Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Modesty in the Workplace

Jewish Ethicist
Modestly in Judaism, is not restricted to matters of dress or the intermingling of the sexes. It applies equally to patterns of consumption and relieves the pressure on people to increase their wealth. Such pressures create a society that is the antithesis of Judaism since it intensifies social rifts, makes materialism the sole focus of life, and causes people to accept immoral ways of earning money, when other ways fail.
As befits the descendants of Avraham our role models are different from those of Bilaam. "The Talmid Chakham provides for his family according to his means, without excessive devotion to this. His clothing should neither be that of kings [fashion trendsetters] nor that of poor people" (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot Deot, chapter 5,halakhot 2,4-13). This codified the verse in the Tanach, "You shall walk modestly before HaShem" (Michah 6:8).
"Go to the ant you sluggard" (Proverbs 6:6), is hailed as a good message for us to be diligent, work hard and devote ourselves to wealth creation. Yet the Rabbis saw this as a message to be avoided, since it is the epitome of foolishness and wasted endeavor." The ant lives only for one season and eats only two grains of wheat. Yet it labors ceaselessly to amass a fortune.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

good message

12:24 PM  
Blogger Me, Uncensored said...

This is good, but not the whole situation, I think.

Ecclesiastes says that the man who wants to please G-d will avoid all extremes. Proverbs says to cast but a glance at riches, and it also says we shouldn't wear ourselves out getting rich.

On the other hand, it also says that diligent hands bring wealth, he who works his land will have abundant food, and that a righteous man will leave an inheritance for his children's children. (I don't think that means JUST financial inheritance, though.)

Nothing wrong with money -- what we do with it, and whether or not we make it our G-d is what's most important. G-d made no apologies for blessing His people financially in the Bible, and I think He's certainly willing to do it today with the ones He knows He can trust with wealth.

1:27 PM  

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