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Is wealth a mark of sin, a sign that a person has greedily taken too much and necessarily impoverished others? Is poverty a sign of laziness, an outer indication of a poor character? We explore the Jewish view on why there is inequality in wealth, and what should we do about it.

Class 1: The One Percent and Redistribution of Wealth

Class 1: The One Percent and Redistribution of Wealth

Election 2012: A Jewish Perspective

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Rabbi Nochum Mangel directs Chabad-Lubavitch of Greater Dayton, Ohio.
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Discussion (52)
August 27, 2012
Rabbi You have done tremendous justice to the topic of wealth politics and divinity I truly enjoyed your talk dr Shliach from san diego
yehuda trestman
s diego, ca
August 26, 2012
Government OUT of Free enterprize!!
A government doesnt have to do with Tzdaka... the smaller the Govrnment and least regulations makes Humans More Productive and FREE.. richness comes with WORK and perseverance.. and then Yzdaka.. Taxes are NOT a form of Tzedaka!!
zalmen
Mexico
August 26, 2012
re: wealth distribution
Your point is well taken. Rabbi Yehuda was honoring the wealthy for what they did with their wealth, not for just accumulating it. The message is relevant then universally: in whatever way one is wealthy-- time, talent, energy -- if one devotes that "wealth" to the community's holy causes, one deserves honor.
Nochum Mangel, Shmuel Klatzkin
Dayton, oh
August 26, 2012
rich and poor, tzedakah vs taxation
I think it was Dennis Prager who said that when a person gives tzedakah to another, the giver feels grateful that s/he was able to give, and the receiver feels grateful that someone cared; when a person is taxed s/he is irritated at having no say in where his/her money is going, and the receiver feels they are entitled to more. Even when the net taken and received is the same, the results in psychological and spiritual terms are very, very different. I also amazed at all the commenters who "know" how rich people live and what their motives are. Maybe they should read "The Millionaire Next Door" and other books by Stanley & Danko, instead of confusing the rich with celebrities.
Anonymous
Pocatello, ID
August 24, 2012
wealth distribution
Lots of valid points raised here, except of course (IMHO) were the rabbi who put the rich in front of the synagouge (for giving a lot of money to the synagouge) is justified. If we consider those who dont have a lot money to give, but give a lot of their time, their wisdom, their physical strenght, shouldn't every man then be brought to the front of the synagouge?!? But I totally agree, that we are all given talents so as to share them.
Anonymous
Beverly Hills
August 23, 2012
Wealth Distribution
As a Baptist Pastor, I watched your first class on this subject with great interest. You are "Right On!" We are on the same page with my interpretation of the Mosaic Law. Not hearing the next class yet, I would anticipate that it is our personal responsibility to give and NOT government. Furthermore, in my reading of "Torah" (my King James Version), the charity was distributed by the Levites which entered G-d into the equation with the poor. Their help was coming from G-d by way of individuals making righteous decisions to obey Him. It was NOT from government.
Wow! I marvel at the agreement we share in your "message." It gives me a new love for my Jewish brethren. Will be looking forward to your next installment.
Rev. Paul Schmidtbleicher
Seattle, WA
August 23, 2012
Editor's note
Thank you all so much for your comments.
Tonight (Thursday, Aug 23) at 7pm Eastern, LESSON TWO of this series will air. We invite you to watch this latest episode and to post comments pertaining to the new episode on the appropriate page.

We look forward to continuing this lively discussion. For the sake of clarity, it will work best if the discussion of each new episode takes place on the page that belongs to it.


Thanks for watching and for sharing!
Rabbi Shais Taub
Pittsburgh, PA
August 22, 2012
wealthy and poor
it is unfortunate you did not not understand that the 1 percent movement does not represent redistribution of wealth but rather a farer economic system. when you have the top 1 percent paying a lower tax rate than ,middle income families,something is wrong. Your suggestion that G-D allocates resources but yet allows people to die of starvation is not fair to HASHEM
Anonymous
chesterfield, MO
August 22, 2012
G-d’s Allocation of Wealth to Some People
The wealthy people do distribute their wealth to the less fortunate by giving them jobs and that is already a big mitzvah on their part but without them, the wealthy would not become rich since no one would do the jobs that make them rich in the first place. When they give charity to organizations or others, it is not without greed. They do it because it is tax deductible. They do distinct themselves from the poor by buying expensive things and best places in synagogues, sports events, travels or any other places and thus act as superior beings. They become a different race or species, if you will, which is degrading to the poor who were not given the same abilities, skills and power by G-d. The world needs the rich and the poor to do the jobs that make the rich richer. Is it kindness, charity or just plain necessity?
Feigele
Boca Raton, FL
August 22, 2012
purpose of a Torah discussion
The ideal that a Torah discussion aims at was expressed by a heavenly voice that said of the great debate between the schools of Hillel and Shammai that "both these and these are the words of the Living G-d." We do not imagine ourselves as having the final word, but we do think there is value in directing our political debates into the Torah mode. This is the tried and proven way of getting beyond the shrillness and the lack of creative interaction that characterizes too much of our political discourse. We are glad that people coming from a variety of perspectives have watched this and have shared their thoughts. We hope that this will continue, and people will feel comfortable and confident that in a Torah setting, the unique insight that each person can bring has a place and will be heard.
Shmuel Klatzkin
Dayton, OH
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