Wednesday, August 5, 2009

(האלבע ארבעט (2


Amolige Yiddishe Baalei Melochoh

Let us continue, shall we?

We touched on the issue of educating our children last time, and it may have seemed to you like I was singling out Mosdos, somewhat unfairly. Mosdos are not getting rich off of us, at least not most of them. They're for the most part collecting what they need to have just to stay alive. It's just that what happens more often these days is that the fund raising aspect of it has gone by the wayside; Mosdos are tired of fund raising all the time for your child, so they pass the costs on to the "consumer," for lack of a better term. We can nit pick and say that some people make a nice living off of working in our schools, but for the most part that isn't true. Which means that the high cost of educating our kids is not the root of it all. We do go a bit overboard, with things like a year in Israel for 18 year-old girls at $14,000 a pop coming to mind, but let's not go there. Plenty of people never even get that far, meaning that their issues start way before they worry about tuition, they're still worrying about basic needs, like food and shelter, and they have no solutions, other than either sticking their hands out to GeMachim and such, or using the Government to the utmost.


בזיעת אפיך תאכל

So, in trying to solve the problem here in the most upright and upstanding manner we need to introspect a little more. We like to point fingers at the Kosher food companies, the purveyors of meat and poultry, and what it costs to feed a family. A recent example of this really brought out the problem to me. On a trip to Pathamrk - No, not the one where I felt Golus - I noticed a large tray of chicken cutlets in a stand alone freezer, one of those without a top. It was a Perdue brand, IIRC. I check the price of this large tray and it was something like 7.15 for SIX POUNDS. That same week I was in a Heimishe grocery, one where the more "frum" shop, and where they only sell the most HOLY hashgochos, like Hisachdus and Kiryas Joel, and a pound of the same chicken product was 6.19 PER POUND. So I ask you: what does the large family that shops there and wants "Ibbergetzoygene Baylig" once a week have to do to be able to afford 3 or 4 of those packages to feed their family supper? Either they can have it once a year after the tax refund check comes or they can never have it, because they don't want to have to spend fifty bucks on a supper. Or they can exhaust the food stamp budget and not have enough for Shabbos that week.


Life's simple pleasures....

Option 3 is to splurge and to "write down." אראפשרייבן בלע"ז. Every day twice, three times. The kids put things on the bill every day on the way to school. Before you know it the bill is at hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. There's no money to pay that kind of bill. Then the grocer can't pay his bills to his suppliers. Suppliers and distributors need to raise the prices just to raise the cash they need to stay afloat. And the vicious cycle goes on and on. Grocers in such areas - areas that can't be cash and carry only - cry and beg for people to pay their bills, but to no avail. People can't pay because they have no money, they have no money because they spend so much on.... You get the picture. Somehow when it comes to maintaining our lifestyle we suddenly become big believers. We believe that this can continue because G-d loves us so and won't let us down. OK. Fine. We also believe that G-d wants to wear only the finest clothes, even for our two and three year olds. After all, does G-d want us to go to a department store where we see Goyim, chas Vesholom? of course not! And does G-d want us to be modest AND simple? of course NOT! so we need to shop locally and buy only Italy and France's best.

The list goes on and on....

36 comments:

CR said...

If you can be "meikel" and go with Empire whole chickens then you can get them for $1.89/lb. at Costco, which is about the price of the Tyson's cut-up bulk packs in the next freezer case. The Empire cutlets were about $4/lb; not a steal but still an improvement over your example.

Of course, if you are going to shop at Costco, Pathmark, etc. you need a car (payments, insurance, tax, gas, maintenance/repairs) and enough space in your $1500/month shoebox apt. to store bulk items. So, shopping at the local kosher bodega may be the only practical solution for some people.

Minkatcher Aynikle said...

If the state of the economy continues to decline, I believe we will see a return to old fashioned family values of hard work and histapkus bemuat. Not by choice, but b'dles brayre. The laydigayers will be forced to do something constructive, and the surviving Kollels will be populated by survival of the fittest. It may take some time, but the post-holocaust all-you-can-eat shmorg is ending. In the end, Chassidim will win because it was never verbotten to go out and earn a living. I recently read how reluctant the Satmerer Ruv was to open the first Kollel in KJ, because he felt that was only for EY. We in Chu"l must be mashkimin umaarivin but the days are for earning a living.

Richard said...

"The laydigayers will be forced to do something constructive." Maybe they will have to walk in Rambams footsteps and work! By the way, ONE reason that makes koscher food so expensive is that you need to have at least one mashgiach to oversee every step in the production. And he is NOT cheep...

Friendly Anonymous said...

The fund raising from outside is also drying up. In the "old" days, nonreligious people would frequent orthodox shuls, so it's still possible to hit up nonreligious old timers who have an appreciation for the yidishkeit of their youth.

With the "hibodlu" attitude of the new generation of frum Jews, on the basis of what prior relationship can a yeshiva cold-call a young nonreligious entrepreneur and ask for money?

Anonymous said...

Great point, Friendly. As the young entrepreneur you might be talking about, I can tell you that I am pretty turned off from giving to Orthodox causes at the moment. Still, up to this point, my ahavas yisroel has trumped my distaste for the increasingly holier-than-thou attitude I've encountered with the Orthodox. Plus, the Orthodox much more closely align with my values than the more liberal streams. So I guess for now, I'm a captive audience.

Anonymous said...

"like a year in Israel for 18 year-old girls at $14,000 a pop coming to mind"

is that all it costs?

How many hours a day do yo work Tzig?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

maybe more than 14k

I work 24 hours a day...

Anonymous said...

What people don't understand, even hard work and histapkus bimuet don't go far enough, between tuition and jewish expenses, tzniusdik clothing, kosher books, high rent, yomtov, and of course kosher food, 45K a year and gov't programs don't cut it, add another 20k to your income, and it just gets taxed away and you lose the programs, there isn't much differnce between 45k+program, and 70k bizais apecha.

maybe obama the muslim want to add some extra to food stamps for people who only eat halal.

CR said...

"45K a year and gov't programs don't cut it, add another 20k to your income, and it just gets taxed away and you lose the programs, there isn't much differnce between 45k+program, and 70k bizais apecha."

Unfortunately, living the frum/ehrlich life today requires at least two 70k incomes. With rare exceptions, husband and wife need to work as skilled professionals outside the home to provide for a family significantly larger than the 1.9 child average.

BTW, that .9 child must be quite a sight to see...

evanstonjew said...

The line was crossed maybe forty years ago. When I was growing up it was a shanda to take money from welfare.Food stamps, rent subsidies, the whole package was reserved for old broken down Jews who sat in the back of the shul and were a big rachmunis. The idea of strutting about & taking food stamps was just not done. When that line was crossed the rest became commentary. We entered the age of deficit spending.

yossi said...

I have question if all these numbers are true How is everyone doing it?and not everyone is GANVANING.It is because "To quote CAHCHAM ECHAD:G-d loves us so and won't let us down.וד"ק

yankee said...

yossi said...
I have question if all these numbers are true How is everyone doing it?and not everyone is GANVANING.

Most people are not 'ganvaning' and most people have zero put away for retirement or when they can't work anymore. We're facing a tsunami and our lifestyle can't support it. A yungerman computer programmer earning 100k a yr with benefits cannot support a 6 children family. Where I live, we figured that with 4 kids, you need 250k just to get by. How many people are earning even close to that?

Anonymous said...

How could you work 24 hrs a day when you cannot work b4 davening?

We had a Iowan chicken aka Rubashkin... $3.99/lb one pkg..2 pounds and change and had leftovers... after feeding a family of nine.

Are you bli eyin hoorah talking about a family of 22?

Anonymous said...

the .9 is in shiduchim so she needs be skinny.

moshe ber said...

agree with anon regarding th 14k for a seminary year in israel !! THIS CRAZINESS MUST STOP !!!!!!!!

Feivel ben Mishael said...

There is tons of cheap cheap property all over the country.
It is only because everyone MUST live in NYC that there are such problems. One of the first things the Baal Shem Tov did was encourage Jews to move away from the city (which couldnt provide them livelihood) and back to the country side where they could do agricultural things to support themselves. (They had all fled the country side as a result of tach v' tat)
While I am not saying everyone needs to go be a farmer, I do think people would have much less problems if they would go to places with cheap real estate such as... the south... the midwest. Wherever.
Jews should move in whole communities. That way there can be a spiritual infrastructure and new gshmiyus opportunities.
think about it.

havemeyer said...

"have question if all these numbers are true How is everyone doing it?"

yossi ..... guess what. they are NOT doing it. living with big unmanageable debt (credit card or otherwise)... living with no plans for the future and living in a system that is perpetuating this cycle i.e. they cant expect their kids to be better off without solid values, strong work ethic and decent education is not called LIVING. its not life and its not reality

the word tsunami in a post above is a very good metaphor for this problem. its brewing and shaking now and will hit soon and will hit so hard it will unfortunately affect the next generations

Its a topic that I think day and night about b/c I myself am in the middle of this cycle and looking for a way out ..... if not for me at least for my kids when they grow up

H

Anonymous said...

" That same week I was in a Heimishe grocery, one where the more "frum" shop, and where they only sell the most HOLY hashgochos, like Hisachdus and Kiryas Joel, and a pound of the same chicken product was 6.19 PER POUND"

Are you some sort of National Enkwier Reporter.
Its far less where I shop
Even online far less

https://www.allinkosher.com/p-38237-kiryas-joel-poultry-chicken-breasts-meat.aspx

https://www.allinkosher.com/p-38259-kiryas-joel-poultry-chicken-bottoms-meat.aspx

http://www.kckoshercoop.com/product.php?pID=kjcw8

or is life at the corner store in the high rent district?

Anonymous said...

Hirshel,
Ibergetziogene baylig,I used to hear that word in Willi? is Baylig a German word or Polish? I think the Germans call it schnitzel

Anonymous said...

The problem is two fold.

One to be considered a mensch you must live as if you have money (even if you dont) otherwise you are treated like manure.

Second, those in charge do not want to live any worse than the rest.

Third rather than living wth morals and ethoics based on the torah making our society erlich, the need for money drives people to be bigger behemos than the goyim....

I bet everyone left the asife thinking the Spinker Rebbe said his speach to impress the sentensing judge and the crowd wouldn't think twice.

Mesilas Yesharim perek 11 says it all. The human need for koved and money corrupts and no one is immune...and it leads to the worst averos....

Where is a leader with vision and guts to stand up to the rest like the Lev Simcha ????

CR said...

"There is tons of cheap cheap property all over the country.
It is only because everyone MUST live in NYC that there are such problems."

If you have the pioneering attitude of shluchim to yehupitz-type places, you may be ready to go to a place without a functioning yeshiva, kosher food or a regular minyan. Blaze a trail and hopefully others will follow you.

The reality is that most of our bretheren could not hack it. They simply must live in a "shtatty" neighborhood or find their observance level seriously challenged.

And that, boys and girls, is the curse of the golus; pay the price physically or spiritually but it must be paid.

Anonymous said...

With computers and technology, money shvinderay will be caught more easily and the yiddishe kep will fall behind the game and they must understand that more and more frum yidden will hit the papers if we don't get smart.

Rebbes must start being more pro-active and chasene takunes are a drop in the ocean.

I cannot imaging why three hundres families could not move to a state outside New York and New Jersey.

They can move to a town, such as Milwuki which has a mikve, kollel and other facilities.

If the Rebbes support help arrange for food with good hechsher at near cost price, the cheaper cost of living would ensure its success. You don't need everyone to move there, just enough to get it started, then others will follow.

The only reason for failure is that the economic crisis is not hitting these people as much as they claim.

The only thing is they would not be living exclusively with other yidden and their loud, rude and would have to act as menshen, which may prove too difficult.

Anonymous said...

the American Rebbes are not as powerful as the Israeli ones, they can not move a hundred families on a whim. One of the reasons is, that they need to provide jobs, in eretz hakodesh nobody works anyway so it doesn't matter. The skwerer has the power, since he has hundreds of non working young families anyway, but his interest is only if you live on his owned properties in order to impose himself on you you 24/7 under the guise of kedusha etc..

Anonymous said...

Todays Rebbes are scared that if they say the wrong thing, the fat rich askanim will stop paying for them and their children to live in style...

That is why there are so many "bnesheklach" today....easy money from the foolish...

Israeli Rebbes generally do not live in the same sort of luxury, except maybe R' Mendel Hager of the Vishnitzer split and maybe one or two others, so they don't have so much to loose....

Hippy said...

Dear Highlige Highmisha that I saw in the Heimishe Grocery store tonite (who probably reads this blog)

You asked if you could cut me in line as you had only 3 packages of plastic cups. I had cheap chicken and ice cream cones for motzei Shabbas party. I said go on the express line and you said it wasd a goyishe cashier and you had food stamps. I said he knows how to count, never makes a mistake. You said you wanted a Yid. I did not relent and you said you would go on still another line. Mein vibe filled me in when I explained in die Litvisher heim. You cannot buy plastic cups with food stamps !!!
And you wanted a Yid to sin with you... A gutn Shabbas

" After all, does G-d want us to go to a department store where we see Goyim, chas Vesholom?"

He does as that is where a kiddush HaShem b'rabim occurs...a True Dirah B'tachtonimk when all the goyim know that you are honest, trustworthy and work hard for a living...

Anonymous said...

Look at Bobov.

Could you imagine R' Benzion going to Manhattan in the middle of the night to a government official secretly to intercede on behalf of a yid with no money like his brother (who he rodeft for years)???

Or waiting in line at a bank to personally plead with the manager not to forclose like R' Naftuli Tzl did several times in the 60s and 70s (because in those days Bobov was not as prominent as today) ?

Anonymous said...

"He does as that is where a kiddush HaShem b'rabim occurs...a True Dirah B'tachtonimk when all the goyim know that you are honest, trustworthy and work hard for a living..."

The only ones who have to be worried about chilul hashem are tzioynim....the rest of us are closer to shumayim so we can use food stamps to do as we need.

I get out of my cadilac to use my food stamps and am proud.

The aybishter created welfare so yidden shudnt work too hard...

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to say that as long as it is easier to cheat than to earn an honest living we are lost.

Honesty and ethical behaviour is more prevelant among goyim.

Most haymishe yidden are uneducated boors who don't go to the outside world, you know why

IT MAKES THEM REALISE HOW STUPID AND DUMB THEY ARE !!!

yom tov in der vochen said...

Talking about organizing a group of Frum people and moving to more affordable places outside of New York.
Well,actually some people did just that.They opened up a yeshiva and a new community in Waterbury Connecticut.It appears to quite succesful.
I guess because Snags took the initiative it cannot get mention on this heilegeh blog.

Hey,Tzig
When I lived in Willy, they did not call chicken cutlets ibbergezoigeneh "baylig".Ibbergetzoineh fleish, iirc but not "baylig".Where is this "baylig" from?Hungarian,German?

Anonymous said...

At least you were not in the minivan. I went to the Pathmark in Geulah and was bringing my groceries to the car with my baby in the carriage as well and a Heimishe yiddel almost ran us over...did not even stop when I waved. Another yid (pulling out of the parking spots for those with babies w/o one) rolled down his window and said the other must have been fertracht.
I did not ask the other soon to be wearing a streimel head if he was so b'iyun in a Nesivos Shalom that he forgot his baby in the store.

B"H I was not a goy...otherwise it would be chilul HaShem ;)

Feivel ben Mishael said...

"They opened up a yeshiva and a new community in Waterbury Connecticut.It appears to quite succesful."

That is actually what I was referring to but I couldn't remember what it was called.
I hereby give credit where it is due.

Anonymous said...

Yom tov, you are maybe from the torah vodaas Willi, the Hungarian Willi used to call it Baylig I was shocked that Hirshel used it too.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

TBT we never used that word - baylig - at home, I learned it much later in life from Tzugekummene family and others.

Anonymous said...

its not german,polish,russian, then how does it come into yiddish language

Anonymous said...

"I hereby give credit where it is due."

That is so sweet and gentelman like. You nuttty snag!!

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

As long as the average yungerman has at least one living American relative, even a zeide or elte zeide who remembers what it was like before the current attitude towards welfare, there is still hope. IOW whatever happens has to happen in another generation or two.