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Haredi Jews and employment: Eat, pray, don’t work

UK Only Article: 
standard article

Issue: 

The right to die

Fly Title: 

Haredi Jews and employment

Rubric: 

Israel cannot afford to keep paying ultra-Orthodox men to shun employment

Location: 

JERUSALEM

AT 3AM, a thousand young men are all poring over the same page in the Babylonian Talmud tractate of Kiddushin, which deals with definitions of matrimony in ancient rabbinical law. Dressed identically in white button-down shirts and dark ties, the students of Hebron Yeshiva, founded in Lithuania in 1877 and now situated in northern Jerusalem, are observing a millennia-old tradition of learning through the night on Shavuot, which marks the day when Moses received the Torah on Mount Sinai.
This is only slightly exceptional. Any day of the week, save for short holidays, the study-halls at any of the elite yeshivas (Torah academies) in Israel are liable to be packed with students spending as much as 18 hours a day analysing Talmudic texts. Once married, most students will graduate to kollels, smaller …

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