Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Study shows: The richer you are - the less compassion you have

Pity the poor plutocrat. Politicians want to tax them, Occupy Wall Streeters mock them, 99% of their fellow citizens are mad at them (even if they secretly want to be one of them). Now comes word from the University of California, Berkeley, that is not likely to send their approval ratings any higher: a new study has confirmed that the richer you are the less compassionate you are — and don't gloat, you upper-middle classers, that includes you too. [...]

When the numbers on these inventories were crunched, Stellar and her colleagues found no meaningful personality differences among the students that could be attributable to income except one: across the board, the lower the subjects' family income, the higher their score on compassion.


  1. אין הקדוש ברוך הוא משרה שכינתו אלא על גבור ועשיר וחכם וענו
    - Nedarim 38a

    It is possible what is meant is someone wealthy in Ben Zoma's sense:
    בן זומא אומר: ... איזה הוא עשיר? השמח בחלקו. שנאמר "יגיע כפיך כי תאכל, אשריך וטוב לך" (תהילים קכח:ב -- "אשריך", בעולם הזה; "וטוב לך", לעולם הבא
    -Avos 4:1

  2. rich seems to be understood literally in Nedarim 38a

     R. Hama b. R. Hanina said: Moses became wealthy but from the chippings of the tablets, for it is written, Hew thee two tablets of stone like unto the first:7 their chips be thine.

    R. Johanan said: The Holy One, blessed be He, causes His Divine Presence to rest only upon him who is strong, wealthy, wise and meek;19 and all these [qualifications] are deduced from Moses. Strong, for it is written, And he spread abroad the tent over the tabernacle;20 and a Master said, Moses our teacher spread it; and it is also written, Ten cubits shall be the length of the board.21 Yet perhaps it was long and thin?22 — But [it is derived] from this verse: And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and broke them.23 Now, it was taught: The tables were six [handbreadths] in length, six in breadth, and three in thickness.24 Wealthy, [as it is written] Hew thee, [interpreted] the chips be thine. Wise: for Rab and Samuel both said, Fifty gates of understanding were created in the world, and all but one were given to Moses, for it is said, For thou hast made him [sc. Moses] a little lower than God.25 Meek, for it is written, Now the man Moses was very meek.26

    R. Johanan said: All the prophets were wealthy. Whence do we derive this? From Moses, Samuel, Amos and Jonah. Moses, because it is written, I have not taken one ass from them.27 Now, if he meant without a hiring fee — did he then merely claim not to be one of those who take without a fee?28 He must hence have meant, even with a fee.29 But perhaps it was because of his poverty?30 — But [it is derived] from the verse, Hew thee etc.: the chips be thine. Samuel, because it is written, Behold here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken, or whose ass have I taken?31 Now, if he meant for nothing — did he then merely claim not to be one of those who take without payment? Hence he must have meant, even for payment. But perhaps it was due to poverty? — Rather from this verse, And his return was to Ramah: for there was his house.32 Whereupon Raba observed, wherever he went, his house went with him.33 (Raba said: A greater thing is said of Samuel than of Moses: for in the case of Moses it is stated, ‘I have not taken one ass from them’ implying even for a fee;34 but in the case of Samuel, he did not hire it even with their consent, for it is written, And they said, thou hast not defrauded us, nor taken advantage of our willingness.)35 Amos, because it is written, Then answered Amos and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son, but I was a herdman and a gatherer of sycamore fruit;36 which R. Joseph translated: Behold, I am the owner of flocks, and possess sycamore trees in the valley.37 Jonah, as it is written [and he found a ship going to Tarshish:] so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it.38 And R. Johanan observed: He paid for the hire of the whole ship. R. Romanus said: The hire of the ship was four thousand gold denarii.

  3. It does seem that way, but since the Rambam in Shemoneh Peraqim ch 7 says it's about histapqus, I guess there is another understanding of the gemara.

    אמנם "חכם" הרי הוא כולל את המעלות הדיבריות בלא ספק.
    ו"עשיר" הוא מעלה ממעלות המידות, רצוני לומר: ההסתפקות. שכן קוראים הם את המסתפק עשיר. והוא אמרם בגדר העשיר: "איזהו עשיר, השמח בחלקו", כלומר, שמסתפק במה שהמציאו הזמן, ואינו מצטער על מה שלא המציאו.
    וכן "גיבור", גם זו מעלה ממעלות המידות. רצוני לומר, שינהיג כוחותיו כפי הדעה שבארנו בפרק החמישי והוא אמרם:
    "איזהו גיבור, הכובש את יצרו".


    There is an international franchise of chocolate boutiques called Schakolad.

    The owners are Jewish and encourage franchisees to get hashgocho.

    Interesting considering the chain specializes in Kratzmach themes. Ober gelt is doch gelt.

    Here is one of their selections engraved with Merry Kratzmach.

    If you specifically want it to be kosher, you press the kosher button and it gives you a list of participating hashgochos.

    Understand that wishing a Merry Kratzmach is avodah zarah mamash. The name of the chogger means Yoshke's mass. Mass is zecher l' Yoshke's blood which in their tiflus they say took over from the dam haPesach.

    The hashgochos should be ashamed of themselves:

    ORB Florida

    AKC Atlanta

    Jason Miller (Conservative rabbi in Michigan)

    HKA Houston (Rabbi Wender who was involved in the Tropper scandal)


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