundraising difficulties in recent months.



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Read Comments (24)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 15, 2008 at 08:52 PM Anonymous Says:

I am trying to figure out what the fuss is all about. We say that we are in a financial crisis. Ok, lets put things in prespective. Look around all of us and ourselves and we will see that people are leasing brand new cars, people are still dining out, people buy expensive and lavish clothing. Planes were packed with people visiting EY for Succos with families.People went on summer vacations and sent their kids to camp that cost families in excess of 10,000. People shelling out money to go on chol hamoed trips and concerts. I can go on and on. So we call this a crisis? If its a crisis then people are plain dumb to spend irrationally . So whats going on here? OK some people may be poor, but there has always been poor people. OK some people may have lost money , but people have always lost money, so can someone please explain WHAT IS THIS CRISIS THAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT?

2

 Nov 15, 2008 at 08:50 PM just curious Says:

Beside prayer is work an option?

3

 Nov 15, 2008 at 08:49 PM American Says:

So they only care about "Americans suffering economocially" if it affects them.

That's disgusting and shameful.

4

 Nov 15, 2008 at 09:28 PM Anonymous Says:

I dont see the problem . Every person needs to do histadlus . If u need money to support your family then go to work . If u say they dont pay enough? thats not your dept. Leave it up to hashem . U have to be a nachshon and jump in . If you dont show any hishtadlus why should hashem help u out . Bderech Sheadam rotseh lelech molichin oso. just m 2cents

5

 Nov 15, 2008 at 09:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

I am trying to figure out what the fuss is all about. We say that we are in a financial crisis. Ok, lets put things in prespective. Look around all of us and ourselves and we will see that people are leasing brand new cars, people are still dining out, people buy expensive and lavish clothing. Planes were packed with people visiting EY for Succos with families.People went on summer vacations and sent their kids to camp that cost families in excess of 10,000. People shelling out money to go on chol hamoed trips and concerts. I can go on and on. So we call this a crisis? If its a crisis then people are plain dumb to spend irrationally . So whats going on here? OK some people may be poor, but there has always been poor people. OK some people may have lost money , but people have always lost money, so can someone please explain WHAT IS THIS CRISIS THAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT?

What a fine example of a yiddisher heart.

NOT.

6

 Nov 15, 2008 at 09:21 PM Chusid Says:

Why dont they work instead of praying? Or is that not even an option to consider.These must be people who realy love their wives and children.

7

 Nov 15, 2008 at 09:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Chusid Says:

Why dont they work instead of praying? Or is that not even an option to consider.These must be people who realy love their wives and children.

You might feel a little silly when they play back that remark on yom hadin.

8

 Nov 15, 2008 at 09:39 PM Thanks Says:

I guess the prayer wont work for anyone who thinks it’s insane. For me I say THANK YOU!!!! I have and will always put benai kollel first!

9

 Nov 15, 2008 at 10:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Dosent all the gashmius come in the zechus of the torah? So I guess the kollel yungerleit are really buming around cause the economy sucks big time,I think the working ppl should start praying that the bnei torah should start learning again

10

 Nov 15, 2008 at 11:36 PM If not t'fila Says:

then what else???

I cannot believe the comments of 2 and 3.

Dont you people understand that it is the ones learning that are saving the world from much worse?!?!

11

 Nov 16, 2008 at 12:28 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
If not t'fila Says:

then what else???

I cannot believe the comments of 2 and 3.

Dont you people understand that it is the ones learning that are saving the world from much worse?!?!

I agree with you… and not only that ..to say the least ...ppl shouldn't wonder after remarks as those comments ,WHY in the world we are in a crisis we are....if you believe in anything....just read Parshas BeChokosie… I sure hope it is only a perception of a mere minority …either way we are desperately in need for the merit of torah to protect us all…

12

 Nov 16, 2008 at 04:31 AM Big Masmid Says:

I dont know how some of us can be so ignorant and ask how will prayer help? I can't take it any longer.

H E L P how have we stopped down so low? if not Prayers so what could you suggest thats going to help save Klall Yisroel. Nothing else just prayers.

Ha Kol Kol Yakov the power of the Jewish nation is only Davening and when you finish that you go back and Daven some more.

Please all VIN readers, we are one big family and we have to Daven for each other, for Klall Yisroel, hang in there if we unite with our prayers Hashem will surly save us!!

13

 Nov 16, 2008 at 02:51 AM HOW DO YOU SAY GET A JOB Says:

MAYBE KOLLEL ISNT THE ANSWER

14

 Nov 16, 2008 at 01:17 AM Anonymous Says:

i think for starters BMG of lakewood should show an example on closing all its coffe rooms . its a total bitul torah to have them open during seder . maybe in this zechus people will learn more tora

15

 Nov 16, 2008 at 06:40 AM mikesdinette@aol.com Says:

11:36 has the only sensible comment;shame on all those bashing learning torah lishma; especially this day in age when the world is in need for a big yeshua...all I can say about those negative bloggers, AL EILEH ANI BOCHIA.......

16

 Nov 16, 2008 at 07:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Big Masmid Says:

I dont know how some of us can be so ignorant and ask how will prayer help? I can't take it any longer.

H E L P how have we stopped down so low? if not Prayers so what could you suggest thats going to help save Klall Yisroel. Nothing else just prayers.

Ha Kol Kol Yakov the power of the Jewish nation is only Davening and when you finish that you go back and Daven some more.

Please all VIN readers, we are one big family and we have to Daven for each other, for Klall Yisroel, hang in there if we unite with our prayers Hashem will surly save us!!

I guess the problem people have is that the the bnei kollel seem to think of only themselves, not Klal Yisroel. Over the past months, when thousands of Jews, frum and not frum, lost their jobs, it didn';t seem to matter. However, once it affected them, they started to pray, but only for the philanthropists on whom they rely on. Thie message seems to be, we only care and pray for those who can help us.

17

 Nov 16, 2008 at 09:39 AM Merkin Says:

I agree with 16. Question: With all the kollel "learning" going on, where are new leaders for the rest of the community? In my opinion, the kollel does not breed Jewish leaders for the people. On the contrary, the kollel breeds sheep and followers and dependent schnorors. A schnorror can never be a leader. This is the tragedy of our situation today and why there are no gedolim coming from all these thousands who "sit and learn".

18

 Nov 16, 2008 at 09:20 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

I guess the problem people have is that the the bnei kollel seem to think of only themselves, not Klal Yisroel. Over the past months, when thousands of Jews, frum and not frum, lost their jobs, it didn';t seem to matter. However, once it affected them, they started to pray, but only for the philanthropists on whom they rely on. Thie message seems to be, we only care and pray for those who can help us.

I dont think you make any sense

19

 Nov 16, 2008 at 11:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #18  
Anonymous Says:

I dont think you make any sense

he makes very much sence. take ur head out of your sand box and smell the coffee . they only started davening for the rich that wre affected because thats who they rely on and not on hashen . shame on them . go get a job and hashem will provide . he needs to see your hishtadlus

20

 Nov 16, 2008 at 12:05 PM 770 Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

he makes very much sence. take ur head out of your sand box and smell the coffee . they only started davening for the rich that wre affected because thats who they rely on and not on hashen . shame on them . go get a job and hashem will provide . he needs to see your hishtadlus

you know something Reb. Lavi Yitzchok Barditchiver zt"l would say look how nice those people are they are davening for klall yisrel

21

 Nov 16, 2008 at 12:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

i think for starters BMG of lakewood should show an example on closing all its coffe rooms . its a total bitul torah to have them open during seder . maybe in this zechus people will learn more tora

Every office has a coffee machine and a water cooler. Employers know that although some abuse it most workers work better after they clear their heads every couple of hours.

Why can't a man learning all day use a coffee break to enhance his learning???

22

 Nov 16, 2008 at 12:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Merkin Says:

I agree with 16. Question: With all the kollel "learning" going on, where are new leaders for the rest of the community? In my opinion, the kollel does not breed Jewish leaders for the people. On the contrary, the kollel breeds sheep and followers and dependent schnorors. A schnorror can never be a leader. This is the tragedy of our situation today and why there are no gedolim coming from all these thousands who "sit and learn".

And you are not a shnorer???

How many times a day do you ask the RBS"O for things?

23

 Nov 16, 2008 at 01:59 PM merkin Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

And you are not a shnorer???

How many times a day do you ask the RBS"O for things?

So you call anyone who davens a shnorer? What a strange and unusual concept! No wonder the Jews have problems. They forgot how to think straight!

24

 Nov 17, 2008 at 09:12 AM Anonymous Says:

Note that the prayers are for the "financial health of the philanthropists" not for the philanthropists themselves. There is quite a difference.

25

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