Wedding dresses and financial priorities

We make our way to the hospice. We buy giant televisions and iPads. Our children are wearing beautiful clothes thanks to high interest credit cards and payday loans. We buy homes we don’t need, refinance them for extra spending money, and declare bankruptcy, often leaving them full of garbage in our wake. Savings are the enemy of our being. JD Vance

We are now in the middle of Sukkot. The Great Holy Days are over. Hopefully we have managed to get back to our core values. Due to the increase in the number of corona, our synagogue decided that while the services were allowed indoors, it would be best if we kept them outside. It was really amazing and moving and after Yom Kippur many people I prayed with said it was the most moving Yom Kippur they have ever had. We must have had 300-400 people in a side street in Jerusalem. Keep in mind that in a normal year without a crown, we would have around 130 participants inside. Nuns and laity together in the street and on the sidewalks without frontiers separating them, praying at sunset and then waiting in anticipation for the shofar to signal the end of the day, was such a strong demonstration of national unity which was sorely lacking in our country. situation. Many devotees and neighbors have commented that whatever the crown situation next year is, we should organize outside services for Yom Kippur because it was so unifying and powerful.

The Sukkot preparations of etrogim and branches for the lulav. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

But enough about Yom Kippur, we are already halfway to Sukkot. As I mentioned before, Rabbi Benjamin Blech describes the holiday and writes: “Sukkot was the time when in the agricultural society of yesteryear, farmers were found to be the richest for the whole year. It was harvest time. The attics were full. He continues: “They needed to remind, in a festival aptly named” the season of our joy “, that true happiness does not come from our possessions but from our priorities, not from what we have but from whom we. We are, not from our homes, which provide physical comfort, but from our families with whom we create eternal bonds of love and affection.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is that we spend a lot of time with the family. All the children are at home at the same time, and even the most mundane activities become fun because they are all done together. A few nights ago it was almost midnight and we were all sitting down and someone turned on the TV. We attended a show called “Say yes to the dress” and it was decided by the majority (something not common with us!) That this would be the show to watch. The principle of the show is that the brides go with a few friends and family members to buy the wedding dress of their dreams. It’s full of drama because inevitably someone at the party says something mean about one of the dresses that has been tried on, then the bride gets all emotional, and you can relate to the rest. It usually ends well. In the episode I watched, the bride was asked what her budget was and she said, “My dad said the budget was $ 3,000 but it’s my wedding and I’ll spend what I got.” want. If the dress costs $ 9,000, he will have to pay for it because I want it.

Needless to say, I got really angry and think my kids had a blast watching me watch the show. On so many levels, it was a terrible message. Surely I’m guilty of watching crazy TV over the years, but this time it feels like 30 minutes of my life has been totally wasted and I’ll never get it back!

It’s all about priorities. Do not mistake yourself. I am not against creating wealth and trying to make money. After all, my job is to increase client wealth. I wrote about these two famous stories here. One is that of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. On his deathbed, he said he “blew it up”. Here is a billionaire who started this amazing business, but as he died he realized he wasn’t spending enough time with his family.

The second story is about Chuck Feeny, co-founder of retail giant Duty Free Shoppers. Feeny has spent 38 years donating all of his billion dollar fortune to charity. Years ago, he set aside $ 2 million for his retirement and that of his wife and started giving the rest to charity. Last year he finished!

Let’s use the rest of this vacation to focus on using our money for the things we really need. Just a few days ago we could all pray together. Corona left a lot of trouble financially. Maybe we should give up a little luxury and help those in need. Let us remember the lesson of Rabbi Blech, “that true happiness does not come from our possessions but from our priorities.

Chag Sameach.

Aaron Katsman is the author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing (McGraw-Hill), and is a Chartered Financial Professional in the United States and Israel, and helps people who open investment accounts. in the USA. For more information call (02) 624-0995, visit or email [email protected]

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