Operation Inspiration By Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz
One day I passed a lottery machine. It had a bunch of windows and clear plastic buttons highlighting
I began to daydream, just a little, about how that money would change my life. No more worrying about bills, being able to buy an apartment in Eretz Yisrael, giving tzedaka, paying tuition, and the list goes on.
My thoughts flitted for a moment to the idea that when Hashem decreed that the primordial serpent eat dust its whole life it sounded like a great
would be one downside to winning the lottery.
Of course, that sort of doubt doesn’t linger very long and we happily go back to imagining what
But you know what we rarely think about? The question I asked myself next:
Would the money make me a better person? All the daydreams of what money can buy don’t think about what money can’t buy. It can’t buy friends, only hangers-on. It can’t buy you compassion, or empathy, or happiness. It can’t change who you are,
though perhaps it magnifies it.
If you are a person who is grateful for everything you have, then money would make you more grateful. It will give you more things to be thankful for and to praise Hashem for. If you are a selfish person,
People imagine how much money they will give to tzedaka if they become rich. The truth is, though, that if they were generous and charitable before, they will be generous with whatever they have later on.
However, the money won’t turn a stingy person into a giving one.
The Mishna says, “Who is rich? He who is satisfied with his lot.” That means that no matter how
The Torah in Parshas Metzora speaks of a person who cannot afford a particular animal sacrifice. It
Rebbe explains: This woman has just been blessed with a child. She may not have money but she cannot be called destitute. She has such a
Over the years, people have come up with different ideas of what it means to be a “winner.” Those
It occurred to me that you can’t win a game until you understand the object of it. Life isn’t
There’s no lottery that offers such a prize and most often that lottery would push us farther away from the goal. So the next time you see a lottery machine or you hear that the jackpot is half a billion dollars, ask yourself what you’d do with the money. That answer will help you see where you stand today and how far you are from where you ought to be. If you begin to scratch away at the things that are standing in the way of the real you, pretty soon you may find yourself the next big winner.
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