Who Is Wealthy?

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

The work that a person does can either be like the thirty-nine labors that were necessary for the functioning of the Mishkan when it stood in its glory, or they can be like thirty-nine lashes, like the Mishkan in its destruction.
(Likutey Moharan I:II)


What does this mean to me?

Working in the world can either be an end in and of itself, or a gateway for realizing a spiritual goal. When it becomes its own goal, it can be far more of a curse than a blessing—a cycle of existence like a treadmill, working to have money to eat, so that you have energy to work, and on and on. How do we get off the treadmill? By binding our work to spiritual goals—to have money to fulfill mitzvot, to do honest work and contribute to the world in whatever way we can, and to cultivate inner qualities like being satisfied with what we have. “Who is wealthy? The one that rejoices in what he has.”


A prayer:

Merciful G-d, provide us with income
So that we are not brought down
In our struggle to make ends meet.
Help us be happy with what we have
So that our concerns
Are not focused on material matters.

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