From A Different Planet
I receive complimentary issues of all sorts of magazines every week and I usually end up feeling as if I live on a different planet. Are there really enough people who buy a $200,000 watch to merit an advertisement? What about $2,000 pants? Private jets? Who are the people who stay in hotels that advertise rates of $2,500 a night? They live on a different planet.
My wife makes fun of me when she refers to the Jewish Press as my favorite newspaper. Laugh all you want, but all the ads for classes, Tzedaka (Charity), Jewish books, and requests for prayers, reflect a readership with whom I share more than with those who want ads for $5,000 suits. The fact that there are so many columns on the weekly parsha and Halacha, whether I enjoy them or not, or agree at all with their messages, represents an insatiable desire to learn. I share more with the Jewish Press readers than I do with those who read Prestige.
There are some bible stories that strike me like Forbes and others more like the Jewish Press. I can relate to the people’s hesitation at Sinai. But, I must admit, that the Golden Calf story strikes me as a science fiction story.
I accept that I do not understand the passionate desire for idol worship. But, I must tell you that when people who were slaves just three months earlier start spending all their gold, even giving up all their personal jewelry to make a spectacular idol, I wonder whether they are the ones who buy the six figure watches.
They clearly lived on a different planet. They experienced the Exodus, the splitting of the Sea, Manna, water from a rock and Sinai. They were stuck in middle of the desert wondering whether their fearless leader, Moshe, would ever return. I can’t even begin to appreciate what they were feeling. How could they take everything they owned and toss into a fire hoping that a magical idol would mysteriously appear? Even aliens must have their logic.
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