Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Belzer Rebbe tells his Chassidim to learn a trade and go out to work

In last weeks Mishpacha magazine (Hebrew edition, Parshas Noach) they had a long piece about the Belzer Rebbe's post Simchas Torah address (this is a tradition in Belz that right after Simchas Torah the Rebbe gives an address about the important topics for the new year) to his Chassidim. It was a very interesting piece and one of the things that he talked about was learning and kollel. I will now paraphrase what he said as reported in Mishapacha.

While learning in kollel is very important, everyone needs to learn a trade that they can support themself and their family with. Every avrech should take a few hours a day while learning in kollel and learn a trade. After a year or 2 of kollel every avrech needs to evaluate his situation, those that are not succeeding need to go out and make a living in their trade.

I see that the Jerusalem Post (Hassidim to study 'secular' trades) reported about this as well, their version is a bit different then Mishpacha, but the bottom line is the same, the Belzer Rebbe is telling many of his Chassidim (except those who are very talented in learning) to learn a trade and go to work.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the Charedi world responds.


Anonymous said...

in the jpost article it quotes someone (forgot who) as saying that this is not a chidush for the belzer chassidim, as the rebbe has said this before.

DAAT Y said...


anonymous said...

this is not soo novel for chassidim (but good he said it), but in israel it probably is. What will they do about the army?

bluke said...

Daat Y,

Unfortunately in today's economy there aren't so many trades to learn and it is getting tough to make a living. Most jobs require higher education and I do n't know how realistic it is for the rebbe to say that they can learn it in a half year a few hours a day.

Pragmatician said...

I'm positively shoked, I wonder if his word wil be twisted or taken at heart.

charliehall said...

'Most jobs require higher education'

I'm pretty modern in my hashgafa, but I'd like to point out that there is nothing wrong with delaying formal secular education. My wife got her B.A. in her early 30s and graduated from medical school at the age of 40. I received my Ph.D. at the age of 38. And in my own experience as a professor, older undergraduate and graduate students tend to make up in maturity what they might lack in energy.

Anonymous said...

There are alraedy two Charedi trade schools in Israel and there is very serious talk about setting up a Two year associate degree program

bluke said...


What you say is true, however, it is problematic in the case of the Belzer Hasidim for a number of reasons.

1. By that time they already have a large family and cannot afford to take the time and spend the money to go get an education (they haven't saved any money sitting in Kollel)
2. You can only do that if you have a base to start with (e.g. a HS education), Belzer Chassidim do not and therefore they would be starting basically froom scratch

Jonathan B. Horen said...

When I first married, we lived in Tel-Aviv's Sheinkin neighborhood, and I davened at the "old" Belzer beit medrash. True, there was a kollel there, but most of the older men (30+) worked at a trade. Plumbing, electrical work, שפוצים, טריסםלים, וכו'.

Several years later, we moved to Jerusalem's Mekor Baruch neighborhood (where the "new" Belzer Rebbe" was located) -- much different, but that's the difference between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, eh?