Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Duke of Belzer thinks people should be poor

It's impossible to read the account of the Duke of Belzer, I mean the Belzer rebbeh's, recent address to women without falling into cynicism. Though its couched as a discussion of Torah values, to me it comes across like a sect leader demanding that his followers behave in ways that benefit him, personally. His wealth and power dissipate if Belzers enter the world, and most of the speech seemed designed to prevent that from happening.

Deserving of particular disapproval is his encouraging women to live modestly in expectation of luxuries in the next world. 

Won't the man take his own suggestion? 

According to several sources, Mister Belzer is worth upwards of $20 mil. If he honestly believes paradise is won by living frugally, shouldn't he offer himself an example? He won't have to suffer. His Hasidim will ensure that he always has plenty of food and a comfortable bed, while his reputation guarantees rich spouses for his offspring. He doesn't need the fat bank so why does he keep it?

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