The Matzav Shmoooze: Do You Care About Your Relatives’ Parnassah?


jobsDear readers,

Do you know someone out of a job? Is your neighbor out of a job? Maybe your brother or friend? Did you ever think what they are going through? Did you ever sit down and really think if there is anything that you can do for them?

I am currently out of a job for a long time already. I went to school and obtained a degree, but there is simply nothing out there. Nothing. I have friends, neighbors and, worse yet, very close (I mean biological) relatives who all know I’ve been looking for a job for all this time. Some people will try everything they possibly can to try to get me a job. Unfortunately, a larger number of people seem completely oblivious to my situation. What’s most surprising is which people are in which group. The people who are most helpful and will stop at nothing never knew me before I began looking for a job. The people who do nothing are the neighbors, friends and relatives! Yes, they ask me what’s doing with my job search. They even feign sympathy. However, their “sympathetic” looks and tones don’t mean much when they don’t do a thing to help me.

Now, I know some of you will say that maybe I’m taking my bitterness out on people who really care. The truth can sometimes hurt, but in my particular case, I know for a fact that these same “sympathetic” relatives have had clear opportunities to help me out, but have turned their heads the other way. Why would they do such a thing? The answer: They will not “put themselves down” to ask someone they know if they have a job for me. It is beneath their “dignity” to ask people for a referral.

In one case, a relative was best friends with the sister in-law of the president of the firm I interviewed at and yet never asked her best friend to put in a good word for me. I never got the job there. Yes, I will get an e-mail here and there with some obscure job that has been circulating on the internet for about six weeks already. But to ask a former employer, to ask a friend, a boss….that they won’t do. Again, we are talking about people who “care” for me.

As for neighbors and friends, I think they simply never put much thought to it. I go about my daily routine, so why sound any alarms? When someone, chas veshalom, gets sick or passes away at a young age, everyone gets a jostle. When there’s a dead person walking amongst you, not much thought is put into it.

Please don’t get me wrong. The chessed in the frum community is unbelievable and any charity done elsewhere in the world pales in comparison. I do not mean to chip away at that in any way whatsoever. One would need to be utterly blind to not see the amazing chessed done in our communities. I am merely trying to make a point by saying that an unemployed individual doesn’t call as much attention to their plight, because they still walk around healthy, boruch Hashem. Their day still has some semblance of normalcy to it (at least to the public’s eye). In reality, this person is in a coma. His life is one of misery, one of despair. The pressure in the house is palpable. The piles of bills and tuition don’t stop coming and there is no end in sight.

So why did I sit down to write this letter? This is clearly a letter written by someone with bitter feelings. Why would I do it?

I am doing it to bring awareness to people out there about the opportunity as well as responsibility that they have when faced with someone they know being out of a job.

How many people do you know who got their degree, spent fortunes of money, and now cannot find a job? Is your brother out of a job? Your neighbor? Do you ever wonder why your neighbor doesn’t seem himself? Maybe he doesn’t shmooze as much as he used to. Maybe he misses minyan here and there. Do something! Yes, he and his family may put on a show as if everything is going just fine. As I said, in virtually all instances it is a show. Don’t fall for it! They are likely struggling terribly and are just keeping quiet.

Go over to him or her. Say a nice word. Make them feel that you truly care for them. Don’t make them feel uncomfortable, though. Don’t be intrusive. But don’t for a second think that because everything is the same as last year on the outside, it is the same when they close their doors at night. And most importantly, do something with actions, not just words. Sit down with your spouse and try to brainstorm. Maybe there’s a contact you forgot about that can be of help. Maybe your father in-law’s neighbor who has a successful business knows of something. Even if they don’t need anyone themselves, many times they will know of something elsewhere. Don’t forget: Businessmen have friends and acquaintances too. Trust me, if you put your head to it, you’ll be surprised at how many people you know, directly or indirectly, who may be of help.

We should all merit to always have enough parnassah and we should not have to come onto one another.

Stuck Without a Job


The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to

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  1. I’m very sorry about your plight.

    What the satan brings us to overlook is what Rashi in Chumash tells us about this: When one is starting to fall, one person can support them and help them up. Once they’ve fallen, even five people won’t be able to pick them up.”

    May you find a good and proper job very soon.
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention

  2. what line of work are you in? can you give a description of what you have done-not for being intrusive -just to try to brainstorm

  3. I see lots of chesed organizations but very little real chesed. This letter is so true. There are many people walking around out there who could use help and have friends and relatives who could easily help them but they don’t. I have been in that situation and I am bitter because of it. There is so much suffering out there which is unnecassary. It would be so easy to help many of these people by helping them find a job or start a business. but we don’t care enough for our neighbor or our relative or our fellow Jew. I can not describe to you the very real physical and mental pain of getting a payment demand from your childs Yeshiva or Bais Yaakov and not being able to pay it. It is like a knife to the chest. I will not even go into the practice of not allowing children to attend classes untill their parent pay up and so on. You call that Chesed????? No wonder Moshiach does not come.

  4. To#2 (Hocker58)

    Thank you for WANTING to help. Just that means so much. I prefer not to put that in the blog for various reasons.

    Please contact Matzav by e-mailing I give them full permission to give my e-mail address to you.

  5. Unemployment rates for architects, engineers, and construction (AEC) personnel are very high in the U.S. and other countries.

    Shomrei Torah UMitzvos in these AEC fields looking for work may contact me for a suggestion:

  6. I wish the writer and his community all the best. It is so important that we take the time to know people. While this man would like more attention to his situation, there are others, who when faced with difficulties, would prefer that only those closest to them, dwell on their pain. It seems, that we must endeavor to approach everyone, even adults, “al pi darko” so to speak, taking the time and energy to discover what each truly needs. No two people are the same.

    Hatzlocha to the writer … may all the tefilos this article generates help to bring you a parnassah with dignity!

  7. I could have written this letter.

    I would add that look at all the gevirim who give money to this one and that one and to schools and shuls and everyone, and their own relatives are poor like sin! CHARITY BEGINS WITH YOUR RELATIVES, your sister, brother and even cousin.

  8. It is indeed a rather most intriguing experience which requires much chizuk and support.The lack of financial means, especially with the expenses in our society, is unfortunately very prevalent in many observant homes, across the spectrum, at this time.People/families are having much difficulty coping with it.

    You should be commended for your presentation of this matter.

    Perhaps at another time, the issue of shiduchim, of those single in their forties , fifties , sixties, etc. can also merit an article on your most worthy site.

    May there speeily be Hatzlocha and R’vachah in the above-mentioned issues.

  9. I am in the same position- It wrecks havoc on family life, and we can’t even sell our house. I spent my retirement money to learn a second career, and that didn’t work either. So, unfortunately, I know. I also know the key to Parnassah is Hashem, so I don’t know why it’s held back. I wish you hatzlacha.

  10. One answer is (there is not “one solution” to this Pikuach Nefesh problem) frum companies should hire more frum people. Yes, frum people need more money, Yes, they need to leave early for Shabbos and YT while joe six-pack can stay till 7 every day. And so on and so on. So what? I ask you Mr. Buisness owner, don’t you think Hashem knows that hiring a frum person will cost you more? Hire frum and he’ll take care of the rest, Remember what Dovid Hamelech A”H said, Lechu Hisparnasu Zu m Zu.

  11. On the other side of the coin. B”H I was blessed by Hashem and had the opportunity to employ over 120 people, mostly frum. However,the economic situation now is dire.

    Unfortunately most the employees do not realize the difficulty that a boss goes thru to make a payroll. They have no problem yakking away and not working during business hours. They come late with a million excuses.

    I have already let 6 people go. Many more will have to be let go Chas V’sholom. How often did the supervisor and I myself explain to them the importance about doing what they are being paid for (Not expecting more, just what you are paid for.) But no, the discussion about yesterday’s bris of someones nephew or the next aufruf or shaitel macher appointment takes precedence.
    If these people truly gave their effort then most jobs could be saved. But its useless. The only thing you will hear is the boss is filthy rich, he makes so much money, eh its only afew minutes late, doesn’t the boss also come late, what could I do – I had to wait for the kids bus, the boss is so selfish – doesn’t he realize when he hires frum people he has to me more menchlech, etc etc.

    What a shame. On a personal level these employees are wonderful great people. But when it comes to work ethic – ZERO. These people should not complain when they lose their job. It was their own fault!!

  12. Sometimes it works the other way….I have a brother who worked on Wall Street, out of a job with the financial services meltdown, and when I ask what is doing, I am not given ANY info whatsoever. I am not asking to be nosy, to point fingers, blame, do the shoulda-coulda-woulda dance. Rather, I ask because I care and maybe I know somebody who knows somebody but my brother does not wish to share the details with me. I do not know if he is employed yet, or where he works, how they are making it, if they are making it, and his wife will not speak about it either. Is it possible that your relatives choose to give you space and privacy? I know that is what my brother apparently craves, and I reluctantly have to respect that, though I would like to help in a more direct and concrete fashion. just sayin….

  13. i havnt had time to read ur letter in its entirety but i can only dan the ppl close to you l’kav zechus
    (if u call it that)
    that they know you’re not the best employee
    and wont help you get a job cuz they wouldnt want to mislead your ‘future’ boss.
    there are plenty of jobs out there, you’re just not willing to take cuz either the pay or the inconvenience is not for what you want
    or it’s s/t you think is embarrassing, like stocking grocery shelves etc

  14. I agree that often people do not do enough to help. That said, in the defense of those who do not: (a) Many people don’t know about jobs available. I know that whatever job is open at my company is posted on its web site. Anyone can apply anytime. Thus, I have no “inside information” about jobs; (b) If the applicant is not qualified and I recommend him, I look bad. Why would I jeopardize my career when the company wants 6 years experience in x and the guy has only 3 months? (c) Often job-seekers are too picky. The salary has to be x and the benefits have to be x and the hours have to be x and so on. As you can see, helping others in this area is not as easy as it sounds. Still, if there are things that can be done, by all means one should do them.

  15. To #13

    Wow, you’ve got an interesting way of being dan l’kaf zchus!!
    You’re wrong on all counts. They know I am a great employee in the industry I’m in and they know I’m a very dedicated employee. I have work experience to prove both. Regarding the other “limud zchus” ; I have taken “degrading” jobs in the past.

    Please try being more sensitive when making comments from your comfortable chair while others are struggling to put bread on their table.

  16. To Moshe (#13)

    You show your chazir fissalla by writing that you didn’t bother reading the whole letter, nevertheless you “can only dan the ppl close to you l’kav zechus” while you at the same time you state without having any information to back it up that the author of the letter is “not the best employee” (how do you know?) and recommending him for an opening would mislead his future employer (how do you know?).

    You further state that “there are plenty of jobs out there, you’re just not willing to take cuz either the pay or the inconvenience is not for what you want”. For the sake of emmes, I must call you either an ignorant or a liar. Are there plenty of jobs? Where? Show me. I have been out of work for more than four years now. I used to be a senior commercial mortgage underwriter for Morgan Stanley. I agreed to work stocking up the shelves in stores, warehouses, etc. They refused to give me such jobs. They said that as soon as a better job comes around, I would leave.

  17. Alas, I, too, have a BROTHER, a very fine Yid, an amazing sought after Dr. who makes about 3 million dollars a year. Lives in a long island home costing over 2 million dollars,built from scratch to his every specification, every one of his kids drives their own car, made a 50,000 dollar wedding last year,and his tzedaka gelt goes to have his name on plaques building rooms in his local yeshiva, when he has a brother who is a rebbe in a yeshiva and bounces checks every other month, and can’t afford to make necessary repairs to his 100 year old falling apart home.

  18. Anyone looking for a job in banking should go to

    Chase bank, my employer, is hiring. Even if you don’t get the exact job you want, you will be inside a very large firm with many, growing, opportunities. Also the benefits – including healthcare – are very generous.

  19. The letter writer has not mentioned HKB”H! It’s apparent that he has absolutly NO betachon! Maybe it’s time to stop kvetching & crack open a Chovas Halvavos – Shaare Bitachon. You might learn something! When you truly believe that no one can help you except HKB”H, then you will have Seyata Dishmaya BE”H. Also a good read, is the book “What color is your parichute?” You can pick it up at your local Library. The Employer above made some excellent points. I am a store manager/supervisor of a very busy retail chain store. There are some workers who love to waist time & complain about everything under the sun. They don’t give a s–t for the Company & when they find themse lves canned, they are going to write to Matzav like the immature ingrates that they are!

  20. The letter speake for itself, all the big machares will give to every place that they get some koved, but to help a local person quitely, nobody is home, its a major problem, hope hashem should help all yiden should be able mange by then self with out any help from another person

  21. #22 – you are mean. I am sure this person davens. You think every cancer patient, single person, childless person etc. doesn’t daven?
    To the letter writer:
    I hope you find work soon!
    I hope everyone tries to help you. One idea: tell people directly when they say, How are you? “Well, I am still out of work. I’d appreciate if you could think of any contacts for me, I am trying to get interviews etc. in x type of places.”
    As for the relatives: I think many of us struggling have rich relatives. One of my rich relatives offered to give me some money to buy a house. I don’t feel right taking it, because the money should go to his grandchildren. But I am touched at the offer. Another (close) relative with far more money (millions) and every luxury (fancy cars, nannies, mansion, etc.) who is in “close” contact – i.e. calls up weekly to say hello – has never offered a dime and doesn’t even send a token baby gift — yet they give thousands in tzedaka to strangers. I don’t understand it, is it just thoughtlessness? Are they so busy being rich that they are divorced from reality?

  22. In addition to tefilah, if I may humbly offer some hishtadlus advice to the job seekers from someone on the “other side of the fence” – this is based on my own experience helping others:

    1) Talk to EVERYONE, NOT JUST YOUR FRUM CIRCLE and “big machers”. Pull out your old contacts, go onto LinkedIn and find old colleagues, bosses, ANYONE. Contact them and let them know you are looking for something. Keep a log and touch base with them every few weeks or so.

    2)When talking to others, have an “elevator speech”. Be prepared to offer a conscise 30 second statement on what you are looking for. There is nothing more disconcerting than a bunch of “uh, um, y’know work” statements

    3) When questioned what you are looking for, DONT say “ANYTHING” – be specific. How am I supposed to remember you and make the appropriate shidduch?

    4) Go onto VistaPrint and order the free business cards, and use one of the color backgrounds. Make sure your email address (if you have one) looks normal, not, and include a short description of what you do. Hand the cards out to people you meet/talk to, so that when I hear about something, I can yank your card out.

    5) If you are in a professional trade, try to find your local chapter of your industry/trade affiliation. Use them as a network.

    6) Have someone in your trade review your resume. Make sure your resume shows concrete action and ensuring results, i.e. I recoded the CHOLENT module of the TAKEOUT_KOSHER in-house application, resulting in $100,000/month increase in overall catering sales.” – an exagerration but y9ou get the idea.

    Hatzlacha Rabba and hang in there

  23. Questions to #22 (Shidduch crises)

    You assume the author of this letter didn’t “crack open a Chovas Halvavos – Shaare Bitachon”. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. But I know for sure that you have nothing in common with Chovos HaLevavos. One who uses nivul peh and is not ashamed to do so in public has nothing in common with Chovos HaLevavos. And he is ill-suited to pontificate about bitachon and Seyata Dishmaya.

  24. To #25 (freak): You write “tell people directly when they say, How are you? “Well, I am still out of work.” Guess what, people don’t want to hear. They freak out I may ask for money. I chose to write to them and emphasize I don’t want money but referrals to their connections. I wrote that I am flexible, I am prepared to change fields, I am prepared to move, and that I would call them to discuss them my situation. I called them but they aren’t interested. Rabossai, 65 years ago, the Yiden in Europe were begging the Yiden in America for help. Except for a few yechidim, the Yiden in America let down their brethren in Europe and you know very well what their end was. It looks some things don’t change.

  25. To #21 (S.E.)

    Chase Bank as well as all the other financial institutions will not hire a person unless the candidate’s work experience and education fits exactly with the job description of the position advertized. Given that my industry (commercial mortgage lending) was wiped out, a link to this or that bank won’t help.

  26. To #22

    The arrogance and horrible middos displayed in your comment are mind boggling! Who are you to measure how much Bitochon I have?! Perhaps when you get fired from your “manager/supervisor” position and are out of work for as long as you can remember you can start preaching about Bitochon! My letter was calling for our Hishtadlus in helping one another. You are one of those people Aveilim(especially the ones who lost someone young) want to throw out of their house. You’re likely the one that tels them how Hashem is testing them and that they were chosen for this test…blah….blah….blah… I know someone who lost THREE children in one accident. At the end of the shiva he said from all the people that came to be Menachem Avel(and in that case every Rov and person with a half heart came given the tragic circumstances), only ONE comforted me. That person was the Rov that walked in and simply said “I have nothing I can say to console you, there’s no way I can identify with your pain….” He showed the man how he understood the pain he must be going through instead of lecturing how he should be moving past it… The others gave their shmuessen. I know where you would fall in and you somehow don’t strike me as someone who should be lecturing others.

    I appreciate all your Brochos(not). Good luck to you also!

    On a side note;as a “manager/supervisor”, perhaps you should learn to spell.

  27. To # 31)

    “You’re likely the one that tels them how Hashem is testing them and that they were chosen for this test…blah….blah….blah… “.

    So what are saying? Hashem is NOT in control?! You seem very frustrated, but lets not throw KEFIRA around.

  28. Wish there were some way the unemployed could pool resources to get help. I have not found the Jewish organizations to be helpful or supportive at all- they seem to have their own agenda, and at this stage i really think many unemployed need more than cookie cutter or band aid help. We need job counseling, which is seldom offered or provided. We need to be able to redirect our skills. Most of all, we need employers to be willing to take a chance with employees who are may be overqualified, but don’t fit the exact skill set of the job they’re offering. All the best.

  29. Some general comments:

    The job market is still very tough out there. I think networking is very important. I believe there are important lessons to be learned here.

    If you have a job, just be thankful so that you have a paycheck. Forget if/how much you like the boss or not. Dont Kvetch about 1% increase or no increase at all. As you can see there are many people who would work long hours just to have a job.

    If you do not have a job, DONT GIVE UP! Keep a very positive attitude on interviews or when talking to people. Do not denigrate your last job/boss etc no matter how justified you feel you are. Nobody likes to deal with negative people. And to the relative out there that may be rich or maybe can help with a few hundred dollars, you wont get the glorious kavod for a discreet helpful gift, but shouldnt we do some matan bsesar solely cause that is what Hashem wants. To the spouses of the unemployed, it is extrememly hard for a man who bearns the brunt of resposibility for parnassa to feel inadeqaute and down. Dont beat up on them. Try to maintain a positive atmosphere.

    Wishing all success in finding jobs soon!

  30. To #33

    Where did I Chas V’Shalom imply that Hashem is not in control? We all know it and believe it but when someone is going through a tzorah and you ARE NOT it’s always easy to give them Mussar and “Chizuk”. I’m sorry that you misunderstood that part of my comment. If you continued reading maybe you would’ve understood better. The fact is that it’s not very nice to preach to someone especially not in the manner that commenter #22 did.

  31. Author, I don’t know what industry you are in but if you’d like me to look at/comment your resume, please forward to

    Editors, feel free not to post and forward to the author directly

  32. dovid2,

    While you are correct that Chase (and I imagine most employers) will be makpid that you have the correct background and experience, that is not to say that you can’t find a good fit. Just because your “field” got “wiped out” does not mean you can’t parley your experience into a different, related field.

    For example, Chase is always on the lookout for Business Bankers. Your lending experience and dealings with real estate people may make you an excellent candidate. If it’s something you wish to pursue, I can help make an introduction.

  33. Your problem is my problem but in Yerushalayim.

    Our brothers may one day realize that it is precisely assistance or lack of it here that is the criteria for which they are judged. If they only knew the reward then you and I might have been employed long ago.

    I was sold out for a shoestring by new native boss at Anglo. newspaper.

    I sold ads and from zero start i climbed to number one until place was sold to a non-Engish speaking native.

    I’m affected by all that you’re affected by if not a little more.

    My address:


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