web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Respect Your “Border”: It’s Good For Your Wallet

Kupfer-060713

Share Button

A popular topic of discussion in newspapers, magazines and talk shows revolves around the management of personal finances – or rather the lack of them. In most cases, dealing with overwhelming debt is the topic de jour. Seems many people are drowning in it. Spending more than they have has mired countless consumers into a financial quicksand with maxed out credit cards and collection agencies knocking on the door. Speaking of doors, many face eviction and the loss of their home.

Often tens of thousands of dollars are owed.

How do seemingly intelligent, educated men and women allow themselves to accumulate so much debt? Why didn’t they push the “stop” button when they saw they were getting in over their heads?

In most cases, the answer is simple and obvious: they wanted it all – now!

Nowadays it seems the cultural norm is immediate gratification with no regard for future consequences. A lack of self-discipline or self-control is rampant among young and old alike.

If there is something you want, you just get it – regardless if you can afford it.

But how did this “must have it now no matter what” mentality come to be? I believe this chronic self-indulgent behavior is fuelled by two factors – an absence of boundaries and low self-esteem.

Most people don’t have what I call a personal “border control.” They have no boundaries. There are fewer and fewer “nos” in their life. Restrictions and limits that were the norm just a generation or two ago are viewed as old-fashioned and seem to have become obsolete.

Behavioral “fences” have been removed, and I believe one of the reasons for this is the secularization of society. Religious practice for many, both in the Christian and Jewish worlds, has gone the way of the buggy whip.

I remember a time when few stores were allowed to be open on Sunday – a situation that caused a great deal of financial hardship for shomer Shabbat businesses that had to remain closed the entire weekend.

Today, however, North America is buying and selling 365 days a year.

The beauty of religion, especially Orthodox Judaism with its myriad rules, prohibitions and regulations, is that it promotes self-discipline. From a young age, children raised in religious homes are taught they can do some things sometimes, but not everything every time. Immediate gratification is not on the agenda in religious homes. Children (hopefully) learn patience, self-discipline and self-control because they must. And eventually, it becomes second nature to wait for what they want. That ice-cream cone they are salivating over is not an option for several hours after eating that chicken nugget.

The ingrained habit of holding off from getting what they want immediately can only serve to maximize their ability to avoid self-destructive behaviors like gambling, drinking or overspending.

Torah-observant Jews are still human and subject to human weaknesses and frailties, and some – despite being raised in homes with Torah “borders” – still indulge in unfortunate destructive behaviors and activities. But living a Torah life with its promotion and insistence of self-discipline will greatly improve one’s odds of resisting temptation.

Sadly, there are Jews who do not believe in a Divinely-given Torah and reject its rules and regulations. Yet by virtue of the borders that a Torah life provides and the resultant ingrained self–control and restraint, they should reconsider their attitude and embrace Torah for the magnificent blueprint of life that it is.

With religious observance becoming passé, the general population is growing up with no restrictions, no limits and no boundaries to guide their impulses. There are no “can’t,” “not allowed,” or “it’s forbidden” in their lives. Hence many have not had the opportunity to develop such life-enhancing attributes as patience and restraint.

I also believe that financial recklessness is caused by low self-esteem and a poor self-image. Human nature is such that no one wants to feel “left out” or inferior. No one wants to think they are a “loser” and that they don’t measure up to their peers. Everyone likes to see himself or herself as being a winner.

How else do you explain sports fans? Often their lives revolve around the game and the outcome of each one can affect the mood of a city, even a country. If your team wins, you walk around elated and feeling superior. If it loses that big game… you’d think there was a death in the family.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

One Response to “Respect Your “Border”: It’s Good For Your Wallet”

  1. Myriam Obadia says:

    I urge you to take on a minimum wage and try to feed, house, care for your family without borrowing a dime, no matter what emergency comes up. Let's see then how long you manage to last without debts. Yes, a lot of people are in debt because they wanted it all, but don't forget that many more are in debt because they're just too poor to even provide for the bare necessities. I dare you not to buy the milk for your kids, or gas up the car (to take them to the doctor or just go to your underpaid job) knowing full well you don't have the means to pay for it. It's a situation I have known in the past, and it has taught me not to judge others.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Ukraine Shul Firebombed
Ukrainian Synagogue Firebombed (Video)
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-032814

A young lady in her early 20’s, “Sarah” was redt to “Shlomie” a boy from her home town who learned in an out-of-town yeshiva. The families know each other well, which in today’s shidduch scene is a big plus – since it was therefore unlikely the kids would “fall in” due to misinformation and misinterpretations.

Kupfer-031414

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I have to do what is right for me – as long as it’s “ halachically kosher” and doesn’t negatively impact on others – and not worry too much about what others think.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that is precisely what almost always happens in situations where a reference knew someone had serious but hidden emotional issues, but did not reveal the information to the person making inquiries.

Time never stood still for anyone – why would I be the exception? In my hubris, I thought that somehow I would live forever – and I suspect we all have secretly felt that way, even though we know it’s a fantasy.

One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.

For quite a few days in late December, Toronto was transformed into a breathtaking – literally and figuratively – frigid winter wonderland, where every twig, leaf, car door, and outdoor wire and cable was totally encased in ice. When the sun shone the landscape was blindingly brilliant as if billions of diamonds had been glued to everything the eye could see.

Outside is a winter-white wonderland replete with dazzling trees, wires, and sidewalks seemingly wrapped in glittery silver foil. It’s quite lovely to look at, which is about all I can do since I’m stuck indoors. Icicle-laden tree branches are bent and hunch-backed by the frozen heaviness of their popsicle-like burden, and the voices squawking from the battery-operated transistor radio I am listening to are warning people not to go out since walkways and roads are extremely slippery, and there is real danger from falling trees.

The necessity of speaking up when you “have a hunch” applies even more when it comes to shidduchim. One little girl did just that – she said something – and I was fortunate enough to be in town for the very joyful, lively wedding that resulted from her speaking up.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/on-our-own/respect-your-border-its-good-for-your-wallet/2013/06/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: