I brought this up in one of my classes last week and my students looked at me as if I had suddenly sprouted horns and was babbling in Swahili. I mentioned that in bad economic times people have to cut back or cut out and that they need to change the status quo if need be to accommodate reality. If a young family simply cannot make it on the wife's salary then that young husband is going to have to bite the bullet and do something to produce parnoseh. He'll have to do his learning when he is not working. I'm not anti-learning; I am for common sense.
A few students thought the answer was parents. "Parents need to give more when prices go up." Really? And where is all that money coming from? Last I looked we weren't all endowed like the Rothchilds. And the same raise in prices that is affecting that young couple is also affecting their parents.
Going to Israel for the year? "Have to do it" the students chimed in. "It's better learning there." "You need it for shidduchim today." I'd say what I really feel about these comments, but I don't use that kind of language on what is a family-type blog.
But here is the kicker. I commented that wherever a yeshiva establishes itself, fast food restaurants pop up all around it. Go into those restaurants at lunch time and the time between day seder and night seder and they are always full of yeshiva bochrim and young married men. How come? I know the big yeshivas all have food available, at least for lunch. I know they get government help on the food program. Why the eating out?
One answer was that the food in yeshiva "stinks." "No one should be forced to eat that stuff" they tell me. Then they tell me that plenty of bochrim and young marrieds go home for lunch and dinner. And plenty of those bochrim are spending gas money or bus money to do so. But what about the others? The ones in the restaurants? If they are eating really, really cheaply they just might get by on $15.00 per day for lunch and supper. At 11 or 12 meals eaten out that is "only" $75 to $85 per week that their parents are shelling out for them in addition to their food budget at home. Have two boys in yeshiva? That's $150 to $170 a week. Only eating lunch out? At a cost of $5 to $8 dollars, that is $30 to $48 per week, only $60 to $96 for the two boys. By the way, no tip is included in these figures. Now what if the boys like a "better" meal then cheap fast food? Try $20 to $25 dollars per day for lunch and dinner.
Anyone else but me see a troubling pattern here? So parents, if you are wondering where your money seems to be disappearing, you might look in the direction of your pride and joy in yeshiva. How many nutritious lunches might you be able to fix for said son to take with him to yeshiva at the minimum of the $30 spent eating out? How many lunches and dinners could you fix for $170 a week?
And if food in the yeshiva really tastes all that bad, perhaps a discussion with the yeshiva is in order. Maybe a caterer would be willing to look at the supplies available and give over some recipes for tastier food?
When money is in short supply and prices are skyrocketing through the roof then cutting back, down, and out is the only answer. It would seem that for some children and young adults that lesson is long overdue.
Brave of you to bring this up but I wouldn't walk near any yeshiva area fast food places after dark alone if I were you. No one is happy to hear that the Emperor is naked.
Parents need to give more when prices go up.
Please tell me nobody actually said this with a straight face?
Take, take, take, take, take. . . . expect, expect, expect, expect, expect.
This is certainly a most spoiled and entitled generation.
Sadly, I'm not surpriced anymore. I've been tryting to have a disscussion of this sort and it just isn't going anywhere. People really don't think they are doing anything wrong when they spend lots of money on material things in the name of judaism. We have created a society where it is less humiliating for a father to ask for tzeddaka than for her daughter to have a backyard wedding. Now we have to suffer the concequences
Why are you blaming these kids. They were raised to expect these things. It's their parents' fault. If parents would stop giving, then their children would grow up and fend for themselves.
If I were you, I'd blog about stupid parents who give to their adult children (whether married or not.)
I would even mention about kovod ov v'aim, and how taking money from one's parents is in direct contradiction of that commandment.
You are quite correct that the parents are a key part of the problem, and I will definitely be posting on that as well.
Perhaps this is the odd perspective of someone who went to public school- but my parents packed my lunch. If I wanted (later, in high school) to buy some cookies or other junk to supplement what I was sent, that came out of my own pocket. And no, I'm not coming from another generation- I'm in my early 20s. So why can't yeshiva students do the same?
Wow. My parents would never....
Debkanotion--where did you get that pocket money from? If your parents didn't give it to you then you must have earned it somehow. I made my money babysitting during high school years. I also worked in camp during the sujmmer. I paid my own way through college with scholarships and loans that I had to pay back and with part time work and then full time work. My brothers did not work during high school. Post high school they were in camp for the summer and did not work during the regular yeshiva year. Whatever they made in camp never lasted the whole year. They bought "necessities" like sforim from their money. About the only other thing they paid for and only until the money ran out was their cellphones. My parents paid for all the rest.
You think I wasn't resentful about all this? From 18 on I was supposed to pay for all my own clothes, my cellphone, and any entertainment or eating out. About the only thing my parents paid for me was the food I ate when I was at home. My employer paid my health insurance. And I was expected to help around the house, to babysit younger siblings for nothing, to run errands and to iron my damn brothers' shirts. My brothers got the free rideand are still getting it in their 20s.
It was one reason why I never wanted a learning boy for a husband. From my experience they expect everything and give almost nothing in return. My brothers don't really respect my husband because he works full time. They can't even imagine what we think of them.
You can't plant turnips and then complain when they grow that they are not tomatoes. If children grow up and have unrealistic ideas about money and what that can buy, those ideas came from somewhere. One of those "somewheres" is the house they grew up in. Parents who indulge their children in everything and anything cannot seriously be wondering why their grown children have expectations that they can have anything they want to and there is no price to pay for that. Yes, children are influenced by their peers and by the incessant advertising they are exposed to, but the main influence still needs to be in the home.
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