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The Systems of the Jewish Year

"Deathbed Questions" - Comments

1 Yisrael on 2012 11 23

One thing you might be missing, some of us work 60 hours a week or more because frum living requires it. 6 kids would mean $60,000 in tuition minimum, which is $90,000 before tax. That figure along puts you in the top 15% income bracket. Add to that a home, kosher food, etc. To earn that money in this economy, especially if you never got any parnasa training, can take endless work at the office. We do don’t go there to get ahead, because it’s hard for a frum person to get very far anyway, but to survive. You are using a cliche that applied to goyim of a different era.

2 efryim shore on 2012 11 23

BRAVO....using a ‘given’, examining it with the light of Torah, and recognizing its inherent flaw......and therefore what is incumbent on a believing Jew. TY...well done. The comment by Yisrael does have application but he is missing a key aspect of your ideas and yes there is some bitterness in his reply because it IS so dogging to make enough to pay all the expenses which will put you in the top 5% income bracket....LOVE WORK, just know the parameters. best wishes, e

3 micha on 2012 11 23

The truth is, I was always bothered by rabbis who bring up this quote because of the illusion that the people in the audience working 50+ hour weeks were by-and-large blinded by a desire for wealth or to build their career.

In reality, in most Orthodox communities, the person who is working those hours is doing so just to pay the bills. (In many countries that’s because of the high cost of tuition; in Israel it’s because of the size of post-tax take home pay vs family size.)

It bespeaks of a blindness as to where the money enters the community just to cover our expenses. Including the expenses of having rabbis and subsidizing their children’s educations. We need rabbis, and others buttressing the religious feel and infrastructure of our community; I’m not saying it’s an unfair expense. But it’s a blindness to think that their ability to be my rabbi has nothing to do with why I’m not home as early as I would love to be.

4 yehoshua on 2012 11 23

As usual, a stimulating dvar Torah, even if I do not necessarily agree with it!  There is the challenge of balancing hishtadlus with bitachon.  I love those hasidic stories where a calm, believing Jew owes an incredible sum which must be paid by a certain time or he will be seized by the local paritz, imprisoned and G-d knows what else.  As the hour for paying the debt approaches, the Jew is flat broke but then, suddenly, circumstances present him with an opportunity to make an enormous immediate profit.  Yes, yes, I know about the expenses of raising a frum family but I also know that, in Israel, despite economic pressures, people are much less materially obsessed than in the US.  I have met many, many people in Eretz Yisrael who passed on opportunities for additional parnasa because they wanted to spend more time learning Torah.  It is easier to deepen your spiritual, as opposed to material, commitments in Eretz Yisrael than it is to do in golus.

5 Eton Mizrachi on 2012 11 25

you mean i wish i wasnt such a crooked employee.Well thats the 1st Q they ask you up there.You know the other gemara ,the 1st Q is did u learn torah every free min. Ans--------- After you are established not a crook then thats the 1st Q.  Chazak Eton

6 TH on 2012 11 25

Eton -
The Gemara does NOT say thay ask if you learnt Torah every free minute, rather were you koveia itim, had set aside times.
And, not being a crooked employee is exactly the point.
Kol Tuv

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