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How does affordability affect your Jewish life?

I’d like to get some perspective on the way cost of living affects the lives we Jewish people lead. Obviously, not all of us rich, and Jewish life can quickly become quite expensive. Housing, education, food, synagogues, etc — all of these add up so quickly.

For example, I grew up with a Conservative parent and a Reform parent. Growing up we were “kosher-style” or “kosher-esque”. My parents never kept dairy in the house, except for some cheese in its own container, but we didn’t buy kosher meat at the grocery store. Never cooked with dairy, fish was always salmon or trout, etc. Basic stuff, but again not explicitly choosing the kosher option.

I had always thought this reduced observance was exclusively from a Reform/Conservative perspective until I learned that my parents simply made the decision to have meat a few times per week instead of just once. Similarly, it was easier and cheaper to just not cook with dairy than to have a kosher kitchen.

Now that I’m living on my own, I’ve entertained idea of purchasing kosher meat, but my meat consumption would go from Shabbat dinner to just one Shabbat per month. I could go completely vegetarian to avoid this, but tasting that chicken every week has become something I look forward to. I don’t know if I could bring myself to give it up, even though it would take no effort at all.

If you are observant, what are some things you’ve sacrificed to afford an observant lifestyle?

If you’re a little less observant, has cost been a factor?

submitted by /u/SilvanSorceress
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Source: Reditt