Tuesday, September 01, 2009

And the moral of the story is ...

The Mishpacha magazine (Hebrew) had a fascinating story this past week. The story was about a mother and her quest for wives for her sons and the lesson that she learned. She had a number of sons (3 close together and then a gap). For the first 3 sons she was looking for a wife who would be able to support her son so that he could sit and learn. Therefore, she chose Beis Yaakov graduates with a real profession (not teachers). The first was a computer programmer, the second an architect, the third an accountant. To make a long story short, each one of them was very successful in their career and made good money. However, their family life and her son's learning suffered terribly. They all worked full time jobs and therefore had to work 9+ hours a day. That meant leaving the house before 8AM and coming home the earliest 5:30-6PM. This turned their husbands into Mr. Mom. The husband had to get the kids out to school, help prepare supper, etc. 2 of them opened their own offices and therefore the husband helped run the office. In short, the husband's learning suffered and the kids were being brought up by babysitters.

After a few years when son number 4 was looking for a wife, she decided that she had learned her lesson and things would be different for son number 4. Can anyone guess what lesson she learned?

The lesson that she learned was that she should not look for a career woman, money isn't everything. Rather, she would look for a girl like her, a teacher/gannenet who would have time for her children and husband.

It did not occur to her that maybe the whole system of the wife supporting the husband while he sits and learns is the root of the problem. It did not occur to her that maybe her precious son should actually go out and work and make a living to support his wife as he is מחייב himself to do in the כתובה. Instead, his wife should work and support him while he would sit and learn.


David said...

Well, of course that didn't occur to her. I understood that her point was that instead of her sons learning more because their wife earned a good income they actually learned less, and lost their potential.

The lesson is that you have to be satisfied with little for a life of Torah, pas b'melach etc. However, I'm not convinced that she learned the lesson entirely, because I'm sure they'll demand siddur meleh for their son if he's got a good name like the older boys. For the most part, gedolei Torah do not sprout from such arrangements. Did Rav Shach or Rav Shteinman ever have anything remotely close to "siddur meleh"?

Joseph said...

Excuse my ignorance, but what is a 'siddur meleh'?

David said...

That was in the story. She mentioned that her older sons all received siddur meleh, a full arrangement, which generally means am apartment, furniture, and wedding.

M b D said...

I think it is time that JEWS lived how they did for thousands of years before stealing money from the hard-working class yidden. You need money, you get a job. The Man works, wife stays home and raises the kids. The man learns after a day of work for a few hours. This is how it always was. 1948 Did not mean it was time to live in La La Land and steal from our secular brothers. Be a Mensh, get a job, be self-sufficient.