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Out Of The Mailbag: (If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It)

yw logo5.jpgI know this issue has been going on since forever, but I think it has sunk to new lows.

What I am referring to is the mentality of “If you’ve got it, flaunt it”.

The “Look at Me” generation.

It has gotten ridiculous!  The house that we build and the cars that they drive are way above what is needed, even if one wants to live a “comfortable” lifestyle.  That doesn’t mean that everyone has to live the same lifestyle but do we really need to be so ostentatious??  For what?  So that we can be better than the next one? Everyone has to one-up their neighbor.  Where does it end? And please don’t give me the argument of “I earned it so I can spend it.  Whoever has a problem with it, is just jealous and bitter”.  First of all, even if that is true, does that mean that you have to feed the jealous behaviour?  Are you so insecure that you need to do this to make yourself feel better?  It is unbelievable!

Second of all, what message does that send to our children?  Is this the chinuch that we want to give to our children?  Little kids model themselves after the adults around them, whether you like it or not.  People that don’t have it, are forced to fake like they do or risk feeling like outcasts.  They rack up debt to keep up with the Cohen’s.  Obviously, this is their choice, but to a certain degree, it is not their fault!  Don’t say “too bad on them”.  Try putting yourself in their shoes for a while (and maybe, you were even there at some point).

Even the way that people dress has been affected by this “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” mentality.  Today, fashion is such that you can even flaunt what you don’t got!  Do you see what goes on in shuls these days?  You should excuse me, but the way that many women dress, would make our zaidas and bubbes blush!  (Men are no better!)  Does everyone really have to look like a Barbie doll in order to feel self confident?  And the perfume!  I once heard about a non-jewish worker that likes working at Jewish weddings because the women are dressed to kill.  They sure do and they kill neshamos.  Hashem Yishmor.

Even something as silly as eyeglasses.  Do you see what people wear on their faces these days?  Some of them look so ridiculous!

I am not even touching the issue of what the “umos haolam” think of us.  That is another subject.

Our obsession with looks and materialistic things is way out of line and it is only getting worse.  What can we do to stop it?  How about each of us take a look at ourselves and really think if we need all this excess.  Maybe we can give more to our tzedakos and mosdos and perhaps in this zchus, may we see Moshiach soon.

Thanks for listening.

88 Responses

  1. Agreed 100%. For that reason one should not live in certain communities. Some of you may be shocked by this, but there are communities where this is shunned and children end up growing up in a more healthy environment. You choose where you live and if you live in that kind of community then pick up and go. Even within the tri-state area there are communities where it is not as prevalent. Again, it is your choice. I understand the frustration, but the answer to your particular problem is. MOVE!!!!!! You are not about to change a community that is rotten through and through, and this article will cause upheaval for a day until it is in the previous page link and people will soon move on to the next crisis. So thanks for the rant, now go do something about it, unless you just want to kvech, in which case you have come to the right place!

  2. Great article and great point. Right on the money.

    (Author: Don’t let all the follow up criticisms get to you. They are the people engaged in this shtusim.)

  3. Every generation has their nisyonos, and our generation has this nisayon…

    don’t expect to wake up one morning, and suddenly nobody is caring about their look, cars, houses… !!!

  4. It has gotten out of hand!
    Questions must be asked:

    1. Why if there is so much more limud Torah going on in the past 25 years, More couples living/learning in Kolel in the USA and Eretz Yisroel, with the prerequisite for every Shidduch “I want A Learner” I want a Shver that will support me in Kolel”………………….
    why has this happened?

    2. Why is it that the same Bas Yisroel who wants a “Learner” judges a Buchur by his Ferregamo belt glasses & Shoes ,Armani Suit, Versace Tie, borsalino hat, lexus pick-up car.

    3. Why is it that every Bochur that wants to sit a “learn” judges a Bas Yisroel by her “gidul” instead of intellect, her outfit pocketbook etc..

    The ante keeps upping with extravegance where does it end?

    Why should I have to go to chinatown and buy counterfit, merchandise just to get a good shidduch??

  5. very true. look around how each woman walking the streets thinks SHE look best, yet some of them dont begin to know how to dress well. I always laugh about how foolish they are. At least they feel good about themselves…..
    I dont think this issue can be helped though. Just close your eyes and do what you think is right. If other pple’s homes/dresses bother you, it usually shows you’re part of this competition.

  6. While there definitely are issues with how some people flaunt their wealth your message is vague and unfair. There is nothing wrong with people buying “modern” style tznius clothing and glasses. Even the styles that you consider to be appropriate were probably once considered to be embarrassing to some previous generations “bubbies and zaides”

  7. Worry about yourself and your own kids and stop being jealous of those who are more well off than you! Maybe living an affluent lifestyle teaches kids that if you work hard and make lots of money than you can also live a nice and very comfortable lifestyle!

  8. If you feel so strongly, as do I,then show you mean business and leave your name. Hashem will reward you like Pinchos.

  9. everyone has one goal to be rich and when they get there they see its not what its made to be. but the one enjoyment they get is when they get compliments so my advice dont even look twice at their cars and houses and it will stop

  10. I didn’t grow-up frum, and I went to High School in the 1980’s. All I can say is that many of the frum women today dress more provacative, then the Shiksas of the 1980’s (they just cover their elbows and knees.

  11. ATT#1. imagine what our world would look like if every time we come across a problem, we just move away from it. we would just never stay in one place for a whole 5 minutes. how wrong is your attitude. There’s no way of running away from problems. The solution is to outroot the problem itself. When that’s not possible, YOU JUST GOTTA LEARN TO LIVE WITH IT! Learn to do what’s right even if everyone’s doing wrong. Learn to DEAL with problems, not run away from them.

  12. if you want to get away from that lifestyle, move out of NY/NJ and come live out of town and enjoy a worry free “flaunt it” life

  13. What should stop? This whole thing makes no sense! There were always people better off then others and they had a bigger house and a nicer car. Let’s go back a few hundred years one had no animal to ride on, one had a mule/donkey which was slow, one had an old horse, new horse, horse with carriage, horse carriage and driver etc… Should we say everyone has to have an old donkey so there would be no jealousy?? makes just as much sense.
    The women had no jewelry, cheap jewelry, decent, expensive etc..
    If we should all be equal by the next appeal I’m giving $18.00 like my neighbor versus the $1800.00 I used to give! does that make any sense? No it doesn’t. Welll neither does all the other shtusim people keep complaining about.
    If there is a problem it’s this, if you can’t afford the Lexus, jewelry, vacation, bungalow, sheitel don’t buy one and put it on your credit card!!!!!!!!!

  14. #4 – Please don’t say EVERY when it comes to this. not only is it not every bochur/girl, it’s not even close to most of them. I am sure you were just using every as “a lot”, but please choose your words carefully. You make it sound like the main problem is the Yeshiva Guys. I have to say that most people I see who flaunt themselves (especially when it’s younger guys) are in some sort of professional field as opposed to in Kollel.

    While I do agree with the author that there are many people who just have to one-up their neighbor, this is not the general rule in most communities. is it a problem? yes, to an extent. But it should be noted that this problem is usually the exception as opposed to the rule. I am not talking about people who buy regular new cars or renovate their house’s interior so it looks a little nicer or add another bedroom so they can have their children over. I mean the people who need 3 Cadillacs and a house that looks like it’s Prince Charles’s summer home. This is not the norm. Certainly it isn’t just one or two people, but it certainly isn’t most people.

  15. My best advice to you is to reinforce to yourself and to your children the emptiness of materialism. If you are still feeling the pressure then perhaps move into a community where gashmiyos is not the battle cry.

  16. The point that I found most relavent was how children living in these absurd lifestyles are so negativaley affected.
    I alaways see huge homes going up and think to myself; Bishlayma if they had their name on a yeshiva, mikvah, shul or a chesed organization then they can sprawl their name across the neighborhood. Not that it is an excuse or good reason but I can hear it.
    But people who live lavish lifestyles and claim to give betzinah?! a chilul Hashem!!
    A Rebbe told me that the bigger and fancier the house the more arrogant and difficult it is to teach their children.
    Don’t even talk about people who drive up in a new leased car because it was “a sale” and then ask for a tuition break. A busha.
    May Hashem give us the clarity of mind to make mature and responsible decisions.

  17. Very true point! I hope many people read this and internalize it!
    I just have a question why are the girls and boys able to look that way? Because nobody is telling them that there is anything worng with it! why in the biggest yeshiva in the U.S. there are people learning and their wives look like hashem yeracheim. why doesn’t someone say if you learn in this place your wigs gotta end at this length and your dress gotta be longer. If youre gonna say it is not possible look at Monroe, Skvere, Williamsburg they have guidelines their Torah learning is reflection of who they are not just a study hall and then you could do what you want. If you want to tell me this is not a chasidus then why do the roshei yeshivos make oneg shabbos and neilas hachag in different lakewood areas? I beleive that if the roshei yeshivos would put in their input then there would be more serious learners with more serious wives!

  18. Great points in this letter and #9!!! When I look around at the numbers of luxury and very nice vehicles driving carpool … I can’t imagine that the school should have any financial problems. People are frequently putting gashmius of all sorts ahead of ruchnius. It’s a shame.

  19. It must be a huge nisayon to be rich. Us people of modest means should not judge because it is most likely out of jealousy. The real issue is with people of modest means who need to keep up with the jones’ they are guilty of flaunting non existant wealth & some even become a burden on the community when they can’t meet their communal obligations such as tuitions, tzedaka, etc

  20. So true!!! Couldn’t agree more!!! theres ajoke- a man was walking down the street to find a house in the process of being built. he walked over to the owner and told him that he doesn’t like the brick and that it should be changed for one he liked the owner looked him in the eye and asked him if he was crazy. “I’m the one whose payingto build this house!!! Who are you to come tell me you don’t like the brick, and furthermore that i should PAY to change it for YOU!” “Why not?” answered the ‘pedestrian’ it’s put there for me anyway, I may as well enjoy it! brings home a point!!!

    btw, to # 2, lol the second part of your 1st comment fits this discussion soooo well!

  21. Good points. Take a lesson straight from the Torah. Eyzehu ashir, hasameach b’chelko. Which means, having what you need and being content that it stops there. Otherwise, you never stop wanting and wanting. That’s the fallacy in even the rich being competitive. It doesn’t matter that you have it. Your desire to have more always looms in the background and casts a shadow over your spiritual life, making your money a curse that distances you from Hashem. There are super-wealthy yidden who do not flaunt it, but use it to give more tzedaka, and realize they must set normal boundaries. They turn the money into a bracha that makes them close to Hashem.

  22. Hey- things are pretty good- my wife buys their stuff in the second hand shop for pennies and no one is the wiser!

  23. There are many wealthy people who are not “flaunting”, live modestly and give alot of Tzedaka. The problem is that you are not observing them. When you find them you should make it a point of publicizing them so the community and esspecially the children know they exist and are very respected.

  24. I don’t know where you live, though I’m sorry to hear you have that problem.

    Most people I know do TRY (tuitions and weddings are, of course, major financial undertakings) to live within their means, whether they are learning or working for a living, and even if they are making a nice living and can afford to do so, they don’t necessarily drive Lexus autos nor do they necessarily live in mansions.

    The only “stretch” I see people taking is buying a CO-OP/Condo/House that they can’t easily afford because they need the space for their KA”H growing families, despite (and due to) the housing prices being so inflated.

    Also, Al Tadin es Chavericha ad Shetigia Limkomo. This “keeping up with the Cohens” is obviously not a healthy or wise attitude, but if you don’t have their money and pressures, you can’t judge them.

  25. #12 Nobody is advocating “running away from your problems”. You obviously read what you want to read. When one is a young couple looking to live in a place where they can raise good frum children, that is one of the first things one should look at. How is the community? How will my kids be affected by the pressures in the community to look like this or be like that. If you did not do that at first and are now kvetching about your community and how it is, its your fault for moving there. There are good reasons why people are leaving certain communities and moving to other smaller and less affluent communities, because the “flaunt it” mentality and keeping up with the jones’s attitude is poisonous to kids. And if you dont think so, then your part of the problem. I wish you luck in opening your eyes to the truth.

  26. obviously, this person is talking about a current problem going on in her community. she seems to be settled in her own hometown and it’s not just a matter of moving to the right place. if you’re going to settle, of course you must consider all pros and cons of living in each neighborhood. but once someone is living in a community and faces a problem, they cant MOVE. It’s not realistic and you know that. It’s true that they chose their place to live, but they must learn to deal with it too. of course, if it’s a possibility to move over to a better location, than that should be done, but you cant tell someone- MOVE, you chose to live there, now go. it’s not a way to solve it.

  27. you know it is remarkable that people can judge others in this way. you have zero idea what another person gives to charity. Do you know their financial data, do you know if they single handedsupport a yeshiva (or yeshivas) in eretz yisroel how can you judge. they have every right to spend their hard earned money the way they want to and how they want. as for the people that say they have a problem when they see a young person driving a nice car or wearing nice clothing you once agin have know idea who they are or what they do mabey their parents gave them money or the car or the clothing or they have been working for a while and they make their own money. we should not be so quick to judge.

  28. Thanks for bringing up this very important topic. I beleive this may be the underlying problem to many of our other “crises.”

  29. I thought of a story that demonstrates this well. The Brisker Rav was walking on the street and smelled the perfume of a man. He remarked to his attendant, “He stinks.” His attendant was confused, isn’t the smell good? The Rav explained that he must smell badly underneath, otherwise why would he put sweet smelling perfume on top?
    That’s what I think when I see the nice houses and cars of others. There must be something that’s missing in them so they need to cover up with luxuries.

  30. I agree- I think that this is a major problem. The only way to corect this problem is to think if I change myself I’ve changed the world! I think very highly of all the people who could live on much higher standards and dont! I personally think that we should all stop trying to solve the worlds problems and we should all go back to leaning, being busy doing mitzvos and ritzon hashem. I think the world will then be a much better place to be.

  31. I think that people should mind their own business and stopped comparing what they lack to what others have. You don’t know why people spoil themselves the way they do. Some people have rough lives or are going through situations which make them feel down and as silly as it may sound to you, they compensate and feel better by what you’d call “dressing to kill”.

  32. #32, ‘lesschumras’ – These “modern yeshivish” are the ones that make myself and many others absolutely SICK. They are the reason why so many people are anti-kollel and why so many people are quick to assume that many people in kollel are fakers (and I don’t disagree with them). Can you please explain to me how a person who is sitting and learning has the chutzpa to DEMAND a Lexus and a fancy house?

  33. I think the people who are flaunting their wealth in public are doing it Leshem Shamaim. They’re advertising and publicizing their means and addresses! To make it easier for Meshulachim etc.

    Could be, No?!

  34. #34, your story is highly suspect. It is unlikely that the Brisker Rav would walk down the street talking bad about another human being.

    Why is it ok to flaunt ‘frumkeit’ but not material accumulations?

  35. While no one can argue with the writer of this letter. Yisroel Kedoshim Hem! Rightly-or-wrongly the vast majority of people busy with this ‘showing off’ are doing it for the sake of making nice shidduchim. In a certian sense this is lshem shumyim (avayreh leshmuh?). It is generally not due to desire of honor or attention or to satsify a craving pride. May we be zoche to go on the right derech and hear only simcha’s from each other!

  36. I think it all comes down to Shidduchim. People know they’ll be more desirable to most people other than the very Yeshivish crowd, when in Shidduchim, when they’re flaunters.

  37. I’m poor. I live in a cramped apartment that is too small with a bunch of kids. My landlord who is frum, never fixes anything that is broken and is only interested in rasing my rent every time they get a chance. I do not envy people who live in beautiful houses or drive nice cars. I think everyone deserves to live in a comfortable home and I think it is really neccesary for manitaining sanity. I do wish there was a way for hardworking “poor” people like myself to afford to live in adequate housing within a frum community. Unfortunately I did not marry wealth nor do I come from wealth. I make too much money to qualify for government programs like section 8, medacaid, and foodstamps but too little money to afford decent living accomodations unless I “move” to New Hampshire or someplace off the beaten path where there are no yeshivas, jobs or shuls. I do not think the problem is flaunting but there is a problem of the poor getting poorer and not having anywhere to turn for help unless they are able to “demand” a house and a lexus from a wealthy relative or go around shnorring.Unfortunately things have developed where one needs to be “rich” in order to afford to live in a frum community.

  38. what i find funny is that everyone in my neighborhood complains that they are so tight this month on money… and then you see their little 2-3 year olds clothing- top brand expensive….its not even a quesiton for them .. they definitely forget that and splurge on a lil tiny dress, but for everything else they dont got money- like school or when someone comes knocking for tzedaka they cant give a dollar??? explain that??!

  39. #34 I agree with your story’s point very much. Other people have commented (I think #19) about the effect of such lifestyles on children’s chinuch. How true! People who give so much attention to lavish vacations, cars, clothing etc…, pass on that attention to their kids. There are (dare I say nebech) too many bar mitzvah age kids who are familiar with $100 ties! To the few people who despite their wealth give attention to torah, mitzvos, and show how they are submissive to talmidie chachamim, all the strength to you.
    And to all the comments to MOVE, some people haved lived places for many years, and then a new element moves in (usually because they can get bigger houses for cheaper), and starts to change the face of the community. Why should they move? The newcomers should leave their shtick where they came from!

  40. It’s simply a problem with ‘the system’. I saw a letter in the Yated this week about a couple of avreichim who complain that the shver who bought them a car and sends them a check every month (for ten years) has the chutzpa to request a vort when they come for shabbos. People just don’t get it. Don’t let the insane among us spoil it for those who are sane. Nebach on them. You just do what you know to be right and forget about yenim. The lack of tznius IS a problem, but they won’t listen anyway. Just work on yourself. I fear the influence on my children but I really can’t control what the ‘haves’ do, I can only work on myself and daven for the siyata d’shmayah needed to raise my children in what I see as the proper way. Daven for those you feel are acting k’neged the derech HaYashar. Rabbi Aryeh Levin would, if we ALL looked at each other with his eyes, klal Yisroel would be better off.

  41. “It extends to all communities. From lavish homes to $5,000 striemels to sheitels so expensive you can’t tell that they are sheitels ( another subject ). What I’m surprised the writer didn’t mention is making enormous weddings that they can’t afford. BTW, my friend came up with the term “modern yeshivish” for his son-in-law. He learns full-time in Lakewood but demanded ( and received from his shver) a Lexus and a very nice house.”

    I am shocked that such a thing could occur. Are you serious? He demanded and received a Lexus and a nice house? Since when can someone demand a luxury car? To demand anything from someone who owes you nothing, seems wrong. To request a car, seems reasonable. But to demand a Lexus? That’s pretty wild! Also, I assume the guy had the extra $400Gs for a house for them and the couple does need a place to live, but, wow!

    I believe the appropriate reaction to that is to ask for the kid’s Rebbi’s phone number and ask the rebbi if they teach their talmidim to demand Lexuses. It sounds very distasteful to me.

  42. I agree with #30. Why is everybody suggesting that the author just “move away”? Not a very clever suggestion. – Easier said than done.

    #20. Sorry but Williamsburg (unfortunately) has no guidelines. It may appear so because the ppl there are similar to 1 another, so in fact they do follow rules, but not the ones you meant. For example:
    1- Every mother must wheel her baby in an expensive bugaboo carriage. Still have one from your previous child? You may use it when the groceries become too heavy to shlep by hand.
    2- Every girl or Woman must have at least 2 burberry items in her possesion. L’katchil a raincoat or umbrella, but b’dieved a Shaitel box will also serve.
    3- jewelry: update every season. Time to discard those michal negrins they’re 2 years old for heaven’s sake!!
    swarovsky is hot. want real? only yellow gold for vochen. run & dip your silvers fast!
    4- babies must wear only expensive italian knits. If adults pay in the thousand $$ range for their knits – is the child worth less?
    5- A girl or married lady must strip all fur off her ‘kalla coat’ & replace it with a shawl made of the same fur. things get boring after a while.
    6- GOLD SHOES emergency!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m not kidding, I was waiting for someone at Lee corner Rodney & 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, women passed in the course of 2 minutes all sporting the same pinkish gold shoes! how original!
    I can go on & on, but the list is endless.
    B’kitzur time for ppl to live for themselves & quit this fashion show race!!!

  43. right on the money
    so dont live in lakewood flatbush BP move out to north miami beach to a kehilla that is still mentchlich and steeped in chesed

  44. To all those that are telling this letter writer that people should be allowed to do whatever they want….That is not the way a frum Yid! You can not just do what you want. There are laws of modesty. Modesty in how we live. Modesty in how we dress. Modesty in how we talk & more. My friends, we have blown past all boundaries in this regard. You know, what bothers me the most is that we have now built into our system that our children will be even worse. What are we teaching our children when even BEFORE they get married, a chasan & kallah are expected to spend THOUSANDS of dollars buying gifts for each other? How crazy is THAT? And it is only getting worse. The gift list is growing. This is how we are bringing up our KOLLEL generation. This is how we get them started. More extravagance. More gaudiness. So, what do you expect to happen after that? Yes, all of these things mentioned in your letter are problems of tzniyus. Why should someone feel that they have to dress with tzniyus if everything else in their life is without any trace of tzniyus? Unfortunately, it will only get worse as we teach our children that only more and more materialism will get you that shidduch, that shteller or that status. The less jewish your house, your car or your dress, the better chance you have of that great shidduch!! Something is very wrong here! In the immortal words of radio personality Bob Grant…”It’s sick and getting sicker out there”!! Oh, btw, great letter.

  45. P.S. not that Boro Park is too much better. It’s just that I live in Williamsburg so I constantly see the vogue marathons in action.

  46. I think the bigger “crisis” here is that you walk around hating so many people. If looks could kill I’m sure that quite a few people with the killer looks would no longer be a problem for you. Do you think that is the way for a Jew to think of his/her fellow Jew??

  47. So glad someone else commented on the kids clothes. Your children should be dressed nicely, with special things for Shabbos and Yontif, but Jacadi for every Shabbos? Baby Gap for every day of the week? We could put orphans through elementary school on what we waste on name-brand clothes. Our priorities are just upside-down.

    As for the shver who paid for the Lexus (if it’s true the boy demanded); he has no one to blame but himself. What kind of middos are those? Is that who you want to marry your daughter to? Not for me, thank you.

  48. yes… ‘lyder’, what I wrote is sadly true.
    I happen to like when people are dressed with taste. But not when you dress to impress SOMEONE ELSE’S taste.
    My mother used to sew cute clothing for her kids, (she worked full time by the way) thereby saving lots of money. By the time we grew up & sewing wasn’t so practical anymore, we learnt where the metzia places are – there are many stores, factories closeouts etc, that sell designer stuff at bargain prices but you have to be willing to compromise on the idea that all kids from top to bottom have to match. (talking about matching, especially older children, my personal opinion is that it takes away from the individuality of the person when he or she has a twin/ triplet/ quadruple/ marching along side him.)

  49. If you don’t like the lifestyle get out of NY! Out here in the real world, we have some of these afflictions, but the smaller the community, the saner, is my experience.

  50. To the writer of this tirade — You make no sense! If material things are so unimportant, why are you shreiing so much about other people’s things??? Did you ever stop to think that some people of means aren’t “flaunting” at all, but that perhaps you’re just too nosy to keep your face from ogling their cars, homes and clothes??

    Why, I ask you, do you happen to know the names of the cars and clothing makers of the people around you? These things are too important to YOU it seems to me. “Things” are not necessarily so important to weathy people as they are to you.

    As the wife of a family seen by others as baalebatish I can assure you that the things some of us have don’t mean much to us at all. We like pretty things maybe, and if we have to buy something we will buy something of good quality which appeals to us — just as you do! We just have more extra to spend than you do. But we know what the ikkarim of life are — and none of them can be bought with money! We’d walk away from it in a second. But this is golus — and it’s part of living in a historical tekufa where the Yidden are bentsched by HKB”H with ease. I feel bad that you are pained by others’ wealth, but it’s not the pekel that Hashem gave you. (And what should the wealthy do, hide their $$$ in mattresses? Masquerade as lower-middle-classers? People, including you, have to make peace with their station in life.)

    You are a sorry soul — forget about “things” and go love thy neighbor

  51. We don’t need bloggers scraming about important issues. We need more proactive Rabbonim and larger Kehillos that will listen to their Rav.

  52. Whoever wrote this article has issues that’s 1st and if u would lik ur kids 2 be messed up keep up the good work I’m not coming 2 say anything against ur article that’s I diff topic but the way u talk and the way u brought it out is a chutzpah and I think ur bubbe and zaide would b much more ashamed the way u spoke than the way every1 dresses 2day every1 should live life the way they wish and if u don’t lik it eat it the same way ur eating up ur kids again not cuz the article only the way u put it nebach I really feel for ur kids and urself HATZLOCHA and please don’t b jealous of the world!!

  53. The way u put that article scares me 2 know who u r a chutzpuh 2 talk lik that who r u? trying 2 mak the world a better place that’s not a way u write something hav some respect I put money down ur bubbe and zaide would b more ashamed of ur article than some1 dressed in style. every1 can do wat they wish if u don’t lik it eat it the same way ur eating ur kids up alive nebach I feel bad for those poor children and don’t kid urself it all comes from jealosy and u know I’m rite! For real please quit the nonsense and handel something tachlisdig!! Hatzlocha rabbah

  54. I think people should worry about themselves and leave other people’s nesha’s to them. I work in a store that sells luxury items. Our clients include (obviously) many well off people. Many are arogent and difficult to deal with but many are aidelly dressed but want to buy an item that will last longer and be more servicable than a similar inexpencive item. My problem is when a person comes in amd makes me nuts bargining and whining that they are a kollel family and therefore deserve a better price. Not in my book, Honey!
    My friend is a doctor. He gives alot of tzadaka. His children are nicely dressed but don’t scream money. Why shouldn’t he buy nicer clothes than someone who isn’t as well off? Does he have to buy $5 shirts that wouldn’t last as long so people like many people here don’t gossip? I don’t think that is the answer either.
    When he leased a car, he was given a choice between a Lexus and a car that didn’t have the same “status”. The price would be the same. The Lexus drives better and has less problems. He chose the other brand because he was afraid what people would say. That makes no sense to me.

    Also, the man who complained that the fine kollel young man who his daughter married “demanded” a house and a car, you gave it to him. Don’t complain now. The time for that was when he asked and if you disagreed, you should have shown the shadchan the door. YOU are part of the problem!

    In short, people, change yourselves and the world will slowly change.

  55. i work in a very frum yeshiva and just today a woman walked in with a skirt about 3 to 4 inches above her knee. of course e/o looked…. and then one teacher commented that people used to at least try and wear the skirt on the knee or just below…nowadays some woman jsut dont even care to pretend they try to follow halacha anymore…so sad…

    for all those who say that its not the writers business, what happened to Kol yisroel aravim zeh lazeh, and what happened to trying to awaken ourselves to fix what we do wrong….??

  56. #68 – Lack of Tzinius is perhaps the greatest affliction of our dor and a DEFINITE cause of many of Klal Yisroel’s tzar’s.

  57. It is worthwhile reiterating what COMMENT #2 above said:

    Author: Don’t let any of the follow up criticisms get to you. These are the people who are engaged in these shtusim.

  58. 54, wana talk about SICK?here is SICK
    There was a case in England R’L where someone was niftar. When they came to deliver the ‘shiva chairs’, the woman (apparantly the almonoh) demanded that they bring them back and exchange them for other chairs since they didnt MATCH HER CARPET!!!!
    now thats REVOLTING!


  60. It’s well known that it’s a bigger Nisoyon to be rich than to be poor.
    However, I would like to be Mezake most of those with $.
    Boruch Hashem many do give very nicely to Tzedakah.
    I used to work for such a guy who gave over 40% to Tzedakah! However people that knocked on the door only got pennies. Everyone has the choice of who to support and family comes first!
    It’s our job to teach our children that $ is not the important thing and who cares what Yenem does and of course to remember the lesson learned in Chumash when we were in school. “Pnu Lachem Tzafornah” Keep your (flaunting) wealth hidden from the public.

  61. Dear Yidden!
    For those of you who are disgusted by the egregious goshmius that is everywhere and you want to hear the uncensored emmes rarely found in america, i suggest you go to Rabbi Shlomo Brevda’s shiurim or get his tapes. Somehow through the help of the editor, i can give my number and you can borrow tapes/cd’s from us. If you are in Brooklyn, the Rav gives a shiur sundays 8:40 (when he is not in eretz yisrael) at young yisrael at ocean avenue and L(downstairs). His tapes are also available on the Internet. Rav Brevda is a rare treasure (k.a.h.) in our troubled times. He learned in Mir in Yerushalaim, his Mashgiach was Reb Chatzkel Levenstein ZTL, he met the Chazon Ish and the Brisker Rav, etc. He says very candidly things that most people have never heard …about how we are seeped in materialism and what is even worse… we are hardly aware of the fact that we are getting farther and father from the truth.

  62. I disagree with the author.

    If you can afford it then feel free to spend it. If you’re paying full tuition and giving your Ma’aser in line with your wealth then feel free to buy more expensive items.

    BUT if you are not paying full tuition, or are not giving your Ma’aser or you are in debt then you are a thief and a Rasha (as per Pirkey Avot Ch 2; he who borrows and doesn’t repay is a Rasha).

    “Living up to the Cohens” is a lame excuse. Live within your means and educate to kids to do likewise.

    BTW: Real rich people don’t flaunt it. They don’t have to. If you’re flaunting it you’re either part of the “newly struck/married riches” lucky group or else you are pretending to be rich.


  64. #32. The big question is why was he maskim to take a son in law (modern yesivish) who would have these demands. Better yet, why was he looking for this type of boy?
    To much blame is put on the youth. It is the responsibility of the parent to mold their child. Look carefully, you will see that this is really the ‘kup’ of the elders. The parents want to make what they define as a ‘good’ shidduch. The parents want there children to have what they define as certain comforts.
    As an aside, there was an asifa recently for high school girls, to encourage them to lessen their wants. Rabboisai, listen up.ITS THE PARENTS!! Children mimic their parents, for good and for not so good. So, if you see a young shnuck driving around in a very expensive and showy car,living lavishly, etc. then know that this is spoken and/or silent wish of the parent. The child has, through his/her formitive years, absorbed parental comments which the subconscious had integrated in is/her feelings and opinions. Parents may eye, with envy, certain lifetyles and then project those feelings of lacking back to their children. There is more than one way to show expression of envy. Other than outright saying that I wish I had such and such if only we/(Totty)made more money, there is also the famous ‘krechtz’ that speaks volumes.
    In summary, our children are us, only more so!!

  65. Don’t quote me which gadol said this, but when WW1 broke out, this gadol said that a far more worse war will break out that will put WW1 like a mini war. Sure enough WW2 broke out and im sure as everyone knows 6 million jews perished.

    After he said a third war will break out that will make WW1 AND WW2 into nothing, but not a physical war a spiritual war. a war of GASHMIUS!

    look around and dont be blinded.

  66. Thank g-d, we have worked hard and have a lot of money (many I am sure have more). We give a tremendous amount of tzedakah but most of it not publicly and also help out many people on a personal level, also not publicly. We face the following two issues constantly.
    Firstly, the children are always asking for this and that, and why- becuase everyone else has it. It is very easy to give them everything so we arbitrarily hold back. Every so often say no just so that they learn that one shouldn’t have everything one wants. What is there then to look forward to and what if they grow up and cannot afford our lifestyle. And it is very very difficult to say no just on principal when they are asking for things that truly most of their classmates have.
    Several years ago when we redecorated we faced an issue that we face in many forms constantly.
    Everyone kept commenting that they were sure that we were going to put marble in all of the bathrooms. We didn’t like that everyone was looking and judging and wanted to remain modest so decided not to put the marble in. Ultimately we changed our minds- you know why- because we like marble and we can afford it so should we not buy it?? Not that chas veshalom I am complaining but there are many challanges to raising healthy children when you DO have the money…..

  67. yiddishemishpacha

    can you please post the url for purchasing Rav Brevdas tapes, or indicate it in some other way

    thank you

  68. lgbg (#79),

    the first half of what you said was the Chofetz Chaim – I believe he said it to Rav Shimon Schwab. ( i thought it was a while after WWI that he said it, but maybe it was during the war).

    The second part I never heard before, so I can’t comment on it.

  69. I don’t know but where I live, everyone lives very simply and competing who can buy their kids cheaper clothing in Walmart or JCPenney.
    I guess I should be thankful.
    I’m also surprised at some of the content of this letter and that yw agreed to print it.

  70. pashute yid:

    your humor is just not stam ‘pashut’. maybe instead of the concert you should get up there and give a comedy show with all the shtus that goes on in the YW comment section.

    but all jokes aside hope you win the case. or maybe lipa will offer you to sing at your kids weddings at no charge! not such a bad idea….

  71. NEBACH that people out there have no embarrassment to just speak against the writer like that. There are nebach those out there that are SUFFERING because they have a standard to live up to. I know a family here in Lakewood that built a new STUNNING house (from the outside). We were building our house the same time as them. The daughter used to ask me, “So how many modalians are you putting into your house?” How much was your kitchen table? Ours was from an auction – $5,000… DISGUSTING talk that is. My family moved because we were growing up and BH marrying off children, and needed the extra room. My father gets embarrassed when people ask him where he moved to. EMBARRASSED. Yes. Thats the way it should be. When someone asks him where he lives, he totally avoids our exact location because he doesn’t want to make anyone out there jealous, and our house isn’t fancy. Now the world is screaming SHOW OFF WHAT YOU HAVE (or don’t have). If you have the money, nobody is saying live ugly – the opposite – ur supposed to live nicely and comfortably, BUT, that does NOT give you a right to make it a pressure on others.

  72. I think that those of us (myself included) who denigrate our brethren for their ostentation should perhaps realize that WE show an unseemly ga’vah with respect to our LACK of ostentation. Only G-d knows what is going on in the hearts of people. How about being don lechaf zchus?

  73. Do people understand what the word “flaunt” means? Look it up in the dictionary. Webster has 2 definitions, based on how the word is used. Does anyone believe that either definition of the word “flaunt” is a torahdik value?

  74. yiddishreder – are you serious?? How is it gaiva to say something is wrong? do you mean to imply that we cannot say that being mechalel shabbos is wrong, because who are we to say what is rght and wrong? lack of ostentation is a maila if done right. meaning, people who are ehrliche and really anavim dont show off because all the kovod in the world belongs to the aibeshter – NOT because it’s nice to be modest, or because they’ll get esteem in the community for it, since, well, no one knows what they do, because they’re modest about it!

    You are saying we should be ostentatious, yet the torah says this is a disgusting middah – your thinking is pretty warped, to say the least..stop trying to blame the victims.

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