If God determines our wealth and marriage partner, is there a point to purchasing a book on how to obtain these?
Did you ever watch the 1960s’ TV show Gilligan’s Island? Seven people became castaways when their boat foundered. One of these was known as the Professor. While the show was far from reality TV, the Professor had access to the same raw materials as each of the other stranded passengers. While they fashioned cups out of coconuts and used fronds to fan themselves, he turned the same materials into communication and transportation systems. We each construct something different with the raw materials assigned to us and what we construct often depends upon what we know.
We do believe that before conception, God declares who our ideal marriage partner is and that each year He decides what our ‘work-multiplier’ is. That is not the same as handing us those things. Just as one person can turn a one-room apartment into a palace while another can turn a mansion into a prison, we can mess up a relationship with the greatest potential and elevate a relationship that starts out as second-rate. Without the right knowledge and without having acquired the correct patterns of conduct, we may never meet our divinely assigned partner, or having met her, we might repulse her.
Similarly, God may allot us a certain ‘work-multiplier‘ meaning that He has decided how much financial abundance each unit of our work will deliver. But the kind of work we do and how effectively we do it is entirely up to us and those decisions are very much a function of what we know and what best practices we have absorbed. Again, information and wisdom are vital.
So, we would strongly encourage you and, indeed, all of us to treat marriage and wealth acquisition as areas where we constantly want to read, listen and learn how to improve. We should each strive to make the most of what God graciously prepares for us even as we pray for His help in doing so.
Be a professor,
Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin