Religion Magazine

Kollel Hi-Tech Forced to Close

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
I am shocked and astounded that this could happen.
According to Kikar, the "Kollel Hi-Tech" which was recently established in Bnei Braq for avreichim who had chosen to study a trade but wanted to continue to learn Torah for part of the day, has been forced to shut down.

Kollel Hi-Tech forced to close

[some of] the avreichim who will no longer be..
photo credit: Kikar

After some rabbonim opposed it, and after some hafganot against it in Bnei Braq, the Rosh Kollel yesterday announced its closure. Both Rav Shmuel Auerbach and Rav Nissim Karelitz recently published articles, each in how own affiliated newspaper, against such an integration of learnign Torah and studying for a profession together. Rav Dovid Leibel, the founder, was forced to close the kollel, though he says it is only temporary while he goes around to the rabbonim to explain the kollel and consult with them about it.
Rav Leibel, it seems, has two separate institutions - a few years ago he opened a vocational school to teach computer programming and other computer studies to haredim who have chosen to integrate into the workplace and pursue a career in hi-tech. In addition to that, Rav Leibel now opened the kollel so that young men studying these hi-tech trades could also spend part of the day continuing to learn Torah. Rav Leibel is very strict about the learning schedule, and everyone in the program has to commit to adhering to the schedule very carefully.
The rabbonim and other opponents are looking at it from a different perspective - instead of seeing that these students looking for work are being kept for a few hours a day n the beis medrash, they see avreichim being given legitimacy and encouragement to stop learning in the afternoons in order to learn a trade.
Truth is, I am not sure either of those perspectives are really all that bad...
Anyways, when Rav Leibel realized he had to close down, he said someone is going to pay the price for this that now tens of haredi students are going to stop learning Torah daily.
I am astounded that some people think it is a bad thing for working people, or students, to dedicate a few hours a day to torah study. It seems so short-sighted to force such a kollel to shut down. One cannot integrate work and Torah study? Since when is that true? And, if anything, I would have thought they would get the training school shut down rather than the kollel...
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