Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Blog Roundup: Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It has been a while since I've run a blog roundup and I've missed linking to plenty of interesting conversations. But I just wanted to point everyone to some posts I find interesting. If I left you out, just put a link in the comments section and I will try to add a link.

Ariella of Kallah Magazine has questions and is looking for input regarding shidduchim. Check out her questions and add your thoughts.

A cross between a financial post and a shidduch post is Harry Maryles' post "Looking for Mr. Torah." I don't know much about the seminary circuit or curriculums offered. I do know that many young ladies return from Eretz Yisrael with a very rigid expectations of their future husband. And, this certainly makes arranging shidduchim difficult, to say the least. Harry estimates the cost of the year in Israel at a minimum of $14,000. I'd say that if parents agree to fund the life of a young kollel couple and all that the future entails, the cost increases exponentially.

Ariella asks, what is the average cost of a frum wedding? I'd like to know the answer myself. She posts some averages on non-Jewish weddings and non-Jewish weddings in the NY/NJ/PA area and elsewhere.

A brief look through the websites sighted shows that these astronomical figures include some of the pre-wedding activities, like the "rehearsal dinner" which is absent in frum weddings. But, of course, we manage to find a way to spend a ton with the vort(s) or l'chaim(s). And, the figures seem to include wedding jewelry, including the engagement ring. But, the average amount for those costs is nowhere near what I believe the average frum couple spends on the ring alone, much less the myriad of "required" engagement gifts. And, of course, non-Jewish couples aren't buying custom sheitels or having sheva brachot. So, I imagine the average cost of a frum wedding is at least 150% of the average overall costs, if not more. What is your guess?

Evanston Jew makes an accurate observation that the economic issues of frum life are made worse because we are a "face-to-face" society, where everyone knows each other and standards are set. I've made the same argument. It is unique to live in a society where there is tremendous wealth and tremendous poverty side-by-side. (I'd argue that the discrepancy in incomes is found in very few tight knit communities outside of the frum community, if any). Evanston Jew also contemplates the minimum income needed to afford a frum life. He starts at a figure of $100,000. What do you think?

Ezzie critiques my last budgeting post and adds some very important points geared toward young couples. Thanks Ezzie!


My friend OutOfTown posts about a new program at her son's school to teach middos. I am generally skeptical about programs designed to teach middot, since I believe that they are best learned through "osmosis" and by creating appropriate environments, but more about that another time. (Note: Certainly hashkafic concepts can and should be taught through Torah sources.) But, this program looks really unique because it involves not only the Rebbes/Morahs, but the entire staff including the limudei chol staff. Hopefully it will be a success and hopefully OutofTown will give us regular updates on the program.

And speaking of chinuch (crossed with financials), MominIsrael tells us about how some pre-schools are marketing to pre-schoolers. The subject of marketing to pre-schools I believe is loaded with halachic and ethical issues. It reminded me of a post I made long ago about schools adding to the already large financial burden placed on parents by involving them in financial issues.

Looking forward to seeing your insightful comments on these links. My apologies if I left anyone out.


Anonymous said...

Are you familiar with SoccerDad's Haveil havalim?

Orthonomics said...

No. Can you give me a link?
Thank Aishel.

BTW-you deserve a link for the timeliness issue. Consider it up and coming, bli neder.

Anonymous said...

Once a week, Soccerdad has a 'Blog Carnival' or a roundup of things that go on in the blogosphere.

The latest one was published today.

And thanks :)

Ezzie said...

You'd never heard of HH? Heh. I really should make a bigger effort to link to that... Haveil Havalim is excellent.

Ezzie said...

Oh - thank you for the link, glad you liked it. It wasn't really a critique, just adding a different piece...

Anonymous said...

I have always felt that teaching kids that middos are halocha is important. Unfortunately in too many schools, the instruction in dinim is entirely focused on t'filla, shabbat and yom tov observance. It gives the kids a distorted picture of the Torah.

I have had 4 kids through elementary school, in three schools, and not one of them was told in school, for example, that calling someone by an unpleasant cognomen is an issur d'oraita. In fact, when I told that to one of my daughters, she remarked that her morah didn't say that even when correcting a classmate on this point.

A Simple Jew said...

I enjoyed your blog roundup.

Orthonomics said...

Anon-Thanks for adding your thoughts. Inculcating middot would be a great future topic. Since you are ahead of us in the parenting, I hope you will add your comments when I get around to that loaded subject.

Ezzie-A critique doesn't have to be negative. :)

Aishel-Thanks for enlightening me.

Hello Simple Jew-Glad you enjoyed.

Anonymous said...

Sephardi Lady, I'm working on getting answers to the queston of average frum NY wedding costs. I've posted on the 5 Towns Shuls list, which has yielded responses from some people in the industry trying to sell me their services even though the post made it clear that it was for research and not lema'ase. The numbers I've gotten so far are rather high but do reflect different people's expectaions of what is essential. I hope to do a posting on the results after I get more responses from the group email and from my luach posting. It may also be a feature in the Chanukah issue of Kallah Magazine

Anonymous said...

"Evanston Jew also contemplates the minimum income needed to afford a frum life. He starts at a figure of $100,000. What do you think?"

Based on recent comments on Ask Shifra and Joe Schick's reposting of his "Is Orthodoxy Economically Viable?" I think that you are loking at an income of at least $200,000 to break even.