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A Question For After 120

By: Rabbi Barak Bar-Chaim

“You shall not commit a perversion of justice with measures, weights, or liquid measures. You shall have true scales, true weights…. I am the Lord, your G-d, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 19, 35-36.) This verse in Parshat Kedoshim speaks of the imperative of being honest and upfront in one’s business dealings.

The Talmud (Shabbat 31a) states that one of the first questions we will be asked when we leave this world after 120 years is: Did you conduct your business dealings with Emunah (faith or faithfulness.) The simple meaning is obvious. We will be asked whether we were honest and faithful in our business dealings.

A number of Rabbi’s explain a deeper understanding of this Talmudic text. The question is not simply whether we dealt faithfully in business but rather whether our business dealings were done with faith in G-d. Did we understand and believe that our successes and failures in our business endeavors are in the hands of G-d? Did we truly believe that our livelihood is dependent upon G-d? Did we believe that every person gets what he/she needs to accomplish their spiritual task on earth? These are the questions that will be asked of us after our 120 year sojourn on planet earth.

When one begins to consider the matter more deeply, one realizes that the simple understanding of the Talmud and the deeper understanding of the Talmud are in fact strongly correlated. When one truly believes that G-d is watching over us, that our livelihoods are dependent upon Him alone and that we will all be blessed according to what is indeed best for us, then honesty and integrity in business follows naturally. It is then obvious to us that dishonesty will not benefit us in anyway. We become acutely aware that only honest gains carry G-d’s divine blessing.

Friends, let us together work on infusing our business dealings with faith in G-d and thereby manifest faithfulness, honesty and integrity towards our fellow man/woman.



Sun, October 20 2019 21 Tishrei 5780