Aug 7, 2017
Moving to Non-Frum Neighborhood

Question for the Rabbi: As real estate prices in frum neighborhoods keep rising, can I move to a cheaper yet non-frum environment?

Answer by Rabbi Yosef Braun, member of the Badatz of Crown Heights:

According to halachah it is crucial for a person to live in a Torah environment. Furthermore, it’s written in Pirkei Avos, “Hevei goleh l’makom Torah” (Leave your place of residence and go into exile in order to live in a Torah environment).

The Rambam brings it as a halachah that it is important for a person to live in a religious environment; “Harcheik mishachein ra” (Distance yourself from a bad neighbor) lest you learn to emulate their behavior.

He writes that if a person is unable to find a positive, religious environment they should even go live in a desert, rather than live in an area that can have a negative influence on them.

A person should rather be alone than be in bad company—so much so that Hashem did not speak with Avraham Avinu during the time that he was living together with Lot.

The only exception to this rule is if a person leaves their frum environment with a shlichus to be mekarev (bring close) other people to Yiddishkeit, as per the saying of Chazal, “Haba l’taheir, mesayin oso”, which could be interpreted to mean that when someone goes with the shlichus of purifying others, they are helped from Shamayim.

This is very similar to the concept of Hakhel: a person should not keep to himself; they should create an entire kahal (a community) wherever they may be.

For more halachos, visit

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Opinions and Comments
Two bedroom Cave for rent $3000 (serious inquiries only!)
Cave in great location walking distance from shul. No heating or electric bills!

Rambam realty
(8/7/2017 11:57:54 AM)
Rabbi i can't afford to pay my rent
Can you please find me a heter not to have to give twice my salary to my landlord?
(8/7/2017 12:07:19 PM)
the article mentions shlichus as an exception to the rule.
whether or not you're a shliach, you still are obligated to spread Judaism. (the only difference is that it may not be your full time job) that being said, plus the fact that there is little reason to distinguish in between full time and part time outreach, every frum person should be able to live outside the jewish community. (either that or shluchim can't live outside the community.)
(8/7/2017 12:27:06 PM)
The rabbi didn't make the rules
Don't be commenting for a heter
The fact is Torah dos not allow leaving
Instead let's all get together to demonstrat the gezelaj (robbery) by the landrords and focuse on ways to reduce housing cost as long as we allow it and pay they will keep charging
Only thing is as a heter to leave to non frum or jewish community is to all of us (or a minyan) move together and then the community is frum...
(8/7/2017 12:29:55 PM)
How's the weather up there?
Paying more than a third of my full time salary to live in an underground hole with interesting air quality and no light.
(8/7/2017 12:53:11 PM)
No Heter necessary
There are many communities throughout the US that have frum/lubavitch communities with the all the amenities necessary to live a frum life style. Chinuch, Kashrus, shuls, etc
Moving requires a lot of moving parts to come together and everyone has their own things they need to work out.
But there are plenty of places to move too.
(8/7/2017 1:08:13 PM)
to # 2
I understand that you are bitter. but you are not giving anything to your landlord. he is giving you a house/home, hot and cold water, air condition and steam. paying the insurance. go do it yourself. you cant so get down on your hands and knees and thank him for letting you in. he pays tax, insurance, water steam gardner FOR YOU. but you are jealous and dont fargin . so just thank him. he went into debt to buy this house . you did not, he fixes the roof. all you do is come and complain about everything. and he has to deal with you also. and if you are late with rent the bank does not accept that as an excuse for him not to pay the mortgage, grow up
(8/7/2017 1:19:05 PM)
to #7
Are you for real?
(8/7/2017 1:30:20 PM)
how about starting a new
community where there are affordable homes. as the saying goes build and they shall come. i think its a great idea to move where the rent and competition are normal
(8/7/2017 1:37:43 PM)
A thought.
The author of this article would do better focusing his energy talking to landlords or collecting funds to help make this community more affordable for the average household in this community.

Besides, it would be quite easy to make the argument that this community is more detrimental to the well being both spiritually and physically of our children than the places that some of these people are relocating too.
(8/7/2017 1:40:09 PM)
To #1
I have to say, you're quite witty. But that's just chutzpa. You can't change what is says in the Rambam. But nice lines.
(8/7/2017 2:06:27 PM)
To #7
Please read the Rebbe s letters about housing in ch.
(8/7/2017 2:10:12 PM)
To #11
Actually, you're right. Tell #1 it should be Rashbi Realty.
(8/7/2017 2:33:20 PM)
why couldn't several families move together?
It would seem to me, after seeing that new housing settlements are being built in various areas and these are entirely intended for frum people, that a group of people could get together, hire a developer, and start their own kehilla somewhere else.
Generations ago, frum yidden who left NY and went to small southern or western towns where there were few or no Jews, quickly assimilated into American and even Christian society. The halacha is against this, however, I would think that if a group of Jews did what was done in Postville, moving as a group, there would be no further reason to consider the area to be a non-frum environment.
The Torah tells us that Yaacov Avinu sent Yehuda to Goshen to establish a yeshiva prior to coming to Mitzraim so that the yidden wouldn't be moving to a non-frum environment.
(8/7/2017 3:15:41 PM)
Don't blame landlords
Yes, it's very painful to shell out thousands of dollars every month for rent, but please don't blame the landlords.

The vast majority of landlords are charging the MARKET VALUE, and many frum landlords are charging a few hundred below market value. I encourage you to look at the facts rather than just pick people to blame.
(8/7/2017 4:15:41 PM)
Yaacov Avinu sent Yehuda to Goshen
Let's establish a community in Goshen NY.
(8/7/2017 4:19:32 PM)
Reality realty
Many years ago my nonfrum parents offered me my childhood home as a gift as long as I live in it
Reason I chose instead to live in ch
1: mikvah!!! Try living without one - men, women, and their cutlery
2: schools - hard to have a full time job and home school
3/ friends for your kids - non Jewish grandkids anyone
4/ kosher food - kosher grape juice and meat is crazy expensive out of town
5/ shul
6/ judaica supplies
7/ Shuirim
(8/7/2017 4:39:28 PM)
Overland Park, Kansas!
Chevre! Go to Overland Park, Kansas! I heard it is the next great place! Fertile ground! Great small community waiting to truly expand! You can purchase a beautiful home for under 200K - and then some true luxury at 300K-400K. Make your move today!
(8/7/2017 4:48:15 PM)
It's interesting I lived in a small hick town with a handful of frum families, leaving me no choice but to be friendly with the non Jews because I'm a social person by nature yet my yiddishkeit was very strong and I lived a super chassidishe life. The problem with these small affordable towns are that there's no work, I never had money and could barely pay my bills.

Eventually I moved to a big Jewish metro area, with my choice of shuls, kosher, chunuch within walking distance yet my standards slowly started to diminish. I was more negatively influenced by my surroundings in a big "frum" community than my hick town.

If I could find a job in a small out of town community I definitely prefer it over big frum community,
(8/7/2017 5:02:34 PM)
East flatbush
Move to east flatbush, price of housing is a lot cheaper than C.H. It's a growing community
(8/7/2017 6:28:06 PM)
$ of houses
OBVIOUS .... can not afford the HOUSE ... u need to move where u CAN afford it ...... THIS is happening ALL over the world . Cost of housing is crazy !!!
(8/7/2017 6:38:35 PM)
Tennessee is the cheapest state to live in
and one of the cheapest cities is Chatanooga where there is a Chabad house
(8/7/2017 7:03:33 PM)
Fresser Rebbe
@ # 6

Maybe you could find "Kosher Food" in those funny sounding communities, however you wouldent be able to find a Community that would offer 2 different Hecsheirim that feature the same Simble, both Lubavitch and so on, how could you have the nerve to even suggest someone move to a neighborhood that there is no way you could find a Minyan for Shachris after Chatzos, a big Shande!!!
(8/7/2017 7:20:55 PM)
The rent in crown heights is redicilious. If we can't move to a non frum community, then can someone do something about the rent!
(8/7/2017 7:37:32 PM)
#6 and #7 are right
Complaining about landlords is pure envy, hatefulness, and lack of appreciation. Whatever you're paying your landlord could probably get more from someone else.

And there is no need for any heter to live in a non-frum area when there are so many affordable frum areas to live in. Nobody has to live in NYC. If you can't afford it, move to a frum neighborhood somewhere cheaper. Just don't move among those who will have a bad influence on you and your children, unless you're going there for the purpose of influencing them, and therefore אייד דטרח לפלוט אינו בולע
(8/7/2017 7:44:44 PM)
Negative influences
Unfortunately sometimes there are negative influences in Frum neighbourhoods. In 2017 you can't hide from anything.
(8/7/2017 8:02:12 PM)
Learn from Lakewood
Many new Affordable! Settlements sprung up in outlying Jewish comminities....and it's time Lubavitch does that for those not on shlichis and need affordable locations
(8/7/2017 8:02:18 PM)
Extensive and insightful references to this Halacha by Horav Braun, shlita (
פנים נאמרו הדברים בד״כ. ופשוט שאין כל האישים והענינים שוים. והכל לפי מה שהוא האדם. ובכ״ז פשוט ג״כ שיש לחלק בכמה אנפי: מהות המשפיע, כוונתו, אופן הקירוב להמושפע (בדרך השפעה או חיבור), מהות המושפע, ועוד. וכפי שנת׳ כ״ז בכ״מ, ומהם - בהמצויינים לקמן.

ונסמנו כאן רק מ״מ וציונים אחדים לכללות הענין. והמעיין בהם ימצא ככל הדברים והאמת האלה. ואין הזמ״ג לבאר הכל בפרטיות הדרושה כפי הנצרך. ואלו הן:

אבות פ״א מ״ז ובפי׳ הרר״י ומאירי שם. ועיי״ש בפי׳ נוצר חסד. שם פ״ב מ״ה (ועיי״ש בפי׳ הרר״י. תפא״י שם). שם פ״ד מי״ד. שם פ״ו מ״ט ובפי׳ מד״ש שם. וראה מש״כ מהר״ל בפי׳ דרה״ח שם. (וכתבו בזה דורשי רשומות בכמה אופנים). פסחים קיב, ב. רמב״ם דעות פ״ו ה״א. אדר״נ פ״ט מ״ד. פרדר״א פכ״ה (בפי׳ הפסוק משלי יג, כ). ס״ח סתתקפ״ו. פירש״י משלי ט, ז. וראה משה״ק באבות הראש פלאגי (ח״א קמ, א) מסהדרין לז, א. ואכ״מ. וראה שד״ח אס״ד מערכת ה״א אות ב. שו״ת מחנה חיים ח״ב סכ״ב. שבילי דוד או״ח סתצ״ו ד״ה ודרך אחר. וראה שו״ת דברי מלכיאל יו״ד ח״ב ס״ט סק״ב. ישכיל עבדי ח״ה יו״ד סכ״ט.

וז״ל הרמב״ם באגרת השמד: אפי׳ שתי עיירות מישראל אחת מהן יותר טובה במעשי׳ ובמנהגי׳ ויותר מדקדקת ונכנעת למצוות מן האחרת יחוייב ירא ה׳ לצאת מאותה מדינה שמעשי׳ אינם כ״כ טובים לאותה העיר הטובה. וכבר הזהירונו רבותינו ז״ל שלא ידור אדם בעיר שאין בה עשרה צדיקים ולמדו לזה מסדום.

ויעויין בשו״ת אבנ״ז יו״ד סתנ״ז בנוגע למצות ישוב א״י, שלא ניתן לכתוב לרוב פשיטותו, שאא״פ לומר לחייב לדור בא״י בחברת החטאים בנפשותם אשר זה הוא פתח לכל עון ולכל חטאת כידוע. ועכצ״ל ולחלק בין זה למש״א בכתובות (קי, ב) לעולם ידור בא״י אפי׳ בעיר שרובה גוים. וראה שו״ת אג״מ יו״ד ח״ד סנ״ז.

ובהאי ענינא מצינו ג״כ, שבב״ר (מא, ח) דרשו, שכעס הי׳ לאברהם, אמר הקב״ה לכל מדבק ולא ללוט בן אחיו. ולאידך, שם גופא במדרש (הובא בפירש״י עה״ת לך יג, יד) שהדיבור פורש ממנו כשהי׳ עם לוט. ועכצ״ל ולחלק בזה גופא, באיזה אופן שיהי׳, וע״ד משנת״ל.

והנה, בשיחות קודש, כל הספרים מלאים בד״ז. ובכ״מ בשיחות ובאג״ק מובא דיוקו של אדה״ז (לקו״ת שמע״צ פח, ב. פט, ד) בל׳ חז״ל (יומא לח, ב לפי גי׳ הש״ס משא״כ בגי׳ הע״י שם. ועייג״כ בפי׳ הר״ח שם) הבא לטהר - שהכוונה (גם) לטהר אחרים. ומצאתי שכבר כתב לבאר כן הפמ״ג בתיבת גמא פ׳ לך (אות ד ד״ה בפסוק ויהללו). ואף שבמק״א (שבת קד, א. ועוד) מובא בל׳ ״ליטהר״ - עכצ״ל ששניהם (ב׳ הגירסאות) אמת [וראה לקו״ש ח״ו ע׳ 381. אג״ק חכ״ג ע׳ צה. ועוד].

והדברים מוסברים הדק היטב בלקו״ש חי״ג ע׳ 17 הערה 18. ושם: אין סתירה לזה ממ״ש הרמב״ם (הל׳ דעות רפ״ו) אם הי׳ במדינה שמנהגי׳ רעים כו׳ ילך כו׳ - כי הטעם לדין זה הוא כמ״ש הרמב״ם שם לפנ״ז ״דרך ברייתו של אדם להיות נמשך כו׳ נוהג כאנשי מדינתו לפיכך כו׳ אם הי׳ במדינה כו׳״, היינו שהמדובר במי שנמצא במדריגה כזו שנמשך אחרי מנהגי המקום כו׳. אבל אם מחליט בכל התוקף שעליו לפעול על הסביבה ולשנותה לטוב - אמחז״ל הבא לטהר (אחרים - לקו״ת שמע״צ פח, ב) מסייעין אותו (שבת קד, א. וש״נ), שניתן לו הכח מלמעלה שלא להיות נמשך כו׳ - ואדרבא לשנות אנשי המדינה כו׳, כבפנים.

וראה גם בלקו״ש חי״ט ע׳ 618 - בשייכות לשנת הקהל.
(8/7/2017 8:12:01 PM)
Yes cost and quality of living is crucial, having a job perhaps most crucial
I live in an affordable community but come when you have a job. And because rents are lower so are salaries.
Crown Heights is a major struggle to afford
(8/7/2017 9:08:27 PM)
through the roof
The real estate in CH is going through the roof, and not all Frum Yidden could afford to live here, maybe the owners or the landlords should try to lower the rents to keep people from moving away
(8/7/2017 9:31:38 PM)
For #28
Can you please explain
(8/7/2017 10:34:04 PM)
ch resident
I cannot afford my rent in crown heights and i am desperate to move. R u telling me that if i become a shliach i can move anywhere that i want to? There r so many places that r affordable in the non jewish areas
(8/7/2017 10:34:14 PM)
Rental help
In CH they should be a fund for rent help for people struggling
For example
1 bedroom 1000$. Above this fund pays negotiating with landlord
2 bedrooms 1300$
3 bedroom. 1600$
Above these rentals fund should negotiate bulk with landlords
(8/7/2017 10:59:20 PM)
#33 and who will invest in the fund ? No profit ?
CH need " section 8 Jewish one " Jewish program when rich supports all .... but who will support for a long run , ?

To move to a small town without secure parnosa is big mistake
(8/8/2017 1:14:38 AM)
To# 7 how about the landlord has to thank him for paying his mortgage while he's living in the crapper extra.ect.
(8/8/2017 6:04:48 AM)
Just thinking
Does r' braun think that ch is the only "frum" community in the world becuase there are tens of other options for example new haven, monsey, miami, kingston, plenty of places in nj, just to name a few... all those places are way more affordable then ch!?!?
(8/8/2017 10:34:43 AM)
CH Qualifies
Crown heights would definitely qualify as a place with negative influence
(8/8/2017 11:24:58 AM)
Plenty of Chabad community out there.
Do your research and you will find beautiful communities that are a lot less expensive. Of course you won't have all the kosher restaurants, clothes stores etc... but nowadays most places have all the kosher food you need. Its a trade off for sure but its doable.
(8/8/2017 11:26:30 AM)
to #36
The person posing the question didn't ask about moving to New Haven or some other community with a frum kehilla. They are asking about moving somewhere where there is no frum community. And Rabbi Braun is simply stating a halacha that Jews have always kept, that is, if they wanted to stay frum. As it has been pointed out, it is nearly impossible to be the only frum Jew for miles and still maintain frumkeit. I am sure that everyone has some relative that moved in the 1800s to some lonely rural outpost and stayed frum but most of us BTs could tell you that such moves were the beginning of the end for the frumkeit in our families. Yes, Jews served in the Confederacy but how many of their descendants are frum compared to those who stayed in NY and the surrounding areas? (not talking about the tshuva movement).
(8/8/2017 11:59:53 AM)
To #36 et al
What about work?? Leaving NYC also means leaving your job. That's a huge challenge and often near impossible. That's why we are all STUCK.
(8/8/2017 12:27:41 PM)
I will say it again
I have said it before & will say it again I currently reside in a nice community in The Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx The rents up here are app. 10- 15% less may be more The Jewish community over j here has shrunk but still exists Houses are very reasonable 3 of them on my block sold recently in the 5- 600k range all in good shape One of the local Shluchim here has a preschool going we have sevral shuls here 2 of which operate only on Shabbos & yomtov. One of which is near me hasn't had a minyan in Several months as we are down lower than the rest & many have moved away because no one made a real effort to keep them. We are app. 30-45 min from Ch Kosher shopping is not far off There is Riverdale Pelham & Queens all fairly close by as well. The neighborhood has many houses all with real Back yards near several subway lines & 2 express bus routes to the city Kids can play safely on the grass on The parkway If we get several families together we can get someone to open a new Kosher grocery here @ one time there were several. the shul that hasn't had a minyan needs minor work but is usable has a big yard & can be used fora Kindergarten pre 1-a as well. Shemtov in Riverdala has also besides preschool Kindergarten & pre 1-a The Shluchim in nearby Westchester send their kids via school bus to The Cheder In Monsey which from here is app. 45 minutes & there are decent apts here as well including a new " luxury building" opening soon It would be great again to have more younger families here
(8/8/2017 2:06:03 PM)
I lot of us can't move out. Not all of us have jobs that can be transferred elsewhere.
(8/8/2017 2:31:04 PM)
stuck out of town
About 5 years ago, I could not take the THEN high rents, so I took a job in a small city out of town.. As the job is no more I have been looking for a new one for over 8 months now with no luck. All jobs here REQUIRE at least one weekend a month, ie Shabbos.. Few places are open Sundays, including most stores. Additionally there is no viable Yiddishkheit here. Kosher food is hard to obtain and costs a near fortune. Social services here are handled at goyishe locations, of course I cannot avail myself of these needed services, I owe rent ( a fraction of NYC rents) and utilities also and am in danger of being evicted. There is NO Jewish agency anywhere To help me. I am not in their territory. I do not even have the money to leave town. I have no idea what to do as I CANNOT work on Shabbos. and jobs here pay almost nothing, literally. A GOOD job here pays under $10.00 an hour and that is management pay. There are a few jews around here, some formerly FRUM, but none cares anymore at all about any form of Yiddishkheit. Where can I turn, who is to help. I have no clues. I am completely lost. I am the only really Frum one here in a small city. But, we also have J for J, here. I have already encountered them! And of course rejected them. I have not had dairy products in 5 years, Kosher meat or chicken is scarce and a true luxury, as is the same for any kosher fish that does not come from a can. Many so called kosher items here bear a hechksher I will never trust. There is absolutely nothing for me to do on Shabbos except Daven, eat, possibly read the same thin over and over again, and sleep. The local public library is totally useless on Judaic reading matter. I have NO life here.
(8/8/2017 6:18:54 PM)
Birmingham, Alabama
Come to Birmingham, Alabama. Affordable housing. Nice Neighborhoods of Mountain Brook and Cahaba Heights and Vestavia. Awesome Chabad House with Rabbis Posner, Friedman, Weinbaum. Daily Minyan. Chevrusa Study. Thriving economy. YU-based orthodox Shul. Kosher food. Move to Birmingham, Alabama. BHAM!
(8/8/2017 10:19:22 PM)
To #43
First of all I am sorry you are in your situation.
I live in Brooklyn and did get some financial help from the frum community Baruch H-sh-m.
But I was out of work for over 1/2 a year and in Brooklyn there are hardly any decent paying jobs for someone without a degree or highly sought after, skill.
You might want to look into earning money online.
There is for example a website called swagbucks, which pays very little, but you can do some tasks online through them and earn a couple of dollars here and there.
It's better then nothing, anyway.
Also there are courses you can take from Udemy like programming and various computer languages as well as website development.
Most of these courses cost between a few dollars going up to
about $35 or so per course, and you learn online at your own pace without having to go to a physical class anywhere.
You can also learn computer coding skills and other things depending on your exact interests and on the job market and what people might hire someone to teach them.
You might also want to view youtube videos on things like gardening and hire yourself out to take care of peoples yards, pruning, trimming watering etc....
There is also dog walking, plenty of people will pay $10 per half hour (or more in some cases) for people to walk their dogs or sit with them and feed them while they are at work or on vacation.
There is also a company called Pace Roofing products, which sells a kit for a refundable $65 which then allows the person to
offer materials to seal up small holes in roofs or to seal up cracks in parking lots which then protect them from the weather and further cracking, which saves the owner many thousands of dollars in repair costs.
areas like you describe, are perfect places to find such roofs and parking lots to sell to.
And for the winter Pace has a snow melting product that works better and faster then anything else on the market and leaves no residue like all the others do.
You can sell this wholesale to stores or retail to individual home owners and business owners to put on their sidewalks during winter.
The mark up (what you put in your pocket after the sale) from all these products and services is netting many people accross the country, $1500 - $3000 per month or more just for working part time, doing it.
If you can learn from youtube videos ( there are plenty) on how to paint a house or room or to do simple repairs you can offer your services as a handyman.
Home supply stores will be happy to tell you how to do small repair jobs as you purchase the supplies from them.
You can start small with one simple job and grow from there as you learn and build your business.
You also might want to consider becoming a customer service call center, representative.
You need internet access and the headset (usually about $10 to $20 or so and can be purchased online. Some headsets cost more but you do not need to start out with the most expensive one) and you can work from home and can usually set your own hours.
Just google customer service work at home jobs or look on places like Craigslist (just read up on scams and dangerous situations caused by places like Craigslist, there are some dangers but there are ways for the most part to avoid them, once you know how.
You can also buy some magazines such as small business opportunities and other small business work at home start up magazines and get ideas from there.
Every so often they have articles listing a bunch of things you can do from home starting with very little money.
Some of those I mentioned here, but there are several other s as well.
For example you might make money selling things in a yard sale or flea market (aka Swap meet).
These are just a few ideas for possible ways to earn money in your area and in your situation.
You might find other ideas online, or you might think of some on your own.
And of course you might want to send a message to the Ohel and ask for the Rebbe's bracha and help in requesting H-sh-m to guide and bless you.
I hope this helps and may H-sh-m bless you with immediate success that comes to you easily fast and in a dignified and totally kosher way.
(8/9/2017 11:05:50 AM)
Reply to 44
Birmingham iAlabama is a wonderful community. It not at all affordable. Mountainbrook and more specifically around Overton road near Chabad is very expensive and has little rental options.
(8/24/2017 8:42:27 PM)
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