A few months back, one of the American Yated's regular columnists was asking readers to write in with their eitzot as to how to marry children off without going broke. Clearly, large families + massive wedding expenses do not bode well in the long-term, even where the money can be made available in the short-term. I had started a letter from an "outsider" of sorts, but in the end scrapped it. I figured there was little chance of having a letter published that read:
Advice on how to control wedding costs is readily available. Backbone is what is lacking.
Maybe I should send my two sentence letter? Who doesn't love concise and to the point?
The Orthodox community as a whole is making far too many *Big Money Mistakes* and few are willing to say what needs to be said. One of the largest Big Money Mistakes clearly is the "dowry" system in which an Israeli family must offer an apartment in order to marry off their daughters. Many will still give and/or issue tzedakah teudot because "it is what it is.
The economist in me has a hard time accepting such reasoning as I believe that giving only propagates a system that will soon come back to bite us. (I know, I'm really mean!) I believe that if the money were not forthcoming, the behavior would change in a natural, organic way. There would be some pain, but it wouldn't be tremendous. Darn that economist in me. . . . . The economist in me also believes that should the behavior not change, the demands on the tzedakah pot would become far too drastic. Once again, darn that economist. . . . . .especially when her predictions are hitting the publications.
The Jewish Worker, via Mishpacha Magazine, reports on the changing the profile of your average tzedakah recipient.
According to Kupat Hair the profile of the recipient of Tzedaka has changed dramatically. In the past most of the people who needed tzedaka were people who had undergone some tragedy, someone died, got sick, divorce etc. the average Charedi was not rich but did not need support from Kupat Hair.
In the last few years this has changed dramatically. Most of the people who now get money from Kupat Hair are regular people who are poor because they married off their children. To marry off their children they had to buy them apartments and that put them under water. They borrowed money that they could not repay and now they need tzedaka (source Michpacha newspaper).