Letter: Revisiting Materialism In The Frum Community: My Final Plea For Authenticity In Lakewood

Alright, this is it – my final response on TLS on this maddening issue of materialism, and I’m not holding back.

The letters I originally wrote clearly set off a firestorm. Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not here to play the role of a sanctimonious baal mussar, preaching from on high about how you should lead your life.

Do whatever you want. As long as you’re not blatantly violating Halacha, go ahead and immerse yourself in your world of Moose Knuckles fashion, Tesla glamour, and extravagant Wagyu beef steaks.

But here’s the problem.

My grandchildren are growing up in Lakewood, a place we chose for its ultra-orthodox, Torah-centric ethos – something you just don’t find in other communities.

This isn’t to chas veshalom belittle other communities, but to highlight our unique commitment to Torah and Yiddishkeit, evident in our Yeshiva curricula, the various chumras we adhere to, and the myriad of religious nuances that define our chosen way of life as the Am Hanivchar.

Now, here’s the infuriating part. These kids are being told day in and day out by their Rebbeim that Torah is everything, that it should be the guiding star of their lives. And then what? They step outside and see everyone in their community chasing after materialism like it’s going out of style. Talk about a slap in the face!

And let’s not ignore the glaring divide between kids in Lakewood or Toms River, and those from places like Flatbush or Five Towns.

My young grandchildren in Woodmere talk about books, games, and bicycles. In contrast, my Lakewood grandchildren’s conversations revolve around Rechnitz, Louie Scheiner’s private jet, and Range Rovers. If that doesn’t scream ‘problem’, I don’t know what does.

Ask any mental health expert in Lakewood what’s eating at our youth. I did. And guess what? It’s this ridiculous, hypocritical clash of values they see every single day.

When I said our children are performing mental gymnastics, it wasn’t a joke. It’s a serious problem. They’re seeing a gaping chasm between the values they’re taught and the lifestyle paraded in front of them by the very adults they’re supposed to look up to. It’s messing with their heads!

So, keep doing your thing, if you must. But at least have the decency to keep your ostentatious display of materialism away from the kids. Enough is enough. Let’s start showing them what truly matters in life, not just what sparkles the brightest.


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  1. Thank you couldn’t agree more! I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to pay for my teenage daughters moose knuckle coat that 65% of her class has in a ver choshuve high school here in Lakewood!

    • The crazy thing is that some of the communities outside of Lakewood who were zoche to have yungeleit, mostly from Lakewood, move to their community, to establish and join kollelim there, are now seeing that they have brought the materialistic ideas with them. I was told directly from people in 2 mid-west communities that until the Lakewood people came their kids knew nothing about brand names, even the rich ones, and now they won’t go to school without brand name clothes and back packs. They also mentioned that wealthy people live in simpler house than some of the yungeleit.

  2. While I agree with every word you said, I don’t think it’s appropriate to start calling people out ESPECIALLY by name.

    TLS Editors, kindly edit this and omit the names mentioned, it’s simply not nice.


    • He’s not calling anybody out. Nowhere in this letter did I see criticism of the wealthy gevirim. If they want to fly a private jet, they have every right to, they can certainly afford to and they should. But when the average middle class Lakewood and Toms River balabuss decides he needs to fly private jet as well to impress his neighbors, and then his neighbors do it to impress their neighbors, that’s where the problems really begin. And just for the record, people like Mr Rechitz and Mr Scheiner Don’t live in Lakewood, and certainly don’t have any hangups about impressing their next door neighbors. So they can keep doing what they’re doing in los angeles and monsey and wherever else they do so, in those regular Jewish communities where they wear blue shirts, are accepting of any kippa type, And don’t try to outdo the next person as to which Yeshiva they send their kids to, and Make it into a game that their kid got accepted while yours didn’t. So if you’re going to live the lifestyle of a gevir while still being in kollel or masquerading as somebody who still is the prototype of what a Ben Torah is, but you need all these external materialistic things, you are then obviously part of the problem.

    • It’s not calling them out, because they are not the cause of the problem, the above named ‘gvirim’ live well below their means and are famous for their philantrophy, they and others live in houses not much fancier than the ‘fake it till you make it’ crowd

  3. There is no clash. There are many types of people. That’s not a clash. I don’t know why your grandchildren have any confusion. Lakewood and surrounding areas has many people in it. We don’t all have to be the same. It’s not a contradiction. This isn’t communism. Why not look at it in a nicer light? Isn’t in nice that so many faces make up one community and shop in the same grocery store happily?
    As far as their conversations… that’s what YOUR grandchildren talk about, many don’t.
    If it’s still bothering you so much, MOVE. There are thousands of families thriving happily here I’m sorry that yours aren’t. It’s nobody’s problem though.

    • As the OP writes, you clearly don’t see the problem or recognize the issue. That’s why to you it isn’t a clash. The facts on the ground are what they are. Lakewood children today are extremely materialistic. While those that chose to stay in the old Yishuv remained much more Ruchniyusdik. My kids and their friends are happy with a Sunday summer outing, while the Lakewood friends and relatives need extravagant outings. The Lakewood kids know all the expensive brand names, while the Brooklynites are happy with whatever their parents give them. I could give examples of Kolel families in Lakewood vs Brooklyn that if you cared about being a Torah home would make your skin crawl. But you clearly are either intentionally clueless or are blind to the reality.

      • You want the reality? I have seen many people in Brooklyn and that have just as many brand names as anyone in Lakewood. While I agree that it is excessive, you can’t blame all your problems on Lakewood. Its simply not true that ‘Brooklynites are happy with whatever’. Yes it is bad, but its not just lakewood

        • If you’re going to claim you’re better, more Torahdik, you need to live it not just talk it. Today, way to many in Lakewood, not newbies or recent transplants, have become extremely materialistic. That’s the fact on the ground. I’m not saying it’s the vast majority, but way to many and to high a percentage. Denying it, won’t change it.

  4. Well said sir/maam. Incredible. Lakewood has become the central point of Gashmiyos in the U.S. meatboards. Extravagant kiddushim. Stop it. Enough.

  5. I wouldn’t pin this as a problem in Lakewood, maybe it also has to with the conversations in the house. (I don’t mean this as a derogatory comment on the way your children are bringing up your grandchildren). Take my home for example, I happen to have had seyata dishmaya in my business and can afford all the luxuries you mentioned. My children until they turned about 17 or 18 thought I worked for someone and was just making a living. I think when kids hear parents idolize money they get that chinuch.

    • I know of a chashuve rebbe in Lakewood, who’s house is a model of old school chinuch, whose children have picked up immense gashmiyus from the street. Sometimes it’s from the home, though not always. It’s a big mix.

  6. Your unfortunately very right . It’s a very sad reality anyone that tries to argue it is either embarrassed or in denial..we need a yeshuah

  7. Thank you for your well said comments. May all our children grow up with true Torah values and stop being consumed with this excessive consumption.

  8. Ms. Esty,

    Sorry but you are missing the point. Of course there’s all kinds of ppl and there will always be. But over last few years the materialism in Lakewood has quadrupled vs other communities with also all sorts of ppl. I’ve heard that ppl in Lakewood are making kiddushim in Shuls for 15k or 20k when they can not afford it because everyone else does it. Of course you can tell ppl to not look at others and do what you can afford but you can also tell ppl that can afford it to lower the standards.

  9. seems your children in lakewood have issues that are effecting your grandchildren. my children that i am bringing up in lakewood dont know who those people that you mention in your letter are. they do want me to buy them a new bike even though their current bike is in good enough condition. i bought them a gemara instead

  10. M. A. G.

    Your disgusting articles truly deserve no reply.

    When the Chofetz Chaim talk about saying Lashon Horah / Motzei Shem Ra ‘wholesale’ by saying disparaging remarks on an entire tzibbur. The Chofetz Chaim is talking to YOU in your multi-part negative remarks to the greatest Torah town in chutz laaretz today.

    Instead of writing more parts of your genius sheker view, why don’t you start sending TLS your Part 1 of Request for mechila and Teshuva attempt.

    • A little over the top there. What’s with the overreaction? Where do you see disparaging remarks about the entire tzibur? If you look at the original letters he actually praises the Lakewood community. But he brings a valid point, which you can accept as mussar or as constructive feedback, and do as you wish.

    • The real Chafetz Chaim would take mussar to heart and not spit back in the giver’s face like you have done. If you think that Lakewood is just the greatest thing since sliced bread and has zero problems and can’t use any improvement, then you must have your head stuck somewhere.

  11. Listen here, although it is true that thats what is talked about, however this is their outlet and its a package deal, when you have a shtark closed in community, that causes to hock about the matzav in the community, which is Rechnitz and Louei Scheiner. The boys out of town are talking about LeBron James and they’re Nintendo switches. Whats better? Hatzlacha.

    • Ha!

      As if Lakewood boys don’t talk about that.

      I teach 4 year old boys and I overheard two of them talking. One boy said, “I’ll be Michael Jordan and you’ll be Lebron James” to which the other replied “My brother says Lebron stinks. I’ll be Koby Briant”!

      And they all talk about their GameBoys & things they watch & where they are going on Midwinter vacation.

      And these are Kindergartners.

      Our wants are our children’s needs.

    • You hit the nail on the nose!! Our kids may talk about Loui Sheiners jet that they heard about but have no idea what twitter or Facebook is. I will take Sheiners jet over twitter and Facebook ANYDAY!!

    • I think you’re missing the point. It’s a normal thing for a little kid to talk about a basketball player or play Nintendo. When he gets a little bit older he realizes it’s foolish, and moves on. It’s not a normal thing for a little kid to be talking about private jets and wanting to live multi millionaire lifestyles. That unhealthy infatuation stays with them for life, and affects them every step of the way. I believe it was Rav Shach ZT’L who said that let a little kid be a little kid when they’re little, this way they won’t be a little kid when they get older. This situation today would be a good example of what he was talking about.

  12. I am a Rebbi and couldn’t say it more how every year it gets harder to teach, the most basic values that we all took for granted, is now a topic that ‘seems’ only for people living on 7th street. We used to all understand that concept even far away from Yeshiva block.

  13. M.A.G.’s initial letter (Jan 11), written with a sense of humility, was a call that “we” should engage positive action. That was a useful letter.

    This new letter is not a “we” letter. It is an angry and resentful blame “you” letter. It is, quite frankly, a downright attack on a community at large. At times, it is downright disgusting (“everyone in their community chasing after materialism like its going out of style”, “So, keep doing your thing”). It is also grossly hypocritical (“chas v’shalom, this is isn’t to belittle other communities”, “I’m not here to play the role of sanctimonious Ba’al Mussar”).

    Is is also downright (self-moderated), if I may add. There are plenty of useful “calls to action” that one might suggest in response to something cannot be denied is a legitimate concern, whether communal or personal. But M.A.G.’s call to action – “keep doing your thing… just keep the ostentatious display away from the kids” – is meaningless, cynical, and uncalled for.

    In short, this letter is a cheap shot at an easy target.

  14. Seems more like an issue of poor parenting. I grew up where some people had less & some people had more & no one cared.
    It’s actually disturbing how you define Yiddishkeit. The other letter spoke about dress, sheitel, etc. which clearly defined who a person is. Now it’s chumras & “religious nuances” whatever that means. It seems your Yiddishkeit is defined by outer appearances so why are you surprised your grandchildren are also focused on the outside (just in a different way)?
    Growing up decades ago OOT (a few hours south of Lakewood) my class was approximately 40% Yeshivish Modern, 40% Modern Orthodox & the rest very Modern or very Frum. We didn’t focus on the outside. Boys had Black velvet yarmulkes & boys had knit yarmulkes. Boys davened at Agudah & boys davened at Shuls with a minimum Reb Moshe Mechitza, Some boys had TVs & some didn’t. In honor of MLK Day, we didn’t judge based on clothes, yarmulke, Shul, camp or any other aspect. We judged based on one word, “Menschlichkeit” You may be surprised but almost ever boy grew up the way they were raised, some are in Teaneck & 5 towns, some are in Lakewood & Monsey. Some are Rebbeim & some are Doctors & Lawyers.
    The beauty is despite the massive growth of the Frum community the main school still has a diverse mix from many stripes of the Orthodox community (with a growing Chasidish population which adds to the (controlled, healthy) diversity).
    It seems in your letters about to much conspicuous consumption you’re in a way outing yourself (& others) who are so focused on the outer look that you’re the one pushing people to focus on the superficial, whether in Chumros or $1,000 coats.

    • Because OOT communities like those actually raise better people then know it all so called Torah only communities. You probably had a much greater love for all types, rather than a holier than thou approach to life. In those communities, everyone is accepted into the schools, without the only Aleph are accepted.

      • What strikes me most looking back is Shabbos afternoon there was a group of boys in “Shabbos” clothes at a Yeshivish Shul for groups run by Yeshiva Buchrim & across the street were boys in shorts & t-shirts playing football at a (very) modern coed Orthodox youth org.
        The beauty of it was Sunday morning these boys were sitting next to each other learning Gemarah in the same class!

        • Exactly. Everyone was equal. No one was looked down upon for being from a family with different standards of frumkeit. It’s about being part of Hashems’ chosen people.

  15. If you are not here to play the role of sanctimonious baal mussar why do you keep on beating the same horse? Three times already. Enough is enough.

  16. Throughout history there have always been the magnificently wealthy as well as aniyim and evyonim and everything in between. Schools primarily should educate our children. Chinuch is taught in the home. If you can inculcate the teaching of ezehu ashir….. you wont have to be disgusted with other people’s behaviors. I know of a billionaire who would happily forgo his wealth if only his child would be well again. The concept of bishvil li nivreh olam is to believe that your ‘world’ was created just for you. For your growth, for your challenges, for your success or your failures and my world for mine. Just keep in mind that kol d’avad rachmana ltav avad and try to keep smiling and cause others to as well. All the best to you all.

  17. Very well written letter! I share many of the same concerns about my grandchildren. Their home is simple, but their friends/neighbors not so much. Although their parents make supreme efforts to imbue proper Torahdik values, even the finest Yeshivos, Mesivtas & Bais Yaakovs are inundated with peers whose lifestyle revolves around McMansions, fancy cars, designer clothes, multiple expensive vacations, & extravagant simchos. It’s really hard for kids to feel left out— even if they come from a loving, ehrliche, modest home.
    Not sure what the solution is because we can’t dictate how people spend their money, or what their values should be, but it would benefit the community as a whole if there was less ostentation.
    Even adults start to succumb to the glitz & glitter after a while. The yetzer hara is very insidious, hiding behind what seems so glamorous and inviting. We need Moshiach NOW—but in the meantime let’s keep davening that our children & all future generations follow the mesorah we laid out for them.

  18. By the way ask any camp which towns kids are the most wannabees ,meaning needing fancy things beyond their means . Ill leave the answer to your imagination. It starts with an L

  19. When I was growing up in Maplewood Nj I was raised different my father had 2 jobs and my mom started to work when I was 5, I didn’t have everything like kids are these days yes I did have a bike and I did go outside and I was happy My father baught me a vehicle and I still have it. Be happy what you have. And teach your kids to be social to everyone else

  20. Noticing that all the back and forth comments focus on little details. From a big picture perspective, everything in the letter is true. The tone may have been very blunt but that’s just the reality. Lakewood has become the meat board capital of the USA. It doesn’t take away from the wonderful things that happen in Lakewood, but it would make sense if people could recognize these issues, and work on them to make this place even better. When people from Flatbush start talking about lakewood as being the example for gashmiyos, then we know it’s time to take a good hard look at what’s going on around us.

  21. I have lived in Lakewood until 2 years ago when I moved to Toms River (because that’s where I was able to buy) and I have children ranging from lower elementary school through high school. I see what you are referring to but personally I don’t have that problem. maybe because my husband and I don’t struggle with needing to be like everyone else, maybe because my children go to the schools that nobody would refer to as “the best” (I beg to differ btw) or maybe because we don’t live in a frum neighborhood (yet! As of now we have a long walk to a minyan but that’s what we were able to afford) and my kids don’t have bussing so there’s no pressure on the bus either. What I can think of objectively is when I see your letter and the yearning for your family to live in Lakewood because you seem to think that’s the epicenter of ruchniyus my thought is that same feeling of making Lakewood the “elite” ruchniys place to live is exactly what’s causing your problem. If you can’t see that it’s the inside that counts and there are plenty people in out of town communities and people that might look different than the excepted “yeshivish look” (I’m not talking anti) who can be on just as high a ruchniyus level and higher, then you can understand that people feel the need to be like the people around them in order to feel like they’re good enough. And many in a society that’s built on looking and acting the same otherwise you’re “less then” are going to end up with a core problem of living up the joneses and idolizing what the “elite” people do and what the “elite” people wear, etc. instead of focusing on their own avodas Hashem. Stop focusing on changing other people and trying to make a society that your grandchildren can comfortably follow and work on your own avodas Hashem and teach your grandchildren not to be followers.

  22. here is the bottom line
    you can be a working ben torah or you can be a learning (kolel) baal habas. the question is who is for real now days. as Rav Avigdor Miller said “a man is known for what he praises”
    are you really interested in torah or not. put your money where your mouth is. Yes there are people parading around as binei torah who arent. ruins it for the real ones. btw, lakewood was a simple town until some people came from brooklyn and brought their materialistic lifestyle here.
    who brought sushi into lakewood? brooklyn boy. who broght $25 meat filled donuts to town? a store from brooklyn. I could go on and on.

    • Not really true. Meat boards started in Lakewood. Gashmiyus came to Lakewood between 25-35 years ago. Lakewood has become the gashmiyus capitol for so called Kosher gashmiyus. Yes Brooklyn has it’s issues. however, Broolkynites don’t idolize the gashmiyus. The majority don’t go near it. Our children don’t ask for it. In Lakewood, the children ask for it. Want it. Are jealous of their friends that have more then them. How many families with 8 children are there in Lakewood, who live in an attic 2 bedroom apartment? How many would even even start their Kolel life in that fashion? In Brooklyn we do it with a smile and a geshmak. As to the donuts, they sell many more in Lakewood then in Brooklyn. It’s because Lakewood wants them they bring them. I have a relative that works in a Lakewood yeshiva and had this conversation with the high schoolers. They were discussing running to the Sesame outpost for donuts on Chanukah, talking how it’s a Brooklyn decades old establishment for donuts. His response to them, I’m from Brooklyn, in my 40’s they weren’t there when I was a child or when my youngest siblings came along. There’s also nothing that special tp pay that much for. Lakewood Gashmiyus wants and needs on display.

    • Mostly incorrect. Brooklyn people don’t eat the donuts. the majority are transported to Lakewood for the gashmiyus lovers there. Lakewood people are desperate for sesame to open multiple locations instaed of popups for chanukah. I prefer the old fashioned donuts as do majority of Broolkynites. Meat boards stated in Lakewood. Many stores in Brooklyn still don’t have meatboards. Many that do, require either an advance order, or you can hope they have some with Tuesdays deli on it. Brooklyn didn’t bring junk to Lakewood. Enjoy your Facon Bacon in Lakewood and please don’t bring it to Brooklyn. We’re not interested in the Gashmiyus.

  23. weELL HELLo everyone,

    I am MA.G.’s grandfather. My grandson, M.A.G., (who is aLREADY grandfather himself), always tells me that its not fair that his friends drive new teslamobiles and wear moose knucklE coats and he can’t afford it. pLEASE cut him a littlE slack.

    nOW WHatr’s this CApS lock key do AGAin?


  24. Vat do you ixpect?

    Mit streets like Saint Nicholas and Hollyvood vat did you tink vaz going to happen???

    A shanda mit a healty doze of Charpa!

  25. Uber-materialism in Lakewood is a self evident truth and something Reb Mattisyahu spoke about.
    The letter should be addressed not to the residents of Lakewood who can live as they please but to the leaders of our community.
    Why are mosdos and tzedakas bowing down to the eigel hazahav? Funding chinuch that is not authentic when they talk about the Purim parties etc?
    Why is the Frum media full of articles about self growth next to ads for gluttony and luxuries?
    Why do so few Rabbanim make takanos of sponge cake and schnapps at the kiddishin, saving millions in expenses from our Lakewood community yearly and allowing husbands to partake in their family seuda with appetite?
    Wedding, houses etc we can skip as it’s not your job to change society but can’t “leaders” do their basic job?

    • Good point. Why is everybody more than happy to ban smartphones, and lace sheitels, and going to games at the blueclaws stadium? But when it comes to banning gluttonous kiddushes and extravagant luxuries like moose knuckles coats in our yeshivos and bais yaakovs, suddenly its crickets??

  26. Keep writing Truth, I can tell you i am guilty of it in some ways and i may not even change, the point is you have to know and admit the truth when you see it and not have cognitive dissonance and deny it. once you see and admit that its truth only then can you change you mindset. You can choose to shoot the messenger while totally ignoring the message thats on you, if you want to live in your own little blissful bubble

  27. First of all not gonna disagree with the facts, the level of Gashmiyus in Lakewood is arguably not like anywhere else.
    That being said, WHY IS IT THAT WE ARE NOTICING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING AND WHAT THEY HAVE?! Maybe people should just focus more about their our own lives and appreciate what they do have.
    I honestly think this would be the way to start going forward. Change your mindset and STOP thinking that you could (& would) live that kind of lifestyle.
    Also, I think that if we stop being so judgmental we wouldn’t be affected so much from peer pressure. And our kids wouldn’t care so much about “having to fit in” because they’ll learn from our example .
    Brooklyn Yid who’s now living in Monsey

  28. Oh boy do I hate this letter:

    For starters , if u have a problem with your grandchildren, you should probably speak to your children no? And not air it in public.

    Like, I have a large family and they don’t even know who Louie Schiener is.(gasp)
    As for the Tesla, being a Tesla owner, it happened to be the cheapest car around , plus 7200 tax credit and I travel a lot so I’m gas free. (So a bit insulted )

    Now as for the blessing of Gashmiyus.
    Let each family do as they see fit for their families.
    Mah Tovu Ohalecha Yaakov.
    Stop looking into other peoples windows.
    When u raise your family on chesed .
    When u do all the right things on what ur children need .
    They come out happy healthy and not wanting all these things .
    FYI in the 80’s kids were talking about Corvettes, cigarettes and baseball cards. Gasp!
    Gashmiyos has been around for a long time.
    There are some people that carry with them so much sadness under their belt.
    So many tragedies in their families, that at times they may need a mooseknuckle coat or a nice trip to Fl or a juicy steak to boost them up.
    Stop judging , start giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, and let’s all hold hands to bring the geula.

  29. Dude your ideal version of the past is the same as the “noble savage” myth about the American Indians. Those days you longingly look back at were for many, filled with Grinding poverty, and burnt out traumatized Rebbeim that had either been through the Holocaust or were abused by their Holocaust survivor parents in one form or another, and terrible antiquated schools.

    Poverty has it downsides and affluence and luxury has its downsides. Pretending that poverty is better is insane. Count your blessings.

  30. Children repeat what they hear at home generally. My Lakewood grandchildren do not discuss Rechnitz or others because it is not the focus of the discussion in their homes
    Charity begins at home so does Chinuch.
    Why always look for the negative? There so many wonderful that Lakewood offers and stand out for. Let’s be positive a little bit of ayin to a never hurts.

  31. I would put it this way there are roughly three communities in Lakewood the 1)yeshivaliet; kollel liet and balebatim who are not living materialistic 2) those who choose to live materialistic 3) those who want to tantz at both chasunas,(which is impossible in reality) included in this are many of the sheine mishpachos vdai lmeivin.
    The first two are doing what they are and their children are generally not getting missed messages. The issue is that third group. And dare I say the truth that third group is causing issues for the first, because for reasons I will not discuss now, they are the majority of the educators in both the boys and girls high schools. And they are causing confusion and worse among our youth.
    I’ll add another piece of truth, the wealthy spending and living it up aren’t necessarily a problem, the issue is he who isn’t strong enough to live within his means, it’s his weakness not his neighbors affluence that’s the problem.
    Nuff said for now.

  32. Move to Staten Island. All rich people have same homes and cars as everyone else. Nobody gets impressed. Great yeshiva just opened, Yeshiva Ketana of Staten Island. Up and coming movement…

  33. I would’ve liked the letter until you called people out by name. These people are one of the greatest Baalie tzedaka in the Jewish community, why can’t kids know their name?!

    • There’s nothing wrong with the kids know their name. When I was a little kid, we would all talk about Mr reichmann from Toronto with reverence. But not about his wealth, but about the money he gave to tzaedaka. I have no idea whether or not he had a private jet, nor did it ever enter our conversations. Because our focus was on the Chesed he did. Today’s kids are not talking about the good deeds these gevirim are doing, they’re only focusing on how the other part of their money is spent.

  34. The thing about Lakewood is that its very divided by neighborhood. Your children should choose a more eidel neighborhood to live in.

    My children don’t talk about any of such things and I’ve never yet been to an event with a meat board.

  35. Avig:

    Your last point is off. Yes, the weakness is problematic…but so are people who flaunt their wealth. If anything the one who creates the issue is most liable of all.

    But your first point is well taken. I don’t know who exactly is what…but trying to be both this and that is no good and no good for raising healthy children.

    Good healthy kids do come from many backgrounds. There are great people who come from wealthy homes but it seems to me there was a healthy steady vibe to their youth even if their standards were higher. They knew what their family was but that didnt make them wonky or stuck up (some times it does…my point is that wealthy people can also make good children). But growing up with mixed messages is very harmful. Thats the key point and well taken.

  36. and stop knocking Louie Scheiner!
    clearly he cares about our kollel families and used his position to help them.
    and Rechnitz has a huge heart and has bailed out so many struggling schools, and is trying to help single girls.
    a shlepper like me and you couldnt have accomplished these things. It takes someone that is in a position to do so. Instead of sitting back and enjoying their luxuries which they have rightly earned, they are trying to help others.

    • Didn’t you read the letter? He’s not at all knocking mr Rechnitz or mr Sheiner. They are good people, and the world should admire them for their chesed. He’s knocking the people who teach their 7-year-olds to talk about them and be infatuated with their wealth. These little kids are not saying, wow We are really so impressed that mr Sheiner gives millions to tzaedaka. These little kids are saying, wow he has a private jet and a new Range Rover, and I want one too. Big difference there!

  37. I heard from a very choshev Rosh Hayeshiva that Flatbush and Lakewood are both gashmius the only difference is Lakewood is organized gashmius I.e. like everyone is buying the Volvo etc…

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