Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hammerman on Ethics: Renting Dodger Stadium for a Bar Mitzvah

Here's the latest blog posting from my ethics column at the Jewish Week: Renting Dodger Stadium for a Bar Mitzvah

When is a Bar or Bat Mitzvah too much?
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman
Special to the Jewish Week

Question: My husband wants a lavish bar mitzvah for our son next year. I think it's wrong to spend $ 50,000 on a party for a 13 year old kid when so many of our fellow Jews are experiencing hard times. What does Jewish law have to say about this?

Answer: You're right, sort of. And your husband is all wrong. Did you know that $50,000 can feed 10,000 malnourished African children for a week? I think I once saw that on a UNICEF box. Yes, Jewish law frowns on spending excessively and consuming conspicuously; but it's not simply a matter of sensitivity to those enduring hard times. Click here for the rest of the response.

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