McMansions and the Jews

Traditional Jews, aka the Orthodox, need big homes because they have lots of kids and certain types of Jews from the Middle East, eg Persians, tend to live many generations to one home.

Steve Lopez writes: “Whether we’re talking about the obscenity of Bel-Air homes as big as 85,000 square feet, or U2 guitarist The Edge insisting on building a rock ‘n’ roll compound atop a pristine ridge in Malibu, or a 4,500-square-foot shoe box that dwarfs the 100-year-old house next door, wretched excess is on display in the Southland, and humility is on vacation.”

Lopez’s article would have benefited from mentioning the cultural and racial aspects of his story.

Self-abasement, for instance, does not tend to be the outstanding Jewish trait. Many individual Jews are humble, but generally speaking, the Jews I know, in comparison with Gentiles I know, exhibit high self-esteem. All the things that are primary in Christianity such as faith and humility are secondary in Judaism while the things that are primary in Judaism, such as law and peoplehood, are secondary in Christianity.

The Jewish religion makes peace with the natural passions for sex, honor, prestige, and excess and tries to channel them for good ends (such as building a big home to accommodate your children and your parents and your siblings down on their luck).

What the goyim such as Steve Lopez call “wretched excess” is what many Jews call “enjoying life.”

I expect most Ashkenazi Jews would agree with Steve Lopez’s article but many Persian Jews, perhaps half, would disagree.

Perhaps due to the material suffering they had in Iran, Persian Jews are often what white people would call “materialistic” and “flashy” and “show-offs.”

Chaim Amalek: “They (the Syrian Jews) do the same in Brooklyn. They like building out to the property line, ripping up any trees that might get in the way and perhaps enclosing their space with a high wall to create a small courtyard for their kin and friends to enjoy. There is no sense of responsibility to the pubic or to their neighbors.”

Jeffrey: “Reform Jews in NY HATE the Syrians and the Orthodox, in almost equal measure.”

Tony: “Why is your blatant racism OK when its aimed at Syrians or Orthodox Jews?”

Luke: “There’s no such sin as ‘racism.’ Torah never mentions ‘racism’ and no major rabbi has written against ‘racism.’ It’s made up goyisha thinking, it’s a modern invention, and it’s pure nonsense that preferring your own is a bad thing. It is natural healthy and good to prefer your own kind and to have negative feelings about people who are different from you.”

Chaim: “Jeffrey, when it comes to hatred, a finder brush is called for. For example, it is not just the reform who dislike the Hasids. So too do the Conservative Jews, many of the Modern Orthodox (who regard some of what they Hasids do as pagan, like swinging chickens over their heads in a foolish attempt to transfer their sins to the chicken!), Litvish Jews, Negroes, Muslims, all sorts of people.Also, the Syrians fly under the radar obsessively, but occasionally pop up when they are caught doing something underhanded. Among those in the know, they are not regarded as paragons of virtue in business dealings with others. This goes all the way back to Crazy Eddie Antor, more recent scandals in Deal, NJ regarding their top religious leaders, etc. Also, Reform Judaism is now very pro-homosexual, which of course puts them into conflict with shtetl Yidden of all flavors.”

“Luke, there is no mention of gefilte fish in Torah either, but like espousing diversity, fighting racism and defending gay rights, eating gefilte fish is now part of normative American Judaism for many.”

“Also, in thirties, I believe, it was the custom for certain New York Jews to mark the New Year with praise praise for Stalin and dancing while eating ham sandwiches. This custom, however, has largely died out. I’ll bet it was easy for a Yid to get laid in those circles back then.”

“I love Mormon women, and part of what I admire in them (amongst other things) is that they respect biology and the natural order of life. They have kids when young, right out of BYU, and finish this up long before the modern American woman thinks that maybe she ought to get serious about finding a husband. THEN they become active in their communities, in business, education, whatever interests them. Sensible way of doing things. Mormon women rock.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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