Religion Magazine

Who is an Avrech?

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
There is another "minor" drug scandal gong on in the frum community, though it is not getting much press that I can see.
Behadrei has reported on a a drug bust involving an avreich as the ringleader dealer, and 3 yeshiva boys as the mules. Among the 3 mules, 1 was actually a mule, 1 changed his mind at the last minute and did not agree to carry the suitcase, and the 3rd acted as some sort of agent bringing them together.
According to the claims of the prosecutor, this group was involved in smuggling tens of thousands of ecstasy pills into Israel.
Whatever the details of the case may be, if they are innocent or guilty, I don't know. They claim they thought they were smuggling watches, not drugs, or whatnot, they were taken advantage of. Maybe, maybe not. It does not interest me that much.
What I find interesting in all this, is how Behadrei describes the ringleader as "a kollel avreich who is the father of a young daughter, who works in a store in Bnei Braq".
Well, is he an avreich kollel or does he work in a store? Is everyone who wears a hat and jacket automatically an avreich? 
The description "avreich" is often used to imply a certain naivete and purity, someone untouched and uninfluenced by the outside world. Someone who has dedicated his life to sitting in the beis medrash and avoiding the influences of the outside world.  I submit that they are using this term to describe this fellow to portray him as innocent, as someone taken advantage of. He might very well be, but the avreich and yeshiva community might not be so maligned if the "powers that be" would stop calling every Haredi male an avreich or a rav just because they wear a hat and jacket and have a beard.
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