We are lost – asleep in a world controlled by the insatiable desire for wealth and what that wealth can buy.  Our role models are successful tycoons, movie stars, and tech wizards.

Wealth has become synonymous with our status and in turn this is used as the ultimate measurement for our happiness.

Listen to the Class

But it is not.

Deep within us we know this desire – this lust for money is our generation’s avodah zarah – idol worship.

Rebbe Nachman teaches that true connection and faith in the Creator will not return until this desire is destroyed. “On that day a men will send away their gods of silver and gold. (Isaiah 2)”

But how can we break these “gods?” After all, their control appears to be absolute, having penetrated our very being.

The Lost Princess teaches about the mountain of gold and palace of pearls – that “All things are valuable there…” All things are value because value itself is the currency – the means has become the end – the value to be worshipped.

We can overcome this trap if we free ourselves from relying on it and we can only do that by giving tzedakah, charity; not because we can afford it or because it brings us status, but rather only when it becomes our very being to give.  That’s when we realize that money is not really ours.

That’s when we are freed from it.

Then Rebbe Nachman teaches that we must strive to be joyful with everything we are given without desire for more. “Be happy with your lot,” the sages teach.  This joy and happiness redirect the desire for wealth towards realizing our true inner potential – our nigun, song.

No one can force us to see the world this way.  Yet, if we want a new world not controlled by greed or driven by desires for wealth each one of us must shatter the world of lies that surrounds our very being.

(Based on Likutey Moharan Lesson 13)

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David Mark or "Reb Dovid" as many call him is a prolific writer and informal educator, focusing on the merger of Chassidic thought and the Land of Israel. He received his rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Brovender and Rabbi Nechemia Goldberg. He is currently one of the writers and editors at Breslov Research Institute. He teaches Breslov Chassidus in the American program in the Hesder Yeshiva of Otniel as well as in various settings in Jerusalem and the wider Judea and Samaria area.

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