This past Shabbos, my rav shared a thought which I would like to share with you as well.
He was speaking about the fact that many people are currently facing financial difficulty due to the current economic crisis. What should the approach be for those who aren’t as affected toward those who are more affected?
We have an example from Yakov avinu. There was a great famine in Eretz Yisrael, but the meforshim explain that Yakov and his family were not affected by it. Nevertheless, Yakov sent his sons down to Egypt to procure provisions, saying, “למה תתראו” – “Why should we draw the attention of those around us?”
When others are in financial distress and do not have the means to live by a higher standard, it is at that time that those who may still have the means need to exercise their sensitivity. This is something that each person needs to judge for themselves, but if, for example, one is accustomed to always having something noticably new for the Yom Tov season, one must be aware of attracting the attention of those who used to be able to do the same, but no longer can. This is not so much to prevent jealousy, more to increase sensitivity and being נושא בעול עם חבירו – lightening others’ load by taking on some of it as well.
May Hashem help us and provide us with all our needs.