Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I have heard from a respectful rabbi that Kollel system has its flaws. I was in a state of shock when I heard him say this. Could a real rabbi who learns in Kollel say there is something wrong with it? Well anyway he descibed these flaws. 1) Not everyone is meant for Kollel (many don't think that way). 2) You have to learn in Kollel (also many people don't think this way). 3) People use it as a way to fit in with the crowd and end up not learning for the sake of learning.

1) Yes not everyone is meant for Kollel. There are tons out there who would rather be working but they promised that they would sit and learn for X amount of years and X amount of children or they are placed under peer pressure and if they go against the system they face humiliation and children not being able to go to good schools. (kind of like that girl who was afraid to ask her teachers questions on Judaism).

2) You have to learn in kollel. For your average kollel guy its just a joke and every few minutes their out for a smoke or to talk and text on their phones. Maybe Schmoozing with a couple of guys but hardly ever learning. 3) they use it to fit in with the crowd as I mentioned before its peer pressure. Why do they learn (if they do) only to show off I learn or to not show off but prove they are meant for Kollel.

The rabbi obviously knew who/what he was talking to/about. I agree on all levels that he is right. He said that most should work instead of learn and waste their time. He said the System has changed from what it used to be 100 years ago. He explained that in the past you got married at 15 so by that time you had to set a life standard. They got married and if the man had leaned toward learning, he would be set off to learn and would be supported. If he leaned towards not learning he would set out to work. So now its a different system. If you are in a Yeshiva you must set off to learn in Kollel and expect to be supported. If you go to college you are set off to be single a loooong time.

The rabbi did say there are some Kollel's that the only way you can learn there is if someone promised to support you and that this is the right Kollel. Being that it was like Yissachar and Zevulin it is the ideal Kollel. May we all be Zocheh that we should live to see a time where all Kollels will be like this last one. Amen.

9 people gave their 2 cents:

Moshe said...

"There are tons out there who would rather be working..."

Really?! I think they enjoy pretending to learn and getting money for it. Where else do you get to hang out most of the day and not get fired.

G6 said...

Amen to that, Mike!
Maybe this downturned economy will help the pendulum swing a bit back to where it should be.

BrooklynWolf said...


I'm not so certain that we (as a society) even know what the function of a Kollel should be. I posted about this back in June.

The Wolf

Mikeinmidwood said...


Okay I guess your right about it.


I hope it does.

Brooklyn Wolf

Hmmm... not quite getting that one.

Mikeinmidwood said...

Brooklyn Wolf

I okay I read it and see what you are saying and you seem right. I agree with the former, the one with the learn to become a great rabbi. Which then brings the question you brought of why is everyone in Kollel.

BrooklynWolf said...


I have my own theories about why everyone is in kollel (no, it's nothing nefarious). I'll probably post them in the coming days.

The Wolf

Anonymous said...

I've been saying that for years, but never heard a rabbi say it. This "kollel for everyone" idea is ridiculous. I'm just glad I'm not in that world.

Mikeinmidwood said...


Hate to break it to you but you are in that world.

The Babysitter said...

First of all, after reading the first few words it reminds me of something.

The other week I was in shul and was talking to the Reb and I was so surprised at what she had to say. She said exactly as all the other bloggers have said. And she's a chassidish Reb, so I totally didn't expect her to have such views.

She said that kollel isn't for everyone, and that HS's should teach vocational stuff so that the boys don't feel like failures if they can't learn. That this way they will get started on a career.

She also said a bunch of other stuff. Including how school's should be more open to questions and should teach this stuff, and give them a feeling of why we are doing what we are doing, that since now our generation has a lot of people going off, we have to raise them with stronger foundations, that it shouldn't just be because their told to do it. She's the same Reb that I went to for a shabbos shuva drasha, see my first Rosh Hashana post.

Amen to the Right Kollel!