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The Somewhat Litvshe Yid

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Women in the work force

I saw a link to this article over here. It talks about the place of Chareidi women in the work place. I have two comments to make on the article. The first is the overall gist of the piece.
Bais Yaakov educators invest years of hard work in fashioning the hearts of their students to protect the tohoroh in their neshomos. These girls are shielded within the chareidi society, a sort of teivas Noach, to be saved from the rampant flood outside. When working together with secular employees, one sentence or joke can sometimes penetrate like poison and destroy all of their chinuch. This is surely so when these women must work daily in such places. When this woman returns home, what type of new character envelopes her? What will be her attitude to her husband's yiras Shomayim? How will she educate her children? The answers are evident to any sensitive person.

I am absolutely astounded by this. What the author is essentially saying is that women can't be trusted out of the strict confines of their communities. I think this a serious attack on the level of frumkeit of chareidi women. Man can handle it...but women can't. This, if true, shows a serious lack in the education of women in Chareidi circles. If they were properly educated and had with where to turn for serious answers if a hashkafic question came up, then this would be a total non-issue. So the points made are an indictment of their own system.

That said, I'm not sure why women should be going out to work in the first place. I don't know about all the other men out there, but I signed a contract right before I got married. It said, if I recall the language written therin...אפלח ואפרנס. I (the husband) will work and support my wife. I think the whole Kollel mentallity has had a detrimental effect on the Chareidi community and is against the spirit of Torah and how it was practiced for generations. The Yeshivish community is want to idealize the days in Europe where you couldn't walk out your door without tripping over a half dozen people fluent in Shas and Poskim. What they forget is 99.99% of them worked and only a very very few, a couple thousand out of millions learned full time. And even some of them worked (the Alter of Kelem and all the students to come out of Kelem/Grubin and others).
I think it's sad that women are expected, now, to run the house, raise the children and support the family. I hope the husbands are at least taking out the garbage on the way to Kollel.


  • this is very weird, because it's quoting r. elya svei. Twenty, twenty five years back, r svei indeed made a huge push for girls to become beis yaakov teachers, not programmers (that was the popular alternative at the time). His directive has been roundly ignored in the US for at least the past fifteen years, if not more; I can't remember the last time I heard anyone mention his position. This line is not pushed any longer.

    Now they discourage women from going to college,b/c of the outside influences etc, and college is useful for someone hoping to support their family. Also, in areas like lakewood, the typical jobs *are* in frum surroundings. But I've really not caught any signs of a movement to discourage kollel wives from doing whatever work makes economic sense.

    By Blogger anonymous, at Thursday, June 02, 2005 6:06:00 PM  

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