Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 093

Monday, November 1 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 16:55:56 -0800 (PST)
From: harry maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: luxuries

--- "Carl M. Sherer" <csherer@netvision.net.il> wrote:
> On 31 Oct 99, at 16:02, Alan Davidson wrote:

>  So the next time you
> go to a $400 
> a plate wedding, think that could be food for two
> Shabbosim for a 
> family of ten whose kids all sleep on the floor. And
> then think of 
> something better to do with the money.

Who could disagree with the above statement? But,
isn't that the Socialist/Kibbutz Ideal?  Are we going
to let Socialist ideals define our lifestyle"? Are we
to create a society where all people live exactly the
same way. Should our attitude be  "Let's just share
the wealth. It doesn't matter who earns it.  After all
it isn't fair that Mr. Ploni makes more than I do and
gets to spend it. Let us just pool all of our earnings
into one fund and then divide it by all people in the

But I have been guilty of the same kind of thinking.
Many years ago, I attended a board meeting of the
HSBY. We had a budget deficit of about $40,000.  The
President at the time, who was, and still is, a very
generous individual, came "crying" to us how terrible
it was that we were in this situation. We dicussed
various ways that we could "squeeze" more money out of
the parents, and other posible ways of new
fundraising.  I remember thinking if the President of
the school would only sell his Lexus, and by a Hyundai
in it's place, it would almost solve our problem.



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Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 19:39:11 -0500
From: Rabbi Yosef Blau <yblau@idt.net>
limudei chol

The quoted position of Rav Shach that secular education produces tainted
gedolim requires clarification.  Is this restricted to attending college
or would High School have the same effect?  What if someone graduated
college but then told others not to go?  What about earlier gedolim who
had extensive secular knowledge?  Should we eliminate the amora Shmuel
from our shas?  How did Rav Shach write Torah on the Rambam who clearly
read Aristotle, Plato and Arabic Philosophers?  Is it the knowledge or
the environment that causes the taint?
Extreme statements, even in the name of a gadol, need to make sense.
Yosef Blau

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Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 19:53:18 EST
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
re: B'rich Sh'meh

Many thanks to those who reminded me about the post-ShabbetaiTzvi
reactions which banned use of kabbalistic tefilos. Past posts *had*
mentioned this, and it slipped past me.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 17:12:37 -0800 (PST)
From: harry maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Limudei Chol and Parnassa

--- Arnold Lustiger <alustig@erenj.com> wrote:

> Thus the conclusion is that RW poverty in Bnei Brak
> as well as Lakewood, and
> the associated pain and suffering as reflected in
> Carl Sherer's post, is a
> direct result of the Gedolei Torah. 
> I pashut cannot deal with the implications of this
> statement.

I think you just did. 



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Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 20:40:06 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Poverty and secular studies

From: "Shlomo Godick" <shlomog@mehish.co.il>
> Subject: Poverty and secular studies
> SInce
> when does one have to be a professional or have a strong background in
> secular studies to be financially self-supporting?   Ever hear of
> successful businessmen?  Successful people in the diamond business
> (all phases)? In Israel, at least, even melamdim command fairly good
> salaries these days.   Quite a number of young charedi men are very
> successful as programmers or hardware technicians (after having
> undergone only non-academic, technical  training).  Other posters have
> mentioned sofrim, shochtim, etc.
> In short, many reasonable career paths exist which do not require
> a "strong  background in secular studies" that are
> available to those who oppose university education on grounds of
> ideology, tznius, or whatever.    The relationship you posit is not
> at all clear to me.  Poverty can stem from many causes - lack of
> personal initiative or motivation, unavailability of 
> technical training,
> lack of minimal intellectual talents, bad mazel, etc. - but lack of a
> secular university education is not one of them.

[The following is written from a US perspective:]
On an individual level, it is not *necessarily* one of them.  However, on a
communal scale, it is.  As the economy becomes more and more
knowledge-based, those without intensive training are more likely to be on
lower end of the economic scale.  Will there be very successful businessmen
who are uneducated? Undoubtedly.  But it will become more and more a thing
of the past.  *Some* will make a living wage as programmers or technicians,
if they have the aptitude.  But, for the average person, it much easier to
get into the economic mainstream with a decent education.  And it's much
less risky.

This will be especially relevant if more and more charedim decide to work.
How many basic-level programmers can Israel support?

I have a chassidic cousin (much older than me) in Israel who is generally
recognized in the family as being bright and talented.  He tried his luck as
a kablan, in a couple of other businesses, but with no success.  Now, he
flies out to Argentina to be a mashgiach on the shechitah process.

Kol tuv,

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