Are we teaching our children to be greedy

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    Just read on ywn about the chap donating millions of dollars to Cornell, he lives in a super modest frugal way, no frills and no show.

    We have many fantastic rabbonim who have led modest frugal lives yet when so many of us enter the world of business the profits translate themselve into gaudy ostentation of a truly terrifying nature.

    Sure you made your money so you can spend it on what you want, and don’t we all do that, on fancy cars, jewellery, even mitzvot for some come with a price tag such as super glam and costly sheitels ! Why do we do this, are we not teaching our kids to be greedy. Do you find it hard to tell your kids ” no” because everyone else has one, or do you yourself yearn to belong and join in with the spending. I have lost count of the number of time young kids have put a price on their possessions, is it vulgar or normal? I cannot tell anymore.


    please stop it…there is nothing wrong with getting what you pay for. and to head off the lengthy conversation that will inevitably follow…buying expensive items is not wrong. bneing ostentatious and flashy is.



    tahini, no, I wouldn’t say that at all. Because the first thing we teach our kids is that 10% of whatever we make goes to tzedakkah and most of us, especially wealthy people give much, much more than that. So that is what we teach them right off the bat.

    Then we teach them chessed and doing mitzvos. Do people go over board on what they spend their money on? In the eyes of many of us, yes they do. But who are we to judge. Hashem is in charge of parnassah as well as Mazal. If he granted them this wealth then he also granted them the right to do as they please with it.




    People who work hard or have lucrative professions have a right to spend their money as they see fit. Especially if they pay full tuition for their children to attend school.

    How about worrying about the people who dont act above board when it comes to things like taxes or regulations then try to buy respectibility or honor by donating money and getting their names on buildings.

    To me that sends a worse message then the Neurosurgeon who drives a Jaguar.


    cleverjewishpun -Yes -I have no problem with wealthy people spending their money on things like houses, cars, clothes etc. as long as they make sure at least one poor person has food on their table, not just giving to orgs. Because you don’t know exactly where the money is going with orgs. Every rich guy should have at least one poor family they personally support or more if they can afford it -then they can live lavishly.

    But even after this -I do have a problem with rich families spoling their kids! You can buy them things that they want, but they don’t need every new thing (the latest & greatest) that comes unto the market. This is called spoiling them and they will end up with rotten Middos!


    cleverjewishpun you are so right!.

    I have mixed feelings about raising kids, sure I do not want to make them overly greedy nor unnecessarily frugal, my difficulty lies in not being used to people openly discussing or showing their material success. I guess as a product of a very English education system ( now on the way out!) my approach to wealth is a little different to others, taught as a young woman not to

    ” flaunt it” but of course to nonetheless note the class and accent of all around! It is all relative to who ever is looking on.

    Thanks for your observations


    I’m not sure why you equate being materialistic with being greedy. I don’t think they are the same thing.


    Popa you are absolutely right, being materialistic is not the same as greedy, obviously that was a Freudian ( can I say that in the CR) slip.



    Yes, you can say that because those of us who know of Freud and his “shittos” don’t have a problem with those references :-).


    I heard a great line once from Rabbi Frand.

    “Whatever we view and have as a luxury, our children will view and NEED it because, for them, it’s a necessity”

    so true.


    I don’t care what other people do, but if I’m ever rich enough to afford the extras, I hope I will focus more on sharing my wealth with others than sitting around and wondering if I’m too materialistic or not.

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