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Do you ever "compromise" on yiddishkeit for money
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shalhevet




 
 
 


Post  Mon, May 04 2009, 9:11 am
Having thought about this thread a bit more, I think the whole premise is wrong. If you are living your life l'shem shamayim, you do not 'compromise'. You make choices, which are mostly not black and white, made on Torah values.

In many cases a person needs to ask a rav about what is more important.

As examples, education or where we live - these things are not black and white. Why does Moshe decide that School X is better than Y for his daughter? Maybe his premises are false (eg they learn more, but there is less emphasis on yiras shamayim). Maybe we have to choose between a chareidi area with a poor cheder vs. a mixed area with a good one. Or an area with good girls' schools vs poor boys' ones? Or the opposite? Or spending more money to live in an expensive area with 'better' neighbours, and so the father learns less Torah, or the mother works more hours? etc etc

Even cat's examples are not totally black and white. Would you always buy an etrog? What if you wouldn't have money for food? What if it was arba minim or Torah tuition for your son? What if you had to lie or steal to get it? What if you had to risk someone else's life? And what about any of the above scenarios if you could borrow from your neighbour?
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amother






Post  Mon, May 04 2009, 9:18 am
creativemommyto3 wrote:
amother wrote:
Here's a good one: I think I am (personally) more "religious" by taking care of my own children rather than being a kollel wife who has to work to support her family (but would not have to work if her husband was working) and therefore must send her kids to daycare or to be watched by a stranger. I think THAT is "compromising" for the sake of "religion."
Bash if you must, that's why I'm amother.



That all depends on the person's attitude. I was just reading about Rebbetzin Kotler a''H.. the wife of R' Ahron Kotler zT'L who started BMG in Lakewood. EVERYTHING she did was l'sheim Torah.. she even thought of her household errands as special b/c they were enabling the Rav to learn.. Such simcha and true ahavas Torah.. most kollel wives strive for that level if they aren't on that level already.


This is the amother who made the comment creativemommy quoted. First of all, I'm not saying there should be no kollels or kollel wives. But I assume you have some exposure to the kollel lifestyle, and I ask you: Do you really think the majority of today's kollel wives are on the level, or even close to the level, of Rebbetzin Kotler? I am no Rebbetzin Kotler, and my husband is not in kollel, but I also feel that everything I do for my family (including cooking, running errands, etc.) enables my husband to work so that we can do our avodas Hashem of raising our family in what we consider the proper way.

amother wrote:
Why on earth would this make you more or less religious then someone else? Rolling Eyes


I guess that when people include "kollel" on a list of what makes people frummer, to me it smacks of arrogance, and I can't help but think about the compromises most kollel wives have to make in terms of raising their children. I just don't think that a kollel wife is more "religious" than me just because she's a kollel wife, which is why I made my comment. Who decided that being in kollel is the "frummer" way to live?
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red sea




 
 
 


Post  Mon, May 04 2009, 9:18 am
Shalhevet wrote:
If you are living your life l'shem shamayim, you do not 'compromise'. You make choices, which are mostly not black and white, made on Torah values.


I agree with this.
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creativemommyto3




 
 
 


Post  Mon, May 04 2009, 9:21 am
amother wrote:
creativemommyto3 wrote:
amother wrote:
Here's a good one: I think I am (personally) more "religious" by taking care of my own children rather than being a kollel wife who has to work to support her family (but would not have to work if her husband was working) and therefore must send her kids to daycare or to be watched by a stranger. I think THAT is "compromising" for the sake of "religion."
Bash if you must, that's why I'm amother.



That all depends on the person's attitude. I was just reading about Rebbetzin Kotler a''H.. the wife of R' Ahron Kotler zT'L who started BMG in Lakewood. EVERYTHING she did was l'sheim Torah.. she even thought of her household errands as special b/c they were enabling the Rav to learn.. Such simcha and true ahavas Torah.. most kollel wives strive for that level if they aren't on that level already.


This is the amother who made the comment creativemommy quoted. First of all, I'm not saying there should be no kollels or kollel wives. But I assume you have some exposure to the kollel lifestyle, and I ask you: Do you really think the majority of today's kollel wives are on the level, or even close to the level, of Rebbetzin Kotler? I am no Rebbetzin Kotler, and my husband is not in kollel, but I also feel that everything I do for my family (including cooking, running errands, etc.) enables my husband to work so that we can do our avodas Hashem of raising our family in what we consider the proper way.

amother wrote:
Why on earth would this make you more or less religious then someone else? Rolling Eyes


I guess that when people include "kollel" on a list of what makes people frummer, to me it smacks of arrogance, and I can't help but think about the compromises most kollel wives have to make in terms of raising their children. I just don't think that a kollel wife is more "religious" than me just because she's a kollel wife, which is why I made my comment. Who decided that being in kollel is the "frummer" way to live?


I agree with you about not being any less frum just b/c your dh is not in kollel. Mine isn't. But to say that YOU are frummer b/c you stay home with your kids isn't nice either. We all serve Hash-m in our own way!
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amother






Post  Mon, May 04 2009, 9:36 am
creativemommyto3 wrote:

I agree with you about not being any less frum just b/c your dh is not in kollel. Mine isn't. But to say that YOU are frummer b/c you stay home with your kids isn't nice either. We all serve Hash-m in our own way!


I know in my mind that you're right, and I'm not trying to hurt or insult anyone, but I have a very visceral/emotional reaction when I hear people equating the kollel lifestyle with being "frummer," and my main reason is the children, plain and simple. So the topic of conversation, "compromise" caused me to react the way I did. I just don't think it was ever as acceptable as it is today to "compromise" on the upbringing of children. I realize that people do this for other reasons than kollel, but for some reason, when people do it b/c of kollel, it is considered "frum."
Okay, I think I've hijacked this thread enough, and this is obviously a debate that could go on forever, so I'm going to get down off my soapbox now....
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creativemommyto3




 
 
 


Post  Mon, May 04 2009, 9:44 am
amother wrote:
creativemommyto3 wrote:

I agree with you about not being any less frum just b/c your dh is not in kollel. Mine isn't. But to say that YOU are frummer b/c you stay home with your kids isn't nice either. We all serve Hash-m in our own way!


I know in my mind that you're right, and I'm not trying to hurt or insult anyone, but I have a very visceral/emotional reaction when I hear people equating the kollel lifestyle with being "frummer," and my main reason is the children, plain and simple. So the topic of conversation, "compromise" caused me to react the way I did. I just don't think it was ever as acceptable as it is today to "compromise" on the upbringing of children. I realize that people do this for other reasons than kollel, but for some reason, when people do it b/c of kollel, it is considered "frum."
Okay, I think I've hijacked this thread enough, and this is obviously a debate that could go on forever, so I'm going to get down off my soapbox now....


No, you are normal.. I had the same reaction when my neighbor (whose dh is in kollel) made it seem like what you are saying and it made me feel bad too , like maybe I am doing something wrong. But as long as we have the same goals, there really isn't anything wrong. Not all men are made to sit and learn all day.. but that doesn't make them any less frum. okay, enough hijacking..
amother, you could pm me if you want.
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JC




 
 
 


Post  Mon, May 04 2009, 9:47 am
I would not cross the line of bare bones halach. I would cut out any chumrahs and gedarim if at some point they put a significant strain on our family.

I feel that we do a lot of things to fit into the society, but my families health (sholom bais, which includes my families financial health) comes after the halacha, but before the chumra. That is not to say I would not keep some gedarim/chumras things that really apply to our personal needs. For example two ovens, halachicly its not necessary, you can cover or kasher very easily. But I have a short term memory problem and kept forgetting (even though I have a set of magnets to remind me, I would forget to switch the magnet.) In other families with normal moms it would not have been a problem, but it is for me. So I have to compromise, but the compromise is not a halachic one, either way, I will keep the halacha. Rather it is is a compromise will be me weighing the chumra vs. my finances vs. the personal choice (ease of having two ovens), and how they affect my sholom bais. In this case, is my shlom bais more greatly affected by my financial struggle or by the steps I have to take to cook in my one oven in accordance to the actual halach? That which is not halacha and adversely effects my sholom bais is the one to go by the wayside. The compromise would be in how I dealt with it, not a compromise on my religiosity.

Caring about my family's financial health it is NOT a lack of emunah, but a strong belief that Hashem wants us to be proactive in our own destiny. I HATE when I read post where either the responder or the OP talk about going to a Rav who will tell us what to do, I believe they can advise, but the decision must remain open for individual choice. So many things that have become black and white even though they are so many layers away from the bottom line halacha, and with so little personal choice we seem to have. I wonder if Hashem even considers what we do worthwhile since we seem to be doing it without feeling like we have any choice but that we have to to be regarded as religious.

Which show a greater commitment to Hashem with limited resources, the person who only has $10 to their name, walks into the market and buys only the 'prefered' hechsers despite the other hechser being kosher and on sale- they go home and are only just able to feed their family. Or the person who buys the kosher food at a discount (with an acceptable hechsher) and its able to not only feed thier own family heartily but also the guest who is without any resouces and also gives a little extra to tzedaka.
I know this is a simplistic situation, but the concept of limited resources is NOT only a personal issue. It effects the greater community.
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Besiyata Dishmaya




 
 
 


Post  Mon, May 04 2009, 11:17 am
Seraph wrote:
MeThinks wrote:
However, being lenient with hechsherim because of money that most would not use, is considered compromising on Yiddishkeit.

It really depends how much you hold some hechsher isnt ok. If you rav says "Better buy this hechsher over that hechsher, but the other one is still kosher and you can rely on it bishas hadchak or in certain circumstances", would you use a hefsed meruba as one of those circumstances? I know hefsed meruba plays a big part in hilchos kashrus.

If the Rov says it's ok, then it's ok. A problem could occur by any company even by the biggest mehadrin. And if the Rov says it's mutter, it's mutter. But if lechatchilah you know that the hechsher is based on this leniency, a Jew that's mehader bemitzvos would probably refrain from using it.
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rgk




 
 
 


Post  Sun, May 10 2009, 10:14 pm
amother - a mother should be with her kids, end of story. Many mothers don't stay home (myself included unfortunately), for various reasons, kollel, finances, invalid husband, whatever and they are all valid. But the bottom line is that kids should be raised by their mother. I'm not sure why you would think people would bash you for that? I don't think I know any mother who disagrees that a mother should be with her kids if it is possible. btw I think kollel is amazing, but I know many kollel wives who are with their kids, and the ones who aren't, miss them! Seraph - making decisions about hashkafah doesn't mean compromising on yiddishkeit, compromising on yiddishkeit would be if you ate non kosher because it was cheaper. That's plain assur. The examples you brought are things that shapes a person's derech, hashkafa, and relationship with Hashem, which are all very important. But once you start talking about compromising I think you are treading dangerous waters, (b/c that makes me think of black and white examples, assur vs. mutar)
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Atali




 
 
 


Post  Mon, May 11 2009, 12:01 am
catonmylap wrote:
I think we all have our absolutes that we would not compromise on, no matter what, and they might be different from each other.

1-Jewish education for my child/children
2-ritual objects (like lulav/estrog, matzah, talis/tefillin for dh, etc, would never consider doing without)
3-kosher food
4-shabbat observance in my home
5-keeping taharat hamispacha

I think those are very basic.

Living in a haredi only environment is not a yiddishkeit thing but a lifestyle/choice. I don't know if it is fair to justify it that way so you don't have to back down from that position no matter what.


About #2, when we lived in Australia the arbah minim were absurdly expensive due to very strict customs rules. Since we couldn't afford it we shared with my in-laws.

However, if we would not be able to fulfill the mitzvah otherwise of course we would have paid for it.
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Seraph




 
 
 


Post  Mon, May 11 2009, 1:10 am
rgk wrote:
Seraph - making decisions about hashkafah doesn't mean compromising on yiddishkeit, compromising on yiddishkeit would be if you ate non kosher because it was cheaper. That's plain assur. The examples you brought are things that shapes a person's derech, hashkafa, and relationship with Hashem, which are all very important. But once you start talking about compromising I think you are treading dangerous waters, (b/c that makes me think of black and white examples, assur vs. mutar)
Thats why I wrote "compromise". Not exactly compromising on yiddishkeit, but on certain aspects of yiddishkeit- chumras, hiddurim, hashkafa, etc. I couldnt think of a better way to word it. Do you have a better idea?
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shabri




 
 
 


Post  Mon, May 11 2009, 1:27 am
I think that if you have a close relationship with a rav and he knows you well then you never have to make these decisions on your own and never are actually compromising since you are living daas torah.

An example. WE live in Israel where the hechsherim are complicated to say the least. Our rav told us we can eat a certain hechsher of meat no problem. A few months later my friend mentioned to me that the same rav told her NOT to eat that meat. I got all nervous and spoke to DH who spoke to the rav. He said, yes b/c you live in a certain area where mehadrin meat is harder to get and is much more expensive, its totally fine for you to use. My friend lives in a much more chareidi area where other hechsherim are available and even cheaper since there is some competition so for them its better not to eat it.

Am I compromising? I don't think so. I am following daas torah which is what Hashem expects of me.


Last edited by shabri on Mon, May 11 2009, 1:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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shabri




 
 
 


Post  Mon, May 11 2009, 1:28 am
by the way, that hechsher was a mehadrin one, just not as mainstream as others
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ora_43




 
 
 


Post  Mon, May 11 2009, 6:12 am
Agreed w/Shalhevet.

I'm not sure "compromise" is right, because money is so often also a Torah issue. If your husband is leaving kollel or your kids are going to the cheaper, slightly worse school so that you can save money for a vacation in Europe that's one thing -- but in most cases, people "compromise" because they need that money for the essentials. And being able to pay for the essentials is important -- a man has a mitzva to support his family, people have a mitzva not to take tzedaka if they can avoid it, etc.

So if someone chooses to buy food with an inferior heksher in order to avoid spending money that they need for their kids' tuition/ essential food items/ the heating bill, then IMO that's not compromising on yiddishkeit, it's making a choice between two things that are both mitzvot. Which is something we all have to do at some point, often many times.

Would I compromise for money I didn't truly need for something equally/more important? I hope not. Would I compromise on the things you listed in order to have money to support the family without needing tzedaka, or to help a relative in need, things like that -- absolutely.
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amother






Post  Mon, May 11 2009, 6:40 am
We've had to compromise (or whatever better word there is) for financial reasons.

After 2-3 years of trying to get viable parnossah, and basically going into HUGE debt, I had to go back to work (dh's parnossah was not enough), and that took us to a smaller community and a school that is more coed than we are comfortable with and does not have as strong of an identity (of our community) or limudei kodesh as the chedarim we'd have liked to send our children to. for now, we are not directly impacted (bc our children are younger kah) but we'll have to make some decisions if things don't change in a few years, and it's likely we won't have a viable option to have our kids in the type of school we'd really want to have them. (ie. we'll have to arrange something with this school to make the halachic issues work or we'll have to homeschool)

also, since I have to work, I am exhausted and not coping well. I have a heter for BC, when I really wanted to be making a larger family and taking care of my own children, taking time to give them the chinuch at home I wanted, instead I have to be out "winning our bread", and they are with a non-Jewish babysitter--hence she doesn't daven with them, isn't as sensitive to some things, etc. all the things having a frum Jewish babysitter would bring. BH she's dependable and loves my kids, and is very respectful of Jewish home, but it's not what we wanted to do lechatchila, nor what our rav/my rebbetzin originally would have given their haskama to.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Thu, May 21 2009, 4:07 am
I would NOT compromise for money, but that does not prevent me from whining in the grocery store over hekshers we can't have. "Look at the price of their cheese, now look at the price of OUR cheese! IT'S JUST NOT FAIR!!!" *



* Tablet K immediately springs to mind. Can someone please explain to me what is wrong with Tablet K? No one on my local Va'ad is willing to explain the ruling. They just say "Because we have our reasons", and then dismiss you. The whole thing seems shady and secretive. Just tell me already!
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