4Winds of Wealth for Happiness – Wealth 3 – Social Skills
The Four Wealths are Wealth in Torah, Wealth in Money, Wealth in Social Skills and Wealth in Understanding the Physical World.
We are now up to Wealth 3 of the 4 Wealths – Social Skills. Social Skills includes family, skills in marriage and raising children. Social Skills includes Derech Erets, the Way of the World, in dealing with others, Jews and non-Jews. Dealing with Human Beings who are in the Image of HaShem is a sacred skill. One who makes a good impression on others makes a Kiddshin HaShem; and one who makes a bad impression on others makes a Chilul HaShem.
Thus, this third wealth, as it creates with proper skill Kiddush HaShem, elevates a person to the highest pinnacle of kedusho, sanctifying the Holy Name. And lack of such skill creates the great sin of Chilul HaShem.
Recently, I told a prominent therapist of my concern that many people today don’t know how to behave in marriage. He responded, “Their parents don’t know how to behave in marriage,” he said, “so how are they supposed to know how to behave in marriage?”
I once spoke to a prominent Rov who told me, “You are from the old generation and I don’t know if you can understand the present one.” This is taught in the famous Mishneh in Sota about the End of Days when family itself will disintegrate and respect will disappear for elders.
Before the Great Light of Moshiach will come the Great Darkness of Evil. And the Great Darkness of Evil will produce a generation or so where respect for elders disappears. Therefore, today it is very hard to achieve a wealth of social skills because of this.
Is there hope? Reb Elchonon Wasserman zt”l taught that the Mishneh there tells us, “And we have nobody to rely on except our Father in Heaven.” Reb Elchonon says that people mistakenly interpret this to mean that only HaShem can solve the great problems of the End of Days and we are helpless. But this is a mistake. We must not forget that HaShem will help anyone, anytime, who wants to serve HaShem. Even in the greatest darkness, one who strives for holiness and Derech Erets can achieve it.
The Ponovitecher Rov was a Rov at a time when keeping the Torah was not fashionable. He asked the Chofetz Chaim what to do. The Chofetz Chaim answered that when there is a Civil War we have to choose the strongest side, that side that will win. The Ponovitcher Rov asked, “Does that mean that I must accept the dictates of the wicked?” The Chofetz Chaim answered, “HaShem is the strongest.”
Today it is very hard to maintain a marriage, raise children, even to get along with people. But if we apply ourselves and trust in HaShem, He can help us and bring us the Third Wealth, the wealth of marriage, family, and various social skills including Derech Erets that precedes the Torah.