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Rabbi Evan Moffic connects this episode to his previous one where he spoke on whether it was a sin to be wealthy. He gives listeners four reasons you should want to be wealthy. Rabbi reminds us that money is neither good nor bad; it’s what you do with it that truly matters. Money simply reveals our true character.
Welcome to the Solomon Success Show where we explore the timeless wisdom of King Solomon and the Bible as it relates to business and investing false prophets and get rich quick schemes are everywhere. Let’s not be distracted by these. Instead, let’s go to the source, the eternal principles that create a life of peace, power and prosperity. Here’s our host, Jason Hartman.
Rabbi Evan Moffic 0:33
Welcome to the Solomon success Show. I’m Rabbi effin morphic. I’m a friend and client of Jason’s. And he was kind enough to invite me to co host this show with him. As you probably know if you’ve listened to the last few episodes where we have explored so much about the wisdom of Solomon, and what ancient Hebrew teachings, what they can do for us as we search for wealth and wisdom and Happiness, the greatest gifts in the world, we just simply have to open ourselves up to the wisdom of the ages. And that wisdom was captured by Solomon. Solomon was called the wisest man in the world. And he was also the wealthiest man in the world. And when we think about wealth, we’re not just talking about material things, although that’s a big part of it. We’re talking about freedom, health, happiness, well being a sense of living a life that truly matters. That’s why Jason started the show. Because if you listen to Jason’s income, property, wisdom, his investing wisdom, you’re going to find wealth. And if you listen to this show, you’re going to find the principles behind why Jason’s ideas work, and what we can do when we truly implement them in our lives and in our communities and in our world. This is the path to wealth and wisdom and it’s all rooted in Solomon’s ancient teachings, and today we are going to explore sort of extending what we talked about last week, which last week, I asked the question is wealth as being rich a sin in Judaism right now, we are in the time of year, called the high holy days, which is the Jewish New Year roshe, Sha na, perhaps some of you have experienced rashanna there’s a big sounding of the show far. Oh, that’s a terrible imitation of the show fire, but it’s a very powerful sound. And then that’s followed by Yom Kippur War, which is the Day of Atonement. And during these holidays, there is a lot of talk about sin. The word sin, and I talked about last week how in Judaism sin is not really the right word. Because in Christianity sin is reflection of inherent sinfulness. That is the original sin of Adam and Eve, eating of the garden and we’re all tainted by that sin according to Christianity. In Judaism, a sin is simply when we miss the mark, the Hebrew word is hate. That’s if we’re shooting arrows at a target, and we miss that to hate. So the idea is that when we sin, we just missed. We were aiming for the right thing, but we missed we made a mistake. We were misguided at some point, we flew off course. And that happens to everybody. It’s part of the human condition, but it’s not like we’re inherently tainted by some evil. At least that’s the way we understand it within Judaism. So then the question of is being wealthy as sin is kind of a dumb question, because of course, it’s not, unless we think wealth is bad, inherently, that it’s terrible, that that wealth is terrible. If we believe that then sure. I guess being wealthy is a sin. But I don’t think anyone listening really believes that. And I don’t think you can make that argument from the Bible itself. Even the Gospels it says love of Money is the root of all evil, not money itself, being evil and love of money. That’s we talked about that last week love of money is the obsession with money, that we think it’s an end in itself. The whole point of making money is to just make more money. anyone listening to this knows that’s not the point of making money. The point of making money is freedom is the ability to choose what to do with our time to give. That’s the point of making money. It’s not to just get more and more and more. So then, what are the benefits of wealth? That’s the question I want to ask this week. What can we do if we gain wealth? And in this sense, I am talking about material wealth, although the benefits of wealth when we talk about time and freedom, that’s self evident. We all want that. But I want to look more closely at if you follow Jason’s investing advice, and you gain material wealth. Why is that good? Aside from the fact of, you know, maybe you can stay in a nicer hotel and have a nicer house and if you have kids, so Then the private school if you want all of that, that’s all great. But on a broader scale, what good does wealth do for us? Now, the first thing I think, and this is perhaps a little bit counterintuitive, but wealth shows our contribution to the world. When we have gained wealth, we know that we have done something to deserve it. Not everybody, you can be born on third base and inherit a lot of wealth. But most people who have gained wealth in the world have done something to achieve that. They built a business that serves others. When you get paid for something. It’s a sign that you’ve done a service for them. You have provided you have served your fellow human being now you can serve without getting paid, but many people I mean, my daughter has a math tutor who comes to our house. And when that math tutor comes and helps her, I pay the math tutor. She has helped teach my daughter math which is important for her to do well in school and for eventually to succeed in life. I am grateful for that service. My check to her is almost like a sign of Gratitude, she has served me and hopefully serve the world by serving her fellow human being. So wealth can be a sign that you have been of service. It’s an important idea. You know, think about it. Solomon was of service to God in the world. He built the temple, he created that he built up the modern city of Jerusalem, and he attained wealth from it. So if you’re wealthy, it’s not that you are sinful, it’s that you have actually contributed to the world. It’s a sign of having made a difference. It’s not the only sign. There are many other ways we make a difference. But it’s one of the signs, we’ve made a difference in the material world. And wealth is a signal of that. Now this can be taken too far. The Calvinist Of course, said that, you know, those who are rich are clearly those who have been blessed by God. And that was an exclusive club. I wouldn’t take it that far. What I would say is, it’s one sign people who are wealthy, you can say, Did they figure out a way to be of service to the universe in a unique and Extensive way. Bill Gates, for example, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, these are people who really were of service to the world. They’re not perfect by any means. But Amazon made shopping a lot easier and cheaper. And Bill Gates helped us learn how to communicate. Steve Jobs helped us learn how to connect with one another Mark Zuckerberg. Again, these are not perfect people. I’m not talking about them in a perfect moral sense. I’m talking about being of service to the world, making life easier and more meaningful. The second thing, and this is very important, is that wealth allows you to give wealth allows you to give in Jewish law, if we do not give at least a 10th of our income of our possessions every year to God. It’s as if we’re stealing from God. You know, Jason has talked some about iron Rand, the objectivist philosophy, this goes against her philosophy. If you’re an an Rand follower, I’m sorry. This is a religious show and she was not religious at all. She was born Jewish, but she did not follow any Jewish priests. ceps in Judaism, giving is an imperative. You know, giving allows us to feel a great sense of dignity, when we can help others. We are truly helping ourselves in a wonderful way we feel good about ourselves. We’re born with certain altruistic genes. And when we give, we’re activating that part of ourselves, it’s wonderful. In the 19th century, there was a very wealthy British Jew named Moses Montefiore. He was eventually made a member of the House of Lords. He helped found the modern state of Israel. And on his hundred and second birthday, somebody asked, Montefiore how much he was worth. They said, What are you worth, Lord Montefiore? And he gave them some figure, maybe, you know, a million pounds or something like that? And the questioner said, Surely you’re worth more than a million pounds because he knew that, you know, Montefiore’s his net worth is probably 10 to 15 million pounds. Montefiore said us asked what I was worth. So I calculated what I gave to charity last year, and that was 1 million pounds. That was his measure of net worth. What we give is what matters most. And when we have attained wealth, we’ve given ourselves the ability to give. Now money is not the only way to give, we can give time we can give ideas we can give. You know, we have a member of the synagogue who’s an excellent graphic artist who donates her time and skill to the congregation, that that’s a form of giving. But wealth is also a form of giving. And if we attain wealth, material wealth, giving it away, is truly a blessing. people I know who have amass great wealth, say they have much more fun giving it away than attaining it. The third gift that wealth gives us is that it enhances our creativity. It activates our mind, in our instincts in our energy in new ways. In Judaism, there’s a belief that every human being is born with two inclinations. It’s in Hebrew, the Hebrew word is yet sir, there’s the good inclination to get Sarah Tov. And there’s the evil inclination, the yetzer, Hara, and every one of us has both of them. It’s a law of human nature. And in Jewish theology, we would never build civilizations, we would not have families, we would not work if it wasn’t for the yetzer Hara, the evil inclination, that is we channel that aggression, the aggressive energy that every person has. The challenge is to channel that into productive pursuits. And we do that when we work for a living when we try to attain wealth. When we are competitive, we are taking that aggressive energy and we’re channeling it into contributing something to the world. So the desire for wealth can channel our creativity and energy towards productive and that means if you want to make a lot of money, let’s say You’re good at science, you might decide to become a surgeon. And surgeons do very well. And if you’re really good search, and you can do really well, and you’re serving others. Now, hopefully you’ll do a little giving as well and perhaps perform surgeries where you don’t make money. But you’re entitled, if you’re working hard, and you have unique skills, you can get paid well for them, and you’re serving humanity. So that desire for wealth that can push us to constantly create and get better at what we do. Do you think Steve Jobs? Would he have invented the iPhone? If he could not have made money from it? Probably not. Are we happy he invented the iPhone, we certainly are. So the pursuit of wealth and the attainment of wealth gives us the opportunity to be creative. Again, it’s not the only aspect. We can desire to be creative, because we simply want to help somebody else. There are doctors who have done extraordinary service just to save a life even When they weren’t getting paid, it’s not the only motivation. But it’s one of those motivations and to deny that motivation is to deny how we are created to deny humanity. The fourth, and this is a little bit subtle and deep. But the fourth is that the pursuit of wealth, the attainment of wealth, can change our self perception. In the Hebrew Bible, in the book of Numbers, there’s a wonderful story about the Israelites, scouts who are looking into the land of Israel, they are preparing to enter the land. And Moses sends 12 spies into the land. And they’re each leaders of the different the 12 tribes, and they go into the land. And when they come back and report on their journeys, they say that the people in the land were giants. And we looked, we looked at them, and they looked at us as if we were grasshoppers. So their self perception was that they were grasshoppers. That the people that Canaanites were giants looking down at them. How many people think of themselves as grasshoppers as weak, as little compared to those around them, they think, Oh, I’m poor, oh, I’m unhappy. I must be a bad person. I must not have the skills that are necessary. People think that their circle, their sense of self is small. Some of that may be programming from parents from school, from just living a difficult life. But many people see themselves that way. But those who decide I’m going to create, I’m going to contribute, I’m going to build wealth. That journey to wealth can also be a journey to self understanding and self esteem and self confidence and an understanding that we are human beings created in the image of God. So the journey to wealth can also be a journey to self. That’s a good thing I should trademark that the journey to wealth can also be a journey to self and it’s really True. You just read testimonies. I mean that that’s why people like Jason, and others who teach us about how to live a life of success. also put a lot of emphasis on mindset, because mindset matters, those ancient Israelites. It wasn’t as if they were grasshoppers. They imagined that other people saw them as grasshoppers. It was all in their heads. And so we need to make sure we take care of our heads, that in our heads we see ourselves as as giants, not as grasshoppers. as Jason has said, the most important conversation we have is a conversation we have with ourselves. And that conversation should remind ourselves that we are not grasshoppers. We are giants. So think about that. When people say, oh, being rich or being wealthy is a sin, oh, you care too much about money. remind yourself of what wealth and money can do. It shows that we’ve contributed to the world. It allows us to give it activates our creativity. It can help us on our journey to self esteem and a true sense of self and an understanding that we are created in God’s image and that we are here for purpose. Shalom. Look forward to talking to you next week.
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