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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Trying To Have it Both Ways

I absolutely cannot believe this new ruling:
A committee of rabbis formulating the education policy in the ultra-Orthodox community has prohibited women's continuing education programs and severely restricted other study courses, thus blocking the advancement and development of haredi women's careers.

This is a devastating economic and professional blow to thousands of women teachers, who are the primary breadwinners in the ultra-Orthodox community. It is also a drastic regression in haredi women's ongoing process of moving ahead in their studies and career and in improving their economic situation.

The repercussions on the teachers and the ultra-Orthodox education system are tantamount to an earthquake, as the haredi newspaper Yated Neeman called it. The issues at the heart of the ultra-Orthodox society are at stake - the limits of education, the norm requiring women to be the breadwinners while their husbands study and, above all, the authority of the rabbis and functionaries to foist restrictions on the increasingly frustrated public.

...Since the beginning of the year, all the teaching instructors and women in continuing education programs stayed home, waiting for the decision of the rabbi education panel, which only came in December. The decision banned women's studies for academic degrees and imposed severe restrictions on other women's studies.

...The education revolution in the ultra-Orthodox community has gathered enormous momentum in the past decade. Academic institutions and centers for professional training have opened in many fields, for both men and women. At first, the revolution was approved by the rabbis, headed by haredi leader Rabbi Yehuda Leib Steinman. But Steinman revoked his approval when the conservative groups expressed outrage at this development.

In recent years, the reforms in the continuing education programs have not pleased the rabbis, who object to women's "academic" studies. The conservatives warned of women's "career ambitions," fearing they would now be able to break out of the "teaching ghetto" and find other jobs than teaching. Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv was quoted in Yated Neeman objecting to teachers' enrolling in "all kinds of other education programs without any supervision of rabbis on every detail".

He warned that without close supervision and determining the content, "all manner of heresy can creep into those programs."

The rabbis were mostly infuriated by the psychological subjects in the teaching programs. Freud and Western psychology had always been a red rag to them.

The absence of ultra-Orthodox lecturers with academic degrees in diagnostics and consulting required bringing in lecturers from "outside" the community. Yated Neeman's women's supplement, Bayit Neeman, blasted the trend of bringing in lecturers from the "Sephardi faction" and even "completely secular" ones, warning of the women students' defilement.

...The new decrees issued by the rabbis are most injurious to women teachers and seminar students, who have spent years studying and have invested thousands of shekels to obtain the equivalent of a B.A. Those who have graduated already have not only wasted their efforts, they may even be harmed by their education. Elyashiv has ordered not to give them priority in high school positions, where there is already a surplus of teachers. The decrees have also put several lecturers in the training centers out of a job.
I'm not even sure what to say. The Charedi leadership seems to want to have it both ways. They want to encourage every young married man in the community to spend the rest of his life learning full time in Kollel, thus taking a pass on financially supporting their usually very large families, and yet they are putting up roadblocks that will prevent the wives of these men, usually the sole breadwinners in their households, from adequately supporting their families. How in the world are these women supposed to keep their heads above water when their earning capabilities are so severely curtailed?

How much sacrifice is just too much to abide? For many Charedi women (and I have heard this first hand) it breaks their heart to leave their children every day to go out into the workplace. But that is part and parcel of the constant financial battle that having a husband who is not a significant contributor to the family finances means. Now the expectation is that these women will continue to wrench themselves away from the care of their young children every day, in order to feed their families - but with all avenues for reaching a higher pay scale cut off?

How can that be?

Important Side point:
This emetic phrase from the article makes me ill on an entirely different level:
The absence of ultra-Orthodox lecturers with academic degrees in diagnostics and consulting required bringing in lecturers from "outside" the community. Yated Neeman's women's supplement, Bayit Neeman, blasted the trend of bringing in lecturers from the "Sephardi faction" and even "completely secular" ones, warning of the women students' defilement.
The trend of allowing Sephardi lecturers may add to the "defilement" of these women? Good God, what has the Charedi world come to that something like that can actually make into one of their most popular publications?

Hat tip: Krum, with his own satire on the subject here.

86 Comments:

Blogger Cosmic X said...

Before you get into a tizzy remember that the source is Ha'aretz, known for its hate of anything that is Jewish.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Mike Miller said...

I haven't checked the original, but Sefardi probably came from Mizrachi. In this context, I'd assume that Mizrachi = Religious Zionist, and not Sefardi.

10:51 AM  
Blogger joel rich said...

Mike,
Thanks, that makes me feel much better :-)
KT

10:59 AM  
Blogger Jerusalem Joe said...

perhaps they are trying to force the men out of the yeshivot, realizing that there are way too many people there who have no real future or interest in rabbinical studies?
But they cannot actually come out and say this so they are pulling (the women out of the bread winning position) instead of pushing (the overflow of yeshivot students, realizing very well that such a move would force many men to go to work?
Just a theory.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

The arabs just did something very similar. They ban women from becoming doctors and then banned females from going to male a ob/gyn.

The chareidi rabbis are taking pages from the Saudi Arabian playbook. Insane!!

11:31 AM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

1. I don't see anything new to be concerned about. Either the Israeli charedi can accept it or it can not.

If they can eat this financial loss then, other then using Israeli welfare tax dollars, it concerns no one else. As Americans it concerns us not at all.

And if they can not eat this loss, then its the rabbinate that will have a crises and the theoretical-communal strucutre (under the rabbinate) and what it actually is, will be further divided.

2. How much sacrifice is just too much to abide? For many Charedi women (and I have heard this first hand) it breaks their heart to leave their children every day to go out into the workplace. But that is part and parcel of the constant financial battle that having a husband who is not a significant contributor to the family finances means.

That you should assume its somehow more okay for (non-haredi) men [and women] to have lives they don't particuarly want away from their families as opposed to these woman, says more about you then anything else.

As for their low salaries, they live in a community with rules; personally, I think those are crazy rules but they are free to accept them or not as is preferred.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hagtbg:
Far more non-charedi women are not the sole earners for their families, which are also usually not as large as their charedi counterparts. The burden is generally not as large as it is on charedi women. I understood om perfectly, and the fact that you either willfully ignored her drift or assumed the worst says more about you than about her.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

I don't see anything new to be concerned about. Either the Israeli charedi can accept it or it can not.

If they can eat this financial loss then, other then using Israeli welfare tax dollars, it concerns no one else. As Americans it concerns us not at all.

And if they can not eat this loss, then its the rabbinate that will have a crises and the theoretical-communal strucutre (under the rabbinate) and what it actually is, will be further divided.


Of course. By this logic, any discussion of any religious requirement is pointless because nobody is forced to be Jewish. This is an absurd argument. Chareidi principles include strict, unquestioning adherence to the words of the Gedolim. That is part of their belief system. The Gedolim should be excepted to excercise their authority with a certain amount of rationalism and compassion.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous phoenixmom said...

The article in Dei'ah veDibur (official haredi news) : http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/archives5767/vayishlach/VYS67obaisykv.htm

11:59 AM  
Anonymous phoenixmom said...

the correct link:
http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/archives5767/vayishlach/VYS67obaisykv.htm

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Rivka said...

Krum, I think you meant "the Gedolim should be *expected* to excercise their authority with a certain amount of rationalism and compassion."

I don't agree with most of what Hatbag said, but one point is true: it is up to the individuals within the community to decide if they want to continue to live like this. Only a movement started from within their own group will change this ruling. Criticism from the outside will fall on deaf ears.

Having said that, it is up to the Israeli government to decide if it is willing to pick up the tab for the economic consequences of this ruling. Lately, it seems the government is more focused on punishing the victims of the disengagement than worrying about an entire segment of their population doing nothing to support the economy, and living on charity alone.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It won't stick, focus the outrage elsewhere.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

Anonymous of 11:45,

I have no objective way of measuring the psychological costs of sacrifice. Do you? I know a MO guy from OM's neck of the woods who was working 80-100 hour weeks as the sole breadwinner of his family, which was not particularly large. He was earning a respectable salary, true, but he was so incredibly miserable and stressed and he was living paycheck to paycheck because costs are so high and expectations are different. Are you to say he feels he made less sacrifice or was less sympathetic a character than a kollel wife? How can one know that? Do you think he's unique??

Krum,

As Rivka noted, we are not members of the haredi community (which I'd like to think is a subgroup of Judaism or Torah Judaism) and my words are those of an outsider to them. As a MO person, I do not expect my expectations for the haredi gedolim, halachic or otherwise, to be particularly relevant to them.

12:45 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

hagtbg:

It's not a matter of quantifying which community is suffering more from leaving there children to go to work. However, the fact remains that a woman who is the sole breadwinner for her family is generally going to be working longer and less flexible hours than someone who is simply adding her contributions to the family pot, as it were. Add that to the large families prevalent in the same communities, and you end up with women leaving very small children for very long hours - now possibly for far less compensation.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

you end up with women leaving very small children for very long hours - now possibly for far less compensation.

and therefore...?

This is exactly been the charedi community my whole life. They (generally) take a financial hit and have a lower standard of living then the MO.

This argument is only new if some threshold of tolerability has been passed, which I (and probably you) have no way of measuring.

In fact, one could say the problem you have is that the haredi rabbinate of Israel has rejected modernizing. Its not really that their new psak is the historical change. It was their concession 10 years ago that was new.

As for this sole breadwinner thing, I think woman in kollel's who do this have hard lives no mistake about it. But in the MO community there are people just as trapped in miserable jobs necessary for their family's well-being.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Ariella said...

A little knowledge can be dangerous, so instead of getting properly educated, let's just ban all education.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Veganovich said...

When Mattisyahu Salomon crossed the Atlantic Ocean and came to Lakewood, he made a big deal about how women shouldn’t get college degrees. Because of economic necessity, in this one area, his influence was limited, although there are women who didn’t get degrees because of this.

A big reason why the charedi rabbis are opposed to it is because of the kefira that students will be exposed to. But an overlooked part of it is simply they do not like the idea of women being more educated than their husbands. This might make it harder for women to accept their husband’s say in all things halachic. It challenges the charedi belief, which is of Talmudic origin that nashim daitos kalos.

I know a young woman from a yeshivish background who was interested in pursuing a PhD. She didn’t because everyone told her that the typical Lakewood Yeshiva guy would never date a woman with a PhD, because he would be too insecure. A girl whose parents will support their son-in-law carries a premium in the shidduch market compared to a girl who will earn the same amount. This is simply because there is something emasculating about a man having his wife support him even to though in that society it is so common.

1:10 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...


As for this sole breadwinner thing, I think woman in kollel's who do this have hard lives no mistake about it. But in the MO community there are people just as trapped in miserable jobs necessary for their family's well-being.


I agree. But look at what were discussing here. An overall pattern of women leaving large families to work in a very small subset of job options, with the crushing responsibility of feeding their families weighing over them. It does occur similarly in other communities, but not on as large a scale - and not in a manner that leaves solely the women to be the ones with the onus. And here their situation has just gotten more difficult, as their options have narrowed even further.

I can name you people in the MO or non-Orthodox world that have similar crushing financial responsibilities as well, of course. But not at close to the scale of that which the Charedi world has set up for themselves.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

Orthomom,

I of course agree that the haredi economic model is not one to be recommended. Often, I have wondered how it has continued to function as well as it has (even as I realize that in the US, the haredi are more modern in practice then they are in theory).

I used to wonder how the haredi would pay for yeshiva's and such. Until I realized that with 10,000 tuitions not being cheap (and with you running posts that $200,000 was the base salary needed to survice), the MO community is not exactly in a place to make suggestions.

1:16 PM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

I have a question. I wonder what R' Shteiman's advice would be if a Kollel man asked him the following question:
"My wife worked until now as an instructor in a continuing education program for Chareidi women. She hasn't worked this year because she was waiting for the decision. We have accumulated enormous debt because of this. She has no job, nor any prospect for a job. We can no longer feed our family. Should I get a job that would support my family or stay in kollel while my family starves"

I'd like to believe that he would tell him to feed his family. What I'm getting at is, that the rabbanim have emunah that Hashem will give each their own parnassah regardless of their training. True hishtadlus must be made, but not at the expense of what they determine to be a breach of halachik/hashkafic standards. Therefore each individual case will work itself out. But for hadrachah as to what is an acceptable route to take, they feel this is a no.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

Correction: I can't find the posting about a $200,000 salary so that may have been on another blog and not yours.

survice = survive

1:19 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...



Correction: I can't find the posting about a $200,000 salary so that may have been on another blog and not yours.


It was not my blog.

1:23 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

True hishtadlus must be made, but not at the expense of what they determine to be a breach of halachik/hashkafic standards. Therefore each individual case will work itself out. But for hadrachah as to what is an acceptable route to take, they feel this is a no.

Of course I understand what must have been the reasoning behind this ruling. That doesn't mean that I don't think that the situation is going to get only more untenable for already struggling families. It's not really a question of whether these women will POSSIBLY suffer financially from a lower level of education or professional training. It's a matter of almost CERTAIN drops in income across the Charedi community as the level of education drops. Couple that with the ever-expanding Kollel population and it just seems like a ruling with enormous potential fallout.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

It was not my blog.

I can confirm it was not; but you did write this (as part of a larger quote):

I don’t know who your neighbors are here in the Five Towns, but most people here that I am proud to call my friends and neighbors absolutely do “prioritize their expenses”. That said, a family with a yearly income of $200,000 (ostensible a very comfortable number), and three boys in the Yeshiva under discussion, would be paying 35% of their take-home pay on tuition. That is simply unmanageable, and to write their struggle off as a matter of priorities shows a complete lack of empathy for your fellow Jew. Maybe you need to widen your horizons beyond your few blocks in the village of Lawrence.

http://www.5tjt.net/lgblog/?p=5

I also point out this longer discussion:
http://www.beyondbt.com/?p=291

1:30 PM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

The only reason we feel that this ruling is irresponsible, is because we don't relate to the detremental effects of learning "Freud and Western psychology". If the schools required wearing a uniform of shorts and sleeveless T-shirts, or experiments where on had to dance with a man, we'd support the ruling, because we can relate to the detremental efects this would have on the Chareidi women. Those that follow the rulings of R' elyashiv, feel that he is competent enough to forsee the damage exposure to those teachings can bring.

1:31 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

I did wrote that, however, I think we can all agree that the quality of life for a family living on 200k in the Five Towns, even after tuition, is completely incomparable to that of a large Kollel family in Israel. That is something I absolutely feel comfortable quantifying.

1:33 PM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

"That doesn't mean that I don't think that the situation is going to get only more untenable for already struggling families. It's not really a question of whether these women will POSSIBLY suffer financially from a lower level of education or professional training. It's a matter of almost CERTAIN drops in income across the Charedi community as the level of education drops."

It's always amazing to me to watch and see how G-d has a way of compensating.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

is completely incomparable to that of a large Kollel family in Israel. That is something I absolutely feel comfortable quantifying.

I agree. But we are talking about whether its psychologically different (which I don't know, the standards of the two communities are quite different) and/or whether some threshold of survivability or tolerability has been passed (which again I don't know).

1:37 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

The only reason we feel that this ruling is irresponsible, is because we don't relate to the detremental effects of learning "Freud and Western psychology".

Don't presume to speak for why I feel this ruling is irresponsible. I feel this ruling is irresponsible because it is creating an across-the-board ban on higher education, which will affect countless women already overwhelmed with the demands of trying to keep up with the Charedi lifestyle. The impetus may have been Freud. The outcome is much more far-reaching than those who might have been affected by Freud's teachings.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only reason we feel that this ruling is irresponsible, is because we don't relate to the detremental effects of learning "Freud and Western psychology".>>

Let's take a step back into the world of logic for a minute. The rabbonim are assuring charedi run technical colleges and continuing education programs. I'm sure if it was merely an issue of Freud and western psychology, obviously these elements could be worked out with the charedim who run the programs.

I think this is simply a power play on the part of the gedolim, to flex their muscles and show who's boss.

My favorite part of this is how these are the same people who claimed they didn't have the power to stop people from rioting and destroying property when protesting the gay parade.

1:47 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

My favorite part of this is how these are the same people who claimed they didn't have the power to stop people from rioting and destroying property when protesting the gay parade.

Agreed. I said exactly that then, and during other riots where the leadership plead that controlling the masses was impossible.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

A suggestion from outside the community - perhaps the purpose of this ruling is to prevent women from learning enough to question the gedolim and other men who run their lives? If a woman gains a decent education and can get a job that enables her to make a fair amount of money, she acquires a basis for an independent life - is this what the rabbis running the charedi community want? Probably not, so regardless of how difficult it makes people's lives, they rule that women should not continue to seek higher education.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I joined this thread in the middle. Can someone please tell me if we are talking about charedi or Taliban? It's impossible to tell from the original post....

2:51 PM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

"The rabbis were mostly infuriated by the psychological subjects in the teaching programs. Freud and Western psychology had always been a red rag to them."
"The absence of ultra-Orthodox lecturers with academic degrees in diagnostics and consulting required bringing in lecturers from "outside" the community."

"I feel this ruling is irresponsible because it is creating an across-the-board ban on higher education, which will affect countless women already overwhelmed with the demands of trying to keep up with the Charedi lifestyle."
OM, would you feel the same way if the higher education facilities had a dress code that went against th chareidi mode of dress? How about if they had requirements that included viewing certain art films which go against Chareidi principles?

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Rivka said...

"Sorry, I joined this thread in the middle. Can someone please tell me if we are talking about charedi or Taliban? It's impossible to tell from the original post.... "

LOL!!

Next: women can't drive, women can't travel without the written permission of a male relative, women can't vote, women can't go to school (oh wait that one can be scratched off the list)....

I bet if the women got together and decided to close the mikvah until the Rabbis changed this ruling, it would be gone real quick!

Because that's really what it would take.

4:23 PM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

This is really tragic, as well as infuriorating. And, it does nothing for kavod ha'Torah. I can respect higher standards, but when people are starving, I have a really hard time respecting ruling like this. How can a reasonable person not express doubts about the suicidal economic policies of the Orthodox world?

And, to insist that this won't affect "us" is ridiculous too, since we are constantly solicited to support the Israeli poor. Every American community gives generously to the Chareidim in Israel, to the detriment of our own American institutions. And, as more and more American Chareidim look overseas for community policy (as evidenced by the questions at the Torah U'Mesorah convention, for example), I think it is appropraite to ask who this policy could affect Americans too? If not in action, maybe in kavod Ha'Torah.

Not only are women being given the Herculian task of trying to support a large family, but they are being told they cannot have the opportunities they need to do so with dignity.

If the Gedolim really want to push the men out into the workplace as a poster theorized above, may I suggest a much more direct method? And, I have my doubts about that theory since only 5 or 6 years ago there was a story about a big gvir Wolfson offering something like $100million to start up a Chareidi trade school network and one Gadol, if not more, said we don't want your money. So, I'm doubtful.

5:49 PM  
Blogger DAG said...

I have to wonder if some people are threatned, not by the contents of higher education per se, but by the fact that higher education may provide better solutions and better methodologies than those aviliable in the Charedi world. I can see the problems such expertise would produce for Charedeim who believe everything we ever needed to know we have in our mesorah and that they folow that mesorah exactly as it was transmittd from hashem to Moshe.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't think the Charedi world is a glorified cult then you're missing the point.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No higher education!?!?! For women!?!? Are you kidding me?!?!?!?

The lunacy of this mind blowing! Next thing you know someone in the Orthodox world will be telling them to cover their hair or wear uncomfortable clothing in 90 degree heat or not sing in public or sit seperately from men in temple or have more kids than they can possibly handle or deem them as "impure" once a month...

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The economic situation is unsustainable!

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for the Gedolim to ban Orthomom

9:57 PM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

Why does noone have any problem with all the yeshivos and seminaries that require the secular curriculum be approved by the L'mudei Kodesh department? As I understand it, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, in the case of the higher education that was banned, it was banned because there is no Rabbinic oversight to the subject matter that is being taught? I can't see much of a difference between a naive twelfth grade chareidi girl, and a first year seminary student. If the subject matter one is exposed to warrants rabbinic oversight why wouldn't the second need it as well?

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they want to teach their children, and have "effective" teachers who are knowledgable in pedogigic process, and can at least have bare minimal certification, they will need techaers trained in the Outside World. Otherwise they might as well cancel secular studies.

How about the many people who need psych help. Untrained psychs will not work.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Chaim B. said...

>>>No higher education!?!?! For women!?!? Are you kidding me?!?!?!?
The lunacy of this mind blowing! Next thing you know someone in the Orthodox world will be telling them to cover their hair or wear uncomfortable clothing in 90 degree heat or not sing in public...

I could not come up with a better example of the problem with much of chareidi hashkafa than this anonymous comment - the complete inability to differentiate between issues of halacha (i.e. women covering their hair, tzniyus, kol isha, etc.) and social/politial judgements that are in a different sphere entirely.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Chaim, whether it be halacha issues or social/political judgements it is STILL treating/viewing women as somehow less than equal.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're all getting twisted out of shape over an article that ran in "Haaretz"! Since when is "Haaretz" a reliable source of information on ANY branch of Orthodox Judaism, let alone Chareidi ?? Let us first find out what was actually promulgated by the Gedolim and under what circumstances.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sorry Chaim, whether it be halacha issues or social/political judgements it is STILL treating/viewing women as somehow less than equal."

I'm with Chaim, but I guess it really depends from what perspective you approach the issue. If you come at it from the perspective of Torah MiSinai, that Halacha governs then you cannot compromise on certain things although in America today they seem restrictive or seem to treat women as unequal; instead you can learn more about them and understand understand them (or learn more about them and reject them), but IMO learning more about Halacha generally increases one's appreciation for it as evidenced by increased observance in thimes when peiople are more educated. Maybe if people (including women) are allowed full access to education(including Torah and secular) then they can make their own decisions and whatever anyone else thinks -who cares; it would be extremely parentalistic to assume that an educated charedi woman, or MO woman, or secular woman who makes her choices even if the choice is to cover her hair when its warm outside in accordance with the Halacha or observe hilchot Taharat Hamishpacha (the "impure" thing reeks of ignorance), or heaven forbid sit separately from men in "temple". But, if you deprive them of education such that their situation is foisted upon them instead of chosen, then regardless of where they end up on the spectrum whether charedi, MO or secular will always be open to criticism. And, yes I am a proud self identifying MO (right wing variety)- so my girls will IY"H have the secular education lacked by many charedi women (and men)and the Torah education apparently lacked by the above commentator.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'women can't drive, women can't travel without the written permission of a male relative, women can't vote'

There are haredi communities in the US in which women do not drive; I have a Chasidic friend for whom it was a big deal when she finally got a driver's license in her 50s (after getting the approval of her rabbi).

And Rav Kook famously opposed women voting.

'I used to wonder how the haredi would pay for yeshiva's and such.'

The Israeli government pays for them. And the payer is now expecting to pick the tunes. I am sure the government will back down because the Israeli political system allows small political parties to hold up the larger ones for money.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sorry Chaim, whether it be halacha issues or social/political judgements it is STILL treating/viewing women as somehow less than equal."
Er, jut curious, do the same Rabbis that won't allow the women to attend higher education facilities, allow the men to attend? from what I understand men are also not allowed to attend, if so what's all the noise about?

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. So many amazing things... just from this one column....

1 - its a amazing that OM, smart and insighful as you are, continue to think you understand the Israeli chareidi world.

2 - its amazing that OM tries so hard to fathom how the chareidim in EY run their lives based on HER own understanding of life, from her NY MO neighborhood.

3 - its amazing how anyone can read anything written in the secular press (read anti-chareidi) in EY and think that somehow that has any relevance to what really happens in chareidi-land. (Ill remind you of possibly my fav example. After the Rosh HaYeshiva, Rav Shach was niftar, the jerusalem post ran an article about the 4 front-runners for being selected as the next Gadol HaDor. As if there was actually a competition between these Tzaddikim. quite humourous actually).

4 - its amazing how you can read in one line the word sefardi, secular, and students defilement - and think that the defilement comes from the sefardim and not the secular (read anti chareidi).

5 - its amazing how you can blast the chareidi leadership, when all they are doing is expressing the fact that although Torah is the greatest lifestyle (meaning: kollel) - the ends (of being a kollel family with parnassag) dont justify the means of getting there (if the path is paved with kfira). Whats the big deal?

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ariella said...
A little knowledge can be dangerous, so instead of getting properly educated, let's just ban all education.

1:09 PM


IF ITS ASSUR - KEFIRAH - THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE. welcome to the Torah way of life. Sometimes things are assur. period

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a young woman from a yeshivish background who was interested in pursuing a PhD. She didn’t because everyone told her that the typical Lakewood Yeshiva guy would never date a woman with a PhD, because he would be too insecure.


I know plenty of people in YU - yes i went to YU - who wouldnt want their wives making more money than them, or being "smarter", or with a PHD.... This is normative male psyche

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to wonder how the haredi would pay for yeshiva's and such. Until I realized that with 10,000 tuitions not being cheap (and with you running posts that $200,000 was the base salary needed to survice), the MO community is not exactly in a place to make suggestions.

KUDOS! That's right.
The chareidi community has their own problems. The MO has their own problems.

Heres an interesting tidbit. Did you know that most kollel guys give maaser? Do most MO people, with their "superior" financial statements?

Im not trying to compare, or pick a fight... but...

Truth is, you dont see chareidi blogs picking apart the MO world... bc thats you, and thats them.

And besides, if you really wanted to help, and you realize that this is not the forum for help, rather for instigating lashon hara, you would find a creative way to help

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is simply a power play on the part of the gedolim, to flex their muscles and show who's boss.

My favorite part of this is how these are the same people who claimed they didn't have the power to stop people from rioting and destroying property when protesting the gay parade.


"power play on the part of gedolim" - wow - i think you need to meet some gedolim... see how these "power play" people live.... read some gedolim books and see that their life is on a different plane than ours.. that they dont need or want power.. their only goals in life are torah and avodas hashem...

maybe they wanted the burning garbage, since in israel, thats the only way things work....

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon, you believe it's kefira. that, however, has nothing to do with reality.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

REALITY CHECK, BOYS AND GIRLS !!!
I had my Kiryat Sefer based son and my Neve Yaakov based son-in-law do a little checking. NO GADOL assured all continuing education, many women have been attending continuing, and/or vocational/professional courses all year and YES, Haaretz has an agenda!!
There are individual courses, classes and curriculae that the Gedolim have objected to but for Haaretz to state that ALL women's education geared towards parnossah and/or advancement in same has been assured is, quite frankly, a crock!!!
Tone down your rhetoric! We are not talking about Mullahs and Ayatollahs (lehavdel). We are all entitled to our opinions but once we decide to share those opinions with the world, some respect for Daas Torah is in order, even if you lack the insight to understand it.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO GADOL assured all continuing education, many women have been attending continuing, and/or vocational/professional courses all year and YES, Haaretz has an agenda!!

Bul*****. My sister is a struggling kollel wife living in Shuafat and the ban most certainly is ON.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Rivka said...

Okay, first of all? All you anons? I get it that you don't want to be identified, or traced in anyway. Really, I do. But at least be smart enough to give yourself a fake name, so we can tell you guess apart. Just click "other" under "choose an identity," and make. up. a. name. IT'S NOT THAT FREAKIN HARD, PEOPLE.

Second of all, to the anon who wrote "you dont see chareidi blogs picking apart the MO world... bc thats you, and thats them."
That's because charedis aren't supposed to own computers. Plus,we've read about all the Rabbis claiming it's the BLOGGERS perpetuating all the evil problems within their communities, right?

3:21 PM  
Anonymous NESHER said...

and the ban most certainly is ON.

The ban on what? What was she forbidden to do and by whom? Give specifics, not these unattributed generalities.
.....and Rivka, you can call me Nesher

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you kiss your sister with that mouth, anon 3:16?

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Israeli government pays for them. And the payer is now expecting to pick the tunes. I am sure the government will back down because the Israeli political system allows small political parties to hold up the larger ones for money.

I love it how Americans think they know what's going on in Israel.

The government is not paying for anything (welfare payments to charedi families have dropped precipitously in the last few years and it's doubtful that they'll go up any time soon) and these rabbanim are assuring CHAREDI RUN institutions. So the only ones picking the tunes are these rabbonim.

Try again.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Yosef Blau said...

Please look at this aticle "Swimming against the current" by Mina Teicher in today's Haaretz written by a religious woman who has worked with rabbis in Bnei Brak to help Haredi women get degrees and better paying jobs. I apologize for not being able to paste it on to this blog.
Yosef Blau

5:24 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

Heres an interesting tidbit. Did you know that most kollel guys give maaser? Do most MO people, with their "superior" financial statements?

Im not trying to compare, or pick a fight... but...


Its certainly not comparable nor is it an easy balck or whiote issue.

I know of an interesting variant of this. A haredi son of a MO father. The father was incensed to discover that the money he gave to the kollel boy to put a roof over his head and provide for his new family was itself maasered, regardless of whether the father already had.

To be frank, if it was my kid, I'd have considered cutting him off.

And it raises the broader issue of whether people receiving welfare, aid, etc. should be maasering that money to someone else/other entities, when that is not its intended use.

6:37 PM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

5 - its amazing how you can blast the chareidi leadership, when all they are doing is expressing the fact that although Torah is the greatest lifestyle (meaning: kollel) - the ends (of being a kollel family with parnassag) dont justify the means of getting there (if the path is paved with kfira). Whats the big deal?

Why not make a direct statement as well as tell people how to put bread on the table?

7:15 PM  
Anonymous nesher said...

To be frank, if it was my kid, I'd have considered cutting him off.

Hatbg:

Instead of being proud and shepping nachas that you raised a son who would maaser his stipend you get bent out of shape and say you'd cut him off??!!?

If you truly would cut off your son for maasering his stipend, I wonder if you would even offer support to a "Kollel Yungerman" to begin with.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

If you truly would cut off your son for maasering his stipend, I wonder if you would even offer support to a "Kollel Yungerman" to begin with.

Actually, until I become fabulously wealthy, in almost all cases I wouldn't. If I don't agree to an Ephraim-Menashe relationship no one has the right to impose it on me. And no one has the right to expect it as their due.

Moreover, kollel (at least those in it supported by the community/others) should only be for those who show particular promise to be the rabbinic elite. IMO, it is way overdone today among the haredi.

But in terms of children who one raises and support, were it my son taking money essentially given him to live as a gift, money I worked hard to earn and given him for a reason, yes, I'd certainly be upset. Let him learn the value of his dollar by earning it, then maasering that. Not someone else's dime.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

Instead of being proud and shepping nachas that you raised a son who would maaser his stipend you get bent out of shape and say you'd cut him off??!!?

I could care less if someone maasered their 'stipend.' I'd care if I gave him money to support himself and found out under the best case 90% was allocated for doing so.

That father didn't give him money for his allowance. He gave it so family would not starve.

Incidentally, from what I hear that maaser often ends up donated to the yeshiva of the kollel person donating it.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

I meant Yissachar-Zevulun

9:38 AM  
Anonymous having 2nd thoughts bt said...

As far as I am concerned, anyone who supports the attitudes expressed in this new ruling represents some other religion, not Judaism. They are distorting the purpose and meaning of Judaism to satisfy their own disturbed value system and desire for power over women. The women in these communities should protest and protest strongly. This ruling makes them no better than the fundamentalist Muslims who severely oppress their wives and daughters in all aspects of life and human experience. I hope the women are not so brainwashed that they accept this ruling as law over them. This is not religion - it is oppression.

7:43 PM  
Blogger MDmom said...

in the school where i teach, the majority of teachers are chareidi. while most of them seem to be satisfied with their seminary teachers' certificates there is one teacher i know who is looking to go further. this teacher, newly married, three babies under the age of two (she has twins) was looking to get her teudat bagrut and continue on in university for a BA, with sights on a masters in special ed. she came into school clearly upset over this issue since now she is prohibited from getting her teudat bagrut which will preclude any chance of ever getting into a university here in israel. she was literally in tears. it's really a shame as there are smart motivated women within the chareidi community and they are being cut off at the knees. it's sad.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

having seen first hand the absolute power the rabbonim have over their congregants, why are we surprised over the situation in israel...do you honestly believe that the women impacted by this ruling will form a group and boycott,hahaha.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous 2nd thoughts said...

responding to mdmom re the teacher who now can not go on to higher education:

Why does she have to listen to the rabbonim? Maybe she and others should open their eyes and realize that rabbis can be wrong. She should follow her heart and set an example for other women who have greater potential and desires to further their education and contribution.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are joking, arent you??? question her rav???? not listen to her rav??? follow her heart??? where do you think she lives???in cedarhurst??

9:23 PM  
Blogger Earn A LifeTime of Income From Anywhere! said...

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10:34 PM  
Anonymous 2nd thoughts said...

It has to start somewhere. Someone has to stand up for their rights and the rights of all the other women who will be affected by the new ruling. Whether they live in Cedarhurst or the most ultra-orthodox community in Israel. No one in the 21st century should be forced to live according to archaic, oppressive rules and values.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Earn A LifeTime of Income From Anywhere! said...

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7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way to fight this new religion called charedism is to cut off it's head.The rabbis who have created this monster.STOP GIVING MONEY TO THESE INSTITUTIONS.Eventually they will just wither away.
This destructive cult is nothing but fascism disguised as Judaism.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2nd thoughts said...
It has to start somewhere. Someone has to stand up for their rights and the rights of all the other women who will be affected by the new ruling. Whether they live in Cedarhurst or the most ultra-orthodox community in Israel. No one in the 21st century should be forced to live according to archaic, oppressive rules and values.

1:14 AM
this blogger missed the point trying to be made by another post.

this is a choice to be part of the charedi community, just like a cedarhurst woman chooses to live in the area and adhere to her rav psaks ( no matter how stupid or irresponsible they may be). there are so many factions now of judaism, a woman can make her choice. yes, if she chooses to get out from under oppression, she will be ostrazied by her family and the neighbors. all CLOSED COMMUNITIES seem to operate the same way. this is how cults or extremists of any sect control their women. why do you all think that charedi is anything more than a cult of jews.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous 2nd thoughts said...

It's a sad and sorry state the world is in today. How primitive it all sounds. Charedism is a cult, I agree with the reader who wrote that.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll second that...

I recall when that rav down in Guyana, oh about thirty years ago, had everyone drink the kool-aid.

Ooops, wrong cult!

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2nd thoughts said...
It's a sad and sorry state the world is in today. How primitive it all sounds. Charedism is a cult, I agree with the reader who wrote that.

4:13 PM

As a professional with a background in Psychology and Women's issues, i am particularly sensitive to what is going on with the charedi women.. anytime there exists a suppression of womens rights, there exists domestic violence. Control is always an issue in both. Control is what the rabbonim preach; control is what the men do; Once again, i liken the charedi movement to the very definition of a cult,,,,,,and we all know how cults end up.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous 2nd thoughts said...

Actually, I have a similar professional background and I agree with you that it is very much about control, especially control of men over women - to keep women "in their place."

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and a second thought to 2nd thoughts 5:55pm post....the hand that rocks the cradle will rule the world (if not put down physically, verbally,emotionally and financially by males.)

10:50 PM  
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