It’s Rolex Time: Luxury Living

Question

I want to buy myself an expensive Rolex watch that I can afford, but wonder if Judaism permits splurging on luxury items. Do you think it’s okay?

2 months

Answers

  1. Yes, you may buy yourself a Rolex watch. Judaism teaches that a person’s amount of money for the year is decided by God at the beginning of each year. So how much money you will have this year was decided already on Rosh Hashanah. A proviso: As long as you have given the correct amount to charity, the rest of the money is yours to spend as you wish.

    However, it sounds like you might be feeling a little “guilty” about buying such a luxury item. Therefore, I suggest that perhaps you entertain the idea of giving an equal, or at least a generous, amount to charity in addition to normal charity donations. This doesn’t need to be done all at once since it’s quite a lot of money! It can be split up into payments over the space of a year. Enjoy your new watch if you choose to get it, and may you always have ample wealth and the wisdom to use your wealth wisely.

    Speaking of using one’s financial blessing wisely, I’m reminded of a story a neighbor once told me. She had a friend who was laid off indefinitely. The friend was living from month to month and was going into debt from paying the bills without a source of income. My neighbor offered to help with her friend’s household expenses until she got back on her financial footing. And my neighbor told me the most amazing thing — the entire time she was helping her friend, her own normal family expenses decreased exponentially. No doctor bills or dental bills or appliance repairs or car repairs. But once her friend no longer needed financial help, my neighbor told me that her normal living expenses returned once more. Coincidence?

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team