Ask The Rabbi

If I Were A Rich Man

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Content Spiritually

Daniel Rabchinskey from Mexico City, Mexico wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

We are taught, "Who is rich? The one who is happy with what he has." Correct me if I'm wrong, but this phrase does not apply to every aspect of our lives, or how does it work? Let's say that in the material aspect it works, be happy with your house, car, food, etc. But what about the spiritual side? I don't think that it applies there, because if we are happy with our present knowledge, we wouldn't be looking for more and I wouldn't be asking this question! So, how do we apply the principle? Thank you so much for your time and effort. Shalom.


Dear Daniel Rabchinskey,

Should a person be content spiritually? Yes and no. Different people have different spiritual capabilities, and a person should be thankful for whatever spiritual capabilities Hashem has given him.

However, a person should never be content with his spiritual achievements. The Talmud states that "jealousy of Sages increases wisdom." Our Sages teach us that a person should always say, "When will my actions reach the level of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?"

Sources:

  • Tractate Bava Batra 22a
  • Tanna D'vey Eliyahu, 23:1


 
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