Rabbi Lewis Eron for Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
"If I were a rich man..."
How often have we expressed this wish? As successful as we may be, there always seems to be something more that we want. For most of us, those who need to work hard to pay the rent or mortgage, save for retirement, and need to pay college tuition, even the promise of a few more dollars is welcome. We fight for a raise, watch the stock market go up or down, and buy a lottery ticket or two. We dream about what a little extra money could do. It really would be nice to be rich, or as my great-grandmother said, "Rich or poor, it's good to have money."
But on the whole, we are doing ok. Although there are still far too many Jewish people caught in poverty, in general Jews today in the United States, Israel and throughout the world are far more financially secure than Jews have been for centuries. If we are not living the life styles of the rich and famous, most Jews are in the broad middle class and live comfortable lives. For most of us, the grueling poverty of the ghettos of the Old World and the tenements of the New World are part of our family memories and not our everyday reality.
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