Monday, July 20, 2009

God helps those who help themselves.

I receive emails from each week commenting on the weekly Parashat. They are, admittedly, usually flufball pieces. This one is no real exception. I did want to post it, however, to show that it is not against halacha or Torah precepts at all to make every effort to solve our own problems - even economic ones. Or as I should say, especially economic ones. No amount of faith is going to help us if we have been bad stewards of our resources and talents and failed to make reasonable and adequate plans to meet our family's financial needs.

Parshat Devarim
From "Aloh Na'aleh"

The Shiur was given on Av 5768
נערך על ידי הרב

Dedicated to the memory of
R' Meir b"r Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld zt"l

Parshat Devarim, as well as Sefer Devarim, is Moshe Rabbeinu’s final address to the Israelites. At that time they were encamped at the shores of the Yarden River preparing for the invasion into Canaan . Moshe Rabbeinu uses this opportunity to include the review of major events and episodes in their past, as well as his criticism of Israel’s sins.

One of the historic references is the story of the Meraglim. Moshe Rabbeinu declared "Then all of you came to me and said, "Let us send men ahead to explore the land…..I approved of the plan." (Devarim 1:22-23) What need was there for Moshe Rabbeinu to agree to the suggestion? Hashem had promised them that He would give them the land. The Israelites should have simply relied on Him to lead them to victory.

In response to the question of why Moshe Rabbeinu supported the sending of scouts, the Ramban contributes a far reaching insight. Moshe Rabbeinu agreed, because it was the right thing to do. In Yahadut, we are taught not to rely solely on miracles. Emunah in Hashem must not preclude our obligation to do whatever is in our power to confront all challenges. We can not sit back and wait for the miracle to occur. We must initiate the process by girding ourselves with courage and attempt to devise the means to reach our goal, in the spirit of the adage, "G-d helps those that help themselves."

Part of being a good steward of a household is having a balanced budget - that is, your spending must be no more than, and preferably less then, your income.

For those who might be latecomers to this blog, some time back I posted a beginner's guide to making a budget.

Thursday, November 01, 2007
Budgeting for beginners.

If your present expenses are more than your present income, relying on more charity is NOT a viable option - you have an obligation to reduce your expenses and to increase your income. That means keeping up with the Goldsteins is not going to be an option, nor is having able-bodied family members who refuse gainful employment. At the very least, it means taking an honest and realistic look at your current income and shrinking your expenses to fit. If you can't live on what you're making in income, then wishing that situation will go away or hoping charity will cover for your lack of stewardship is not realistic.

And the sooner you admit that, the better off you'll be.

Related Article [Hat Tip Failed Messiah]"

Ha'aretz Online
Last update - 15:07 20/07/2009
Bank of Israel Chief to ultra-Orthodox community: Get jobs
By Motti Bassok, TheMarker

To summarize, their poverty is mostly self-inflicted. By refusing to work, they've made themselves even more poor than Arabs. Great stewardship there, fellahs - NOT.

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