Friday, December 23, 2005

Israeli charedim going to work


"Israel is not a state of parasites," shouted Labor's candidate for prime minister, Amir Peretz, at a businessmen's club last week.He said he was confident he could "reach agreements with leading rabbis that productive work, which provides a living and dignity, is not contradictory to Torah studies."
But the leading rabbis and ultra-Orthodox public are not waiting for Peretz. The issue of men going to work (ultra-Orthodox women have always worked outside the home) instead of remaining in the halls of study has risen to the top of the ultra-Orthodox agenda.
The growing poverty in this community as a result of the slashing of state allowances without any let up in the birth rate, the Tal Law enabling more flexibility in going to work and social changes in the ultra-Orthodox communities have created a new reality. More men are seeking jobs, even in areas once closed to them.
Colleges and ultra-Orthodox centers for vocational training, which were first set up in the `90s, are now thriving. No less important is the renewal of an ancient ideological argument about making a living and the proper proportion between Torah study and work.
The Belzer rebbe, Rabbi Issachar Dov Rokeach, gives his annual "political speech" at the end of Simhat Torah. His last speech to thousands of followers in Jerusalem's world Belzer center is still making waves two months later in both the hasidic and Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox communities, in Israel and overseas. The speech was partially devoted to going out to work.
"Long-term students in yeshivas who are talented and have the economic means, are fortunate," he began. "But students who after a year see their studies are not going well, whether because of their skills or their economic situation, must learn a profession that earns a living. I'm not talking about getting rich but earning a living, so that one does not fall into debt... One can prepare for this in the yeshiva and devote a few hours a week in the evening to studying a profession."...
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 7:37 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

GEVALDIG. Its about time!!!!!

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GEVALDIG. Its about time!!!!!

10:28 AM  

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