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  • #609138
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    Do you think it is wrong to spend thousands of dollars for brand name products such as a Gucci pocketbook when you can basically get the same product for cheaper and give the thousands of dollars saved to tzedaka or to support Torah learning?

    #948577
    sw33t
    Member

    the short answer is its really not your business how other people spend their money. Most likely if they have 1,000 Gucci bags, they are giving more to tzedaka then you even imagine.

    If you’re asking for yourself, i think the way you asked the question shows how you feel about it..

    #948579
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    sw33t: Of course it is my interest that the members of klal yisroel use their body’s and moneys the way Hashem desires. I am not pointing out individual people.

    Why is it that you believe people who spend 1000’s of dollars on Gucci bags give lots of tzedaka? Even if some of those people do (which I don’t believe is true being that there was recently a study that said higher earners give less charity per capita than lower earners) they would be able to give even more without meaningless merchandise.

    #948580
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    We say all the time that people should focus on studying Torah and spend less time on work. Why is saying that people should spend less money on Gucci bags and more money on tzedaka any different? Even if you donate $1,000,000 a year, does that give you the right to waist even $1?

    Of course not.

    #948581
    sw33t
    Member

    Why dont you focus on using your own body and money the way Hashem desires?

    #948582
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    sw33t: If course I do. You can ask that question to the author of every mussar sefer published since the beginning of time. kol yisrael arevim zeh lazeh. It better to be like Avraham Avinu than Noach, the later caring only about his own mitzvos and not those of others.

    #948583
    sw33t
    Member

    great. maybe the next thing you can work on is being dan lekaf zechus??

    #948584
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    sw33t: Do you think the rabonim that ban people from spending too much money on their weddings are wrong and judgmental as well?

    I understand that it is perfectly good to enjoy what Hashem has given us and take pleasure in Olam Hazeh to a certain degree. The reason why a Gucci bag differs from a nice steak is that you are not spending money on pleasure: you are wasting money on status to put yourself over your brother (or in this case sister).

    In short, if I see someone wasting money on brand name cars and bags apposed to getting a Honda, I do judge them. We are supposed to judge favorably in an equal circumstance- not all the time when all evidence points to the contrary.

    So is it immoral to purchase a Gucci bag? In my opinion, yes it is. What do you think?

    #948585
    Sam2
    Participant

    Daniel: Is there any Lav being violated or Issur being Mevutal here? No. So your use of Kol Yisrael Areivim is a misapplication.

    #948586
    sw33t
    Member

    Well obviously your are judging people who spend money on brand name items- how can you deny you’re not???

    I just want to point out that Halacha says you should give minimum 10% but maximum 20%.. There are many people out there who even if they give 50% would still have left over.. and then what they choose to spend it on is their own choice and no one else’s business.

    #948587
    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Daniel Rosen:

    I agree with you that it is better to give one’s money to worthy causes. But it could be that someone needs to wear brand names in order to feel respectable in their social group.

    But there are also people who just want to be the most stylish of their group. Some people need that, but for some people, it is a waste of money. Is that what you are talking about?

    (mods, please delete my previous comment)

    #948588
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    Torah613Torah: Yes. Thank you. Kol Yisrael Areivim is not only for lavim- but for all sorts of hashkafa and values. So yes, it would apply here as well.

    Should we point out individuals? No of course not.

    Should we attempt to change society values as a whole? Of course.

    #948589
    sw33t
    Member

    “The reason why a Gucci bag differs from a nice steak is that you are not spending money on pleasure: you are wasting money on status to put yourself over your brother (or in this case sister).”

    Disagree with this completely.Many people own designer items that dont even have an outer tag- what do you say about that?

    If I buy a lexus but remove the logo- thats okay?? even tho ur original claim that the money is being wasted if its not going to tzedaka, and NOT about people trying to be above one another…

    And YES I do think that Rabbis telling people how much to spend on their weddings is completely ridiculous and authoritarian.

    #948590
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    “then what they choose to spend it on is their own choice and no one else’s business.”

    That is not correct. It is the business of Hashem: I am simply reminding them of that.

    There are two issues: Spending money on “extra” things that could go to tzedaka which is ok but should be limited and spending money on things that are for status and not for pleasure which is not ok. Your case of spending money on designer brands for the purpose of pleasure exclusively would fall into the former category- though to claim that it is the primary motivation of rov people would be to delude yourself for there are many ways of making such things known to others apart from an outer brand.

    #948591
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    DR, you are making an assumption ” you can basically get the same product”. You may think it us the same, I do too. But to them it is not the same. Period. This is the answer

    #948592
    TheGoq
    Participant

    Why assume that they are purchasing the bag for the Gucci label perhaps Gucci makes a higher quality product than a handbag you would buy at Kmart and therefore it will last longer and perhaps Gucci guarantees the quality of the bag and replaces it if it tears.

    #948593
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    The Goq: Perhaps, but do you honestly think that is true? What significant difference do you think there is?

    There are two issues: Spending money on “extra” things that could go to tzedaka which is ok but should be limited and spending money on things that are for status and not for pleasure which is not ok. Your case of spending money on designer brands for the purpose of pleasure exclusively would fall into the former category- though to claim that it is the primary motivation of rov people would be to delude yourself for there are many ways of making such things known to others apart from an outer brand.

    #948594
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Why assume that they are purchasing the bag for the Gucci label perhaps Gucci makes a higher quality product than a handbag you would buy at Kmart and therefore it will last longer and perhaps Gucci guarantees the quality of the bag and replaces it if it tears.

    This. I have had “brand name” products that have been totally worn out, and sent back to be “fixed” and they did so without complaint (as wear & tear is under warrenty). Another time I regretted not buying the brand name, as the “generic” wore out way quicker than the brand & I ended up paying more. Sometimes its worthwhile to spend the extra dollar now and save later.

    #948595
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Daniel Rosen: I suggest that you, who knows the Da’as of why people do things, should complain. Myself, who is trying to be Dan LKaf Zechus and doesn’t claim to be a “Yodeah Machashavos”, will leave it alone.

    #948596
    Sam2
    Participant

    Daniel: Care to source your assertion that you can apply it to “Hashkafa” issues and therefore tell people whatever you want? I find it incredibly arrogant of you to say, “Well God said that technically this is allowed but I think it looks bad so I’m going to publicly say it’s wrong because I know better than G-d.”

    #948597
    sw33t
    Member

    Women’s shoes.

    Almost never have outer tags or a way to distinguish them as a specific brand.

    But many women- especially frum- will buy “waste money” expensive shoes.

    what do you think their motivation for dropping $500 on a pair of shoes that no one will ever know are designer???

    #948598
    sw33t
    Member

    and maybe if your whole issue to begin with was that you dont think people should wear brands because they are trying to up their status you should have just said so, instead of trying to make it a whole halachic thing that they arent giving to tzedaka which is just false (in 99% of cases).

    #948599
    Vogue
    Member

    I personally tend to get my juicy couture and other designer items from either a good will store, or a gemach. Maybe that is how some people get their designer items. If I could, I would get north face stuff from a gemach as well.

    #948600
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    I have read primary sources from Italy (coincidentally where Gucci is produced) from the 17th century that rabonim prohibited Jews from wearing expensive clothing and jewelry in public in order not to arouse jealousy.

    #948601
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    sw33t: I never said that. As I said before, there are two issues. I am sorry if I am making you feel guilty or embarrassing you. It was not my intention.

    #948602
    JustHavingFun
    Participant

    When it comes to tuna, brand name is better. Just ask Charlie the Tuna.

    #948603
    sw33t
    Member

    you’re actually not making me feel guilty or embaressed, because I grew up very poor and dont own a single “very expensive” item. But I’m not suprised that you assumed that anyone who would disagree with you was wealthy themselves.

    #948604
    pou_bear
    Member

    sw33t: Exactly! it is none of our business how people spend their money. One has no right to make cheshbonos for other people- and who really cares?

    Honestly, if someone can afford it why not? We have one life to live and who said they are not giving Tzedaka in the same proportions that you are? or even more?

    Just because you see them with a Gucci bag it doesn’t mean they aren’t donating a lot of money . Even so , it is NONE OF OUR BUSINESS, us simple people.

    #948605
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    sw33t: There is no need for harsh words. I merely saw that you were very defensive and knew a significant amount about the merchandise at hand and thus came to a possible conclusion that I related back to you. Perhaps you are angry that, being poor yourself and have never judged others for attaining what you never could are mad that I am. This is another case of a possible conclusion I had and am relating it back to you.

    Look, you can pick the thing out in your own life. Something that you know you are buying not because of an investment or even because you like it more but rather because A) You want to show off or B) You can really do completely without it and can give more money to tzedaka but simply do not care to give more and are content with the amount you have already given.

    What I am saying is no different than what other Rabbis have already said.

    #948606
    sw33t
    Member

    B) You can really do without it and can give more money to tzedaka but simply do not care to give more and are content with the amount you have already given.

    or you already give the maximum amount that halacha says you can give…

    #948608
    TheGoq
    Participant

    Why in the OP did you only give an example of a women’s product men also buy brand name things.

    #948609
    sw33t
    Member

    This thread is moving too fast for me- im replying to things that are there one minute, gone the next.. etc.. so i’m just going to reiterate my first point, and be done with it.

    the short answer is its really not your business how other people spend their money.

    #948610
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    sw33t: But it is. Mesilas Yesharim along with all mussar sefarim say no different.

    #948611
    JustHavingFun
    Participant

    Thing is, you don’t know where she got that Gucci bag or why that woman is cholishing for $500 Manolo shoes. They could be gifts. They could have an uncle in “the biz.” Hullo: thrift shops?

    Instead of focusing on designer “items” the bigger picture is how we conduct our simchas. Any way to cut down on the ostentatiousness and costs there? Who is competing with whom? Why the need for the “lavishness”?

    It seems that each NY wedding I’ve been to is the equivalent of 2 weddings out of town where you come to a wedding, have a cookie and soda at the bedeken then eat the meal after the chuppah.

    The shmorg. People come famished from work and swoop down on the food like vultures. Why does anyone expect a full dinner… before a dinner?

    The music. Why do you need a 4 piece band that plays so loudly that your eardrums bleed? Because all the other weddings have the 4 piece band?

    The service. White glove service, table service. Buffet is good enough.

    And Chinese auctions: what’s the need for that? Each one more over the top than the other? Just give the money to tzedakah outright!!! Why rent the hall? Why be “lavish”? Why have all the glitz and glamor? These charity events have turned into shop-a-holic vacations!

    Me? I’m not wasting an extra penny on a logo. If it gives superior quality, I’m all for it. That includes aftercare and service in the event it needs repair or replacement. Otherwise, I’ll meet you in Aisle 9 at K-mart.

    #948612
    a mamin
    Participant

    This whole thread is a lack of “farginin yenim” It is absolutely none of anyone’s business what anyone spends there money on! By the way the last time I looked at any beautiful new buildings of Shules or schools, my name wasn’t on it! The people you are referrring to, may give alot of money to tzedaka, which is also none of your business.

    I just was not brought up that way, to look how others spend or what they have.Live and let live.

    #948613
    sw33t
    Member

    “This whole thread is a lack of “farginin yenim” It is absolutely none of anyone’s business what anyone spends there money on! By the way the last time I looked at any beautiful new buildings of Shules or schools, my name wasn’t on it! The people you are referrring to, may give alot of money to tzedaka, which is also none of your business.

    I just was not brought up that way, to look how others spend or what they have.Live and let live.”

    beautiful.

    #948614
    Sam2
    Participant

    Daniel: Show me where Mesilas Yesharim says it’s your business how others spend their money.

    #948615
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    “Live and let live.” Has no place in Judaism and is not part of the mesorah of klal yisroel.

    Sam2: “Daniel: Show me where Mesilas Yesharim says it’s your business how others spend their money.”

    I showed you one out of many sources below, now can you show me a source in support of your argument that I should not be concerned when klal yisroel spends vasts amount of money on luxry goods?

    Mesilas Yesharim: “…He will then come to despise them and to realize that he should take from the world only that which is essential to him, as I have written above. But just as thinking upon this truth leads to the acquisition of the trait of Separation, so does ignoring it hinder such acquisition, as does courting the company of those who pursue honor and multiply vanity. For when one regards their elegance and dignity, it is impossible that his lust will not be awakened to desire these things. And even if he will not permit his evil inclination to conquer him, he will, in any event, not escape the battle and its dangers. This is the intent of Solomon’s statement (Ecclesiastes 7:2), “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting.” “Separation and protecting themselves from being led into vanities by those of their neighbors.”

    We see from here that R” Luzzato is concerned not only with himself staying away from luxry goods, but for all of klal yisroel: as am I.

    #948616
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    JustHavingFun: “Me? I’m not wasting an extra penny on a logo.”

    beautiful.

    #948617
    Sam2
    Participant

    Daniel: Um, that says stay away from your neighbors’ worldly goods, not tell them to get rid of theirs. Also, Prishus isn’t for everyone. Nor is there an obligation of it. Not do you have a right to enforce it on anyone else.

    #948618
    thegra
    Member

    “For when one regards their elegance and dignity, it is impossible that his lust will not be awakened to desire these things. And even if he will not permit his evil inclination to conquer him, he will, in any event, not escape the battle and its dangers.”

    Seems to me this alone is a raya why people who buy luxry Gucci shoes and luxry cars should be rebuked. They will undoubtedly cause others to either spend more hours at work to attain such vanities or engender within them and their wives and children envy. Mesilas Yesharim says it is IMPOSSIBLE for it not to. So if not in order to give more tzedaka, this alone is of sufficient reason.

    #948619
    a mamin
    Participant

    Sounds like jealousy to me????

    #948620
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    “Thing is, you don’t know where she got that Gucci bag or why that woman is cholishing for $500 Manolo shoes. They could be gifts. They could have an uncle in “the biz.” Hullo: thrift shops?”

    I disagree, if someone gives you a Gucci bag as a gift, you need not use it publicly. If someone offered you stolen merchandise or something you thought was ugly, you would likewise refuse or take the gift politely and not use it publicly.

    Sam2 and ws33t: Do you now concede to my argument that is immoral to purchase expensive luxuries (either because it will cause you to give less tzedaka OR because it will cause others to be envious and trap them in a fierce battle)?.

    #948621
    yytz
    Participant

    Daniel, you might enjoy reading the essay “Our Generation” by R’ Itamar Schwartz, the author of Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh. It’s on the Bilvavi website.

    #948622
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    yytz: Thank you, that is an excellent article. I posted some below:

    “When you come to Heavenly court, remember that someone once told you that this whole way of life is false. Don’t say, “I didn’t know.” I’m not saying this to make you guilty there. But some people have to stand up and say, “Enough! The party is over!

    “There were errors many hundreds of years ago that our rabbis tried to remove. But there are other errors that have surfaced in the last few generations. We are here in a world where every average person has what a wealthy man did not have a thousand years ago. One does not see these as luxuries, but as necessities.

    You are living like gentiles. Your homes are hardly different from the homes of the gentiles.” Do you think Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Aharon Kotler, or one of the Chassidic rebbes would come in with his wife to eat in such a place? Of course not! Would our Avos have gone to such places?

    #948623
    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    I don’t think even Eisav ate in fancy restaurants! 🙂

    #948624
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    Gamanit: Come on I am trying to address a very serious issue, kindly don’t poke fun at it.

    Though thanks again to yytz. I again point everyone to the essay “Our Generation” by R’ Itamar Schwartz, the author of Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh. It’s on the Bilvavi website.

    #948625
    yytz
    Participant

    You’re welcome! This is not related to the topic of the post, but I highly recommend the Bilvavi sefer itself, which can be read for free on the website. It’s a very interesting and engaging approach to one’s individual avodas Hashem. As far as I recall, the sefer doesn’t really deal with issues of wealth and consumption, as does the essay I mentioned.

    #948626
    Daniel Rosen
    Member

    Sam2: “Um, that says stay away from your neighbors’ worldly goods, not tell them to get rid of theirs.”

    That is incorrect. To whom do you propose Mesilas Yesharim is intended to address in the first place when it says “do not buy luxury goods”. To all of klal yisroel of course: as am I. Certainly, the article yytz was kind enough to source fervently condems people who purchase luxury goods. He even takes it a step further and says that the goods we purchase as ordinary are in fact luxury. Someone has to say “The Party Is Over”.

    Is it immoral to purchase a Gucci Bag? Yes, it is.

    #948627
    thegra
    Member

    sw33t:

    your “live and let live” attitude is responsible for much destruction in klal yisroel and is in apposition to what gedolim have been trying to change for decades.

    Your statement “And YES I do think that Rabbis telling people how much to spend on their weddings is completely ridiculous and authoritarian.” gives me an incite into your lack of reverence for our gedolim.

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