Updated: More coming soon
In light of the upcoming Chag, I have decided to post some links and shiurim that I have enjoyed. If anyone has other any other links please feel free to notify me via comments or email. More will be added so see this post for updates
First of all, required listening are the shiurim by Rav Eli Mansour on Megilat Esther. He goes through all the perekim with the commentary of the Malbim in a way that is thought provoking and entertaining. Please see his shiurim here .They can also be found on the learntorah.com website, just search under Holiday, Purim, Rabbi Mansour. If you have never learnt Megilat Esther with Malbim before, then you are in a for a real eye opening treat. If you have, then chazara with R’ Mansour will still be an enlightening experience as he is definitely a great orator and will keep you entertained.
MISHLOACH MANOS: THE BASIC MITZVAH (by Rabbi Doniel Neustadt)
YU shiurim on Puim (I have parituclar enyoed the shiurim of Rabbi Yonason Sacks, very lomdus orientated)
I subscribe to a Daily Dose By Zvi Freeman, a very intelligent and insightful author on the Chabad.org website (subscribe here). Here is a beautiful quote that I received today which I thought I would share with you. Enjoy
Self Made Man
The atheist, too, has a god, and it is himself.
The idolater at least understands there is something greater than him, something beyond the grasp of his physical senses, some external forces to which he is subject.
But for the atheist, all the universe is defined by his own understanding, all ethics are subject to his approval and even he himself is an artifact of his own mind. He is a self-made man, for he creates his own universe and squeezes himself inside it.
A Daily Dose of Wisdom from the Rebbe
-words and condensation by Tzvi Freeman
Shevat 25, 5766 * February 23, 2006
Here is a copy of a post I received from Areivim. It reflects the kind of effort I would like to see the majority of the members of the Orthodox community take to alleviate the financial difficulties that are being encountered.
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 23:18:27 +1100
From: "SBA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "areivim" <email@example.com>
Subject: Kiryas Joel – Getting Ready For New Workforce Development Center
From: VOS IZ NEIAS
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 11:14 PM
Subject: [VOS IZ NEIAS] Kiryas Joel – Getting Ready For New Workforce
Kiryas Joel – Village officials are vowing to roll out all they have to
finish up the Kiryas Joel Workforce Development Center. Computer courses,
English lessons, job placement, a chamber of commerce and more, all in this
5,000 square feet of space built with $400,000 in state money to put more
Kiryas Joel citizens to work and help its businesses thrive, thousands of
dollars’ worth of furniture, including desks for 100 students, are on order.
"I want to have this building providing all sorts of training potential,
whether it be community-related or business-related," Kiryas Joel
Administrator said during a building tour.
The vocational needs in this Hasidic community of 18,000 in Kiryas Yoel are
formidable. Men will have studied only religious texts and spoken only
Yiddish or Hebrew in the classroom since the age of 12.
The result is Orange County’s lowest median household income – just more
than $15,000 when the 2000 census was taken – and heavy dependence on
government assistance. Village leaders have responded in recent years with
an economic development push, which includes the work-force center and a
five-story office building now under construction.
Among the next steps in activating the work-force center, Village
Administrator said, is hiring an economic development director or czar to
run its programs.
Here are some sources that I feel are valuable reading for this topic:
Torah U Madda – Theory and Practice (Audio)
Secular Studies: Are they for everyone (Torah U Madda Journal Volume 1: 1989)
Rabbi Yitzchok Breitowitz:
Full-time Learning vs. Combining Learning with a Profession
Part II – Entering the Professional World: Pros and Cons
[Eyes to See: Financing Torah Study with Public Funds is only Permissible for Distinguished Scholars Completing Their Halachic Training, Pg 452, (Rabbi Yom Yov Schwarz)]
"Tur (OC 156) states that after davening in shul each morning and spending some time in the daily study of Torah, one should "then turn to his business activites, for ‘all Torah study that is not accompanied by work will cease in the the end. Commenting on this, the Bais Yosef writes:
In other words, do not say, "Why do you tell him to turn to his business activities? It would be preferable for him to continue studying Torah forever! Therefore, [the Tur] explains that it is a desirable practice for him to turn to his business activities, as we learn in the Mishna (Avot 2:2), "All Torah study that is not accompanied by work will cease in the end" That is, he will run out of money and be forced to search for a livelihood, and then he will not even be able to set aside limited periods of Torah study each day. It will also lead him to sin, for poverty will cause him to violate the will of his creator"
KIDDUSHIN: CHAPTER 4: MISHNAH 14 (Kehati)
Rabbi Yehudah says, A bachelor may not herd cattle, and two bachelors may not sleep in one cloak; but the Sages permit. Anyone who deals with women may not be alone with the women. And a man may not teach his son a craft among women. Rabbi Meir says, A man should always teach his son a clean and easy craft and he should pray to the One to Whom riches and possessions belong; for there is no craft in which there is not poverty and wealth, for poverty does not come from the craft, and wealth does not come from the craft, but everything is according to his merit. Rabbi Shimon ben Eliezer says, Have you ever seen a beast or bird engage in a craft? And they sustain themselves without trouble, and were they not created only to serve me? And I was created to serve my Creator – does it not follow that I should sustain myself without trouble? But I have behaved badly in my deeds, and I have forfeited my sustenance.
Abba Gurion of Sidon says in the name of Abba Guria, A person should not teach his son to be an ass-driver, a camel-driver, a hairdresser, a sailor, a shepherd, or a shopkeeper, For their craft is the craft of robbers. Rabbi Yehudah says in his name, Most of the ass-drivers are evil men, and most of the camel-drivers are straightforward; most of the sailors are pious; the best of the physicians to gehinnom, and the most straightforward of the butchers is the partner of Amalek. Rabbi Nehorai says, I put aside all the crafts in the world and I teach my son only Torah, for a person eats of its reward in this world, and the principal remains for the World to Come. But all the other crafts are not so. When a person comes to illness, or to old age, or to troubles, and he cannot engage in his craft, then he dies of hunger, but Torah is not so, for it protects him from all evil in his youth and provides him with a future and hope in his old age. Regarding his youth, what does it say? "But they that wait for the Lord shall renew their strength" (Isa. 40:31). Regarding his old age, what does it say? "They shall still bring forth fruit in their old age" (Ps. 92:15). And similarly it says regarding Abraham our father, peace be unto him, "And Abraham was old…and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things" (Gen. 24:1). We find that Abraham fulfilled the entire Torah before it was given, as it is written, "Because that Abraham hearkened to My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws" (Gen. 26:5).
[See http://www.moreshet.net/oldsite/mishna/5761/19-08-01/friday.htm for the Kehati on this mishna]
This is a rather sensitive topic in certain Jewish quarters. However I would just like to offer my personal opinion on the matter and present some sources and evidence to support it
From a purely economic perspective it is absolutely imperative that there be a source of income coming into a family. In simple terms that should be blatantly obvious to anyone with a degree of common sense, no money – no house, no money – no food, no money – no schooling for children, etc.
Being part of the Orthodox Jewish community inevitably requires higher living expenses, for the following reasons:
- Orthodox familys on average are much bigger than their secular counterparts. Some Orthodox familys can have anywhere between 5 –> 14+ children
- Orthodox Jews usually prefer to live in the same neighborhoods (usually the more “upper class” neighbourhoods). This is so they can they be close to their friends and family, be close to schools for their children and be close to synagogues. The cost of living and the cost of property in these neighborhoods is much higher than other suburbs
- Orthodox Jews in the majority of cases would like to send their kids to Orthodox schools to get the education they require for their children. This amounts to private school fees for every single child.
- Orthodox teenagers when they graduate from school usually go spend 1 / 2 years in Israel. The average cost just for tuition for one year in Yeshiva overseas is USD 10,000+
- The cost of “religious accessories” for lack of a better word also amounts to extra money. The cost of kosher food, tefillin, large libraries of seforim, lulav, estrog, streimals (if Chassidic) are all extra expenses
The point of all the above is not to “complain” about the cost of Jewish living. Rather the point I am trying to get across is that because Jewish living is expensive, people have to work for a living.
I just have great difficulty understanding how entire sections of communities in light of all the above expenses can not work for a living. Where do they get their money from? Seriously… I am asking because I do not know. Where I live in Sydney, Australia, all the Orthodox Jews work for a living so I have great diffulty conceptualizing in my own mind how entire communities can function with only maybe the wife working at best or living on welfare. Any insight that the readers could offer would be appreciated.
For in my own mind, you do not need to be a rocket scientist to realize that if you have large expenses, with little or no income, well then you are in debt… How do these communities even function for a week?
If people would like to email me in private about this topic, or leave a comment that would be great.
Coming up in part two, types of professions and Torah sources that support working for a living.