Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Solution to the Problem of Chareidi Poverty!

What do charedi rabbinic leaders have to say about the problem of poverty in the charedi community? David Lichtenstein has a radio show in which he interviews prestigious figures in the charedi world. In the latest show, he interviews Rav Nochum Eisenstein, Rav of Maalot Dafna, who was part of Rav Elyashiv's inner circle, about the problem of charedi poverty.

Lichtenstein begins by asking Rav Eisenstein if there is a chillul Hashem in the number of charedim who live off government welfare. Rav Eisenstein emphatically denies that there is any chillul Hashem. He explains that the government has a responsibility to its citizens to enable them to live at a certain standard. Rav Eisenstein says that "the Israeli government, as bad as it is, and the American government, as good as it is," recognize that students deserve support. There is no problem to choose not to work and to live off benefits.

(Rav Eisenstein stresses the responsibility of the government to support people in kollel. He does not address the question of whether people have a responsibility to other citizens of their country to try to contribute to the economy rather than to try to drain it.)

The interviewer asks in surprise, "Is the Gemara's statement that a father has an obligation to teach his son a trade not relevant?" Definitely not, replies Rav Eisenstein, the Gemara is talking about a minor... if a father sends his kid to a school where he can learn the basics, to read and write, that's a trade... all those things you get from grade school. Many people got a higher education and still can't feed their large families of ten children. So getting an education is not the solution.

(While of course it is true that there are people with higher education who cannot make a living - especially if they have ten children - it is nevertheless also true that, generally speaking, there is a correlation between having a high school education and one's level of income. Rav Eisenstein's denial of this correlation is similar to that espoused by Rav Steinman in an address that he delivered down the road from me.)

Well then, asks the interviewer, what is the solution?

The solution, replies Rav Eisenstein, is the one given by Rav Chaim Kanievsky. The solution is not to talk about it. Countless families in Israel marry off their children and provide homes for them. It's a miracle, and once you start dissecting it, it won't happen anymore. (Yes, this is really what he says. Click on the link to hear the interview if you don't believe me.)

Rav Eisenstein further explains that the problem isn't even that big to begin with. Hardly anyone in the charedi community needs to collect charity door-to-door, he claims. Most people get by, thanks to the miracle.

So, there you have it. Charedi poverty is not a problem, and it should not be talked about, lest it become a problem!



If you'd like to donate funds to perpetuate the charedi kollel system, click here.

If you'd like to donate funds to support the new building campaign for The Biblical Museum of Natural History, which educates the entire spectrum of society from secular to ultra-charedi about the relationship between Judaism and the natural world, click here.

89 comments:

  1. If it's a miracle, I guess they can stop asking for tzedakah now!

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    1. But part of the miracle is that people will still give!

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    2. Hishtadlus + Ein somchin al haness

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  2. In twenty minutes just before dinner I had FIVE people come to my door here in Baltimore from various Chareidi communities collecting for themselves and their families (not Mosdos). This was unusual, I typically get 4-5 per week at my door during "season" and an equal number at my Shachrit minyan. The Rav is promoting "alternative facts".

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    1. the rabbi doesnt have to collect, so it's not in his reality. he only knows check-holders....

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    2. well now you can tell these people, as you politely turn them away that the Rav says there is no problem, and they should get on the next plane home

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    3. His argument would be "5 per week would be 250 people; that is a tiny percentage of the entire population. In fact, that proves my point."

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    4. How does this "Rav" support himself and his family? Who pays his salary? He was wrapped up with Tropper and EJF a few years ago; they leached Tom Kaplan's generous donations to the cause like a bunch of maggots. He also wanted to demand that any Rabbi performing a conversion accept that the entire universe was created 5777 years ago, otherwise any conversions performed post facto without taking this oath would be invalidated.

      He's not a Rabbi- he's a crook

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    5. which airline fronts free tickets to collectors? and who arranges their international itinerary?

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  3. Perfect!
    So, since they are relying upon miracles and certain that the miracles will continue (Isn't that forbidden?), then the Israeli gov't can stop sending them money!

    Of course, one can answer that the gov't should continue, not because haredim need it, but so that taxpayers gain a share in the mitzvah.

    However, what mitzvah would there be?

    Wouldn't our sending money be kefira, as if we're saying that HASHEM needs our help -- or that we don't believe in miracles?

    Wouldn't it be like sending food packages to the Midbar, after HASHEM had promised he would would provide mon?

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  4. Obviously a man with conflicting interests. The kollel system is circa 200 yrs. old and it was meant for those with higher learning abilities to become leaders etc.
    One can understand that in the US going to the army is one thing but here in Israel you are defending your own country and family.
    As far as miracles it seems to manifest mostly in parents with money who support their children and maybe the kollelnik does some part time work.
    It is a corrupt system and should not be supported in any country except in cases with disabilities et al. In the end it is mostly a חילול ההשם.
    לך לשוק ותפשוט נבנלות ואל תזדקק לבריות

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    1. Don`t doubt for a moment that Rav Eisenstein has a completely different understanding of what Halacha considers a conflict of interest than you do because you don`t understand the Talmud correctly.

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  5. I shall regard paying my taxes now as being part of a miracle. And next time a man in a black hat tells me to cover my elbows, I'll say to him, "watchit mate, I'm your bloody miracle!"

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  6. I agree with you R. Slifkin this is a very disappointing response from a Haredi leader. I worry about the future fast approaching where artificial intelligence will make hordes if people redundant, a veritable "useless class" will exist not only in the Haredi world:

    “In any case, the end of work will not necessarily mean the end of meaning, because meaning is generated by imagining rather than by working. Work is essential for meaning only according to some ideologies and lifestyles. Eighteenth-century English country squires, present-day ultra-orthodox Jews, and children in all cultures and eras have found a lot of interest and meaning in life even without working. People in 2050 will probably be able to play deeper games and to construct more complex virtual worlds than in any previous time in history.

    But what about truth? What about reality? Do we really want to live in a world in which billions of people are immersed in fantasies, pursuing make-believe goals and obeying imaginary laws? Well, like it or not, that’s the world we have been living in for thousands of years already” (Yuval Noah Harari, The Meaning of Life in a World without Work).

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  7. So Charedi well-being runs on the Wile Coyote principle. Just don't look down.

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  8. I agree that there's no problem. It's not that there isn't abject poverty, it's that it's entirely self-inflicted, so it's not my problem.

    I have no sympathy for people who choose to expend no effort to support themselves. They deserve their life.

    One point on which he is so wrong it almost hurts to think that he could spout such רשעות, is when he claims society owes everyone the life they want to lead. That's completely false. It's contradicted by the very sources he claims are so important: Torah, CHaZaL, Rishonim, Halachah, etc. He's so steeped in evil that he doesn't even understand how evil he truly is.

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    1. It's not entirely self-inflicted when those people are brainwashed and denied the kind of education that would allow them to be self-supporting, and then find themselves at a massive disadvantage. People like this "rav" have a lot of human misery to answer for.

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    2. I understand what you are saying, but these people are not truly isolated from the world. They see other people working. They go to stores and interact with stockers and cashiers. They go to government offices and interact with clerks. They know what work is. They know where the money comes from.

      They are brainwashed into thinking they deserve free money, but that is their problem. Or at least, I refuse to let it be my problem. That's why I only donate to Lemaan Achai.

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    3. I too once felt as you do. However, further reflection caused me to change my opinion. You are correct that these people have all been raised to believe that this is normal and acceptable behavior (what you refer to as brainwashing). However, this does not pass the smell test. The very Torah and religion we all purport to follow (and these individuals, to which they have "dedicated" their lives,) teaches us the import of earning a living and supporting our families. So we cannot say that these individuals have never though about the subject.

      That being said, it doesn't take a gemara kup to figure out that the current system is unworkable. Nor does it take great leaps of logic to see the possible misery taking this road can lead to. As such, it is the fault of the individual that ascribes to this philosophy for any misfortune that befalls them.

      I believe that it is simple laziness on their part. They choose to believe (operative term here being "choose") that this path is correct because doing otherwise would involve effort. Earth-shattering, sleep-depriving, and often back-breaking effort. This they do not want so they say they are relying on the rabbis. The rabbis definitely have what to answer for, but don't take the blame away from the people that blindly follow them, they deserve the brunt of it.

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  9. As a Israeli business man that pays a lot of taxes.It would be great if the kolleniks would show some sort of hakars hatov to the Israeli working man and economy.

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    1. Their ideology has already taken care of that. It's you that has to show hakaras hatov to them because it's their learning that allows your business to succeed.

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  10. I would like a summary of the part where he says that people generally don't need to collect tzedaka, to hand out to those who come to my door. (Unfortunately I don't have the temerity to actually hand it out, or even post it. I would also like to believe that some of the people going door to door no longer agree with the system but are stuck)

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  11. It sure sounds as if the interviewer was trolling Rav Eisenstein.

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  12. Vroom48,
    please comment again re the social grouping that the people who show up asking for help belong to. in my experience it is almost always chassidim or yerushalmim, both groups that don't believe in the kollel "lifestyle", and find a lifestyle of being helped by others respectable due to cultural factors that are too complex to discuss in this format. when was the last time that you saw a litvishe kollel fellow being machzir al hapesachim? that is the demographic that Rav Nochum Eisenstein was referring to. in any case, the total charedi demographic that is educated in institutions that teach no secular studies to boys from high school age and up numbers in the tens of thousands of housholds, while the number of heads of households that are machzir al hapesachim numbers at most in the low one thoasands, meaning that 80-90 % are managing without that type of help. this is indeed a stunning statistic, and secular economists in israel have noted that the same "laws" of economics that apply elsewhere, don't seem to apply to the charedi community. in my mind this closely parallels the oft noted fact that the "laws" of history don't seem to apply to the jewish people.
    Dovid,
    "Of course, one can answer that the gov't should continue, not because haredim need it, but so that taxpayers gain a share in the mitzvah."
    similar observations regarding israel's astounding economic success as well as the generosity of the US towards it, have been made by people far wiser than you and i. in other words, the state of israel's bounty is indeed a reflection of, and safeguarded by, the states support of torah learning.
    re your second point "Wouldn't our sending money be kefira" etc. the gemarah quotes a roman asking r' akiva essentially that very question. study r' akiva's answer and see if you understand how it applies here as well.

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  13. Trying to donate but it doesn't seem to be accepting sterling. Is the problem with the donation site or me?!

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  14. This guy's an idiot but the solution is actually quite simple. End the draft.

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    1. Charedim can do NS in place of the IDF. They can do this service in Charedi/Frum Mosdot, where they will not be subject to dealing with the deplorables, to borrow a term.

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  15. When one lives in the USA and you go to the army you are defending your own country and family.

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    1. That hasn't been true since Pearl Harbor.

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    2. actually you are protecting the cia opium trade (look it up) and killing innocent civilians.

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  16. He mischaracterized what happens in the US. The view here, which is generally accepted, is that welfare is only for people who cannot find work.They should be cut off if they are able bodied and are not seeking work.

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  17. It is one thing for we, the non Charedi citizens of any country, to want to donate to or give to these people, money and food so that they may live and do as they please. It is another for us to be taxed to the breaking point by governments that are not fair or corrupt, in order for these people to live an often very good lifestyle without ever having worked and contributed to the system, yet they demand benefits they have never earned. I personally have to struggle financially, and worked up to 5 or 6 different jobs(not all in the same day, thank G-d), in order to just get by, and i am well educated and extremely intelligent). This article makes my blood boil. I am beyond angry. Enough is enough already. The benefits must stop. These people must be forced to give their children a p[roper education so that when they come of age, they can find and keep legal, gainful employment and take care of their families without having to resort to sponging off the hard work of others. What they do is tantamount to stealing, and this breaks the commandment - Thou shalt not steal. So, stop sinning and do the right thing. Get off of welfare now and go find a job and work for a living like the rest of us !

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  18. The Gemara could come right out and say that earning a living is important for a person and he'd interpret it as meaning something else.
    Oh wait, the Gemara does come right and say it, doesn't it?

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  19. We need to rely on the great Rabbis of our generation to interpret any Chazal and how it is relevant to our generation. So there is no point in bringing quotes from Chazal to prove or disprove Rabbi Eisenstein's view. From this article it seems Rabbi Eisenstein himself was careful to back up any Chazal from Rabbi Steinman or Kanievski.
    I do think that it is quite amazing how many so many Kollel families individually have amazing miracle stories of how the hand of Hashem has provided. That does not discount the help they receive from the generous people in our unbelievable nation.

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    1. So any interpretation of Gaonim, Rishonim, Achronim and even more recent Rabbonim is no longer valid and essentially irrelevant? Are you saying that the Torah keeps changing

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  20. pardon my skepticismJune 8, 2017 at 4:33 PM

    Rabbi Dr. Slifkin writes:
    (Rav Eisenstein stresses the responsibility of the government to support people in kollel. He does not address the question of whether people have a responsibility to other citizens of their country to try to contribute to the economy rather than to try to drain it.)

    But then he solicits donations to his museum:

    "If you'd like to donate funds to support the new building campaign for The Biblical Museum of Natural History, which educates the entire spectrum of society from secular to ultra-charedi about the relationship between Judaism and the natural world, click here.

    Why doesn't Rabbi Dr. Slifkin address the question of whether he has a responsibility to other citizens of their country to try to contribute to the economy rather than to try to drain it?

    Isn't a museum a drain on the economy as well?
    It certainly doesn't contribute to it.

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    1. "Pardon," you're conflating support of a cultural institution (the museum) with making an effort to support oneself.

      R. Slifkin is seeking VOLUNTARY contributions to support work that offers something to the community.

      Conversely, R. Eisenstein is all but demanding support from public funds to support private individuals so they are free to labor in activities that benefit only themselves--not even their own families.

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    2. Um, "Pardon" me. "A museum is a drain on the economy and certainly doesn't contribute to it"...only in the eyes of the illiterate, ignorant, unlettered rabble who lack any recognition for the value of education and knowledge.

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    3. Given the methods they use to sustain their lives, it's quite questionable whether they gain any benefit either. After all, the benefit one is supposed to gain is knowledge of how to serve Hashem, not how to force all other Jews into slave labor on your behalf.

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    4. "activities that benefit only themselves"

      You believe that the torah learning in kollel doesn't provide any benefit. Glad we got to the root of the issue.

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    5. pardon my skepticismJune 8, 2017 at 8:52 PM

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe Rabbi Dr. Slifkin's museum also enjoys some government benefits/support. At least as much as all non-profits do.

      And of course, the point can be (and has been) argued that from the religious perspective, kollel learning is not to be supported solely for sake of financially benefiting the ones learning, and not even for their families, but rather to spiritually enrich Jewish society as whole.

      So your alleged distinction really depends on your perspective.

      And you've ignored the actual question I raised. In case you missed it, I'll repeat it:

      Rabbi Dr. Slifkin criticized Rabbi Eisenstein and Chareidi society for not shouldering the responsibility people have to other citizens of their country to try to contribute to the economy rather than try to drain it.

      Presumably this implies that Rabbi Dr. Slifkin himself believes there is in fact an obligation for citizens of a country to support its economy.
      So how exactly is Rabbi Dr. Slifkin's activity supporting the Israeli economy?

      It's a simple question.

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    6. PMS, the museum is a tourist attraction and may in fact help the local economy.

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    7. The museum provides a service. Learning in Kollel does not provide a service.

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    8. "activities that benefit only themselves"

      You believe that the torah learning in kollel doesn't provide any benefit. Glad we got to the root of the issue.


      How did you manage to ignore a full 40% of the words you quoted to come up with that ridiculous comment?

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    9. How do kollels "spiritually enrich Jewish society as a whole"?

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    10. pardon my skepticismJune 11, 2017 at 10:57 PM

      Kron, thank you for asking the question instead of making assumptions and jumping to false conclusions.

      As Jewish sociologists never tire of pointing out, American Orthodoxy has been subject to a "shift to the right" over the past 50 years and they attribute it to the growth of the Chareidi community both in size and influence.
      Laxity and mediocrity in mitzvah observance and minimum commitment to Torah values and ideals in general were once the norm.
      There is no gainsaying the fact that one of the major achievements of the mass kollel system is that it has significantly raised the bar of observance and commitment in an ever-growing section of Jewish society, and this push for higher standards has significantly spilled over to the other streams of Orthodoxy, and as a result has spiritually enriched Jewish society as a whole.

      Another effect of the mass kollel system has been in the creation of generations of Jewish men willing to work as klei kodesh for a very modest salary -- when their modern Orthodox counterparts (except for the very idealistic among them) are most likely not to.
      Providing klei kodesh in such numbers also spiritually enriches Jewish society.

      (The reality is that most Kollel men do not stay in kollel past their thirties. At that point, they look for jobs and many are eager to find work in chinuch, kiruv, working with troubled Jewish youth, safrus, kashrus, etc. wherever they are needed.)

      Now I freely admit that a good number of people aren't very happy with all these "achievements" of the mass kollel system. They apparently would rather it still be acceptable in Orthodox circles to eat cheaper non-glatt meat, have mixed dancing parties hosted by Young Israel, and that no Modern Orthodox shuls host a Daf yomi shiur.
      But this does not detract from my point. All it means is that they prefer a spiritually impoverished Jewish society.

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    11. Eating kosher, though it may not be glatt = unacceptable. Ga'avadik sense of superiority over others who don't keep your chumros = acceptable. Heaven help us.

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    12. Assuming for the moment that the chumrah creep is a good thing, is the kollel movement the cause of the slide to the right, or a result of it? And if it's the cause, then why have other fundamentalist religious groups also coincidentally slid to the right in the past fifty years?

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  21. Now this is an interesting development. I could only stomach about 15 minutes of it, but I noticed Eisenstein kept repeating, over and over, "it is the responsibility of the government to provide social benefits to all its citizens." Eisenstein is a representative (de facto or de jure) of charedim. What this tells me is that their leadership is moving away from the embarrassing and outright lie that their "learning" (whatever that means) serves somehow as a "protection" for Israel. Instead, their PR attempts are now seeking to piggyback off of common liberal tropes about the duty of the state, welfare for all citizens, etc. This is indeed a new development.

    The problem with this, of course, among many others, is that most orthodox Jews are Republican/Likud. In other words, in this context, people are expected to do their share and pull their weight. Perhaps Eisenstein & Co. feel they have a found a wedge issue, or point of hypocrisy, with which to counter the liberals. But it doesn't speak to the majority of observant Jews, which is the sector the charedim need on their side.

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    1. "it doesn't speak to the majority of observant Jews, which is the sector the charedim need on their side."

      Why? What they need is a continued ability to leverage the Israeli multi-party political system to trade their coalition-making ability for their special interests. Appealing to all groups in Israel in some ways (and there are still quite a few socialist in Israel) is helpful.

      Also the edge of those "liberal tropes" are pretty universally agreed to except for a few hardcore libertarians. Very few people think that people should be left to starve not matter how irresponsible they are. You (and I) might argue that they won't starve because they'll find another way, but that is beyond the sound bite realm that they are working in here.

      Finally, is this really new? I think that there has always been sympathy for the welfare-state aspect of Charedi life on the left of Israeli politics. I'm not there, so I don't know, but it doesn't sound entirely new.

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    2. Men who choose not to work and rely on the public - or, even more despicably, the mother of their children - to earn money for them should not 'be left to starve', they should be sent to the workhouse, or, in a Torah state, sold by a Bet Din into slavery.

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  22. In response to the link to Kupat Hair, I was considering mentioning that among their charitable works was vocational training, which would mitigate their shameless fundraising techniques. But there's nothing on their web site about that, so forget it. (They do provide some emergency ad-hoc assistance, though, which is a good thing.)

    Some time back, one of their brochures mentioned what they use the money for. It arrived shortly after I had written them a letter suggesting that they supplement their promises to their benefactors with the good the collections do for their BENEFICIARIES. Up to now, I thought it a coincidence--that this hadn't been done in response to my critique. Since it's never been repeated, I'm starting to doubt my doubts.

    My letter responded to a solicitation which included the story of a man with an incurable disease whose rav advised him that he could be cured if he pledged to Kupat Hair. (Not actually donate, mind you--just pledge.) Five years later, he indeed recovered, and so made good on his promise. (Hurray!) The idea of tzedaka withheld as part of a quid pro quo sickened me.

    Anyway, I like the glossy 4-color Kupat Hair brochures. They yield particularly beautiful flames as they burn.

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    1. Are you saying they publicly stated where the funds are going? I'm surprised, they studiously avoid that. See their tax return. And their 4 color brochures, which completely avoid that subject.

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    2. Yes, publicly.

      Although their web site has a section about the good uses the funds are put to, its appearance in a brochure seems to have been one time only--as opposed to the prayers on donors' behalf and promises of yeshuos they lack the power to fulfill, that dominate their advertising the rest of the time.

      I am as surprised as you.

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  23. Just today a very frum [dunno if he's in kollel] person living out of the uk phoned my colleague at work asking for some advice about a credit card debt. Inter alia he mentioned that he still claims benefits from the uk government, by giving his parents in laws London address as his own. He has been defrauding the government like this for years. So not only are the government of your current place of residence 'obliged' to pay you to live, but so are the government of any country you can lie to. Well, they're only goyim, so who cares...

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  24. Then the solution is very simple: offer a new law the Knesset that in order for a vote to be casted in the election requires one to have served/discharged honorably in order to be able to cast a vote. Apply retroactively, and those who are outside the age to serve in the IDF must have a job of concurrent employment for at least six months . If outside the age they must obtain a job within 90 days. It'll stripped it religious block of votes that empowers what equate to be false leaders and parasites nature to go to work and contribute .

    If you do not contribute you do not get a vote you do not get a seat at a table to determine your future. Change the incentive structure for entitlements and you change the behavior of an entire generation overnight.

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  25. There was another aspect of Eisenstein's comments that was quite troubling. Namely, that multiple times he advocated slapping someone across the face, who questioned supporting such collectors as discussed here (listen to the recording for details).

    What is he, some type of Chicago (where he comes from) gangster and Middle Eastern zealot hybrid? What kind of language is that?

    He is actually the son of a well to do businessman (a"h). So his life situation is quite different than that of poor Haredim.

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    1. Did he also serve in the Boston Community Kollel in the mid 90's?

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    2. ZFriend: That is a different R' Nachum Eisenstein. That one is currently in Lakewood, this one is in Jerusalem.

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    3. Listener- While I agree that R' Eisenstein comes across as a blowhard and a bit of a thug, I think you are mischaracterizing what he said. He did not suggest slapping someone for questioning supporting the collector. He suggested slapping someone for saying that the one collecting money had no right to have as many children as he had.

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  26. Please don't accuse Kupat Ha'ir of perpetuating the Kolel system. The majority of their profiled cases are genuine cases of families that are in crisis due to bereavement, illness etc., not because of the head of the household being in Kolel and refusing to work.

    They may be perpetuating other problematic systems, such as the way wedding standards are in the community, as well as the community's attitude towards family planning, not to mention their manipulative fundraising methods which have been discussed before on this blog, but that is a different conversation.

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    1. What profiles?
      They avoid discussing where the money goes.
      Does it go specifically to families that throw stones at us? So it on our young ladies? (One such organization specifically spends it on such demonstrations.)

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  27. "if a father sends his kid to a school where he can learn the basics, to read and write, that's a trade"

    Fabrication. Everybody knows what a trade is, and it's not reading and writing. No one reads the gemara that way, at least no one did until recently. There's no need to prove what אומנות is.

    But we can try:

    He's says it's the basics. Well, the basics he refers to (reading/writing) are also necessary for Torah study, so אומנות are essentially part of Torah, yet we have:
    מניח אני כל אומנות שבעולם, ואיני מלמד את בני אלא תורה
    Now, if אומנות is the basics, which incidentally are necessary for Torah too, how can one only teach Torah and discard אומנות?
    It's clear that such אומנות are something that can't be discarded without jeopardizing Torah study.

    Furthermore, his definition of אומנות goes against the etymology. The English translation given here, "trade" is inexact. "Craft" would be better word. The ערוך, whose authority is more or less indisputable, defines אומן as an expert in a particular craft. There's no way that RNE's definition can be reconciled with the ערוך. Expertise and basics are opposites! He's managed to provide the most incorrect translation possible!
    Furthermore, the gemara in שבת discusses whether one can teach אומנות on שבת. Does that gemara makes sense if אומנות is writing? In the same sentence the gemara mentions ללמדו ספר. Does the gemara make any sense if אומנות is reading?

    "Many people got a higher education and still can't feed their large families of ten children. So getting an education is not the solution."
    By that logic, אומנות=basics should also not be taught.

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    1. It's truly amazing that he can argue with a straight face that children, by being taught mere basics, are actually being taught a "trade/craft."
      No child is employable by virtue of knowing mere basic reading and writing. Indeed, even their parents are not employable, and I presume they know more than sheer basic reading and writing skills.
      Stop the narishkeit, sir. Your arguments are ridiculous.

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  28. "The solution is not to talk about it...It's a miracle, and once you start dissecting it, it won't happen anymore."

    Talking about what? Miraculously marrying ten kids and buying them apartments for them? Or how they have to choose between pasta/beans for dinner or dental work for the kids? The painful fact, is that people were talking/dissecting poverty. No one is talking/dissecting miracles. So why have the miracles stopped? Obviously, this is another fabrication.

    One need not go beyond two blatt of ש"ס(Brachot 3b) to realized how outrageous this all is. דוד המלך when confronted by the poverty of the people gives mundane solutions. Nowhere does he advise them not to talk about it!

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    1. That gemarah is not mundane solutions. It may not be politically correct today, but explains a lot of western (and eastern) history.

      Delete
    2. Replace "mundane" with whatever's appropriate. My point is the same.

      Delete
    3. No, I mean the gemarah's solution is not applicable (or politically palatable, from a domestic and / or international perspective)

      Delete
  29. We the taxpayers are tired of paying for all those who feel they are entitled to governmentpaying their way. Other religions can't marry outside the church and have scores of children and claim welfare for each one. Not fair to the taxpayer's of this country.

    ReplyDelete
  30. What do these guys think about giving their wives a ketubah?
    ואנא במימרא ובסייעתא דשמיא אפלח ואוקיר ואכלכל ואסובר ואכסי יתיכי ליכי כהלכות גוברין יהודאין דפלחין ומוקרין וזנין ומפַרנסין ומכלכלין וסוברין ומכסין ית נשיהון בקושטא.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ketubah does not exist anymore. (It does exist as a piece of paper, and humoring rabbis who justify their siddur kiddushin fees.). But no wives inherit the 200 zuz of unspecified value nowadays. Not even in Israel, where one can personalize somewhat the ketubah.

      I'm actually surprised women don't demand it be enforced.

      Delete
  31. "The solution is not to talk about it...It's a miracle, and once you start dissecting it, it won't happen anymore."

    Child psychiatrists call this "magical thinking", which normal children grow out of...

    ReplyDelete
  32. poverty of kollel life destroyed my life

    ReplyDelete
  33. will never forget when R Scheinberg told us about a kollel guy who left the yeshiva and became an Accountant and then made a "chesben"
    and figured out he was making same amount of money as while he was in kollel

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sounds chukat hagoyim but OK

    ReplyDelete
  35. NooneinparticularJune 9, 2017 at 3:19 PM

    For another great example of Rabbinic leadership dealing with poverty issues: see Israel's Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau giving sincere and helpful advice to a group of working Haredi women: Read all the article to the end...

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Culture/Temechs-Jerusalem-conference-helps-haredi-women-open-small-businesses-496190

    ReplyDelete
  36. It might be my own fault, but I am very sad to say that I do not answer phonecalls from Israel anymore, because they are almost exclusively fundraising appeals from rabbis.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Besides the unsupportable thesis of this gentlemen I would question his right to the title. Why not call him rabbi instead of Rav? The term, 'rav' is a greater honorific than 'rabbi'. The latter merely indicates ordination. Is he not the one who partnered with Leib Tropper in the EJF scandal? While the latter was implicated in immoral as well as unethical activities with female converts, the former has been accused of unethical behavior - if not abuse, towards female convert candidates in his former private bet din in J'lem. Besides some outrageous statements that he has made such as who is invalid as a conversion dayan (hint: wearing a non-black suit or not accepting that we are actually 5777 years from creation).

    Y. Aharon

    ReplyDelete
  38. One of the more ridiculous moments in the interview (of many) is when Rabbi Eisemann tries to say the Gemorah of teaching a trade to your son no longer applies. R' Dovid called him out on it pretty hard, saying something along the lines of "well do you have any other Gemorahs that no longer apply, maybe teaching your son Torah as well!" He realized he was stuck so sort of backtracked and made up a (silly) interpretation, but I guess Rabbi Eisemann sort of made himself into an apikorus with that one! (maybe he should lose the Rabbi title?!)

    ReplyDelete
  39. This rabbi speaks about the US govt, but he clearly has no clue what it does. The US govt does not pay adult students to study in school. That is exactly why there is a massive student debt problem in the US. The govt gives loans. Loans that people are expected to pay back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A certain yeshiva in Lakewood arranges Pell grants for their students. Even set up an accreditation organization for it.

      Delete
    2. The fact is that the US government supports the kollel system at least as much if not more. The first thing Charedi young marrieds do is apply for welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing and medicaid. These benefits are worth thousands of dollars.

      Delete
    3. Abiebaby: and the kollel and or its organizational background assists them in the application process.

      Delete
    4. I have to differ: The US government indeed gives grants for college study. And as a beneficiary, I can attest to the fact that the State of Michigan does the same.

      But you're right about the difference between these grants and the kollel system: they're provided to cover education expenses, not living expenses. When the education is done, the support ends too.

      Delete
    5. And they are an investment - training people for professional careers so that they can better give back to society.

      Delete
    6. Elliot S: living expenses are an "educational e pense" for many of these government programs.

      Natan S: to be fair, Christians have similar aid programs. But its not a lifestyle for them. They intend to earn a decent living.

      Delete
  40. He says, it is so expensive in Israel, and yet people are still finding ways to buy property for their kids, and "they are somehow marrying off children...its a neis galuy", and therefore we shouldn't talk about it.

    I am reminded of the gemara about Rabban Gamliel, who also chose not to understand how talmidei chacham "make it":

    אר"ג הואיל והכי הוה איזיל ואפייסיה לר' יהושע כי מטא לביתיה חזינהו לאשיתא דביתיה דמשחרן א"ל מכותלי ביתך אתה ניכר שפחמי אתה.
    א"ל אוי לו לדור שאתה פרנסו שאי אתה יודע בצערן של ת"ח במה הם מתפרנסים ובמה הם נזונים

    ReplyDelete
  41. The "nes" he is referring to but not willing to name is simply the political power the Haredi parties have. It is very difficult to set up a governing coalition without them. The 2013 coalition did exclude them, but it was unstable due to the basic incompatiblities between the mainline Right which includes Likud, Bayit Yehudi and Israel Beiteinu, and Lapid's party whose voters largely came out of the old Labor/MAPAI and MERETZ camp. The 2015 coalition reverted to the Right/Haredi grouping which is more stable, but, which on the other hand, gives the Haredi parties a lot of power to get what they want for their community. Although he did not explicitly state it, for whatever reason, this is the "nes" he is talking about and it apparently will be with us into the forseeable future.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Natan, educating the masses about a problem is a partial solution. It's easy to stand by the pulpit and lecture away (or type away on your keyboard) the world has enough talkers and not enough doers. I challenge you to take on this issue with your talent and creativity and address this issue with down to earth actions.

    ReplyDelete

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