185 Comments

Good letter but I'm sure you know that the chances of them printing it is exactly zero.

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Dear Editor,

Last week you received a letter from an irate man decrying an article you wrote about a boy who went to Europe to collect for his sisters chasuna, only to have the money stolen as 'deeply upsetting' and 'tragic'. But it was not the plight of the protagonist that he found so 'tragic'. It's the fact that the boy's father was learning and not providing for his family, contrary to the maamar Chazal that one should even take on a humiliating trade to earn a living, rather than rely on charity.

The fact that many Poskim qualify that maamar Chazal as someone not learning Torah, (as for one learning Torah there are numerous mamarrei Chazal that espouse supporting Talmidei Chachamim from Tzedakah) is irrelevant to the author. He seems to have done zero research into it as a halachic topic. Because in fact, the Halacha and defying Chazal is not actually what irks him.  If it were, he would stop in horror at the numerous disregards and ignorance for not only Chazal but also Mitzvos Doiraysa that so define the community to which he belongs. He would at least express some pause at the fact that its educational system seems absolutely broken. He himself has absolutely no issue with posting Reformist 'halachic articles' which attempt to permit issurim that are possibly D'oraysa. What infuriates him is the same thing the infuriates Avigdor Lieberman and all the other haters of Torah. They see zero value in Torah study and absolutely loath those who devote their lives towards it, especially when they don't contribute to secular Israeli society. They can't wrap their minds how people can live such ascetic lives, devoid of gashmius and shmutz and yearning only 'fluffy spirituality'. Luckily, he conveniently was able to find a purported maamar Chazal to hide behind. But other than perhaps himself, he is fooling absolutely no one.

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Dec 26, 2022·edited Dec 26, 2022

True, I think we all agree it’s important to work and that’s part of the curse of man. But you really need to read the Mishpacha story (if you haven’t yet) and then the article. https://mishpacha.com/payback-time-3/

When I read the Mishpacha story I walked away with a feeling of wow, look what a sibling was willing to do for his sister, and look at the power of forgiveness.

R’ Slifkin calls it a “tragic story,” and harps on the one fact that the family was poor because the father didn’t have proper education, etc.

He calls it defying Chazal. The only one defying Chazal is R’ Slifkin who is clearly writing, angrily, to bring out a point that we all already agree on.

If everyone agrees you have to try to work hard to make money why is he writing his article other than to stir his own pot and cast shadows on naive Jews who haven’t read the actual article he is attacking.

This is a manipulative and dangerous way of writing.

R’ Natan Slifkin, I ask for your honesty and integrity, that’s all.

Thank you my holy brother

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Maybe they’d more likely to print your letter if you were to sign it “Nosson Slifkin”…

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You do realize that it is the law right? And that what I said is the simple understanding of what Haza"l said?

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Haredi society (not individual haredim, to be clear) care more about their community norms than they do about the law. It doesn't matter how many times we show them Abot or Mishne Torah, it's always "eis laasois!" And the reason these excuses and pilpulim fly is because they're never even taught in yeshiva/kollel how to analyze a sughya properly and come out knowing a law with actual brevity, instead it's all pilpul to get desired outcomes.

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I like reading the comments 'chronologically'. But when I refresh the page, it switches to 'top first'.

Annoying!

Cheers anyway!

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Reb Nosson's understanding of Chazal is perfectly correct. Learning Torah is the most important pursuit a Jew is obligated to endeavor in. The vast amount of Torah studied today by so many people is a direct result of the development of Yeshivos and Kollelim. I learned full time in Kollel for 10 years. I did so because I married a woman that wanted only that and she carefully prepared for that type of life by being EDUCATED to make a good parnasa for our family. In addition, there are Kollels (usually out of town) that pay a living wage. Lastly, there are benefactors who adhere to Yissachar Zevulun protocol. That is how it should be done in accordance to Torah as per Chazal. The reasoning is simple, none who follow those various means to sit and learn becomes an a priori beggar, which Chazal decried. Tzedaka funds for poor people was meant for people who are either disabled, suffered untimely tragedies, suffered overwhelming immediate needs, etc. Chazal taught, it is better to skin roadkill in public than for one to make himself a burden on the public dole. For a major tzadik or Talmid Chochom that people want to support because of his Torah, that is not "tzedaka" that is hachzakas Talmud Torah. Hachnasas Kallah, also a great mitzva, is for a girl who is orphaned (in one way or another).

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> food packages from Yad Eliezer

So does Yad Eliezer provide support to kollel men who choose not to work, thereby perpetuating the poverty? Or do they screen to who they give food, so that it goes to people who legitimately need help due to external factors?

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Dec 26, 2022·edited Dec 26, 2022

See my post here very similar idea. https://jewishworker.blogspot.com/2011/09/entitled-to-tzedaka.html

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https://mishpacha.com/payback-time-3/

The Abba is described as being from the old timers of Jerusalem whose world was only Torah. He's not describing the general community he lives in which he grew up seeing growing all around him with house extentions.

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Chassidim work and also have lots of children.

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"His son therefore has to travel to go begging (which he describes as "earning money"). "

He did not say "earning money", but "raise that money". Don't make it sound worse than it really is.

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Dec 25, 2022·edited Dec 25, 2022

Unfortunately, the charedi community is upside down. There is a strong emphasis on bein adam l'makom over bein adam lechavairo. Strong focus on the individual growth and their daled amos and no concern for the rest of the klal. Almost no appreciation or recognition of the significance of living eretz yisrael.

Its like a half baked cake. There are three components to Judaism. The Torah, the Am, and the Land. Unfortunately the charedim are taught that only one of the three is relevant. So its not just that they perceive being poor and learning torah all day as ideal thats a problem, its actually a lot more and runs deeper to a whole slew of issues.

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