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    Babylonian Talmud, tractate Pesachim, page 114A:

    Rabah bar bar Chanah taught in the name of Rabbi Yochanan in the name of Rabbi Yehudah ben Rabbi Ilai: Eat an onion [food that is not expensive] and sit in the shade of your house, but do not become accustomed to eating geese and chickens, because your desire for expensive foods will press you for more of them. Reduce your spending on food and drink and use the savings to add to your home.

    What would the ancient Rabbis say, if they saw how much money is spent on expensive foods in kosher restaurants and kosher hotels and kosher cruises?

    In the 1990s, one newspaper [which one I cannot remember] reported that Orthodox Jews spend $250 million every year on kosher cruises for Pesach.

    That sum does not include other holidays, only Pesach.
    That sum does not include restaurants or hotels, only cruises.

    For those who struggle to pay rent every month, it must feel frustrating to see this.


    the way I learned – do not get yourself accustomed to luxury, so you can survive if the fortunes change. Same applies to the kids you raise. There are multiple agadta about poor people who demand stuffed chickens and die not getting it.


    A large percentage of the money spent by both affluent and not-so-affluent yidden on cruises goes to pay the salaries of lower income waiters, kitchen help, housekeepers. cleaning staff etc. These are hard-working people, many from developing countries who are away from their families for months at a time. How would those funds somehow end up in the pockets of those yidden struggling to pay their rent if the “cruising jews” stayed home for yom tov?


    There is a huge difference between eating onions and going on cruises or hotel programs for Pesach.
    Also try to remember that you are supposed to have better foods for Shabbos and Yom Tov.
    So how do we do this? I don’t go out to fancy restaurants unless it’s a special occasion – my anniversary, or maybe my wife’s birthday. While I do eat chicken during the week, I do make an effort to have foods that are special for Shabbos. (One thing I’m a big fan of is dried salami/sausages, and I save them for Shabbos when I do get them.)
    For Yom Tov it’s a bit easier – I’ll buy a roast. I almost never have it on regular Shabbosim. The only time is if I’m having a large amount of guests and I know some of them really enjoy it. In fact, I had that recently. I mentioned to a friend that I had prepared a brisket for Shabbos, and he gave me an incredulous look, and said, “It’s not Yom Tov!”
    So we can have good foods, and I don’t think it’s a problem. But there is a line where it just becomes wasteful.


    Baruch ha-Shem we live at a time when people can waste oodles of money for expensive foods. Eighty years ago, most Jews could only dream of such luxuries. We shouldn’t complain so much. Note that people have the option of being frugal (whereas 80 years ago, most Yidden didn’t have the option of eating too much).

    P.S. For those who flunked math, 80 years ago was 1943. For those who flunked history, that was in the middle of World War II and the Holocaust.

    ☕️coffee addict

    To help Gadolhadorah understand where the OP is coming from

    If the affluent spent less on themselves they would have more money to give for tzedakah (presumably, if it wasn’t spent on another narrishkeit) they would be home for shul aliyos selling, they would be home for yizkor appeals

    Taxes aren’t the only way to “help the poor” even though some democrats think so 😜


    “What would the ancient Rabbis say…”

    Your implying that they would be listened to.


    How are the well to do going to prove they are better than everyone else?!?

    It makes me wonder how many people have forgotten hilchos pesach going on such trips. I guess changing your kitchen over is for peasants.


    Apparently, Gadol Hadorah is the Levi Yitzchok Mebirdichtev of our generation. He knows that the true intention of wealthy Jews is to provide parnosa for their Jewish servants. Everything is done leshem shomayim! Mi ke’amcha Yisrael!


    One of the areas hadibros is lo sachmod, please dont be busy with yennim


    Gadol, the people whose wages the wealthy wasteful are paying aren’t jewish. Maybe if they went to Israel, they’d be helping some poor Jewish workers. All they’re doing is helping goyim, while they could be using all of that money for actual tzedaka.

    The rambam writes that on purim if one eats with his family and doesn’t remember the poor, it’s not simchas yom toc, but rather simchas kreiso… He is selfish, uncaring.

    The opulence of the am haaratzim in our community knows no bounds, and as pointed out, the unthinkable violations of hilchos pesach make a torah jew shudder.


    Rocky: Umein….
    BTW. The CREWS on a CRUISE ship chartered for Pesach are NOT “Jewish Servants”. As noted, its unlikely that any of them are yidden. As to CA’s belief that money not spent by some affluent yid on a cruise for peseach would otherwise end up being allocated to tzadakah or offered to the shul in a “shenadar” traded for an aliyah, I wish it was so but I’m a bit of a skeptic.



    If the wealthy, many of whom give vast amounts of money to tzedaka, didn’t go on cruises, vacations or to Pesach hotels, those who couldn’t afford to do so would also be deprived. Deprived of their favorite activity. Griping that rich people aren’t generous, are insensitive and never properly celebrate yom tov.


    Actually I like gadol’s answer
    Very Reaganesque trickle down economics
    And I never thought of gadol as a conservative
    It was also the same answer given by the Vanderbilt family when they threw massive parties during the great depression. After all the seamstress making the ball gowns needs to make a living also.


    Common, there’s nothing to be jealous about people eating their olam haba


    There is no problem with affluent people spending according to their means. There are many examples given in the Gemara of wealthy people living lavishly, and they aren’t criticized usually.
    The problem is the less affluent pretending to be affluent, and living accordingly.



    So a wealthy person who gives what they are obligated to tzedaka, perhaps even more and lives well, is eating their olam haba? Can you provide a source or is that just your jealousy talking?


    the chofetz chaim once visited the home of a rich man, and looking at the fancy walls and trimmings, said “oy, theres a page of bava basra here”, and “oy, there’s a page of mesechta shabbos here”

    his point was that all the time the wealthy man wasted on becoming wealthy could have been spent learning, if he just worked enough to support his family.

    not living within one’s means is a different question; you’re mixing up taavos with irresponsible pursuit thereof – taavah isnt good, as the mesilas yeshorim says the more youre drawn after physicality, the more youre distant from ruchnius.

    distant, far from Hashem. nebach.



    Yeah, that’s for the Chafetz Chaim to say. Worry about your own taavos and olam haba instead of other people’s. You might be quite shocked after 120 to find yourself on a very low floor while all those you wasted a lifetime criticizing are much higher up.



    his point was that all the time the wealthy man wasted on becoming wealthy could have been spent learning, if he just worked enough to support his family

    This ignores inherited wealth. The rich man may have spent no time becoming wealthy.
    As good part of my practice is as a trust administrator. Some beneficiaries receive a hefty monthly income, never having to work, great grandpa or great grandma may have done that.

    As for the fancy walls and trimmings, the late Mrs. CTL was a designer builder realtor. Our home was larger and fancier than our needs, but it housed her office and served as her showroom and portfolio (almost like living over the store in generations gone by). Her potential and return clientele expected as much.
    The Litvish Yeshivish system seems to approve of women working and men learning.
    By the time her estate is settled, there will be grandchildren living in or owning fancy decorated dwellings for which they did not have to sacrifice an hour of learning to work in order to acquire them.

    I don’t pretend to know more than a Gadol, but his observations about a specific situation in a different place and time should not be applied by others who don’t know other people’s actual circumstances.


    Gadol, who gives as much as they are required to? If someone can give 2 million, and only gives one million, then they are falling short despite having their name everywhere as a “platinum donor” or whatever they’re called.

    When someone uses this world not as a means to an end, i.e. to be comfortable in order to learn and serve Hashem better, then it’s just taavah which isn’t free… it comes at the expense of zchusim.


    And lest you think it’s me who makes such statements, having not been anywhere near rich at any point in my life, i direct you to a sefer called kohelea, written by the most powerful, richest and wisest man to ever walk this world. Rashi says this is why Shlomo hamelech wrote this sefer, decrying gashmius, because he understood wealth and was in a position to denounce taavah without being told he has sour grapes.

    He doesn’t only denounce living beyond one’s means. Actually, i don’t think he does much at all – he decries going after taavos. Who told baalei batim this myth that taavos are ok as long as you wear fabric on your head, make blessings, (but don’t get too caught up in which brochos to make, because shehakol works for everything!) don’t talk about work on shabbos (unless it’s really really big business, then nisht oif shabbos geredt works) give tzedaka, you’re 100% a kosher jew and mezuman lechayei olam haba?


    Gadol – could be, but it’s usually the wealthy and powerful who chazal are referring to when they say “olam hepech reisi,” that olam haba is upside down from this world. Here, those who do not have a lot of money are not regarded in high esteem, while in olam haba, they are. “V’anavim yirshu aretz” the pasuk says.

    The neviim often criticized those who were rich and powerful too. I’m not saying that I’m above taavos, and I don’t know what i would do if i suddenly had money…maybe I’d be a worse baal taavah? But that doesn’t mean that our current culture, which bends over backwards to be machnif ashirim, and tell them that their lavish lifestyles are totally fine, is correct.


    CT, valid point; some people inherit money. Another example is the concept of “Torah ugedulah bemakom echad,” where a person has fancy things in order to benefit klal yisroel as a nobleman, and to promote kiddush Hashem. The caveat with that, however, is as rebbe yehudah hanasi raised his small finger on his deathbed and swore that he never enjoyed this world even with this finger. A similar avodas Hashem was undertaken by the rizhiner rebbe, who emphasized malchus to his chasidim… He made the same oath before he was niftar too.

    I’m guessing the chofetz chaim knew the man and his circumstances.



    The halachos of tzedaka mandate how much a person must donate. A wealthy person isn’t required to give away everything they have and eat tuna fish every night. It’s very troubling that your posts always focus outward in a negative manner towards other Jews. One has to wonder whether you do so to avoid your own faults. Decry your own gashmius and taavos and work on them. Otherwise you’ll be unpleasantly surprised after 120 that you didn’t get any points for using Koheles as weapon to criticize others.


    Time for us to wake up and FACE REALITY

    When it comes to financial management start to live more by remembering one sentence and going by it.


    sure we can all enjoy a date out to the restaurant but to go out just to Have a steak is called crazy. Sure we all can use a vacation after a long hard year of work or learning and have a nice time with our family BUT there’s no need to travel all the way to Israel or even to Florida etc…. You can go to closer to home like Pennsylvania if your from the east coast and your family won’t even know the difference versus Florida and enjoy many places there much closer to home and MORE AFFORDABLE by FACING REALITY.

    we can’t live with three cars and go on three vacations every year and then be surprised when we are causing ourselves to go into debt if we don’t know how to FACE REALITY and make a budget of everything from income to expenses so you will know at the end of the year where you are holding financially. Are you Boruch Hashem just making it through or even putting away into savings account money for a future child’s wedding or vice versa going into debt C”V?

    A financial advisor


    Also, gadol, you’re the one saying that a given practice is ok; i offered a disproof from the chofetz chaim, mesilas yeshorim, etc…and your answer is that it’s for them to say, and not me….so why is it ok for you to say that it’s perfectly fine to go after taavos as long as it’s within your means? Why is expressing one opinion “not for me to say” but the other opinion is? Is it that you only want to hear one side, the side that lets you believe that this world is hefker and you can do as you wish as long as you remember halacha in the back of your mind?


    An important point needs to be made too – it’s totally possible to have luxury items leshem shomayim in another way. Chazal say fhat a nice home, a beautiful wife, and good foos is “marchivin daato shel Adam,” it expands the mental abilities of a person. It can make a person learn better if their gashmius is taken care of.

    But that has to be the intent, and if pursuing riches makes you learn less in practice, or you’re seeing that after that nice juicy steak, you want to lay down instead of run to learn gemara… it’s ear where your intentions are.


    say, Hashem designates two people to be parnasim of the community.

    One of them earns $20 mln and gives $1 mln – skimping on tzedoka. Another person, with similar abilities, does not aspire for much in the physical world, maybe even spends reasonable time in learning, and pays full $10 out of his $100 dollars. I can just see poor people lining up to thanks that second person for his generosity!

    It would be reasonable to say that first person has a hesaron of $1 mln, or 50%, while the second has hesaron of $1,999,900 or 99.99%



    My point exactly. One really knows nothing about the lives and intentions of others, beyond what they can see with limited and often skewed vision. A person must judge and find fault within, not make it a practice to do so with others.


    “Also, gadol, you’re the one saying that a given practice is ok; i offered a disproof from the chofetz chaim, mesilas yeshorim, etc…and your answer is that it’s for them to say, and not me…”

    Too many gadolim in the CR….


    Yes, halachos of tzedaka do mandate how much one must give. They require a wealthy person to give more than just maaser.

    My objection was to the heter you and others are giving, saying taavos are fine as long as you’re not spending more than what you have. That’s factually incorrect. I don’t go over to rich people and tell them what to do, because you’re correct that it’s not my business. Taavah in general is a personal issue and middos in general are usually outside of the parameters of personal tochacha, because they vary from person to person. One person’s supper is a person’s taavah, and we can’t know.


    I don’t remember which Tzaddik said this, and it’s not an exact quote.

    If the wealthy man eats macaroni and cheese he’ll give the poor man enough for a few slices of bread. If the wealthy man eats a huge steak he’ll give the poor man enough for a full meal.


    Also, if someone is rich, then Hashem obviously thinks he is worth such a hard challenge, so even if he is not fully up to it, he deserves some respect and owe, especially from people whom Hashem does not want to trust with more than $100 at a time. You surely have no idea what their taavos are and how you will behave there. And if he is a self-made person, then he was in your place …

    For example, many rich people have hard time finding friends and partners, as everyone is there “for the money”. Some of my “filthy rich” friends really enjoy a conversation with a friend from the time they were poor. I feel the same with hoshuve people from the Jewish community – there is a difference between those with whom I was learning when I had nothing, and those who are inviting a person from whom they can potentially benefit. I can’t even imagine how sad is the life of people who were born into rich families – do they even have real friends?!

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