Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why are you turning into a schnorrer?

This is the question the Jonathan Rosenblum asked a Charedi Yeshiva Bachur who was trying to hitch a ride for a few blocks. The answer was, מקובל, it is accepted practice.

In his latest column (in Hebrew) in the Mishpacha magazine, Jonathan Rosenblum talks about his encounter with a Yeshiva Bachur who was trying to hitch a ride a few blocks.

His point was that today's Yeshiva Bachur has no compunction and feels no shame to take things for free even if he could do it himself. He points out that the idea of נהמא דכיסופא (literally free bread), which means that Hashem put us on this world so that we could earn our עולם הבא so we wouldn't be embarrassed by being נהנה מזיו השכינה for free, is a completely foreign concept to today's Yeshiva Bachur.

The only point I disagree with him on is that he blames it on Israeli Socialism. IMHO this is just not true. The same attitude can be found in American Yeshiva Bachurim as well. When your whole lifestyle is predicated on you sitting and learning and someone else supporting you (in style), of course you can't understand נהמא דכיסופא, it is a contradiction to your whole lifestyle.


Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

I don't agree with his point to begin with, but I see bochurim in Flatbush (non-Chassidish, for the record) hitchhiking from their yeshivos to get to places in Brooklyn all the time.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Years ago I was standing on a bus in Toronto and a cheder boy about 12 years old got on. The driver asked for a ticket and the boy showed him empty hands. I moved forward and handed the driver a spare ticket I had. I figured I was helping out a fellow Jew right?
Well, the boy quickly followed me back to the middle of the bus but it wasn't to say thank you. It was to explain that he only needed to take the bus a distance of one stop (it was raining) and when you board a bus but don't have a ticket, they make you get off at the next stop. This was something he apparently did all the time.
I asked him: Does your rosh yeshivah know you're a goniff? He looked at me like I had lost my mind.
There are large segments of Chareidi culture that have come to believe that they are entitled to anything they want simply because they sit and learn.
In biology, we call organisms like those parasites.