Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Kollel Man? In CHEREM???

I've been ticked off before, but now I am outraged. My temper flares as I type this. In my "bungalow colony, " they are doing some condo/co-op conversion thing to save some money on taxes. Understandable.

Now, believe it or not, there are a few fine, Ehrliche, yeshivish families left in my place. The ones who were there from 15 years ago-before we were- shall we say- invaded by these, um, yeah, people? I can count these sincere people on one hand, but B"H they're there. I'm proudly part of that crowd--nice, hardworking, honest people.

When we were invaded, this new developer came and promised us the world. Of course, they were all a load of garbage, and he did not fulfill his commitments. When it came time to sign more papers, people were skeptical because of the negative experience we had previously. So, they had a hard time getting the "old timers," as we are called, to sign.

One family, who is real Chashuv, an honest, sincere Kollel family (who bought the house- with a lot of help -many years ago when they were half the price) has some complaints. To protect their ID, I won't specify it, but it is about Tznius, and can be fixed with a saw, a hammer, and some nails. This man would not hurt a fly if you paid him. If he is complaining about something that is so important, how can he go unheard? So he is one of the holdouts, (the last one, I believe.) Now I don't know if that is his only reason for not signing. But the way I know him, I trust he is doing the right thing. He must have asked a Rav and is doing this for a legit reason. A man who is learning in Kollel for more than 20 years with Bli Ayen Hora a large family, is sincere--and will not cheat anyone, and would not hold 95 other people like this if he wasn't advised to do so by someone chashuv. He could have left Kollel after child #10 was born, gotten a job, and driven up in a Lexus like everyone else, but he is still learning in Kollel and living a simple life.

In the shul this week, there was a sign that basically put this man in Cherem. Nobody is allowed to talk to him or interact with his family. This Chashuv Talmid Chacham--(who nobody ever spoke to anyway)--is in CHEREM????????????? Don't these idiots understand that it is HIS Limud Torah that allows the world to go round?? That lets them live their empty shallow lives?? Where is their appreciation for Torah? How can Jews treat another Jew like this??? Especially such a gentle, honest, learned man! How can they let that sign hang in the shul? How do these beasts sleep at night knowing what they are doing to someone? How do you think this man feels when he sees his name in big, bold letters, and he is not to be spoken to??

Keep in mind, the amount of money they plan to save is $1,000 a year. Yes, to some that is significant, but to those who pay $16,000 for landscaping IN THE COUNTRY can spare the thousand dollars, and this man's kavod--not even kavod---dignity!!! $1,000 to these people is chump change. Although I understand, you want to save it if you can. I wonder if they'd just fix that thing, if he'd sign, and that project costs less than $1,000 anyway.

I wish I could show you all what a special family they are. How I know for sure what he is doing is within Da'as Torah. He wouldn't have it any other way.

OMG I am too enraged to complete my thought. But what do you all think about this??


At 8/21/2005 1:08 PM, Blogger Josh said...

Wow. I wonder if I could also type up something on Microsoft Word to put anyone I want in Cherem. Do you really not need any reason? Maybe I'll just go to Heimishe communities putting people in Cherem unles they sell me their houses at half price.

Thanks for putting your passionate and honest voice to good use.

At 8/21/2005 3:57 PM, Blogger FB said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8/21/2005 4:00 PM, Blogger FB said...

I agree with you that what they are doing is wrong and they should be taken to a Din Torah for ruining an honest man's reputation. They should be sued for defamation.

At 8/21/2005 4:36 PM, Anonymous Chakki said...

Michelle, I couldn't agree with you more. Money corrupts; and it doesn't get much more apparent that what you see here.

Especially coming a week after Tisha B'av, which we fast on due to the aveirah of sinas chinom, such behavior is just plain revolting. Especially coming right after a modern-day tragedy in Gaza, such behavior is just plain inexcusable. I guess some people don't learn from our ancestors' mistakes. Perhaps they don't even care. Which is all the more sickening.

What can we helpless bloggers do about the situation? All we can do is just daven for them. Seriously. They need help. Lots of it, too. Let us pray that God will help open their hearts to realize the serious error of their ways.

At 8/21/2005 8:01 PM, Anonymous Ben said...

If the guy hates the place so much, why doesn't he just sell his house and leave? This way, he avoids all problems. It seems like he doesn't fit in there anyway.

Perhaps he his holding out for a ridiculous sum.

I'm in no way denfending the people's decision to put him in cherem, although it's possible (although highly unlikely) that that was done through da'as torah

All I'm saying is that the dude should realize that the writing is literally on the wall, so he shouldn't stay where he ain't wanted, and his refusal to sell and buy elsewhere makes me wonder. Remember, there are two sides to every story.

At 8/21/2005 11:45 PM, Blogger Elisheva said...

Such a sad story, and all too typical. People care only about themselves. And sometimes, like you said, it is a stupid thing to fix, but they won't do it, like 'just to show', or cause it makes them feel guilty.

I konw my comments here won't help a thing, but still I must add my voice about how sad it is when ppl take stuff into their own hands like this.

At 8/22/2005 1:14 AM, Blogger Kin said...

Who exactly put this guy in Cherem? Is there a local Beis Din? It sounds kind of fishy to me.

At 8/22/2005 12:06 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

I knew someone was going to say that they should leave. Truth is, they have rented their house out a few years in a row. But they come up for Shabbos when at the beginning and the end. And I doubt they are waiting for a large sum of money. I bet they could get a large sum--people would just buy it for the lot, knock it down and do what they do in Brooklyn. The only thing is, they wouldn't be among their peers. They'd be among the old people, and that is just so NOT COOL.
Basically, since these new people came along, us old timers all feel like we're itching to get out of there, but it is a lot easier said than done. We have been going there for 15 years, it is not so easy to just pick up and leave, and as long as the other nice people are staying, we'll stay too.
It's actually frightening how I see so little Judaism in their everyday lives. I really hope that somehow, somewhere I don't see it, it's not as I picture it. I hope there's some spirituality somewhere, or I can't send my kid to school IY"H.

At 8/22/2005 12:10 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Josh-bring a ream of paper--we'll have a good time.

Elisheva--I agree.
Chakki-that's the frustrating thing about blogging. It only gets half the job done. But you're right--all we can do is daven.

Kin- I am not sure how they went about it.

At 8/22/2005 12:51 PM, Blogger Elster said...

I'm not sure I follow. So someone decides to put this guy in a cherem of sorts and puts up a sign. SO what? here's the bigger question: Are people talking to him? Do people feel this guy is a jerk because he is using his only leverage to stop a project that everyone else agreed with enough to sign for? Because the sign itself is just a silly, hurtful piece of paper. But are people following the sign? That would speak volumes aboiut how these people really feel about the kollel guy.

And another question from the other side: Is it right of this guy to hold up something that everyone else wants, thus costing people $1,000 more per year (and this person, of all people, must understand the value of $1,000 a year? It seems as though his beef with the community developer is unrelated to the savings.

Now don't get me wromg. I like the underdog. But let's try and see both sides of this one. If everyone in the community (or at least a very large majority) think what this guy is doing is wrong, then maybe it IS. If this man cannot come to grips with the desires of everyone else, and his issue is a holdup that no one else seems to have, then maye he SHOULD sell...

Just a thought.

At 8/22/2005 1:36 PM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Michelle, I could tell you far worse stories that would keep you awake at nite.
Atleast, this just involves $$, I know a number of cases where children's lives are in jeopardy and all "Shayner Yidden" are just squawking about the eruv.
My blood is bolling so I will stop here.

At 8/22/2005 3:18 PM, Anonymous Ben said...

Back to my original comment - I have not yet been disproven. Let the guy sell and get out. There are other bungalow colonies out there with his type. If he'll miss his buddies so much, let him keep in touch with them during the year. Besides, you said he rents out his bungalow, so he hardly sees these guys anyway.

I know he's a kollel guy and all, but it's got to be about the money. And which daas torah would encourage machlokes among yidden? If he presented a gadol or rosh yeshiva with the entire story, how can they tell him to do something that would cause such strife?

At 8/24/2005 5:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say, let's put Michelle in cherem! Just kidding....

At 8/24/2005 6:20 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

ben- I bet he'd do whatever he has to to save $1000 a year. Obviously he has something else in mind. I don't know what his full argument is. I'm not saying he's 100& right, but I am saying that the others are 99.999% wrong. Putting the man in Cherem will not make him sign nothin. They already treat him like he's not there, so what's the chiddush anyway?
The fact that the people choose to ignore the ones who established this place when it was a bunch of oddballs shoved into a small area is more disgusting to me. Grr.

At 8/30/2005 6:58 AM, Blogger Air Time said...

Michelle -

I have been reading your blog for a while, and rarely agree with you, but I do enjoy your perspective.

Just curious, do you really believe someone could go from learning in kollel to a job where he earns enough to support ten kids and drive a new lexus?

I assume he doesn't have a degree, and has a bare minimum of skills which would not qualify him for doing almost any job.

At 9/14/2005 1:39 PM, Anonymous Vos Iz Nies said...

i am shocked on one hand, and not suprized on the other given the stories in our communities every thing goes

lets all say together

moshiach moshiach moshiach oy oy oy

At 7/17/2008 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UPDATE: The kollel guy is out of cherem and out of the bungalow colony.

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