Monday, January 21, 2013

Clothes Closets Conundrum Clarified

This past week I happened to catch snippets of a shiur on the radio. I don't know who the speaker was or what the topic was, but the person was comparing our lives to those who lived 100 years ago. The differences were startling.

He noted that there are various sections in Flatbush where the houses are huge, yet the closets are small by comparison. It seems that they were mostly built after the turn of the last century. Yet many wonder, why did they build such huge mansions with little closet space?

The answer is, that years ago people had very little clothing. Most people of the previous generation had two dresses. One for Shabbos and one for weekday. It is difficult for us to imagine how times have changed so much in the last century. People had one pair of shoes, which they wore sparingly to keep them from getting worn out.

If a King wanted to visit the Grand Duke, it would mean 300 miles of bouncing up and down in the royal carriage. Today we can climb into our climate controlled convertible car and conveniently cruise to Cananda in a matter of hours.

Citrus was virtually unheard of for most of the year in Europe. Cantelopes were rarely seen. Yet nowadays, the simplest caterer boasts an assortment of cakes that put the king of yesteryear to shame.

This is aside from the awesome technological advances in air-travel, sound travel and information travel.

Our lives are so pampered, as robots and gadgets and machines to do our work abound. This should leave us more time to contemplate our existence, to figure out why we are here and how we could make the world a better place.


  1. I'm surprised you needed a shiur to learn that big houses had little closet space years ago! A real estate agent told me the same thing, and the reason, 20 years ago.

    Go watch "1900 House" on YouTube if you want to be fascinated.

    1. And now the real estate agent is moonlighting as a Rabbi on 97.5 FM.


      But really the point of this post is to be thankful for living in our times, when there is so much free time that we don't know what to do with it. As opposed to the turn of the century when every day living was a struggle.

      Thanks for stopping by.


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