Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime? or The Best Pictures are Always on Shabbos


This past Shabbos, the economic crisis came with it's hands out to Boro Park and Flatbush. The Roshei Yeshiva from Lakewood graced us with their presence, and came collecting for their Yeshiva. Very good, we should support Torah. In this climate, should unskilled workers en mass apply for jobs, it would be for naught anyway. Fine. The particular Rosh who I went to hear at an unnamed shul gave a devar torah (I wished him a Good Shabbos, I wish I had a picture of Lakewood meets LakewoodFallingDown!). Now, I understand pulpit speaking is different from giving a shiur, but I do think you need to know your audience.
The Rosh gave a dvar torah asking why Rivkah told Yaakov to hide from Esav in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever. Esav, knowing his brothers nature would, and I quote, "look for Yaakov first in Yerushalayim, or maybe Lakewood". (Audience chuckles)...
One of the main points of humor is that if it doesn't have a bit of truth to it, it won't be funny. I think in some ways they do equate Lakewood with Yerushalyim. I would like to see the mitzvah of yishuv promoted the same way not speaking loshon horah, or keeping Shabbos is pushed. To send your base to Yerushalaim would hasten the end of our Galus, but if we do that, where would Lakewood be?
Getting back tothe Dvar Torah, the Rosh focused on how learning Torah creating "Ohelot". Since learning Torah insulates you so much, Yaakov was protected from Esav because he was on a "different world, insulated from outside influence, not like the NEBUCH college man, who has an understanding of the outside world, and is distracted".
Isn't the NEBUCH college man exactly who Lakewood is extending their hand to? In what way should Lakewood be Falling Down?

22 comments:

The Babysitter said...

I heard that a whole bunch of lakewood Rosh Yeshiva's were coming, maybe 3 of them.

I've heard of lakewood being refereed to lakewood Iyr Hakodesh before.

It all comes back to the same thing, I guess they believe that you can get a parnassah without going to college, so they see college as a distraction, not that your going to get a parnassah, but you'll start learning questionable stuff, and enjoy learning secular stuff so much that you'll stop learning jewish stuff.

Honestly Frum said...

A few years ago some of these clowns came to Teaneck. They are looking to tap into any kind of new market they can to promote their lifestyle of atzlos. It has, unfortunately come to the point in this economic downturn that perhaps some of these people are going to have to go out and (please pardon the use of a 4 letter word) work. The father in law's money only goes so far and the rabbonim are scrambling to come up with new funds that simply aren't there. If they want to come and ask me to donate to a job program where they will teach some of these guys skills so they can earn a living that is something I would consider, but to throw good money after bad so they can continue to promote this no-sustainable lifestyle is just dumb. Yes, we need people to be learning and to be our educators, but they need people to work as well or this ponzey scheme they have been relying upon for the last few decades is going to come crashing down quicker than they anticipated.

goldie said...

They're at it again-
The BIG ban of the LITTLE event.

http://hamercaz.com/hamercaz/site/news_item.php?id=2575

Lakewood Falling Down said...

Babysitter- Isn't ignorance bliss;)?
Honestly Frum - While I agree that it's strange to bash educated professionals and then ask for money from them, I wouldn't call the Rosh Yeshiva(s) clowns. Disrespect can only lead to more disrespect. I answer them through my wallet. It's usually empty anyway but it's the thought that counts...
Goldie- As Parsha Blog points out, may times zealots (read idiots) do things in the name of gedolim w/o their consent. The problem is when they are informed after the fact, the out cry from them is deafening.

aml said...

Um... I hope you gave them no money and, more importantly, I hope you told them why.

The Babysitter said...

As a side point, I want to point out, that I think Lakewood is truly falling down now. But I'm not so sure about all this. I think because everybody is so against Lakewood and kollel, and everybody was saying how these people should just get jobs and the kollel system should be destroyed, well it's made an ayin hora, and now it's happening.

Lakewood doesn't have money to support itself anymore, BMG is cutting costs, A Lakewood girls school doesn't have money to pay it's teachers, and after 2 months of no pay they went on strike, and now the school will be closing down.

Although I believe in working, I still feel bad for these people, and I think we have to show more support towards them. I think the same way we showed concern for the Jews in India, we have to show concern for the Jews in Lakewood that are suffering financially, they are still are brothers no matter what decision they make on how they will support themselves.

But yes, Ignorance is bliss, I think I once wrote about that...

aml said...

babysitter- how do you suggest we help?

The Babysitter said...

AML: Well I know not everyone can afford to support them financially since lots are suffering from the economic crisis. But we can just be emotionally more supporting of them. To be more accepting, if Hashem seems the achdus that emerges then He may help them out.

Honestly Frum said...

Vos Iz neias is reporting this morning that the teachers at a school with 1800 girls have gone on strike because the teachers aren’t getting paid. Where do they expect tuition money to come from when everyone in town in learning in kollel or being supported by father in laws who no longer have any money due to the economic downturn?

Lakewood Falling Down said...

You guys all have valid points. What I don't like is a push this will cause for vouchers. I don’t want Uncle Sam to have any say on what it taught in Yeshivos. We do need to have a greater push for people to get to work. It’s only at the expense and consent of the wives that give up the OBLIGATION of support in their Kesuba that “learning” can exist the way it has come to. What if the wives wanted to let husbands give up other responsibilities? Would our Rabbeim accept it? What about these very-young-you-must–walk-the- yeshiva-path girls who are not educated to the greater needs of the community? I don’t want our learning institutions to disappear. I think that they are like GM, Chrysler & Ford. They should only get a bailout with oversight, major “staff cuts”, and a complete restructuring of the failed concept they are perpetuating.

aml said...

but babysitter, I don't support them... Sitting around and feeling bad for someone isn't helpful to anyone.

The Babysitter said...

LakewoodFallingDown: But if other Jews would be more accepting of Lakewood then the government wouldn't need to step in. I haven't thought of that though, where they would have a say in what gets taught, that would be bad. Well see the wives taking over the husbands obligation would only work if it's for a higher purpose or goal.

AML: it may not seem helpful, but it's the thought that counts. We have to give tzedaka anyways, I say giving tzedaka to help those that are learning is a worthy cause. Hopefully the markets will be back up sometime soon and then investors will be able to help them out again.

Lion of Zion said...

BABYSITTER:

"I think the same way we showed concern for the Jews in India, we have to show concern for the Jews in Lakewood that are suffering financially"

how can you compare the 2? no one is responsible for what happened in lakewood other than the jews in lakewood.

LFD:

"What I don't like is a push this will cause for vouchers."

school vouchers for yeshivot are an unconstitutional pipe dream. frum jews need to stop dreaming about them and figure out realistic ways to save our schools.

(incidentally, vouchers will not lower tuition. e.g., a 5k tuition voucher means they can raise tuition by 5k, after all you paid X k last year, well why can't you afford X + 5k this year? this is exactly what happened with UPK. does your school really charge its usual tuition minus the UPK subsidy? by us it is the regular tuition.

aml said...

Babysitter: See, this is where we differ. I would never give to such an endeavor. We do give for learning to institutions like Kollel Torah MiTzion or to local community kollels where the men are actively giving back to the community by teaching or through outreach.

But giving to a community that perpetuates LWF's experience over Shabbat is unacceptable.

Why would I give to a community where the fathers are told (and believe) that working to support their family is unG-dly?

We met a young LW kollel couple once years and years ago (they were visiting in an out-of-town community) and the were so indoctrinated that the were shocked that we were shocked that they were on food stamps.

The husband actually said, "What am I supposed to do, go out and get a job?" And he looked at us like we had three heads. I just looked at their little baby and felt so bad. The father was very bright, but my hunch is that he had no marketable skills to actually go out and support his family- which is another problem exacerbating the LW system.

I think the worst thing that could happen is that, "investors help them out again." What will that accomplish? Another generation of children living in abject poverty?

DavenedByDeKoisel said...

Some years ago there was an article in the Jewish Press about this subject exactly. I'm referring to tuition costs, which are out of control. The article suggested an approach which was based on a sound principle of starting a general fund which would benefit the jewish educational system as a whole. Putting aside for a moment the present situation, he suggested soliciting from federations, philantrophists,and other available sources to create this fund. Using a system of verification, assistance would have been provided to those truly needing it,in an honorable way, thus sparing anyone the embarrasment of kids being tossed out of school,etc... Had this been implemented some years back,who knows, maybe we would not have yeshivos in as deep a hole as they are currently in. As far as jobs are concerned, not training for a parnassah is just playing ostrich with the situation. Here's hoping that we get out of this mess soon!!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Lakewood shel Matah, Lakewood shel Maa'la...

Reminds me of the Meshech Chochma on "Berlin is Jerusalem"

The Babysitter said...

Lion Of Zion: I guess I was wrong to compare the two. But aren't they both from Hashem? One might be a casualty, and one man made, but their from the same source? and their both tragedies.

AML: Ok, I can understand that, so long as you agree that it can be a good thing when it's done the right way.

I guess I just don't know so much how lakewood works, and why it's so bad.

I hadn't realized they tell them that working is bad, I thought they just give a preference to learning.

I think that if these men are learning then they must have a sharp head and I think they would succeed in the business world if they tried.

You know what, being as this Lakewood system seems to be a new thing, then perhaps it's not so bad if it crumbles and people don't help them out.

But then why did R' Aharon Kutler start this Lakewood business? didn't he have a vision that it would be a great thing? there's got to be a positive side to Lakewood

Lakewood Falling Down said...

Jameel- If I say that to my Rov, I may be beaten (or at least scowled at). But maybe it would get him thinking.

The Babysitter said...

Lakewood Falling Down: actually that's common knowledge, my HS teacher told us that.

That's what I meant when I said "lakewood Iyr Hakodesh" in my first comment.

Lakewood Falling Down said...

Babysitter,
Leaning Torah all day is great. The problem, like I've said, is mismanagement. I can't argue with a Rosh Yeshiva. The learning all day should be for the serious ones. The women changing their roles has done a SEVERE amount of damage with family, child care, and crating a welfare mentality. Historically, even those that hate the jews admit we are the biggest charity givers. We have become, in some circles, a bunch of takers. And for the record, if you don't work for something, it has little or no value.

The Babysitter said...

LakewoodFallingDown: ok, I get what your saying now, it makes sense.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jameel- If I say that to my Rov, I may be beaten (or at least scowled at).

You only live once - make the most of it :)