Get Married, Have Babies, Swipe Mom’s Credit Card. In Reverse.

Posted: December 9, 2010 in Life Musings
Tags: , ,

'Learn' in Kollel, do nothing, make money. WTF

Yeshivish people get married. Have babies. And their parents support them. Regular folks work, and then either have babies then get married, or marry first. Or skip the babies. Or the Marriage.

There’s something that has been bothering me, and has recently intensified. I’m torn about this, not sure what to think.

I work, and struggle to pull in a few dollars to save up, get an apartment soon maybe a car. I pay for my phone, day to day expenses and acting lessons. My parents are kind enough to pay for school, health insurance etc. Fair deal. And they paid for my siblings school as well, for those who went. Here’s my issue: My sister has an insane amount of children for someone so young, and has been popping them out like the world is coming to an end. She works and tries to help bring in money. Husband learns and makes a small stipend I suppose, while the two sets of parents take care of the rest of the enormous expenses of a ballooning family. The thought is that they are helping my brother in law do what they all feel is the right thing.

Another example: My relative is getting married, so his dad bought him a car, and of course will support him after the wedding. On one hand I appreciate what my parents do to help me out, and am grateful for that; I hate taking from them, I prefer to be able to support myself at my age. And to be clear, I don’t want any more help than I get from them.

On the other hand, I’m attempting to pursue something I feel is right for me, need my days free to be able to fully pursue that. Not to mention my grades would increase immensely had I not needed to work. Shouldn’t that be no less important than supporting my siblings? Again, I don’t believe children should rely on their parents, but my parents clearly do believe that. So, from their point of view shouldn’t that be extended to me? Are my dreams, grades etc. less important because it’s not learning? Or is it perhaps because I’m not married and didn’t choose to have 5 kids?

Now again, I’m not asking this as a request for their assistance. I’m coming from the principle of it, in their minds. Do they value marriage over any other life aspirations? What is it that will make them go running to assist their married kids, and not the others. Not to say that paying for college, health insurance isn’t alot. And I leave out living at home, because in their eyes, one lives at home till he marries. Which is clearly not an option.

  1. G*3 says:

    This is about social norms, not principles. In the yeshivish world (which I assume your family is a part of) it is an accepted norm for adult children to learn in kollel and have lots of kids while being supported by their parents. It’s not an accepted norm for unmarried children in college to be similarly supported. It’s not rational, it just is.

    What bugs me about kollel is that it’s not real. It’s a cloistered fantasy world. Some kollelim give tests, and most take attendance, but it doesn’t really matter what one does there. In the real world, if someone messes up at their job there are consequences. If a kollel guy doesn’t chap peshat in the Rambam or the Rif, …nothing. It doesn’t really matter.

    • Glad to hear I’m not completely crazy, I never felt it was rational. And I definitely know what you mean about it being a fantasy world…I always felt so unaccomplished while in Yeshiva.

  2. rick says:

    just wondering about your new heading “doing what’s right regardless of what i’m told” how do you know whats right if no one can tell you what right is? do you decide? then what makes that”right”? do you define “right” as what whatever one subjectively decides as “right”? then religious people are definitely doing what’s right, at least according to that definition
    just looking for some clarification; i dont intend to antagonize

  3. David says:

    Sounds like your parents are letting you live the life you chose, and letting your sister live the life she chose. You reject the notion that you should marry a worthless bum and crank out children while demanding cash from your parents, and (or so you suggest) believe that you should go and pursue a career and be on your own. Well, it wouldn’t make sense for your parents to finance a lifestyle that is predicated on your independence from them, would it? Your sister, on the other hand, is making no such claims. She thinks your parents, not her husband, should support her. Frankly, were I your parents, I would tell her husband that he can either support her and his children, or I’d bludgeon him into a pulp, but your parents are indulging this. That’s their call, I guess…

  4. don't h8 says:

    Some parents support married children in college, for ex med school. They may also support children in kollel too! It depends on the parent I guess

  5. dave says:

    its all mamatter of prespective your parents can spend their $ 4 watever they want they chose 2 spend it on what they consider a good thing namely ur bro in law and portobollo mushrooms as 4 the questoin of supporting u they baisicaly r just5 not 2 the standard u want i dont thionk they have an obligation to support ur lifestyle just u they give u a roof and food scholl 4 a normal job (acting is not normal in the sense that it way 2 unpredictable 2 b a logical way of support) just as if ur sis wanted a mansion in china thed say no way

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