Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Financial Prosperity

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

To Adam He said, “You listened to your wife and ate from the tree regarding which I specifically gave you orders, saying, ‘Do not eat from it.’ You shall derive food from the ground with anguish all the days of your life…By the sweat of your brow you will eat bread.” (Bereshith 3:17- 19)

Since the curse of Adam, man has had to work to earn his sustenance. Our Sages tell us that while engaged in work he must make sure to adhere strictly to the Torah’s high precepts of honesty. This principle is so important that even if it entails great monetary loss, one must distance oneself from falsehood.(1)

Could this not cause financial hardship? King Dovid reassures us that, “The truth shall sprout from the earth.”(2) This is a sign that when we speak the truth, we will receive the rain we need for our physical sustenance,(3) as the next verse testifies, “The land will yield its produce.” (4)

In contrast, theft and breach of trust are reasons that God brings drought and poverty.(5) The Talmudic sage Ulah was once in Bavel and he saw luminous clouds, a sure sign of rain. He warned everyone to bring their utensils inside, to spare them from damage. In the end the rain did not come. Significantly, Ulah attributed this unexpected change in weather patterns to the dishonesty of the people of Bavel.(6)

Why is integrity so important in earning a living? The reason that a person works for their sustenance is as retribution to Adam and Chava who were enticed by the serpent’s sheker to disobey God’s will. Someone who tries to earn a living dishonestly is making the same mistake that they made: they believe that they stand to gain by pursuing falsehood. They are destined to share the same fate as Adam and Chava: they will lose much more than they gained.

Just as truth is the key to agricultural bounty, it is likewise the key to every form of worldly prosperity. A businessman was looking over his invoices and saw that he had been grossly overpaid for a certain order that he had sent out. Instead of remaining quiet, he reported the mistake to his client, and returned all of the money that was not rightfully coming to him. Although in the short term he gave up a large sum of money, in the long run he profited tremendously from his reputation for complete integrity.


1. Sha’arei Teshuvah 3, 182.

2. Tehillim 85:12.

3. Reishith Chochmah, Masah U’matan 3.

4. Tehillim 85:13.

5. Ta’anith 9a.

6. Ibid 9b.


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Remainding Sons
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Seven Perfect Weeks
Rabbi Yosey Goldstein - 5756

The Three Crowns
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

In Hillel's Footsteps
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Honorable Mentshen
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

Kiddush Moments
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

In the "Judging Business"
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

It's None of Your Business
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

A Critical Difference
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

ArtScroll

The Value of Reverence
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5764

Nothing To Fear
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Love From Inside Out - Part 2
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

> Separate and Pure
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Jumping To Conclusions
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

Lag B'Omer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Holy Kitchen, Holy Sidewalk, Holy Workplace
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information