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A person with wealth, stands up. His wealth gives him a sense of confidence that allows him to act, a sense of self-worth that fills him with enthusiasm. He enjoys all that he is and all that he does. He feels important and this promotes his success. Thus his wealth is a key to prosperity – a key that opens the doors to his desires. The ground under their feet (Devarim 11.6). This verse, taught R Elazar, refers to a persons wealth – it stands him on his feet. (Pesachim 119a) Rav Shmuel bar Nachman said: When a man is wealthy, he shows his friend a happy face. (Breishis Raba 91.5) R Elazar said: A man who has no land is no man. (Yevamos 63a) A beautiful home expands a persons thoughts. (Brochos 57b) Beautiful garments enlarge a persons thoughts. (ibid.) The rich mans wealth is his fortress. (Mishle 10.15) The rich man has many who love him. (Mishle 14.20) Wealth adds many friends. (Mishle 19.4) Healthy Wealth There is wealth to be had, there is money in the streets. However, a person needs to want this money, to look carefully for it, and gather it up. For the Heavens guide a person in the way he wishes to go (Makkos 10b). True, there are hardships he must endure, he must learn to toil, he must train himself to wait, patiently. Still, if he wants it, it is there. The question is though, should he want wealth? At the simplest level we may answer that the survival of religious life depends on wealth. We need money for our Shabbosim and for our weekdays, for talleisim and for tefillin. We need money for our shuls and our schools. We need money to create libraries and feed our scholars. The very survival of a Torah life-style depends on a financial backing. To raise whole families, a nation who lives with true values, all requires successful economics. Thus every aspect of the Torah depends on wealth. R Elazar ben Azarya would say: If there is no flour, there can be no Torah. (Avos 3.21) Food leads to laughter, wine adds joy to life, and money solves all problems….
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