Aug 22, 2013

No Career!

Continued from previous post

The only public speaker that I can recall saying it the way it is, is Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein.  He quoted the pasuk about Sarah being in the tent, in response to the angels asking Avraham where she is.  Then he went on to say, "I can’t say it at Ohr Naava or I’ll lose nearly everyone, but the man should be out working and the woman home taking care of the house. No career! No guy should say he wants five or whatever years of support from his wife. What is his Torah learning worth if it’s at his wife’s expense?"

And the children's expense. 

I remember the shocked look on someone's face when someone suggested (facetiously, but to make the point) that mothers who opt not to raise their kids because they're busy working should give them up.  There are women out there willing to raise them ...

We used to hear the story of a gadol (it's hard to know who it really happened with) who was consulted about the chinuch of a person's young child, say a two year old.  The rabbi said, you are two years too late.  Chinuch begins at birth and before.  Maybe they don't tell this story anymore.


  1. It is not "at his wife's expense" if she is willingly and eagerly supporting him to learn because she truly yearns for her husband to become a great talmid chacham, and is fully ready to sacrifice for that worthy goal.

    As for the effect on the children of the mother working, these days the much more common cause of that is not that the husband is learning and the wife is supporting him/complementing his stipend, but that both parents are working, because two incomes are generally needed nowadays in order to survive. So even if the husband wouldn't be learning, the wife would still be working.

    But I get it: You argue that after children are born 1. the husband should quit Kollel; 2. the family should manage on the husband's income, and the mother should stay home.

  2. Unfortunately frum life embraces two realities:
    One is to spend as much time as possible learning and leave the worry about parnassa to others, while at the same time:
    1)Send all children, both male and female to 15 or more years of expensive private schools
    2)Spend substantially on simchas
    3)Go beyond simply sharing one's Shabbos meals by buying expensive treats for the guests
    4)Send all children to sleep-away camp
    5)Dress in the finest, even to send to sleep-away camp
    6)Keep up with the Cohen's in terms of home remodeling/decor and vacations
    7)Wear expensive wigs and push expensive strollers.
    Somehow most people who are not highly educated professionals have difficulty meeting the costs of frumkeit today.