Nov 25, 2014

Then and Now

R' M.M. Weiss, a rav in Staten Island and teacher at Machon BY seminary, wrote an article in the year 2000 discussing why he thought the previous fifteen years (1985-2000) saw an unprecedented crisis among frum youth.

When he started teaching in 1985, he said that 80% of the mothers of the girls he taught were full-time homemakers. In 2000, he says, it's the other way around, with 80% of mothers working full time.

He understands that some have no choice, that was always the case. Whether for valid reasons or not (that was not the issue here), he was observing that parents, particularly mothers, are not available for their children as they used to be, not physically available (like not being home when their children come home from school, or even when home, not having time for their children), and not emotionally available because of having to juggle so many responsibilities.
Recently, Hamodia magazine presented the following numbers to compare a young family in Brooklyn in the 1970's versus 2014:

Salary for a professional in the 1970's: $15,000
Median starting salary for professional in 2014: $45,000

Rent for a two bedroom apartment in the 1970's: $200 a month
Average rent for a two bedroom apartment in 2014: $2000 a month

Tuition in the 1970's: $125 a month for one child
Average tuition in 2014: $425 a month for one child

Rent+Tuition in 1970 = approximately 25% of income
Rent+Tuition in 2014 = approximately 65% of income
to be continued


  1. Rent+tuition =65% of income does not even take into consideration the numerous other expenses!

  2. Still we must count our blessings. Not too long ago, we had toilet holes in the backyard; Had to take a stick to the hand-washed clothes; Had no libraries like we have now (in fact, my library is probably better that one Maimonides had!); Lanterns with no electricity... etc.

    The key is: Think positively and things (automatically) turn positive! Our thoughts proactively change our environment and feelings.