This world is designed for us to only exist in it in a necessary, rational, and normal state, to eat, drink, sleep and everything else only as a means for internal deepening and reaching the next degree. It’s always been that way.
Therefore, the Jews who lived like this were very different from others. When other nations came here, they were surprised by their way of life. The people themselves are smart, very developed, internally whole and deep. And outwardly, they lived very unpretentiously.
The internal wealth of the people did not correspond at all to its absolutely unpretentious external environment. In the corporeal sense, everything was very rationally arranged. There was no pomp. Even the clothes and utensils of the king, like everything else, was within limits. Everything was very strict.
This went on all the time, even in the 19th century. There is a story about how the Hasidim brought their rabbi new clothes, a special robe, but he said: “I won’t accept anything from you. I have a small room.”
They ask him: “How is this a small room? You have your Saturday clothes hanging on a nail on the wall.”
And he responds: “Yes. But if you bring me another one, I’ll have to put up a closet. And the closet is already a place in the room.”
These are spiritual calculations, not calculations of the external space. Life should be rational, but not deliberately minimalist and should simply satisfy the most necessary. No more than that.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Features of Judaism”