Most forms of human creativity have one aspect n common: the attempt to give some sense to the various impressions, emotions, experiences, and actions that fill our lives, and thereby to give some meaning and value to our existence... The crisis of our time in the Western world is that the search for meaning has become meaningless for many of us.
The physical loss is not sufficient for mourning. Purely on a physical level what would a person gain if he lived many more years? What is the ultimate gain in devouring hundreds more chickens and thousands more loaves of bread? What is the overall difference if the deceased left all this to others? The Torah obligates us to mourn to emphasize the loss of the true value of life; which is the spiritual elevation a person could have gained if he were still alive. The Almighty placed him on this earth for this purpose. The person’s death should remind the mourners to fill their lives with the spiritual growth that they are capable of.
The melancholy prudence of the abandonment of such a great being as a man is to the toss and pallor of years of money making with all their scorching days and icy nights... is the great fraud upon modern civilization.
To the eyes of a miser a guinea is far more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way. As a man is, so he sees.
Thrift is not, as many suppose, a self repression. It is self expression, the demonstration of a will and ability to raise one's self to a higher plane of living. No depression was ever caused by people having too much money in reserve. No human being ever became a social drifter through the practice of sensible thrift.
The more a man desirous to pass at a value above his worth, and can, by dignified silence, contrast with the garrulity of trivial minds, the more will the world give him credit for the wealth he does not possess.