money money money

[More thorough treatment than the previous post]

There's definitely too much focus on money in the world today. We as Jews have a special responsibility to overcome this focus, and to put money in its place. Yes, taking care of our families is important. Yes, providing food and clothing and schooling to our children, are all vital. Still, just like there's a proper way to relate to people, whether you know them or not, which we call derekh eretz; There is also a correct way to relate to money.

If we think for a moment, that the well-being of our family, of our children, depends on money, then we are thinking about money the wrong way. We are creating illusions. The only reason we want the money is for the sake of the things they can attain, the things we think we actually need, food, clothing, shelter, comfort. Even these things aren't what we depend on. In fact, it is laughably easy, and horribly frightening to imagine a situation in which none of these would matter. When we feel the slightest discomfort of illness, our physical surroundings, the food in our mothers, the clothes on us, they all feel wrong, and bring little or no comfort.

As long as we put our faith and well-being in the hands of any intermediary, corporeal or otherwise, we aren't putting that faith and trust in HaShem. As long as we aren't doing that, we're still stuck in the animal-soul mentality, and we are giving in to the yetzer harah.

Rebbe Nachman teaches us that by putting our faith back in the right place, in the source of all of these other means, in the end and the beginning, in God, we are shining life upon us. We are only truly living when we are connecting the means of our existence with its ends.

He says that each member of Bnei Yisrael is (already) called a Tzaddik, because of his brit milah, so, all we have to do is capitalize on our potential.

Remember, we can go to work, join the rat race, do the same exact things every day, but just this slight (and fundamental) change in our perspective makes all the difference in the world. First change your thinking, then start to think about whether your actions need to change at all. Most of the time they don't. Sometimes we might want to stay a little longer in minyan, realizing that spending time with God in no way whatsoever hinders you receiving your livelihood from Him.

We might want to just focus a little more as the prayer-words blur by our eyes. We might relish stopping for minha in the midst of the hectic day instead of feeling the crush of its responsibility during our busiest hours. We might call our husbands or wives to say a few nice words (apologies, what have you) before we talk to HaShem, so that we don't have to make excuses for ourselves in our tefilloth, and don't have any distractions.

If we know in our hearts that we wont get a penny (or agurah) more or less than exactly what HaShem intends to give us, then perhaps we will approach each penny differently. If we know in our hearts that HaShem created the ends and it is within his power to 'make them meet', then just that little bit of faith we put in God, instead of weighing down our hearts with stress, will work wonders the world has never seen.

(based on my limited understandings of Likkutei Moharan I:23)

The Maor Eynayim explains (about Parashath haMan) that the Shechinah brings down our individual blessings, direct from God. In the time of midbar Bnei Yisrael were worthy to receive their blessings unclothed in physicality. Nowadays, we don't merit to see our blessings directly from HaShem, but nonetheless, the Shechinah brings our blessings all the way down into the physical world. Nothing has changed though, the blessing, the life-force (direct from HaShem) is still what nourishes us. Eating still has the potential to be a spiritual relationship with the Shechinah.

Lesson to learn: emunah puts food on the table.


Related posts

Blog Widget by LinkWithin