But is there any merit to paying the full value for an item? Should we always negotiate for a better price, looking to save a little here so we can spend more later?
In this week’s parsha, Avraham buys the cave of Machpela from Ephron. At first Ephron wants to give the plot of land as a gift to Avraham. Good deal right? When was the last time you said no to a free gift? Well Avraham said no. Not only did Avraham say no, he insisted on paying for its full value (and in cash no less). Why would Avraham do such a thing? Granted this was way before the iphone, and therefore he couldn’t quickly do an Amazon search to see if he could find a lower price, but still; why not haggle even just a little bit?
When we buy an item of clothes or an electronic device, we know that there is a huge profit that the seller is making, and we wonder why we should pay so much for something that we know is worth less. Sometimes in life there are items which are worth having despite the cost associated with them. Items that we feel are worth paying for because we can identify with the inherent value that they have, and know that truth be told, they are really worth even more. This is especially true with items that aren’t only for ourselves, but for our family.
While there may be deals and sales on iphones and dining room sets; there are no sales on Torah and mitzvahs. Lucky for us though, they come at a phenomenal price: great effort and dedication.
I’m not going to stop looking for a good deal; but I’m not afraid to pay the price when I need to!