Wait, wait, wait...the MOTHER of someone who is thinking about moving in called to look into their child's prospective building.That's priceless!
**bowing**Thank you! I'll be here all week! Try the veal!
The first question, are ANY Kollel people friendly? You need to determine that before you can ask if they all are.
or nice..as the case may be
do the neighbors use plastic tablecloths?? Do the wives eat friday night dinner in Shabbos robes?Do they wear glasses out of the house!??
I am not in Kollel nor are any of my close friends so I can really say this objectively - I can't believe the rudeness from most of the posters about this topic on that other blog! It CAN make a big difference in someone's comfort level to have other kollel couples in the building - it helps to have someone who has the same schedule, maybe similar values & goals, will daven at the same shul - just to name a few. If I were moving into a building, I would inquire whether there were other families with childern my kids age who attend the same school as them. Does that mean everyone who has kids my kids age at my kids school is nice???? No! It just means that people are looking for friends who have something in common with them. People, please get a grip on your own hang ups about Kollel lifestyles and try not to nit pick about everything they do! It's pathetic!
Anon,Part of the beauty of Baltimore (and Pickwick) is that everyone can get along regardless of what shul they daven at or where their kids go to school. Your neighbors have to have the same schedule as you? That's a kind of funny thing to request. There are quite a few shuls that people in Pickwick attend, and they all have a mixture of kollel and non kollel guys. Just because someone is in kollel doesn't even mean that they will attend the same shul that you decide to attend. And why can't you be friends with someone who doesn't daven in the same shul as you?
Yes, a similar schedule does make a difference - for carpools, playdates, and socializing. I'm sure these people "can get along" but they may be looking for someone who will understand them and be non-judgemental of them. Think about how often their behavior will be evaluated as the "kollel couple" by people who mock them on blogs without meeting them.
It CAN make a big difference in someone's comfort level to have other kollel couples in the building - it helps to have someone who has the same schedule, maybe similar values & goals, will daven at the same shul - just to name a few.But that's the point. As SaraK noted, those are all really pathetic things to base it on. My friends around KGH don't all daven in the same places as we do, and we've met other friends who don't live next to us who do daven in the same place we do in shul. Moreover, Alan's point in that post is that the woman is clearly asking the wrong question: It shouldn't be implied that "well, if they're not in kollel, my kids won't feel comfortable there" - what does that mean? That because they work, they won't get along with the new couple?People, please get a grip on your own hang ups about Kollel lifestyles and try not to nit pick about everything they do! It's pathetic!I see no mention about the "Kollel lifestyle".It just means that people are looking for friends who have something in common with them....and picking "Kollel" seems to be a really weak way of doing so. If I picked "working", does that mean I'm going to have a thing in common with my neighbors? No. A better idea is to come [on your own!], meet the neighbors, see if they seem like the type you'd be able to become friends with, perhaps ask a friend nearby if they know the people, and that's it. Not judge by whether they're "in kollel".I'm sure these people "can get along" but they may be looking for someone who will understand them and be non-judgemental of them.So they should ask what the people are like. Not 'whether or not they're in kollel'... especially when they don't want to be labeled the "kollel couple" and be judged by it.Think about how often their behavior will be evaluated as the "kollel couple" by people who mock them on blogs without meeting them.What is THAT supposed to mean?
Will everybody please relax. It was a funny story that some people made some cute remarks about (true not all comments are created equal, but I digress).I look at these things as one sibling making fun of another. We kid 'cause we love...no, really!
Think about how often their behavior will be evaluated as the "kollel couple" by people who mock them on blogs without meeting them.What is THAT supposed to mean? Perhaps this fine couple has heard about some working people who denigrate those in kollel without being dan l'kaf zechus. They have chosen to begin their married life trying to stay as far away from these cynical kollel-bashers as possible. Unfortunately, it may mean that they will never get to meet me - a women whose husband works. But then again, I try to avoid cynics as well.On a separate not, perhaps I'm naive but in Baltimore, most people who settle in Greenspring would never buy a house in Upper Park Heights and vice versa. is that considered problematic too now?
Perhaps this fine couple has heard about some working people who denigrate those in kollel without being dan l'kaf zechus.Where? That's the whole point, isn't it? You're trying to claim that they're not being dan l'kaf zchus those who work, because they *think* (with no basis) that the working people aren't dan them l'kaf zchus. That's ridiculous and hypocritical.On a separate not, perhaps I'm naive but in Baltimore, most people who settle in Greenspring would never buy a house in Upper Park Heights and vice versa.Is that true? I don't know - not that much of an expert on Baltimore. But my sister lived in both Pickwick and now near Greenspring and was happy in both.
Bottom line is that frum Jews these days are becoming more and more marginalized. It is hurting us. We all tend to stay with our own "ilk" and our kids only spend time with their own "ilk." That leads to ignorance, lack of respect and lack of Ahavas Yisrael. I have commented many times in many places that Torah uses the word VaYedah to mean "and he loved her". Knowing is loving. You cannot love someone you do not know. Right now, we do not know each other. We prefer that our kids play with kids from the same school so the Hashkafos will be similar. We don't eat at each others' houses because we may not trust the Kashrus. Used to be that Shomer Shabbos was enough. Not anymore. Sad. Our children suffer. Now, KGH and out of town, people can be people and frum is enough of a criteria for friendship (let's not even talk about getting to know nonFrum Jews, that's just for Kiruv professionals, right?) I thought Baltimore was different. Anyway, this is not a small anecdote, this is a symptom of the very illness that is precluding the building of the Third Bais Hamikdash. This is the big cheese. Don't sweat the other small stuff, people. This is big stuff.
Last anon - Excellent comment (though I think one of the last sentences came out backwards, I get what you were intending).
Ezzie - you are assuming they are judging all working people unfavorably based on someone's account on the internet. All I said is what gives anyone here the right to comment or judge this young couple (and some commenters have made comments about all kollel couples). It's not nice. That's it. If You think someone else is being judgemental doesn't mean you are then allowed to judge them. And if you do think they are judgemental the polite thing to do is keep the comments to yourself.
you are assuming they are judging all working people unfavorably based on someone's account on the internet.An account by someone I trust who has no reason to make it up which seems to be accurate in description.And if you do think they are judgmental the polite thing to do is keep the comments to yourself.I disagree. As the last anon noted, it is precisely these attitudes that are causing the problems we have today - the little judgmental attitudes, the little "well, we're not comfortable with them because they're not exactly like us". It's these little things that end up making all the difference later on, especially when it gets down to kids and the like.
The very thing you are claiming is so terrible is exactly what you are doing - that's the irony.
Ah! No! That was my point to you. You're criticizing the post and comments here for what - being critical of a judgmental attitude, for asking that people *not* act this way. That they judge people on actions. This couple - at least through the mother's mouth - are doing exactly that. What the people here are doing is the reverse: Judging the actual actions and words, and noting why that attitude is so problematic. This is not being judgmental: This is commenting on an actual instance that occurred.A post that *would* be hypocritical would be one where I say (without having met any of them) "I don't want to move onto yeshiva lane, the kollel people there are going to make me feel like dirt because I work." This post is not like that at all.
You are right it's not the same thing; The mother said that the couple were assuming that THEY would be more comfortable living with some neighbors who also learned in kollel. You are looking at their statements and divining the intent behind the questions. Then getting insulted by the way you perceive their comments. Their statements of personal preference are inherently neutral until we give those statements meaning. The comments ascribe all kinds of nefarious intentions to the questioner and her children. The comments are judging whether or not it is okay for a person to have those feelings when it's all based on our assumptions of what they meant. That's a lot of judgement in my book. I think that it is equally wrong to judge someone else's feelings about how they make friends as to generalize about making friends.As for the marginilization of Jewish communities it can be a good thing - there are no politics like those out-of-town where everyone is forced to work with everyone else and compromise on their core values because the community is so small. So before we wax poetic about the big melting pot called out-of-town let's do a reality check.It's okay to hang out with one's own group as long as you recognize that we are part of one big whole. The Jewish nation is ideally made up of 12 shevatim each with its own character who lived in separate neighborhoods. The unity comes from the fact that we all serve G-d in our own way - not from going to the same shuls, the same schools or living in the same neighborhoods.
You are right it's not the same thing; The mother said that the couple were assuming that THEY would be more comfortable living with some neighbors who also learned in kollel.You are looking at their statements and divining the intent behind the questions. Then getting insulted by the way you perceive their comments....but there's really no other way to understand the statement in this case. The guy who wrote this is a pretty "yeshivish" guy, who (IIRC) is a Ner grad who still maintains a close connection with the place. The specificity of kollel has a different implication. Perhaps you don't realize, but the writer and almost all of the commenters are people familiar not only with Baltimore, but with the particular person who wrote the original post.It's okay to hang out with one's own group as long as you recognize that we are part of one big whole.To some extent, agreed. One of the nice things about KGH is how people put it: A "live and let live" community, where each group does their own thing and gets along with the others.The unity comes from the fact that we all serve G-d in our own way - not from going to the same shuls, the same schools or living in the same neighborhoods....but on the other hand, that's not true. That's historical fiction at its best. There was only one mishkan, there was only one beis hamikdash [at a time]. ALL of klal yisroel would be oleh regel and join together. One of the biggest tragedies in Jewish history is the split of the 10 shevatim from the 2; more obviously, the 3 weeks we're about to mourn are primarily about people separating from one another. Until *very* recently, cities had ONE rav. They had one shul, usually, or got specific permission from the rav of the community to make their own shul. The gemara strongly denigrates the idea of separating.there are no politics like those out-of-town where everyone is forced to work with everyone else and compromiseHuh!? For all the politics in the cities I've lived in, which some go down as the worst in modern Jewish history (enough to be in a Jew v. Jew book), the "out of town" togetherness and ability to compromise trumps anything in any big city. The ability of communities to truly come together, to truly care on an individual level for those who aren't of the 'same background' is unmatched in any large - split - Jewish community. Nobody ever is forced to compromise on "core values" - and woe is us if "core values" are things that force us to truly separate our communities from one another. The only reality check is that there is a reason "out of towners" can't stand the NY-NJ lifestyle and discord, and rush to get out as fast as they can. I have yet to meet anyone who is far enough along in life to understand what it important and who has lived both ways and prefers the latter.
For all the politics in the cities I've lived in, which some go down as the worst in modern Jewish history (enough to be in a Jew v. Jew book), We're no. 1, we're no. 1!!
Below is a comment I've made on other blogs as well regarding Anons.Once upon a time there was a rookie rabbi in town named Rabbi Weinreb. He was an accomplished psychologist and scholar…he took over a big shul and made a controversial speech that certain others in the community did not like. He received a blistering letter from someone telling him all kinds of things that really shook him up. He went to go talk to his good friend Rabbi Heineman, who asked him who wrote the letter. R' Weinreb said he didn't know because the guy did not sign his name. Rabbi Heineman ended the conversation right there and he said something along the lines of,"you're here to talk to me about a letter that shook you up that was written by a guy who wouldn't even sign his name?!.. He said that he never ever reads a letter unless it is signed - if the guys got something worth saying stand up and say it without hiding behind the curtain of anonymity.