Building a Mansion

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  • #1722391

    lakewhut
    Participant

    Is a Jew allowed to build a bigger house than he needs?

    #1722525

    Joseph
    Participant

    No. For one things, in galus Yidden should not be making goyim jealous. I’ll leave the other reasons it shouldn’t happen for our other esteemed posters.

    #1722535

    DovidBT
    Participant

    It’s not the size that matters, but the kedushah.

    #1722626

    chymee
    Participant

    Unless the owner of the mansion will build it partly for HACHNASAS ORCHIM purpose, one should refrain from building one, that’s the way I look at it, why be an eye opener?

    #1722629

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @lakewhut
    Who determines need?
    Our home is 17 rooms.
    It was only 8 when we bought it, but expanded over the decades,
    We never wanted our children to share bedrooms or bathrooms
    Both Mrs. CTL and I have professional offices in the home
    All our grandchildren spend the summer with us, all our family spends Pesach with us.
    Most important: we paid as we expanded, no borrowing. Much of the work done by us:carpentry, sheet rock, basic electrical, painting.
    In our town, our home is large, but there are quite a few bigger. We only have a 2 car garage, more than 1000 houses have 3 car garages or bigger.

    SO>what constitutes a mansion by you? I think brick or stone construction, slate roof, walled property with gated entry, servants quarters in the gatehouse or over the garage.
    I don’t consider the 12 room vinyl side McMansions of the 2005-2008 era as mansions, just noveau riche oversized homes lacking individuality

    #1722651

    Avi K
    Participant

    Joseph, the Chatam Sofer adds that someone who builds such a house in Chul shows that that he does not believe that we will go back to EY (or does not want to).

    CTL, what’s wrong with sharing a room? I shared a room with my brother until I was 20 and he was 17. Then our grandmother passed away and he moved into her room.

    #1722683

    Meno
    Participant

    We never wanted our children to share bedrooms or bathrooms

    Bathrooms?!

    #1722689

    Whatsaktome
    Participant

    I think it’s good and healthy for children to share bedrooms, it helps they’re relationship between each other

    #1722693

    1
    Participant

    When you build a mansion, it isn’t just about you because you make property tax go up for your neighbors.

    #1722702

    laskern
    Participant

    It is said about John Rockefeller that when he contributed land for the U.N. all his property around it increased in value.

    #1722708

    funnybone
    Participant

    peole have different needs. there is a difference between mansion and larger then needs.
    Joseph; do you have a source for no? Having a larger than needs wont make people jealous.

    #1722725

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    A shoebox in Brooklyn is more money than a mansion in Scranton

    #1722758

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @AviK

    I did not say something is wrong with sharing a room, I said we didn’t not want our children to do so. Our parents shared rooms with siblings in NYC apartments. We were raised in houses in CT with our own rooms. We value privacy, quiet time, etc.
    Our daughters are nine years apart in age. A 16 year old who goes to bed at 11PM shouldn’t have to worry about disturbing a 5 year old who is asleep at 7PM.
    Our 3 sons are 5 years apart. I can’t imagine an 13 year old having to share with a 3 year old if the family can afford separate rooms.
    It’s all about choices and parenting styles. I would not go into debt to avoid kids sharing rooms.

    #1722759

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @meno
    Yes, bathrooms.
    Personal hygiene is strictly a private matter. B”H none of us has to feel rushed to bathe, do hair, use the facilities in order to get out of the house in time for school or work.
    I love a long soak in the Jacuzzi tub, but wouldn’t want that to keep someone else out of the bathroom.

    This may surprise you, but Mrs. CTL and I have separate bathrooms (as did my parents). This has been particularly important while she has been so ill these past three years. For example, her soaking tub has a battery operated chair to assist her getting in and out. Her commode is extra tall for ease of use and her shower room is made to wheel in and out with a wheelchair when it was needed.

    #1722761

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @AviK
    Is it a problem if one builds a house CHUL when he already has a large home in EY?
    My eldest sister and BIL spent the winter in our house in EY.
    I built that house in 1984, we bought our current US home in 1988.
    We had hoped to retire there someday, but I’m still working

    #1722762

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Thank you ZahavasDad
    I have posted here for years that I could not afford a nice three bedroom apartment in NYC for what my house costs me in CT.

    #1722763

    Joseph
    Participant

    funnybone: Yes, there are many sources. Avi K gave one from the Chasam Sofer and there are countless more.

    #1722804

    funnybone
    Participant

    Sorry Joseph, but countless wont cut it.

    #1722905

    Joseph
    Participant

    Is one not enough, dear funnybone?

    #1722938

    funnybone
    Participant

    Not when you say countless. How about 5? And where is that Chasam Sofer?

    #1722954

    Avi K
    Participant

    CTL, on the contrary, it is good for kids to learn to be considerate of others. When they grow up they will have to be considerate of neighbors, coworkers, etc. My parents, for example, only allowed us to play board games in the apartment and when my father z”l took me to the park on Sun mornings I could not talk until we were out of the building out of consideration for neighbors who wanted to sleep late. For an example of what consideration will do (other than the obligation itself) click <a href=”https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/general/1711100/mailbag-kiddush-hashem-in-jackson.html
    “>here.

    Funnybone, I cannot find the teshuva right now (b”n I will look later when I have more time) but it is quoted in To Dwell in the Palace p. 82, which you can access on Google (it is now a Google book).

    #1723130

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @AviK
    I agree that children should learn to be considerate of others, but that doesn’t mean they have to share bedrooms. Our teenagers would have never played music aloud or held telephone conversations in the bedroom areas after the younger children had been put to bed.
    Much of what you describe is applicable and necessary to apartment living or when houses are built so close as in sections of Brooklyn that you can almost reach across the property lines from one kitchen into the house next door. Consideration is different when you live in single family homes on acre plus lots in small towns.
    You and your brother were/are only three years apart and living together would be far easier than for our girls 9 years apart. I’m 8 years younger than my next older brother, Mrs. CTL is 15 years older than her younger sister (with no boys in between). Sharing rooms in this situation with no economic need makes little sense.
    BTW, when I was a child and went to visit my grandparents in Brooklyn or the Bronx, we were instructed to remove our shoes at the apartment door and don soft soled bedroom slippers so we’d not disturb the tenants in the apartments below. We only played quite board games in the apartments and went to the park if we wanted to be loud.
    Here in the country, we have no neighbors in the building. The house on one side of us in 250 feet away, the house on the other side we built for my late MIL and my youngest daughter and her husband live there now with our youngest grandchild. Our kids didn’t have to go to the park to run, jump and make noise. We have several acres of fenced yard with sports and swimming pool. That said we know sound carries and they always had to be inside by 8 PM, unless it was an organized Motzei Shabbos party on the grounds.
    It is just a different lifestyle when you don’t live in a congested area.

    #1723129

    funnybone
    Participant

    AviK: CTL said what he did. He didn’t ask if you approve or not.

    #1723171

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Wow. I’ve never seen such tzarus ayin amongst jews.

    #1723175

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    One of my kids moved out and now their room is vacant. I guess I have to remove it from the house…

    The Wolf

    #1723188

    lakewhut
    Participant

    Apushtayid why build a mansion if you don’t want to attract attention?

    #1723190

    etzhar
    Participant

    A friend of mine once asked Rav Wolbe ztl years ago if he should move to a larger apartment (in EY) .

    The answer he got was if you cant do Hachnosas Orchim at present, you should move!

    PS CTL I am 10 years younger than my brother and we shared a room. It wasnt good for either of us. I agree with you . There are plenty of other opportunities in a home for family bonding and respect lessons.

    #1723236

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Apushtayid why build a mansion if you don’t want to attract attention?”

    Lets assume the “worst”. The ONLY reason I am building a mansion is to attract attention. Whats it to you? (Not to mention, the fact that I achieved my goal, I got attention.) Are you my Rebbe? Mashgiach?

    #1723257

    Joseph
    Participant

    APY: The seforim hakedoshim take strong exception to ostentatious homes.

    #1723318

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @lakwhut
    Mrs. CTL is an accomplished designer/builder/realtor
    She does want to call attention to her designs and work. Our home is part of her portfolio.
    The main part of our home was built in 1803. The extensions and additions she designed and we built are used to show what people can do to expand historic homes in our quaint New England Community in a harmonious fashion. She has won awards for her work. Better a Mrs. CTL remodel/addition to a 200 year old home than a teardown and a cookie cutter vinyl clad McMansion in its place,

    #1723320

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    It’s always fun to watch those who don’t have or can’t afford, make fun or find fault with those who have or can afford.
    As long as those who have pay for things themselves and are not partaking of community charity/resources (such as tuition assistance for their children) it is no one else’s business.

    #1723321

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @1
    Wrong again.
    If I build a large and expensive home, my neighbors’ taxes do not rise.
    Property tax mill rates are set for the municipality and applied based on government formula for assessed/market value.
    The value of the other homes does not increase because a more expensive home is built on the block. In fact the market value/assessed value of what was once the premier house on the block may fall, leading to lower taxes.
    Example:
    There are 8 building lots on a street. 4 houses exist, all 4 bedroom 3 bath, 9 room colonials on 1 acre lots with 2 car garages, central air. Market value $550,000 each. 4 New Mcmansions are built on the remaining lots: 6 Bedrooms, 5 baths 12 rooms,3 car garages, central air, granite kitchens, built in swimming pools, They sell immediately at $925,000 each.
    The existing houses will see their market value fall 10% because they don’t have the features of the new larger homes on the block, Their taxes will also fall.

    I spent many years in Town Government, including 4 years on the Board of Assessment Appeals Newer, bigger and better can drive down the prices of existing housing stock and then their taxes fall as well.

    #1723350

    funnybone
    Participant

    Joseph; it damages your credibility when you qoute seforim hakedoshim but cant quote a source.

    #1723356

    1
    Participant

    Most people don’ live in your 100 person CT town.

    #1723351

    apushatayid
    Participant

    The most popular sefer “seforim hakedoshim”.

    J

    #1723355

    yehudayona
    Participant

    Speaking of children having separate bathrooms, I worked with a young child who was one of two brothers. Each child had his own playroom. In Brooklyn yet.

    #1723391

    Avi K
    Participant

    Apushatayid and Funnybone, I thought that expressing disapproval of other people’s actions is the purpose of the CR. As for tzarut ayin, would you say that the Chatam Sofer had that characteristic? I still have not found the exact location of the teshuva but I did find that The Shela Hakadosh, writes (at the end of Masechet Sukkah): “I willThe Shela Hakadosh, writes (at the end of Masechet Sukkah) “The Shela Hakadosh, writes (at the end of Masechet Sukkah): “I will
    disclose something that has always troubled me greatly. I have seen Jews building homes like the fortresses of princes, making themselves permanent, these worldly dwellings in impure lands. (I have observed that) it is their intention to leave these homes as an inheritance to their children after them! This appears to be, Gd forbid, an abandonment of the idea of geula. Therefore, even if Gd gives you wealth, build simple houses, to accommodate your bare worldly dwellings in impure lands.”
    The Keli Yakar, as well, says on Bereishis 47: “Many are the ignorant Jews who settle in the lands of other nations. They build themselves splendid, secure houses – homes built of stone, buildings meant to
    endure. For this reason, they never turn to Hashem with all their hearts to ask that He return them to their Land. Therefore, the Almighty leaves them there.”

    Anyway, I’m the conservative Republican who believes in property rights. Democrats like AOC would take away CTL’s house and give it to seventeen illegal immigrant families.

    #1723395

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @1
    Try 50,000 residents

    Your ignorance is amazing, after you study land use, real estate and local government, then you can make intelligent and accurate statements. Right now you pull inaccuracies out of the air and post lies as truth.

    #1723398

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @AviK
    You are full of misbelief

    “Democrats like AOC would take away CTL’s house and give it to seventeen illegal immigrant families.”
    Communists take away personal property, Socialists tax it to provide for the populace.

    The Congresswoman is but one of 435, has no seniority and you ascribe her far too much power and influence.

    #1723542

    lakewhut
    Participant

    CTLawyer AOC is the future of your party. She’s not just “1 of 435.” It’s her, Bernie, Tlaib, Omar, Warren, Harris, Waters, just to name more than 1.

    #1723544

    lakewhut
    Participant

    CTL I know how it works. Property taxes dont go up, when the value of homes go up?

    #1723565

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @lakewhut
    Your ignorance never ceases to amaze me
    AOC is one member of the 435 elected House of Representatives
    Warren, Harris and Sanders are 3 of the 100 member Senate
    Senator Harris has held elected office since 2004
    Senator Warren is nearing 70 years old and is a former Republican.
    Senator Sanders is NOT a member of The Democratic party, although he caucuses with them. He joined the party in order to seek the Presidential nomination in 2015-16, but resigned after not getting the nomination and is again a registered Independent in Vermont.

    Waters is not the future of my party, she is 80 years old and has held elected legislative office since 1976 (43 years)
    I don’t think the future of the party is 70 and 80 year old members

    The first term Representatives, may be the future, or may be an anomaly. Let’s see if they are reelected and gain power through seniority.
    I was a delegate to the 2016 convention and these were not players

    #1723567

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @lakewhut
    You don’t know how it works, you make the false assumption that if more expensive homes are built the value of existing homes will rise and the taxes on the existing homes go up.
    I have already explained that a top of the line home can fall in value when much more expensive homes with additional features are built in the same neighborhood.
    A rising time doesn’t raise all ships, it sinks some

    #1723580

    lakewhut
    Participant

    Its not a false assumption. It happens.

    #1723603

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    CTLAWYER,

    “It’s always fun to watch those who don’t have or can’t afford, make fun or find fault with those who have or can afford.”

    I was mostly on your side in this discussion until this post. You are absolutely correct that a person’s individual and independent financial decisions are nobody else’s business. However, nobody is driving by your property in an old beater with squeaky belts and peeling paint and glowering at you for having tennis courts and a swimming pool. You are choosing to post your business publicly on the CR, a forum that is intended for discussion. And by writing “it’s always fun to watch”, you demonstrate that you are intentionally provoking a certain type of response.

    #1723606

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “As for tzarut ayin, would you say that the Chatam Sofer had that characteristic?”

    Did the chasam sofer EVER write in his teshuvos dictating the the maximum size of ones home? The shela? Were there no wealthy people in the city of either the shela or chasam sofer who had large homes who were told to take them down, or, who were given mussar by them to reduce the size?

    I AM saying the OP has that charachteristic, as do many others.

    As for the “purpose” of the CR, thats for everyone to decide how they wish to use it.

    And, since you quote the kli Yakar, can I assume you live in a home made of sticks and straw?

    #1723609

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Back to the OP and the question whether ” a Jew allowed to build a bigger house than he needs?”

    Who determines his needs? The jealous townspeople?

    #1723621

    Joseph
    Participant

    APY: Definitely not the seforim hakedoshim that Avi K’s been citing numerous of, right?

    After all the seforim didn’t specify the number of square kilometers that is ostentatious, even though they did denounce ostentatious homes. So pretend there’s no such thing since anyone can redefine their ostentatious home as not being what the seforim hakedoshim are referring to.

    #1723618

    lakewhut
    Participant

    APY you aren’t supposed to make people jealous.

    #1723701

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @AvraminMD

    “you demonstrate that you are intentionally provoking a certain type of response.”
    No, I post how I feel and what I believe. My comment is that I find the attacks amusing. It is not limited to the CR.
    Jealousy shows its ugly face in many ways.
    My eldest brother’s wife comes from modest means. When they were engaged 50 years ago, My late mother asked the future DIL to go pick a sterling silver pattern for Shabbos and Yuntif use. The future machataynester opened her mouth and said: we don’t like silver, who needs something that needs polishing, pick stainless steel. When mom and future DIL got to Fortunoff’s, the young lady made a beeline for the sterling dept, not stainless. She told my mother that she had been trained from birth to say she hated sterling and other expensive things, because her parents could not afford them. She also told my brother she didn’t like diamonds, but when my mother gave me her engagement diamond for Mrs. CTL SIL was seething with jealousy, claimed it belonged to her since I was not the eldest son. My mother told her she blew her chance when she said she didn’t like diamonds. So, when my mother was niftara, her will did not leave a single diamond for this girl…all the other females in the family received the stones that had passed down to my mother.
    My wife’s younger sister said she’d never have an in-ground swimming pool, too dangerous for children, but has brought her children to ours from the time they could walk. Just an excuse, they could not afford to have one put in, so they swam by us or my MIL.

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