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In our tradition, such a high criterion in the assessment of personality, as honesty – this is what everyone should strive for. True integrity is not limited to the full value of the spirit; ideally, the spirit, the body of a person and even his property must be integral, since, according to the Torah, the property is like a particle of the person himself. In addition, wealth gives us the opportunity to more easily and effectively fulfill the will of the Creator (another thing is that not everyone uses this opportunity). But the sages compare the poor with the dead (Nedarim, 64b) – he lives in cramped circumstances and is not able to act freely and widely. This wealth gives a person a special dignity, we see, for example, from the fact that only a rich person could become a high priest (Yoma, 18a). Almost all the blessings with which the Creator blesses the people of Israel when they listen to His voice imply material abundance. According to our wise men, wealth is one of the three most wonderful gifts of the Creator to humanity (Rab Bemidbar, on Ch. Matot, 22: 7). The other two are perseverance in achieving goals and wisdom.
Danger of wealth
All of the above is true, provided that a person properly treats wealth and uses it properly. If he does it wrong, wealth turns evil for him. So said the wisest of men (Koelet, 5:12): “I saw a painful affliction under the sun — wealth remained for its owner’s concern”! We will give examples when wealth is evil for man.
Because of wealth, a person can become proud, which ultimately leads to a fall, as is the case with Korach, who, as our sages say, was one of the richest people in the world. Pride and great claims led Korach to the fact that he began to make fun of the laws of the Almighty and, using the trust of the people, led them to revolt against Moses. As we know, this ended with the fact that, together with his like-minded people, he went to hell alive and from that time testifies that Moshe and his Torah are true.
Having sunk the wealth of a person, he can be injured, maimed, killed. And so it was with Navot Izrieli, whose king King Ahab decided to receive. Navot was finally killed (see Mlahim 1:21).
Money and the honor of a rich person can cause the envy of other people, so that they try to live with him from the world.
the rich often boldly speak with others, as said (Michele, 18:23): “… and the rich will respond with courage.” Such a person, of course, is not loved and often hated by others.
In an effort to increase their wealth, to acquire property, a person can live in constant anxieties, not enjoying what he has. And so our sages said (Pirki Avot, 2: 7): “He who increases his property increases anxiety.”
Lack of time to cultivate
In pursuit of wealth, a person does not have time to study Torah, he often neglects work on himself. And our sages said it, that true knowledge of the Torah is not among traders and not traders. And they said: “For business, do not forget the Torah.”
Inability to get true pleasure
If a person is very rich and can easily achieve almost everything he wants, it can lead to satiety. It becomes difficult for him to get real pleasure, which can be obtained from what was previously lacking. (From this, self-restraint is useful, which helps preserve the taste for life at any level of well-being.)
Forget about the Creator
Since a rich person does not feel any lack of anything, he can forget about the Creator. Fearing this, King Shlomo said in Mishley (Proverbs): “So that I would not get fed up and would not deny (the existence of the Creator) and would not say:“ Who is God? ”” (30: 9).
This is what our wise men advise in order to avoid the dangers of wealth.
1. Remember who gave wealth to man
First of all, it should be remembered: everything that he has is from God. And we must constantly thank the Creator for the available, and not look for flaws in what He has given, and not make any complaints about this. This is what Moses tells us in the book of Dvarims (8:18): “Remember the Lord your God, for He gives you the power to acquire wealth.” The words “gives you the opportunity to acquire wealth” Unkelos comments: “The Most High taught you how to acquire wealth.” And in Dwarimah (8:10), it also says: “And you will eat and be filled, and you will bless the Lord your God, the Almighty, for the good land that He has given you.”
2. Charity – the distribution of wealth among the needy.
A person who regularly fulfills the commandment about tzdak and does not stint on it, this mitzvah protects against all sorts of dangers associated with wealth.
3. Organization of business.
We must try to organize your business in such a way as not to live in constant anxiety. It is necessary to appoint assistants who control various business areas and employees who will be involved in this business. The Talmud (Shabbat, 25b) gives an example of a man whose wealth does not harm him. This is “one who has a hundred vineyards and a hundred fields, and a hundred slaves who cultivate them.” Such a person has time to study the Torah and improve. The Talmud says that the great Torah scholar who lived in the era of the Second Temple (he even had the honor of performing some of the duties of the high priest in the Temple), Rabbi Elazar ben Hars, inherited immeasurable wealth from his father. He owned hundreds of localities, and hundreds of ships transported his goods. Rabbi Elazar understood that the management of such innumerable wealth would require all of his efforts and time, and he loves the Torah and does not want to be distracted from it for a minute. Then he hired managers and caretakers who did his business, and himself, with a jug of flour and a bottle of water, went from town to town and looked for Torah experts who would teach him their hidushim – the nuances of Alahi, who they were. honor to open.
Appreciate what is
We must learn to appreciate what we have. And so our sages said (Pirki Avot, 4: 1): “Who is (really) rich? One who is pleased with his allotment. “A person must imagine what will happen if he doesn’t have what he has and how he doesn’t have enough.
The same quote from Pirka Avot: “Who is (really) rich? He who is content with his lot, ”explains the Maharal: true wealth is not a financial position, but a character trait. Even the poorest man, if he is pleased with what he has, is really rich. And the one who is Not able to enjoy what he has is a really poor man, despite the fact that he has a lot of property.
Our sages say (Nida, 70 b) that in order to claim wealth, 3 basic things are needed – to pray to Tom, in whose hands wealth, diligently conduct business and conduct business honestly and with faith. Our sages also said (Shabbat, 119a): “Give (on tzdaku) one-tenth of your profit so that you become rich.” They also said: “Tsdaka is like salt for wealth”. That is, just as salt prevents food spoilage, so dsdak preserves its properties from damage.
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