May 29, 2024
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May 29, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

$550 million. I was driving in the car when I heard that Bruce Springsteen, known to many as “The Boss,” had sold his record catalog and publishing rights to Sony Music for $550 million. I began to think about what that amount of money is and I could not figure it out. I would get excited if I had a few $100 bills in my wallet. It would seem so extravagant. Holding $1000 in my purse would probably be out of the question and might occur only rarely. If there were a Jewish person selling his properties, would it be publicized as widely as the Springsteen phenomenon was? All of the newspapers and TV and radio news shows made mention of Springsteen.

Imagine how many Jewish organizations would be at the door if the word were to get out that a Jewish publicist, businessman, philanthropist recently made a $550 million transaction of sales. Every meshulach from everywhere would be at their doorstep within hours if not days.

Even I, in my naive way of thinking, immediately thought of how I could possibly write a letter to Mr. Springsteen informing him of the need to raise money each year for my daughter’s group home. Should it really matter that it is in Canada? Just $1 million dollars (and USD in particular) would go a long way in helping out for several years, and what is $1 million when you are talking $550 million? Would it even be noticed? Figures are thrown around that are far too difficult for me to comprehend.

Obviously I am too naive to fathom these large amounts of money and I am even more boggled when I hear of the amounts that are spent on what to me are frivolities. I was once driving and a passenger in my car brought to my attention that the car driving in the lane next to us cost $110,000. To me that number for a car is insane. Yet I guess that it is “cool” to have a cup warmer next to the driver’s seat and an ice coffee cooler there as well to make sure that your particular drink never lets you down in its temperature. It does sound nice (I think) to have a massage while driving. Not only does the passenger get to have a massage but he can also choose what type of a massage. Shoulders, back, you name it, and the car can do it for you. Really, how ostentatious can one get?

If I had $200 million dollars how would I teach my children the value of money? Do you just let them buy whatever they want? Are there any restraints on budgeting? What really kills me is when I hear of a celebrity who the world gets excited about because he donated $1000 to a local charity. A football player who bought new sneakers for a minor league team, a baseball player who is giving a free clinic to inner city kids. Honestly—when we hear of the salaries that some of these people are receiving from the teams, it is pathetic to have them publicize the minute amount of money that is hailed as being unbelievably generous.

I guess that I feel this way because we are spoiled by the fact that we are Jewish. The chesed that is extended in our communities cannot be replicated anywhere else. It is not just the wealthy who reach out to those who are in need. Sometimes I believe that it is the opposite. Those who live their lives as simply as they can in a community where the dollar seems to flow easily are in many cases the first to offer their assistance in giving charity. Let’s not forget that charity does not only come in the form of dollar bills. How many give of themselves in other ways that few communities know anything about? Something as simple as the mitzvah of bikur cholim does not require money. Something as simple as volunteering at organizations such as Shearat Haplate, Bikur Cholim, Meals on Wheels etc. do not require a monetary contribution, and our community stars in such situations. No one who volunteers is required to leave a penny to these amazing organizations. Charity is also in the time that is expended by so many, and we as a community excel.

Big money sounds mind-boggling (especially those numbers mentioned above) and I sincerely wish that the recipients of those numbers dig deeply into their hearts to realize the importance of sharing their wealth, but I take pride in living in a community where there are so many options to give, some which require money and others that require none at all, and we shine brilliantly in both capacities. However, if anyone knows Mr. Springsteen’s private number, I would love it when you have a second.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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