Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Out of the Inbox - Newspaper-reading Kollel guys 

NOTE: To submit a letter for an 'Out of the Inbox' posting simply post it as a comment.

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

I thought a lot about my motives for writing this letter to make sure that they were pure and not selfish. Still after thinking about it for a while I am not sure if they are. My reason for writing this letter is probably more due to jealousy than anything else. But anyway, maybe something can be changed for the better by writing it out.

I am a working man in my forties. I have a 9-5 job, a family and a daily shiur. I actually live for the latter two more than anything else. But anyway, I have to get up very early to get my things done and be at work on time. I grab my coffee, my Artscroll and my Times and I'm on the train off to the city.

Now here is where my jealousy comes in. In the event that I have a day off or when I go into work a little late and I pass by the groceries or newspaper stands I see packs of chasidishe young men huddled around the newspapers fervently pouring over every page. Sometimes even as late as ten o'clock I will see these young men with their wet peyos from the mikvah, their tallis bag in their hand and all still before shachris as if in another dimension of newspaper bliss.

I am extremely jealous of this. I wish that I had the time and the calmness to be able to indulge myself in blissful newspaper reading, but alas I cannot. I have a job to be at and can not be the kollel guy that I would want to be. I know my motives and I am trying to bring myself to a spiritual place where I won't feel jealous of these people, but until then could you guys please tone it down a bit so that people like me who support your kollel don't have to feel this way.

Thank you,
D. F.

First of all not only chasidishe guys stand around looking at the papers, secondly many yungerleit go to the mikvah after davenin so might be walking home from davening and thirdly for all you know they are on their way to davening but they have allready did a bread/milk run since 4:30am so next time look at your own crowd who don't go to the mikvah and don't have long payos and be everyone DAN LEKAF ZCHUS.(like you Rosh Yeshiva taught you)


I think the Artscroll goes better with the Hamodia and not the "Times". If yoou prefere the times then leave the artscroll at home so as not cause a chillul hashem.


Usually those who say they are supporting the kollel,yeshiva etc. never give a penny anywhere. If this bothers you to such an extent PLEASE stop supporting "ALL" the kollels you do.


He grabs his artscroll in the morning so he might not know what DAN LEKAF ZCHUS means.


While this is NOT a strictly Chassidishe problem, I am Chassidish, and more than half of the married men I know are NOT working.

They are victmized by a system that rewards people with superior benefits when not bringing in income.


Dear D.F. and Anonymous...Mr Anonymous, for some reason you feel an attack. Maybe you are that person "reading the newspaper". I don't believe that DF categorized all chissidishe men as "newspaper readers". Every morning (or most mornings) he sees these people, and you cannot disgree with his eyes. Mr DF, you must have certain insecurities. Either these young men have a general lifestyle that allows them to take a break and "hang out" or their daily routine allows that. Perhaps some of their ancestors worked very hard or got lucky and they made alot of money. Work hard my friend, so you will enjoy every penny. Work hard my friend, so YOUR kinderlach will be able to take those "newspaper breaks". I notice as well, that you say and seem to be happy with the latter two. If so, you should be a happywith your "lot". Family and Torah/H-shem are what life is. Also, you never want to be jealous...put aside ayin hara for a moment or two, life is a puzzle if you take someone's piece, you've got to take it all. You don't know what anyone is going through (even if it's a group). Maybe they can't hold jobs, maybe not healthy, maybe, maybe, maybe. Look within yourself. Find out what you are not happy about-perhaps talk to a professional about what you find or want to find. Money issues are stressful, but "ayzeh hoo ashir hasameach b'chelko". Please do yourself a favor. (And Mr Anonymous, relax.) Good luck, my friend.


Forget about the few guy you see in the street. Go to any local yeshivah or kollel at that hour & you will see hundreds of guys already hard at "work".


my Artscroll and my Times
What a Shiduch.


first of all the person who commented on this article is not only close minded but terribly childish. obviosly this man is saying that this is what he saw he didnt judge hes saying "i saw this and this is how it makes me feel " i am chassidish and u dont have to try to stick up for the whole chassidish religion ,... the man has a point i learned bechavrusah for 3 years with a very chashuvah rebbe from williamsburgh and i have personaaly seen many shalom bayis problems because of different things that he mentioned .... thatre are problems in both worlds ...in mir and lajewood there are many issues but we should be kind and warm and help people understand the backround that many of the people from "our" world grow up in ...... its not easy but it will help


"I grab my coffee, my Artscroll and my Times"
Imegine if you would see a "CHASIDISHE YINGERMAN" with a NOAM ELIMELECH & a NY Times we would have another letter from you.


Even better, how about PAYING for the newspaper so the guy selling it can make a living?


There are, nebach, lots of chassidishe people who are just not well. They can not hold down normal 9:00 to 5:00 (6:00) jobs
like you.

Certainly, if they were competant enough, they would much prefer working than the shame of hovering over newspapers. So, don't be jealous, it's the other way around. They're jealous!They know you have it better than them.

So, bracha & hatzlacha to those who busy themselves by working or learning. Refuah sheleima to the others.


Find a better job. Or Join a Kollel. You can make yourself what you want to be, If you prefer to be in your 40s and work FOR someone a 9-5 job were you cant come late or leave when you want thats your choice. You should not be complaining about the talented people that in their 30s don't have to work for someone,and they have the option of going to the mikvah or daven when they want. I would also suggest that you don't pick up the times anymore, because thats causing you the jealousy. Aveira goreres aveira..


The letter writer and 10:50 AM are both right.
There are problems with some Chasidishe guys on these schedules that do not work. There is an even larger problem in Flatbush/BP of young frima donna married men that do not work and have time only for the paper and trips to Florida which Parents pay for.


I would not chastise this man. He makes a living and learns(an earner and learner). He deserves some respect. He does not shukel and hide all day in the kollel.
Shame on all the laidic gayers who hang out in the kollel. Some of you dont even want to be there so you pretend and shukel along. Be truthfull to yourselves and Hashem.You can work too. You can grab a shiur on the internet, CD, DVD, tape, IPOD at night or even durring your lunch break.
This man was stating his oppinion only and the oppinion of all of us working guys.


How about this:
I recently had to leave yeshiva and join the working world. I was under the weather not long ago and went to a VERY late shachris, sometime around 9:30AM.

I was extremely bothered by the many both beis medrash and kollel people I ran into. If I can get up before 6 everyday to go to work, and yes, give money to my yeshiva to support these clowns "in beis medrash" or "in kollel" or "in learning" then the least they could do would be to daven with z'man t'fillah and learn.

I have many friends who are sincere in their avodas hashem and learn yomam valayala. I also know MANY MANY people who hock, shmooze, smoke and battel during sedarim, show up late, leave early and rarely learn when it isn't seder. These people have no business stealing from a tsedakah, kollel or yeshiva. Just because you want to be "in learning" doesn't mean you're "in learning".

"In learning" means that you have a thirst, a hunger, a desire to learn. Learning is your life. You learn at home, you learn on the bus, you learn in the beis medrash, and you learn on motsei shabbos. The scores of poeple who aren't cracking open a sefer and breaking a sweat by 10AM, or worse, are hanging out by the newsstand catching up on sports, have no business taking a penny for "limud" that isn't happening.

Yes, there are yechidim who have reasons for being at a late shachris. There are exceptions. There are guys who are sincerely trying to grow and may not be there yet. But I have trouble believing that there can possibly be SO MANY yechidim.

My rosh yeshiva used to chew bochurim out if they weren't at seder at 10AM. If we were reading the paper... forget about it.

Maybe it's time we stopped jumping on someone for sincerely speaking up, and we started taking a good hard look at kollellim. My chaveirim who don't stop thinking in learning, I would support them in a heartbeat.

But there can be no excuse for laytsanus on somebody elses dollar.

If someone is working a full day and giving of his hard earned money for you to be learning, you had better not be reading the paper.

Just because you may have been up at 4:30AM with a baby doesn't mean that there is an excuse. I am up with my son at 4:30. I still make it to minyan, I still have my sedarim, I still work 10 hour days.

If you're taking tsedakah because you're "in learning", you had better be learning.


Is there something wrong with reading the NY times? Is there something wrong with learning from an Artscroll??

While I disagree with the writer and think he needs to pay more attention to hundreds of men learning every day on time, all day, i am disgusted by the attitudes of the people mocking him for reading the Times and even worse for knocking his learning from an Artscroll gemara.

I'll bet that just as it is usually guys who don't support kollellim who complain about them the most, it is lowlifes who never open a sefer who are making fun of someone who learns from an Artscroll gemara.

A true ben toirah would never make fun of the effort another yid puts into learning.

I'm no longer in kollel and guess what? I also use an Artscroll when I am learning Daf Yomi and need to fit a tough sugya into a tough schedule.

You should all take a good look in the mirror and see what tzaddikim you yourselves are and how little you are moiser nefesh for learning.


Mr. Anonymous 3:49 My friend...These Florida trips are even happening "out of town"! shoyack for your ha'ara


YES YES there is nothing wrong with learning from an Artscrol BUT THERE IS something wrong with reading the TIMES.


There shouldn't be mocking of the writer, DF. Very commendable for speaking his piece. I think the word "jealousy", atleast in my opinion shows an interest in being like "them". Otherwise, the word "bother" or "irk" should have been used. I understand what is going through Reb DF's mind. This yiddishe world happens to be a crazy place. In th 90s and beyond (perhaps before, but it's for sure gotten worse-hiskatnu hadoros) the frum community has been very tumultious. Drugs. Sex. Deceit. Cheating (martital and non-marital). Agunos. Each of you can think of so much more. We have been brought up "knowing" what's important, only finding out later what really should matter. Ask yourself, or a friend/colleague what they thought was ideal for a spouse when they were 16-18 years old and ask them what they find would be ideal 10 years later. What mattered to them as a "frum yid" when they were teenagers and does that still stand at the top of the list now. We need "lilmode u'lilamed"-we need to learn, but we need to be taught. My friend, Reb DF, hang in there-there is a spot for you on the mizrach vont in the "good life". These guys are on the balcony. Smile and keep your head up high-in moderation (sha'ar ha'gaivah).




Please forgive my ignorance, but why is reading the NYT a problem??


Why is everyone "Anonymous"? Are you the guys with the "anonymous" plaques and "anonymous" ads? Give yourself a nickname, if nothing else!! Thank youkindly.


to midwest bliss

you are wondering why everyone is anonymous
but you name yourself midwest bliss
isnt that kind of an anonymous name too

why dont you say who you are

i dont need answer but just letting you know that your answer is my answer

good shabbos and may hashem bless you, you should have some thing to do in order not to indelve in foolishness

signed : anonymous


Wow people are actually responding to this letter seriously. My goodness we have major issues in the world...who is going to be the next country leader...high tuition costs...and even the infamous "youngerman" of BP.
But this...if you took the time to this (and I will admit that I am putting myself in this category)must admit that you are seriously bored with nothing in life to do but worry about the people who read newspapers in the morning...ONLY CHAPTZEM...ONLY IN BP!


Its amazing that everyone just assumes that the writer of the letter is referring to the New York Times. It's quite obvious that someone with an Artscroll is reading the Torah Times which is distributed throughout the Jewish community.


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