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CHIZUK-----for a girl considering kollel life

Jenny613 Posted - 27 March 2005 18:46
Oh wow! Am I ever confused!!!!!

I am a BY girl who finished her college degree (but it's just a useless one, no profession) and has now returned to E"Y to do Shana Bet seminary.

I always thought I wanted a working guy who would be kovea ittim and we would live a comfortable life... But after being in sem now, I have been brainwashed!!

B"H, I love learning and lately I've began to change my mind about what kind of guy I am looking for. At first I thought "Ok, one or two years of learning and then he can go to college" and now I'm thinking 3 or 4 years and then go into chinuch or kiruv!

What has happened to me?? I was so sure I had everything straight and now I am so confused I don't even know where to begin to solve this huge, scary mystery!!

Please, Mod, YG... anyone? Any advice for me? I am so utterly and completely confused!!

I understand fully that Torah is the ikur and I also am aware of the nisyonos that are rampant in this secular work force (did you know that the divorce rate when you have single co-workers of the opposite gender goes up to over 60%?!)

And I want to build a bayis neeman beyisrael! I want my husband to learn and shteig and be serious about it... but I'm a "high maintenance" type girl and I'm worried that if I marry someone who is going to sit and learn, I will regret it 5 years down the line when I want a new Shabbos outfit and there is barely money for food!

Any ideas?? Thanks!!!!

MODERATOR Posted - 27 March 2005 19:10
You’ve grown, Jenny, that’s what’s happened to you.

It’s not possible for me to know what you really want - only you really know that. But I will tell you that although not being able to have a dress that you want may be painful, it is much more painful, not being able to have the type of home that you want.

It is your decision of course, but it should no be looked at as simply an issue of being happy in this world vs. the next world. Having a Kollel man for a husband is a lifestyle that, if that is what you value and appreciate, and thus choose, brings immense happiness in this world as well.

Please see the Mishna in Avos 6:4 "ahsrecha b'olam hazeh!"

Jenny613 Posted - 28 March 2005 18:28

Thank you so much for your immediate response; it really hit home and got me thinking. Especially how you eloquently explained that marrying a "kollel man" is a lifestyle and must be appreciated here in this world as well.

The thing is, I got very scared off a few weeks ago when I was at my friend's house. Every Tuesday I go grocery shopping with her since it is hard for her to manage with two kids grabbing at everything they can reach from the shopping cart!

So, I went to her house, and noticed that the kids weren't wearing the coats. I asked her if we were going shopping and she said, "Not this week!" So I asked her why not and she said b/c there is no money to go grocery shopping! Then her sister came by with her 3 little kids and wanted to stay for supper, but there was NO food in the fridge! No eggs, no bread, no milk, no butter, no cheese... mamash NOTHING! And they finally gave the kids canned corn or something and when my friend noticed the terrified look on my face she explained to me how this is part of Kollel Life and she is proud of it!

I was so completely taken aback! I don't think that I would be able to remain so calm under that pressure! I am scared that at that point I would regret my decision and want "out"! How can I reach that level of Emuna and Bitachon? I am just a simple girl, and I don't come from a "Kollel home" and therefore don't know what quite to expect!!

Please help me understand...

MODERATOR Posted - 28 March 2005 18:39
One question, Jenny:

Your friend, the one who couldn't go shopping -- is she happy?

That’s the bottom line.

Kollel life isn’t just about learning vs. working. You’re talking about a father who is home in time to prepare for Shabbos; who is there on Chol Hamoed dressed in his Shabbos clothing, together with his children; you’re talking about a chodesh elul being a real elul - a preparation for yomim norayim.

You’d be surprised how hard it is for working people to make aseres yemei teshuva into aseres yemei teshuva.

The mincha minyan at work goes just as fast - everyone has to get back to their cubes; erev Yom Kippur - do you take a day off or not?

Rushing home erev Shabbos in the winter on the train or in the car and barely making it in time for candle lighting, as opposed to the learning man who can properly prepare for the Coming of the Shabbos Queen.

You’re talking about someone who, instead of being exposed to the idle chit-chat of the men and women in his office - and "idle chit chat" is being very nice about it - is engrossed all day in kedushas HaTorah.

Yes, you may not be able to go shopping as much as you like, but there are other, this-worldy benefits that to those who have them more than make up for that.

It is very, very, very different life

Jenny613 Posted - 30 March 2005 19:44
Yes Mod, my friend is very happy...

I thank you for giving me a better perspective on "Kollel life", every word you wrote penetrated directly into my heart and made me re-think my life once more. Everything you wrote- I want. I want a home filled with Torah and growth; with Yiras Shamayim and Ahavas Hashem!

I don't want my husband working in a secular environment (which btw, ups divorce rates), where he would be exposed to shtus and shmutz! I want my home to be clean and pure... And I want my husband to be relaxed on Shabbos and not feel he needs to sleep the afternoon away because he commuted the whole week...

But my question still remains Mod, how do I know if I am on that madriaga? How do I know that I am there? What if this is all just a temporary "seminary brainwashing" that will fade with time and I won't understand what I have done and why??

I'm so scared.

MODERATOR Posted - 30 March 2005 19:50
If the explanations and arguments you are receiving are not biased or slanted you’re not brainwashed; you’re educated.

You are making total sense and expressing real values and commitment.

Don’t let the Yetzer Horah think you’re brainwashed. He's the one that does the brainwashing.

MODERATOR Posted - 30 March 2005 19:52
”Yes Mod, my friend is very happy...”

Tell me, Jenny: How did I know what the answer would be?

Ashrecha vetov lach. Ashrecha b'olam hazeh, v'tov lach bolam habah.

I have an idea. Why don’t you discuss your fears with your friend? Perhaps she can shed some light on this, since she knows you personally.

yg Posted - 31 March 2005 21:16
Jenny- you caught me on one of my rare visits to this site. this is partially because I am too busy to come anymore. BH, I have a family now- I just had my 3rd daughter. and life is very busy.

Let me tell you, money is definitely a very big issue. but now that it is crunch time- my husband really has to go to work because otherwise the rent won't get paid- I am really nervous and we are thinking long and hard about what kind of profession and office we is willing to work in.

Luckily in lakewood, you have very frum all male offices and the men are much more sheltered from the outside world.

But still, I would love for my husband to be able to sit and learn for another 5 years. you know, some people manage a year or 2, some 5, some 10 and some forever.

You have to look inside you and see what it is that means more to you- and I don’t mean food or torah.

I am living in the midst of the largest torah community on this continent and there are really not too many people who can’t afford food- a box of shoprite macaroni is 33 cents on sale, been there done that. it means that maybe you wont be able to maintain your high maintenance status. but is it so terrible if you don’t buy that new dress?

I am wearing clothes from a few years ago, and it really doesn’t bother me. if I need new shoes, I will go to marshalls or dsw instead of shoe palace.

I may not get the latest style but I will find something that fits my foot and my budget.

And it is definitely hard not to be able to run out and but whatever my heart desires for my kids- new matching outfits every season, etc. but this way your kids learn the value of money and appreciate what you give them at a much earlier age.

It is hard, but it is very doable. Especially if you have a degree, if you are willing to work hard and be creative, you can so do this. I promise you!!

HZ Posted - 04 April 2005 7:54
Psychological needs matter. When some people deny these "needs," things don't go so great, but it can be done.

If you are unsure, you can find a guy who will try it so long as it is bearable for you. But, you have to be honest with yourself.

HZ Posted - 04 April 2005 7:54
Jenny, have you spoken with kollel wives who have done it for several years? Then you can see how they did it.

Jenny613 Posted - 05 April 2005 17:54
Thanks Mod, YG and HZ!

I did try speaking to two of my friends, but since they grew up with this lifestyle, "Kollel life" is all they know and so they cannot even begin to understand where I am coming from.

I think I am prepared, willing and wanting to follow this path, since I truly and sincerely believe that it is the best way of life for me and my (future) family, but still have this intense fear that I am just on a "seminary high" right now and will regret it several years down the line!

I grew up in a slightly modern home, where my parents both worked and I had a nanny who did most of the raising. But when my family made Aliyah just before I turned 9, everything changed. My father continued to work, but my mother stayed home and we became much frummer and our home became one dedicated to Torah. But still, it's not the same as a "Kollel lifestyle"... and so I worry endlessly that I don't know what I am getting myself into and my family thinks I'm crazy and so I just am sooo utterly confused!!

I'm still trying to work things out in my head, and I'm just venting over here... Thanks for listening and any advice is very much appreciated!!

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