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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pigs In Shtreimels

From Rationalist Judaism

Earlier today there was a gigantic rally at the Jerusalem Arena 
against "pigs in shtreimels."

The event, under the auspices of the charedi Gedolei Torah, was for 
Beis Yaakov girls. The purpose was to dissuade them from attending
 any of the numerous academic higher education programs for 
charedim that have sprung up in recent years, such as Machon Tal,
 Adina Bar-Shalom's Charedi College of Jerusalem (soon closing due
 to lack of enrollment), Strauss Campus Afikei Lomda, Mivchar, and 
so on. (There is currently a furor raging over funding of 200,000 
shekels for this event that was promised from the Jerusalem 
Municipality.) 
Adina Bar Shalom (a pig in a shtreimel?) with her father
Rav Baruch Shapira introduced the program by relating a conversation that he had with Rav Steinman about the event. Rav Steinman said, "Charedi academic programs?! It's like a pig in a shtreimel!"

(Note that Rav Steinman spoke down the road from my home a few years ago, and stated that there is no relationship between secular education and income.)

Rav Chaim Kanievsky sent a message: that he blesses anyone who 
studies only in Beis Yaakov and not in an academic program, that 
they will have easy and abundantparnasah.

Rav Gershon Edelstein stressed that parnasah is entirely in the hands

 of Heaven and is determined on Rosh HaShanah by one's spiritual 
merits. Accordingly, he said, those girls who go to Beis Yaakov will 
receive parnasah, good shidduchim, and everything else that they 
need, whereas girls who leave that framework will not be successful 
at this. (One cannot help but wonder how he could say something 
that is so clearly factually incorrect; indeed, if it was true that Beis 
Yaakov graduates make a parnasah and those who go to college do 
not, then there would be no need for such a rally in the first place!)
Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein (author of the popular Veha'arev Na/ What 
If series) gave a Torah insight: Why did Rachel Imeinu sit on Lavan's
 idols rather than burn them? He explained that the point was to 
disparage them, to show that the "wisdom of other nations" has 
nothing to offer us. (See this post from Rabbi Josh Waxman about 
Rav Zilberstein's position that Jews and non-Jews have different 
numbers of teeth.) We must teach our daughters, he said, that a 
Jewish home that is clean of any hint of foreign wisdom, and teaches
 only Torah, will never be harmed.

Rabbi Moshe Hillel Hirsch of Slabodka Yeshivah delivered a much 

more honest presentation. He stated frankly that modern charedi 
society puts people in a difficult position - the women do not earn 
enough of a salary to support the family and the husband is in kollel. 
He noted that there is talk of funding coming from wealthy donors in
 America, but admitted that there is no good solution. However, he 
said, the reason why it is nevertheless forbidden to attend academic 
program is because of the deleterious effect that this has on one's 
spiritual life.

There is no question that Rabbi Hirsch is correct. Once a person steps

 out of the daled amos of the yeshivah or Beis Yaakov, they are 
exposed to all kinds of influences and ideas that run contrary to 
charedi and Torah values. I don't understand how there are people 
that deny this.

On the other hand, im ein kemach, ein Torah. We have to earn money,

 work, and build up society. If charedim are going to radically diverge
 from tradition by sending everyone to kollel, then the women have 
to shoulder the workload of both partners (while also giving birth and
 raising children). And it's just not possible for charedi society to 
accomplish that if everyone only attends Beis Yaakov. As Rabbi 
Hirsch acknowledged, what Rav Edelstein said is just not true.

Rabbi Hirsch said that the spiritual price is too great to pay, and 

charedim must consign themselves to ever-worsening economic ruin.
 Others will disagree with that judgment. There's always risks and 
dangers in life. It's dangerous to fight in a war, but we still need 
soldiers. And it's dangerous to go to college, but we still need to 
provide for our families and build up society.

These are difficult decisions for young women to make. They are 
certainly unlikely to choose academic programs when the people that
 they are told to revere as Gedolei Yisroel tell them that if they do so,
 they will not attain parnasah or good shidduchim. I am always 
amazed at how people who would very much want their children to 
obtain academic qualifications nevertheless send their children to 
institutions which teach them to revere the Charedi leadership as 
their Gedolim. And then they are surprised and dismayed when their
 children and grandchildren don't get an academic education and 
can't support themselves!

(See too this post: "Gedolei Yisroel Insist On Economic Ruin For Charedim, All Israel")

6 comments:

AishKodesh said...

DIN, what are you trying to say?

Anonymous said...

A simple hard working Jew should not get involved with such disputes. Leave it to the Rabbanim. A simple Jew should make sure his Tefillin are kosher, his Tzizit are kosher, be kovei itim latorah, keep away from loshaon hara and do chesed and tzadakah. Such sheilos of Parnasha are individual questions pertinent to each person separately. This is what i was mekabbal from my Rabbaim. What are felt hats made from? Mustrat or beaver. Does a hat need to be from a kosher and properly slaughter animal?

Harry said...

Which Jews are the simple ones who should not be thinking with their minds but just following the thinking class, and which Jews are to be permitted to make the decisions for all of the unthinking Jews?

AishKodesh said...

Wow. Very true, 12:56.

Anonymous said...

12:56, There's no shaylos about parnassah. Every able bodied man is instructed to go out and work for his parnasah and do utmost and not be a nitzrach. First, it says this in his kesubah and second almost every gemorah personality trained for and had a profession. Nowadays it became a whole Shayla because it's an upside down world.

Abe said...

Annonymous 12:56,

The problem with your premise is that the majority of the Jews stained with your hashkafa are no longer just simple, they have been transformed into simpletons.
Is that what makes up you life ---- kosher muskrat or beaver hats--- rather than getting a good education to support your family?
Chasid Shotim, all of you.