Is Jewish financial success unrelated to Judaism?

October 6th, 2020 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 9 comments

I have recently become a passionate audience of your ancient Jewish wisdom show on tct.tv. I do gain a lot of understandings of why Jewish people are so successful, especially in the business world. Many of the teachings I have learnt so far are related to the faith.

But that doesn’t seem to explain why so many secular Jewish people are also very successful in their trades. 

Could it be that the blessing of God to the chosen people regardless of their faith?

Thanks,

Howard L.

Dear Howard,

We are delighted that you are watching our Ancient Jewish Wisdom TV Show on TCT. Our shows, just like our ministry, revolve around applying ancient Jewish wisdom to the areas of family, finances, faith, friendship and fitness. In other words, everything in our lives that we really care about.

If you have had the chance to look at any of our financial resources, whether books, audio or video, we hope you have begun to find the answers to your question.

We all grow up in certain environments that lead us to take many ideas for granted. Only when we are exposed to a different way of life do we realize that our way is not universal or automatic. We can see this in so many different areas. For instance, there are many American citizens who grow up with loyalty to one of the two political parties because that is the party that their grandparents and parents and neighbors supported over the course of decades. Sometimes, they discover a new friend or a piece of information that leads them to actually explore what differentiates the parties and then they discover that their natural affinity lies elsewhere. But many, many people just blindly follow in their parents’ footsteps.

Similarly, if you grew up in a home awash with books, with parents who read aloud to you and supper discussions that revolved around articles and books, you might be blown away to eat at a friend’s house and find that watching TV is the main activity at mealtime. Until you joined that table as a guest, you simply did not know that not everyone reads avidly or that members of a family could sit at a meal with eyes focused on a monitor instead of sharing time and conversation together.

In this same way, there are attitudes towards work and money that pass down through generations of Jewish families even when the original source of those ideas, the Torah, has been banished as a main guidepost for life. The original impetus is no longer known, but the fumes of that fuel, those specific ideas, remain in the gas tank. In our resources, we share these ideas so that they are available to everyone, though we explain why being a person of faith makes them more accessible.

Having said that, we all realize that time will erode everything if there is no upkeep as surely as your car will stop traveling once it runs out of gas. The fumes of Torah wisdom will propel people forward for quite some time even after the tank is empty, but it will not last forever.

Wishing you financial success,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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9 comments

Linda K. Morales says:

That was an incredible answer!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thank you Linda–
We try to tell the truth and it usually resonates with readers.
Cordially
RDL

Hope R. says:

Rabbi Lapin, Can you please explain what is meant by secular Jews? I thought Jew was short for Judaism which is a religion anyone can convert to. In North America, people assume the title “Christian because Canada/America are Christian countries but we see in the Bible that Christian is meant by people/followers of Christ. People who act or have the fruits or attributes of Christ. One cannot behave constantly like demon and claim to be Christian. Thank you!

Richard Flink says:

When I was in Junior Highschool in Northern New Jersey one of my class mates who was also my friend,Kim Rosenberg, would share with me some of the things that he was learning in”Hebrew School.”
Much of what he shared was about business and business ethics. I’ve reflected on that over the years. Perhaps this might be a clue for Howard L.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Honestly, Richard,
While certain overarching principles might be taught in very diluted form in a children’s Hebrew school, most of what we are talking of is willfully absorbed during the more mature years. Ideas such as how making money is not the equivalent of taking money and the spiritual nature of money is beyond the grasp of little kids in Hebrew school. However, they can and often do gain an intuitive sense of the importance of education, respect for other people, and the importance of being able to accept orders and instruction.
Cordially
RDL

Jane Crawford says:

You would be happy to know, Rabbi Lapin, that because I have been learning from you and your wife for years now I knew what your answer would be although could never have guessed how you would explain it so wonderfully! Thank you!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

That is beautiful, Jane,
Yes, it is no surprise that when people study a common world view, they begin to see the world in similar ways. This is why it is so helpful for a married couple to study Bible together.
Cordially
RDL

Paul S Walaszek says:

The same thing is happening in “Christian” households. The morals of God are being replaced by the secular unchurched “morals” of man. I have been reading the Bible with at dinnertime with my daughter since she was a baby. Right now we are reading through the Book of Nehemiah. This has sparked many wonderful conversations while filling our souls with the Truth of our God. Many a time I was wondering if she was paying attention because she looked like she was daydreaming, but she then would ask: “Dad, what about…?” My answer is always: “Well let’s see what God has to say about it.” We will continue to keep our tanks full in my home. “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

That’s a wonderfully encouraging picture you paint, Paul, of you and your daughter,
I love that verse in the last chapter of Joshua,
We’ll soon be releasing our verse by verse through the Bible which will be wonderful for you and your daughter
Cordially
RDL

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