Talmudic Secrets To Wealth

Billionaire Hershey H. Friedman writes about how to get rich according to the Talmud:

Unlike the Christian Bible, which largely is dismissive of wealth and the wealthy, the attitude of the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud towards wealth is quite positive since it enables one to help others. God blesses those that use their wealth to help the poor (Deuteronomy 15:10; Isaiah 1:17-19; Proverbs 19:17). Wealth, peace, and/or long life are rewards from God for obeying His laws (Leviticus 26: 3-13; Deuteronomy 11: 13-16; Deuteronomy 25:15; Proverbs 22:4). There is nothing wrong with enjoying one’s wealth in a modest, unostentatious manner. There is a Talmudic view that one will be punished for not indulging in permissible pleasures (Jerusalem Talmud, Kiddushin 4:12).

The Talmud stresses the dignity of honest work. Rav told Rabbi Kahana: “Flay a carcass in the street and earn a wage and do not say, ‘I am a great person and this job is degrading to me ’” (Babylonian Talmud, Baba Bathra, 110a). They suggested, “There is no occupation which can disappear from the world [i.e., all are useful and important] …The world requires both perfumers and tanners; fortunate is he whose occupation is that of a perfumer, and woe to him who works as a tanner” (Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 82b).

The sages of the Talmud worked at many diverse occupations. They spoke not as theoreticians, but as people who understood what it meant to work for a living. For instance, Hillel was a woodchopper before he became the Nasi (President of the Sanhedrin) and Shammai the Elder was a builder. Abba Chilkiyah was a field laborer; Rabbi Yochanan b. Zakkai was a businessman for forty years; Abba Shaul was a gravedigger; Abba Chilkiyah was a field worker; Abba Oshiya was a launderer; Rabbi Shimon P’kuli was a cotton dealer; Rabbi Shmuel b. Shilas was a school teacher, Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Chananel were scribes; Rabbi Yosi b. Chalafta was a tanner; Rabbi Yochanan HaSandlar was a shoemaker….

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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