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August 20, 2013

Haredi Leaders Lash Out Over Cuts In Yeshiva Stipends

Haredi yeshiva students“This is an integrated war, these cuts are not only in the budget but are designed to chop off every branch of the Torah and the yeshivas. This government, a government of destruction, evil and annihilation, is not fitting to support the Torah world. It cannot be forgotten that supporting the yeshiva world is not only righteous act but one which is a meritorious act, as well. This merit as well they do not have …"

Haredi yeshiva students
Haredi yeshiva students

Haredi Leaders Lash Out Over Cuts In Yeshiva Stipends
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

It is a dark time for Israeli haredim.

Last year, full-time married haredi yeshiva students received a monthly NIS 900 stipend from the government and single haredi yeshiva students received  NIS 500. These stipends are above and beyond the various welfare and housing benefits these haredi yeshiva students can receive.

Non-haredi students, however, do not receive stipends.

Beginning this year, the stipends were reduced to NIS 720 for married haredi yeshiva students and NIS 400 for single haredi yeshiva students.

But beginning this month, the stipends were slashed even further, to NIS 279 for married haredi yeshiva students while single haredi yeshiva students will get only NIS 139, according to the Association of Haredi Yeshivas, prompting a vicious response from haredi media controlled by haredi rabbinic leaders and by haredi politicians, even though the cuts were expected, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Ashkenazi haredi leaders blame the Zionist Orthodox right wing HaBayit HaYehudi Party and its leader, Religious Services Minister Naftali Bennett, for the cuts, which haredi leaders contend are deeper than they were told they would be.

A HaBayit HaYehudi source told The Jerusalem Post that the cuts could be partially ameliorated by “extra-budgetary funds” doled out by the Religious Services Ministry to haredi yeshivas.

Haredi yeshiva leaders are skeptical. Haredi politicians were scornful.

Haredi Member of Knesset Rabbi Yisrael Eichler from the Ashkenazi Haredi United Torah Judaism Party reportedly called HaBayit HaYehudi leaders “dirt rags” of Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who is the driving force behind the cuts, and called on HaBayit HaYehudi to bring down “the evil government” by leaving the coalition. Doing so, Eichler said, would prevent budget cuts to yeshivas and to the government’s child allotments, which pay parents a certain amount of money each month for each minor child in their family.

“HaBayit HaYehudi people went around [saying they had] a commitment from the Treasury to provide an extra NIS 130 million for yeshivas beyond what was in the budget. This gave them a pathetic excuse to support a cruel budget that harms their own children,” the often vituperative Eichler added, going on to attack HaBayit HaYehudi for being part of a government that released “100 [Palestinian] murderers with blood on their hands and [acquiesced] to advanced talks for the establishment of a Palestinian state on the ruins of their own homes. With the breaking of these commitments, HaBayit HaYehudi people have become the dirt rags of Lapid and Bibi,” Eichler told the Post.

“They’re using you like a ‘use and discard’ product,” Eichler continued. “Today they’re using you to burn the sanctuaries of Torah and tomorrow your ‘brothers’ will chuck you from your houses in the settlements, as they are accustomed to, but ‘sensitively.’”

Another UTJ Member of Knesset, Uri Maklev, also attacked HaBayit HaYehudi.

“This is an integrated war, these cuts are not only in the budget but are designed to chop off every branch of the Torah and the yeshivas. This government, a government of destruction, evil and annihilation, is not fitting to support the Torah world. It cannot be forgotten that supporting the yeshiva world is not only righteous act but one which is a meritorious act, as well.

“This merit as well they do not have and as this government wages war against the Torah world, it just intensifies and sharpens the depth of the divisions between us,” Maklev reportedly told the mouthpiece of mainstream non-hasidic Ashkenazi haredi rabbinic leaders, the daily newspaper Yated Ne’eman.

Yated Ne’eman itself reportedly attacked the government in Monday’s editorial.

The cuts would lead to “the starvation of Torah students [and the purpose of the cuts is the] coercive conscription [of haredi yeshiva students into Israel’s military] on the one hand and the breaking the taps on the other. Two hands [are] gripping tight in order to strangle [us]. One [hand] belongs to Lapid’s party, the other [hand] belongs to Bennett’s.…[Anyone who cuts yeshiva budgets or enables] evil people like this is participating in a crime for which it is worthy of being cursed,” its editors reportedly wrote.

Lapid wrote to Yesh Atid Party activists earlier this week, pointing out that “the Israeli middle class is not supposed to support people who can work but do not."


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Nowhere does it say in the Torah, that study of the Torah is to the exclusion of all other things.

It has always been taught that one must have a trade, and in your spare time, learn Torah.

What is happening in in the Hairydim world is against the Torah, and against nature.

The idea of a Kollel, is for business men, who are unable to learn Torah as much as they want to, pay for a married man to learn Torah all day - as learning by proxy.
Never has it been intended that the government should pay for such a facility.

It priestly times, the Cohanim and Levyim were supported by the rest of the jewish people. But they still worked for a living - they did all of the services, and the cleaning up etc.

These Hairydim just have a welfare mentality.

Never in Jewish history has any group such as the Charedim advocated non-working as a lifestyle. The Torah teaches that one must teach their children a trade and that one must work.

Also see http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/5762/bereshit62/specialfeatures_mitzvot.htm

"the Shulchan Arukh states that after morning seder, a man “should go to work, for Torah without work is destined to be annulled and encourages wrongdoing” (OC 156:1). (Learning and receiving a kollel stipend is also considered work, and someone who supports himself this way can be considered self-sufficient. See Rema YD 246:21.) The Shulchan Arukh also states that “Even a respected Torah scholar who becomes impoverished should engage in a trade, even an undignified one, and not become dependent on others” (YD 255:1)."

Note: learning in Kollel is considered work - fair enough - but then the Shulcan Arukh was written there was no welfare so one assumes such learning was self-funded or funded by a benefactor - all kosher as long as tax dollars aren't involved and see last sentence above "not become dependent on others".

Their lashing out indicates that the cuts are being felt and are painful. Good.

"This government, a government of destruction, evil and annihilation, is not fitting to support the Torah world."

Fine, then they should agree that the despised Zionist state shouldn't be funding them.

That said, I wonder if the cuts aren't a little too much, too soon. They aren't really fit for conventional employment, and even though we're a bunch of unrepentant reshaim, we certainly don't want children to starve.

Perhaps they could be put to some sort of paid community service - although I'm at a loss to suggest which kind.


To be honset toreh never ever contributed any science or boosted the economy toreh learning is only to dupe the people nothing else its hot air never built anything,it mostly just sucks resources out of hard working people those who constantly rehash this absolute nonsese of toreh of everything are nothing but parasites,it ruins a whole generation of otherwise capable young man .

To Yair Lapid:
Keep it up. Hardship must be felt at all levels in order to compel them off the welfare rolls and into employment. Frankly, they will need to take every menial job there is, because their leaders denied them even the bare minimum of life skills from reading to mathematics. It will take at least two more generations to repair the indignities done to these people by their power-mad rabbonim.

Agreed jancsi. Imagine if all this wasted effort had been applied to research in medicine, physics, software development, biotechnology - or any useful contributions to the economy. But Haredi "education" renders children unqualified to lead such useful lives in the future. This educational child abuse must stop. Cutting off all funding for Torah education is an essential step Israel must take and the time is now.

There are 2 issues here. First, are yeshivas entitled to the support? Second, can the government afford to pay for the support?

Even if the answer to the first is yes, the second is no. But of course, most charedim live in a fantasy world.

Jancs and Allan,

To elaborate on your excellent points.

Not only is the Hareidi lifestyle a drain on the betterment of human welfare in it's lack of productivity towards the general societal good, it also fails in providing a boost to the Spiritual well being on Earth.

To be more precise, despite the accomplishments of Bikur cholim organizations, Hatzolah, etc and other haredi creations that do actually help Man, they have a deplorable return on their human capital and cash investment.

The Haredim seem like empty vessels of spirituality if you judge them by how they interact with the other children in the family. They claim Faith in a Creator, but demand the resources of other men. Cowards.

Without too much taxing analysis, anyone can see that the family of mankind has a really spoiled, obnoxious brother in need of immediate intervention.

I would guess that after the primitive patricidal African nations, and the Muslim populations, the Haredim rank next as the biggest failures in the family (superficial analysis granted, but valid nonetheless.)

Well guys, what can I say? I had a moment of weakness!

Ultimately, whether it is done quickly or gradually, the funding needs to stop. If they want to continue to study (or pretend to) full time, let them secure private funding.

In the meantime, this business of eschewing secular education for their children has to stop, both here and in Israel. Force must be used, if necessary.

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