Cheap Jews!

Anything wrong with that?

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Comments (62)

(62) Anonymous, April 25, 2012 9:40 PM

I think making general statments about a race or religious group wrong.

I think making general statments about a race or religious group wrong.

(61) Robert, September 14, 2010 2:33 AM

A website about Schnorring

I think that a schnorrer is one who tries to get more out of everything. There is a funny website dedicated to schnorring called Freestuffin.com. It's worth checking out.

(60) LadyRachel, March 8, 2010 1:22 AM

Y`all shouldn`t get so worked up over the phrase "Jew me down". It`s a marvelous opportunity to counter with "I know what you mean, why just this morning I Christianed the price down at the car dealership". There are lot of Jews and even non-Jews who contribute very large sums of money to charitable organizations or as much as open up large foundations to help the needy that can't be hidden from the media. Thank God in a way it's not. Large sums of money should be kept track of in any organization and the public should be made aware...as to see it's not going toward financing something shady like terrorism. I see nothing wrong with that. Ever wonder why the Jews are so blessed? More American Jews today give money to non-Jewish causes than to Jewish charities. Of the $5.3 billion donated by the 123 wealthiest Jews, only $318 million went to Jewish institutions”. They do it cause they feel like I...have a need to heal and improve the world. A world they also have to live in.

(59) Veronica, January 18, 2010 5:45 AM

Revenge of the "Cheap Jew"

You're right on! Frugality has helped our family become a mortgage-free, debt free, now we can do what we want with our money Americans! Money doesn't buy happiness, but it gives you options.

(58) Wayne, November 30, 2009 5:38 PM

It was a compliment

I have a Jewish friend with whom I used to work. One morning he was showing us the used car he had bought the night before. When asked how much it cost, he said, "He wanted $800 for it, but I Gentiled him down!" We all had a good laugh and Norman and I are still good friends, 35 years later.

(57) Jennifer, November 17, 2009 9:57 PM

About that rubber band, Rabbi...

I'm definitely frugal. If you won't tell anyone, I'll divulge that I cook 2-3 times a week with way too much food. We eat leftovers more often than freshly cooked meals. It isn't so much a matter of frugality of money however than a frugality of time. There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal. Being cheap is buying your wife some costume jewelry at a garage sale. Being frugal is buying her a lovely gold bracelet that you happened to find at 75% off.

(56) Lena, November 17, 2009 2:50 AM

Its definitely a Torah value not to waste money because money can be used for much good. However, when the saying becomes a stereotype which indicates that all Jews are "cheap", it becomes problematic. Being good at saving and not being wasteful is something to be proud of, but I think the word "cheap" has negative connotations such as not being giving and keeping all money to yourself, which it is NOT a Jewish value. Like the Rabbi said, the quote was about saving, NOT about being selfish... after all it wasn´t his money to begin with.

(55) David, November 12, 2009 10:15 PM

Semantics

"The worst quality in a man is stinginess, it means that he cannot give even to himself, let alone to others" or: "A penny saved is a penny earned" Which one is it? Let's leave Jews out of this. Please.

(54) Rabbi of Response, November 10, 2009 3:45 PM

How Time Is Money...

Rabbi Shafier of http://www.TheShmuz.com once explained in a Shmuz a very interesting piece in the Talmud. The Talmud relates that Reish Lakish, a former mobster who lived in the time of the Mishna, and who later went on to becoming a Baal Teshuvah, died and left no earthly possessions behind except for some spice known as "Kurkum" He attributed the following passage to his situation - "and they left for others their success" What success is there in a little bit of spice? Reish Lakish was a Tanna. He was on a very high level of spiritual perfection. So why did he attribute so much importance to a little bit of spice? And refer to it as "success" left behind to others? But the answer is, that Reish Lakish understood very well the value of time. You see in 1 second you can acquire your entire World To Come! 1 second is a piece of your existence. And the money you get in exchange for your time, is actually a piece of your life. And it is most valuable. You may not realize that right now, because you are probably not aware of what's at stake! But rest assured, that everything in this world is very small. Even the worst punishment. Or the greatest reward. One penny to Tzedokah - multiplied by infinity, all of a sudden has new value. Think about it.

(53) Anonymous, November 10, 2009 11:27 AM

comments on my son's christian friends as it relates to this topic

One of my son's christian friends in our neighborhood and some of the boys from his friend's church often call my son "Jew" instead of his real name and they seem to be influencing him with antisemitic comments/teasing and my son is now telling me he thinks Jewish are cheap and I am cheap and greedy. He also imitates me when I speak and ridicules me, constantly saying "pennies". I don't know where he got the "pennies" bit, but one day in the car he threw a penny out the window and told his friend I would stop the car to get it.

(52) Susan, November 9, 2009 3:56 PM

I was dismayed at the shameless title of this video. Why not title it "The Virtue of Frugality" since that is what was meant?

(51) e. m. lefrak, November 9, 2009 1:37 AM

a lesson

Any of you remember the song? Save a penny, help a penny grow up, a penny can grow up to be a nickel . .. !

(50) Anonymous, November 7, 2009 4:42 AM

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

THIS IS TERRIBLE. A JEW SANCTIONING JEW-HATE FROM SOME SOUTHERN CRACKER GOYIM. JEWS ARE NOT CHEAP. WE HAPPEN TO BE MORE GENEROUS THAN MOST. WHEN A NON-JEW REFERS TO A JEW AS A CHEAP JEW, EVEN WHEN IT'S DISGUISED AS FRUGALITY..WATCHING PENNIES. IT'S AN INSULT. WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL, THE JEW-HATERS WOULD PITCH PENNIES AT THE JEWISH KIDS. SALOMON, THIS IS NOT ONLY WRONG AND INSULTING, IT IS DANGEROUS. YOU SHOULD REMOVE THIS VIDEO BECAUSE IT SHOWS A JEW SANCTIONING UGLY ANTI-SEMITISM. GIVE US ALL A BREAK.

(49) Chaim, November 6, 2009 5:11 PM

My two cents (shekels?)...

Rabbi, Hi! I'm starting to watch your videos with more regularity. Do I think that it was offensive? No, not really. Allow me to explain... Certainly, it's a great thing to be frugal and prudent. However, I think that over the past several years, the word "cheap" has acquired some rather negative connotations, making it almost synonymous with "greedy." Combine that with how the word "cheap" was being used to describe Jews (who for centuries have been stereotyped as being greedy), and I can see how this reaction happened. (Although I've lost respect for the ADL.) Shalom! -Chaim

(48) Melbourne Australia, November 6, 2009 1:16 AM

never underestimate thejewish frugallness

Very clever I hope the message comes thru loud and clear yes we jews are frugal penny pinching and carefull investors, spendors and are proud of it. Rabbi there is a saying in yiddish "a yid kept zich ahn eitzah".

(47) Howard Newman, November 6, 2009 12:48 AM

Thanks Rabbi

Thanks Rabbi for helping to defuse this tempest in a teapot. People who think that the South Carolina Republicans were being anti-semetic have never experienced real anti-semetism. Whatt was realy going on here is a bunch of ADL lefties tryng to pin a negatgive label on two Repulicans. Nuff said

(46) Anonymous, November 5, 2009 7:36 AM

context is everything

I don't think the comment to which the Rabbi refers is necessarily ant-semitic. Frugality can be seen as a virtue and is counselled in many aphorisms such as a penny saved is a penny earned, save for a rainy day, etc. Calling a person, Jewish or gentile, cheap is definitely an insult - it implies parsimony rather than prudence, stinginess rather than sagacity. Refering to someone as a cheap Jew invokes an unpleasant and generally untrue stereotype; after all, Jewish philanthropy is legendary, tzedakah is an important part of a Jewish way of life. Generalizations, also called stereotypes or, recently, profiling usually have some basis in fact and are not necessarily offensive. In Europe down through the ages, lending money was one of the few ways to earn a living open to Jews. Who would feel offended by the generalization "Jews are smart." This also has a basis in fact as the accomplishments of Jews in numerous fields such as science, medicine, music, literature, art, jurisprudence and Nobel prize winners are far out of proportion to our numbers. And Jewish lawyers and doctors seem to still be in demand.

(45) SusanE, November 5, 2009 3:46 AM

I Don't Believe It! Jack Benny is a Cheapskate.

. I have a DVD collection of old Jack Benny programs. They are from the mid 1950's. By coincidence, I just watched an episode called "How Jack found Mary". It mostly took place in a Mays Department store. Jack had bought a shirt on sale and was waiting for his penny change. (that's how he met Mary) --- I have 45 episodes, and most of them depict his penny pinching in one way or another. The Jack Benny program was produced by Jews, and written by Jews. Most of America watched his program on TV each week including me. To say that stereotyping Jews being cheap is anti-semetic, well I'm not sure about that. They wrote the script. Jack Benny portrayed himself the ultimate cheapskate. We grew up on Jewish humor and it was all written and well performed by Jewish comedians. It was everywhere. Was that being anti-semetic back then, or have the Jews become more sensitive to the word cheap. Although, in that same episode, Rochester, Mr. Bennys black butler, sang and danced with 4 white men, and he was the only one pushing a broom while he danced. ----------------------------------------------------- Old stereotypes die hard, don't they? .

(44) , November 5, 2009 3:07 AM

Rabbi Salomon taught us a big lesson. He is taking something that is generally used in a negative conotation and making it in to a postive one, this gives Jews a sense of pride, instead of shame. Right now is the time to be careful with your pennies, not being careful leaves you in trouble!. So it is good to take a lesson from peoplel who are frugal. Also, a "good shopper" is someone who buys great things for great prices, knows where there is big sale in a good quality store, not someone who will buy something at any cost. As far as the comment by the politian it all depends on what he was implying. Why did he mention it? It is always best if politians do not make any comments to avoid any negative feeling. He obviously did not care if Jews would be offended, so there is some basis to anti semetism in his comment.

(43) Norm F., November 5, 2009 1:46 AM

Are you being cheap for the sake of being cheap?

All kinds of reasons for being cheap these days. But is there a real purpose for YOU being cheap, or is it simply a matter of matter of pride for you. Are you causing needless hard feelings amongst your family, or do you have a real goal in mind . . . such as stocking up on necessary food & clothing while you still can. Isa 2:20 talks about men throwing away their gold & silver to the moles & the bats, two blind, unclean creatures. What are you saving up for ? ? ?

(42) Petra, November 4, 2009 1:47 PM

attitude

You can make any word an insult, just by adding an ugly attitude. I am proud that I am frugal.

(41) Grandma Edie, November 4, 2009 3:57 AM

I have a full collection of rubberbands...I pick them up as the mailman drops them when he comes into our neighborhood. I use them all the time. I also find pennies,,,how about that...I put them in my pocket...guess what? At the supermarket check out I have my pennies ready...I also recycle everything and anything and so do my family...I also bring my own bags when shopping. One person at a time can pass on this bit of frugality...nothing to be ashamed of...it feels right not to waste.

(40) Terry, November 4, 2009 2:39 AM

An old, worn-out stereotype

I just led a tour in Spain. One of our local guides, in describing his home town's reluctance to invest in the maintenance of the city's infrastructure, said "we are a little bit Jewish." I took him aside privately and told him that this was an old, false stereotype and offensive to many. He replied "but I meant it as a joke." I had to explain to him why it wasn't funny. It's so difficult to eradicate these old, incorrect stereotypes!

(39) Eli Erwine, November 4, 2009 1:42 AM

right on the gelt

no way anti semetic no more then a scott being tite most people can learn to save in hard time are the big givers to thows how dont have when in nead live simple so outher can simple live

(38) Abe, November 4, 2009 12:07 AM

Don't worry about watching your pennies - worry about ...

Don't worry about watching your pennies - worry about the people who watch OTHER PEOPLE's pennies!

(37) tova wald, November 3, 2009 11:19 PM

It's all in the expression

The expression "Cheap Jew" is hardly used in a complimentary manner. It's belittling. I would have to say that it reflects an anti-sematic expression. You would never hear a person described: "he is wonderful and cheap." The way words are used convey a meaning. Cheap means to me that a person is tight, wears his , either positive or negative. shoes down till they're falling apart. A person can be described as economical, thrifty. One has to be sensible and knowledgeable. To put aside money for charity. To save regularly for times of need, and special occasions.

(36) David, November 3, 2009 10:43 PM

you wanna see cheap?

Roll a penny down the aisle in the synagogue, Ill be on the bottom of the pile! Captain Cheap here! "Cheap" refers to financially frugal and good business sense helped keep Jews from dying in Shoah. Not wasting money cheap? Yes. Refusing to do good deeds of charity (tzeddikah) Oy! No!

(35) Jen in Oz, November 3, 2009 10:19 PM

not necessarily, but it helps!

When I was at university (the only Jew on that particular campus) I was asked (in a Religious Ed class of all places!) whether it was true you had to be rich to be Jewish. My response? No, but it helps!

(34) Liza5712, November 3, 2009 9:55 PM

Shalom, yes, I do full heartedly agree with you Rabbi Salomon.

Paul was twelve and his first job was working for my dad in our Mom and Pop corner delicatessen. Today, 45 years later, Paul tells me that he attributes his self made fortune to my father and my father's business sense. "Never waste anything not anything!" Now, that I am poor, I 'have' to be creative and resourceful. I did not know I have what it takes. Knowing that I do, makes me feel more peaceful , even happy, happier than when I had the money to pay bills and spend. No one believes this; I believe 'you' will! Yes I pick up rubber bands, too lol!!! Shalom and thank 'you', Rabbi Salomon!

(33) carolyn shochet, November 3, 2009 9:54 PM

I'm hoping that your "picked up from the ground rubber-bands" are being thoroughly washed before you use them on packages of food and for other purposes...This is just a "clean freak's" opinion! Another comment; A Jewish person can tell when a remark is being made with the intent of insulting Jews....we're pretty smart about about that!

(32) , November 3, 2009 9:39 PM

I am 92 and not too proud to pick up a penny from the sidewalk, but bending down is getting more difficult.

(31) David S. Levine, November 3, 2009 8:46 PM

A Tail on the Democ-rats' kite!

Those who now run Jewish organizations are a tail on the Democ-rat Party's kite. The fact is that the focus and locus of anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and just plain and pure bigotry against Jews in the Democ-rat Party. And the people in charge of information dissemination continue to either deny it and/or absolve the Democ-rats. Last evening (11/2/09) PBS had a program about the Leo Frank case. The plain fact is that the forces that agitated for the lynching of Leo Frank and in fact lynched him were Democ-rat party forces in Georgia, from Tom Watson's newspaper, which Jimmy Carter's mother reported she read as a child, to the establishment of Marietta, GA who got in their cars and drove hundreds of miles to perform the jailbreak and lynching. Not one was their focus of their political party mentioned by PBS. It's time for the leadership of Jewish organizations to decide whether they are going to be defenders of Jewish interests letting the chips fall where they may, or a wing of one political party, which they are today despite their Dan Rather-like denials. The readiness of some of them to spring into action over nothing, what is in fact a virture, illustrates all of the foregoing to be the truth!

(30) , November 3, 2009 8:15 PM

No ill intent

I don't think the Senator had any ill intent, but there was the old stereotype of Jews being cheap. During that same time the Scottish got the label of "frugel." They almost mean the same thing but the connotation is obvious. Scottish frugality is a positive trait and Jewish "cheapness" is evil. No wonder we are still sensitive.

(29) Shira, November 3, 2009 6:57 PM

interesting point

I enjoyed the video, and I agree with Rabbi Salomon that being thrifty is not a bad thing. I think the reason others were quick to be defensive is that often people say Jews cheat others out of their money or will do anything for a penny. It's important to remember that these 2 things don't have to go together.

(28) John Castle RN PA-C MPAS, November 3, 2009 6:41 PM

AntiSemitism has no place

The speaker nicely parsed out the aphorism about frugality and separated it from antiSemitic intent, but as one goy who has been blessed by Jews all his life, I know when a statement about "cheap Jews" is intended as being antiSemitic. Violence and pogroms directed at Jews or any other "minority" starts with words and grows to genocide and all levels in between. It must be stopped when still in seed form, one antiSemite at a time. Apartheid in the US was dealt a death blow by federal legislation so that now interracial couples can feel safe to walk together arm-in-arm on southern streets. AntiSemitism will only be conquered by strong measures along with Jews remembering that continuing acts of chesed on their part will be the final act needed to defeat the evil of antiSemitism.

(27) Michael Wall, November 3, 2009 5:29 PM

But...is it ever nice or right to generalize?

Jews believe in one deity. I have no problem with that statement. Jews are good with money. I have a problem with that. Why? Perhaps because the labeling of a whole people with a behavior seems wrong to me. I live in Minnesota, and some say that people from Minnesota are nice. That's wonderful, but some of us are not nice. When you generalize, you paint with a brush that allows for no exceptions, and certainly doesn't talk about reasons. Do we, as a culture, as well as through the teachings of the Talmud as the Rabbi referenced, teach our children to think hard about what he have and how we spend it? If so, why? Because we have seldom been the people of privilege? Because the people that ruled so many lands might jump on us at any moment, and we needed to keep financially healthy? Because at times we were kept from doing other kinds of work, and many had to turn to lending and other money-related businesses? And STILL, with a certain percentage of us doing well for ourselves (not me, but I get along), is it wrong to say that AS A PEOPLE we are good with money, or frugal, or anything other than what actually defines us as a group? I don't know, but it seems to bother me.

(26) david finkelstein, November 3, 2009 5:18 PM

Rabbi Salomon, I loved your video. My grandmother, may she rest in peace , came here from Russia during the revolution, opened up a small business in the lower east side of Manhattan, put all her children through college. when it was my time to make my foray into business, she called me aside and said in yiddish, doh ah bissel, doh ah bissel macht ah fullen shissel. meaning , when one keeps on putting small amounts into a large pot or plate, eventually it will fill up. And you know? it is true.

(25) Ronald, November 3, 2009 5:16 PM

Just not true.

My answer is no, that the comment is not anti semetic. I believe that comments that are directed towards groups of people are wrong, out of hand. Unless of course your story was about a Jew who believed in G-d, or the Jew who studied the Torah. As G-d's chosen people Jews should expect the world to look to them on how to live, pennywise or not. Also how to respond to prejudicial statements. They're just not true.

(24) , November 3, 2009 5:00 PM

This makes sense!

Oh, Rabbi Solomon, I wish you were our president!!!

(23) Anonymous, November 3, 2009 4:48 PM

Balance

Being careful with your G-d given possessions and money so you have it for important things is good and responsible. My parents trained us well, we never lived up to the highest standard, we were careful how we spent our money, we were very happy, and now as adults our parents are so helpful and generous to us for the important things in life. Some people take it too far, as if saving is a goal in of itself. Several times it becomes problematic such as being cheap on other people's account. Or, when people's homes are drowning in clutter they won't leave go of just in case in the next 70 years they might need it (if they can find it by then). Also, taking it to extremes may show a lack of reliance in G-d. Everything in life needs to be balanced.

(22) Kirk, November 3, 2009 4:18 PM

Cheap is good!

Indeed it was a compliment. We need to avoid the all too common error of being overly sensitive. Certainly we do not want to be promoting anti-Semitism but not all mentions of religion race or ethnicity are evil. I too ate leftovers last night and they were delicious. Thank you Rabbi! Great video.

(21) Anonymous, November 3, 2009 4:13 PM

Let's not water down anti-semitism

Clearly the remark was not meant as an anti-semitic statement. It was meant as a compliment; they recommended aspiring too it! The bigger problem is that, by pouncing on statements such as these, the ADL becomes the boy who cried wolf. As a result, authentic anti-semitism can meld into the crowd of unoffensive comments.

(20) hilary, November 3, 2009 4:07 PM

be careful of stereotypes

there's nothing wrong with saving money, and nothing wrong with spending it, if you have it and that's what you want to do with it. i would be careful of stereotyping any group of people.

(19) sandy, November 3, 2009 4:00 PM

mixing apples & oranges

I am not sure what the rabbi's underlying message is, but it seems like he's saying that we should embrace the idea of jews as frugal. While i'm all about saving money (leaving school into a non-existent job market in my field), the rabbi's message is mixing apples and oranges. We can feel good about saving pennies and still recognize that stereotyping jews as "cheap," e.g. "jew them down" is a manifestation of anti-semitism. Being cheap, used in this way, is the both a way of saying Jews will selfishly protect their own interests to the detriment of others who deal with them - and therefore cannot be trusted, and is also the opposite of being generous or fair. This is undeserved stereotype originated long ago in cultures where Jews were prohibited from many trades, but allowed to be money lenders. Hence, Jews "watching pennies" was the same as your bank keeping track of whether you are making your loan payments. I would hate to think that the Rabbi is asking us to "turn the other cheek," so to speak, when such anti-semitism occurs, or worse yet, to embrace the anti-semitism by doing a conversion equation in our heads that allows us to accept such comments as compliments.

(18) Savannah, November 3, 2009 3:57 PM

Being too cheap can hurt

I grew up around Jews who were too cheap, who seemed only to keep their pockets fat. They didn't fix anything, they let the rental properties go down which became a major cause of eye sores in the neighborhood. I lived in one where a large piece of the ceiling fell and came within inches of killing us.

(17) Gwenn Britt, November 3, 2009 3:56 PM

A lesson learned

I have been waist full and I too am paying for it now. My husband is trying so hard to teach me. I think he goes too far sometime and it does cause us argument. I will keep on keeping on....

(16) MOna, November 3, 2009 3:53 PM

Frugal Jewish Boyfriend

I had a Jewish boyfriend in High School,that told me that he had been at the airport,and had actually checked the payphones for any leftover dimes,and he really was excited about doing this.Now,as a gentile,I had heard thru other gentiles about Jews being cheap,etc.So I was like,"omg,I cant belive that Michael is doing this"These steroetypes are true!" But now that I am older,and hopefully wiser.I know now that my boyfriend was just being very wise! I now,realize how smart he was! I also wish that I had married him!

(15) Anonymous, November 3, 2009 3:53 PM

Not anti-semitic

Though the comments from Senator Jim Demint may have been a poor choice of words it's far from being anti-semtic. The only reason he's being vilified is because he is a Republican. If a Democrat had said it he would have gotten a free pass. When congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was defeated a few years ago, her father blamed the Jews, not a word from anyone. Reverand Jeremiah Wright often makes anti-Israel and anti-Jewish remarks all the time again not a word. The 'Reverand" Al Sharpton refers to Jews as interlopers and diamond merchants, again not a word. He continues to be interviewed on the major networks on issues of the day. What about our 'illustrious' past president jimmy carter? The bottom line is if you are a conservative/Repbulican and you make these remarks you're an anti-semite. If you are a Democrat or a liberal you get a free pass

(14) ruth, November 3, 2009 3:38 PM

fRuggalah

I think what one says can be read many ways, and it's really about intent in this case. Was this INTENDED to be an anti semitic remark, or, not? We are all of us sensitive, because we've been sensitized to slurs so it could have been taken the wrong way, even if it was meant, the right way. I can go both ways on this, not really "feeling" the circumstances that surrounded this. Yes, it's great to be frugal and it makes good "cents" to count the pennies because they do add up. I was recently at a Dunkin' Donuts in Brookline MA and overheard a painful conversation. Two people were discussing how they can't find pennies that easily and that they do add up. These two people clearly didn't have a lot of money and they were discussing how expensive it is to raise a child. I keep my pennies in a jar, grab a handful, and often hand them out as I go down Memorial Drive into Cambridge because there are many people who do look truly, down, and out.

(13) Anonymous, November 3, 2009 3:35 PM

I have no issue with being frugal. However, there is a distinct difference between being frugal and being a schnorrer. The latter is nothing to feel proud about.

(12) gord bushewsky, November 3, 2009 3:31 PM

With all due respect I find the comment disrespectful. Jews are being stereotyped. Not all Jews are wealthy, nor do all Jews watch their pennies.

(11) Dale, November 3, 2009 3:25 PM

Difference between Cheap & Frugal

I have no problem with calling someone frugal. That merely means that they are careful with their money. Calling someone cheap implies that they are not willing to part with their money even at times when it is appropriate to be spending some of it. Statistically, Jews are very philanthropic in comparison to many other ethnic groups; which makes me question why we have the reputation of being cheap. Frugal is not derogatory and is not a bad thing. Cheap is derogatory and is a bad thing to be.

(10) Jill, November 3, 2009 3:10 PM

It all depends on the intent

I enjoyed your video! Whether or not being referred to as cheap is an insult depends on the attitude of the person who says it. If it is meant to be derogatory, then it is not a compliment. Personally, I wish I could be more frugal and I am trying to be. It's not easy!

(9) Chris Humphrey, November 3, 2009 2:56 PM

I've got Scottish roots, and this resonates

I agree with the rabbi. My roots are English/Scottish Presbyterian, and I turn lights out if no one is in the room, pick up a penny (!) if I drop it, use coupons at the grocery store, and so on. Others in my family think I'm cheap, sometimes, but I have no difficulty defending these actions. Was that remark anti-Semitic? I don't think so. I joke about the Scottish woman who, keeping a vigil for hours, told her dying husband, "Mind, if you feel yourself slipping away -- blow out the candle!"

(8) Michael Fenton, November 3, 2009 2:54 PM

associations of money with Jews are anti- Semetic

I disagree with the Rabbi. There are lots of pejorative remarks associated with various ethnic groups that are offensive. -"going Dutch" -references to Scotch for being cheep. There are many remarks for Jews. Any association of stingy with money and an entire ethnic group are simply wrong

(7) Andrew Katz, November 3, 2009 2:45 PM

Sounds like me.

I do not know about Jews in general, but I am certainly a cheap and misery person, who would be gentle on myself once in a while, and call myself frugal. And while I never became wealthy being this way, it sure helped me in my life. Because I messed up my career as a software developer, and now I have been unemployed for 10 years. But one of the reasons why I am able to live, is because I always lived beneath my means. I made do without eating out or expensive hobbies or vacations. And if the USA economy had to rely on people like me, we would be in a REAL depression now, not this monkey recession.

(6) Beverly Kurtin, November 3, 2009 7:16 AM

No way

There is no way that the remark made is anti-Semitic. However, that being said, I boil when someone says that Jews are cheap or that an individual "Jewed" someone down. You know exactly what I mean. Why are the Scottish frugal while the Jews are "cheap?" THAT is anti-Semitic. I am not wealthy. In my younger years I spent money stupidly and now I'm paying for the errors in judgement that I made. Am I angry? No. I changed the way I use money. I'm on a fixed income, so instead of spending without thinking, I ask myself, "Do I really need this and if I need it do I need it now or can it be put off for a later time?" Those two questions are helping me to have more money at the end of the month than some folks I know who make a lot more than I make, yet they're constantly broke. They cannot pay for their utilities or even food as the month runs out. Today, I "saved" over $250 by asking those two questions. I really wanted, and could use, two computer products. But those purchases can wait until I've saved enough to buy them without messing up my ability to pay my obligations and I don't have to worry about buying the necessities of life, such as food. I too eat leftovers. There is nothing wrong with that. I know people who throw out good food because "I never eat leftovers, that's for poor people." Uh huh. That's not being frugal, it's being stupid. So, Rabbi, you are right again. Oh, and I also pick up rubber bands, document clips and the like. Thanks for another intelligent and insightful audio blog.

(5) Marc, November 3, 2009 4:34 AM

Great!

That was good. Best video ever, is what I think!

(4) SusanE, November 3, 2009 2:14 AM

Nothing Wrong with being PRUDENT with your Money

I save the blue rubber bands off my fresh asparagas spears and broccoli. They're nice and heavy. I also prudently spend my money on fresh vegetables and organic milk. Don't we all juggle our priorities? Scottish people are also joked about as being tight with money. So it isn't anti-semitism when Jews are seen as being tight, even though assumptions about both groups might be true. __ Making good choices on how I spend my money is not affecting anyone else. That is being frugal or prudent.. Trying to get a merchant to discount his product or combine items for a lesser price is being cheap. For example, CHEAP is not joining in splitting the dinner check equally when you are out with your friends. Being cheap is not buying a round of drinks even if you are just having soda. PRUDENT is having dinner out 4 times a month instead of 8. Being frugal is buying food, clothes and necessities when they are on sale so you don't have to be Cheap. Does that make sense? I don't know the story about the Senator from SC, so I can't comment about that. Is he also a Republican like the Rep Chairman Heads who commented? Is he a Jew? I used to buy and sell. A wise businessman said to me, "You make your money when you buy..... not when you sell". So, yes, pennies do count, as long as I don't take them from another mans profit.

(3) Sharon, November 2, 2009 6:40 PM

Beng frugal is fine but...

I wouldn't pick up a rubberband other than to toss it into a wastebasket. With its crevices, it's impossible to clean properly so I would never use it with a food item. Thriftiness is fine, but it has its limits.

(2) David, November 2, 2009 4:42 PM

I agree

I agree with the rabbi. There is nothing really wrong with the that. We can laugh at the jokes but as my Grandmother use to say money only spends once.

(1) Rob, November 2, 2009 3:25 PM

How cheap can you get. You'll put Staples out of business

That was a cheap presentation if I ever saw one. (And pretty good to say the least).

 

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