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Posts tagged " money "

Does God Determine How Much You Earn?

October 5th, 2016 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

The Jewish “New Year”, Rosh Hashana,  has just ended.  I have been privileged to be teaching in Jerusalem where several people have asked me the same question.  If God judges every human on this holyday, and furthermore He determines the fate of everyone including their financial fortunes, why bother working?  Everything is up to God and He will find a way to get into my bank account whatever He has deemed that I should have.  It so happens that I was fully prepared for this question since I asked it of one of my teachers many years ago.  I will confess there was a spirit of mischievousness in my inquiry that was utterly absent from the sincere and intelligent questioners who confronted me.  The answer is that God does not declare actual dollar amounts.  However, what He does do is establish the ‘cosmic exponents’ that will convert your efforts into actual dollar amounts.  For one person, X amount of effort will produce Y amount of return, for another it might be Z amount of return.  Obviously when X is zero, meaning no work and no effort, regardless of whether you square it, cube it or multiply it by ten thousand, the result will always be zero.  No effort generally = no return.  God put is in the Garden to work it; to exert our energy towards combating the entropy He built into the system for our benefit. This is why we know that closing our store on this website on Sabbath and Holydays is what God expects of us. While there may often be what appear to be temporary exceptions, we are always judged and God’s response is ultimately in accordance with our effort.

Do I Have to Stop Making Money?

July 21st, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

This is a complex ethical question, at least for me. An acquaintance introduced me to an internet marketing business which offered ad-sharing that returned $5 for every share purchased once the share retired. When I bought a lot of packs and received 2% per day ($10,000 investment) it adds up and I reinvested every day which made my shares grow. I checked it out and it is not a Ponzi scheme. Since I do not have a business to promote, the traffic that I am buying with my shares are sent randomly to all the other businesses who are promoting their sites on this traffic exchange – Traffic Monsoon by name. I have to view 10 ads personally every day to be a part of the revenue share.

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Your answer was off base!

May 5th, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question #1:

“I have been receiving your newsletter and watching you on Glenn Beck and listening to your radio Podcasts for quite a while now. I respect you greatly and think that you have a lot of wisdom, however, I was very dismayed at your answer to the young 17-year-old aspiring massage therapist. I’m a massage therapist myself and there are countless ways that you can go into the profession. There are many ways that you can serve in a medical setting rather than in a spa setting. Spa massage IS a luxury and has much less therapeutic value.

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The Too Few Flue

April 12th, 2016 Posted by Thought Tools No Comment yet

“I earned more money last year than my father/grandfather made his entire life!” Have you heard people saying that? I have; many times. It often means that the speaker is astounded at having earned more money than he ever expected to and the polite way to express this sentiment is by comparing it to a previous generation. Many people maintain a mental money-making number that they believe deep in their hearts to be the unspoken upper limit of what they think themselves capable.

Were it not so, nobody would ever be surprised at how much money he made. On the contrary, if our expectations were really limitless, we’d always view our revenue as merely okay. Better than last year this time, perhaps, but nowhere near what is possible. But we don’t think that way. Instead most of us think upper-limit rather than limitless. Instead of planning next year’s income in terms of “Let’s see how high we can make it,” we think in terms of “How close might I get to my goal?” The trouble is that the goal is almost always far lower than it might have been. (more…)

Money & Marriage Maketh Man

November 25th, 2015 Posted by Thought Tools No Comment yet

Try persuading today’s university students that making money is both dignified and moral. That’s what I did last week when I addressed 13,000 students at the Liberty University Convocation in Virginia. I not only told them that making money was a virtuous activity but I proved it. And they whooped, hollered and cheered. But remember, this was not Dartmouth, Yale or University of Missouri. There’s hope for America down there in Lynchburg.

My dear friend, the late Jerry Falwell, founded Liberty University in 1971. It is a beautiful campus populated by God-fearing young scholars who play as hard as they pray. Their Flames football team competes successfully in division 1 of the NCAA in the Big South Conference. (more…)

Get A Head

November 17th, 2015 Posted by Thought Tools No Comment yet

You know those Rube Goldberg complicated contraptions that employ a long chain of mechanical levers and other devices to do something mundane like striking a match? We love watching them, partially I think because so much in life tends to camouflage cause and effect. When we watch a three minute process of rolling balls, falling weights, revolving wheels and tumbling dominos, it’s not only fun but also a little bit reassuring. Hey, the world does make sense.

Well, on a far larger scale and in far more meaningful ways, the world does make sense. However, it is very worthwhile knowing and following the principles even before we understand the chain of cause and effect that explains the benefit. (more…)

Our daughter won’t listen to Dave Ramsey

August 27th, 2015 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

We are Jewish. I’ve heard you endorse Dave Ramsey and vice versa. His methods have helped me greatly. However, my 34 year old daughter is at a financial crossroads and desperately needs help. When I suggested that she take a FPU course or at least listen to him or read his book, she says, “Oh, he’s that Christian guy. No, I’m not doing that.” How can I get her to open up to his message?

I listen and the Christian references don’t bother me. How can I get her to open up and help herself? She is a struggling actress in CA, in the middle of a divorce.

Thanks in advance for your answer.

∼ CKP

Answer:

Dear CKP,

Firstly, please accept our compliments and admiration for being open to Dave Ramsey’s tough but true teachings on finance.  He has helped thousands of people and we are glad you’re among them.  We are sorry about the pain you feel at your daughter’s self-destructive ways and your apparent inability to help her see the road map.  However, we do think we can help you. Without knowing your daughter, we can only make a few guesses as to what her problem with Dave Ramsey really is. Here are our top three choices:

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Should My Husband Join My Business?

June 10th, 2015 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

My husband and I are ready your book on business as a result of seeing you on the 700 club. I have been in business for 25 years in the Imprinted Apparel business and recently my husband lost his job. It made sense for him to join the business as he is 10 years younger than me and I have to deal with a lot of boxes and deliveries when jobs are completed.
My business has supplied me for 25 years but it is a small business and now we need to generate enough income for 2. We start our day everyday reading scripture and praying and then get to work. So far so good as the last Summer Camp order was double the size of last year. It is still a step in faith as we attempt to grow our business and ask God to help us.
Is there any specific advise you would give us? Thank you and God bless you today.

∼ Lauren A.

Answer:

Dear Lauren,

If you have been in business for 25 years and it is growing, you must be doing many thing right. You clearly invite God to bless and guide your business which is always an important step.

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My Husband Has Been Out of Work for a Year

April 16th, 2015 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

My husband was laid off 12 months ago. He has been searching diligently as well as studying fervently in order to get a new job. He recently had an interview for a company that would be the top of the top for his field. 

He did extremely well on the interview, but was told a few days later they would not continue on.  My husband is flabbergasted and devastated. He keeps running over and over the interview trying to find out what he did wrong. I told him maybe God closed the door with this company. He said God doesn’t close doors. My question is two-fold:

  1. How long should he obsess over trying to figure out what he did wrong to not get the job – what would be the better thing for him to do in order to get the most from this?
  2. Does God open and close doors?

I would love to know what ancient Jewish wisdom has to say on this.

Thank you,

∼ Paula

Answer:

Dear Paula,

Ouch. Being out of work for a year is a horribly painful experience for a man. Being married to someone who is out of work for a year is painful as well. We can only imagine your husband’s devastation when it seemed as if there was finally a breakthrough and then he faced disappointment.

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Prosperity Power

December 2nd, 2010 Posted by Thought Tools No Comment yet

Tonight, I will not be counting my money by the light of the Chanukah candles. Nor will I do so on any of the remaining evenings of this eight day festival. Unlike the Sabbath candles or the candles for other holydays, these Chanukah flames must not be used for any other purpose.  For instance, you cannot read a book in the room containing the Chanukah lights unless another light is present.  By way of warning, ancient Jewish wisdom insists that the light of the Chanukah candles may not be used even for as important an idea as counting one’s money.  Excuse me! Shouldn’t it have said for learning Torah or studying with one’s children? Who would have thought of counting money in the first place?

In one further apparent nod to monetary awareness Chanukah is the only occasion in the Jewish year on which it is customary to give money as a gift.  Unique to this holiday, children are given gifts of money as an incentive and reward for studying God’s word. Though the precise origins are shrouded in mystery, there are even grounds for seeing the first syllable of the word Chanukah as the etymological source of the English word ‘coin’. 

In another apparent recognition of the importance of earning money, ancient Jewish wisdom marks the correct time for the lighting of the candles in an unusual manner.  While tradition usually mandates observances according to sunset or using other clock-related ways, we are told to light the Chanukah candles, the holiday's main observance, while people are in the streets heading home from their day’s work.

What is this Chanukah connection with money and work? We get a clue from the fact that it is the only Jewish festival of the year on which there is no religious restraint or even suggestion against working at one’s everyday job.

The answer becomes clearer when we realize that not only must the main religious ritual, the Chanukah lights, be singularly dedicated to the holiday itself, but the name of the holiday even means dedication.

One of Chanukah’s central themes is the fundamental idea that dedication to God must come first. Everything else in our lives needs to be judged through that prism. However, dedication to God does not mean isolating oneself from other people or divorcing oneself from economic effort and achievement.  Rather the contrary.  God is delighted by the sight of humans connecting with each other, establishing families and communities. He also delights in seeing us serving the needs of other humans just as we thrill at seeing our own children taking care of one another. On Chanukah, we integrate those parts of our lives which we sometimes mistakenly see as conflicting rather than complementary.

People are usually comfortable and even proud when talking about how they help others through charitable giving.  And giving charity is wonderful. Yet providing others, in an ethical and open marketplace, with things and services they need is also praiseworthy.  Providing for one’s family through honest enterprise is noble and part of God’s plan for humanity. During Chanukah we weave money and the marketplace into our celebrations. So, though I won’t be counting my money using the Chanukah lights, it is perfectly reasonable that I might have thought of doing so.

P.S. Last week in the Thought Tool entitled “No Thank-you” I wrote that nowhere in the Five Books of Moses does anyone say the words, thank-you. As many alert readers pointed out, a perfectly legitimate translation of Genesis 29:35 has Leah giving thanks to God and naming her fourth son Judah. Of course, as the Thought Tool indicated, this naming of her son was also an action rather than merely a verbal utterance.

My wife and I would like to take this opportunity of wishing all our Jewish subscribers a joyously happy Chanukah, a time of light defeating darkness, a time for gratitude and praise to God, and a time for economic success.

TO READ ABOUT RABBI DANIEL LAPIN BOOKS AND CD'S – INCLUDING HIS NEW PROSPERITY POWER AUDIO CDS – AS WELL AS APPEARANCES AND SPECIAL OFFERS, OR TO SIGN UP FOR THOUGHT TOOLS SEE: www.rabbidaniellapin.com.