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Friday, October 30, 2009

He Can't Work, She Can't Work

Shas, in an effort to improve employment rates and the "[lack of] parnassah" crisis in the Chareidi community, gets the government to agree to a pilot program of a call center Teleall serviced by Chareidi women. The call center serves healthcare organizations and pharmacies.

The women at the call center have received "sordid" calls related to men's (sexual) health and this has resulted in this declaration:

“Because of modesty issues rabbonim do not recommend women work outside of the home – only in cases where the financial situation is pressing and the woman needs to go out and get a job. Such cases require halachic clarification and a she’elas rov.”

The woman who received a call about virility drugs, didn't know the nature of the drugs, and hung up on the caller when he described them, was told to quit her job because of gilui arayot issues.

This isn't the first story declaring the evils of (Israeli Chareidi) women working. Personally I think the women should take on this chumrah psak of the year with great zeal and let the chips fall where they may. Perhaps next time the askanim will concentrate their efforts on the men.

(Note: I do not wish to comment on the relevant halacha, just the ridiculousness of setting up women in jobs and complaining about the jobs being inappropriate).

16 comments:

Garnel Ironheart said...

An uneducated, impoverished population is easier to control.

Avi said...

Hilariously sad.

JS said...

What I wouldn't pay to see the look on that poor woman's face when the unlucky guy on the other end of the line had to go into details about what viagra was for.

Ariella said...

"Because of modesty issues rabbonim do not recommend women work outside of the home – only in cases where the financial situation is pressing and the woman needs to go out and get a job. Such cases require halachic clarification and a she’elas rov.”'

If it truly were a breech of giluy arayos -- a yerhareg veal ya'avor -- then there is no heter parnasa that would stand up. For a Jew to say he had to take a job as a hitman to earn a living would be absurd because killing is also a yehareg va'al ya'avor. In any case, women usually work because they do need the income -- the same reason men work. And would it be better for a man to hear a woman describing her own intimate details?

Ariella said...

Come to think of it, it should be possible to route the calls so that women callers get women and men get men. It shouldn't be a problem with phone menu options, and then they don't need to worry about what the man may say to the woman.

G*3 said...

As crazy as this is, people will listen to their rabbonim. What's going to happen when they run out of money - and can't buy food? Are their kids to starve so that the men can learn and the women don't have to talk to men about viagra?

Or are we going to be inundated with flyers about the poor families in Eretz Yisroel with ten kids, the father is a respected talmid chacham and, nebach, the family has no parnassah.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I would probably feel uncomfortable talking to a male caller (as a female) about what certain drugs do. I don't know if it's necessary to quit as opposed to finding ways to get around the situation (as was suggested - male to male, etc. or rerouting the call).

Joshua said...

To minor typos: "sorid" should I presume be "sordid" and "gilgul arayot" should be "gilui arayot" (I don't think you want to be talking about inappropriate reincarnations)

Tova said...

Even more sick than this story are the pathetic comments written on VIN about it, defending the 'employee' for acting like a child. Someone even implied that ED was not a Jewish issue and that it 'isn't a medical condition'. Whatever.

The sun rises in the east, it sets in the west, and willfully ignorant chareidim will remain self-lobotomized.

Aaron from L.A. said...

....reminds me of the television charachter,Maynard G. Krebs(Bob Denver) on the old Dobie Gillis show back in the 60s.When the work "work" was mentioned,he quizically repeated it as if he had an allergy to it,"Work?!"

kisarita said...

one wonders if the same rabbi objects as strenuously to male physicians who treat female patients, or better yet, to male rabbis who examine vaginal secretions on women's underwear

Off the Derech said...

>one wonders if the same rabbi objects as strenuously to male physicians who treat female patients

Good point.

I think Garnel is out of a job.

Charlie Hall said...

There is a midrash that says that mistakingly believing that touching the tree was prohibited when only eating its fruit was prohibited led to the expulsion form Gan Eden. Talking to someone of the opposite sex on the phone is not gilui arayot.

Ariella said...

And Joshua, wher eyou wrote, "To minor typos," you must have meant to write "Two minor typos," :-)

Ahuva said...

The whole thing doesn't make any sense. I'm assuming that the rabbis who set up the program knew that they would be taking medical calls. Shouldn't they have realized that they would consider some of those calls to be "inappropriate?"

Why not set them up with call center jobs that don't involve medical issues rather than advising the women not to work altogether?

Eliyahoo William Dwek said...

Any man who chooses to be a ‘rabbi’ (‘true teacher’ of Torah) or a ‘dayan’ (‘judge’), or a ‘mekubal’ (‘kabbalist’) should be doing so Voluntarily. Out of his pure love for Hashem and the Torah. And his Ahavat Yisrael.

If he refuses to do community work voluntarily, and wants and accepts payment for everything he does, such a man should not be heading a community. He should get a job and earn a living. He can collect milk bottles or clean the windows. That is what is called ‘earning a living’.

Torah is learned, studied and taught: out of Love. Voluntarily. But the ‘rabbis’ have turned the Torah into their ‘Profession’, from which they earn money.

We are commanded in the Shema to:

‘LOVE Hashem, your G-d, WITH ALL YOUR HEART, and with all your soul and with all your might.’

‘VE’AHAVTA et Hashem Elokecha BECHOL LEVAVECHA uvechol nafshecha uvechol meodecha.’ (Devarim, Vaethanan, 6:4-5)

Is the ordinary man or woman PAID to pray to Hashem, or to say some words of Torah? No. Has veshalom! But the rabbis are. These men can give ‘lovely’ shiurim that they have rehearsed. But they would not give a shiur without being paid for it.

The true hachamim and rabbis of old, all actually worked at proper jobs and professions.

Wake up! Even a little child could have worked this out. These salaried men can never truly stand for the Torah, because in a case of conflict between a correct course of action according to the Torah, and the rabbi or rav’s pocket – his pocket and position will always prevail.

Pirkei Avot: (2:2)
“Raban Gamliel beno shel Rabi Yehuda HaNassi omer: yafeh talmud Torah im derech eretz, sheyegiat shenaihem mashkachat avon. Vechol Torah she’ein imah melacha sofa betailah ve’goreret avon. Vechol haoskim im hatzibbur yiheyu imahem leShem Shamayim……”

“Rabban Gamliel, the son of Rabi Yehuda HaNassi, said: It is good to combine Torah study with a worldly occupation, for working at them both drives sin from the mind. All Torah without an occupation will in the end fail and lead to sin. And let all who work for the community do so for the sake of Heaven………”