Shopping, Conspicuous Consumption and Jews – Rabbi Barry Gelman

Dear Friends,

I found this article about shopping to be very insightful and reflective of some very important values.
I have often commented on the plague of conspicuous consumption that exists in the Jewish community. This article should make us think about how we shop.

Perhaps the references to Christian theology will be unsettling to people so I have included another link to Jewish sources on the ethics of consumerism.

While this is the season during which people focus on shopping, the questions of how we shop, why we shop and how shopping affects our soul is worthy of ongoing consideration.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/3867/a_meditation_on_shopping_and_desire

http://www.utzedek.org/files/Ethics%20of%20Consumerism%20%28Yom%20Iyun%20Shiur%29.pdf

One Response to Shopping, Conspicuous Consumption and Jews – Rabbi Barry Gelman

  1. The Gonzales article is , adapted from her book which is a
    also a good, easy read that asks lots of tough questions. The issue
    is deeper than conspicuous consumption – that would be much easier
    to address. The issue is really a consumer culture that goes right
    to heart of who and what we are, as products of an American
    capitalist mentality based only on Now and Cheaper where the
    manufacturers and producers of what we’re consuming are (a)
    Somewhere Else (b) much worse off than we are, for the most part.
    This is all especially relevant as we read the parshiot of the
    Exodus. See here for a quick introduction to a
    Jewish theology of liberation to add to your links. I tried to
    address all of this on Shabbat as well. Hopefully coherently.

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