3 Teves 5782 / Tuesday, December 07, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayigash
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A Successful Businessman

A businessman with emuna is not foolish enough to think that Hashem is low on funds or that He needs financing, or maybe a killer-interest loan from a loan shark…


The Garden of Riches, Part 19

A basic principle of Emuna is the foundation of all financial dealings, commerce, business and income, namely, that each person’s entire income is predetermined from Rosh Hashanah (New Year Day) for the entire year.
The practical application of this principle is to trust Hashem. We know that it is the responsibility of the Creator to provide for all of His creations. One can certainly trust The Creator to fulfill His responsibility. Therefore, a person will undoubtedly receive all that is predetermined for him, regardless of his efforts, wisdom or even righteousness. In addition, no person can in interfere with what is coming to another, or detract in any way from what was determined in Heaven, as our Rabbis said, “A person cannot touch what is prepared for his friend”.
Only when a person understands this principle, believing in it with full and simple belief, can he feel totally secure in all his financial matters, and successfully pass all the Emuna tests, with calmness and happiness, without getting angry or impatient and without committing theft or fraud.
On a practical level, a person who has trust in Hashem does not think about money. He knows Hashem provides, and dwells on it no further. His entire mindset in matters of income can be summarized in two words: Hashem provides.
What is predetermined for you – you will receive.
The entire world is a series of Emuna tests. At every moment, the businessman is undergoing a test – whether to believe that his income is predetermined in Heaven or to believe that it depends on his own efforts. If he chooses the former, he feels calm and happy and conducts all of his dealings in a fair and righteous manner. If on the other hand, he chooses the latter belief, that his income depends on his own efforts, he feels nervous and pressured to continually increase his efforts and ploys in seeking money, even resorting to dishonesty and outright fraud.
Everything depends on the simple faith that all of a person’s income is predetermined with precision in Heaven. He simply must choose the channel though which to receive his blessings. He may choose a golden pipe – a righteous manner, which comes with happiness and calmness, or a sewer pipe, which comes with stress, strife and fraud.
With no emuna, a person in business is easily tempted to violate laws, both Torah and civil. This life is Purgatory leads to complications of shady deals, debts, and a life fraught with worry and difficulty.
Trust in money is a trap that many aspiring business people fall into. Driven by lust to expand their businesses and make more money, they make severe mistakes and miscalculations, often failing to see that their expenditures are more that the profits. Sometimes they increase sales by recklessly undercutting their competition. Ultimately, blinded from their cash turnover when in actuality they’re losing money, they collapse under the weight of tremendous debts.
Obviously, the above scenario is the outcome of faulty emuna, when a person fails to run his business with good judgment, not letting things run the way that Hashem wants, which means, with whatever resources that Hashem provides. A person with emuna understands that if Hashem wants him to invest a lot of money, Hashem would have given him the full sum. He’s not foolish enough to think that Hashem is low on funds or that He needs financing, or maybe a killer-interest loan from a loan shark. If Hashem gave him a smaller amount than he wants to invest, it’s a sign that Hashem wants that he should run his business on a smaller scale. There will a Divine blessing on the small business, and he would be able to continue and do additional business. But without emuna, a person thinks that large investments will yield bigger profits, therefore he puts himself in great danger. He invests other people’s money in a business that won’t necessarily succeed. And even if it will succeed – it is doubtful whether he will be able to repay the loans that he incurred because of this business.
To be continued.

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