Monday, March 28, 2011

I know I should be offended, but...

Fischer Cheers Jump in Hareidi-Religious Work Studies

As I have said before, this is not a political blog. I have my views and I am more than willing to share them with people. When it comes to religion, I am fairly right-wing. I would, in many cases, be considered Hareidi. When I see headlines like this, I do get very frustrated.

Part of my frustration comes from people, who in the course of being the "progressive, open-minded" people have completely shut out a way of life that I adhere to because its TOO different. G-d forbid people should live as they want. When it doesn't adhere to their "open-minded" lifestyle, its extreme and dangerous and radical.

That being said, the other part of my frustration, however, comes from my co-religionists. I believe that Kollel system is incredible, and if I could, I would seriously be in it now, studying Torah all day and night. It is my passion and it is my life. Unfortunately, my reality is not so. I, like many others, have to work. Many times, in many communities, work is a four letter word and the mere mention of any post high school education is heretical. But, at least in America, there are options. Landers College, where there is a mixture of Beis Medrash and College. Yeshiva University, a very well known and respected institution. Yeshiva Shor Yoshuv, (of which I am extremely affiliated, so I am biased) an extremely warm place that gives an option to attend college in the afternoons and nights.

In Israel, as far as I know, there hasn't been much success in institutions like this. But why not? Is it against halacha (Jewish law) to provide for your family? In today's economy, one does need to have some formal training. Places that can give Certificates or Associates/Bachelors. It is extremely important to be able to give communities what they need to succeed. Its impractical to ask a Rabbinical student to attend mixed gender classes and/or attend classes that philosophically they don't agree with for the sake of "broadening their minds."  Giving options suited to a community is, and will always be, the most effective way to educate and promulgate a lifestyle, still centered around Torah and G-d, but supplementing that with good, honest work. I believe that it was the Chofetz Chaim who broke down what a man's day should look like: One third Torah, one third work and one third personal needs. (If this is incorrect, please correct me.)

I hope that these programs succeed and give every community their own special attention. This will give Israel, and wherever Jews are, a huge advantage in the job market.

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