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Please see this article in Asbury Park Press regarding welfare fraud by rabbis.

Also, years ago when Christy was a NJ state prosecutor there was another roundup of rabbis in a New Jersey corruption scheme.

As rabbis who are supposed to be religious leaders, they should know the difference between following Moshe and Hashem vs. worshiping the golden calf.  See Exodus 32 1-5 and Exodus 20 22-23. The golden calf being a metaphor for materialism.

While there may be nothing wrong with pursuing materialism as a means to improve ones existence, there could be contradictions to the Torah if material gains is not the means but the ends. In other words, worshiping the creation symbolized by the golden calf, rather than the creator.

As an outsider I have always wondered why this paradox existed. Are there other religious texts in Judaism that conflict with said verses in Exodus of the Torah and emphasize striving for worldly gains as an ends, thus in effect worshiping the creation as a false god ?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Loewian, mevaqesh, Scimonster, sabbahillel, Monica Cellio Jul 2 '17 at 16:36

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    "much of Jewry today focus on materialism and gains in this life even though this may contradict the Torah." You're probably biased by only hearing about the bad cases. Most Jews don't commit federal crimes or welfare fraud. – Double AA Jul 2 '17 at 5:24
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    I think you have become plagued by old anti-semitic stereotypes. The statement that "much of Jewry today focus on materialism and gains" is certainly not true. – ezra Jul 2 '17 at 6:35
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    Please clarify what message you see in the Torah which you are seeking to contrast, and how you see it in the Torah. "following Moshe and Hashem vs. worshiping the golden calf" is rather vague, and it is not clear how that applies here. Please clarify. In the meantime, VTC as unclear. – mevaqesh Jul 2 '17 at 7:13
  • Give me a break. Criminals come in all religious stripes, from the fraudsters to the killers to the child molesters. The press loves to dwell on the religion of the particular offender when they have a big fish. It's supposedly part of the "news", but it tends to just..i don't know..try and make people feel superior because they aren't part of the group that that particular criminal is(?). Not "fake news", but "divisive news", IMO. – Gary Jul 2 '17 at 14:17
  • Are you indicating that the golden calf narrative is meant to preach against materialism? On what basis do you suggest this? Are you looking for any sources that stress material reward? The Torah is full of promises of material reward and punishment! – mevaqesh Jul 2 '17 at 18:51
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Are there other religious texts in Judaism that conflict with the Torah and emphasize striving for worldly gains as priority?

I've never seen any and highly doubt there are. Rather, the explanation is undoubtedly in most cases that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (to quote another religion's text): they probably want to do the right thing but find themselves tempted not to. I know that's why I do the wrong thing when I do.

One must be careful: as Haamek Davar comments to Genesis 6:3, allowing one's desires to overpower his intellect too often can weaken the latter to the point of ineffectiveness.

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