Thursday, September 18, 2014 Elul 23, 5774

Isn't It Rich?

September 10, 2009
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It's been almost a year now since the crash, and people are still accounting for their losses. Be it a mortgage collapse, a lay-off or a fizzled 401(k), the collective sighs remain audible.

Soon after came the Bernard Madoff scandal, which did what Jews fear so much: It tied our ethnicity to money -- bad money.

Is there a positive side to any of this?

To be sure, this is not 1929, and the majority of us are not out in the cold. Most people have tried to consolidate as best they can. Maybe, too, they have determined that most homes don't need a flat-screen TV in every room; brides can forgo $15,000 dresses; and teens can manage without a constantly upgraded cell phone.

As articles in this paper have shown, people are focusing on what really matters most: education, family and yes, charity.

This month, let us think of those in worse shape than ourselves -- those who lost nothing because they were already struggling to pay the rent or put food on the table; they had no assets to mourn.

If money remains on our collective minds, then let the problems of others also enter our consciousness. Through tzedakah -- and a touch of graciousness -- we can all feel a little richer this year.

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