Thursday, July 12, 2012

But I'm the Democrat!

Recently, I had a discussion about the role that welfare payments plays in modern-day Orthodox life.  Apparently, some families start signing up for "programs" like Section 8 and food stamps before the ink is dry on their wedding pictures.  Some couples even go as far as not getting state marriage certificates.  That way, they can be "single mothers" legally.
The irony of course, is that many of these families will denigrate the "sch******s" who supposedly utilize these programs.  (For the record, the Boro Park WIC office has most of the minorities present BEHIND the desks.  The nice ladies with the shaitels and the designer strollers--are getting benefits.)  When questioned about this, the answer is always the same--"Why not use it?  It's there."
Simple.  These programs were designed to be TEMPORARY aid to people needing to stay on their feet during a financial crisis.  They were not meant to be a way of life.  Moreover, anyone with any pride would try to avoid these programs altogether, and, if forced on by necessity (it's a bad economy right now, and many people need these benefits to survive) try to get off of them as quickly as possible. 
For the record, before I was married, I worked full-time and lived on my paycheck.  Sort of.  If you call a converted shed for an apartment and a tin-can on wheels "living."  However, it never crossed my mind to attempt to even get food stamps.  Maybe I just had too much pride, but I would rather live within my means, even if it meant skipping the more than occasional meal, than accept government handouts.
The irony of course, is that many of those on these "programs" are dyed-in-the-wool Republicans.  However, I am a lifelong Democrat.


  1. A black friend of mine asked me, "how dare these Jewish women look at us and say all we do is have babies and leach from the government? They don't do the same thing?" I told her, "they do, but they think somehow it's ok when they do it... I guess because they are married? and they think none of the black women are." I really didn't know what to say to her. I mean she was in college and single no kids, looking to have kids after marriage only and I know damn well the women in Boro Park don't work other than sheitlmacher and babysitter (maybe some exceptions but that's the norm) and they don't go to college.

  2. First of all, no one's perfect and you're still young enough to change your voting pattern.
    Secondly, you have to remember that for centuries we endured terrible persecution pretty much everywhere we lived. As a result, the idea of "stealing from the goyim" lost its opprobium. After all, if they were busy beating, murdering and forcibly converting us, was it so wrong to try and rip them off once in a while just to survive?
    Now we live in North America where we aren't persecuted but that "it's okay to cheat the goyim" attitude is still present.

  3. OK, so if we're allowed to emulate the society around us in criminal behavior, then why bother with the ritual aspects of Torah observance that define Orthodoxy? I'm pretty sure that Hashem had something to say against theft. Also about kindness to strangers, for we were once strangers.

  4. Hi, that was me before too.
    No, no you don't get it. We're not emulating society around us in criminal behaviour, chas v'shalom. We're exercising the mitzvah of liberating stolen property from goyim since all goyim are thieves so none of their property really belongs to them so it's no sin to take it away, in fact it's a mitzvah to liberate the property and use it for holy purposes under our control.
    That's what defines us as Orthodox!

    Garnel Ironheart

  5. I sincerely hope that you don't honestly believe that. Do I need another "What did I sign up for" post?

  6. I'm with you on the Republican thing. Anyone who is voluntarily receiving social welfare services had better pray hard that Obama stays in office.


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