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New York - The Elephant in the Room

Published on: July 29, 2009 11:58 AM
By: VIN News By Rabbi Yair Hoffman
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New York - Agudas Yisroel sponsored an event last night in Borough Park entitled, “VeAsisah HaYashar VeHaTov.”  The conclusions of course were that the bottom line is that Chassidim and all Hareidi Jews should conduct their financial activities lawfully.  Whether one is in business for himself, or works for someone else, or whether one is in the lofty field of AVodas HaKodesh, there is no excuse to cheat.

There is an expression known as “an elephant in the room” and clearly, even though the hall was packed there was a rather large elephant in that room.  The expression means that there is an important and very obvious topic, which everyone present is thoroughly aware of, yet for some reason it is never discussed.  It is too uncomfortable to discuss, and it will not be discussed.

So what is this elephant?  You can see it in virtually every comment that is posted on VIN News.  You can see it on the labels of packaged kosher Heimish produced food.  You can see it in the demographics of bank managers in Borough Park.

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One Shabbos after I bought my first house I bought a number of packaged Heimish cakes to bring home.  They were fairly good tasting cakes but my wife knew that it was out of character for me to buy packaged cakes.  They were labeled “Spunch Cake” and were produced by a Heimishe bakery in Borough Park.

Go into any bank in Borough Park and you will see a bizarre reality.  Of all the branches of every bank in the community there is only one Hareidi bank manager.  There are no Hareidi tellers.  Why is that?
The answer is quite simple and is also the never discussed elephant in the room.  Chassidim cannot spell.  As a general rule, Chareidi English skills are notoriously deficient at best, and completely non-existent at worst.

Our secular education in Borough Park, Williamsburg, Monsey, Kiryas Joel, and the many other Charedi communities ends at 6th or 8th grade.  Sure, sure, the system allows you to study for ninth grade regents examinations, but it is always optional.  Usually, study time is limited to about thirty minutes and to a time when the other boys have their supper break.  What kid wants to study for regents when every single one of his friends are running around eating and generally enjoying themselves?  Teachers are present to help, but no instruction is given.

Some drop out immediately.  Some drop out in tenth grade.  And those are the better ones.

There is a Gemorah in Kiddushin which lists the obligations a father has toward his children.  There are five obligations and it is debatable whether swimming is a sixth.  The list, however, should not be a list that remains stagnant.  As society and technology has changed, the too have the obligations.  We should be teaching our kids how to get along in life so that they will be able to earn a parnasa and serve Hashem properly.  We need to get with the program and in this case it means making sure that we have decent communication and writing skills.

As the situation stands now, the socio-religious atmosphere in Chareidi circles actually discourages education.  Kollel Yungeleit are discouraged from leaving Kollel and even preparing for a Parnasa until they have a family to support.  At that point, who has the time or money available to get an education?

Touro College has a program called the Parnasa Institute, and it is shameful that the people behind this initiative are not treated as heroes that are addressing a real social problem – indeed, a crisis.
Even in the Litvish world, our Roshei Yeshiva are not encouraging the Kosher programs that are available to their students for those that will not be entering Klei Kodesh fields, or even to have it as a backup plan.

Those in the Chareidi world who did enter the fields of medicine, accounting, or the job force in the general corporate world did so against all odds and despite our system of education – no because of it.
Some former yungeleit are, in fact, successful.  They enter businesses of their father or father-in-law.  But most do not have these options.  One writer wrote in and explained how right out of Kollel he obtained a job in a medium sized company where the principals were Chassidish.  After a few years he was laid off due to the economic crisis.  He needed another position.  To his shock the only positions available due to his lack of English skills were entry-level positions.

I quote from his letter below:
“The reason why I don’t stand a chance at a decent job is simply, because the education side of my resume ends after 8th grade. No company would look at a resume for any worthy position with a (sic) education that doesn’t even include any high school.”

Shlomo HaMelech tells us “Soneh Matanos Yichyeh” – one who disdains gifts will live.  Rav Dessler zatzal interprets this verse as a philosophical recommendation for life.  Let us always be givers and never be takers. 

This is, of course, excellent advice but without an education we cannot step into the general workforce.  Chareidim are forced to be takers – section eight housing, food stamps, wic, school vouchers and much more.  And then come the challenges of maintaining our principles of honesty and integrity.

In stressing this point, a common and typical response is, “But there are thousands of people that have made a fortune without having an education! Bill Gates never graduated college.  There are plenty of millionaire businessmen, many of them Chassidim that never had an education – and they fabulously successful!” 

The answer to this is that it is true.  There are many millionaires that did not have an education.  But it is also true that there are many, many, people that never brush their teeth and have no cavities.  Dentists cannot and should not deny this.  However, it is also true that overall it is a terrible mistake not to brush your teeth and it is a terrible mistake not to get an education.

The stark conclusion is that we need to retool our entire education system and we need to retool it now.  Our high schools have to teach English, writing and communication skills, and math skills.  They have to do it and do it well.  Our parent body has to demand it.  They cannot be embarrassed about demanding excellence in education, either.  Perhaps they should band together in groups and approach the principals of the schools with their desires.

Our elementary schools have to destroy the atmosphere that is pervasive in many chareidi elementary schools that English classes should be derided and abused.  They are the life line that will vouchsafe the future honesty and integrity of our children.

This is the undiscussed “elephant in the room” that existed in the room last night.  The problems addressed in the Agudah sponsored meeting will never be resolved until and unless the underlying causes are addressed. 

The dire and terrible incidents of the past week should be viewed as wake-up call.  We must act and act now.  Perhaps another Asifash should be called.  These issues are as important as any and they are necessary to ensure that our children have the skills necessary not only to thrive but to survive.
Just like in gardening one cannot resolve a weed problem by merely cutting the weeds in the middle.  They must be pulled by the roots.  So too must we resolve the underlying social problem in our system.  We need to value the skills of communication, reading, and writing and to realize that education is the key to the future.

The author may be reached at yairhoffman2@gmail.com



More of today's headlines

London - According to information obtained and verified by VIN News with London Authorities and the Court., Mr. I.A.Z. a 37-year-old charedi man from Israel was arrested... Borough Park, NY - A packed, eclectic audience from all parts of New York was on hand last night for a symposium for the charedi public to discuss the obligation to obey...

 

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Read Comments (259)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:13 AM Anonymous Says:

another elephant in the room, in certain segments of society engaged couples are encouraged to legally marry so that benefit programs are in place by the time they halachically marry. We are not

There's another elephant that was not discussed. In certain segments of society benefit programs are a way of life. Couples that are engaged marry legally right away so all benefits are in place when they marry halachically. They are not even given the opportunity to start off their married life in a straight manner. In some sectors even if your family is suppprting you the young couple is still expected to go on programs. Why was that not brought up?

2

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:18 AM Anonymous Says:

It's ironic that in a post dealing with illegal activities that have been making the news recently, mention is made of a lack of high-school education in some Hareidi communities. The yeshivot and parents involved are breaking the law which mandates such an education for the youth. Do we really want to see the heads of those mosdot also hauled into court for their illegal behavior? Can we really afford to raise a generation which is incapable of legitimate self-support due to the lack of schooling?

Y. Aharon

3

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:18 AM Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

4

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:16 AM Torah Truth Says:

Excellent, excellent article! It is time to reinvigorate the Torah Im Derech Eretz ideology. It is what Rav Breuer ZT”L saw prophetically as the system that will enable us the thrive in America and I dare say in Eretz Yisrael. It is not a Bedieved approach to Yiddishkeit, it is Lichatchila! The “Torah only” approach of the previous generation was necessary as a Horas Shaah, it was successful in building real Torah here and in E”Y. Now it is time to go back and embrace Torah Im Derech Eretz as Yiddishkeit was meant to be.

5

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:15 AM Anonymous Says:

it is a lie that we can not get good jobs with our poor english.
Do you think that the pakistani or spanish teller is more educated? !!

I

6

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:14 AM A devoted reader Says:

I wish to reply to the above letter.

I am a chasidish mother in Williamsburg.

I feel as if the writer wrote what I was thinking.

There is no shame in teaching our children the basic reading, writing and arithmetic.
It is of utmost importance in today's world.

The least we can do to correct this, is to give a special class to the Kolel yungeleit to prepare them with a parnassa after their 2 or 3 years in Kolel, and to teach them the basics of going into business or to work as an employee.

You get nothing for free. The banks do not offer you loans as a favor to you. The credit cards do not make offers as a favor to you. If you are not super careful, you pay for these offers big time.

7

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:14 AM Anonymous Says:

Agreed. I grew up in Monsey and it was pathetic listening to some of those kids try and talk English. Then they wonder why they are poor and on welfare and public assistance. (Of course, the fact that these families have 12 kids doesn't help either.)

8

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:20 AM Anonymous Says:


The English education in our chasiddeshe elementary schools is pathetic at best.

And let's be honest about it... It's not going to change any time soon.

How can it change when in some of the schools the kids are not permitted to speak English “during the English classes”?? Sounds absurd? Well it’s sad and it’s true.

9

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:26 AM mishpat Says:

As one of very few non charedim in last night's audience, I can sum up the entire nearly three hour program as follows:" Don't Steal. Don't Cheat. Don't Lie",
On the eve of Tisha B'Av, it is truly tragic that nearly 2000 fellow yidin had to leave their families or the Bais Medresh to hear words they learned as children. Where have we failed that these words from Sinai are now sound bites for an emergency Asifah?

10

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:24 AM Anonymous Says:

“The conclusions of course were that the bottom line is that Chassidim and all Hareidi Jews should conduct their financial activities lawfully”.

It is an embarrassment that frum people didn’t know that

11

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:23 AM Sam Says:

All agree that there are many issues that can and should be discussed. However, it is not possible, or wise to discuss every issue at every event. What would then happen is that all of the issues would be watered down and people would come away without clarity. Better to focus on a few issues at a time. It is also worthwhile to keep in mind that the speakers at the event probably prepared their remarks well in advance. To change their prepared remarks at the last minute might not have been possible.

12

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Good luck in finding a shidduch if you went to law, medical or other professional school without putting 3+ years into learning post high school.

13

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:36 AM Eli Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

it is a lie that we can not get good jobs with our poor english.
Do you think that the pakistani or spanish teller is more educated? !!

I

Education is not equivalent to intelligence. These foreign workers may very well be more educated. In fact, many of them (especially from Asian countries) have college degrees in their home countries, and take much lower-level jobs in America.

14

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:38 AM Anonymous Says:

yestoday at the 'asufa' in bp hr' shorr said exact the oppisit, he said the problem is that we have to know that we r jews in 'golus' & we have b diffrend & sepprit from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing here that we have to learn english like the 'goyim' & thats gonna solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), & the main thing we have to knoe is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b how much hashem wants & not how much u try,
sorry & thanks for your coaperation

15

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:38 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

another elephant in the room, in certain segments of society engaged couples are encouraged to legally marry so that benefit programs are in place by the time they halachically marry. We are not

There's another elephant that was not discussed. In certain segments of society benefit programs are a way of life. Couples that are engaged marry legally right away so all benefits are in place when they marry halachically. They are not even given the opportunity to start off their married life in a straight manner. In some sectors even if your family is suppprting you the young couple is still expected to go on programs. Why was that not brought up?

Not true! if you did it doesn't mean everybody does it.
my father is not rich, neither is my father inlaw, when I got married I didn't touch programs, until after my first baby (costed me 5,000 bucks) I made medicaid, a year after that I made food stamps, which I drooped 2 yeats after that when I got a steady good job.

16

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:38 AM Anonymous Says:

The spanish bank manager at my local branch told me he can't spell numbers. I also believe that all the politicians involved in this and other scandals went thru college. And finally Dweck had a very good english speech when he stole millions. So what's the solution???

17

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:45 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

perhaps some of us should learn some manners, then they won't hate us so much. dont tell me eisov sone leyakov, i already know that.

18

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:48 AM Weird Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Good luck in finding a shidduch if you went to law, medical or other professional school without putting 3+ years into learning post high school.

Brilliant... people with any of the 2 aformentioned degrees will go some much further in life than a guy who sits and does nothing. At least people in law or medicine have opportunity to help others.

19

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:04 PM PMO Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

I am sorry that you have had such an experience. However, I must say that I never have. I have been able to establish a good career for myself. I even work for a devout Muslim who I respect very much and has become a great friend.

While I am sure discrimination exists, it is not as widespread as some would make it out. An education will always be the best way to build a career and ensure you can provide for your family. Whether it be a college education, or learning a trade, or obtaining career-level certifications, don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

20

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:04 PM Babishka Says:

Can somebody please tell me where all these jobs are growing on trees for people with math and English skills? I have a degree in Mathematics from an Engineering University, 20 years of professional experience in industry and I have been out of work for 2 years.

21

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:03 PM ShatzMatz Says:

I'm am sorry to disagree, but the matter is not so simple. In the 65 years since orthodoxy was established on these shores many attempts have been made to implement a proper secular curriculum in our yeshivos. All have failed. The reason is because none of these programs could be implemented successfully. All the yeshivahs ended up with was addtional expense and behaviour problems. The problem is much more fundemental than simply 'teaching english'.

Also consider this. Most boys in my class in yeshiva spent 15 years in yeshiva with me and came out the other end funtionaly illiterate in both limedei kodesh and limudei chol. What percentage of yeshiva boys know how to read or write and comprehend any language? If you really think about it you will see that the statistics are stagering. Our yeshivas serve at best only 10% of boys. The rest come out so-so or total ignoramouses. And this after spending 16 hours a day 6 days a week in class compared to the standard 5 hours a day 5 days a week with vacation for mothers day a groundhog day.

So the problem is not 'education' but rather much more fundamental. It involves the whole lifestyle and way of living we have set up for ourselves.

Frankly I don't know why you picked 'education' as the elephant in the room. A far greater contributor to our predicament vis-a-vis the secular world and the authorities is our isolated lifestyles. We have no exposure to the outside world and we are not ingrained with the norms and manners of the general population. We are self-created misfits, and condemned to remain this way unless some bold and creative leadership emerges from somewhere. We all know that this is not going to happen. But if we continue on the way we are going, eventually something will have to give.

The cycle repeats itself.

22

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

another elephant in the room, in certain segments of society engaged couples are encouraged to legally marry so that benefit programs are in place by the time they halachically marry. We are not

There's another elephant that was not discussed. In certain segments of society benefit programs are a way of life. Couples that are engaged marry legally right away so all benefits are in place when they marry halachically. They are not even given the opportunity to start off their married life in a straight manner. In some sectors even if your family is suppprting you the young couple is still expected to go on programs. Why was that not brought up?

Parents need to set an example and encourage kids in the right direction.
This is coming from the home!

23

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Totally off, this is not the problem, I know many long time employees in a big firm that are missing spelling skills, and they hold successful jobs in successful places.
And I bet you, even the bakery that labeled the cake "spunch" cake makes a lot of money..

24

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:59 AM ESL Says:

Great article. Thank You VIN for printing this and kudos to Yair Hoffman for this article. It is interesting to note that 'jews' are always complaining about the price of private education for their kids. What the h** are the schools charging so much money for if not an education? Some will say that the kids are getting a jewish education. The problem is, that as evidenced from many recent stories (on Vin and mainstream Media), this is not true either, unless jewish education is teaching them to lie, steal, cheat, swindle, abuse.. In actuality, (some of) the schools are, since they encourage students / parents to lie on their applications (in order to get more Government money). School Administrators do the same thing. So what are people paying for?

Clearly these schools are failing since when it comes time for these yeshiva boys to date, they are awkward, have no idea how to treat a girl properly like a Lady & Woman. This translates into abusing them and the relationships during their quick dating & marriage. If the marriage survives (barely), the kids are mistreated / abused, and learn from the bad behavior of the parents & the cycle continues; first difficult kids, then 'teens at risk', then bad behaving adults...

As far as spelling, for many years there have been ESL (English as a Second Language) programs which teach English. There is nothing stopping these uneducated jews from availing themselves of it. Of course, it is much better to change the Yeshivha / Bais Yaakov system to have them learn it properly the first time (the rabbis are clearly at fault for this - They have put a big guilt trip on jews for many years that Secular Studies are anti - jewish. Now we see the results of this silly, stupid (and anti - jewish) thinking, and many people are paying the price for this. As far as spelling in writing on these Posts & many printed applications (even everyday letters), people can and should use S P E L L C H E C K.

25

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:58 AM Anonymous Says:

The best argument for Rabbi Hoffman is the letter below: [WIth translation in parentheses]

yestoday (Yesterday,)
at the 'asufa' in bp (Borough Park)
hr' shorr (HaRav Shorr)

said exact (exactly)

the oppisit, (the opposite.)

he (He)

said the problem (said, "The problem)

is that we have to know that we r jews (are Jews)
in 'golus' & (and)
we have b diffrend (have to be different)
& sepprit (and separate)
from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing (you are writing)
here that we have to learn english (English)
like the 'goyim' & thats gonna (that's going to)
solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed (against)
the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), (even if you are a Rabbi)
& the main thing we have to knoe (know)
is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b (going to be)
how much hashem wants & not how much u try, (you try)
sorry & thanks for your coaperation (cooperation).

Let us not forget that anyone on the Sanhedrin had to be fluent in seventy languages. So Mordechai, Ezra and anyone else on the Sanhedrin was also against the Torah. Sorry, but most people respectfully disagree.

26

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:57 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Good luck in finding a shidduch if you went to law, medical or other professional school without putting 3+ years into learning post high school.

You must be kidding. I went to law school, had no problem finding a Shidduch, and learned for 1 year after high school. I think your premise is mistaken. Why would a girl want a guy who can't speak proper english and isn't educated or worldly???

27

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:56 AM Anonymous Says:

Im a chasideshe yungerman witch learnt in a chasideshe yeshivah in boro park. Actually my yeshivah did have an english dep. But it was one big joke . My father wanted me to have some education so he sent me to rabbi s. Horowitz a chasideshe yid from boro park, and is part of the board of regents of ny. Rabbi H. Is a very smart person and a huge Talmid chuchem and does a huge mitzvah by teaching Heimshe bocherim english He has taught hundreds of Bocherim and most of them got deplomas. I finished my regents in two and a half years thanks two rabbi H. He does not charge a lot of money for lessons cause he does it basically for the sake of the bocherim. I want to end with thanking rabbi H. For helping me with me with my education and i hope if chas vesholom im going to have to leave Kollel ill get a decent job all thanks to rabbi H.

28

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:56 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Good luck in finding a shidduch if you went to law, medical or other professional school without putting 3+ years into learning post high school.

That is exactly why we have to change the public perception of learning a profession, not only that its not a bad thing, but that its a good and admirable thing, that its alot more admirable than learning torah all day, because if you learn torah all day with no plan on how to support your family then you are sure to end up violating the law and creating a terrible chilul hashem, which is worse than anything!

29

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:55 AM Anonymous Says:

What does an english education have to do with Parnossa?
We must remember that "Birchas Hamshem hi taashir - it is the blessing of G-d which gives us wealth", and certainly he gives his blessing to those that follow in the ways of Torah and Mitzvos - Vehigisa Bo Yomam VoLailah!
A secular education will in no way halp make a Parnossa, being an upright Jew will.
All these people stealing money etc. Is now because of a lack of english education - just the opposite - its the lack of a proper Kosher Chinuch!!

30

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:14 PM Anonymous Says:

The Author Rabbi Hoffman wrote a very nice column, however if you will look at the other columns posted on this website over the last few days about the money laundering scheme written by "non heimish" authors most people had one problem with them "why are they generalizing one sect"? Rabbi Hoffman is doing the same thing. I and many of my classmates, my children and my coworkers all went or presently go to Chasidisha Mosdos. My coworkers one a bookkeeper, one a project manger and myself a business owner all have long beards a payos my children and there children all know how to spell and speak English correctly. Rabbi Hoffman with all due respect most mosdos have an English department! My target would be the parents who don't stress the importance of the education not the Mosdos.
And yes most Roshei Yeshiva are doing there job trying to get their talmidim to be Klei Kodesh. If a young man opts not to become a rebbi or Kollel yungerman he has plenty of options regarding continuing his education. Yes there is a stigma about collage however when one really wants to get that education he has no problems. We all have seen the chasidisha doctors, lawyers, & accountants. There are Chasidisha Contractors, licensed electricians and licensed plumbers. The problem lies in the individual himself (Like Mr. Brafman said last night), who has the opinion that "the world owes me". If every father would follow the torah and the mishna that states that a father should teach his son a trade we all would be better off. Its time for everyone stop pointing fingers and take responsibility for his own family only then can we start commenting regarding others.

31

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:16 PM Torah Truth Says:

It is not just a matter of education. It is a matter of learning social norms. As an executive of a highly successful VC backed company and having spent many years in the business world, I can tell you that I cringe at employing fellow Chareidi applicants. The times that I did hire I was embarrassed by the lack of basic social skills. They were highly intelligent, highly motivated, but lacked simple judgment on what is appropriate and what is not. We have a lot of work to do and I hope this wakeup call is a good start. We must really shake ourselves from this delusional superiority complex that we have and address some very basic things. We have significant attributes to offer but they get clouded and overlooked by the very basic public shortcomings…. A much easier problem to fix provided we recognize the problem.

32

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:15 PM ShatzMatz Says:

I'm am sorry to disagree, but the matter is not so simple. In the 65 years since orthodoxy was established on these shores many attempts have been made to implement a proper secular curriculum in our yeshivos. All have failed. The reason is because none of these programs could be implemented successfully. All the yeshivahs ended up with was addtional expense and behaviour problems. The problem is much more fundemental than simply 'teaching english'.

Also consider this. Most boys in my class in yeshiva spent 15 years in yeshiva with me and came out the other end funtionaly illiterate in both limedei kodesh and limudei chol. What percentage of yeshiva boys know how to read or write and comprehend any language? If you really think about it you will see that the statistics are stagering. Our yeshivas serve at best only about 10% of boys. The rest come out so-so or total ignoramouses. And this after spending 16 hours a day 6 days a week in class compared to the standard 5 hours a day 5 days a week with vacation for mothers day a groundhog day.

So the problem is not 'education' but rather much more fundamental. It involves the whole lifestyle and way of living we have set up for ourselves.

Frankly I don't know why you picked 'education' as the elephant in the room. A far greater contributor to our predicament vis-a-vis the secular world and the authorities is our isolated lifestyles. We have no exposure to the outside world and we are not ingrained with the norms and manners of the general population. We are self-created misfits, and condemned to remain this way unless some bold and creative leadership emerges from somewhere. We all know that this is not going to happen. But if we continue on the way we are going, eventually something will have to give.

The cycle repeats itself.

33

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

Totally off, this is not the problem, I know many long time employees in a big firm that are missing spelling skills, and they hold successful jobs in successful places.
And I bet you, even the bakery that labeled the cake "spunch" cake makes a lot of money..

Sure & pigs fly! Let's see you get a job as a wirter at a newspaper or a TV presenter or perhaps an attorney or even a social worker or police officer. Those that hold "successful jobs" as you say are either working for a Heimishe firm or doing something that does not require any skills and I am sure they are in the minority.

34

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:13 PM ERLICHKEIT Says:

Ihave a son in shiduchim who learned for 3 years in Eretz Yisroel, is in yeshiva all day here, BUT GOES TO TOURO AT NIGHT for a degree and he's lost many shiduchim because of him going to school AT NIGHT!!!

35

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:13 PM Ralph Says:

The problem is that there are people who think they are above the law and above society. A lot of the Chareidim, high mucky-muck Rabbis, and even a lot of Yeshivish/Litvish people think that because they learn lots and lots of Torah, civil laws and societal norms simply don't apply to them. Thats how they can take advantage of the system and still maintain their high moral platform. Well, I have news for you: NO ONE is above the law. In addition, their abuse of the system gives the rest of us law-abiding Jews a bad name. And please don't bring other peoples and races into this. We can only police and be responsible for ourselves. "Eisav soneh es Ya'akov", no matter what. Is there anti-Semitism in the workplace? Absolutely. But should we give them even MORE reason to hate us by disregarding law? Well, apparently, the answer to THAT question isn't as easy as I thought...

JMHO

36

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

yestoday at the 'asufa' in bp hr' shorr said exact the oppisit, he said the problem is that we have to know that we r jews in 'golus' & we have b diffrend & sepprit from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing here that we have to learn english like the 'goyim' & thats gonna solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), & the main thing we have to knoe is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b how much hashem wants & not how much u try,
sorry & thanks for your coaperation

very well said.
btw, the above article is pretty much a synopsis of Ben Brofman's address last night, if harav Schorr would have stayed and heard Mr. Brofman speak we would have had a GREAT DEBATE, with daas torah ruling in the end

37

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

yestoday at the 'asufa' in bp hr' shorr said exact the oppisit, he said the problem is that we have to know that we r jews in 'golus' & we have b diffrend & sepprit from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing here that we have to learn english like the 'goyim' & thats gonna solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), & the main thing we have to knoe is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b how much hashem wants & not how much u try,
sorry & thanks for your coaperation

Since it's obvious from your writing skills that you don't know English well, from the text of your post it also obvious that you don't understand Yiddish too well either. Rav Shorr said nothing of the above. True he said we should always remember that we are golus yidden - but not that we should be separate from them, but that we should remember that we are not enttitled to everything (eg public assistance, welfare, etc) - "entitled" being the key word.
What the editor wrote is not only not against Torah - but is Torah hashkafa.
My father-in-law was once in by the Satmar Rebbe Zt"l. He noticed that he was very agitated. When asked why, he responded: "Didi you see that yungerman that just walked out? He was complaining that he has no parnassa. How do they expect to have parnassa if they don't know basic math and how to read and write English. But when I tell them that, they call me a shaigetz". This quote is 100% accurate and true, and is true Torah hashkafa.
Yes - we can not expect our children to make a living if we don't give them at least the basic tools - a good education. Chazal say that it is the responsibility of every father to teach his son a vocation for parnassa. Since when has that become annuled?

38

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
Anonymous Says:

What does an english education have to do with Parnossa?
We must remember that "Birchas Hamshem hi taashir - it is the blessing of G-d which gives us wealth", and certainly he gives his blessing to those that follow in the ways of Torah and Mitzvos - Vehigisa Bo Yomam VoLailah!
A secular education will in no way halp make a Parnossa, being an upright Jew will.
All these people stealing money etc. Is now because of a lack of english education - just the opposite - its the lack of a proper Kosher Chinuch!!

If one is not doing anything to make oneself prepared to make a decent living, expecting hashem to do it all for you, on the basis of your learning alone, is a bit ridiculous. Depending on miracles gets you nowhere.

39

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Yair makes a point but its a turnoff,
to stand a chance of changing a system you need to understand it,the Gedolim are still living. so please discuss the issues with them before bashing a community or many communities.
modernizing and educating are quite different of each other and need not be combined.
tellers jobs and knowing how to write and speak is ridiculous proof to a problem.
perhaps they offer low pay with no advancement, perhaps the environment is not appropo.
to point out that to be matzliach you need to be college educted is wrong and false.
take a look and you will see.
there are educted millionaires and crimminals and uneducated ones too.

40

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:33 PM Anonymous Says:

Rabbi Hoffman, I'll email you after Tisha B'Av my response. However for the readers at large, I'll just highlight the main objections.

1- In the same Gemara that you quote, there is another opinion of teaching ones child ONLY TORAH and not the other 5 or 6 trades.

2- The Heiliger Chasam Sofer didn't even recognize the secular Alphabets. He reluctantly agreed to practice his signature as Moses Schreiber, since he was the Rav of the City, which required him to sign his name officially.

3- I've been involved in Chinuch for many years, and YES, there has been the opinion of some Gedolia Yisroel, NOT to learn any English whatsoever. I'm not taking sides if they were right or not, all I'm saying, that if taking the route of being illiterate, HAS the backing of some serious Gedalie Torah. In my private email to you, I'll point then out.

4- The reason for Chassidim not being tellers, is due to the low paying salary the tellers get.

Have an easy fast, May Tisha B'av turn into a Chag, still this year.

41

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:31 PM Zev Says:

After reading all the posts here, it is clear that there are two camps. One, some people agree with the basic thesis of the article, that Yeshivas are failing to educate our children and therefore, out of desperation, people are stealing to make a living. The other side disagrees, and says that it has nothing to do with the lack of english studies etc, that if a person has the proper chinuch, we should not even need to discuss this, the proper haskofah will prevent this from happening.

Both are correct. We all know that the vast majority of Yidden are honest people, with the proper hashkofah, and live life perhaps without wealth, but with Torah and Gemilus Chesed. We also know people such as the informer in this case, that had everything going for him, yichus, intelligence, a good yeshiva education etc, and he still stole from people. How do we respond? what is the way forward? every child is an indivdual, and as individuals -everyone needs a plan....no parnassah? perhaps you need to consider training before marriage. Good learner and motivated? Kollel etc. Girl back from seminary,,,,if she is not married right away, some sort of program.....the bottom line is that every Jew is responsible for everyone else, but also for him- herself-when people learn to take care of themselves in an honest way-these things dont happen, we need our Gedolim to enourage these more positive ideas,we know they agree but its time to say something

42

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:31 PM Lawyer Says:

This article is misdirected. Honesty is not a function of education or wealth, it is a function of proper character traits and a healthy does of yiras shomayim.

There are plenty of fine, ehrlich people who have a limited secular education and a limited parnassah. Conversely, there are plenty of wealth, well-educated crooks.

(That is not to say that parnassah is not an important issue in its own right. But just because someone has a secure parnassah does not mean he will act honestly in his business and financial dealings.)

43

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:31 PM PMO Says:

Reply to #29  
Anonymous Says:

What does an english education have to do with Parnossa?
We must remember that "Birchas Hamshem hi taashir - it is the blessing of G-d which gives us wealth", and certainly he gives his blessing to those that follow in the ways of Torah and Mitzvos - Vehigisa Bo Yomam VoLailah!
A secular education will in no way halp make a Parnossa, being an upright Jew will.
All these people stealing money etc. Is now because of a lack of english education - just the opposite - its the lack of a proper Kosher Chinuch!!

Many disagree with you. H" gives us the tools, it is up to us to use them. Are all homeless yidden just dammed by H"? Of course not. H" expects us to work for it. Why do you think that there are so many halachos about it. Please don't be foolish in thinking that at some point H" planted a money tree for you and no matter what you will get what comes off that tree. That is an overly simplistic view.

H" gave us tools. H" gave us great things to learn. Look around you. Yidden (frum and not) have excelled in every area of life and in the best of fields our numbers are disproportionately high. Why? Because they took advantage of the gifts H" gave them. The gift of intelligent thought, the thirst for knowledge, and the genuine desire to do good.

Maybe... just maybe... H" rewards those who help themselves and who help others.

44

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:21 PM Rabbi X Says:

Every time somebody brings up the merit of higher education in the frum community the answer is always the same: "I know person A who doesn't even know how to read and he's a millionaire or I know person B who learned in kollel for 10 years and now has a successful company". People are absolutely right, stories like this do happen. What people don't take time to think about is that the ratio of these people to other poverty-stricken frum people is about 10,000:1.

The merit of higher education is that people have opportunities to fall back on. You may be able to do to it totally on your own, but let me assure everyone here that a degree sure does help.

45

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:20 PM Ari Says:

Ben Brafman did in fact speak about precisely this "elephant in the room" at the asifah.

Also, as some noted above:
- Many of the swindlers are polished and worldly (although perhaps not the most credentialed)
- The US labor market is flooded with people who cannot speak English properly or even intelligibly, including as bank tellers, so I'm not sure that is the best example to use. However, to rise beyond these entry-level positions does indeed require advanced education, so the overall point stands.

46

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:19 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
Babishka Says:

Can somebody please tell me where all these jobs are growing on trees for people with math and English skills? I have a degree in Mathematics from an Engineering University, 20 years of professional experience in industry and I have been out of work for 2 years.

Imagine how hard it would be if you had no high school dipoloma, and were not capable of writing a sentence people can understand...

47

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:19 PM Statistics Says:

That statistics show that there are 15 million out of work today and the vast majority of those out of work know English perfectly.

48

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:40 PM excellent point Says:

listen folks
our parents came from Europe into the promised land of the US in terrible circumstances. They had no money , no family, and no easy life. But most of all, they were confused and angry by what had happened to European Jewry. So what did they do? Some of them lost their religion and became Americans so to forget the past. Others, as a reaction, isolated themselves and tried to transplant prewar jewish life in the US as much as possible including language and dress. One of the ways people deal with guilt is to keep on doing what is wrong and tell themselves that it is really right or a even mitzva. mimiking prewar Europe exactly and ignoring the realties is a form of false revenge in Hitler YM"SH and an ignorant way of dealing with guilt of how so many jews were butchered and could not fend for themselves during the Shoa.
Rabboisai it did not work before the war and it aint gonna work today. we need to raise a generation that could support themselves honerably and support the Jewish causes the Jewish way. Not everything old from the shtetl is positive. lets leave the smuggling, illiteracy, isolation, and Machlokes in the Shtetles, and bring to the US only the depth the Toirah, the Chesed and Middos, and the kedusha of the shtetl. but it will only work by adopting Torah im Education. Isolation breeds genieva and anti semitism. Education breeds happiness and ruchaniyus
hope I got my point across
A Chusid of Boro-Park

49

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:38 PM Anonymous Says:

The underlying issue is the cost of jewish living. How about the following solution to the tuition crisis. Start off by putting a one year holiday for all tuition? Mandate that all maaser money go to a yeshiva scholarship fund divided appropriately by a Vaad Hayeshivos Fund run by community rabbonim with open book transparency. The money saved on the tuition will stumulate the jewish economy more than any government stimulus package will. People will be able to invest in businesses and create jobs. The maaser money from the profits and incomes this creates will help support yeshivas in years to come.

Perhaps the reason why the jewish economy is failing is because we've been running it like the democrats. Tax people to death and spend on social programs. Perhaps the way to run it is like the republicans. Lower taxes, stimulate the economy and create jobs for people to get out of social welfare programs.

50

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Don't blame our problems on education. It's a lot more complex than that. You need to take into account home attitudes, as well. By that I mean both toward honesty and education.

51

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:17 PM Anonymous Says:

sorry Rabbi but trying to implement a diffrent hashkafa and impose it on the chsidisher and yeshivishe system just aint gonna work.

52

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:06 PM joel rich Says:

The Rebbi said:" Out of necessity we allowed ourselves to indulge in illegal acts"


Perhaps some focus on what caused this necessity would help avoid future acts of desperation?

She-nir'eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu

KT

53

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

it is a lie that we can not get good jobs with our poor english.
Do you think that the pakistani or spanish teller is more educated? !!

I

As a matter of fact, they are. While the majority speak broken English that is not because of their education, it is because they are not native English speakers like you should be, having been born in the USA. If you will ask, you will see that a significant percentage has a college degree from their own country and virtually 100% have at least a high school diploma. This is not meant as support of the Pakistani or Latin or Russians for that matter, it is mearly a statement of fact. And it is not a lie, that you can not get a job because of your English, one must be able to communicate not only verbally but in the written form as well.

54

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:51 AM They are Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

it is a lie that we can not get good jobs with our poor english.
Do you think that the pakistani or spanish teller is more educated? !!

I

Yes. The Pakistani or Indian teller is better educated! They may have an accecnt, but they also have an education!

55

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:50 AM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

I, too, am an orthodox Jew (not MO, not chareidi, not "chassidish but with it", I am an American Orthodox Jew) and a college graduate and have not experienced the discrimination that you describe.. I am also a licensed P.E and I also have dealt with the NYS Office of Professions. I have not found that I have been treated any differently than anybody else, that is, abysmally. The people in NYS government don't hate Jews, orthodox or otherwise. They hate anybody that asks them to actually do something. I have worked in the electric power industry of almost forty years, all across America, and I have not experienced any discrimination or anti-semitism from anyone in the industry, from construction workers, to power company executives, to the government agencies that I routinely deal with such as FERC, EPA and OSHA. In fact. it has been my experience that people and organizations have gone out of their way to acommodate my (in their eyes bizarre) religious requirements. Being able to make your way in industry requires not just an education but an atitude of cooperation and respect for other people. Americans, by and large, respect religion even if they themselves are not particularly religious. To them, I'm an American just like they are, just one who takes his religion seriously.

56

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:49 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

it is a lie that we can not get good jobs with our poor english.
Do you think that the pakistani or spanish teller is more educated? !!

I

They earn $400.00 @ week, where will that get you?

57

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:49 AM Arnie Lustiger Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:


The English education in our chasiddeshe elementary schools is pathetic at best.

And let's be honest about it... It's not going to change any time soon.

How can it change when in some of the schools the kids are not permitted to speak English “during the English classes”?? Sounds absurd? Well it’s sad and it’s true.

This assertion is interesting. Please go into more detail about how the kids are not permitted to speak English uring "English". Is this prevalent in Chassidishe Yeshivas. Is ther an English language curriculum at all?

58

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:47 AM Anonymous Says:

Big shtussim! in my shul the biggest millionaire can't even sign his name properly.
The most educated people are sometimes struggling for a job.
I can't forget when I went to collect tzadoka for a yesoma, a big real estate mogul / millionaire gave me a check of one "Tosand" dollars.. I just held my hand on my mouth not to burst out laughing, but the check cleared in the bank..
I know how to spell thousand, even a million, I went to special english classes, I went to Real estate school, had good spelling marks, and the bank still doesn't wanna honor my checks..

59

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:44 PM Yossi Says:

The Satmere rebbe zt"l knew all this what you are writing and he still was against having his Talmidim go to college . There is a very famous story that the Satmere rebbe had a argument discussion with Reb Moshe Feinstein zt"l about his talmidim going to college.Debating back and forth the rebbe saw he is not getting anywhere he turned around to Reb Moshe zt"l and said...Ir veist vus ich vel eich zugen..Your talmidim will grow up Doctors,Lawyers,Accountants,and Bankers and mine talmidim will grow up Balei Batim ,Sochrim and Business people and my talmidim will be the clients and patients of your talmidim....Raboysei his holy words are so true as you can see in those days...Chas veshlim if you are in the Hospital who is your doctor? 60% it will be one of his talmidim .If you need a lawyer who is representing you ,most likely it will be a talmid of Rem Moshe zt"l....If you need a roll of plastic or a printing job,construction or a camera from b&h it will be a satmere talmid..

60

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Couldn't have written better myself (because im a graduate of such a talmud torah) but im out in the real world now and im really upset what the TT did with us. they think the cheated the govt but not following the proper courses. but we are the ones suffering now. what a shame. they stole a proper education from us. we have to work longer hours for less pay because of them. of course the leaders don't care since they are fully qualified for their job (whatever that might be). have they ever wondered why they need to fund-raise outside of their neighborhood.. how long will we suffer from "leaders" that do not look out for our well being.

61

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Rabbi Hoffman: But Ben Brafman DID lament about the lack of high school education! listen to the audio! and BTW Agudah in the form of Cope Institute is and has over the last 15 years been educating Chasidic and Litvishe bochurim in English and accounting skills and has even recently graduated (in affiliation with a reputable college) 100 students that have an accounting degree and are able to sit for the CPA exam! Boy will the examiners be surprised to see all these long bearded fellows sitting for the CPA test soon! Thank you Leon Goldenberg and Agudah for pushing it through.....

62

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:57 PM Anonymous Says:

The English curriculum needs to be administered with an eye toward ferreting out each child's natural inclination. Hashem gave each of us talents, many of which can be expressed within a good English curriculum geared toward later parnassa. It is not enough to offer the English curriculum half-heartedly, for compliance sake, as a token curriculum. Many children leave the derech because their talents are never revealed and nurtured.

63

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:55 PM Working Guy Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Good luck in finding a shidduch if you went to law, medical or other professional school without putting 3+ years into learning post high school.

Not only will you have a problem getting a shidduch but you'll get ridiculed too!

What's the point in working. You have to get up at six am to daven, sit on a crowded train twice a day, work a full day, come home at seven, say hello to your wife and kids, eat, and run to mariv and get taxed to oblivion.

Instead you can live it up in Malot Dafna where your wife will have a Bugaboo and drink ice coffee. You'll have three gourmet meals prepared, come back to the states one or twice a year. Of course you will vacation in the Dead Sea or the Galil because of all the sacrifices you make learning.

Meanwhile your parents and in-laws will work harder than they ever did to try support you and you siblings because you are obviously doing the "right thing"

64

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Go around and check out most people arrested now and in other cases, most of them have a perfect English and proper spelling skills.
For instance the crook of Deal Dwek) that robbed a bank $50 million dollars has a super English, great spelling, and hardly talks any other language

65

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:54 PM Asher Lipner, Ph.D. Says:

Very well written and timely article.

I am afraid that there is a major obstacle impeding change in this regard in the Chareidi community. A brief history lesson of "Daas Torah".

Reb Ahron Kotler ZT"KL ruled that college is not allowed for bnei torah in his yeshiva. This has been interpreted as a blanked issur on college. Reb Elya Svei took this to mean and applied it to Touro College, which he felt was a terrible idea.

Rav Ruderman Z'TL allowed college and helped people get joint degrees from Ner Yisroel and other places. He actually advised my father to go to college. However, when I learned in Ner Yisroel, I was strongly advised by other hanhalla members including Rabbi Neuberger, Z"L not to go.

When I was learing in Lakewood, a yungerman who is now a respected Mechanech asked me to help him start a yeshiva for the young teenagers who were not making it in regular yeshivas. He said that he wanted to provied them constructive alternatives to learning all day or else he feared they would end up on the street, on drugs, off the derech, etc.

His plan was to train them to be car mechanics and truck drivers. These were the ONLY options he offered. I assumed that he was working with kids with learning disabilities and limited scholastic potential. He said, no, acutally, many of these boys were very, very smart, but for whatever reason could not learn Torah all day long. So I asked him why not offer them a way to also become doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, artists, musicians, etc.

He said that this was not allowed in the city of Lakewood because it invovled real secular education.

If the writer (or anyone else) has a way around this ideology to implemement his great ideas, I would love to hear it.

66

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:03 PM JD Says:

The Rebbi said:" Out of necessity we allowed ourselves to indulge in illegal acts"

The author has boiled it down to the bottom line.

We have created a system that is not financially viable.

The light manufacturing, diamond, jewelry and broker businesses that the post war generation worked in have either left the USA or have had the margins driven down by the far east countries. Now the real estate business and all of the associated sources of parnasah such as closing agents, title companies, appraisers, construction etc that were funded by cheap money for the last decade have disappeared.

The economy in this country is a service economy. 1/6 of the GDP is in health care. A large part is in Financial Services and Technology.

The cost of maintaining an Orthodox lifestyle, be it Chasidish, Litvish or MO is astronomical and we are not preparing our children to fill the high paying positions. A family making 150K/year (and paying taxes) which is in the top 5% of American ranked by income can find it hard to make it.

We need to examine how to align our core beliefs with an economical model that can support the next generation.

A key goal of our Gedolim could be to find the balance between the "traif" education and ensuring that we have the skills to survive the economic paradign shift.

Our system is not financially viable; it is essentially bankrupt. Fianncial bankruptcy has lead to the moral equivalent.

JD

67

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:49 PM Babishka Says:

Reply to #46  
Anonymous Says:

Imagine how hard it would be if you had no high school dipoloma, and were not capable of writing a sentence people can understand...

Actually I would have less of a problem finding a job as a Walmart cashier. I actually did apply to Walmart and was rejected immediately for being "over qualified." Then I applied to another major store chain and was turned down because they only hire people who work on Shabbos.

68

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

Sure & pigs fly! Let's see you get a job as a wirter at a newspaper or a TV presenter or perhaps an attorney or even a social worker or police officer. Those that hold "successful jobs" as you say are either working for a Heimishe firm or doing something that does not require any skills and I am sure they are in the minority.

There are "thousands'' of jobs that you can get away with skim spelling skills, especially those not sitting a desk can easily get away with poor or no spelling knowledge at all. It's fact.

69

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

Sure & pigs fly! Let's see you get a job as a wirter at a newspaper or a TV presenter or perhaps an attorney or even a social worker or police officer. Those that hold "successful jobs" as you say are either working for a Heimishe firm or doing something that does not require any skills and I am sure they are in the minority.

sure enough have a friend a lawyer, closing real estate deals, divorce and estates. he spells like a fifth grader to say the best, his secretary, and his wife have to prepare him all letters.. he also uses the help of spell checker..

70

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:35 AM Anonymous Says:

Something needs to be done to overhaul the English / vocational training for the future breadwinners of the next generation. Just pushing another year till Bar Mitzvah just to meet the Department of Education guidelines is not right. We have only ourselves to blame for not being preparing our future tattes!!!!

71

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:34 AM Kosher Programs Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

another elephant in the room, in certain segments of society engaged couples are encouraged to legally marry so that benefit programs are in place by the time they halachically marry. We are not

There's another elephant that was not discussed. In certain segments of society benefit programs are a way of life. Couples that are engaged marry legally right away so all benefits are in place when they marry halachically. They are not even given the opportunity to start off their married life in a straight manner. In some sectors even if your family is suppprting you the young couple is still expected to go on programs. Why was that not brought up?

Government Programs are not evil and are not non-kosher as you seem to imply.

No one is more deserving than a newly married couple, just married who does not have a job yet.

That is who the programs are made for, to help those who don't yet have a job, for the brief time, until they get a good job and good parnasa.

Of course if someone already is making triple digit income as a Bank Manager, he is then no longer eligible for benefits.

72

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:34 AM anonymous Says:

What about all the companies you call up and you can't understand a word the person is saying??

73

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:31 AM HonestlyFrum Says:

It's about time someone said this outloud. The question is will our leadership now wake up to the problem and do something about it or continue to hide their heads in the sand? I fear that even this will not serve as a wakeup call to the more systemic problem. Kolel is not for everyone (in fact probably not for most people) and we need to give our chilren a proper secular education so they can go out into the world and compete for better jobs so they will not have to resort to living off the government dime or worse. It's time for our leaders and Gedolim to wake up.

74

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:31 AM PMO Says:

While this conversation is well overdue. I applaud everyone involved. Now let's see some REAL action.

75

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:30 AM mENSCH Says:

We need to Educate
I remeber my rebbe telling us that it is mitzvah for a father to tech his son a trade
I think in this Generation English would definitely be a prerequisite and qualify for a trade

BTW: with out spell check there would have been 4 errors in the above

76

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:16 PM esther Says:

i know this is only anecdotal but my own personal experience has been that the people who were the most greedy and dishonest were very wealthy,not in financial need as i know it all.they may have been very wonderful in their personal life but when it came to money they had absolutely no busha or conscious.clearly $ is a very great yaitzer hara and all the secular education in the world wont change that.

77

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:15 PM Successful Yeshiva Guy Says:

Reply to #60  
Anonymous Says:

Couldn't have written better myself (because im a graduate of such a talmud torah) but im out in the real world now and im really upset what the TT did with us. they think the cheated the govt but not following the proper courses. but we are the ones suffering now. what a shame. they stole a proper education from us. we have to work longer hours for less pay because of them. of course the leaders don't care since they are fully qualified for their job (whatever that might be). have they ever wondered why they need to fund-raise outside of their neighborhood.. how long will we suffer from "leaders" that do not look out for our well being.

Th school didn't cheat, they had english sessions every day, some kids always thought that it does not apply to me.. I was one of 3-4 boys that had 100's on our english tests (out of a class of 25).

78

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:14 PM disolusioned Says:

Reply to #21  
ShatzMatz Says:

I'm am sorry to disagree, but the matter is not so simple. In the 65 years since orthodoxy was established on these shores many attempts have been made to implement a proper secular curriculum in our yeshivos. All have failed. The reason is because none of these programs could be implemented successfully. All the yeshivahs ended up with was addtional expense and behaviour problems. The problem is much more fundemental than simply 'teaching english'.

Also consider this. Most boys in my class in yeshiva spent 15 years in yeshiva with me and came out the other end funtionaly illiterate in both limedei kodesh and limudei chol. What percentage of yeshiva boys know how to read or write and comprehend any language? If you really think about it you will see that the statistics are stagering. Our yeshivas serve at best only 10% of boys. The rest come out so-so or total ignoramouses. And this after spending 16 hours a day 6 days a week in class compared to the standard 5 hours a day 5 days a week with vacation for mothers day a groundhog day.

So the problem is not 'education' but rather much more fundamental. It involves the whole lifestyle and way of living we have set up for ourselves.

Frankly I don't know why you picked 'education' as the elephant in the room. A far greater contributor to our predicament vis-a-vis the secular world and the authorities is our isolated lifestyles. We have no exposure to the outside world and we are not ingrained with the norms and manners of the general population. We are self-created misfits, and condemned to remain this way unless some bold and creative leadership emerges from somewhere. We all know that this is not going to happen. But if we continue on the way we are going, eventually something will have to give.

The cycle repeats itself.

Boy do I agree with you! My husband is a physician and we are BTs. One of the problems we encountered with the huge amount of condescending arrogance that came our way from people who bragged that they couldn't spell their names in English. Of course we were expected to be the economic answer to everything until we learned how to set limits.
The problem is not so much as the fact that some people are not big breadwinners as is the fact that they have a lifestyle that is 3 times the cost of what they earn. There is no emphasis in the frum world on thrift, frugality, avoidance of baal tashgis, living within one's means, or not competing with one's neighbors. What about the saying that " a happy person is one who is happy with what he has? "
I remember a book that sold when our kids were small called 1000 Guests for Shabbos. The book was written to promote the mitzvah of hachnassas orchim but failed to take into consideration that a large percentage of families could not afford to eat like that, much less to include guests.
Whether the solution involves a better secular education or at least a solid work ethic, we need to promote living within one's means; even if that means living as a poor person lives. If a person truly qualifies for government assistance than I fail to see it as wrong for them to take it. I don't think that the Torah prefers birth control over obtaining government help. The problem is when it is obtained fraudulently.
We also have to realize that ghettoizing the frum world in NY has eliminated the possibility of cheaper housing elsewhere and the day school and yeshiva movement has become too costly. As Shatzmatz points out, few yeshiva graduates come out with much of any education. As we have seen, problems such as abuse flourish in religious schools (of any religion) due to lack of government regulations. If the government ever decides to step in, it will force the situation to improve.

79

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:13 PM Successful Yeshiva Guy Says:

I was involved together with two friends in helping a fellow yungerman get out of prison and out of legal trouble.
This yungerman came from a broken divorced home, the mother was frey, didn't even want to talk yiddish, and the father was a modern guy, however, we learned together in a chassidishe yeshiva.
At one of the meetings the mother blew out at us with sort of blame: "because my son went to yeshiva and not to college, and has no profession in his hand, that's why he became a ganev"..
So I swiftly replied: We all 3 people sitting here to help your son, all learned in the same yeshiva at the same time with your son, I am a assistant to an expediter designing architectural plans and layouts, the next one is a top paid computer programmer, the third is an editor of a famous (yiddishe) news paper. Your son was a professional handyman in yeshiva, he knew how to fix electronics, and even managed to do some car repairs. we all went knew minimum English, your son grew up with English as his first language. We all went to kollel some time after the chasuna, your son got a good job at a hardware store right after his chasuna, so explain us what role does the yeshiva play in your son's infamous career.
She changed immediately the subject...

80

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:09 PM בן שמונה עשר לחופה Says:

מהו אם בן שמונה עשר לחופה, האם אתה כבן עזאי בקדושה בלי שום חטא, איפה אתה לומד תורה ואינם מקיימים מה שכתוב בה

81

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:08 PM Rav Aharon Kotler Says:


Rav Aharon ztl ossered english studies for cheder kinder at all end of story.

Rav Mendlowits recieved a temporary Horoas shoah, only temporary ! from Reb Chaim Oizer Grodzensky which has long since expired .
Any way there is a very broad market of jobs for all Their are many well known communities that succeeded financially very well without secular studies ,
Go ask any fundraiser if his top 100 clients succeeded because they excelled in english !
Parnossah is from Hashem . no amount of preparation will change that. Tishuva will.

82

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:04 PM Anonymous Says:

I think the MO have it right when it comes to this. We learn english, becomes doctors and lawyers, and don't need to mooch off society by enrolling in welfare, section 8, wic, food stamps and all the other stuff certain folks need to go on b\c they never went to college and grad school.

83

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:24 PM not true Says:

Reply to #44  
Rabbi X Says:

Every time somebody brings up the merit of higher education in the frum community the answer is always the same: "I know person A who doesn't even know how to read and he's a millionaire or I know person B who learned in kollel for 10 years and now has a successful company". People are absolutely right, stories like this do happen. What people don't take time to think about is that the ratio of these people to other poverty-stricken frum people is about 10,000:1.

The merit of higher education is that people have opportunities to fall back on. You may be able to do to it totally on your own, but let me assure everyone here that a degree sure does help.

Most satmar buisness men have parnsa beharchava with no HS diploma and certainly no treifene college.

It not just 1 in 10,000, rather this holds true for the vast najority of thousands of very successfull Satmar buisness owners, private bus drivers, diamond dealers and cutters, in addion to thosands in the proffessional (private) trade (such as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, air condition installers and repair, contractors and countless more.

Not one single word of english is needed for any of the above that gives thousands of satmar parnasa beharchava, boruch hashem

84

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:24 PM Pink Elefant Says:

One of the big problems is the pressure parents have in terms of "supporting" grown, married children who sit and learn. It is so prohibitively expensive that it is not practical the masses. Yet, because of peer pressure, so many parents are working in their 70s supporting grown children with large families. The end result is, corners have to be cut, in order to support these large families. If there would be no stigma about getting a job after marriage (instead of being a kollel couple) this vicious cycle could stop.

85

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:21 PM Anonymous Says:

the real reason jewish pple turn to fraud:

how is a young couple supposed to afford 2,000 for rent?

what about 5,000 tuition per kid?(in some schools thats after crying poverty)

a new pair of shoes for a toddler roughly 80 bucks in any jewish store?

groceries prices dont stop rising.

school uniforms have to be bought in a jewish store.(most schools anyway)

everyone drives a car... gas prices, insurance etc.....

86

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #31  
Torah Truth Says:

It is not just a matter of education. It is a matter of learning social norms. As an executive of a highly successful VC backed company and having spent many years in the business world, I can tell you that I cringe at employing fellow Chareidi applicants. The times that I did hire I was embarrassed by the lack of basic social skills. They were highly intelligent, highly motivated, but lacked simple judgment on what is appropriate and what is not. We have a lot of work to do and I hope this wakeup call is a good start. We must really shake ourselves from this delusional superiority complex that we have and address some very basic things. We have significant attributes to offer but they get clouded and overlooked by the very basic public shortcomings…. A much easier problem to fix provided we recognize the problem.

I have a college education & I've been in the work force for over 25 years. I have worked with frum Jews, non-frum Jews and non-Jews over the years & I'm ashamed to say that the worst co-workers were the frum Jews. Without exception, they would disappear in the days before chagim, barely come in on Fridays, etc. They couldn't understand why they were being written up for not showing up or why their paychecks had money deducted because they had used up their vacation time. Learning social norms is a place to start, but they also need to learn common business practices.

87

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:19 PM from comment #29 Says:

I see some people misunderstood what I wrote. Obviously one must work to make a vessel for the blessing to come in to. But the vessel can only be with our external faculties, as it says in the possuk "Yegia Kapecha (davka) ki sochal", from the work of your HANDS. The internal, higher faculties like the mind must be kept clean for holier things and should not be negatively effected by learning secular wisdom.

88

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:19 PM WolfishMusings Says:

I think that Rabbi Hoffman has some very valid points, but I fear that the problem is far worse than a lack of education.

The problem, sadly, is that we are failing in our mission to internalize the Torah's lessons. Saying that a lack of education or poverty is not the answer -- after all, there are plenty of people who are poor and uneducated among the non-Jews who struggle in their lives and yet don't resort to crime.

Sadly, it seems that we have gotten our priorities wrong. We worry more about whether or not someone wears a hat and/or jacket to davening than if they commit welfare fraud. We care more about the color of people's shirts than whether or not they deal honestly with their fellow man (Jew or non-Jew). We place more emphasis on enforcing the minutiae of tznius (and no, I'm not saying that tznius is not important) than with the lav of Lo Tignovu. In short, we're too busy worry about the leaves on the branches to see that the tree has become rotten in the core.

What we really need to do is to completely reorder our society. We need to stop focusing on the externals and focus on doing what is good, right and what the Torah expects of us. We have to learn to deal justly and honestly with everyone - Jew and non-Jew. We have to focus on being able to be proud of the fact that your dealings are honest -- and the fact that people in our community are not ashamed or embarrassed when they are not.

Yes, education is a step in the right direction -- but if one's ethics are rotten and one's moral fiber is wrong, then all education does is produce smart thieves. We have to change not just our minds and our schools, but our souls as well.

The Wolf

89

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Shtusim!!! how many kollel guys are out there cpmpared to working people its a drop in the bucket ..and rabbi hoffman forgot to mention all those that are employed by klei kodesh be it rebeim or mashgichim etc.. not evrey job needs a degree what's more important is to keep klal yisrael viable with out getting lost to assimilation.

90

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #42  
Lawyer Says:

This article is misdirected. Honesty is not a function of education or wealth, it is a function of proper character traits and a healthy does of yiras shomayim.

There are plenty of fine, ehrlich people who have a limited secular education and a limited parnassah. Conversely, there are plenty of wealth, well-educated crooks.

(That is not to say that parnassah is not an important issue in its own right. But just because someone has a secure parnassah does not mean he will act honestly in his business and financial dealings.)


Lawyer says:
"This article is misdirected. Honesty is not a function of education or wealth, it is a function of proper character traits and a healthy does of yiras shomayim."

Wrong:
Honesty is a function of education and wealth.because they negate the temptation to be dishonest. It is easy to be "honest" when doing so will put bread on the table, leave your gashmius desires fulfilled and your needs satisfied. When being honest does not accomplish the above, then dishoesty is much more attracrive and the yetser harah has an in.

There is a whole slew of economic papers that "prove' the point and I believe there are statements in the talmud that say the same thing.

Does that mean that all poor people will sucumb? Certainly not. Look at Hillel.
But ceteris paribus, an increase in poverty will bring an increase in dishonetsy because we are all human and not malachim.





91

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:17 PM Charpah&Shondah Says:

This painful chillul hashem illustrates the following reality: The chareidi community does not have the moral high ground in the frum world. Going to college and being able to support a family with a professional degree was looked down on. Well, now we see what happens to the uneducated who have no ability to support themselves.
"Learning", refusing to work and relying of parents for support causes, in many causes, fraud and theft. Section 8 irregularities, food stamp irregularities , dealing in black market illegalities - it all occurs because of the desperation of impoverished famlies.

92

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Totally off, this is not the problem, I know many long time employees in a big firm that are missing spelling skills, and they hold successful jobs in successful places.
And I bet you, even the bakery that labeled the cake "spunch" cake makes a lot of money..

93

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:33 PM Aryeh Says:

Problem is, we are dealing with goyim who don't want to give frum yidden a fair chance to make a decent living commensurate with our contributions to a business. I have a MENSA card and an amazing resume, but I was in an interview last month where the company was looking for excuses not to hire me after they saw my beard. Difficult to work for Lavan when one has children to feed, especially since affirmative action doesn't apply to Jewish people, never has.

94

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:38 PM Anonymous Says:

What causes people to steal? The drive to have more and more money and be fabulously wealthy. Why do people want to be so wealthy? Because of the honor it brings them. If we stop admiring people for what they have and start admiring people for what they are, the pressure to acquire material things will die down.
This might solve a whole lot of our problems.

95

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

sadly you just proved how important education is. EVEN with a prestigious degree we suffer, imagine trying to survive with no degree, and no education past grade 6...

96

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Rabbi Hoffman you hit the nail directly on the head !! Yasher Koach for bringing this issue out in the open.

97

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:32 PM Thanks for the laugh Says:

Reply to #25  
Anonymous Says:

The best argument for Rabbi Hoffman is the letter below: [WIth translation in parentheses]

yestoday (Yesterday,)
at the 'asufa' in bp (Borough Park)
hr' shorr (HaRav Shorr)

said exact (exactly)

the oppisit, (the opposite.)

he (He)

said the problem (said, "The problem)

is that we have to know that we r jews (are Jews)
in 'golus' & (and)
we have b diffrend (have to be different)
& sepprit (and separate)
from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing (you are writing)
here that we have to learn english (English)
like the 'goyim' & thats gonna (that's going to)
solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed (against)
the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), (even if you are a Rabbi)
& the main thing we have to knoe (know)
is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b (going to be)
how much hashem wants & not how much u try, (you try)
sorry & thanks for your coaperation (cooperation).

Let us not forget that anyone on the Sanhedrin had to be fluent in seventy languages. So Mordechai, Ezra and anyone else on the Sanhedrin was also against the Torah. Sorry, but most people respectfully disagree.

When I started reading #14's comment I thought he was being facetious. Unfortunately, it appears that he was not. In addition, his hashkafas are questionable since he thinks "pornosa is gonna b how much Hashem (I couldn't bring myself to use a lowercase 'h' although #14 did) wants & not how much u try." What's with hishtadlus? Shall we sit by a computer typing shtusim on a blog and say, "Hashem will provide"? Of course parnusa is determined by Hashem but that does not negate our obligation to do our part. We are not supposed to rely on nisim.

98

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:31 PM Anonymous Says:

since when is it a crime to accept gov't assistance, both me & my wife work full time, & with food health ins. tuition etc. for our six children we would not manage without the gov't help. yes we receive sec.8 & food stamps, but that's to supplement our combined income of $90,000. of which every penny is on the books. every gadol I consulted, rav dovid feinstein, the novominsker rebbe & rav hillel david told me that it is lichatchila for us to take the assistance. p.s. we both have high school educations. all of you posters who tell everyone to pay taxes should realize that the gov't uses a lot of that money for such programs, and just like you wouldn't condem the people of third world countries for taking the US assistance so too stop bashing the frum people who depend on these programs, this is hashems way to provide for people like myself- by having the more financially blessed paying tax to provide for the programs, to quote the novominsker rebbe. think about it, the mishne in avos says the world stands on torah avodah & chesed, instead of the kollel people & the chassidim getting a free ride, it would seem the mishne clearly indicates that the people who don't learn as much as kollel people nor do as much avoda & chesed as the chassidim might actually be the parasites. in conclusion I thank all of those that pay taxes for enabling us to receive the programs we deserve according to the medina shell chesed.

99

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:30 PM Anonymous Says:

There is another, bigger elephant in the room that is the mother of the other elephants: and that is, the tendency to think magically and unrealistically. We are immune from the laws of mankind and nature. We can eat whatever we want, have as many children as we physically can, but at the end of the day we feel it is somehow "un-frum" to say no to ourselves. We think we are saying no to some imaginary persecutor and therefore resist "him." In reality, we won't say no to ourselves we end up much weaker.

100

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:30 PM Anonymous Says:

What we need is a system of lending and apprenticing to help each other start and run businesses, with or without an education. The Asians/Koreans do it. They all kick in a small amount each week and thye get to borrow a large amount once in a awhile. We use Shvers to do the lending and teaching but not every shver is capable of it. Hence the poor girls dont get good shidduchim. Not everyone should learn in Kollel post marriage. A plumber, electrician, truck driver, store keeper, is also a valid way of life along with being Kovea Ittim Letorah. Let everyone go back to work and the nonsense of the get rich qucik schemes will stop. Its not the language or the education. Its being willing to go out there and work. Be a salesman, a technician, whatever. If youre smart, you should be educated in college and post college. If you cant take it, do something else.Our Gedolim are convincing everyone, especially the girls, that a non f/t learner is a bum. Feh on them.

101

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:29 PM Yoshua Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

yestoday at the 'asufa' in bp hr' shorr said exact the oppisit, he said the problem is that we have to know that we r jews in 'golus' & we have b diffrend & sepprit from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing here that we have to learn english like the 'goyim' & thats gonna solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), & the main thing we have to knoe is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b how much hashem wants & not how much u try,
sorry & thanks for your coaperation

Dear Sir,

What about making a "vessel" for the parnasa that HaShem wants to give us? Learning job training skills, among them English is like making a kli to catch what HaShem wants to send us. We still have to do our part, if we do more to enable the blessing we can receive more.

102

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:49 PM Anonymous Says:

The unfortunate truth is that these asifahs don't really do much. One does not need an asifah of gedolim to tell us to be honest.The Torah teaches us that.The crooked people will remain crooked,and the honest ones will remain honest.The children growing up in homes where there is torah im derech eretz,where they are taught to hold a door open for someone,to say please and thank you,respect and values,will pass that on to their children,and unfortunately the children growing up in homes without values and where crookedness reigns,will pass that on to their children.It is the values that our parents teach us which help us become the people we are.I have already heard people cmming out from mussar shmoozes saying,"he was'nt talking about me but about the next guy".What a shame.

103

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Learning job training skills, does not mean one has to go to college for 4 year! It is sufficient to go for a 3 - 6 month trade school! College is necessary only if you want to become lawyer or a doctor, everything else, 3 - 6 month of a trade school is enough. I went to 4 year college for accounting degree, could not find a job, took a 6 month computer school program and for last 10 years work as a programmer. I consider my time, spent in the college – waist of time and money!

104

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:12 PM Anonymous Says:

In 2005 the grand Belze Rebbe strongly encouraged his male followers to learn professions (specifically in white-collar work) during his annual Simchat Torah speech. He said,

Long-term students in yeshivas who are talented and have the economic means are fortunate, but students who year after year see that their studies are not going well, whether because of their skills or their economic situation, must learn a profession that earns a living. I'm not talking about getting rich but earning a living, so that one does not fall into debt. ... One can prepare for this in the yeshiva and devote a few hours a week in the evening to studying a profession.

The Belzer Rebbe's speech is the latest in a growing trend of encouraging haredi men who would be more suited to work than study (or whose families are particularly financially needy) to join the workforce. Rabbi Yissachar Dov's comments were noteworthy for their point that Orthodox Jews do not need to abandon their studies entirely in order to earn a living.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yissachar_Dov_Rokeach_(II)

105

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #93  
Aryeh Says:

Problem is, we are dealing with goyim who don't want to give frum yidden a fair chance to make a decent living commensurate with our contributions to a business. I have a MENSA card and an amazing resume, but I was in an interview last month where the company was looking for excuses not to hire me after they saw my beard. Difficult to work for Lavan when one has children to feed, especially since affirmative action doesn't apply to Jewish people, never has.

You may be allowed to shave your beard for parnasah. Ask a shaila.

106

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:26 PM Anonymous Says:

comment to #83.
No one has taanos to people who can make a living by being a tradesman. But you still need to read and write to communicate with suppliers etc. Yes many satmar people that make a nice living but many do not. Unfortunately most of the satmar people when they make a wedding have to be funded by others. My pet peeve is with people who do well by being tradesman or business people and and commit fraud. Too many people take section8, food stamps, medicaid wic welfare etc. that they are not entitled. The excuse is that the tinkla take it so can I. We are an am kadosh and we are supposed to be a moral sample to the other nations.

107

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Good luck in finding a shidduch if you went to law, medical or other professional school without putting 3+ years into learning post high school.

so forget the shidduch and go look for yourself. youll probably have much better choices since there are also more women than men. and youll find someone who will be at your level intellectually

108

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:28 PM Avrohom Says:

I as a chossid, and do not need Agudath Israel to teach me anything. Chassidim do not cheat.. people do! And for the record dear Agudath Israel.. If not for the chassidim, we'd all be in a far more serious hot water tank moraly and otherwise.

109

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
Anonymous Says:

What does an english education have to do with Parnossa?
We must remember that "Birchas Hamshem hi taashir - it is the blessing of G-d which gives us wealth", and certainly he gives his blessing to those that follow in the ways of Torah and Mitzvos - Vehigisa Bo Yomam VoLailah!
A secular education will in no way halp make a Parnossa, being an upright Jew will.
All these people stealing money etc. Is now because of a lack of english education - just the opposite - its the lack of a proper Kosher Chinuch!!

Ok, so next time I see a begger on the street I will tell him "Birchas Hamshem hi taashir".

110

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #98  
Anonymous Says:

since when is it a crime to accept gov't assistance, both me & my wife work full time, & with food health ins. tuition etc. for our six children we would not manage without the gov't help. yes we receive sec.8 & food stamps, but that's to supplement our combined income of $90,000. of which every penny is on the books. every gadol I consulted, rav dovid feinstein, the novominsker rebbe & rav hillel david told me that it is lichatchila for us to take the assistance. p.s. we both have high school educations. all of you posters who tell everyone to pay taxes should realize that the gov't uses a lot of that money for such programs, and just like you wouldn't condem the people of third world countries for taking the US assistance so too stop bashing the frum people who depend on these programs, this is hashems way to provide for people like myself- by having the more financially blessed paying tax to provide for the programs, to quote the novominsker rebbe. think about it, the mishne in avos says the world stands on torah avodah & chesed, instead of the kollel people & the chassidim getting a free ride, it would seem the mishne clearly indicates that the people who don't learn as much as kollel people nor do as much avoda & chesed as the chassidim might actually be the parasites. in conclusion I thank all of those that pay taxes for enabling us to receive the programs we deserve according to the medina shell chesed.

p.s. we both have high school educations.

most likely, thats why your combined income you only make 90k.
if you had a college degree you would most likely make a lot more.

111

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:22 PM Anonymous Says:

>The spanish bank manager at my local branch told me he can't spell numbers. I also believe that all the politicians involved in this and other scandals went thru college. And finally Dweck had a very good english speech when he stole millions. So what's the solution???<

Gosh, do we have to spell everything out? There are no guarantees in life, but a firm foundation in education is a good start in living a productive and non-impoverished life.

112

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:22 PM Yossi Says:

I think that we live in a bankrupt society....Once a kallah walks around her chusen 7 times at the last round they can file for chapter 11...After he puts the ring on her finger they can file for Chapter 7....Now lets discuss this in depth.....Its not a joke but very serious....The kallah works in a office from 9-5 and earns between $350-600 a week depending on her job..(if her father allows her to work in a office)...If she is a teacher in a heimishe moysed she earns between $125-300 a week(not the professionals).
Now her husband has to go to kolel for 3 years otherwise there is NO shidich...Here comes the Rent .If they are lucky and find one of those apartment houses they pay at least $1250.00 for a one bedroom apartment otherwise its between 1800-2200 a month...Telephone,electric,gas,CELL PHONES (she needs to talk to him in kolel) food and minor expenses...How do you make this from her salary...Now if you are lucky and have parents with a decent parnosah they can help push the wagon (how many kids can they really push for?)...Now what happens next.? By the end of shonah rishonoa they are in depth of a couple of thousand dollars...Now comes along some one in Kolel who offers the yingerman some deal that sound kosher and he likes the idea which will help him get out of his debt...Turns out this deal got him into trouble and again he needs help from his parents for attorney fees...Are we bankrupt or NOT.? I would love to hear from other writers here what they think ....

113

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:16 PM Anonymous Says:

With so many elephants in the room, is it any wonder that there's no room for the 'piple'?

114

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:06 PM college student Says:

Reply to #42  
Lawyer Says:

This article is misdirected. Honesty is not a function of education or wealth, it is a function of proper character traits and a healthy does of yiras shomayim.

There are plenty of fine, ehrlich people who have a limited secular education and a limited parnassah. Conversely, there are plenty of wealth, well-educated crooks.

(That is not to say that parnassah is not an important issue in its own right. But just because someone has a secure parnassah does not mean he will act honestly in his business and financial dealings.)

You nailed it head on. As a current Touro chassidic student with no high school education I would like to say one thing to all parents. Its upto you on the out come if your son will go to college or not.if your brought up in a home that college is assur then why are you loosing sleep that your son is coming to you for financial help. Its your fault. As for me I thank my beloved smart father that brought me up that one day your going to have to work and money dosent grow on a tree, so why would you want to work for someone else for 14 dollars an hour and rely on all the programs when you could get a degree and do a job you love and make a honest living. Also, blaming the chassidic education isn't going to get you far in life if there is a will there is a way. Yes if I would of had a high school education Physics might have been a lot easier but I didn't I spent more time on the subject and I taught algebra etc. To my self.
For all those bored blog readers I'm telling its not to late to start college and get yourself a degree there is a branch on 53 street across from shomer shabbos that is designed for the hemish olem. I could say I have convinced 2 bucherum to go to college and they thank me that they listened to me. I know that they are still single and people think college isn't good for shiddichium but when your in college you start believing in hashem and that the bashert girl will come one day and everyone will be so happy that you didn't waist your time at night watching movies

115

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:06 PM duvvy Says:

Reply to #25  
Anonymous Says:

The best argument for Rabbi Hoffman is the letter below: [WIth translation in parentheses]

yestoday (Yesterday,)
at the 'asufa' in bp (Borough Park)
hr' shorr (HaRav Shorr)

said exact (exactly)

the oppisit, (the opposite.)

he (He)

said the problem (said, "The problem)

is that we have to know that we r jews (are Jews)
in 'golus' & (and)
we have b diffrend (have to be different)
& sepprit (and separate)
from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing (you are writing)
here that we have to learn english (English)
like the 'goyim' & thats gonna (that's going to)
solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed (against)
the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), (even if you are a Rabbi)
& the main thing we have to knoe (know)
is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b (going to be)
how much hashem wants & not how much u try, (you try)
sorry & thanks for your coaperation (cooperation).

Let us not forget that anyone on the Sanhedrin had to be fluent in seventy languages. So Mordechai, Ezra and anyone else on the Sanhedrin was also against the Torah. Sorry, but most people respectfully disagree.

Classic. That was great. Its erev Tisha b'av and u made me LoL. That was bad !! Have an easy, meaningful fast.

116

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:05 PM Graphic Designer & Web Administrator Says:

Reply to #83  
not true Says:

Most satmar buisness men have parnsa beharchava with no HS diploma and certainly no treifene college.

It not just 1 in 10,000, rather this holds true for the vast najority of thousands of very successfull Satmar buisness owners, private bus drivers, diamond dealers and cutters, in addion to thosands in the proffessional (private) trade (such as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, air condition installers and repair, contractors and countless more.

Not one single word of english is needed for any of the above that gives thousands of satmar parnasa beharchava, boruch hashem

You're definitely right with that point, but if they spoke English the job opportunity would be twice as much. in my case, I had to take an English writing test to get my job which includes customer service, graphic design, Google search knowledge, use of English-based programs, blog posting, item descriptions. And yes, I'm a Satmarer.

117

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:02 PM Graphic Designer & Web Administrator Says:

Reply to #83  
not true Says:

Most satmar buisness men have parnsa beharchava with no HS diploma and certainly no treifene college.

It not just 1 in 10,000, rather this holds true for the vast najority of thousands of very successfull Satmar buisness owners, private bus drivers, diamond dealers and cutters, in addion to thosands in the proffessional (private) trade (such as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, air condition installers and repair, contractors and countless more.

Not one single word of english is needed for any of the above that gives thousands of satmar parnasa beharchava, boruch hashem

You're definitely right with that point, but if they spoke English the job opportunity would be twice as much. in my case, I had to take an English writing test to get my job which includes customer service, graphic design, Google search knowledge, use of English-based programs, blog posting, item descriptions. And yes, I'm a Satmarer.

118

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #85  
Anonymous Says:

the real reason jewish pple turn to fraud:

how is a young couple supposed to afford 2,000 for rent?

what about 5,000 tuition per kid?(in some schools thats after crying poverty)

a new pair of shoes for a toddler roughly 80 bucks in any jewish store?

groceries prices dont stop rising.

school uniforms have to be bought in a jewish store.(most schools anyway)

everyone drives a car... gas prices, insurance etc.....

Jewish people don't turn to fraud. Some people, or few people are being pulled in such stuff due to...

119

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:01 PM Pashuteh Yid Says:

B"H, issue finally coming to the fore. Have been complaning here and elsewhere about this for years. The schools themselves are kimat violating geneivah by charging for English and not providing anything of substance. Halevai kids can pass the Regents. And the Regents have become so watered down lately, they mean nothing in science. Kids can learn electronic theory, radar, biotechnology, and many other hot, high-tech fields even in 6th grade if taught with proper facilities and equipment.

Any proof of not needing to go to college from Bill Gates is totally bogus. Bill Gates began learning computer theory in elementary school. When he was in high school, he was programming and learning computers yomam valaylah. There were no PC's then, so he would stay in school and program on the big machine until he fell asleep. They would come into school at 8 am the next day, and find him sleeping on the floor of the computer room.

He got a perfect 1600 on his SAT's and was accepted to Harvard. (They don't accept illiterates.) He enrolled, but when the first PC's came on the market, he bid for an opportunity to write the first operating system, and founded Microsoft, and the rest is history. He already knew as much as many PhD's when he was still in high school. He really didn't need college, because he was ahead of the game before he entered. If you can shteig like Bill Gates on your own, then show people what you know, and if they are impressed enough, they willl give you a job. However, most people need the structure of a rigorous education. But coming across like a 3rd world citizen who has no skills and can't even speak the language of his own country will not get one very far, bderech hateva.

We waste the yiddishe kups of our best and brightest by the fact that there is probably not one school in the entire country which has top notch limudei kodesh and limudei chol in the same instution. Usually if one is good, the other is a total joke. Look one day at the web site of Stuyvesant HS, and see what other kids are learning. It makes one cry, how we shortchange our precious kids. This is also why they go off the derech. They are bored out of their minds, have no place to channel their kochos and creativity, and are told that everything is either treif or narishkeit.

120

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:56 PM Mordy Neuman Says:

Very well written and very true. Boys sit (or Shimel) in Yeshivah just for the sake of getting a good Shiduch. once they leave they have nothing but holes in their baskets. No Torah, no understanding of the words in Ahavas Olom or Shma Koleinu, no concept of derech eretz, no respect, no proficiency in any type of a job market, no clue how to treat a woman, nothing. A certifiable Bor Reik! And those who do study well in Yeshivah will have the advantage of being able to look up a sheileh in hilchas shabbos, but it's limited to that.
So...............am I crazy? Am I a disgrace because "chodosh asur min hatorah"??? One thing is for sure, 20 years ago a sizable percentage of every class remained in the Torah world, the vast majority of "average" boys ended up becoming stand up righteous business men and a minute fraction of every class "fell out" to the elements. Today the numbers have changed: a minute fraction of every class remain in the Torah world, a sizable percentage of every class are falling out to the elements (drugs, chilul shabbas and fill in the blanks) and the rest are what I would refer to as the "new average" which means basically becoming habitual Jews with no appreciation of being from the am segulah, no family values, no respect to no one, always on their cell phone in shull talking about another 1.2 million dollar deal, and so on......

Scream chodosh asur min hatorah all you want but the bottom line is that at the rate we are going we are by definition exterminating our heritage faster than all the anti-Semites put together!

Wake up and start a revolution! We HAVE to! Each and every one of us HAS to be part of this.

121

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:57 PM MP Says:

I overheard a conversation yesterday in response to the story that a chasidisher yungerman from monsey was arrested because he owned a house and enjoyed all government programs.

"we are not like the goyim who have two kids and a dog" and "we can't all be lawyers".

Some still legitimize stealing! We have to stop it!

122

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Please. Half of the people here who claim they went to college have major spelling mistakes. However, when an adult man is filling out a form and doesn't know if he should check off male or female, we have a problem.

123

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:38 PM Anonymous Says:

This is in response to 21 and 82.

21, your presumption is incorrect. Yeshivot with excellent secular studies were not uncommon a generation ago. Torah Vodaath and RJJ, among others, had such programs. In fact, the best limudei kodesh students tended also to be best in their secular subjects, as well. One example is Rav Yisroel Belsky, a classmate of mine.
The degradation of the secular studies in such yeshivot was due to the influence of the "torah only" camp and the increasing self-isolation tendencies in the yeshiva world. In fact, the recently reported outrageous behaviors by people in frum garb can be attributed to such self-absorption and isolation where no one matters besides you or your group.

82, your information is incorrect. R' Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz did not get just a temporary authorization from European gedolim to open a yeshiva high-school. It was a blanket heter since it was the only way to attract students and to satisfy legal requirements.

Y. Aharon



124

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Thank you for calling our attention to the the "Elephant." This is the very same elephant that comes to mind when reading about the tuition crisis, which is a real problem, and has been for many years. People have been struggling with the financial burden of tuition long before the current economic downturn. One thing that is never mentioned in Yated (or other publications') articles is whether people should be more mishtadel to make a parnassa, and by inference get an education, in order to meet their financial obligations. I don't have the answer, and I don't have daas Torah, but why is this never discussed?

125

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:35 PM PR Says:

Reply to #105  
Anonymous Says:

You may be allowed to shave your beard for parnasah. Ask a shaila.

Looking for Heterim you can find heterim for nearly kol davar assur to be a naval birshus hatorah.

126

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:35 PM Joseph Says:

>My coworkers one a bookkeeper, one a project manger and myself a business owner all have long beards a payos my children and there children all know how to spell and speak English correctly.<

Exhibit 24.

127

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:33 PM Chozon ISH Says:

I would like give my input and hear your thoughts…
First we all know what Reb Moshe Zt'l’s take was on collage as he said many times that in America you do not need a collage degree in order to have a successful parnasa (see it in his seforim)
On the other hand while his generation was quit different from ours as jobs were kept in the US and factories where all over the lower east side and in Brooklyn, jobs were given to anyone who wanted to work.
Now days were there are no jobs at all as China has taken over, we are left we fewer jobs like doctors, lawyers, butchers, etc. which are no way near enough for everyone as there are that many doctor and butchers this country will ever need.
What would Reb Moshe and all the other tazadikim that were after the war say today?
One more point which some may argue is that when a boy that goes off the derech R'L he’s more likely to fall to a much lower level when his head has not been used for learning, now of course you may say he should be learning Torah but lets not forget that not everyone is cut out to be a learning boy, and with that in mind shouldn’t he at least have a developed brain that would make him think before he does anything stupid after all Chazal do tell us that a person doesn’t do anything stupid unless stupidity entered his brain which in my opinion could well be avoided if he would be a bit more develop with math and science…

128

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:32 PM Anonymous Says:

>Im a chasideshe yungerman witch learnt in a chasideshe yeshivah in boro park. Actually my yeshivah did have an english dep. But it was one big joke . My father wanted me to have some education so he sent me to rabbi s. Horowitz a chasideshe yid from boro park, and is part of the board of regents of ny. Rabbi H. Is a very smart person and a huge Talmid chuchem and does a huge mitzvah by teaching Heimshe bocherim english He has taught hundreds of Bocherim and most of them got deplomas. I finished my regents in two and a half years thanks two rabbi H. He does not charge a lot of money for lessons cause he does it basically for the sake of the bocherim. I want to end with thanking rabbi H. For helping me with me with my education and i hope if chas vesholom im going to have to leave Kollel ill get a decent job all thanks to rabbi H.

Gosh, do we have to spell everything out? There are no guarantees in life, but a firm foundation in education is a good start in living a productive and non-impoverished life.<

You're not quite there yet. But you get an 'A' for enthusiasm!

129

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:32 PM PR Says:

Reply to #102  
Anonymous Says:

The unfortunate truth is that these asifahs don't really do much. One does not need an asifah of gedolim to tell us to be honest.The Torah teaches us that.The crooked people will remain crooked,and the honest ones will remain honest.The children growing up in homes where there is torah im derech eretz,where they are taught to hold a door open for someone,to say please and thank you,respect and values,will pass that on to their children,and unfortunately the children growing up in homes without values and where crookedness reigns,will pass that on to their children.It is the values that our parents teach us which help us become the people we are.I have already heard people cmming out from mussar shmoozes saying,"he was'nt talking about me but about the next guy".What a shame.

You are right the Asifa serves no purpose.

They did it just for good PR.

Aguda has to show that they did something (kaviyochol) so as to save face in the eyes of the Goyim.

130

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #98  
Anonymous Says:

since when is it a crime to accept gov't assistance, both me & my wife work full time, & with food health ins. tuition etc. for our six children we would not manage without the gov't help. yes we receive sec.8 & food stamps, but that's to supplement our combined income of $90,000. of which every penny is on the books. every gadol I consulted, rav dovid feinstein, the novominsker rebbe & rav hillel david told me that it is lichatchila for us to take the assistance. p.s. we both have high school educations. all of you posters who tell everyone to pay taxes should realize that the gov't uses a lot of that money for such programs, and just like you wouldn't condem the people of third world countries for taking the US assistance so too stop bashing the frum people who depend on these programs, this is hashems way to provide for people like myself- by having the more financially blessed paying tax to provide for the programs, to quote the novominsker rebbe. think about it, the mishne in avos says the world stands on torah avodah & chesed, instead of the kollel people & the chassidim getting a free ride, it would seem the mishne clearly indicates that the people who don't learn as much as kollel people nor do as much avoda & chesed as the chassidim might actually be the parasites. in conclusion I thank all of those that pay taxes for enabling us to receive the programs we deserve according to the medina shell chesed.

btw. gates did go to college but he dropped out of harvard. his experinces growing up were very varied and he was very independent minded. his father was also an attorney. he was out in the world and used those experiences to make himself who he was. ususally people who do well without college have experience in the outside world that helps them get where they are. the charedi community is insular and would never allow its members to have experences necessary to grow and be successful like gates or others.

131

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:49 PM Pashuteh Yid Says:

Reply to #122  
Anonymous Says:

Please. Half of the people here who claim they went to college have major spelling mistakes. However, when an adult man is filling out a form and doesn't know if he should check off male or female, we have a problem.

Some are spelling mistakes, and some are typos, especially if you have an injured hand.

133

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:47 PM PMO Says:

Reply to #100  
Anonymous Says:

What we need is a system of lending and apprenticing to help each other start and run businesses, with or without an education. The Asians/Koreans do it. They all kick in a small amount each week and thye get to borrow a large amount once in a awhile. We use Shvers to do the lending and teaching but not every shver is capable of it. Hence the poor girls dont get good shidduchim. Not everyone should learn in Kollel post marriage. A plumber, electrician, truck driver, store keeper, is also a valid way of life along with being Kovea Ittim Letorah. Let everyone go back to work and the nonsense of the get rich qucik schemes will stop. Its not the language or the education. Its being willing to go out there and work. Be a salesman, a technician, whatever. If youre smart, you should be educated in college and post college. If you cant take it, do something else.Our Gedolim are convincing everyone, especially the girls, that a non f/t learner is a bum. Feh on them.

Why would I lend money to someone who is not properly trained to do the job?

To use your example: If you want to be a salesman, be the best one you can be. However, being the best one you can be usually involves an education. If you want to sell insurance, you need to take classes and pass exams. If you want to sell real estate, you need to take classes and pass exams.

Nearly all jobs today require training if you want to be anything more than the lowest paid person at the bottom of the company.

I take some exception with the position that "it is not the language or the education". It most certainly is.

A family with 2 kids in public school can easily live on a good plumber's salary.
A family with 12 kids in yeshivos can not even come close to living on a good plumber's salary.

Now, a man who has good business training (maybe a degree), is a certified master plumber and opens a plumbing company CAN do it.

134

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:45 PM dov yona Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

Although your situation is sad, a person's probability of obtaining quality jobs is generally only increased through the attainment of higher skill levels. Rarely would higher education hinder a person in obtaining good employment opportunities.

135

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:30 PM yossi Says:

Reply to #102  
Anonymous Says:

The unfortunate truth is that these asifahs don't really do much. One does not need an asifah of gedolim to tell us to be honest.The Torah teaches us that.The crooked people will remain crooked,and the honest ones will remain honest.The children growing up in homes where there is torah im derech eretz,where they are taught to hold a door open for someone,to say please and thank you,respect and values,will pass that on to their children,and unfortunately the children growing up in homes without values and where crookedness reigns,will pass that on to their children.It is the values that our parents teach us which help us become the people we are.I have already heard people cmming out from mussar shmoozes saying,"he was'nt talking about me but about the next guy".What a shame.

I dont agree with you because i did listen to every word they all said and i committed to make major changes the way i conduct my business and financial planning..What a shame onYOU to make such a statement . You claim (One does not need an asifah of gedolim to tell us to be honest.) Who should tell you that if not the gedoilim if your father and mother didnt teach you....Hope you regret your posting

136

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #34  
ERLICHKEIT Says:

Ihave a son in shiduchim who learned for 3 years in Eretz Yisroel, is in yeshiva all day here, BUT GOES TO TOURO AT NIGHT for a degree and he's lost many shiduchim because of him going to school AT NIGHT!!!

I had the same problem, until I decided not to go out with ANY girl who did not have a college degree herself. This way I knew we were on the same page.

137

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #56  
Anonymous Says:

They earn $400.00 @ week, where will that get you?

I manage to get by on only slightly more.

138

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Part of the problem of no englisg education for the young kids is because there are no qualifoed teachers for the afternoon to teach english and the schools cant afford or are not interested in giving a good english eduecation ..... you take it from here!!

139

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:52 PM Non-Educated English Speaker Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

sorry Rabbi but trying to implement a diffrent hashkafa and impose it on the chsidisher and yeshivishe system just aint gonna work.

There is always room for improvement, even for the chassidishe yeshivos. It doesn't mean implementing a different hashkafa.

140

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:52 PM Happy Man Says:

Who speaks better than us? the Blacks, Spanish, Arabics, Indians, Auropiens,etc. the only people you can say are the whites. Don't be so negative!

141

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:45 PM Anonymous Says:

I know plenty of people with college degree who are presently unemployed, and tons of people who never went to college and they make descent living. Parnosa is granted on Rosh Hashana, but we need to make a vessel for it.My brother barely speaks any English, he is a developer, but all doctors and lawyers want to be his investors.

142

 Jul 29, 2009 at 01:43 PM RebRambo Says:

Reply to #25  
Anonymous Says:

The best argument for Rabbi Hoffman is the letter below: [WIth translation in parentheses]

yestoday (Yesterday,)
at the 'asufa' in bp (Borough Park)
hr' shorr (HaRav Shorr)

said exact (exactly)

the oppisit, (the opposite.)

he (He)

said the problem (said, "The problem)

is that we have to know that we r jews (are Jews)
in 'golus' & (and)
we have b diffrend (have to be different)
& sepprit (and separate)
from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing (you are writing)
here that we have to learn english (English)
like the 'goyim' & thats gonna (that's going to)
solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed (against)
the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), (even if you are a Rabbi)
& the main thing we have to knoe (know)
is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b (going to be)
how much hashem wants & not how much u try, (you try)
sorry & thanks for your coaperation (cooperation).

Let us not forget that anyone on the Sanhedrin had to be fluent in seventy languages. So Mordechai, Ezra and anyone else on the Sanhedrin was also against the Torah. Sorry, but most people respectfully disagree.

The guy was being sarcastic, genius.

143

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:55 PM PMO Says:

Reply to #122  
Anonymous Says:

Please. Half of the people here who claim they went to college have major spelling mistakes. However, when an adult man is filling out a form and doesn't know if he should check off male or female, we have a problem.

There is a difference between a few occasional typos and outright illiteracy.

144

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:54 PM Obamanation Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

it is a lie that we can not get good jobs with our poor english.
Do you think that the pakistani or spanish teller is more educated? !!

I

the russian and chinies teller whent to school when the got off the plain worked hard they spell better than most of us. becuase they wanted to learn so that they can make it up the latter. and thats how they got the jobs as teller and from there to manager

145

 Jul 29, 2009 at 02:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

It depends on a lot of factors.
For example, in the IT field in large corporations, if you do not have a degree, you do not even make it through the front door! This is besides all the other background checks, personal and technical conversations to obtain a better understanding how educated and well versed you are. If you deal with customer support, they do not want someone who can not articulate a resolution clearly.

146

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:13 PM Joseph Says:

Here's the real crux, IMHO: Since it was the 'leadership' who set the policies of the last 5-6 decades, saying the policies were disasterous means, implicitly, the 'leadership' was wrong or foolish. And nobody is willing to say, or even think that. Therefore, the problems might never be tackled. Sigh...

147

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:06 PM Anonymous Says:

the major mistake your all making is that 90percent of wealthy frum jews have no degree, all the guys in nursing homes in chicago, and all the realestate moguls in the five towns, and all the developers in lakewood, show me one frum educated givir and i'll show 25 that never went to HS. we all know this is true. so get off your t*sh and away from the schoolbooks and learn from the hungarian immigrant how to make real money, or spend the rest of your sorry life trying to get an education

148

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:22 PM yiddishe bubby Says:

Reply to #42  
Lawyer Says:

This article is misdirected. Honesty is not a function of education or wealth, it is a function of proper character traits and a healthy does of yiras shomayim.

There are plenty of fine, ehrlich people who have a limited secular education and a limited parnassah. Conversely, there are plenty of wealth, well-educated crooks.

(That is not to say that parnassah is not an important issue in its own right. But just because someone has a secure parnassah does not mean he will act honestly in his business and financial dealings.)

right on the mark there are several issues here, education, ( learning how to spell by the way is not just passe in the chasidish circles any longer, with spell check and abbreviations when text messaging, knowing how to spell is no longer of such great importance to this generation.) Bottom line is, there is no excuse for stealing, from the government, from other Jews, from anyone even with the excuse that some of that money is going for tzedaka, or because they cannot afford things. There are still plenty of government programs that are available and gemachs. What is very depressing is that the Yeshivas are obviously not teaching moral or ethical behavior either, what are these kids doing all day to merit such high tuitions.

149

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:21 PM Trying to Hire Says:

My husband runs an Executive Search Firm. Around 10 years ago, he decided to hire young men from Lakewood. He figured having "Gemorrah Cups" working for him would be a huge plus.

These young men were bright, ambitious and willing to work hard. All had learned for a minimum of 5 years post marriage. All were ready to make a living to support their families.

Most of them failed. Why????

They could not write a business letter, they could not spell or practice rudimentary grammer. They could not file or find files. They had no understand of social mores in the business place.

But most importantly, they had no idea how to interact with "Goyim". They did not understand that saying "I am an observant Jew" is a perfect reason for not calling on a Jewish holiday. They simply ignored all requests that interfered with their observance. You cannot do that.

The three that remained, all make a very fine living, supporting their large and increasing families. THEY NEEDED NO COLLEGE EDUCATION. What they needed was a desire to learn and understand how to interact with they outside world.

By the way, ALL of the successfull Consultants ended up taking (on their own time) remedial courses in english, math, and basic business practices.

It can be done, but recognize how the men & women coming out of our educational system are literally crippled by their lack of education needed to succeed in the business world.

How sad.

150

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:19 PM PMO Says:

Reply to #140  
Happy Man Says:

Who speaks better than us? the Blacks, Spanish, Arabics, Indians, Auropiens,etc. the only people you can say are the whites. Don't be so negative!

First off, I will say that this is in no way something that race or culture needed to be brought into.

Secondly, when you refer to "the Blacks", I assume you mean the less educated ones who live in insular ghettos like most our community does. I find that an interesting parallel. Is Obama illiterate? Is Maya Angelou illiterate? Is Colin Powell illiterate? No.

Third, as for the other groups you mentioned, most of the people you are talking about were not born here. They learned English as a second language. For most of them, by the second generation they speak, read and write perfectly.

We be so proud that we compare our level of literacy and education to those who came from 3rd world countries and are just learning to speak and write in English. Seems like a disgraceful waste of talent and ability to me.

151

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:18 PM merkin Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

Totally off, this is not the problem, I know many long time employees in a big firm that are missing spelling skills, and they hold successful jobs in successful places.
And I bet you, even the bakery that labeled the cake "spunch" cake makes a lot of money..

I can tell you right now that we will not hire people with poor spelling skills. People with poor communication skills will not get to first base in many professions.

152

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:36 PM trying to be Ehrlech Erev Tisha B'av Says:

59 & 65 nailed it...at least to my opinion...
Point is, nobody will convince the other because we all have our Mesoros and Gedolim who we follow honestly. So this doesn't make a difference...whay strikes me is that there is a fundamental contempt in the RW Yeshivos and Mosdos for "Goyim" and this country that people think is ok to steal from even though it's not explicitly said in the Torah (Insider Trading, etc)...the contempt leads to a lack of interest to learn the language of this country. Hence, this adds to the Yeshivas discouraging secular learning leading to a better (not the only) chance to improved Parnassa.
82 - do you have any IDEA of how many members of the Moetzes have college degrees?
83 says one doesn't need English skills...ok, fine...if there are SO MANY successful individuals, how come Satmar Chevra still ask for handouts? They should all be supporting themselves right? I could use the same for the other side, people with advanced degrees, regretably are unemployed.
98 - There's no crime in accepting gov't assistance....seems that's needed because you and your wife are working...the complaint is that if it's the ONLY source of income....
We all should rely on HaKodosh Baruch Hu for Parnassa AND everything else...but you know what, we should rely on ourselves and each other for guidance and help. Then, I hope and believe this will be our last Ta'anis in Av.

153

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:30 PM Midwestern Guy Says:

For what it's worth, I think that this is a New York phenomenon. I attended a fine elementary school in the midwest. Secular education was mandatory and taken seriously, just like limudei kodesh. Hope everyone has an easy fast.

154

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:38 PM too late now Says:

Decades ago my parents pleaded with me to get a degree. My Rosh Yeshiva told me there was no need as I played a musical instrument. As it happens to be, I sort of make ends meet but it has nothing to do with an instrument. I would love to go to college now, but I can't. I work day and night and can't afford to take out more loans to pay for school anyhow. So you tell me... Who was right? My Rosh Yeshiva or my parents?

155

 Jul 29, 2009 at 04:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #147  
Anonymous Says:

the major mistake your all making is that 90percent of wealthy frum jews have no degree, all the guys in nursing homes in chicago, and all the realestate moguls in the five towns, and all the developers in lakewood, show me one frum educated givir and i'll show 25 that never went to HS. we all know this is true. so get off your t*sh and away from the schoolbooks and learn from the hungarian immigrant how to make real money, or spend the rest of your sorry life trying to get an education

Both the European way and the New age (Education) way can work. What's the difference how one gets there? Why do you knock education? Is being a nurse, an accountant, a lawyer, a doctor, a business consultant or any other of the millions of degrees out there a disgraceful or a dishonest way to bring the dough home? Young students can start getting credits in H.S. the girls can skip the ridiculous year in seminary, the boys can skip their "time done" in Israel and then within a few years they can secure a degree. My father became a very successful business man with no education at all and although I maintain that those were different times and agree that this can be done today too, I wouldn't knock getting an education. I personally know a young man who just finished law school and secured a top paying position in a very prestigious law firm (non Jewish). So there. As long as the goal is to support ones family honestly & with hard work, it doesn't matter how one goes about it. cheers.

156

 Jul 29, 2009 at 04:04 PM formally Says:

while education is important it is not an answer the the problems you are having now. It is a much more serious/deeper problem. It is the life style and how one want to live.

many times I see Kollel guy who learn but they are not sacrificing at all. The want a nice big apartment, fancy cloth, dresses, very expensive baby carriages, big car and live the life. Life does not work that way. One much teach there are choices to be made. Want to live at the higher end of norm in the USA go out work hard get an education. It is true that all that does not mean you will be successful.

But to have a a community mindset, where all need to live high that is the problem. People that I know complain oh it so hard, I look at them and laugh. There kids who are maybe 5-10 year old are wearing outfits that cost 100's of dollars each. Or others who says "I need to apply for welfare" but have a cleaning lady and a maid, what to frum woman cannot clean. They want and spend money to have expensive silverware, dining rooms etc. They feel the must otherwise they will not have Baal Batesh home

Why do woman have to spent 1,000 of dollars on a shetiel, and then say I need food stamps I just cannot make it. maybe you do not have money left after you spend like drunken sailor, this does not mean the government has to support. you

I used to sell diamond all the time the frum yiddin come with a big rock I guess to show off to her friends. And some times the Challa would make a comment that her friends had a so and so diamond. Yet when a non jew came most of the time they where getting much smaller rock and the girl was so happy. Would a yid give a challa a 1/4ct diamond would a girl accept it, I do not think so. This is the problem.

Why is it that a frum person must spend so much money on a wedding. Non religious Jews and many goyim it is very simple I make a wedding I can afford if it means in a very small hall with only close relatives and friends so be it.

You say you need and take welfare but live in a beautiful house wear fancy cloths have a nice car. You are not willing to lower your life styles because it would be a shandha so you take money from the government. Also how does that look when, a frum lady or man pays with food stamps wearing designer cloths that cost 100' s of dollars. You know who you are we all see all the time.
Then you ask you do some goyim hate us and why do they think we are crooks, well the shoe fits my friends.

You want to see poor that need money go see how some really poor people live in really poor neighborhoods. I volunteered in those neighborhood, dumpy apartment, (some owned by yiddin) very poor service and they get welfare. They are not running around with designer cloths, buying the newest and trendiest baby carriages. If their children get married they have a very small service in the church. They are poor they know it and live that way.

The problem is yiddin think they deserve they are entitled to live the high live or maybe they are embarrassed that they can not. So instead of living within their means they do what it needs to be done to live that live even it it means doing fraud. And then they convince themselves they are only doing to survive.

I say bull, maybe someone should go and do a tour bus and see how the other halve live the people who really need the money. And I know you will not see people dressed up like king and queens and giving and paying with food stamps.
One more thing
When i was in college we had a report and where trying to make sense of it. Boro Park was getting an extreme amount of welfare but and the same time it was also the place where baby carriages manufactures where doing their best selling the most expensive baby carriages.

People where trying to figure it out. What should I have said that in Boro Park and the other frum communities they have the most cheats.

That is the problem my friends.

157

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #154  
too late now Says:

Decades ago my parents pleaded with me to get a degree. My Rosh Yeshiva told me there was no need as I played a musical instrument. As it happens to be, I sort of make ends meet but it has nothing to do with an instrument. I would love to go to college now, but I can't. I work day and night and can't afford to take out more loans to pay for school anyhow. So you tell me... Who was right? My Rosh Yeshiva or my parents?

Assume you would have gone to a college and lets say become an accountant, it does not mean you would get a better living, not every accountant is a rich person, as Pirkey Avot sais : “Who is rich? He who is happy with what he has" (4:1).” The other side is always greener

158

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:54 PM Shlomo Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

yestoday at the 'asufa' in bp hr' shorr said exact the oppisit, he said the problem is that we have to know that we r jews in 'golus' & we have b diffrend & sepprit from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing here that we have to learn english like the 'goyim' & thats gonna solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), & the main thing we have to knoe is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b how much hashem wants & not how much u try,
sorry & thanks for your coaperation

You remind me of the following old time joke: Mr. Cohen is having financial troubles and nothing seems to be going his way. He prays to G-D: "Oh, G-D, Oh, G-D, help me win the lottery, I need some financial help..." A week or two pass by and, not surprisingly, Mr. Cohen does not win the lottery. Mr. Cohen prays again: "Oh, G-D, Oh, G-D, help me. Let me win at least just once in my lifetime..." Another week passes by and, again, nothing happens. Another two or three weeks pass by, when suddenly there is thunder and the voice of G-D is heard: "Listen, Cohen, at least meet me half way... buy a lottery ticket!" V'hameivin Yovin. Hishtadlus is the key Rabbosai!!

159

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #154  
too late now Says:

Decades ago my parents pleaded with me to get a degree. My Rosh Yeshiva told me there was no need as I played a musical instrument. As it happens to be, I sort of make ends meet but it has nothing to do with an instrument. I would love to go to college now, but I can't. I work day and night and can't afford to take out more loans to pay for school anyhow. So you tell me... Who was right? My Rosh Yeshiva or my parents?

How sad, how very sad. I pleaded with my son too. He is now married with a baby. He recently told me "you were right, Mommy. I'm sorry I fought you so intensely." His father-in-law isn't well and parnassah is tough by his in laws, you know, life isn't about living off others hard work. We must do the work ourselves, if we want to live like normal people. It seems there was just too much money to lose in the Rosh Yeshiva world. This is the reason they don't encourage their talmidim to make aliya and the reason they encourage them to stay in yeshiva and then on to kollel. Hashem Yerachem.

160

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:51 PM We.learn.the hard.way Says:

Reply to #154  
too late now Says:

Decades ago my parents pleaded with me to get a degree. My Rosh Yeshiva told me there was no need as I played a musical instrument. As it happens to be, I sort of make ends meet but it has nothing to do with an instrument. I would love to go to college now, but I can't. I work day and night and can't afford to take out more loans to pay for school anyhow. So you tell me... Who was right? My Rosh Yeshiva or my parents?

I feel the same way. Many I know, married learning boys, only to be saddled with major debt and the need to Shnorr from relatives.

MATHEMATICAL EQUATION:

No secular education + Jewish size famillies = DIFFICULTY PAYING BILLS

With the knowlege that we have no guarantees even with preparation, we still have to do our best and not rely on things falling into place, without preparation.

161

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:49 PM Suri Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Good luck in finding a shidduch if you went to law, medical or other professional school without putting 3+ years into learning post high school.

How sick! There is hope though :) My daughter is 20 yrs old and she won't even consider a boy who will be learning in kollel. She wants to meet someone who she can connect with, someone who understands his responsibilities as a husband and father and will follow through. Imagine that, in our time and generation. So, there is hope yidelach, there is hope......

162

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:43 PM Suri Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

We are in golus. We will experience discrimination. What does that have to do with making an effort to be successful or at least to be able to pay the basic bills with one's own honestly earned money?!

163

 Jul 29, 2009 at 03:42 PM Anonymous Says:

So people - where do we go from here? Will anyone follow Rabbi Hoffman;s advice to petition your schools to "retool?" Or is all this sentiment just hogwash that will be forgotten by Friday???

164

 Jul 29, 2009 at 04:16 PM chovos halvovos Says:

Reply to #154  
too late now Says:

Decades ago my parents pleaded with me to get a degree. My Rosh Yeshiva told me there was no need as I played a musical instrument. As it happens to be, I sort of make ends meet but it has nothing to do with an instrument. I would love to go to college now, but I can't. I work day and night and can't afford to take out more loans to pay for school anyhow. So you tell me... Who was right? My Rosh Yeshiva or my parents?

your rosh hayehiva is correct and you should thank him for saving you the time and energy. if hashem wanted you to make big dollars the musical instrument is more than enough you could of been the next negina band. All a yid needs is bitachon and a little histadles. Hatlacha and brocha

165

 Jul 29, 2009 at 04:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #149  
Trying to Hire Says:

My husband runs an Executive Search Firm. Around 10 years ago, he decided to hire young men from Lakewood. He figured having "Gemorrah Cups" working for him would be a huge plus.

These young men were bright, ambitious and willing to work hard. All had learned for a minimum of 5 years post marriage. All were ready to make a living to support their families.

Most of them failed. Why????

They could not write a business letter, they could not spell or practice rudimentary grammer. They could not file or find files. They had no understand of social mores in the business place.

But most importantly, they had no idea how to interact with "Goyim". They did not understand that saying "I am an observant Jew" is a perfect reason for not calling on a Jewish holiday. They simply ignored all requests that interfered with their observance. You cannot do that.

The three that remained, all make a very fine living, supporting their large and increasing families. THEY NEEDED NO COLLEGE EDUCATION. What they needed was a desire to learn and understand how to interact with they outside world.

By the way, ALL of the successfull Consultants ended up taking (on their own time) remedial courses in english, math, and basic business practices.

It can be done, but recognize how the men & women coming out of our educational system are literally crippled by their lack of education needed to succeed in the business world.

How sad.

B&H employs a few hundred yidden that no less grammar and spelling than Lakewood guys, and they succeed and the business is flourishing B.H.

166

 Jul 29, 2009 at 04:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #147  
Anonymous Says:

the major mistake your all making is that 90percent of wealthy frum jews have no degree, all the guys in nursing homes in chicago, and all the realestate moguls in the five towns, and all the developers in lakewood, show me one frum educated givir and i'll show 25 that never went to HS. we all know this is true. so get off your t*sh and away from the schoolbooks and learn from the hungarian immigrant how to make real money, or spend the rest of your sorry life trying to get an education

Both the European way and the New age (Education) way can work. What's the difference how one gets there? Why do you knock education? Is being a nurse, an accountant, a lawyer, a doctor, a business consultant or any other of the millions of degrees out there a disgraceful or a dishonest way to bring the dough home? Young students can start getting credits in H.S. the girls can skip the ridiculous year in seminary, the boys can skip their "time done" in Israel and then within a few years they can secure a degree. My father became a very successful business man with no education at all and although I maintain that those were different times and agree that this can be done today too, I wouldn't knock getting an education. I personally know a young man who just finished law school and secured a top paying position in a very prestigious law firm (non Jewish). So there. As long as the goal is to support ones family honestly & with hard work, it doesn't matter how one goes about it. cheers.

167

 Jul 29, 2009 at 04:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #85  
Anonymous Says:

the real reason jewish pple turn to fraud:

how is a young couple supposed to afford 2,000 for rent?

what about 5,000 tuition per kid?(in some schools thats after crying poverty)

a new pair of shoes for a toddler roughly 80 bucks in any jewish store?

groceries prices dont stop rising.

school uniforms have to be bought in a jewish store.(most schools anyway)

everyone drives a car... gas prices, insurance etc.....

How about accepting an apartment for (much) less than $2,000 per month. Granted it may not be as large or nice, but if that is what one can afford . . . Also shoes don't have to cost $80 for a child. Decent quality shoes can be gotten for $30 or less (e.g. via Lands' End etc.) And not everybody drives a car. Young couples should not require that much money to live on especially before children begin to grow up. People need to be able to live within their means and do without what they can't afford.

168

 Jul 29, 2009 at 04:43 PM Anonymous Says:

>Yet when a non jew came most of the time they where getting much smaller rock and the girl was so happy. Would a yid give a challa a 1/4ct diamond would a girl accept it, I do not think so. This is the problem.

Why is it that a frum person must spend so much money on a wedding. Non religious Jews and many goyim it is very simple I make a wedding I can afford if it means in a very small hall with only close relatives and friends so be it.<

I married the daughter of an eye surgeon. At the time of the wedding, I had a degree in Computer Science, with my wife had a Master's in Social Work. While it is embarrassing now to think about it, the engagement ring was less than $100. The wedding was in a Yeshiva's gym, with a 1-man band and no video and the cheapest photographer I could find. And there was only 1-2 meat dishes at the Shmorgasboard, IIRC.

Fast-forward fifteen years: We struggle to pay our bills and there's too much month left after the end of the money. But I can't imagine living off the govt and I sleep well at night not worrying about the authorities coming after me.

169

 Jul 29, 2009 at 04:40 PM michali Says:

Although I agree with Rabbi Hoffman regarding the importance of teaching secular education to our children, I have to disagree with the Elephant in the Room. I believe the Elephant is sinas chinam. I did not get the oppotunity to listen to all of the shiurim, but I feel from everyone's comments this topic was not discussed. Now that Tisha B'Av is coming upon us, we as frum Yidden must learn to improve our ahavas yisroel.

170

 Jul 29, 2009 at 04:35 PM Aaron Says:


So do you mean to say that you can become a branch manager without proper skills??!! But you can’t become a teller without these same skills??!! Are you off the moon??

The real reason that you won’t see any Charadim working as a bank teller is because they just can’t live on a $25k - $30k MAX annual salary

And the true reason engaging in illegal activity is simple; Everybody has a Yatzer Horah and its darn hard to overcome him! Simple!

VIN has just had an article a few days ago about stopping to bash any group/sect yet they themselves seem to be the ones igniting all of this hatred!

171

 Jul 29, 2009 at 04:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

yestoday at the 'asufa' in bp hr' shorr said exact the oppisit, he said the problem is that we have to know that we r jews in 'golus' & we have b diffrend & sepprit from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing here that we have to learn english like the 'goyim' & thats gonna solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), & the main thing we have to knoe is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b how much hashem wants & not how much u try,
sorry & thanks for your coaperation

Well there's a perfect example of someone who cannot spell. It is not a mitzvah to allow your child to learn limudie Kodesh WITHOUT learning the skills of the land he will be living in and supporting his family from. If you want to live like that, you should be in Eretz Yisrael, not in America.

172

 Jul 29, 2009 at 04:52 PM David Says:

Over 150 comments and practically all of them discuss the merits of education only in relation to how much you can earn. We learn Torah Lishmah or at least we try to. Secular knowledge can and should be considered the same way. Why must the accumulation of knowledge only be valued in dollars and cents? Non religious and non Jewish people value higher education for many things. It expands the mind, trains one to think critically and yes can even enhance one's relationship with God. Study the sciences and see how wondrous are Hashem's creations. Study mathematics and physics and be amazed at the simplicity underlying the rules of nature. Study history and philosophy and let your mind wander and question. Learn from humanity's past and guide our future.
You will grow in abilities, knowledge, comprehension, spirituality and yes, Torah as well.
Not everything is measured in monetary wealth. Education while it certainly can lead to a more comfortable lifestyle should first and foremost be pursued for the simple fact that as humans we are designed to be curious and desire intellectual growth.

173

 Jul 29, 2009 at 05:41 PM formally Says:

Reply to #168  
Anonymous Says:

>Yet when a non jew came most of the time they where getting much smaller rock and the girl was so happy. Would a yid give a challa a 1/4ct diamond would a girl accept it, I do not think so. This is the problem.

Why is it that a frum person must spend so much money on a wedding. Non religious Jews and many goyim it is very simple I make a wedding I can afford if it means in a very small hall with only close relatives and friends so be it.<

I married the daughter of an eye surgeon. At the time of the wedding, I had a degree in Computer Science, with my wife had a Master's in Social Work. While it is embarrassing now to think about it, the engagement ring was less than $100. The wedding was in a Yeshiva's gym, with a 1-man band and no video and the cheapest photographer I could find. And there was only 1-2 meat dishes at the Shmorgasboard, IIRC.

Fast-forward fifteen years: We struggle to pay our bills and there's too much month left after the end of the money. But I can't imagine living off the govt and I sleep well at night not worrying about the authorities coming after me.

unfortunately, you are the exception and not the norm in the frum cummunity

174

 Jul 29, 2009 at 05:35 PM formally Says:

remember one thing the Gemurah, was not ,mainly written in Hebrew, was not written in Yiddish, it was written in mainly in Amaraiec, the language of the land.
So I can deduct from this if the men who wrote the gemurah wrote it today guess what it would be mainly in English

175

 Jul 29, 2009 at 05:33 PM Dr. Z Says:

There is another elephant in the room.

We are not taught to have true integrity.

Our religion has become like a true Western religion, ie there is a split between ritual and other acts. We emphasize ritual. We ignore morality. We honor those who are wealthy, put them on our school boards, give them honors in shuls. We disparage secular scholarship, even in the sciences, and we even do not honor a Torah scholar properly unless he is a scholar in our very narrow group.

We have changed Yiddishkeit and turned it into something much more narrow than it was centuries or even decades ago, in Europe and North Africa.

We have lost our moral way.

176

 Jul 29, 2009 at 05:49 PM Satmar Man Says:

I only skimmed the article, and did not read the comments. So, if what I am saying has already been said, please forgive me.

I will only say a few short things.

1. I absolutely agree that we should get a better education than many chareidi people are getting today.

2. I am offended though that the concept of the illiterate Chossid is a stereotype.

3. I do not believe the link between education and morality.

True when I was in Yeshiva, once we graduated to "Yeshiva" from cheder, there was no more real "secular" education. We "learned" from early in the AM until late PM.

But, most of us did the "American School," a high school equivalency, mail-order course out of Chicago, in our spare time.
I eventually took the GED, and only missed one question on the entire 2-day exam. I mixed up Iambic Pentameter with Trochaic Pentameter in the Literature section. I will never forget that one question. I was going for a perfect score, and that one nailed me.

I later went on to take many college courses in NYU and other schools, and physical sciences, writing, and American literature were, and are still my favorite subjects.

I was not alone. Many other buchurim in Satmar Yeshiva did the same. Sure, when in Willy or BP, I speak with a "Chassidishe accent," but when I am in the outside world, I can speak with a clear, Midwest, university accent. On the phone you would have no idea I am a Chassishe man who wears a streimel and vasser zokin.

But, morality IS taught to all, no matter what the curriculum is. There are no people who become adults without knowing right from wrong.
And, a more intensive secular education will not prevent a person's being tricked into foolish or illegal deals in areas which are not his expertise.
I may be qualified to give lectures in physics, astronomy, cosmology, physical chemistry, Expository Writing, or American Literature, but I have major gaps in areas like investments and banking. I COULD be taken in by a good con man.... maybe even a not so good one.

I do have enough street smarts to seek professional help if the area is one I do not know. But, I will also seek the knowledge to make sure I am not relying on a well-credentialed fool or worse.

So, while I do recommend more education, and I do believe we are capable of learning all there is without being "lost" .... I do not believe that it needs to be part of a yeshiva program.

BUT..... why do we see so many straying into crooked business deals????

Simple. We need to stop saying it is okay! We need to stop joking about its being okay to rip off a gentile. It is not.
We need to stop talking about goyim in disrespectful ways altogether. There are many phrases in use today which are demeaning to goyim. For instance, I am sure most of you have heard this one, which hopefully is never said or intended seriously, "Shiksas are for practice."

If we talk like that, even in jest, we are teaching each other, and our children, to hold gentiles in lower esteem, and make it seem that harming them is fine.

Of course it is not fine.

But, once one begins to harm gentiles believing it is fine, the yetzer hora teaches to expand horizons to all.

So, in my opinion, morality begins in how we talk about our fellow person, both Jew and gentile.
We must never speak disrespectfully, or in any demeaning way, about ANY group of humans, if we expect our morality to stay high enough to not harm them with more than just words.

When we hear such remarks, we need to not remain silent. We need to speak out and say, "Excuse me. I find those remarks/jokes offensive. Please do not talk like that about people created by Hashem in front of me."

If we start feeling that it is not okay to say offensive things about others, we will grow to understand that we can't hanrm them either.

177

 Jul 29, 2009 at 05:48 PM Ben Tshuva Says:

Reply to #172  
David Says:

Over 150 comments and practically all of them discuss the merits of education only in relation to how much you can earn. We learn Torah Lishmah or at least we try to. Secular knowledge can and should be considered the same way. Why must the accumulation of knowledge only be valued in dollars and cents? Non religious and non Jewish people value higher education for many things. It expands the mind, trains one to think critically and yes can even enhance one's relationship with God. Study the sciences and see how wondrous are Hashem's creations. Study mathematics and physics and be amazed at the simplicity underlying the rules of nature. Study history and philosophy and let your mind wander and question. Learn from humanity's past and guide our future.
You will grow in abilities, knowledge, comprehension, spirituality and yes, Torah as well.
Not everything is measured in monetary wealth. Education while it certainly can lead to a more comfortable lifestyle should first and foremost be pursued for the simple fact that as humans we are designed to be curious and desire intellectual growth.

I totally agree. The frum world is wrong to denigrate all secular knowledge.

178

 Jul 29, 2009 at 05:46 PM mark levin Says:

wow u sure know how to choose the hot topics. I bet this one wins the guiness world record. I know many syrian businessmen who were either dyslexic or "off the boat" and they did very nicely. I sense from some of your more educated bloggers that there is a certain bitterness towards yeshiva people. my mashgiach , rav avigdor brazil shlita used to say bsheim rav volbe the mashgach, that if you ever see anyone having a midah that you don't approve of always look into yourself first and make sure that you don't do that, that you're totally honest ......... I think that would be a good way to enter tisha #lav with self retrospection . (did I spell that right? ) .

179

 Jul 29, 2009 at 06:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
Babishka Says:

Can somebody please tell me where all these jobs are growing on trees for people with math and English skills? I have a degree in Mathematics from an Engineering University, 20 years of professional experience in industry and I have been out of work for 2 years.

Engineering jobs are becoming scarcer and scarcer because of outsourcing to (English-speaking) Hindus in India. Because the liberals have raised corporate taxes and threated Cap & Trade type taxes, companies are going off-shore for manufacturing, design & production. America is slowly becoming a banana republic (listen to Rush Limbaugh NYC AM 770 12pm for more info.) and there is almost no way to stope it. Wish I could give you hope but lost all of mine in the last 2 years. With a degree in Math, you could try to get into the city's teaching program.

180

 Jul 29, 2009 at 06:12 PM Aharon Says:

Reply to #165  
Anonymous Says:

B&H employs a few hundred yidden that no less grammar and spelling than Lakewood guys, and they succeed and the business is flourishing B.H.

and what do they get paid at B&H?

181

 Jul 29, 2009 at 05:28 PM YW CPA Says:

Nobody should get carried away that one can take what Hashem doesn't give every one has what's bashert for him. But, there is many ideas one must think about. If there is a concept that one must do "hishtadlos" (good deed) I feel that showing good deed in an environment like in U.S.A. today is to get higher education. America is not anymore an industrial country like it used to be and if our community chose a life style that costs 80-100k yearly then bederech hatevah this type of jobs needs higher education, don't answer me stories about a few yechudim that fell out of the normal statistic "ein somchim al hanes" and if Hashem is waiting for hishtadlus it's fair to believe that he wants you to go thru the system and part of it is to get educated. Second, sometimes it's bashert for someone money to come but he cannot wait Hashem to give it to him (he doesn't trust him) and he intervene, yes he has a yeitzer horah and he gets it begneivah then he might loose what Hashem wanted to give him. I don't believe that Hashem delivers his wealth through keneivah. Always remember the concept of Bechirah

182

 Jul 29, 2009 at 06:15 PM Anonymous 166's brilliant words: Says:

Anonymous 166, you're my hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Young students can start getting credits in H.S. the girls can skip the ridiculous year in seminary, the boys can skip their "time done" in Israel and then within a few years they can secure a degree. My father became a very successful business man with no education at all and although I maintain that those were different times and agree that this can be done today too, I wouldn't knock getting an education...."

183

 Jul 29, 2009 at 06:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
ShatzMatz Says:

I'm am sorry to disagree, but the matter is not so simple. In the 65 years since orthodoxy was established on these shores many attempts have been made to implement a proper secular curriculum in our yeshivos. All have failed. The reason is because none of these programs could be implemented successfully. All the yeshivahs ended up with was addtional expense and behaviour problems. The problem is much more fundemental than simply 'teaching english'.

Also consider this. Most boys in my class in yeshiva spent 15 years in yeshiva with me and came out the other end funtionaly illiterate in both limedei kodesh and limudei chol. What percentage of yeshiva boys know how to read or write and comprehend any language? If you really think about it you will see that the statistics are stagering. Our yeshivas serve at best only 10% of boys. The rest come out so-so or total ignoramouses. And this after spending 16 hours a day 6 days a week in class compared to the standard 5 hours a day 5 days a week with vacation for mothers day a groundhog day.

So the problem is not 'education' but rather much more fundamental. It involves the whole lifestyle and way of living we have set up for ourselves.

Frankly I don't know why you picked 'education' as the elephant in the room. A far greater contributor to our predicament vis-a-vis the secular world and the authorities is our isolated lifestyles. We have no exposure to the outside world and we are not ingrained with the norms and manners of the general population. We are self-created misfits, and condemned to remain this way unless some bold and creative leadership emerges from somewhere. We all know that this is not going to happen. But if we continue on the way we are going, eventually something will have to give.

The cycle repeats itself.

Ur arguement is the reason why we have the problem in the first place. The Rabbonim reacted to those that advocated cultural assimilation, by demanding total isolation. In years past when the USA was a manufacturing based economy it wasn't much of a problem.Now that our economy is losing factories yearly and services are where the parnossa's will be made. Formal education is paramount,but not cultural assimilation cv which will lead to intermarriage rl!!

184

 Jul 29, 2009 at 05:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
Anonymous Says:

What does an english education have to do with Parnossa?
We must remember that "Birchas Hamshem hi taashir - it is the blessing of G-d which gives us wealth", and certainly he gives his blessing to those that follow in the ways of Torah and Mitzvos - Vehigisa Bo Yomam VoLailah!
A secular education will in no way halp make a Parnossa, being an upright Jew will.
All these people stealing money etc. Is now because of a lack of english education - just the opposite - its the lack of a proper Kosher Chinuch!!

You're totally wrong.
If you live in America, you need to be able to get a job in America. Hashem does not provide for you if you don't help yourself. We are forbidden to rely on miracles.

185

 Jul 29, 2009 at 06:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:


The English education in our chasiddeshe elementary schools is pathetic at best.

And let's be honest about it... It's not going to change any time soon.

How can it change when in some of the schools the kids are not permitted to speak English “during the English classes”?? Sounds absurd? Well it’s sad and it’s true.

It can change if Baalei Batim get together and demand the Yeshiva to change and collectively state they will cease supporting the yeshiva if change is not made

186

 Jul 29, 2009 at 07:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Another elephant in the room:
While all that is true, chassidim seem to be treated with that stereotype in mind. Despite of the rest of jewish societies impression of chassidim, some of us are quite intelligent and educated. Regardless if its taught in yeshiva, school or self-taught, don't make assumptions about a person before you get to know him.

Elephant #2.
Interesting enough, despite of the fact that many chassidim spell sponge - spunch - they still have the know-how to up-start a business and be successful.

The biggest elephant:
There are countless chassidish yeshivas in boro park, williamsburg, Kiryas Joel, Monsey etc. where they are STILL not learning proper English. What are my choices in regards to my boys' secular education? Should I put them in a yeshiva that is not really where they belong just so they are adequately educated or should I shell out an extra $40 an hour in addition to tuition for private tutors? Are we raising the next generation of american-born jews that don't speak or read English? That is my biggest concern. I think it should be mandatory for all schools to follow a certain curriculum. Does "no child left behind" only apply to public schools?

187

 Jul 29, 2009 at 07:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Thanks for bringing out this important topic.

I once asked an ex kolell yingerman chasidish --- Vishnitz, but all get same secular education -- to address a pkg for me to Scranton PA. He asked to dictate every letter, as :

1. Never heard of such a city
2. Does not know how to spell any word --- name , noun, verb -- above 2nd grade level!

Spunch cake indeed! And a great tragedy.

This is what used to be called by our Holocaust surviving parents (who knew the lshon Hamedina) leigt arein shmadshtik in die yirah.

188

 Jul 29, 2009 at 07:11 PM Anonymous Says:

It's nice that all the talk is about honesty honesty and honesty. So why aren't people honest and what are the solutions? Not one speaker except for Mr Brofman gave some solutions.

Without solutions talk is cheap.


What the biggest problem in our community is the "attitude" which Mr Brofamn touched upon. A person sitting next to me mumbeled during Mr brofamns speech and said well how am I supposed to live without cheapting? I wanted to vomit right then and there.

This is exaclty the problem. People think section 8 , food stamps, medicaid and other programs are a right and many people come up with all the justifications in the worl but the bottom line is stealing is stealing. If you qualify under the rules then it's a beutiful thing to get from a wonderful giving country. Having a drivers license is also not a right but a privilage. When will people understand this?

Now as for solutions nobody really had one that would stop the "justification".





189

 Jul 29, 2009 at 07:26 PM Anonymous Says:

There is no "one size fits all solution" period. You can argue all sides the fact is that for exemple a person with a beard and a long coat will get second chance in obtaining any kind of proff.job no matter how well is education was I am not suggesting that its not possible but its rare, so my point is that while better education is surely a positive the results will differ, so different solutions need to be found for the different types within the jewish community

190

 Jul 29, 2009 at 07:39 PM Anonymous Says:

someone joked that the kids in haymishe chadorim grow up illiterate in 3 languages!
Or with 3 'second' languages.
It is no guarantee but speaking and writing English like a 8 year old makes a bad impression.

191

 Jul 29, 2009 at 07:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Would you rather hire someone with or without a high school diploma? Would you rather hire a college grad or a high school grad? True that there are people who have succeeded in business with minimal education, however they are the exception to the rule. For those without an education and unsuccessful in their own business, they are relegated to low paying jobs. Perhaps as a bookeeper, selling cameras or retail. An education provides the ability to achive moderate success (earning 80-125k) whereas those who lack an education will typically have great difficulty achieving those numbers (Mind you even at 125k it is difficult to make ends meet) denying someone an education is the equivalent of having someone bail water with a leaking bucket( you are handicapping them)Notwithstanding all this, it is all min hashomayim, but we can't rely on miracles.

192

 Jul 29, 2009 at 07:55 PM Yochi Says:

lets be practical what we need is affordable housing , a smart guy with a little money could make a killing by this, create new communities upstate NY towns ,buy into existing stock thats the cheapest way , ie towns like Troy or scenectedy NY are dirt cheap if you buy, if you rent its between $350-550 a month for a 2 bedroom

193

 Jul 29, 2009 at 08:18 PM wondering in Monsey Says:

Reply to #9  
mishpat Says:

As one of very few non charedim in last night's audience, I can sum up the entire nearly three hour program as follows:" Don't Steal. Don't Cheat. Don't Lie",
On the eve of Tisha B'Av, it is truly tragic that nearly 2000 fellow yidin had to leave their families or the Bais Medresh to hear words they learned as children. Where have we failed that these words from Sinai are now sound bites for an emergency Asifah?

What defines "non Charedi"

194

 Jul 29, 2009 at 08:53 PM yossi Says:

Thank you for the wonderful article. Yeshiva University/RIETS shines as a true example of the type of institution which produces talmidei chachamim, yirei shamoyim and yashar professionals and businessmen who are kovea ittim and continuously make kidushei Hashem in the world. Yasher Koach to the gadol Hador, Harav Herschel Shachter Shli"ta who guides the talmidim in school and in life.

195

 Jul 29, 2009 at 07:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #54  
They are Says:

Yes. The Pakistani or Indian teller is better educated! They may have an accecnt, but they also have an education!

But the Chasidisher yungerman talks a better english than the Pakistani or from other nations & especially the companies that take answering services from third world countries that got no clue what you want from them

196

 Jul 29, 2009 at 07:47 PM veiner Talmud Eli Says:

Reply to #112  
Yossi Says:

I think that we live in a bankrupt society....Once a kallah walks around her chusen 7 times at the last round they can file for chapter 11...After he puts the ring on her finger they can file for Chapter 7....Now lets discuss this in depth.....Its not a joke but very serious....The kallah works in a office from 9-5 and earns between $350-600 a week depending on her job..(if her father allows her to work in a office)...If she is a teacher in a heimishe moysed she earns between $125-300 a week(not the professionals).
Now her husband has to go to kolel for 3 years otherwise there is NO shidich...Here comes the Rent .If they are lucky and find one of those apartment houses they pay at least $1250.00 for a one bedroom apartment otherwise its between 1800-2200 a month...Telephone,electric,gas,CELL PHONES (she needs to talk to him in kolel) food and minor expenses...How do you make this from her salary...Now if you are lucky and have parents with a decent parnosah they can help push the wagon (how many kids can they really push for?)...Now what happens next.? By the end of shonah rishonoa they are in depth of a couple of thousand dollars...Now comes along some one in Kolel who offers the yingerman some deal that sound kosher and he likes the idea which will help him get out of his debt...Turns out this deal got him into trouble and again he needs help from his parents for attorney fees...Are we bankrupt or NOT.? I would love to hear from other writers here what they think ....

100% right. Couldn't say it better. I wish this system will change one day. After I got married my shviger threw me in to school I thank her every day, not for her I wouldn't have a job*nd no don't give me the bs basherta pshetel

197

 Jul 29, 2009 at 09:27 PM Use Your Head Says:

Reply to #47  
Statistics Says:

That statistics show that there are 15 million out of work today and the vast majority of those out of work know English perfectly.

As the famous saying goes, "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Would you also argue against seat belts because statistics show that millions of people have been killed or injured in car accidents and the vast majority of them were wearing seatbelts?

Your statistic, while no doubt accurate, is entirely irrelevant. The relevant statistic would be to compare the unemployment rates (and average/median income levels) of those who are fluent in English vis-a-vis those who are not. No doubt you will find a that those who are not fluent have a statistically higher unemployment rate and/or lower income levels. And that, my friend, is the relevant point.

198

 Jul 29, 2009 at 09:25 PM Anonymous Says:

I graduated from a yeshiva in Brooklyn. Even though my yeshiva was not a black hatter yeshiva, now as an adult I still regret ever going to a yeshiva. Secular education in yeshivas are never taken seriously, and there are always institutionalized loopholes that will help any guy pass through high school. The only yeshivas that are worth staying in are the rich ones like on Long Island because they take ALL education very serious. In college, I struggled at first because not only yeshivas don't prepare you to adapt to new social surroundings, but again, they lack in providing solid core education like in math and sciences. I know public schools in NYC are not doing well either, but the institutionalized environment towards education is taken much more seriously, and there are no loopholes to getting a high school diploma.

I love how rabbayim always make fun of the secular world education and point out how the best law students are Jews who studied gemorah, or how Rambam knew so much philosophy and medicine just by learning the Torah, or how Greek philosophers stole ideas from the Talmud. Where are the 21 century Rambams in Boro Park or LakeWood I ask? If studying gemorah all day puts you ahead of all other goiyshe law students, how come we don't see more streimels in law schools? When elements in the frum world don't take secular education seriously, they only breed poverty because the young kolel guys don't have many skill options to make a living.

199

 Jul 29, 2009 at 09:14 PM ML Says:

To all those who say who needs an education there are so many successful, rich people without a degree.....well, can you look at your immediate family and name one person who has made it?

I have asked people (who think a degree means nothing) this question many times and I still didn't get one success story.

200

 Jul 29, 2009 at 09:07 PM Tammy Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Good luck in finding a shidduch if you went to law, medical or other professional school without putting 3+ years into learning post high school.

BEZ"H, when my 16 and 14 year old daughters will be into shidduchim, the only type of boy we will consider will be someone who decides to display responsibility by going into some professional or trade school. My girls know that not only will they have to go to college post high school, but their future husbands need to be responsible for the parnassah in their home. It is common discussion at our table what type of person makes a good husband and what they should be looking for in a spouse. We all agreed that Middos Tovos, mentchlichkeit,being koveia itim laTorah, a good relationship with his parents and family, being baalay chasadim, and earning a livelihood are all the qualifications we seek. Someone who sits in learning for 3 years , not 'lishmah', in our minds is considered a lazy loser!

201

 Jul 29, 2009 at 09:05 PM Anonymous Says:

After reading through all the postings tonight it is clear that the vast majority of readers fully agree with Rabbi Hoffman's views that the majority of chareidi yeshivot and kollels are irresponsibile in their failure to provide comprehensive secular educations to all their students. Given the realities of life today, parents should be taking their yinglach out of such schools immediately and moving them to one of the many MO or Chassidic yeshivot and Bes Yaakovs that provide such education and turn out competent citizens rather than mediocre rabbonim and grads who have no chance of making a parnassah.

202

 Jul 29, 2009 at 09:01 PM Tammy Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

I would like to protest your terminology of 'purchased diploma' from Touro College. I graduated from Touro with a Maters Degree in Special Education and Early Childhood. I must tell you that I worked very hard to earn my degree. It most certainly was not 'purchased', although tuition for graduate school was expensive. I take offense at your insinuation that Touro College is not a legitimate, accredited University. Just because you may know some people who illegitimately received their diplomas, does not give you the right to deride such a fine establishment.

203

 Jul 29, 2009 at 10:05 PM chusid Says:

I must share a story that happened in skver when I was a kid governer como came to visit the village & as he walked by the kids he wanted to be friendly and he stops & asked a boy SO WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS and the boy looks at him and he answers with a huge smile MNOPOLY
now you guys figure out the rest and that's all a result of being mzalzal in limudei chol saying its not important & therefore it is also so hard to find a normal and good paying job so please be realistic and understand that education is a must

204

 Jul 29, 2009 at 10:01 PM Anonymous Says:

spell check wasnt put on the computer for jew boys only
i wonder how many people who dont know yiddish cant read or spell
a good education always helps but who are we fooling a persons mazel comes from the one above regardless if they can or cant spell
i for one know some one who is very very smart and has a masters and cant spell very well

205

 Jul 29, 2009 at 09:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Amazing that Rabbi Hoffman writes an articles and there are 200+ commenters and apparently only 2 or 3 commenters actually listened to what was said at the asifa. This so called Elephant in the room was addressed at the asifa very explicitly.

206

 Jul 29, 2009 at 10:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #71  
Kosher Programs Says:

Government Programs are not evil and are not non-kosher as you seem to imply.

No one is more deserving than a newly married couple, just married who does not have a job yet.

That is who the programs are made for, to help those who don't yet have a job, for the brief time, until they get a good job and good parnasa.

Of course if someone already is making triple digit income as a Bank Manager, he is then no longer eligible for benefits.

oh, no no no no no no no have you got it all wrong!!!!!! The programs are not for those who DESERVE it, they are for people who need TEMPORARY help to get out of a pinch, like job loss, illness, etc. Not for able bodied functioning human beings.

207

 Jul 29, 2009 at 10:23 PM Anonymous Says:

why have the gedolim never pushed the issue of education if its so important. who the heck do some of you think you are deciding what's right & wrong, marry your daughters to whomever you want to, but don't tell all of klal yisroel what's wrong with the yeshiva system until you've learned torah metoch hadechak for 60-70 years.

208

 Jul 29, 2009 at 10:20 PM Anonymous Says:

I graduated kindergarten I have come along way
I know that graduating from Kindergarten can't get you really far in life.
but if you will try in life you will succeed especially spending time writing comments every time I write a comment on this website I know I have made this world a better place and have changed someone for the better it feels like giving Tzedakah.
LIke giving someone one a job especially the long comments a lot of time and thought goes into those comments. Those Comments especially change people for the better I know of 7 Balie Teshuvah who have become Frum just from reading the commments on Vosizneias. may all those who spend thier valuable time writing comments and reading all the comments Hashem should bless you to guide you on the right path. especiallly that Moshiach is about to be revealed. When he askes us what have we done to bring Moshiach we will say I have written Comments and read every single one of them this will bring great Joy to him especially in Gouls this makes Hashem very proud of us when we spend our life Literlally speaking "Shloy Nayvoish Veloy Necolaim Le'olem Voed" Gut Yom Tov

209

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #98  
Anonymous Says:

since when is it a crime to accept gov't assistance, both me & my wife work full time, & with food health ins. tuition etc. for our six children we would not manage without the gov't help. yes we receive sec.8 & food stamps, but that's to supplement our combined income of $90,000. of which every penny is on the books. every gadol I consulted, rav dovid feinstein, the novominsker rebbe & rav hillel david told me that it is lichatchila for us to take the assistance. p.s. we both have high school educations. all of you posters who tell everyone to pay taxes should realize that the gov't uses a lot of that money for such programs, and just like you wouldn't condem the people of third world countries for taking the US assistance so too stop bashing the frum people who depend on these programs, this is hashems way to provide for people like myself- by having the more financially blessed paying tax to provide for the programs, to quote the novominsker rebbe. think about it, the mishne in avos says the world stands on torah avodah & chesed, instead of the kollel people & the chassidim getting a free ride, it would seem the mishne clearly indicates that the people who don't learn as much as kollel people nor do as much avoda & chesed as the chassidim might actually be the parasites. in conclusion I thank all of those that pay taxes for enabling us to receive the programs we deserve according to the medina shell chesed.

If you have a combvined income of 90,000 and your on food stamps then your stealing and not doing the prgram legit. The requirements are many but one of them that makes a person or family uneligible is making more than 65,000 apx with a family of 6.

rules are as follows: General Program Requirements
In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of the State of New York and fall into one of two groups: (1) those with a current bank balance (savings and checking combined) under $2,001, or (2) those with a current bank balance (savings and checking combined) under $3,001 who share their household with a person or persons age 60 and over, or with a person with a disability (a child, your spouse, a parent, or yourself). For either group, you must also have an annual household income of less than $13,284 if one person lives in the household; $17,808 if two people live in the household; $22,332 if three people live in the household; $26,856 if four people live in the household; $31,380 if five people live in the household; $35,904 if six people live in the household; $40,428 if seven people live in the household; or $44,952 if more than seven people live in the household.




So in your own words your a ganev.

210

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #192  
Yochi Says:

lets be practical what we need is affordable housing , a smart guy with a little money could make a killing by this, create new communities upstate NY towns ,buy into existing stock thats the cheapest way , ie towns like Troy or scenectedy NY are dirt cheap if you buy, if you rent its between $350-550 a month for a 2 bedroom

No offense . It's a grea idea for more housing but the minute someone has an idea like this, comes along a few jerks and they start raising the price on everything and flipping thingsand then making deal with the lcals so they can be even more greedy.

211

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #200  
Tammy Says:

BEZ"H, when my 16 and 14 year old daughters will be into shidduchim, the only type of boy we will consider will be someone who decides to display responsibility by going into some professional or trade school. My girls know that not only will they have to go to college post high school, but their future husbands need to be responsible for the parnassah in their home. It is common discussion at our table what type of person makes a good husband and what they should be looking for in a spouse. We all agreed that Middos Tovos, mentchlichkeit,being koveia itim laTorah, a good relationship with his parents and family, being baalay chasadim, and earning a livelihood are all the qualifications we seek. Someone who sits in learning for 3 years , not 'lishmah', in our minds is considered a lazy loser!

And the only boy "we will consider".........


this is the problem with you the parent!

Maybe do what is right for your daughter and not what "you" want and what you think.

You are married already and by already saying years in adavnce that "you want or you will only consider" is not doing what is right for your daughter but what you think is good for you. Talking and writing the way you do is a bit selfishand self centered.

Imagine people of today decicing shiduchim for the avos i would have to say none of them would be married because Yitzchok avinu has a brother that is at risk and hunts and is a meshugenah. Avrohom Avinu ? who would want to marry him he i so busy into kiruv .

the inlaws of the avos, some of them are crazy.....some of them are ganavim.....

You see where we are going with this? Ask a shailoh from a competant rov before you decide anything for your daughter.

212

 Jul 29, 2009 at 11:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

u r 100 percent right I am a chused with pias and is currently attending college and I am defently treated differently by some staff. especially one staff member who containes a high position and all the heimshe students r having problems with him. he is jewish (without a yarmeka) and he simply cannot stand a jew with a yarmeka.

213

 Jul 30, 2009 at 05:48 AM Lakewood Says:

Reply to #176  
Satmar Man Says:

I only skimmed the article, and did not read the comments. So, if what I am saying has already been said, please forgive me.

I will only say a few short things.

1. I absolutely agree that we should get a better education than many chareidi people are getting today.

2. I am offended though that the concept of the illiterate Chossid is a stereotype.

3. I do not believe the link between education and morality.

True when I was in Yeshiva, once we graduated to "Yeshiva" from cheder, there was no more real "secular" education. We "learned" from early in the AM until late PM.

But, most of us did the "American School," a high school equivalency, mail-order course out of Chicago, in our spare time.
I eventually took the GED, and only missed one question on the entire 2-day exam. I mixed up Iambic Pentameter with Trochaic Pentameter in the Literature section. I will never forget that one question. I was going for a perfect score, and that one nailed me.

I later went on to take many college courses in NYU and other schools, and physical sciences, writing, and American literature were, and are still my favorite subjects.

I was not alone. Many other buchurim in Satmar Yeshiva did the same. Sure, when in Willy or BP, I speak with a "Chassidishe accent," but when I am in the outside world, I can speak with a clear, Midwest, university accent. On the phone you would have no idea I am a Chassishe man who wears a streimel and vasser zokin.

But, morality IS taught to all, no matter what the curriculum is. There are no people who become adults without knowing right from wrong.
And, a more intensive secular education will not prevent a person's being tricked into foolish or illegal deals in areas which are not his expertise.
I may be qualified to give lectures in physics, astronomy, cosmology, physical chemistry, Expository Writing, or American Literature, but I have major gaps in areas like investments and banking. I COULD be taken in by a good con man.... maybe even a not so good one.

I do have enough street smarts to seek professional help if the area is one I do not know. But, I will also seek the knowledge to make sure I am not relying on a well-credentialed fool or worse.

So, while I do recommend more education, and I do believe we are capable of learning all there is without being "lost" .... I do not believe that it needs to be part of a yeshiva program.

BUT..... why do we see so many straying into crooked business deals????

Simple. We need to stop saying it is okay! We need to stop joking about its being okay to rip off a gentile. It is not.
We need to stop talking about goyim in disrespectful ways altogether. There are many phrases in use today which are demeaning to goyim. For instance, I am sure most of you have heard this one, which hopefully is never said or intended seriously, "Shiksas are for practice."

If we talk like that, even in jest, we are teaching each other, and our children, to hold gentiles in lower esteem, and make it seem that harming them is fine.

Of course it is not fine.

But, once one begins to harm gentiles believing it is fine, the yetzer hora teaches to expand horizons to all.

So, in my opinion, morality begins in how we talk about our fellow person, both Jew and gentile.
We must never speak disrespectfully, or in any demeaning way, about ANY group of humans, if we expect our morality to stay high enough to not harm them with more than just words.

When we hear such remarks, we need to not remain silent. We need to speak out and say, "Excuse me. I find those remarks/jokes offensive. Please do not talk like that about people created by Hashem in front of me."

If we start feeling that it is not okay to say offensive things about others, we will grow to understand that we can't hanrm them either.

You have given me food for thought, and you ARE 100% right. The blame is on us. We all need to stop tolerating speaking inappropriately about any Jewish, Gentile, or any group at all.
You are so right. Making verbal fun makes it "okay" inside our hearts to see harm come to them. From there it becomes okay for us to do the harm.

I also heard that famous expression you quoted about 'shiksas.' and, to tell you the truth every time I repeated it, and I did because it was kewl to say it, I lowered the shikas in my mind.

Thank you for a beautifully written post. I agree completely.

214

 Jul 30, 2009 at 06:43 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #91  
Charpah&Shondah Says:

This painful chillul hashem illustrates the following reality: The chareidi community does not have the moral high ground in the frum world. Going to college and being able to support a family with a professional degree was looked down on. Well, now we see what happens to the uneducated who have no ability to support themselves.
"Learning", refusing to work and relying of parents for support causes, in many causes, fraud and theft. Section 8 irregularities, food stamp irregularities , dealing in black market illegalities - it all occurs because of the desperation of impoverished famlies.

And what of all the well educated frei lawyers and Wall Street types who have been convicted of crimes of far greater magnitude than the victims of the Dwek entrapment who have yet to be convicted?

Madoff, Dreier, Boesky, Levine, and the perhaps overly maligned Milken are all educated men.

Crime occurs because of greed which comes from the yetzer horo. Full stop.

The difference is that at the end of the day we will overcome this and move on because we know it is wrong For the frei and non-Jews it is a matter of avoiding the eleventh commandment - thou shalt not get caught.

215

 Jul 30, 2009 at 06:49 AM Anonymous Says:

Should we fight to give our children the basic skills to function in the world? Yes that is clearly what Chazal had in mind in te Gemara in Kidushin which was quoted in the article.

However it is a bit shallow to assume that becaus a boy is taught english comprehension, and rudimentary mathematics that all of a sudden he will be honest. Honesty can not be taught with textbooks. The only way to teach honesty is to be honest and lead by example. You can give a child the best education money can buy, send him to the best schools, yeshivos, seminaries, whatever you want. If we are dishonest or condone dishonesty then we are educating the next generation of white collar criminals.

Perhaps what our children need more than being taught mathematics, is to be given the oppurtunity to have parents and teachers, rabbis and community leaders who are honest and uphold the highest standards of honesty. Then I imagine that together with basic survival skills they will stand a chance of being the shleimim we hope they will be.

216

 Jul 30, 2009 at 07:29 AM Anonymous Says:

I believe that all these posters that are against education are simply lacking it themselves.

FACT: It is quite expensive to maintian a frum lifestyle today, especially in NY

FACT: There have been many many studies that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that college graduates on average will go on to earn much more than non college grads. Yes, we all know the guy who dropped out of schooll and became very wealthy. We don't wish to talk about all the bums living on welfare with very few useful employment skills.

FACT: If you do not give children skills to succeed, they will eventually either live in dire poverty, or learn to cheat and steal, or both.

FACT: When I grew up, it was considered shameful to get welfare or even food stamps. Today, it seems to be halacha m'sinai in some communities.

Maybe people wouldn't be illegally occupying fire traps, fighting cops on shabbos, or numerous other nonsensical things if they had a real parnassa and realized what was really important in this world.

217

 Jul 30, 2009 at 07:04 AM to 215 Says:

no one saying that it will cure it and of course we need ti teach ethics but the skills will reduce the incidence of fraud - taking govt money and programs and still working

218

 Jul 30, 2009 at 07:58 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

yestoday at the 'asufa' in bp hr' shorr said exact the oppisit, he said the problem is that we have to know that we r jews in 'golus' & we have b diffrend & sepprit from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing here that we have to learn english like the 'goyim' & thats gonna solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), & the main thing we have to knoe is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b how much hashem wants & not how much u try,
sorry & thanks for your coaperation

You cannot decide what I right or wrong because so and so said... You will find many gedolim who disagree. Regardless, it is never right to lie,steal and to defraud the government (halachically there some exceptions) and certainly there is no heter for chillul hashem. Having an education is a partial answer to the crisis and that does not make us like the goyim because we have 613 mitzvohs a shulchon urech and a holy life style.

219

 Jul 30, 2009 at 07:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

I am sorry you had such an experience (BTW it is uncalled for to disparagw Touro and the many individuals who worked hard to obtain a degree). I am a Chasidese Yingerman and eductated and I have never encountered anti-semetism, in fact I found people to be very receptive and accepting (maybe my profession is different) I think many people can report the same.

220

 Jul 30, 2009 at 07:51 AM Non-Chareidi Says:

Reply to #176  
Satmar Man Says:

I only skimmed the article, and did not read the comments. So, if what I am saying has already been said, please forgive me.

I will only say a few short things.

1. I absolutely agree that we should get a better education than many chareidi people are getting today.

2. I am offended though that the concept of the illiterate Chossid is a stereotype.

3. I do not believe the link between education and morality.

True when I was in Yeshiva, once we graduated to "Yeshiva" from cheder, there was no more real "secular" education. We "learned" from early in the AM until late PM.

But, most of us did the "American School," a high school equivalency, mail-order course out of Chicago, in our spare time.
I eventually took the GED, and only missed one question on the entire 2-day exam. I mixed up Iambic Pentameter with Trochaic Pentameter in the Literature section. I will never forget that one question. I was going for a perfect score, and that one nailed me.

I later went on to take many college courses in NYU and other schools, and physical sciences, writing, and American literature were, and are still my favorite subjects.

I was not alone. Many other buchurim in Satmar Yeshiva did the same. Sure, when in Willy or BP, I speak with a "Chassidishe accent," but when I am in the outside world, I can speak with a clear, Midwest, university accent. On the phone you would have no idea I am a Chassishe man who wears a streimel and vasser zokin.

But, morality IS taught to all, no matter what the curriculum is. There are no people who become adults without knowing right from wrong.
And, a more intensive secular education will not prevent a person's being tricked into foolish or illegal deals in areas which are not his expertise.
I may be qualified to give lectures in physics, astronomy, cosmology, physical chemistry, Expository Writing, or American Literature, but I have major gaps in areas like investments and banking. I COULD be taken in by a good con man.... maybe even a not so good one.

I do have enough street smarts to seek professional help if the area is one I do not know. But, I will also seek the knowledge to make sure I am not relying on a well-credentialed fool or worse.

So, while I do recommend more education, and I do believe we are capable of learning all there is without being "lost" .... I do not believe that it needs to be part of a yeshiva program.

BUT..... why do we see so many straying into crooked business deals????

Simple. We need to stop saying it is okay! We need to stop joking about its being okay to rip off a gentile. It is not.
We need to stop talking about goyim in disrespectful ways altogether. There are many phrases in use today which are demeaning to goyim. For instance, I am sure most of you have heard this one, which hopefully is never said or intended seriously, "Shiksas are for practice."

If we talk like that, even in jest, we are teaching each other, and our children, to hold gentiles in lower esteem, and make it seem that harming them is fine.

Of course it is not fine.

But, once one begins to harm gentiles believing it is fine, the yetzer hora teaches to expand horizons to all.

So, in my opinion, morality begins in how we talk about our fellow person, both Jew and gentile.
We must never speak disrespectfully, or in any demeaning way, about ANY group of humans, if we expect our morality to stay high enough to not harm them with more than just words.

When we hear such remarks, we need to not remain silent. We need to speak out and say, "Excuse me. I find those remarks/jokes offensive. Please do not talk like that about people created by Hashem in front of me."

If we start feeling that it is not okay to say offensive things about others, we will grow to understand that we can't hanrm them either.

I loved your post. I have done business with many Jews of all ilks. I have NOT seen this "ignorant Chossid" stereotype so frequently talked about.

The vast majority of Chossids that I meet in business are capable, good people, and are "safe" to do business with. I have found them honest and moral.

Yes, I agree that a few were a little poor in the spelling department, but so what? They concepts of business were fine, their math was excellent, and their communication skills were better than the average non-Jew I have to do business with.

I do not believe education is the answer to a lowering of morality.

In fact, I challenge the very concept that there is a lowering. Maybe it is just that the anti-semitic media is focusing more, and giving more publicity to crimes among Jews. The Madoff thing did not help.

But, what you say about the way people talk is very true. If there IS a real tendency towards lowering morality, I bet you are right. I bet it begins with talking about every other group in such negative ways.

As you said, if it is okay to talk bad about them, it is okay to harm them with words. Once it is okay to harm them with words, it becomes okay to harm them financially.

We need to stop all the negative talk. We need to stop bashing other Jewish groups. We need to stop bashing goyim. We need to stop bashing Chossids.

To be honest, guys, when given a choice, I CHOOSE to do business with chossids from Williamsburg. I find them very honest, good people.

221

 Jul 30, 2009 at 08:10 AM Anonymous Says:

To me, the formula is pretty simple: we marry off our children without an education, they immediately have children, eventually they approx. 8 children, have to have the nicest jewlery and clothing for themselves and the little 1-year-old, must go to the country, must have the newest Odyssey, to marry off each child is approx. 50,000, everyone has to live in B.P. Will. etc. All this without the means of providing a decent parnossa. So how in the world can we possibly survive?!

222

 Jul 30, 2009 at 08:17 AM PMO Says:

Reply to #195  
Anonymous Says:

But the Chasidisher yungerman talks a better english than the Pakistani or from other nations & especially the companies that take answering services from third world countries that got no clue what you want from them

Pakistanis who come here are often very well educated with university degrees. They don't speak English well, or with a strong accent because English is their second language. The fact that they have an education and can write English clearly (even if speech is hindered by the accent), ensures them good jobs.

As for those who are uneducated and have low literacy levels, they are usually cab drivers, or delivery people. Is that what we want for our community? $10/hour jobs? I should certainly hope not.

223

 Jul 30, 2009 at 09:14 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
ShatzMatz Says:

I'm am sorry to disagree, but the matter is not so simple. In the 65 years since orthodoxy was established on these shores many attempts have been made to implement a proper secular curriculum in our yeshivos. All have failed. The reason is because none of these programs could be implemented successfully. All the yeshivahs ended up with was addtional expense and behaviour problems. The problem is much more fundemental than simply 'teaching english'.

Also consider this. Most boys in my class in yeshiva spent 15 years in yeshiva with me and came out the other end funtionaly illiterate in both limedei kodesh and limudei chol. What percentage of yeshiva boys know how to read or write and comprehend any language? If you really think about it you will see that the statistics are stagering. Our yeshivas serve at best only 10% of boys. The rest come out so-so or total ignoramouses. And this after spending 16 hours a day 6 days a week in class compared to the standard 5 hours a day 5 days a week with vacation for mothers day a groundhog day.

So the problem is not 'education' but rather much more fundamental. It involves the whole lifestyle and way of living we have set up for ourselves.

Frankly I don't know why you picked 'education' as the elephant in the room. A far greater contributor to our predicament vis-a-vis the secular world and the authorities is our isolated lifestyles. We have no exposure to the outside world and we are not ingrained with the norms and manners of the general population. We are self-created misfits, and condemned to remain this way unless some bold and creative leadership emerges from somewhere. We all know that this is not going to happen. But if we continue on the way we are going, eventually something will have to give.

The cycle repeats itself.

Ahem - please apologizeto the olam.

My family came to America almost 140 years ago. They arrived as shomrei torah u'mitzvos and now 6 generations laer most of us are still shomrei torah u'mitzvos. Orthodox Judaism didn't not arrive on these shores post WW2. It was here, laying down roots long before many of thei blogs readers families even thought about crossing the ocean to the "new world."

BTW, being shommer shabbos in America before WW2 required tremendous mesiras nefesh. And kosher fund was not as available (and in the abundance) that is is available today.

224

 Jul 30, 2009 at 09:20 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
ShatzMatz Says:

I'm am sorry to disagree, but the matter is not so simple. In the 65 years since orthodoxy was established on these shores many attempts have been made to implement a proper secular curriculum in our yeshivos. All have failed. The reason is because none of these programs could be implemented successfully. All the yeshivahs ended up with was addtional expense and behaviour problems. The problem is much more fundemental than simply 'teaching english'.

Also consider this. Most boys in my class in yeshiva spent 15 years in yeshiva with me and came out the other end funtionaly illiterate in both limedei kodesh and limudei chol. What percentage of yeshiva boys know how to read or write and comprehend any language? If you really think about it you will see that the statistics are stagering. Our yeshivas serve at best only 10% of boys. The rest come out so-so or total ignoramouses. And this after spending 16 hours a day 6 days a week in class compared to the standard 5 hours a day 5 days a week with vacation for mothers day a groundhog day.

So the problem is not 'education' but rather much more fundamental. It involves the whole lifestyle and way of living we have set up for ourselves.

Frankly I don't know why you picked 'education' as the elephant in the room. A far greater contributor to our predicament vis-a-vis the secular world and the authorities is our isolated lifestyles. We have no exposure to the outside world and we are not ingrained with the norms and manners of the general population. We are self-created misfits, and condemned to remain this way unless some bold and creative leadership emerges from somewhere. We all know that this is not going to happen. But if we continue on the way we are going, eventually something will have to give.

The cycle repeats itself.

You are totally correct. Our system is broken. Many of our kind still live in the 19th century where to survive you relied upon the wits that the RS"O gave you.

We have to bring our world into the 21st century. That may be difficult but it must be done. Not everyone is our enemy or hates us. But many people laugh at us. Why? Lack of language skills, lack of cultural skills (you don't have to live like the goyim but one should know how to act when one ineracts with them). We may look different and live differently but we should embrace the 21st century world not continue to live in a 19th century shtetel.

225

 Jul 30, 2009 at 11:34 AM Gadolwannabe Says:

Why is it that the Yeshivish and Chareidi world is so much more anti-secular education than they were 40 years ago? All the of the lay leadership of Agudas Yisroel have college educations. If it was good for them, why is it not good for their children? More importantly, all the of the lay leadership of Agudas Yisroel went to work when graduated college. Why do their children sit in Kollel and live off theri parents? I have never gotten a good answer to these questions.

We rever such Gedolim as R' Yaacov Kaminetsky, zt'l, R'Pam, zt'l, R'Gedalia Shoor, zt'l, R'Hutner, zt'l all of whom were my Rabbeim. None of them went so far as to assur college aducation as the Rabbeim who are the leaders of both the Litvish and Chassidic yeshivos. We always look to the prior generation for guidance. Maybe it is time to do so now.

226

 Jul 30, 2009 at 11:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Agree with Yossi.

To see the beauty of YU and what they are doing for this world, take a quick look at this tisha bav webcast: http://www.yutorah.org/tishabav/

227

 Jul 30, 2009 at 11:40 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #221  
Anonymous Says:

To me, the formula is pretty simple: we marry off our children without an education, they immediately have children, eventually they approx. 8 children, have to have the nicest jewlery and clothing for themselves and the little 1-year-old, must go to the country, must have the newest Odyssey, to marry off each child is approx. 50,000, everyone has to live in B.P. Will. etc. All this without the means of providing a decent parnossa. So how in the world can we possibly survive?!

Who's the we that your'e speaking of? In our family, including extended family, none of this "I must have what I can't afford" exists. If you bring up your children with a healthy sense of self-esteem and set a good example of Yiras Shomayim, you shouldn't be experiencing these peer pressure issues.
Parents, quit blaming society and take responsibilities for your children's chinuch.
And remember "Monkey see, monkey do."

228

 Jul 30, 2009 at 11:20 AM Anonymous Says:

my opinion the biggest problem starts with our yeshivas its no secret there at least 30 to 40 percent of buchrim that are frustrated and cannot take this much learning and are simply pushing together with their heart broken parents spending thousands of dollars for private tutors and we all know they will end up going to work as soon as they marry and will not look at yiddskiet for at least he has a son that is 13 we need to put in a system where you can learn with the Bach rim a trade educate them first they will be more happy with their teen years and they will have reason to get up in the morning every day will be easier for the parents less expenses fro private tutors they will have some education to get out to work after they marry and to all those people who claim that you know people who made money even without knowing how to spell their names well lets be realistic when our parent where younger you could get away with making some money the not so kosher way and they bought some real estate but I can tell you lots of of the rich people in those days where not very kosher so they made it without an education but times has changed you cant do anymore what you did those years so we need to wake up and start with education in even yeshivas

And close down all those private yeshivas they are worthless heartbreaking institutions

229

 Jul 30, 2009 at 11:19 AM al teshakru Says:

Reply to #216  
Anonymous Says:

I believe that all these posters that are against education are simply lacking it themselves.

FACT: It is quite expensive to maintian a frum lifestyle today, especially in NY

FACT: There have been many many studies that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that college graduates on average will go on to earn much more than non college grads. Yes, we all know the guy who dropped out of schooll and became very wealthy. We don't wish to talk about all the bums living on welfare with very few useful employment skills.

FACT: If you do not give children skills to succeed, they will eventually either live in dire poverty, or learn to cheat and steal, or both.

FACT: When I grew up, it was considered shameful to get welfare or even food stamps. Today, it seems to be halacha m'sinai in some communities.

Maybe people wouldn't be illegally occupying fire traps, fighting cops on shabbos, or numerous other nonsensical things if they had a real parnassa and realized what was really important in this world.

And another FACT : even many of those college grads who will earn more than the non college grad would not be enough to keep up with the needs that a frum lifestyle has that a non frum and lehavdil a non jew has. And to tap it off he will still have to pay for a while the debts of the loans to get the degree.

Talk and ,aligning is easy adn chaep. To find REAL solutions is another story.

230

 Jul 30, 2009 at 11:02 AM Anonymous Says:

The problem has nothing to do with education. It is the attitude that everyone deserves everything. Husbands need late model cars, wives need 5 shaitels etc. People have to know their place. Someone who is B"H successful is allowed to have a Lexus, while the person who can't afford it yet has to know that he doesn't get one.

231

 Jul 30, 2009 at 10:49 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #223  
Anonymous Says:

Ahem - please apologizeto the olam.

My family came to America almost 140 years ago. They arrived as shomrei torah u'mitzvos and now 6 generations laer most of us are still shomrei torah u'mitzvos. Orthodox Judaism didn't not arrive on these shores post WW2. It was here, laying down roots long before many of thei blogs readers families even thought about crossing the ocean to the "new world."

BTW, being shommer shabbos in America before WW2 required tremendous mesiras nefesh. And kosher fund was not as available (and in the abundance) that is is available today.

Bravo. There were many, many observant jews who came here long before WWII and laid down roots and built a community and paved the way for those who came later. They may not have been chassidic or black hat, but they were brave, good, hardworking people who made great contribututions to the U.S. and judaism.

232

 Jul 30, 2009 at 12:12 PM ..........the checkbook Says:

Work is overrated. Education is no comparison to mitzvas, learning and waking up late....

233

 Jul 30, 2009 at 11:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
ShatzMatz Says:

I'm am sorry to disagree, but the matter is not so simple. In the 65 years since orthodoxy was established on these shores many attempts have been made to implement a proper secular curriculum in our yeshivos. All have failed. The reason is because none of these programs could be implemented successfully. All the yeshivahs ended up with was addtional expense and behaviour problems. The problem is much more fundemental than simply 'teaching english'.

Also consider this. Most boys in my class in yeshiva spent 15 years in yeshiva with me and came out the other end funtionaly illiterate in both limedei kodesh and limudei chol. What percentage of yeshiva boys know how to read or write and comprehend any language? If you really think about it you will see that the statistics are stagering. Our yeshivas serve at best only 10% of boys. The rest come out so-so or total ignoramouses. And this after spending 16 hours a day 6 days a week in class compared to the standard 5 hours a day 5 days a week with vacation for mothers day a groundhog day.

So the problem is not 'education' but rather much more fundamental. It involves the whole lifestyle and way of living we have set up for ourselves.

Frankly I don't know why you picked 'education' as the elephant in the room. A far greater contributor to our predicament vis-a-vis the secular world and the authorities is our isolated lifestyles. We have no exposure to the outside world and we are not ingrained with the norms and manners of the general population. We are self-created misfits, and condemned to remain this way unless some bold and creative leadership emerges from somewhere. We all know that this is not going to happen. But if we continue on the way we are going, eventually something will have to give.

The cycle repeats itself.

Orthodoxy and Chassidim were on these shores way before 65 years ago
My ancestors came to the USA in 1927 raised all of thier children as shomre torah u mitzvos and built large communities fo the sheiras hapleyta.
get your facts straight.

234

 Jul 30, 2009 at 12:42 PM Neandershort Says:

Spunch cake? Is that "sponge" or "spinach?" Maybe spinach-flavored sponge? I wouldn't buy their cake if I had a choice. If the owner has so little self-respect, how can I trust his baking? And don't talk to me about heimish - HIME-ish or HAME-ish. The only home other than Israel that I know or care to know is the good old U.S.A.

235

 Jul 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM Menachem Says:

If you do not want a secular education, OK your choice. But why the scorn for those who do? My frum son went to college and is regularly screened out of shiduchim on that basis. He learns and earns. What is so bad?

236

 Jul 30, 2009 at 09:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #199  
ML Says:

To all those who say who needs an education there are so many successful, rich people without a degree.....well, can you look at your immediate family and name one person who has made it?

I have asked people (who think a degree means nothing) this question many times and I still didn't get one success story.

There is no conflict between secular and religious learning. Either your mispacha is the one family of " 100 percent losers" in the yiddeshe velt or you are exaggerating. Every family I know has many successful lawyers, doctors, independent business people etc. and all have managed to do so with hard work and midos and torah study. Don't extrapolate from your dysfunctional situation to the rest of klal yisroel.

237

 Jul 30, 2009 at 12:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #217  
to 215 Says:

no one saying that it will cure it and of course we need ti teach ethics but the skills will reduce the incidence of fraud - taking govt money and programs and still working

Excuse me, but the indication of the article that this long winded blog is connected to made it clear that teaching mathematics and basic reading comprehension would solve this problem. A point that I think is rediculously off the mark.

You say : "of course we must teach ethics but math and reading is the main thing".... I say: "of course we must teach math and reading but honesty and truth are the main thing". It really boils down to a question of focus.

238

 Jul 30, 2009 at 01:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #232  
..........the checkbook Says:

Work is overrated. Education is no comparison to mitzvas, learning and waking up late....

right. it's much easier to have your father in law, your wife, the government, or your community support you. I can't believe what lazy bums we have become...

239

 Jul 30, 2009 at 02:18 PM Anonymous Says:

#238: Get a sense of humor, willya?

240

 Jul 30, 2009 at 03:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #225  
Gadolwannabe Says:

Why is it that the Yeshivish and Chareidi world is so much more anti-secular education than they were 40 years ago? All the of the lay leadership of Agudas Yisroel have college educations. If it was good for them, why is it not good for their children? More importantly, all the of the lay leadership of Agudas Yisroel went to work when graduated college. Why do their children sit in Kollel and live off theri parents? I have never gotten a good answer to these questions.

We rever such Gedolim as R' Yaacov Kaminetsky, zt'l, R'Pam, zt'l, R'Gedalia Shoor, zt'l, R'Hutner, zt'l all of whom were my Rabbeim. None of them went so far as to assur college aducation as the Rabbeim who are the leaders of both the Litvish and Chassidic yeshivos. We always look to the prior generation for guidance. Maybe it is time to do so now.

Don't forget the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l, who studied engineering at the Sorbonne in Paris!

241

 Jul 30, 2009 at 03:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #59  
Yossi Says:

The Satmere rebbe zt"l knew all this what you are writing and he still was against having his Talmidim go to college . There is a very famous story that the Satmere rebbe had a argument discussion with Reb Moshe Feinstein zt"l about his talmidim going to college.Debating back and forth the rebbe saw he is not getting anywhere he turned around to Reb Moshe zt"l and said...Ir veist vus ich vel eich zugen..Your talmidim will grow up Doctors,Lawyers,Accountants,and Bankers and mine talmidim will grow up Balei Batim ,Sochrim and Business people and my talmidim will be the clients and patients of your talmidim....Raboysei his holy words are so true as you can see in those days...Chas veshlim if you are in the Hospital who is your doctor? 60% it will be one of his talmidim .If you need a lawyer who is representing you ,most likely it will be a talmid of Rem Moshe zt"l....If you need a roll of plastic or a printing job,construction or a camera from b&h it will be a satmere talmid..

Chas V'Shalom! Rav Moshe, zatzal, was vehemently opposed to collrge. I heard him speak once on the subject and it is printed in the Igros.

242

 Jul 30, 2009 at 01:43 PM open minded Says:

An amazing article! But it’s still a matter of opinion.
What bothers me though is the way the article was started out with as “Chassidim and all Hareidi Jews” differentiating Chasidim from all other Hareidi sects! I disagree with that totally, its all over society not only by Chasidim not only by the rest of the Hareidi Jews and not only by non Hareidi jews! Jews where always doing business as merchants throughout history, there are many opportunities by doing business that outweighs professions and same vice versa.
I dislike the way it was written pointing fingers at specific groups and by specific neighborhood omitting others, this isn’t discriminatory by any Sect or neighborhood, some notorious professionals from the frum and educated community as doctors and layers with out going into names have put us in the same light!!
The problem is that we need to stress more in out upbringing (it starts at home, by example) the dangers of greed and the torah halochos, and we have to stop glorify money! And glorify the right things in hashems proper torah life as such as honesty!
This article is a nice opinion and I happen to agree with lots that you say but remember this is only an opinion and the author’s point of view.
MI

243

 Jul 30, 2009 at 04:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

Please don't imply that Touro is a purchased diploma. I went there and was educated well. It depends what you make out of anything. If you go there to learn you will. If you go to cut corners you will as well.

244

 Jul 30, 2009 at 05:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

it is a lie that we can not get good jobs with our poor english.
Do you think that the pakistani or spanish teller is more educated? !!

I

Maybe he took a wrong example. But overall he is right. I'm also Chasidish and I'm in the insurance and financial business. And I'm B"H very happy. But its definitely something I'll be demanding for my children. And if the school will not learn, I'll learn with my child or pay for a private teacher

245

 Jul 30, 2009 at 07:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #88  
WolfishMusings Says:

I think that Rabbi Hoffman has some very valid points, but I fear that the problem is far worse than a lack of education.

The problem, sadly, is that we are failing in our mission to internalize the Torah's lessons. Saying that a lack of education or poverty is not the answer -- after all, there are plenty of people who are poor and uneducated among the non-Jews who struggle in their lives and yet don't resort to crime.

Sadly, it seems that we have gotten our priorities wrong. We worry more about whether or not someone wears a hat and/or jacket to davening than if they commit welfare fraud. We care more about the color of people's shirts than whether or not they deal honestly with their fellow man (Jew or non-Jew). We place more emphasis on enforcing the minutiae of tznius (and no, I'm not saying that tznius is not important) than with the lav of Lo Tignovu. In short, we're too busy worry about the leaves on the branches to see that the tree has become rotten in the core.

What we really need to do is to completely reorder our society. We need to stop focusing on the externals and focus on doing what is good, right and what the Torah expects of us. We have to learn to deal justly and honestly with everyone - Jew and non-Jew. We have to focus on being able to be proud of the fact that your dealings are honest -- and the fact that people in our community are not ashamed or embarrassed when they are not.

Yes, education is a step in the right direction -- but if one's ethics are rotten and one's moral fiber is wrong, then all education does is produce smart thieves. We have to change not just our minds and our schools, but our souls as well.

The Wolf

Well said. This should be put up as a post in its own right so more people will read it.

246

 Jul 30, 2009 at 10:17 PM Lubav Says:

Reply to #240  
Anonymous Says:

Don't forget the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l, who studied engineering at the Sorbonne in Paris!

The Lubavitcher Rebbe did go to college in France. Yet after having gone and seen what goes on in colleges, he advised others NOT to go.

247

 Jul 31, 2009 at 12:18 AM You're a little late Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

it is a lie that we can not get good jobs with our poor english.
Do you think that the pakistani or spanish teller is more educated? !!

I

Usually, YES!

248

 Jul 31, 2009 at 12:17 AM You're a little late Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

It's ironic that in a post dealing with illegal activities that have been making the news recently, mention is made of a lack of high-school education in some Hareidi communities. The yeshivot and parents involved are breaking the law which mandates such an education for the youth. Do we really want to see the heads of those mosdot also hauled into court for their illegal behavior? Can we really afford to raise a generation which is incapable of legitimate self-support due to the lack of schooling?

Y. Aharon

No, we can't afford it. Unfortunately, this is not a hypothetical question. The stark proof is before us.

249

 Jul 31, 2009 at 02:22 AM Anonymous Says:

we shoud trenslate the article into yiddish and give it out in every mossad abd shul

250

 Jul 31, 2009 at 01:35 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #209  
Anonymous Says:

If you have a combvined income of 90,000 and your on food stamps then your stealing and not doing the prgram legit. The requirements are many but one of them that makes a person or family uneligible is making more than 65,000 apx with a family of 6.

rules are as follows: General Program Requirements
In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of the State of New York and fall into one of two groups: (1) those with a current bank balance (savings and checking combined) under $2,001, or (2) those with a current bank balance (savings and checking combined) under $3,001 who share their household with a person or persons age 60 and over, or with a person with a disability (a child, your spouse, a parent, or yourself). For either group, you must also have an annual household income of less than $13,284 if one person lives in the household; $17,808 if two people live in the household; $22,332 if three people live in the household; $26,856 if four people live in the household; $31,380 if five people live in the household; $35,904 if six people live in the household; $40,428 if seven people live in the household; or $44,952 if more than seven people live in the household.




So in your own words your a ganev.

One second but I thought the whole point of the VIN article was that if people learned how to read, write, add, and subtract then they would magically become honest working men!!!

251

 Jul 31, 2009 at 01:20 AM Anonymous Says:

I think that #156, #170, and #209 have all made important points with regards to getting to the root of this problem. The point of #156 is that our culture is nurturing a lifestyle that is only possible to sustain if you are spending well beyond your means. Taking governement aid to help sustain this lifestyle has become socially acceptable which is terribly problematic. If you choose to get off the bandwagon that is great, though you will very likely become a misfit and a nebach. The point of #170 is that the reason you dont find more chassideshe bank clerks has nothing to do with the fact that they can't read or write (they can in most cases fulfill the necessary requirements to be a bank clerk) but none of these guys are STUPID enough to take a job that pays less than you can make if you go the route of #156, get it???, Finally #209 with his very well oiled calculator has pointed out that Mr #98 who both him and his wife work from dawn to dusk to support their families b'kavod are in fact really ganavim based on the facts they have provided. Worse yet they are ganavim with the permission some of the greatest rabbis of the generation. This whole blog is about big elephants in the room. This elephant is unfortunately so big it can't fit into the room to begin with thus we will never be able to talk about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

252

 Jul 31, 2009 at 01:12 AM too late now Says:

Reply to #164  
chovos halvovos Says:

your rosh hayehiva is correct and you should thank him for saving you the time and energy. if hashem wanted you to make big dollars the musical instrument is more than enough you could of been the next negina band. All a yid needs is bitachon and a little histadles. Hatlacha and brocha

Halevai... but my Rosh Kollel told me that I should only learn day and night and so my music was put on hold for over a decade. there's more to the story but perhaps you get the drift...

253

 Jul 31, 2009 at 12:49 AM Simultaneous translation Says:

Reply to #83  
not true Says:

Most satmar buisness men have parnsa beharchava with no HS diploma and certainly no treifene college.

It not just 1 in 10,000, rather this holds true for the vast najority of thousands of very successfull Satmar buisness owners, private bus drivers, diamond dealers and cutters, in addion to thosands in the proffessional (private) trade (such as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, air condition installers and repair, contractors and countless more.

Not one single word of english is needed for any of the above that gives thousands of satmar parnasa beharchava, boruch hashem

Most satmar buisness [business] men have parnsa [parnasa] beharchava with no HS diploma and certainly no treifene college.

It not just 1 in 10,000, [.] [R]rather this holds true for the vast najority [majority] of thousands of very successfull [successful] Satmar buisness [business] owners, private bus drivers, diamond dealers and cutters, in addion [addition] to thosands [thousands] in the proffessional [professional] (private) trade (such as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, air condition [conditioner] installers and repair [repair men], contractors and countless more.

Not one single word of english [English] is needed for any of the above that gives thousands of satmar [Satmars] parnasa beharchava, boruch hashem

254

 Jul 30, 2009 at 11:11 PM BUBBY OF 3 plus 1 Says:

Reply to #25  
Anonymous Says:

The best argument for Rabbi Hoffman is the letter below: [WIth translation in parentheses]

yestoday (Yesterday,)
at the 'asufa' in bp (Borough Park)
hr' shorr (HaRav Shorr)

said exact (exactly)

the oppisit, (the opposite.)

he (He)

said the problem (said, "The problem)

is that we have to know that we r jews (are Jews)
in 'golus' & (and)
we have b diffrend (have to be different)
& sepprit (and separate)
from the 'goyim', & not like u r writing (you are writing)
here that we have to learn english (English)
like the 'goyim' & thats gonna (that's going to)
solve the problem here,
i think your article is agensed (against)
the 'tora'(even u r a rabbi), (even if you are a Rabbi)
& the main thing we have to knoe (know)
is that the 'pornosa' is gonna b (going to be)
how much hashem wants & not how much u try, (you try)
sorry & thanks for your coaperation (cooperation).

Let us not forget that anyone on the Sanhedrin had to be fluent in seventy languages. So Mordechai, Ezra and anyone else on the Sanhedrin was also against the Torah. Sorry, but most people respectfully disagree.

With all due respect to HaRav Shorr, his advocating our being "different and seperate from the 'goyim'" is nothing less than hypercritical. How can one seperate from the 'goyim' and then avail himself of the resources provided by the very 'goyim' he disdains? Basic logic would demand that one who strives for complete independence would acquire the skills necessary to support himself and his family.

Why should the goyishe government, the government which has allowed us the freedom to worship as we choose, the government that has allowed us to openly wear kipot and tzitzit, the government that makes parking concessions for our religious holidays, etc., allow us to participate in its services, if we are seperate?

Why should a 'goyishe government' provide food stamps, welfare, section 8, healthcare, home attendants and child-care help, to those who want to seperate themselves and find an easy, free from responsibility, haven in kolel? Why should a 'goyishe government' provide funding for early intervention programs, for therapy programs and for any of the myriad of services that those who are 'seperate' so readily avail themselves of, if they are truly seperate?

I guess, seperate is advocated, but not too 'seperate'.

Are dishonesty, cheating, neglecting to pay taxes, neglecting to assume responsibility for supporting the children one brings into this world, etc., condoned in the name of seperation?

It is time for religious parents to fulfill their responsibilities to their children by educating them, teaching them a trade, enabling them to support themselves and their families, as instructed in the Torah. It is also time for the Rabbanim to choose those capable of being true learners, thereby worthy of our coommunity's support - not the government's, to learn in kolel. Those with less apptitude for learning should go to work. Not everyone can be a doctor or a lawyer, so too, not everyone can be a 'learner'.

It is also time that religious mothers, as well as the teachers, of our teeenage daughters, refrain from indoctrinating them with the belief that they are only worthy, if they marry a learner. It is sad enough that the value of a good shidduch is determined by yichus; to have a shidduch graded by the boy's learning in kolel and having the great distinction of not earning a dime, is truly pathetic. We, of course, can't blame the young people, as they have been inculcated with this insanity and have no choice, but to listen to Tatty and Mommy.

With conditions as they stand at present, those, who believe in being 'seperate', are nothing more than parasites, on the dole of the 'goyishe government', the very governing body, which they so openly and balatantly malign. A painful embarrassment to us all!

A true Orthodox Jew, one worthy of respect, is one who works, has the number of children he is able to provide for, pays tuition to his children's yeshivos, provides for his wife and continues his learning at any number of shiurim, after he fulfills those basic responsibilities. It is truly regrettable that HaRav Shorr did not extol the virtues of this Torah-true virtuous way of life - a life we should all emulate.

255

 Jul 31, 2009 at 12:12 PM joshie Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

it is a lie that we can not get good jobs with our poor english.
Do you think that the pakistani or spanish teller is more educated? !!

I

yes, much much better...i deal with people of all ethnicities and colors and frum jews BY FAR have the worst literacy and writing skills, BY FAR!!!

256

 Jul 31, 2009 at 11:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Do they teach secular studies in any boys high school in Lakewood?

258

 Jul 31, 2009 at 06:43 PM Anonymous Says:

I went to a Chassidishe Yeshiva all my life; from Alef Bais until I got married. The only reason I know English and basic skills (did not use spell check for this post because I don't need to) is because my father AH felt it was important for HIM and inculcated same in us. The Wall Street Journal was required reading, and the reason we were able to is because we had a basic education.

He was also 99.99% percent honest in his dealings all around, (no one is 100% and the govt. really does not make an issue of pennies) loved this country (vs. Hungary) but was caught up in the maelstrom of anti college which got worse as we matured. So college was out, and Section 8 was in.

A few years before his death, he and many of his Holocaust survivor contemporaries who were Chasidic and self educated, here , started feeling worried about the future.. his ayniklech and ihr ayniklech..... He could not have anticipated the train wreck we are seeing today.

Half of the bochurim I went to Yeshiva with , have had serious problems with the law via Section 8, FS, Welfare while working, and even more serious frauds, most of which did not receive much publicity in the PAST the govt. still treated Chassidishe Yiden THEn with respect. Eventually some of my classmates, even did time in jail. Today we do the perp walk, like John Gotti.

In our Chinuch we were inculcated with the truth of OUR Rebbe and not the others, as they were, modern, tziyonim, go with a bent down, wife does not go tied down completely, take your pick. Sometimes to the point of obscentiy by some hot heads, but no one intervened.

We were taught by osmosis never to CHAS VSHOLOM to take off a shtreimel, as there was incredible peer pressure on this and other minhagim. But not on Geneivah or Chilull Hashem . By default we were educated not to earn an honest living.

Why? This did NOT exist in the first generation of Chassidim in America, most of whom came here @ 60/55 years ago.

I rest my case.

259

 Aug 01, 2009 at 02:18 PM Bluke Says:

The Gemara in Kiddushin (30b)states:
ר' יהודה אומר כל שאינו מלמדו אומנות מלמדו מלמדו ליסטות
R' Yehuda says that whoever does not teach his son a profession is teaching him to be a robber

In many parts of the Charedi world today "work" is a 4 letter word and many people simply have no skills to make a living, therefore as the Gemara says they turn to theft.

260

 Aug 01, 2009 at 11:48 PM zoly Says:

Reply to #259  
Bluke Says:

The Gemara in Kiddushin (30b)states:
ר' יהודה אומר כל שאינו מלמדו אומנות מלמדו מלמדו ליסטות
R' Yehuda says that whoever does not teach his son a profession is teaching him to be a robber

In many parts of the Charedi world today "work" is a 4 letter word and many people simply have no skills to make a living, therefore as the Gemara says they turn to theft.

The chariedim e anytime such successfull ppl as the non chariedem,

261

 Aug 02, 2009 at 03:02 PM kisarita Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I can tell you that I have a college degree, not from Turo or other purchased diploma. It is from a renowned university. But I have been discriminated in the world of business on steady basis. But the greatest discrimination came from the NYS office of professions. There are people in government that basically hate orthodox jews with passion. I had to get the ADL involved to help. So before you encourage people to get an education, remember we are treated as 3rd class citizens, and not much will change.

Lying about your supposed prestigious diploma will get you nowhere, at least if you don't bother to clean up your writing errors. But don't chalk it up to discrimination. I have NEVER experienced discrimination from the office of the professions, and I have a diploma from a community college.

262

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