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New York - Normal Children and Dangerous Kanoim

Published on: April 20, 2009 10:31 AM
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New York - Read this report on Arutz Sheva titled Dangerous Youth in Bnei Brak and weep.

Weep for these kids who have been mislead to believe that anything less than full day learning is shameful.

Weep for their parents who did not have the courage to buck community pressure and do what was right for their “average” sons years ago.

And weep for our charedi tzibur that gave the green light for many years now to kanoim and extremists who have quashed all efforts in Bnei Brak and many other communities to create alternate programs and recreational activities for healthy, normal, mainstream children who so desperately are in need of them.

Several years ago, I had the Ze’chus to be in the presence of Maran HoRav Ahron Leib Shteinman shlit”a, when he spoke at the Torah Umesorah Convention. Outside were dozens of kanoim, fiercely protesting his support of Nachal Charedi, (here are two columns that I wrote a while back about Nachal Charedi – Nachal Charedi #1  and Nachal Charedi #2 ), a wonderful program created for charedi boys who are not full-time learners.

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Make no mistake about it. The ruined lives of these children, the tears of their parents, and the havoc these kids wreak on our kehilos are all on their hands.

My friends; Arutz Sheva got everything right but the title. The kids aren’t dangerous, they were just normal children driven to the streets by the dangerous kanoim who are destroying every facet of our kehilos.



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1

 Apr 20, 2009 at 09:36 AM ali Says:

BRAVO!!!!! It is about time we stand up to those thugs. Banish them from our community!! But I must say one thing the Dangerous Kanoim that we speak about is what is on the opposite sides of these mislead youths.... there really is no middle ground.

2

 Apr 20, 2009 at 09:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Is it any different in America, every crazy new thing that starts in Isreal comes here shortly after. how many of our youth are prepared to support a family or really want to learn all day yet thwey are afraid to be different

3

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:25 AM Anonymous Says:

Our own fault. The girls only want learning boys.

4

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:22 AM joel rich Says:

From Rabbi E.E.Dessler:
The Lithuanian Rashei Yeshivah, on the other hand, set as their main objective to educate Gedolei Torah, discouraging all contact with the intellectual world outside the yeshiva. They realized that the only way to achieve this was to concentrate all the energies of their students exclusively on Torah learning [and not to allow any alternative respectful goals.] They were well aware of the price they had to pay for this because they knew that many yeshivah students were not able to deal with this extreme lifestyle and would [and in fact did] leave religious observance. They tried as best they could to help those who could not remain in the yeshiva as bnei Torah.

5

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:19 AM PMO Says:

Brilliant. Finally an HONEST analysis of the problem. Although I don't agree with #2... this problem has existed here in the U.S. for a long time as well.

Like I said before, when did it become so "wrong" or "undesirable" for a man to go out and make a living? When did it be come such a disgrace to spend a couple of years as an apprentice in a trade in order to start a business? My grandfather (he grew up in WB) opened a butcher shop in the Bronx. What was so terrible? He made a beautiful living, spent free time learning, and raised a family. By today's standards, he would be considered undesirable and unworthy of a decent shidduch! My other grandfather worked on the docks, unloading and delivering produce from the ships. He worked hard for his family. Again, he would be considered an "undesirable" today. How shallow and pathetic we have become when it comes to these things.

I am proud to be a professional who spends most of his free time learning with his friends and family. I am very proud that H" gave me the ability to build a life for myself and my family. I'm also glad I found a shidduch before my successes made me so undesirable.

6

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:12 AM chief doofis Says:

Almost a century ago, American Orthodoxy created the (all) day school. There, you can get a passable secular education, and in SOME of them, a fairly good Torah education, as well. Take the concept, tweak it a bit, if you want, a little more Tora, a little less secular for some, a different ratio for others. Perhaps a little Nach or some of the less "Lomdischer" masichtaot for some kids. not everyone is designed to be a lawyer, and yet, if all you learn all day is Talmud, that's what you become. The secular world has room for doctors, teachers, engineers, and accountants as well as for lawyers. There are also non scholastic fields. For the "frum" kid, there is no choice. Let's not destroy our kids!

7

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:03 AM scooter Says:

This Article Is Wrong! The Nachal Chareidy Took Frum Children And Made Them For Goiem L"u! Even If R Aron Leib Shteinman Holds From It It Don't Mean Its Kosher, Bucherem Eating Yom Kipur Is Acceptable?

8

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:35 AM not a kanoi Says:

in my opinion, the need for a alternative for those kids are essential however, there is a need for these crazy kanoim to send out a message that this is not the optimal way of life for all bacurim. there are some kids that have the ability of being in a yeshivah envoiroment and learn all day but they need a bit more of encouragment, and if they will get the the impression that going to the nachal is 100% acceptable they will rather take the easier way out.
there has to be a few idiots (and I call them idiots because of the way they deliver their message) who say that its not the first choice for a frum bachur so that the ones that do not necessarely have the need to drop out of yeshivah with just a little bit of more effort know that there is some opposition to this idea.
again, that does not excuse those kanoim of protesting the way they do, but maybe we have to find some other way to let the kids know that (liturature or a drushe etc.). if the idea of a bucher going out to work or so is known to be a second choice there would have been a chance that some of the kids who did leave the yeshivah because of the hardships they had there that couldve been solved easily with a little bit of work from staff, they might have grown up to be big dayanim or talmidei chachamim and the world will now be without them.....
what a misfortune...

9

 Apr 20, 2009 at 09:48 AM satmer Says:

Gr8 let's hope for better days I'm not sure its juat the fault of the kanuim its in the fault of the parents as well they should just admire their son who wants to got get a job or a degree in something and not give a dam for the community the only ones who can force this through is the mosdes itself and their rabbis and community leaders I'm in!

10

 Apr 20, 2009 at 09:45 AM Anonymous Says:

yeshivos here need to wake up as well. this idea that everyone has to learn regardless of ability and not train our children that an education is important as the post war generation did has destroyed the current generation, something we are seeing with this recession. parents can no longer pay for their children in kolel and they have no skills to go and work. this creates shalom bayis issues and disention in the house. it effects tuition because more people have to subsidize those that cant pay causing stress in there homes. i am still waiting for yeshivos to become leaner and look inside themselves to see how they are destroying homes and have become the greatest impetus for aaliyah to yerushalayim.

11

 Apr 20, 2009 at 09:42 AM masmid Says:

when you offer alternative lifestyles to a life of torah study you weaken the sense of its importance to the majority of people that can and do excell in it. the torah of bnai brak holds up the entire world! don't tamper with it, rabbi horowitz!

12

 Apr 20, 2009 at 09:39 AM Daniel Says:

Our holy Torah is clear:

Now, just before the arrival of Moshiach, our nation and our land are in the hands of the Erev Rav, who appear to be upright leaders of our people, bearded or shaven, religious or secular, and their goal has NOTHING to do with Halacha, Eretz Yisrael, or even the welfare of the Jews.

They want and seek one thing: CONTROL. They simply want to rule over the Jews any way they can.

Learn about and oppose them!

May Hashem bless you and keep you strong, Rabbi Horowitz!

13

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:54 AM Shaul in Monsey Says:

Come on Yanky! Great read but go all the way and call it like it is. Instead of calling them kanoim and extremists, let's call them what they are - Taliban with yarmulkas.

14

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:50 AM A Poilishe Yid Says:

Reply to #5  
PMO Says:

Brilliant. Finally an HONEST analysis of the problem. Although I don't agree with #2... this problem has existed here in the U.S. for a long time as well.

Like I said before, when did it become so "wrong" or "undesirable" for a man to go out and make a living? When did it be come such a disgrace to spend a couple of years as an apprentice in a trade in order to start a business? My grandfather (he grew up in WB) opened a butcher shop in the Bronx. What was so terrible? He made a beautiful living, spent free time learning, and raised a family. By today's standards, he would be considered undesirable and unworthy of a decent shidduch! My other grandfather worked on the docks, unloading and delivering produce from the ships. He worked hard for his family. Again, he would be considered an "undesirable" today. How shallow and pathetic we have become when it comes to these things.

I am proud to be a professional who spends most of his free time learning with his friends and family. I am very proud that H" gave me the ability to build a life for myself and my family. I'm also glad I found a shidduch before my successes made me so undesirable.

Here, Here! Where is it written that every young man is destined to be a Talmud Chachom or one of the Gedloei Yisroel? Why do we insist on trying to cram a suare peg in a round hole! That is one of the fine atrributes of Satmar, they send those who are not up to being Rabbonim out to learn a trade or skill and become self sufficent. We must adjust our ways those that can should and those that are not able should be led in directions that will allow they to be productive and still have time to learn according to their abilities.

15

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:49 AM knowitall Says:

As long as from the age of 13 and on in EY there is not a bit of secular education, this problem will increase exponentially. The fact is that most 13-18 years old boys cannot learn Gemara all day. When they can't hack it, they become apathetic, depressed ,feel worthless and get into trouble. A generation of sarcastic apathetic know nothing youth are spawning, when we could be having industrious and ambitious young men. It takes no talent to throw every boy into the same cookie cutter. It takes talent to determine what what each boy is best suited to do in life and treat them as individuals. Let there be choice! Chanoch l'naar kfi darcho!

16

 Apr 20, 2009 at 11:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
knowitall Says:

As long as from the age of 13 and on in EY there is not a bit of secular education, this problem will increase exponentially. The fact is that most 13-18 years old boys cannot learn Gemara all day. When they can't hack it, they become apathetic, depressed ,feel worthless and get into trouble. A generation of sarcastic apathetic know nothing youth are spawning, when we could be having industrious and ambitious young men. It takes no talent to throw every boy into the same cookie cutter. It takes talent to determine what what each boy is best suited to do in life and treat them as individuals. Let there be choice! Chanoch l'naar kfi darcho!

A very apropos assessment of the situation, if we can just now get the brain washed populus and the Rabbonim to see the problem.

17

 Apr 20, 2009 at 11:08 AM Anonymous Says:

Since when is it a stira to be a gadol and work?Look in the gemara.All the amoiraim woked for a living.Regular yeshivas have to teach kids basic halochos of running a home and have their bochurim get jobs and become proper b'nei torah

18

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:55 AM Frum MD Says:

Reply to #6  
chief doofis Says:

Almost a century ago, American Orthodoxy created the (all) day school. There, you can get a passable secular education, and in SOME of them, a fairly good Torah education, as well. Take the concept, tweak it a bit, if you want, a little more Tora, a little less secular for some, a different ratio for others. Perhaps a little Nach or some of the less "Lomdischer" masichtaot for some kids. not everyone is designed to be a lawyer, and yet, if all you learn all day is Talmud, that's what you become. The secular world has room for doctors, teachers, engineers, and accountants as well as for lawyers. There are also non scholastic fields. For the "frum" kid, there is no choice. Let's not destroy our kids!

Why is there no choice for the Frum kid, with the proper education they can become Doctors, Lawyers etc. and wouldn't it be nice to see, hopefully, some Mentchlichkeit brought into these professions by these Frum KIDS, not just a bunch of gelt fressers! And guess what they would still have time to sit and learn!

19

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:55 AM Normal please Says:

First the folks who need the mussar others are offering here are not on the net so . . . .
The problem is noit so much what the Kani message is because at its core a kanoi is looking for an intense uncomprimising level of observance. What is lacking is a lack of balance. A kanoi, a real one is not acting out of anger, or exhibit other negative behaivior. Rather based on Yiras Shamayim will act as conscience of the community championing what is right in the face of general laxity or indiffrence.
These subtle diffrences make the difference between Kanim and fanatics.

20

 Apr 20, 2009 at 11:16 AM Anonymous Says:

And maybe you should also cry on the official split that most of the gedolei yisroel in a few occasions, officially announced against the reform members and maskilim and about 100 years later the same thing was repeated with the neloggen [and even status qua], (which eventually saved klal yisroel from a ruchnius disaster) that cost am yisroel thousands of lost souls, many went totally off the derech after those actions were announced, and were even assimilated after the split, being pushed out of klal yisroel by the leading gedolim of that time in Europe.
The gedolei yisroel has chosen to sacrifice some rotten apples in the garden, in order to save all of us!

21

 Apr 20, 2009 at 11:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
masmid Says:

when you offer alternative lifestyles to a life of torah study you weaken the sense of its importance to the majority of people that can and do excell in it. the torah of bnai brak holds up the entire world! don't tamper with it, rabbi horowitz!

torah in bnei brak holds up the entire world that it actually caused you to start blogging. Get off yor fat tachat and do something substantial for a change.

22

 Apr 20, 2009 at 11:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Since when is it a stira to be a gadol and work?Look in the gemara.All the amoiraim woked for a living.Regular yeshivas have to teach kids basic halochos of running a home and have their bochurim get jobs and become proper b'nei torah

It's not, but when you have young people who are shown that all you have to do is sit and learn and someone will put money in your checking account and pay your CC bills that it is natural for them to take the easy path! Work is not called work brcause it is fun nor is the word job a euphamisim for play!

23

 Apr 20, 2009 at 11:41 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

It's not, but when you have young people who are shown that all you have to do is sit and learn and someone will put money in your checking account and pay your CC bills that it is natural for them to take the easy path! Work is not called work brcause it is fun nor is the word job a euphamisim for play!

so then what will sending them to college help

24

 Apr 20, 2009 at 11:40 AM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #11  
masmid Says:

when you offer alternative lifestyles to a life of torah study you weaken the sense of its importance to the majority of people that can and do excell in it. the torah of bnai brak holds up the entire world! don't tamper with it, rabbi horowitz!

Aderabbah. Concentrating exclusive Torah learning with those who have a real gift for it and allowing for the creation of Ba'alei Battim who are b'nei Torah does not deminnish the chashivus of Torah learning but reinforces it.

25

 Apr 20, 2009 at 11:50 AM a lady Says:

can someone please explain to me what's the problem with working & supporting your family? learning can be done on lunch breaks & after work & even b/4 work if you wake up on time. if everyone learns, who will support you? that is why there is such a shidduch crises. everyone is looking for money. how can in-laws support a learning bochur if they themselves don't have a job. it is not a crime to be self sufficient! I think that there is a small minority who should be learning all day. most of the people in yeshivas learning all day don't really want to be there. they are only there because they will be threatened if they try to earn a living. what's the point if they are not enjoying the learning?

26

 Apr 20, 2009 at 11:49 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
Anonymous Says:

And maybe you should also cry on the official split that most of the gedolei yisroel in a few occasions, officially announced against the reform members and maskilim and about 100 years later the same thing was repeated with the neloggen [and even status qua], (which eventually saved klal yisroel from a ruchnius disaster) that cost am yisroel thousands of lost souls, many went totally off the derech after those actions were announced, and were even assimilated after the split, being pushed out of klal yisroel by the leading gedolim of that time in Europe.
The gedolei yisroel has chosen to sacrifice some rotten apples in the garden, in order to save all of us!

So what percentage of our children is acceptable to sacrifice? Who are the rotten apples- those not destined to become Roshei Yeshiva? How can you compare the kfira of the Reform movement with that with the words of the Torah. Only Shevet Levi sat and learned all day. You can add Shevet Yissocher as those that taught the children. The rest of Klal Yisroel toiled in the fields etc and learned Torah too. I prefer to follow the Torah rather than the "gedolei yisroel who have chosen to sacrifice..." (your words) karbonos. I'll wait to be makriv korbonos when the Bais Hamikdosh is rebuilt bimhaira biyamaynu

27

 Apr 20, 2009 at 12:16 PM Elchonon Says:

They are called the 7 shepherds.. Explain please what david hamelech was doing when he found shmuel hanavi.

Sorry, you that learn all day are more guilty then us that work. One that works is chayav to learn "perek echad shacharis, perek echad arvis" while one whom learns is taken to task for being bitul 1 minute (and your blogging?!?!?)

Trust me, its the "holy" frauds sitting in yeshivos that preach their hollier than though additude (you will only find this in the litvishe world) that scare people off from judaism.

Who are you to decide what one's derech in life is ? "ein kemach, ein torah" your torah is completely batul if you preach such hate to others.. your nothing short of a apikores.

28

 Apr 20, 2009 at 12:10 PM Anonymous Says:

PIRKEI AVOS - Torah without Work...

29

 Apr 20, 2009 at 12:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

torah in bnei brak holds up the entire world that it actually caused you to start blogging. Get off yor fat tachat and do something substantial for a change.

Torah in Bnei Brak is no more holy than my son learning with Geshmak in Torah Vodaath. Bottom line: he plays ball too!!

30

 Apr 20, 2009 at 11:58 AM A Parent Says:

Hey guys lets not get all caught up in all the details, & forget the big picture. which happens so so many times.... Yes we all need a SOLID jewish backround, be it yeshivitch, chassidish or what ever, but not every one is made to sit and learn for 8-10 hours a day, some of the wonderful children just cant hack it, and I dont care what type of backround they have or family life they come from ---- Parents, mechanchim, & so-on get it thru your heads this is a fact...... & Hashem help us for those who dont understand this ( no need to go into details)

31

 Apr 20, 2009 at 12:20 PM Anonymous Says:

jankel jumping on the band wagon just to put an article

32

 Apr 20, 2009 at 11:53 AM Chaim Says:

In the US, there are yeshivos that have agreements with the local Universities (Ner Israel in Baltimore has agreements with Loyola U and Johns Hopkins). We learn in the yeshiva during the day, go to college at night. The U accepts the "humanities" credits from the Yeshiva. Guys get semicha and BA, MA, PhD, CPA, etc. from the University.
Since 1975 (when I was graduated from the Yeshiva and University), Baltimore's Jewish community has grown immensely, in great part due to the Yeshiva. Some guys stayed for kollel. Many others stayed in town and got very good jobs. This is how to build a community.
I have a friend in PA who started a yeshiva. He made an agreement with the local Technical College. The guys go to the college to become electricians, plumbers, and so on. NOT EVERYONE SHOULD BE IN YESHIVA FOREVER. ANother great way to build the Jewish community.

33

 Apr 20, 2009 at 12:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
chief doofis Says:

Almost a century ago, American Orthodoxy created the (all) day school. There, you can get a passable secular education, and in SOME of them, a fairly good Torah education, as well. Take the concept, tweak it a bit, if you want, a little more Tora, a little less secular for some, a different ratio for others. Perhaps a little Nach or some of the less "Lomdischer" masichtaot for some kids. not everyone is designed to be a lawyer, and yet, if all you learn all day is Talmud, that's what you become. The secular world has room for doctors, teachers, engineers, and accountants as well as for lawyers. There are also non scholastic fields. For the "frum" kid, there is no choice. Let's not destroy our kids!

its too late for a lot of us but lets try not to ruin the younger generation and give them a better education and i mean secular as well as let them play a sport or develop some type of talent so they can feel good about themselves.

34

 Apr 20, 2009 at 12:28 PM chief doofis Says:

Reply to #18  
Frum MD Says:

Why is there no choice for the Frum kid, with the proper education they can become Doctors, Lawyers etc. and wouldn't it be nice to see, hopefully, some Mentchlichkeit brought into these professions by these Frum KIDS, not just a bunch of gelt fressers! And guess what they would still have time to sit and learn!

"Adiraba".! I agree with you whole heartedly. I personall sent several of my kids to a School which combines a Tora Education with a Madda one. They are presently "ehrlicher" professionals who are very active in their respective shuls and bring a Tora background with them into their professional lives as well. Another child was not college material, went to a trade school and does the same thing. Unfortunately, we will never convince Bnei Brak, Mea Shearim, Lakewood and Boro Park, to send their kids to "T.U." but, at the very least, we must provide some alternative to the "nothin' but kollel" perspective.

35

 Apr 20, 2009 at 12:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

Our own fault. The girls only want learning boys.

the girls are brainwashed to want only learning boys......and i am talking from my own experience.

36

 Apr 20, 2009 at 12:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

Our own fault. The girls only want learning boys.

rubbish!?!?!? the girls who want learning boys can have the learning boys but there are plenty girls out there who dont want 'only learning' and there are somw who want 'no learning - only working with a shiur?'

37

 Apr 20, 2009 at 01:22 PM mkarpas Says:

Boo Hoo
The kanoim are scaring everybody. I do not buy it.
The mainstream charedi leadership is extremely conservative. I do not believe for a moment that it would buckle under pressure from the kanoim. People with weak spines and faint hearts do not make inro the ranks of gedolim and especially manhigim.

38

 Apr 20, 2009 at 01:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
Anonymous Says:

Torah in Bnei Brak is no more holy than my son learning with Geshmak in Torah Vodaath. Bottom line: he plays ball too!!

In which class of Torah Vodaath are you referring to? From what I understand there are several rebbeim in Torah Vodaath, the menahel included, who are burn't out, incompetent, or worse, and should have been retired a long time ago. Many are the boys who went off the derech because of their "Geshmake" experiences in Torah Vodaath. The other yeshivas are no better. There are two reasons why the Aguda opposes the stronger Markey Bill. 1. The yeshivas will be bankrupted by lawsuits. and 2. The Gedolim are afraid to be seen as doing something that will harm the Catholic Church. the whole system is corrupt from one end of the world to the other.

39

 Apr 20, 2009 at 01:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
Anonymous Says:

And maybe you should also cry on the official split that most of the gedolei yisroel in a few occasions, officially announced against the reform members and maskilim and about 100 years later the same thing was repeated with the neloggen [and even status qua], (which eventually saved klal yisroel from a ruchnius disaster) that cost am yisroel thousands of lost souls, many went totally off the derech after those actions were announced, and were even assimilated after the split, being pushed out of klal yisroel by the leading gedolim of that time in Europe.
The gedolei yisroel has chosen to sacrifice some rotten apples in the garden, in order to save all of us!

"The gedolei yisroel has chosen to sacrifice some rotten apples in the garden, in order to save all of us"

Thank G-d I am taught a different derech in Chabad. No, the Gedoilei Yisroel of 100 years ago did NOT intentionaly push people off the derech. People went off the derech because of the Haskala etc. NOT because the Rabbonim were kanoim.

Your whole hashkafa is totaly neusiating. In Chabad we are taught that every letter in the Torah is important. If even one letter is missing the whole Torah is posul. The same with Yidden. EVERY Jew is precios in the eyes of the Eibishter.

40

 Apr 20, 2009 at 01:07 PM joel rich Says:

Reply to #26  
Anonymous Says:

So what percentage of our children is acceptable to sacrifice? Who are the rotten apples- those not destined to become Roshei Yeshiva? How can you compare the kfira of the Reform movement with that with the words of the Torah. Only Shevet Levi sat and learned all day. You can add Shevet Yissocher as those that taught the children. The rest of Klal Yisroel toiled in the fields etc and learned Torah too. I prefer to follow the Torah rather than the "gedolei yisroel who have chosen to sacrifice..." (your words) karbonos. I'll wait to be makriv korbonos when the Bais Hamikdosh is rebuilt bimhaira biyamaynu

see my earlier quote from Rav Dessler, elsewhere in the letter the 1/1000 ratio is mentioned.
KT

41

 Apr 20, 2009 at 01:01 PM PMO Says:

Reply to #32  
Chaim Says:

In the US, there are yeshivos that have agreements with the local Universities (Ner Israel in Baltimore has agreements with Loyola U and Johns Hopkins). We learn in the yeshiva during the day, go to college at night. The U accepts the "humanities" credits from the Yeshiva. Guys get semicha and BA, MA, PhD, CPA, etc. from the University.
Since 1975 (when I was graduated from the Yeshiva and University), Baltimore's Jewish community has grown immensely, in great part due to the Yeshiva. Some guys stayed for kollel. Many others stayed in town and got very good jobs. This is how to build a community.
I have a friend in PA who started a yeshiva. He made an agreement with the local Technical College. The guys go to the college to become electricians, plumbers, and so on. NOT EVERYONE SHOULD BE IN YESHIVA FOREVER. ANother great way to build the Jewish community.

Fantastic post Chaim. This is true in many places now.

The biggest problem still is that the "shidduch" threat is still very real. Rabbonim need to stop putting down those who go to college or go to learn a trade. Girls need pull their heads out of the sand and realize that not everyone gets to marry the next gadol hador. So many of these bochurim end up married with wonderful children and no way to support them. So instead they rely on welfare and food stamps which just takes more tax money away from everyone else. I have to pay $18k a year PER KID for yeshiva in order to support 3 other kids who can't pay because they parents have no ability to make a living. It is genuinely SHAMEFUL.

This is a vicious cycle that MUST stop!

42

 Apr 20, 2009 at 02:00 PM Babishka Says:

Reply to #7  
scooter Says:

This Article Is Wrong! The Nachal Chareidy Took Frum Children And Made Them For Goiem L"u! Even If R Aron Leib Shteinman Holds From It It Don't Mean Its Kosher, Bucherem Eating Yom Kipur Is Acceptable?

My son was in the Nachal Chareidi and it made him into a mensch! Finally boys can learn self respect and have accomplishments they can be proud of. The Nachal Chareidi is a Kiddush Hashem.

43

 Apr 20, 2009 at 01:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Frum yidden were proud self sustaining entrepenours, shop keepers, peddlers allways proud to earn an honest living welfare was for the pathetic.

Frum Yidden lived in a relativly drug free society, lived in peace with each other and harmony.

Today with the indoctrination of full time "learning" with all of the "Tzedakah" and Charity services our society is crumbling because our leaders have yanked out one of the pillars that hold up the world.
"AVODAH"
Our forefathers were Sheppards and Agriculturists and Merchants. RAMBAM was a doctor. The Chofetz Chiam was a merchant.

To all of the girls who only wanted to marry a "learner only " and be on child support.
To all of the boys that wanted to be a "learner only"and live a life of luxury in Hermoney.
To all of the future Roshei Yeshivos, Rebbeim and Gedolim in training Hatzlochoh Rabbah may Hashem Yisborach continue to assist us in assisting you.

To all of the freeloaders The Party Is Over! ..Go out and be productive as well as you are reproductive.

44

 Apr 20, 2009 at 01:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Shaul in Monsey Says:

Come on Yanky! Great read but go all the way and call it like it is. Instead of calling them kanoim and extremists, let's call them what they are - Taliban with yarmulkas.

many of the worst kanoim are the parents of these very shababnikim. half baked wannabe bt's who know zilch and come from violence so they become kanoim. the kids go back to their parents' just plain violent past.

45

 Apr 20, 2009 at 01:37 PM i Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

so then what will sending them to college help

so they could get a normal education 4 once

46

 Apr 20, 2009 at 01:33 PM phoenix Says:

I am wondering whether they have a "shomrim" type organization in Bnei-Brak to control the crime. A wonderful organization like that can not only help stop the vandalism, but can work as a liasion with the police and therapists etc. to get these kids the help they need.

47

 Apr 20, 2009 at 02:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

so then what will sending them to college help

Hopefully they will learn a skill or profession and be self sufficent.

48

 Apr 20, 2009 at 02:22 PM teeny Says:

Anonymous u are making decisions for all yiddishe girls!At the end of the day the right thing t do is learn.Bochrim that cant fine....but why should we girls have to settle for second best?

49

 Apr 20, 2009 at 02:39 PM Blame it on them - Says:

Blame it on the Bais Yaakov High School & Seminary teachers that inculcate (read that brainwash) our daughters that a "long time learner" is the utopian choice!
Blame it on the Roshei Yeshiva that only care about the PR of their Yeshiva having the largest Kolel
Blame it on the parents that play "follow the leader", and don't teach real values to their children. They know that it is wrong for their sons to be spending only 2 hours out of 10 per day learning, but that is what everyone is doing, so we'll do the same
Shame on the boys/girls for not being truthful to themselves, and living a lie.
IMAGINE - if only the real Bnei Torah stayed in Kolel, those true Bnei Torah (who are masmidim and are accomplishing goals) would be able to be supported in comfort and not live in poverty. That is what Hashem wants - not the wholesale mess we are in now.
But it's all nebich wishful thinking - alas!
because it's "Olam Golem"

50

 Apr 20, 2009 at 03:02 PM I must've missed something Says:

Hilchos Talmud Torah: anyone ever learn it?

One who decides to live on tzedaka so he can be a "masmid" makes a chilul Hashem and extinguishes the light of the Torah.

Not my words, the Rambam and the mechaber.
The Remo says it's mutar only if the khal needs him. Do the kehillos of Bnei Brak need 100,000 "chachomim"?

51

 Apr 20, 2009 at 03:53 PM PMO Says:

Reply to #48  
teeny Says:

Anonymous u are making decisions for all yiddishe girls!At the end of the day the right thing t do is learn.Bochrim that cant fine....but why should we girls have to settle for second best?

My wife asked me to write this:

If you consider a life of poverty, living on food stamps and welfare, mooching off of those who are productive members of society to be the "best life", good for you. Most people want to be able to make their own way in life. Most people don't want to have pay more in taxes to pay for people like you. Most people don't want to have to pay triple yeshiva tuition because they have to pay for your children too. The gedolim of past generations were educated and ways to make a living without living on the backs of everyone else.

52

 Apr 20, 2009 at 03:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #48  
teeny Says:

Anonymous u are making decisions for all yiddishe girls!At the end of the day the right thing t do is learn.Bochrim that cant fine....but why should we girls have to settle for second best?

Really? You think having your kids raised in herds by strangers because you have to work 18 hours a day yourself to support a family of 6 or 8 or 10 or more is "best?" Or living off scraps and charity is "Best" for them, either? The kids go OTD because they are ignored and neglected by parents like the ones you want to be.

53

 Apr 20, 2009 at 03:34 PM rubbish Says:

Reply to #11  
masmid Says:

when you offer alternative lifestyles to a life of torah study you weaken the sense of its importance to the majority of people that can and do excell in it. the torah of bnai brak holds up the entire world! don't tamper with it, rabbi horowitz!

In the olden days it was common knowledge that not everyone is learning material.
And what about the tzadikim from old that brought parnassah while learning? Isn't this a much greater sacrifice? Didn't the Tanoyim work while learning? Learning full time is obviously not for everyone.
Also, how can we choose what rules to follow and what rules to ignore?
Just read in this past week's Pirkei Avos the statement, "Torah im Derech Eretz"
Torah together with bringing parnassah.

54

 Apr 20, 2009 at 04:23 PM seen it all Says:

Sorry Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz has got it wrong. I respect his opinions, got some very practical advice from his tapes and cd's, but on this he missed the boat. The problem is US, you and me and everyone else who has kids on the shidduchim "meat" market.
Let's me honest to ourselves. Shadchan calls up, I got a great bochur for your girl. He learned in yeshiva - -, at age 18 went to school at night, works in manhattan as a para-legal, minyan 3 times daily, shiur nightly, not TV, sunday leans in shul for 4 hours, never did drugs, girls, alcohol, etc. How many of us would jump to get such a boy for our daughters? 5%? 10%?
We created this monster and we have to clean it up. The kannoim are sickos, mostly child molesters, sex perverts who we all can't stand. But they can't exist withour our apathy and quiet agreement. We are the problem and if we don't start being honest with ourselves, it will only get worse.

55

 Apr 20, 2009 at 04:46 PM dovy Says:

Even if what yankel says may have some truth to it, he knows nothing about these youth in bnei brak and just assumes that they are a result of this problem in order to be able to write something.
There is reason he was let go from his school in monsey. Yankel, stop blogging all day and rejoin reality, please!

56

 Apr 20, 2009 at 04:42 PM Anonymous Says:

I have sent my kids to more modern schools. They are frum and self-supporting accept the one that got snookered by his rebbes and now thinks his life would be meaningless if he did not learn full time.

We have always had the choice and no my kids found lovely shiduchim but we are not the typical. It pays to have money. The shalom bayis is better.

57

 Apr 20, 2009 at 04:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #38  
Anonymous Says:

In which class of Torah Vodaath are you referring to? From what I understand there are several rebbeim in Torah Vodaath, the menahel included, who are burn't out, incompetent, or worse, and should have been retired a long time ago. Many are the boys who went off the derech because of their "Geshmake" experiences in Torah Vodaath. The other yeshivas are no better. There are two reasons why the Aguda opposes the stronger Markey Bill. 1. The yeshivas will be bankrupted by lawsuits. and 2. The Gedolim are afraid to be seen as doing something that will harm the Catholic Church. the whole system is corrupt from one end of the world to the other.

Rabbi Reisman, Rav Belsky, Rabbi Leshkowitz, Rabbi Prosky, Rabbi Chesir, Rabbi Bressler, Rabbi Savitsky, Rabbi Schoeblum, Rabbi Glassman, Rabbi Pollack, Rabbi Karfiol, et al, are burnt out?? One is better than the next!

58

 Apr 20, 2009 at 05:38 PM masmid Says:

Reply to #50  
I must've missed something Says:

Hilchos Talmud Torah: anyone ever learn it?

One who decides to live on tzedaka so he can be a "masmid" makes a chilul Hashem and extinguishes the light of the Torah.

Not my words, the Rambam and the mechaber.
The Remo says it's mutar only if the khal needs him. Do the kehillos of Bnei Brak need 100,000 "chachomim"?

the WORLD needs all the chachimi of bnai brak! who do you think creates all the zechusim for this world to survive in such crazy times. if you don't need any zechusim, then go ahead bash bnei brak. but if you are not perfect let the world keep the one city that still has REAL torah people

59

 Apr 20, 2009 at 08:07 PM Ahem Says:

Reply to #55  
dovy Says:

Even if what yankel says may have some truth to it, he knows nothing about these youth in bnei brak and just assumes that they are a result of this problem in order to be able to write something.
There is reason he was let go from his school in monsey. Yankel, stop blogging all day and rejoin reality, please!

What makes you so sure he doesn't know anything about them?

60

 Apr 20, 2009 at 08:06 PM Ahem Says:

Reply to #54  
seen it all Says:

Sorry Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz has got it wrong. I respect his opinions, got some very practical advice from his tapes and cd's, but on this he missed the boat. The problem is US, you and me and everyone else who has kids on the shidduchim "meat" market.
Let's me honest to ourselves. Shadchan calls up, I got a great bochur for your girl. He learned in yeshiva - -, at age 18 went to school at night, works in manhattan as a para-legal, minyan 3 times daily, shiur nightly, not TV, sunday leans in shul for 4 hours, never did drugs, girls, alcohol, etc. How many of us would jump to get such a boy for our daughters? 5%? 10%?
We created this monster and we have to clean it up. The kannoim are sickos, mostly child molesters, sex perverts who we all can't stand. But they can't exist withour our apathy and quiet agreement. We are the problem and if we don't start being honest with ourselves, it will only get worse.

This is the problem in the US of A, but not in Israel. It's an entirely different lifestyle there. He's got it right on the money.

61

 Apr 20, 2009 at 07:59 PM Ahem Says:

Reply to #48  
teeny Says:

Anonymous u are making decisions for all yiddishe girls!At the end of the day the right thing t do is learn.Bochrim that cant fine....but why should we girls have to settle for second best?

Right. But you also want him to get you the custom sheitel, bugaboo stroller, and all the rest of the stuff you 'deserve'.

62

 Apr 20, 2009 at 07:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #58  
masmid Says:

the WORLD needs all the chachimi of bnai brak! who do you think creates all the zechusim for this world to survive in such crazy times. if you don't need any zechusim, then go ahead bash bnei brak. but if you are not perfect let the world keep the one city that still has REAL torah people

Sorry, I don't buy it. Learning because there is nothing else you know how to do and then being a Kanoi because you are not busy trying to support yourself and family is not the way the Chofetz Chaim lived. Can you imagine any of these Bnai Brak residents working in a store?! and then managing its books, taking a responsibility to earn to learn??

63

 Apr 20, 2009 at 07:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
joel rich Says:

From Rabbi E.E.Dessler:
The Lithuanian Rashei Yeshivah, on the other hand, set as their main objective to educate Gedolei Torah, discouraging all contact with the intellectual world outside the yeshiva. They realized that the only way to achieve this was to concentrate all the energies of their students exclusively on Torah learning [and not to allow any alternative respectful goals.] They were well aware of the price they had to pay for this because they knew that many yeshivah students were not able to deal with this extreme lifestyle and would [and in fact did] leave religious observance. They tried as best they could to help those who could not remain in the yeshiva as bnei Torah.

Is the quote from Rabbi Dessler printed anywhere?

64

 Apr 20, 2009 at 07:19 PM PMO Says:

Reply to #58  
masmid Says:

the WORLD needs all the chachimi of bnai brak! who do you think creates all the zechusim for this world to survive in such crazy times. if you don't need any zechusim, then go ahead bash bnei brak. but if you are not perfect let the world keep the one city that still has REAL torah people

Who is to say who the "REAL" Torah people are. I respect what they do, but no more than I respect a plumber who devotes his non-working time to learning, donates his services to people in need and gives tzedokoh to everyone who asks. Who is to say if the bochur sitting in the BM but never does other mitzvos creates more zechusim than he does.

65

 Apr 20, 2009 at 08:46 PM masmid Says:

Reply to #64  
PMO Says:

Who is to say who the "REAL" Torah people are. I respect what they do, but no more than I respect a plumber who devotes his non-working time to learning, donates his services to people in need and gives tzedokoh to everyone who asks. Who is to say if the bochur sitting in the BM but never does other mitzvos creates more zechusim than he does.

read nefesh hachaim

66

 Apr 20, 2009 at 08:45 PM masmid Says:

Reply to #62  
Anonymous Says:

Sorry, I don't buy it. Learning because there is nothing else you know how to do and then being a Kanoi because you are not busy trying to support yourself and family is not the way the Chofetz Chaim lived. Can you imagine any of these Bnai Brak residents working in a store?! and then managing its books, taking a responsibility to earn to learn??

you focus on the tiny noisy minority and ignore the overwhelming majority. the vast majority live a life of torah and kedusha that outsiders cannot begin to imagine!

67

 Apr 20, 2009 at 10:55 PM Anonymous Says:

As I pointed out yesterday, this very problem is alive and well in the American modern orthodox community. I have been working with these kids for 15 years.The problems are common: anger, rejection, low self-esteem and in some cases dysfunctional families. Lets stop pointing fingers at other communities and see what's happening in our own backyards.

68

 Apr 21, 2009 at 06:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Can someone analyze the percentage of kids with secular education who turn out punks, before blaming the yeshive system.

69

 Apr 21, 2009 at 02:39 AM Anonymous Says:

While I agree that learning all day is not meant for everyone and the kollel system is about to hit a very well deserved crisis, these shababnikim and kanoim are not really part of the kollel system. They are the products of dysfunctional families who are on the fringes of the community.

70

 Apr 21, 2009 at 07:00 AM shlomo zalman Says:

Reply to #41  
PMO Says:

Fantastic post Chaim. This is true in many places now.

The biggest problem still is that the "shidduch" threat is still very real. Rabbonim need to stop putting down those who go to college or go to learn a trade. Girls need pull their heads out of the sand and realize that not everyone gets to marry the next gadol hador. So many of these bochurim end up married with wonderful children and no way to support them. So instead they rely on welfare and food stamps which just takes more tax money away from everyone else. I have to pay $18k a year PER KID for yeshiva in order to support 3 other kids who can't pay because they parents have no ability to make a living. It is genuinely SHAMEFUL.

This is a vicious cycle that MUST stop!

PMO, you are absolutely right.
The system is rotten to the core. And the core is yeshiva ketana elementary school level rebbeim who aren't smart enough to teach at a higher level, have no higher education, and spit out the standard "only learning torah is permitted" party line that ruins many bochrim who don't have"it". Combine that with the moronic bais yakov teachers, equally uneducated and half illiterate, who brainwash the girls into the "kollel forever" mentality. This deadly combination creates what we have now; an entire generation of imbecilic gemara kupps who learn only gemara, claim everything is in the torah, but know nothing. Call it the generation of the Moronic Iluy.

71

 Apr 21, 2009 at 08:49 AM C in Manhattan Says:

It's a very sad statement on frum Jewish life today. How will this generation of "learners" support their children in the same lifestyle? It is a question that needs to be discussed and addressed.

72

 Apr 21, 2009 at 09:19 AM PMO Says:

Reply to #70  
shlomo zalman Says:

PMO, you are absolutely right.
The system is rotten to the core. And the core is yeshiva ketana elementary school level rebbeim who aren't smart enough to teach at a higher level, have no higher education, and spit out the standard "only learning torah is permitted" party line that ruins many bochrim who don't have"it". Combine that with the moronic bais yakov teachers, equally uneducated and half illiterate, who brainwash the girls into the "kollel forever" mentality. This deadly combination creates what we have now; an entire generation of imbecilic gemara kupps who learn only gemara, claim everything is in the torah, but know nothing. Call it the generation of the Moronic Iluy.

Unfortunately Shlomo Zalman, you speak a very sad truth. But it is the truth.

#68 said: "Can someone analyze the percentage of kids with secular education who turn out punks, before blaming the yeshive system."

What a stupid comparison. We are supposed to be better than this! For those that have the capacity, kollel is fine and we should support our future gedolim. But what about the rest? What about the poor kid who just wants to build computers for a living? Should he have to give up his own path and pretend to be something he isn't just to get the right shidduch? Should he sacrifice his is self worth and dignity so the shadchan can say that all the boys in this family are in kollel when his siblings are looking?

An education that begins and ends in the Beis Medrash is only half an education. For those who are not equipped to become gedolim, they will spend their lives chasing something they cannot have. All the while depriving the community of their REAL talents and the well needed tzedokoh that they could generate. They will spend their lives unable to find success. I know too many like this.

When I was involved with a particular youth organization, there was a little talent show put on every year by the younger children. There were always a few who could play the piano, or sing, or who wrote poems... and did it really well. You could see a future in their talents. Invariably there was always the couple of kids whose parents propped them up as the next MBD, or the next Mozart... they were always the cringe-inducing performances... they were painfully horrible.. you felt embarrassed FOR THEM. They were always confident kids and had great self-esteem (thanks to their deluded parents), because they couldn't tell that everyone in the room was smiling to be polite while slowly taking another aspirin. I know of one kid who to this day thinks he sings well. His family stands behind him and they think he just hasn't gotten his "break" yet. He really is tone deaf! Nobody will work with him... not even the smallest of wedding bands. This boy (who is now 19 and looking for shidduch) will never make a living at this. Unfortunately, he was never really educated in anything else other than in the BM.

I won't say anything else about the boy as someone may figure out who he is. It is a real shame because I know he does have other interests that he could make a living at What a waste for such a smart but misguided boy.

73

 Apr 21, 2009 at 09:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #60  
Ahem Says:

This is the problem in the US of A, but not in Israel. It's an entirely different lifestyle there. He's got it right on the money.

And what is the difference? I have a friend who lives in Mea Shearim with 13 children, and every time a child gets married he goes further in debt, he is up to 250K and comes to the US to try & raise funds to pay off the loans, sounds to me it is worse in Israel

74

 Apr 21, 2009 at 10:02 AM webmom (a/k/a YTV MOM) Says:

Reply to #29  
Anonymous Says:

Torah in Bnei Brak is no more holy than my son learning with Geshmak in Torah Vodaath. Bottom line: he plays ball too!!

RIGHT ON!!!! Torah in Bnei Brak is no more holy than torah learned by MY sons who are ALSO learning geshmak in Torah Vodaas!!!

75

 Apr 21, 2009 at 09:52 AM PMO Says:

Reply to #73  
Anonymous Says:

And what is the difference? I have a friend who lives in Mea Shearim with 13 children, and every time a child gets married he goes further in debt, he is up to 250K and comes to the US to try & raise funds to pay off the loans, sounds to me it is worse in Israel

I find your post interesting and it begs yet another question:

Is there not an issue with kibud av v'eim? How could a child push his parents into ridiculous debt that way. How does a child think that is okay? They should have a big beautiful wedding while their parents will spend years trying to dig their way out of debt! Why? So they can keep up with the neighbors? So the other suitors won't think the family is poor? Nonsense.

76

 Apr 21, 2009 at 09:40 AM yiddishe bubby Says:

yes bravo, we need more and more articles and measures such as this. takeh, we have much to weep about not only in this sphere, the house of cards that was built by teaching that learning full time is the way and parents will support is falling. Why is it the in the previous generations the gedolim knew that there were 24 hours in a day and found the time to learn and make a parnosah and actually many ehrlichen yidden did the same. today, nebach we weep for the extremes that this generation and the next is excersing and it is leading to unfortunate things.

77

 Apr 21, 2009 at 11:04 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #75  
PMO Says:

I find your post interesting and it begs yet another question:

Is there not an issue with kibud av v'eim? How could a child push his parents into ridiculous debt that way. How does a child think that is okay? They should have a big beautiful wedding while their parents will spend years trying to dig their way out of debt! Why? So they can keep up with the neighbors? So the other suitors won't think the family is poor? Nonsense.

it is usually the parents who want it and the chlidren have very little say in this first phase of their married lives.

78

 Apr 21, 2009 at 02:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #70  
shlomo zalman Says:

PMO, you are absolutely right.
The system is rotten to the core. And the core is yeshiva ketana elementary school level rebbeim who aren't smart enough to teach at a higher level, have no higher education, and spit out the standard "only learning torah is permitted" party line that ruins many bochrim who don't have"it". Combine that with the moronic bais yakov teachers, equally uneducated and half illiterate, who brainwash the girls into the "kollel forever" mentality. This deadly combination creates what we have now; an entire generation of imbecilic gemara kupps who learn only gemara, claim everything is in the torah, but know nothing. Call it the generation of the Moronic Iluy.

Your comments disgust me.

I gladly pay more than I can afford for my children to attend a great yeshiva k'tana. The rabbiem, some of who I know from my own days in yeshiva and summer camp are guys who were on their way to being mechanchim when they were just teenagers. Their love for teaching our children is amazing and they chose teaching as a career not because they couldn't do anything else but because they didn't want to do anything else.

They live very simply, work side jobs as tutors, over the summer in camps and bungalow colonies and get around in cars that the rest of us would have traded in years ago.

On second thought, now that I have thought about the people you have tried to smear with your hateful nonesense, I must rephrase my original comment: You comments don't disgust me, you do.

79

 Apr 22, 2009 at 10:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Don't start blaming chassidim, i work with tons of yeshivish people, most have 4/5
couples living very comfortably in lakewood or israel while the parents work lto the bones to support. when they talk about a chiduch first question is support. lakewood and yeshivish is where this practice started. i guess now a days no one would zich meshadech with our uvos since they all had a profession
I wonder with whom this coming generation of sitters will marry, since none have money to support, maybe they will want the grandparents to continue working f/the grandchildren. by the way my family is full of talmidei chachamim who learn and work B"H

80

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