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Sep 26, 2011

Mehadrin Fun

Modiin Ilit has generated an industry of mehadrin workplaces, in which companies are encouraged to establish a location in Modiin Ilit and employ women only. These might be the wives of kollel yungerleit who are the primary breadwinner in their households, or it might be women who are looking to work in a "mehadrin" environment.

The problems with these places are well-known, mostly in the sense of the trade-off for that environment is usually translated into [significantly] lower wages. The benefits are usually the environment, the hours of employment are favorable to young mothers and the ability to work close to home.

The "Yom Geebush" is a very Israeli institution. The Yom Geebush is a day where the entire company, or certain divisions of the company, go out on a trip and spend the day in a casual and enjoyable atmosphere. It builds morale, gets people familiar with co-workers in a non-work environment, and can be enjoyable.

The Modiin-Ilit website is reporting on a situation that happened in one of the "mehadrin" companies of Modiin Ilit. One of these mehadrin companies took their employees, last year, with the spouses, on a trip - they went on a jeep tour.

A number of women , after the fact, went to the rav of the Mekraz HaTaasuka and complained that shocking things happened on the tiyul.

The rav looked into it and decided nothing unusual happened. A year later the same women came and complained again, even though some of them no longer work in that office, and applied pressure to have the fun tour canceled. Caving in, the rav told the company not to take the employees on a jeep tour, rather they should go to Tsfat and tour the kivrei tzadikim.

Employees complained about the change in the plans, to no avail.

I don't really care where a private company takes its employees for a trip. I just find it disheartening that according to some people there can be no such thing in the frum world as having fun and enjoyment. Everything must be a religious experience of sorts. And to think that nothing inappropriate can happen when taking a tour of Tzfat and kivrei tzadikim is simply naive.

This just reminded me of a story from my high school days. I was probably in 9th grade, a freshman in Telshe Yeshiva High School, and there was a general assembly called for the Rosh Yeshiva to give a mussar shmooze. I remember the rosh yeshiva getting up and talking, and the only part of the shmooze I remember is the part I am about to quote, and he said "There is a new word being said that is not good F-U-", and all us young guys were tzittering in our seats, shocked and excited, waiting to hear the rosh yeshiva, an elderly and very-well-respected rosh yeshiva, rail against our nivul peh thinking he was about to spell out a certain four-letter word in the beis medrash. Man! were we excited!

Sure enough, though I seem to remember a dramatic pause (probably my imagination) to build the suspense, he concluded his sentence "N!" - he went on to rail against people (us boys) who think things need to be fun...


  1. So "Mehadrin Fun" is an oxymoron? And is there an English translation of "gibush?"

  2. gibush is defined by google translate as consolidation. not a great word in this context

  3. Gibush is cohesiveness or coalescence. I find it funny that גבוש is a 'casual and enjoyable atmosphere'. I know that's how it is done in civilian companies; but the original Israeli gibush is in the army. The relatively new young infantry soldiers are put through their paces in difficult, nearly tortuous situations where they can succeed only by working together. It is where we first learn that only by a commitment to working together will we survive, overcome, and succeed. One never forgets it; and it leaves a lifelong impression about the importance and value of teamwork.

  4. I've always heard "gibush" translated as "bonding", as in a bonding experience.

  5. You were in Telz as a freshman?


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