Improving Wealth

 

Moshe Ben-Chaim


 

 

Reader: How do I merit Hashemís intervention in my life (e.g., help with livelihood)?  How does such intervention manifest itself?

 

Mesora: Malachi 3:10 describes the promise of G-dís wealth secured by our giving ma-asare, tzedaka, (the Shulchan Aruch says the best form is 20%). G-d promises to "open up the storehouses of heaven and empty out a blessing for you until there is more than enough." The Torah says in this one area, ma-asare, one is allowed to test G-d, as the verse says before this, "and test Me please in this." G-d asks we test Him by giving tzedaka, and He promises a response of a blessing that is "more than enough." Why is THIS the area that causes success? Because it is here alone that man demonstrates his conviction that all is in G-d's hand - he 'risks' his own sustenance. Such conviction is endorsed by G-d, by his subsequent fortune. Only when one makes such a sacrifice, is he truly convinced that G-d can, and will respond. In this area of perfection, G-d responds in kind. This 'response' validates one's act as having been proper in G-d's eyes. This person also values giving to others - he uses his wealth properly. He is then one to whom G-d entrusts with additional wealth.

 

A Rabbi once mentioned that this "more than enough" is predicated on the recipient having a number in his mind that is "enough". G-d will not give a blessing to one who is never satisfied when his needs are met.

 

Wealth is a means - not an ends. One must be living properly so that there is the relationship between you and G-d, that G-d will respond to your test. Study for the mere interest in Torah ideas of morality, justice, and truth, fulfill G-d's commands, be honest in business, and adhere to the tenets of Torah. When one lives in accordance with reality, i.e., G-d's Torah, G-d then secures your lifeís finances so you may continue in His path.

 

Examine your ways to see where you require improvement. Be honest, and investigate G-d's will through His Torah. It is for our good, and it's ways are pleasant, "Vidarche-ha, darchey Noam."

 

Talmud Betzah teaches, our yearly, monetary allotment is determined between Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur. Use this time before Rosh Hashanna to improve yourself, and do so out of a true, honest quest for recognition of why Torah and the commands are beneficial, and perfect. Only then will you be living as G-d wishes, as one who clearly understands G-d's wish for man's good, performing His commands out of conviction to the truth. Maimonides taught that insofar as one is perfected, (intellectually and in action) in this proportion does G-d relate to him.

 

How your wealth will be manifested is G-d's knowledge - not that of man.