Whether we’re talking about extraordinarily lavish weddings, or over-the-top Pesach programs, or the race to beat the next summer camp with trips to ever more glamorous locations, or even the clothes we wear, it’s hard to deny that many of us are caught in a trap of overemphasis on material goods and experiences – an overemphasis which is frankly at odds with Torah values.
On the other hand, even saying this can be problematic. First of all, isn’t materialism in the eye of the beholder? It’s almost impossible to define, which means that any complaints might be unfair – and, simultaneously, those who overspend on their lifestyle never have any reason to think that they are doing anything wrong.
How do we approach the phenomenon of situations, vacations, programs, and lifestyles that are mehadrin min hamehadrin in all ways related to ritual… while their very existence and foundations violate fundamental Torah values?
To learn more about this, Scott was honored to speak to Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder, Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University.
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