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July 20, 2009

Haredi Poverty Rate Tops 60%

Shtreimel 2 Bank of Israel head tells haredim poverty is self-inflicted, says get jobs.

Bank of Israel Chief to ultra-Orthodox community: Get jobs
By Motti Bassok, TheMarker

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer on Monday called on the heads of the ultra-Orthodox sector in Israel to promote employment among Haredi men and women in order to minimize the prevalent poverty among them. 

During a conference for the ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem, Fischer said that the low employment rate among the Haredi men and women was the root cause of for the high incidence of poverty, higher than any other sector in Israeli society, including the notoriously poor Arab sector. 

According to Fischer, 60 percent of the ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel were defined as poor in 2008, and that number has only grown since. "There is an enormous pool of human resources in the Haredi sector, which, harnessed, could contribute another driving force for growth to the economy, while also minimizing the poverty," he said. 

Addressing the general financial situation in Israel, Fischer said that the economy is beginning to display signs of growth over recent months, with exports up in May and June and imports up during last month as well. The Bank of Israel combined index has risen for the first time in 11 months, he added. 

"We have a strong economy, but unemployment is rising and there is also inflation in Israel," Fischer said. "Right now, we just don't know when the market will begin growing again." 


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It might sound counter intuitive, but the only way to decrease poverty in Haredi sector is to cut child allowance, welfair payments and charitable contributions to this parasitic group. This may force them to work, which in turn will begin to change their insulated and parasitic culture to more open and productive one.

Or, the Israeli government could just make school subsidies contingent on a given curriculum.

Any able-bodied adult who refuses to work should be immediately cut off from welfare. Welfare subsidies enable the haredi to indulge in their messianic, God-will-provide belief system that is indeed parasitic to the State of Israel.

The haredi don't believe that the Israeli public (Jews) can stomach the guilt of turning away from brethren in need. I wouldn't feel guilty cutting the haredi off from public support. Would you?

I believe the Torah says: "Six days, shall you labor and do all your work ..."

The Torah does not say: "Seven days, shall you study and live off the public dole."

I believe the Torah also says ``Ve`ahavta l`reyacha komocha``, it also mentions about slandering individuals and lashon hora and we can go on and on etc..
Nobody appointed you the moral authority over the what the torah means.
Yes, the 60% unemployed is an issue, and it needs to be addressed, as well as the many other problems circulating in the haredi community, but you should be the last in line to quote something you obviously do not believe in nor practice.

PF, you must have some haredi indoctrination because you use circular logic so habitually. You tell to Sage "Nobody appointed you the moral authority over the what the torah means."

Which is correct and applicable not only to Sage, but also to You, to Rabbi Elyahsiv, to every Gadol Hador and every Haredi rioter. But of course you can not possibly apply the same logic to yourself, can you?

Then read the gemara, Pablo:

Rabban Gamaliel thereupon said: This being the case, I will go and apologize to R. Joshua. When he reached his house he saw that the walls were black. He said to him: From the walls of your house it is apparent that you are a charcoal-burner. He replied: Alas for the generation of which you are the leader, seeing that you know nothing of the troubles of the scholars, their struggles to support and sustain themselves! (berachot 28a)

This is what we are meant to do.

Support and Sustain ourselves!!!

Not live off the government

The poverty problem goes all the way down to the core. To get a good job you either need to be handy or educated. Many blogs/posters have addressed the educational problem within the Haredi world in regards to these people having next to zero secular education. What kind of job can you get if you do not have even the most basic literacy skills?

It almost feels like by the time these people reach their early 20s, they are years behind general population.

Why the large scale difference between Haredim in Eretz and the US? Yes, they study in Kollel here, but outside of parts of the chassidic community there seems to be great openness to work, and poverty is less severe. Child allowances? Old Yishuv traditions of living on tzedakah?

++Nobody appointed you the moral authority over the what the torah means++

Actually Pablo, I have appointed Sage as the moral authority.

Pablo, do you enjoy drinking Kool-Aid?



Hi Torah,

Thanks for your posts, but I'm not a moral authority over anyone but myself.

My comment, as you know, was simply to state what the Torah says, and does not say, regarding the dignity of work.

It was not passing a moral judgement on anyone.

Pablo seems to be unaware, that I have held down a full-time job at one of the NASA Centers, for almost 45 years.

The Rambam said that it is forbidden to rely on the community to support ones Torah studies. Cut the child support allowance and welfare. They must support themselves. Adult education that leads to employment not generations of welfare. They have nothing to do so they riot.

The torah mentions how the tribe of Yissachar, supported Zebulun. The tribe of Levi was supported by the rest of Israel as they did the holy work of g-d.
In every generation there are qualified individuals who are devoted to g-d`s work and it is our responsibility to support them.
Now this is not a carte blanche for everyone to live on handouts and roam the streets and collects allowances. But the idea of a select group of people being supported to do the work of g-d is something having been passed from generation to generation from the time of Moses. You will find references to this in the gemara as well.
And by the way I am not learning in a kollel, nor am I unemployed like most of the bums blogging on this site.

Sage, congrats on the 40th anniversary of the moon landing!


Many thanks for your kind words!!!

Always a pleasure to hear from you!!!!

Mabybe the Moon would be a perfect place for those Jews, who want to live a completely insular lifestyle, totally disconnected from the rest of G-d's humanity.

IMHO, one cannot serve as a "Light unto the nations", while placing an shell around themselves.


What "holy work of g-d" are the haredi doing? Are they feeding the hungry? Are they building shelters for the homeless?

If by "holy work" you mean the self-indulgence of studying and praying most of one's waking hours - I would disagree with you. Holy work is real and tangible. Holy work involves people caring for each other.

Just as I had suspected. Sage is no better than the ``parasite`` haredim. He gets paid thru taxpayer dollars no less, and wastes half his day posting on this website. Sounds like pure theft to me. Perhaps we should file a complaint with your supervisor.

Pablo. As you said in your post, "But the idea of a select group of people being supported to do the work of g-d is something having been passed from generation to generation..." This is exactly what the issue is within the Haredi community. The whole generation has turned into career Kollel students. I would say 90% of them lack the capacity or the will. Yet they do it through their whole youth because of the social pressures. The so called gedolim who have not put a stop to this have caused us Jews to lose a generation of potential doctors/lawyers/scientists, etc.

I agree 100%.

: Pablo Faird :

in the haredi communities do they pick out the top 2 percent to study in yeshiva and become their leaders or do they expect everyone to sit and learn ? the yisachar -zevulun agreement was done willfully on both sides. the haredim expect the state to provide them with most of their needs when the average israeli has never agreed to support these parasites. and many haredim are against the state completely.
who said hiding in yeshiva and rioting is gods work? if i believe it is gods work to play poker all day should i demand to be supported in the yisachar-zevulun arrangement. clearly nobody knows how to interperet the torah. you have many haredis that are SURE the torah is against the state of israel and you have many religious fanatic settlers who are EQUALLY SURE this same book requires jews to obtain and retain all of biblical israel. so lets drop the torah as a justification for anything since it is a justification for everything.

+++ Just as I had suspected. Sage is no better than the ``parasite`` haredim. He gets paid thru taxpayer dollars no less, and wastes half his day posting on this website. Sounds like pure theft to me. Perhaps we should file a complaint with your supervisor.

Posted by: Pablo Faird | July 20, 2009 at 01:05 PM +++

Time I spend posting during the work day, is charged to Annual Leave.

If all haredim were truly studying and performing mitzvahs full time, I'd be ok with it! But they don't.
Most hang around the yeshiva smoking and sipping coffee all day.
Many are mentally ill, still others are mentally retarded. Not exactly scholarly students, and certainly not deserving of total financial support.
Idle hands are the devil's tools.

"Maybe the Moon would be a perfect place for those Jews, who want to live a completely insular lifestyle, totally disconnected from the rest of G-d's humanity."

Where did you get this idea, from Ralph Kramden? "To the moon, Alice!"

Hi YL,

"The Honeymooners" is still my all time favorite situation comedy.

Yes, "To the moon, Alice" did inspire my post.

Soory PF but if you look at the amount of land that they kept around their cities for their cattle and for their small farms, you realize that they did not live off their tithes. The tithes were a bonus to compenste them for their two weeks of annual service. NO ONE was paid by the community for their for their communal work. Moses told God he did not take anything from the people. So did Samuel. Hillel chopped wood. Other Tanaim and Amoraim worked. There was a chasidishe Rebbe that worked as a pharmacist.

Israel should cut ALL funding to yeshivas that do not offer secular education APRROVED by the government. And pass laws, like the US that everyone must go to school.

Bang, zoom!

I would offer my services as a rocket scientist but the V-2 missile doesn't quite have the lift.

I and my fellow Nazis are working feverishly in our secret missile factory located under the base of the southern Patagonian icefield, but the V-3, which will have the lift to carry all the Hasidim to the moon and beyond, won't be ready for a couple years.

For the time being, I guess we'll have to rely on Ralph K's right hand to get the job done.

Pablo says:
The torah mentions how the tribe of Yissachar, supported Zebulun

I correct him:

The "Torah" nor the Tanach says anything of the sort. Only the made-up legends of the post-Churban rabbis speak anything about Yissachar supporting Zebulun. Your rabbinic legends are as worthy as those of the Christians and Islam. THEY WERE MADE UP AFTER THE TEMPLE'S DESTRUCTION AND ARE NOT PART OF TORAH!!!

Oops, typographical error. Switch Yissachar and Zebulun in the above post.

But if the haredim listen and do get jobs, how will you guys still make their sector into the public 'whipping boy' ?

Nobody -

It's ok - We'll make fun of them as long as they still smell bad and dress funny.

The haredim will not "listen and get jobs".
The Israel government will not force them, because they have too much political clout.
Everything will continue as is.

The haredim will become more emboldened, and blow up a government building, and/or attack Israeli Police/Military, and a soldier will be killed (God forbid). There will be a massive outcry and backlash of hate against them, and they will lay low for a couple of years, until public memory fades. Then their chutzpah will return in full force.

Bob C., have you checked out any Karaite websites? I am not a Karaite, but they've got a heck of a lot of good ideas.
Try www.karaiteinsights.com or www.karaite-korner.org, or Google Nehemia Gordon, or Google Karaite Judaism. I am seriously thinking of starting a new Jewish movement, taking the best of Modern Orthodox and Karaite ideas. If you're interested in helping me, out please e-mail: superdave8002@hotmail.com

Maybe this quote on the partnership is more accurate
Advanced Rashi: This partnership is famous. It is erroneously used to justify people sitting and learning while others support them. But this is not what the text says. The text indicates that both were gainfully employed - Zebulun as a sea merchant and Yissachar as an agricultural person. They then entered partnership.

What is true is that people in agriculture have more spare time to learn. While at sea, by contrast, you have to continuously navigate and deal with winds, waves, etc. What the verses allow is the use of a partnership to create extra time for learning. In fact the Bible explicitly states that the Yissachar-tribe was known for its great wisdom (1C12-32). However the Torah in this particular passage does not sanction one person working and the other person doing nothing at all but learning. Rather, as I described, it is permissable for a person to give an investor money - the other person shares proceeds with the first person who then has additional time to learn.

I have another very powerfull idea which no doubt would be supported by all Haredi Rabbis. All haredi rabbis and holy sages and Torah giants have to simply daven once for more money for their starving followers. They also could study Torah a bit more and achieve the same result.

There certanly no reason for the torah giants like Elyashiv and Rabbi Ovadia to organize political aimed at extortion of money of regular taxpayers through political and demographic power. Why don't simply daven, like they do it to support war efforts?

Furthermore, since these Torah Sages can easily stop the suffering of their flocks, but chose not to do it, they probably Want their followers to live in poverty and suffer. It either gives them pleasure by satisfying their sadistic inclinations or they care about spiritual level of their followers and see that the only way to cleanse their souls is through suffering.

The Haredi Rabbis have obviously not actually read Torah. If they had they'd have noticed a little bit right near the beginning...

יט בְּזֵעַת אַפֶּיךָ, תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם, עַד שׁוּבְךָ אֶל-הָאֲדָמָה, כִּי מִמֶּנָּה לֻקָּחְתָּ: כִּי-עָפָר אַתָּה, וְאֶל-עָפָר תָּשׁוּב. 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.'

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