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Anti-work attitudes in Haredi Judaism

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In Wikipedia:Haredi Judaism, views vary regarding employment. The majority of Haredi Jews are employed and believe Wikipedia:employment is necessary for sustenance. A minority, mostly in Wikipedia:Israel, hold beliefs opposed to employment in favor of Wikipedia:Torah study. These have angered others, who feel that the non-working Haredim should not be given government benefits that contribute to allowing this situation to exist and persist.[1] The main reasoning given by those who do not want to work is that the most important value bestowed in Judaism is the study of the religion, and full-time devotion to religious study requires that one not work.[2]

Restrictions opposing work apply more to men than to women, since men are those who traditionally learn. [3]

About 60% of Haredi Jews in Israel presently voluntarily do not participate in the secular labor market in order to pursue full-time Torah study and are receiving payments from their Wikipedia:kollels, supplemented with meager government stipends for the cost of living.

In support of employmentEdit

There is much opposition among other Jews against those Haredim who do not participate in the work force. Much of the concern is economical. Those who fail to work live below the poverty line and tend to receive social benefits financed by the taxes paid by the rest of the population. With the Haredi population growing rapidly, averaging 8 children per family, the percentage they compose of the nation's population is expected to double in 20 years. Some believe this could lead to an economic collapse.[2]

Some Haredim who previously did not want to work, have in recent years changed their attitude.[4]

Wikipedia:Chaim Amsellem, an Israeli parliamentary member and a Haredi rabbi himself, stated that government subsidies for Wikipedia:kollel students should be reserved only for those destined to be rabbis.[5]

Different attitudesEdit

Some Haredi groups, in particular the more extremist anti-Zionist movements affiliating with the Wikipedia:Edah HaChareidis, avoid receiving government subsidies for their institutions and solely finance themselves with donor funds received from rich Haredim abroad. Their leaders frequently travel abroad to raise funds. These groups also do not participate in the Israeli political process, and some of them avoid any dealings with the state, to the point of not registering as residents or citizens and not using state-provided and financed medical care as well.

Military exemptionsEdit

Israeli law provides military exemptions to those who pursue full-time Torah study, while at the same time, prohibits them from working.[1] However, some Haredi Jews do wish to work, but find cultural barriers stand in the way of employment, with many firms in the secular world not willing to even consider Haredim for jobs.[2]

Outside of IsraelEdit

Outside of Israel, attitudes vary. While communities consisting of primarily learning Haredim consist outside of Israel as well, a higher percentage works, typically in independent businesses and in higher-level functions than Israeli Haredim, due to the higher level of secular education enjoyed by non-Israeli Haredim.

Tens of thousands of others however work, many of them from early morning to late night, even working 6 days per week. They include physicians, IT specialists, real estate agents, lawyers, store owners, electricians, plumbers, police officers, paramedics, bus drivers, taxi drivers, cleaners, military service personnel, bakers, butchers, internet entrepreneurs, security guards, university professors, and many other professions.

According to The Telegraph, in Wikipedia:London, 62% of Haredi Jews live off government benefits.[6]



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