Feb 15, 2011

Rav Shteinman On Poverty

A rosh kollel went to Rav Shteinman with questions based on the recent events with the ministry inspectors chasing down kollels and harassing them with visits and new rules.

The rosh kollel said that his avreichim are very worried and want to know in what area and realm they can/should strengthen themselves in, in order to have the decree pass.

Rav Shteinman said they should strengthen themselves in three realms:
  1. bittul torah
  2. bein adam l'chaveiro
  3. the main thing being lashon ha'ra
 Rav Shteinman said that lashon ha'ra is the only sin that causes tzoraas, and today we have destitution, poorness, instead of tzoraas. He added that the haredi community suffers from terrible destitution, and it is because of speaking lashon ha'ra. (source: Bechadrei)


  1. Maybe they're poor for the simple reason that they are trying to support a large family without earning a wage?

    They don't need to look for supernatural reasons when there are straightforward ones.

  2. wow that is a good question.

  3. How about strengthening themselves when it comes to midvar sheker tirchak.

  4. "He added that the haredi community suffers from terrible destitution"

    Compared to whom? Compared to where? Nobody is actually starving or sleeping in cardboard boxes, and they enjoy health services, indoor plumbing, and physical safety.

    In the scope of Jewish history, and in the scope of the rest of the world, they are enjoying relative abundance.

  5. Let me see if I have this straight. Poverty is caused by communities not being careful with bittul torah, bein adam l'chaveiro, lashon ha'ra

    Does this mean that communities in the States where it is standard to spend $20,000 to send a kid to Israel for a year are makpid in these areas?

  6. titus- I guess compared to what it used to be.
    the real answer is to train and send more people out to the workforce. yes, the numbers are increasing, but that doesnt change the economic situation overnight.

  7. at least time they didn't blame tznius....

  8. Rav Shteinman is 100% correct regarding item 1.

    The avreichim should make sure to show up to their kollel every single day to ensure that when the government inspectors come to count them they are there!

  9. Titus is right on. The truth is there is no poverty in Israel as the term is commonly bandied about. Even those that sit and learn and do not work have food and shelter. And medical care. People are well off. The only "poverty" you see are the pathetic pictures from the fraudsters who run around begging money in the US for the "starving" people. Its a sin and robbery. AND its slander against the Holy Land. Maybe the charedim arent doing enough to stop the fraudsters running around. My in laws get calls every day urging they donate via credit card for the millions of starving people who have not a bite to eat and are in abject poverty. Luckily my in laws have told these jokers they know Israel is rich, and they want an address where their family in Israel can go check if there are really hungry people and then they (the fraudsters) hang up.


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