I was inspired to see Rabbi Emanuel Feldman'a op-ed piece entitled Real Money that was published in the Jerusalem Post and was subsequently picked up by Cross Currents. I was a bit taken aback by the timeliness and lack of originality of his message.
The message was first broached by Carmi Wisemon in her piece entitled A Matter of Trust which ran in the Jerusalem Post on Dec. 23, more than 3 weeks ago. I picked up on Ms. Wisemon's piece to offer a more "Talmudic" perspective of the same sentiment with a post entitled The Richest Man in the Cemetery 2 days later (Dec. 25). What tickles my fancy is that I also incorporated the famous statement of Sen. Everett Dirkson of Illinois even though I didn't name him. And, just like Rabbi Feldman, I discuss that money is meant to be both an opportunity and a test.
Despite the title of this post, I do not for a minute suspect an act of plagiarism, chas v'shalom. There is no doubt in my mind that Rabbi Feldman has never seen my blog post (why should he?) and so, I am more than happy to attribute this "coincidence" to a meeting of the minds. Of course, the question stands that, as a frequent contributor to the Jerusalem Post, was he not aware of Carmi Wisemon's editorial?
As for me, to the contrary. I am rather honored that such a distinguished personality as Rabbi Feldman mirrors my viewpoint (and remembers Senator Dirkson). I am quite fond of the Feldmans and, though I am sure Rabbi Feldman doesn't know it, I am actually a second cousin to his sister-in-law (there's Jewish Geography for you).
All told, I am putting a stamp of approval on Rabbi Feldman's article. I am certainly not condemning it. The main purpose of this post is to point out that not only is his point about "Real Money" vs. a "Real Jew" a valid one...
...it's what a lot of people are thinking.