Dovid Weinberg – A Direct Descendant Of The Rama – Parsha Va’etchanan

In this week’s parsha the Midrash states: “The one who merits wealth merits everything.  Under what circumstances is this so?  When the wealth he holds has been conferred by Heaven and is in the accordance with the Torah, then [the person who possesses the wealth is considered as if he has everything].  Conversely, if his wealth was sanctioned by Hashem, then it is considered as if the wealth was taken undeservedly.”

What the Midrash is teaching us is that there are two kinds of wealth: (1) divinely authorized and (2) wealth that is unauthorized by Hashem.  The question is how do we understand this distinction? The answer is that there are two types of divine reward that pertain to Tzaddikim: (1) reward bestowed in This World and (2) reward that is bestowed in Olam Haba.  Some Tzaddikim merit both types of reward.  When that is the case, the wealth they enjoy in this world is sanctioned by the Torah. This is the individual that the Midrash refers to – “the one who merits wealth merits everything.”  On the other hand, other Tzaddikim merit a share in Olam Haba, but do not attain wealth in this world.  If they hold wealth in this world, it has to come to their hands against accepted Torah principles.

The Midrash provides an illustration of wealth that was inappropriately attained.  The Shevatim of Gad and Reuven requested a portion of land across the Jordan River.  When Moshe heard this from them he felt disturbed by their willingness to separate themselves from their brothers. He also perceived that they assigned more importance to their material concerns than their spiritual endeavors.  Moshe therefore insightfully concluded that their yearning for material possessions indicated that their wealth was not divinely sanctioned.  Therefore, the Midrash reveals the importance of evaluating our relationship to materialism.  

Essentially, we must be certain that all our financial affairs are in accordance with Torah practice and thought.  If Klal Yisroel does so, then we can be assured that the wealth that we receive in this world is sanctioned by Hashem. This is based on Ohr Rashbaz of the Alter of Kelm.


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