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- This topic has 60 replies, 14 voices, and was last updated 11 months, 1 week ago by Reb Eliezer.
June 13, 2022 12:34 am at 12:34 am #2095920
How can we be mekarev opulence worshippers to be chozer beteshuvah back to Torah Judaism? Especially the ones who wear a yarmulka or sheitel and actually think they’re frum.June 13, 2022 1:45 am at 1:45 am #2095927
The Ruzhiner discusses it.June 13, 2022 2:14 am at 2:14 am #2095949
The holy rizhiner wore golden shoes with no bottoms and would bleed from his feet. He showed malchus from the exterior, because his avodah was that of rabbeinu hakodosh – when rebbe yehudah hanasi was niftar, he rose his hands and swore that despite his regal estate, he never enjoyed this world with even his pinky finger… the heiligeh rizhiner did the same when he was niftar
Do you think it’s funny to mock tzadikim? Most people don’t “get” the joke, and those who do really don’t find it funny, but rather sad that someone would be mevazeh talmidei chachamim in such a disgusting manner.
Anyways, ujm – rav moshe kobriner writes in imros moshe that “uvau haovdim be’eretz ashur” refers to the lost ones who live in sxcesses, ashur= ashirus, vehanidachaim beeretz mitzrayim, those who are pushed away from Hashem due to inyanei kedushah, mitzrayim was ervas haaretz etcJune 13, 2022 4:06 am at 4:06 am #2095962
Walking by most newsstands in kosher stores, there are full racks of magazines dedicated to opulence. In fact, the most popular “frum” weeklies are exactly that.June 13, 2022 8:55 am at 8:55 am #2096008
I was not mocking. Some people don’t “get” that there are solutions that are incomprehensible to the lay people.June 13, 2022 8:56 am at 8:56 am #2096009
To expect that the magazines and especially the Jewish newspapers are in line with our ideals and not with the reality of what we are really like, is indicative of being outside Torah Judaism.June 13, 2022 8:56 am at 8:56 am #2096010akupermaParticipant
If frum Jews were all that much into opulence, they would need to maximize income. Studying Torah is a way to minimize income and reduce discretionary spending. Merely being Shomer Shabbos wipes out most of one’s earning potential (denies access to inexpensive high quality university education, reduces most job prospects, forces one to live in only a handful of fairly expensive areas). The truth is that even being “modern Orthodox” with a kippah in the pocket requires great mesiras nefesh.
The generation that survived the holocaust (especially those in Europe, but even those in America could be considered survivors since the war could have gone the other way) often saw living well as the best revenge (but also note that most Jews who were around then do not have frum descendants today).June 13, 2022 9:18 am at 9:18 am #2096033yaakov doeParticipant
We are only passing through and you can’t take anything with you except mitzvos as maasim toivim.June 13, 2022 9:35 am at 9:35 am #2096040jackkParticipant
I find that in some Jewish publications the traif hashkafa of Kochi Votzem Yadi asah Li es hachayil hazeh seems to have invaded.June 13, 2022 11:10 am at 11:10 am #2096067
They say that there are no pockets in the tachrichim. You can’t take it with you. There is a story where are a king asked his minister what is your wealth, what do you own? The minister specified a very small amount. The king got upsets saying, the house and field you own are worth more than that. Therefore, I am taking everything away from you. The minister answered my master the king, that is what I meant. I admitted to what I gave to tzadaka which you cannot take away from me. The rest does not really belong to me as with one edict you can take away from me.June 13, 2022 11:35 am at 11:35 am #2096085
Should be above, where a king and at the end should be, take it away from me.June 13, 2022 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm #2096092
The magazines are reflecting the reality. Their only promoting it as much as the individual reader is willing to see it.Those that are not materialistic, do not open these kinds of publications.June 13, 2022 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm #2096111jackkParticipant
The reality is that Hishtadlus is necessary and Hashem gives the bracha for Parnasa.June 13, 2022 1:33 pm at 1:33 pm #2096147
Maybe, maybe. What are you responding to?June 13, 2022 1:57 pm at 1:57 pm #2096170
A nice start would be when the mosdos and the organazation stop putting these people of a pedestal and honor people who gave back to the community not just the ones with biggest houses and biggest SUVs, most are stupid egotistical idiots who like to flash moneyJune 13, 2022 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #2096178DovidBTParticipant
Once I asked a rabbi a related question, and he replied that there’s nothing wrong with wealth so long as you acknowledge that it comes from Hashem. I guess you could twist that around and say that if you’re wealthy, Hashem must approve of you; otherwise, you wouldn’t be wealthy.June 13, 2022 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #2096199
Ask the Rabbi what are the possible ways of misusing wealth.June 13, 2022 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #2096219DovidBTParticipant
I’m no longer in contact with him. Why don’t you ask a Rabbi yourself?June 13, 2022 5:44 pm at 5:44 pm #2096239
Because I know that there is a thousand possible answers. And a hundred real life stories.June 14, 2022 2:11 am at 2:11 am #2096410🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
The magazines are reflecting the reality.
No. No no no. Not my reality. Not our reality. If this reflects your reality than to say I feel sorry for you is an understatement. To say I cannot understand how you can live among a community where this is a reality is more like it.
No. And Gd forbid it should ever become close.June 14, 2022 8:10 am at 8:10 am #2096472
Thank you. Definitely not my reality, either. But it reflects the reality of what is novel or emerging in the community. Some publications, are geared to the newest ideas. Others, look for things that have become somewhat accepted. It is much more difficult to write about habits that we all share.
The point is that the magazines are not pushing their own idea. But reflecting an existing reality to the larger readership. The more I think about it, the more that seems to me to be a description of media in general. Including there pages.June 14, 2022 2:07 pm at 2:07 pm #2096610RockyParticipant
It’s not realistic to ask mosdos to not honor rich folks with an unhealthy attitude towards $ and it’s also not realistic to ask Jewish publications to not run ads that promote opulent lifestyles. Jewish magazines are in the business to make money. The only way is through education. If people get up publicly and speak about how it’s not cool to flaunt maybe eventually it will sink in. Naftali Horowitz does a good job with this. It would also be nice if Rabbanim would speak privately to people when they start to make plans for simchas to explain what is expected in their community.June 14, 2022 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #2096633
Some mosdos are makpid on only honoring someone who they think as a role model.June 14, 2022 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #2096685
The Baal Akedah with his eloquence says on לא יהי’ לך אלקים אחרים not to worship money and ch’v put Hashem aside.June 14, 2022 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #2096688
The above should be אלהים אחרים as it refers to an a’z.June 14, 2022 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #2096699
@ n0 for example?June 14, 2022 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #2096774
Admittedly, they are not the most well known mosdos.June 14, 2022 7:27 pm at 7:27 pm #2096804
@n0m, even the lesser know ones, please give me an example or twoJune 14, 2022 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm #2096929
People need to make sure they can handle what they choose. I often see working people (doctors, lawyers, and other simple professions) who come both to hashkoma minyan and at 9pm to learn at kollel, and also there are people who live holy lives of learning and teaching and whose heads are worrying about where they can earn money to support their families. I don’t know percentages, but one should evaluate his own (and family) tolerances and be realistic in their lifestyle choices.
In theory, in modern world, one can spend 4 years to learn a good profession and then work 1 day a week (or 2 hours a day, if you prefer) and have a great learning life. I never met anyone following such an obviously correct way. R Lebowitz says that one YU student suggested a similar idea – be a lawyer full time until 40 and then retire, and Rav advised against that.June 27, 2022 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #2100772
I did a lot of research. The rumor is that Rav Aaron had such a standard for his yeshiva, but held that it did not apply to other types of mosdos. I’m not sure. Take it or leave it. This seems to hold up somewhat with the honorees of the BMG dinner. Though I was told that Rav Aaron himself made an exception once. Some Lakewood Yeshivos put a good face on the effort. Some don’t.
Here are three that seem to be genuine about it. Bais Binyamin of Stanford. Maybe that’s why they had no money. Yeshiva Zichron Moshe of South Fallsberg is said to have such ideas. They don’t have a regular dinner as far as I can tell. Zichron Meilich has a dinner every year, with such an idea.June 27, 2022 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #2100819
Nomesorah – those yeshivos are very well known in the yeshiva world, especially south fallasburg and stanford, the latter having one of the finest standards in the olam hayeshivos. South fallsburg is known as an American brisk, where it’s as good as you make it, but they’re not hawkish…zichron melech is also a very established, respected yeshiva.
If you’re right, it would support your claim that rav aharon held that way, because all three of the above were started by talmidim of his; rav chaim Epstein zt”l, yblch”t rav elya ber, and rav meir hershkowitzJune 27, 2022 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm #2100830
This is all fuzzy research. Asking uncles who hock too much and aunts who think they have a better memory.
Some points. Fallsberg claims to a Bais Hatalmud creation. And Sav Elya Ber does not call himself a talmid of Rav Aaron.
Stamford moved to Monsey or near it. I’m not sure if it’s similar to what it was. I do not know who the money was, but it definitely was not Rav Meir. And I’m not sure he would know much about who Rav Aaron honored or didn’t.
Obviously, Rav Chaim Epstein’s yeshiva is a good a source as there is for Rav Aaron’s opinions. But I’m still guessing off of what I gathered from hearsay. I have no source that this is intentional to any of them.
When I started asking, I thought I would get more chessed organizations. But it was too conflicting. Like people who were born into not frum families that stayed close to the Jewish communities. Or the wealthy that used their wealth on others, but were not otherwise noteworthy role models.June 28, 2022 12:19 am at 12:19 am #2100838
Rav elya ber has not distanced hinself from rav aharon; just he spent more time in brisk, but I’m sure rav aharon had an influence on him. Stamford moved to monsey, and I don’t believe rav Meir says shiur anymore, but i have no reason to think he was not actively involved in the monetary side of things when he was leading/founding the yeshiva.June 28, 2022 12:36 am at 12:36 am #2100852
Rav Elya Ber says he is a talmid of Rav Meir Mintz, if I recall the name correctly. He may choose to follow Rav Aaron’s ideas of fundraising. But I would guess that Brisk has an even more stringent opinion of who a yeshiva may honor. In any case, as far as I know Fallsberg doesn’t have a dinner.
I’m not sure Stamford ever had much of a dinner. But I would guess that approving the honorees would be the extent of it. And even that much may have been left to Rav Simcha.June 28, 2022 8:58 am at 8:58 am #2100905
@n0m, FYI Fallsberg was founded by the Gorelicks, Reb Elya Ber was on payroll and they have fancy guests of honor, Zichron Michel was originaly Mistiva of Eastern Parkway and was founded by Harav Sheimel Teitelbaum the whole student body is 60 bucherim so even if they skip a facy dinner its hardly making a statmentJune 28, 2022 9:36 am at 9:36 am #2100960
A real value is about what you value. Not about making any statements. What value is making a statement?
I’m really bewildered.June 28, 2022 10:07 am at 10:07 am #2100969
@n0m, I’m just clarifying the misinformationJune 28, 2022 10:51 am at 10:51 am #2100983
What did you clarify?
Does Fallsberg make a dinner or not?June 28, 2022 10:51 am at 10:51 am #2100979GadolhadorahParticipant
Ruchniyus versus Gashmiyus is a false alternative if there is a balance and the choices are correctly framed. Not all gadolim live in dingy apartments with few amenities and are dependent on modest donations for their survival. Nor does toras moshe or the concept of hidur mitzvah dictate spending tens of thousands of dollars to fly the family to South Florida and rent a Villa for yom tov or to spend $75,000 for a new all electric Tesla or BMW to be mehader the woke mitzvah of tikun olam. A balanced life of learning with time for a parnassah assures that one’s life is not driven by an instiable appetite for opulence.June 28, 2022 11:52 am at 11:52 am #2100995
YesJune 28, 2022 11:53 am at 11:53 am #2100998
gadolha – just how is the standard 9-5 work, 2 hours at home, 8 hour sleep, and 1 hour learning (well, if you can call it such) “balanced”. The american standard for a baal habayis is anything but balanced. it’s weighted heavily on the side of gashmius. a kolel lifestyle is one of the only viable options for as long as it can be maintained; ones rachmana patrei…sometimes a person needs to spend a lot of time working, but that’s an ones, not a balance.June 28, 2022 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm #2101025
That’s new to me. Do you know details?June 28, 2022 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm #2101206
Avira, as I am not always up to detail of kollel lifestyle, you have outdated info about working yidden: a day of 9 hours working and 6 hours sleeping leaves 9 hours daily, that may or may not include – 2 hours of learning-while-driving; 30+30+15 minutes of the minyan; 1 hour learning w/ kids maybe while eating dinner or driving them; there are 4 hours left for learning at kollel. This is not counting 18 extra hours per weekend and vacations.
That said, I agree that full-time work is overkill. A real baal middos should work maybe 4 hours a day leaving plenty of time for learning & chesed. This would be Rambam’s middle way, but I do not know people who follow it.July 1, 2022 8:35 am at 8:35 am #2102198
The Rambam writes that a “working person” is someone who learns 8 hours a day and works 3 hours A day. Not works 9am to 5pm.July 1, 2022 8:40 am at 8:40 am #2102201
Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT’L denounced college in a Teshuva, and in a famous speech delivered to his students, published under the title “The Counsel of the Wicked” (Vaad LeHaromas Keren HaTorah, New York, 1978). There he reiterates that everyone has an obligation to become great in Torah, we should not care so much about Cadillacs (yes, this was said in the “olden days”), and that learning Torah is what we should be pursuing, not secular stuff. He says in America you do not need college to make a parnassa, and we should be willing to live on little, not a lot, for the sake of Torah, and that R. Nehuray’s statement of abandoning all skills in favor of Torah applies all that more today that we live in a country where you can make a parnassa without college, with no miracles needed.
As an aside, the standard of livelihood required is bare minimum. “Kach hi darkah shel torah – pas b’melach tochal etc.” – Bread, salt and water – if you have that, you have parnasah.
There is a tape available in many Seforim stores called “The prohibition to learn in Colleges” (Yiddish), which contains addresses by Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT’L and Rav Aharon Kotler ZT’L condemning college.July 1, 2022 8:57 am at 8:57 am #2102240
When I went to Brooklyn College 4 years after graduating high school, I kept Haran in mind. When we go into fire because someone else was saved, one can get burned, so I did not go anywhere like the Student Center there which was not necessary.July 1, 2022 9:10 am at 9:10 am #2102270CTLAWYERParticipant
Re: Rav Meir and Stamford
You are correct, he was involved in finances in Stamford.
I would receive about 4 personal phone calls from him Y”N, Chanuka, Pesach and my Zaidy’s Yahrzeit requesting generous support for the Yeshiva.
I gave because I believed they were doing good work and not squandering funds. I never attended a fundraising event and never had my name published in a donor list, on a brass plaque or worse sold to other fundraisers.July 1, 2022 9:11 am at 9:11 am #2102269
I found the college grads are almost never the opulence worshippers, its the uneducated flippers, hustlers make a quick buck type that worships that lifestyleJuly 1, 2022 9:23 am at 9:23 am #2102273
> working person” is someone who learns 8 hours a day
a very relevant quote, even if not fully accurate. Rambam says MT 1:12 “for example” and mentions “baal umanut” – a craftsman, a person skilled/educated in a profession. Reading between lines, this seems first like his ideal case that he wants people to strive for. He is not bringing an example of a merchant traveling or a sheep-herder … So, it seems that he will also not approve so much of people working overtime and then sleeping through classes. As to actual halakha, he requires a set time both during day and during night, without specifying amounts. Books depicting pre-war Lita mention how poor Yidden will change their look into a more dignified one by the end of the work day when they go to shul and then learn with kavanah between mincha and maariv (satisfying above Rambam) after a tiring day.July 1, 2022 9:26 am at 9:26 am #2102274CTLAWYERParticipant
Opulence is relative.
To those living in a crowded Brooklyn 2-3 bedroom apartment paying 3500per month in rent, my large home in small town Connecticut may seem opulent. But it was bought at a small price decades ago and built onto by us, doing much of the physical labor ourselves. 15 Rooms owned for the cost of taxes and insurance for less than $1800per month. Maintenance done by the family, not a super or paid help.
You send your kids to camp. Our grandchildren (and great nieces and nephews) all come and spent the summer at Camp CTL (imagine an upscale bungalow colony where all the summer residents are relatives and communal meals), swimming in our swimming pool, playing on our BB court and ball field, growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables in our gardens. Most important being with family. I trust our family a lot more than camp staff and the reported scandals about behavior, cleanliness, bad camp food, etc.
It doesn’t cost me 1/4 per child what camp costs and the piece of mind and joy of generations of the family together, is our true wealth, not opulence.
Only the nouveau riche need to show off money and possessions, building McMansions, driving cars that cost more than I paid for my first couple of houses, etc. But, as they say: There’s no there, there. It is all for show with no substance for lasting value.
Oma taught me, buy the absolute best you can afford and it will last, cheap is dear and you are constantly replacing it.
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