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In Sichah 4, Rebbe Nachman discusses money, or to be more precise, the lack of money. He says that nowadays, it is very difficult for a kosher Jew, a person who is sincerely committed to serving HaShem, to have money. He says that to obtain an abundant supply of money one must sink into the depths. This is not to say that money is inherently bad. Quite the opposite is true. Rebbe Nachman taught in Lesson 68 of Likutei Moharan that money comes from a very high spiritual place, the same place in which souls originate. However, with the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, wealth fell into the kelipos, into impurity, and can now be found mainly with wicked people.  

Rebbe Nachman states that there are exceptions. There are righteous people with money. However, he says that this wealth is difficult for them and causes them troubles. As Chazal said, a person with more possessions has more worries (Avos 2:7). It is not easy to serve HaShem with a clear mind when your merchandise that is moving all over the globe is also running around in your head. A person with little material wealth has less to worry about and is more free to serve HaShem.

The lesson of this Sichah is to direct us to true wealth. Rebbe Nachman mentions a drash from his grandfather Rebbe Nachman Horodenker on the verse “in her right hand is length of days, in her left hand is wealth and honor” (Mishlei 3:16). The right hand of the Torah represents people who learn Torah lishmah, in order to learn about the mitzvos in order to keep them, and to fulfill the mitzvah of learning Torah. The left hand of the Torah represents people who learn Torah for the sake of achieving honor. The first group is rewarded with long life, while the second group is rewarded with wealth. The Gemara (Shabbos 63a) asks shouldn’t the first group get a bigger reward and receive wealth as well? The answer given is that it goes without saying that they receive wealth as well. Rebbe Nachman Horodenker said that it only goes without saying that they should have wealth, but in actuality they don’t have it.

From here we can learn that true wealth is length of days, which means Olam HaBa. Even if one does achieve material wealth in this world, it doesn’t help him very much since he must leave it behind when he moves on to the eternal world. Rather than pursuing material wealth, a person should spend his time achieving spiritual wealth that will be his forever. He will thus fulfill Chazal’s dictum “Who is wealthy? He that is happy with his lot”, and will be truly wealthy in this world and in the next.

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Shaul Mizrahi
Author

Shaul Mizrahi is involved in the transcription and publication of the classes of Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh Rosenfeld z"l and their translation into Hebrew. He also translates other works related to Rebbe Nachman's teachings.

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