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May 27, 2021

Interesting Psak: spending money on photographers for haircuts

Hamechadesh is reporting on a psak given by Rav Yehuda Aryeh Dinner, a community rav and posek in Bnei Braq, who issued an interesting psak saying that an avreich kollel has no right to hire a photographer and spend 1000 shekels to have his child's chalaka, the first haircut commonly given at the age of about 3 years old, photographed.

When the Litvish became so hassidic or sephardi that this became so common among Litvishe avreichim I don't know, but so be it.

Rav Dinner says that the avreich should bring along his own camera and the entire thing will cost him 5 shekel. I guess that would be the cost of print several pictures. An avreich who wastes 1000nis on these pictures should probably not be taking money from the Rosh kollel - it might be theft. The Rosh Kollel goes around collecting money to support the avreichim so they will be able to sit and learn and be able to have what to eat and to have basic needs, not so they can spend money on such unnecessary things.

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  1. Not to mention the money he gets from the government.

    1. the avreich might also get financial support from parents. perhaps his wife works and makes a decent salary. I am not sure why Rabbi Dinner assumes his only money is from the rosh yeshiva collecting.... and learning in kollel seems to not [yet] be conditional on no other money coming in from other sources....

    2. Where does R. Dunner assume that? Kollel families subsist on a combination of money from the kollel, the wife working, family support, and govt. support. Unless the family is wealthy, they live a hand-to-mouth existence. One of the jobs of the Rosh Kollel is to raise money to support those who are learning. His point is, that support is to sustain (or help sustain) the family, not give it luxuries. The 1000 shekel is (in his view) a waste of money. If he can afford that, then he should not take money meant to sustain talmidei chachamim.
      I actually view this response as a positive. You want to be supported by the tsibbur because you are learning, then don't waste money on shtuyot.


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