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    Dear Rabbi and Shira,
    I am dating a guy who wants to be a rabbi. He’s a smart individual with sterling middis and a big heart. At the beginning of our relationship, I thought the
    concept of dating a future rabbi would be great. I love the idea of an open home and taking care of people. By nature I am a very nurturing and loving person .
    Now that we are entering the next stage, the engagement talks , my parents are opening up that they are not happy with this choice. They are worried we won’t
    be able to pay our bills and they are not in a financial position to help as my dad is also a Rav.
    Although my family did struggle financially, I thought I was ready for the mesiras nefesh involved in klei kodesh. But now I’m not sure. I was wondering if
    you could help put things into perspective. Maybe this is not a smart idea? Does money come before love?
    -A Rabbi’s Daughter

    Dear Rabbi’s Daughter,
    Thanks for writing in.
    There are so many aspects to your question.
    In terms of your parents, discuss with them
    their concerns and worries. Brainstorm with
    them how they got through the different
    challenges in their lives, and what difficulites
    they are anticipating for you.
    It is true that many rabbinc families
    struggle. What are your expectations? What
    are your needs and what can you honestly live
    without. Speak with your future chassan about
    your concerns. Start working out a budget
    together and figure out together what your
    needs, expenses and luxuries will be. Don’t
    forget to include things like transportation,
    rent, food, utilities. Discuss possible sources
    of funding, including different jobs while in

    rabbinical school, family assistance (which
    might or might not be present) and savings.
    What is your future career aspiration? How
    much money will it make? What hours will
    it involve, and to what degree will you need
    child care?
    Begin discussing with your future chasan
    which rabbnic venues and positions he’s
    interested in. Some positions come with a
    house, benefits and a salary. Others are a part
    time salary with full time obligations. Is there
    a placement office in his Yeshiva which helps
    with finding jobs and negotiating contracts?
    Yeshiva University, Young Israel and other
    organizations have offices which can be of
    Your future husband might find that he can
    have another job besides his rabbinic post.

    Rabbis oftentimes are teachers, therapists,
    lawyers, professors, accountants and
    sometimes even doctors.
    Another consideration is where you’d like to
    live and raise your family. There are different
    pluses and minuses to the location where you
    will serve. If you choose to serve outside of the
    tri-state area, housing costs may be lower, but
    tuition and kosher food might be higher. You
    might find different standards of education for
    your children, and might not see your families
    as often.
    There are many facets to this question, and
    “making it work” is not impossible. Wishing
    you lots of Hatzlacha.
    Rabbi Reuven and Shira Boshnack.