Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Is Kolel a Mental Disorder?

by @azigra 

The Jerusalem Post carried the following story on Sunday:

Finance Minister Yair Lapid said Thursday the harshest cuts in his controversial budget were aimed at haredim in hopes of pushing them into the labor force. “I already cut for the haredim more than ever has been,” he said in a Facebook chat Thursday night, alluding to cuts in child allowances that disproportionally affect the ultra-Orthodox community, whose birth rate is four times the Israeli average. “Israel doesn’t need a culture of allowances, but a culture of work.” “What are child allowances? Child allowances say ‘I have kids but want someone else to pay.’ Who is paying? Someone else who has kids, who is taking from his kids and giving to others’ kids,” Lapid said. The cuts, he continued, “act to push people to the job market.”

One questioner, who said he was a full-time yeshiva student, complained that cuts would leave his family short of money, and said his wife would have to divorce him to obtain a subsidy for single mothers in order for their family to survive. Isn’t that a “piggish” intervention in his wife’s private life, the man asked? Lapid’s response: “There’s another
option – that you’ll work.” Noting that the man would only need to work for 10 hours a week to bridge the difference, Lapid shot back, his decision not to work was the gross intervention into his wife’s private life.

As someone who has studied in Lakewood yeshiva I should be able to say this isn’t shocking to me but it is. The idea of getting a job never even occurred to this young Torah Scholar for a single second! It’s not even an option to consider. In this man’s mind divorcing his wife and tearing apart his family, makes more sense than finding gainful employment.

Is this about Torah and religion? Is it about someone on welfare who has become addicted to it? Why doesn’t he fake a claim that he has AIDS and get help that way? Would his rabbis sanction a divorce instead of finding work? Do you think this would be a common response from many people in his circles? 

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Good Neighbor

Dear Good Neighbor: I don't think you are being unreasonable, but you might reframe your concern by dialing it more toward the "bewildered" part of the spectrum.

Moreover, I don't think you need your wife's permission to express a point of view about this gift. Your neighbor's statement (that it is a gift you would both appreciate) leads me to think that in his stated intent, anyway this negligee was a gift to both of you.

I agree that this is in poor taste but think you should start by giving your neighbor the benefit of the doubt.

He may hand you an opening when he asks if you "enjoyed" this gift. You can say, "Stan, I've got to admit, I am confused by your gift. I don't [url=]Twins 5 Cuddyer Red 2011 All Star Jerseys[/url] like the idea of men other than me giving my wife negligees; honestly, it makes me uncomfortable."

You and your wife need to learn that age-old dictum about fences and neighbors. Relationships thrive when the boundaries are clear and respected.

Dear Amy: My 30-year-old daughter and her boyfriend (also 30-ish) are kindred spirits. They both enjoy the recycled "grunge" look. Neither bathe regularly and often they have a noticeable waft that wanders by after they do.

They are not filthy looking but after you are around them for more than 20 minutes, you notice they are unkempt. I know this look is popular among young people and I normally would not say a word, but I am now hearing complaints about them not being able to get jobs.

They are college educated and quite capable. They are applying [url=]2009 All Star New York Yankees 42 Mariano Rivera Blue Jerseys[/url] for any job they can [url=]Yankees 52 CC Sabathia Red 2010 All Star Jerseys[/url] find, including fast food places. I wonder if either of them has a clue that their lack of hygiene may have more to do with their not getting jobs [url=]2009 All Star New York Mets 5 David Wright Red Jerseys[/url] than the economy does. Should I say something?


Dear Concerned: You don't say how these two are supporting themselves. If you are contributing toward their support you get to weigh in on their job hunt.

You can ask them how it's going and what, typically, they do to prepare for an in-person meeting. They have very little time during the course of an interview in which to impress upon a potential employer that they are right for a job.

If they have spotty employment histories and seem unkempt, then someone hiring people to prepare or serve food will not want to hire them because they will seem unreliable and unhygienic.

Offer them [url=]Cardinals 5 Albert Pujols Road Cool Base Grey 2010 All Star Jerseys[/url] this logical shorthand: Wherever they are trying for a job, they should look at current employees for clues about what that manager prefers when it comes to hiring people. I can think of many places where the grunge look would not be an impediment but bathing is a necessity.

Dear Amy: "Sober Friend" shared her dilemma of how to handle friends who drink too much when they are out for the evening.

I'd like to recommend a personal Breathalyzer. These can be very inexpensive. I got one and use it. If it shows I'm impaired, I don't get behind the wheel.

Also Sober

Dear Sober: Many readers recommended these. I see there are many different types and I assume they are not 100 percent accurate, but I do like the idea of taking personal responsibility for your own sobriety.


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