Profile Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

Showing posts with label money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label money. Show all posts

Sunday, December 21, 2014

4 Winds of Wealth for Happiness - Post 3 Money

The four wealths are Torah, money, family, and knowing this world. Let us now turn to number two wealth, money.

Rambam says that nobody may marry until they have a house and a steady income. But marriage is around the age of seventeen or eighteen. And before then the person learned for years in a Yeshiva. So when did he get the money to buy a house before he marries?

But we see from this that earning began with childhood. Yes, a child learned Torah for many hours. But he also did part time earning. When a child becomes an adult, he is ideally supposed to learn most of the day and work a few hours. And so when he is a child and learning in Yeshiva, he does what he will do as an adult. He spends most of his time learning, but he applies himself part time to earning. From the tenderest age, a child can learn this that and the other thing. His parents help train him. He learns how to take things to Yeshiva from his parent's farm or produce and sell them. He learns how to sell. He learns how to do business. He is on his way. And after a few years, he has some money saved up. After many years of part time working, the child reaches maturity with enough savings to buy a house, with no mortgage! He begins life with peace of mind. His learning is different, without stress of paying the bills.

Thus, Rovo told his students, you must have wealth, in order to learn without worries. But how could they spend their time learning and become wealthy? But if children began to earn, and reached adulthood with savings and going businesses, of course they could achieve wealth, again, with part time working. But it began years before they were ready for marriage. And this let them achieve a marriage with wealth, with peace of mind, and the gemora says that peace of mind from money makes for Shalom Bayis, and poverty makes problems with marriage.

Thus, the wealth of money makes one wealthy in Torah, and wealthy in family. It makes him a happy and settled person, proud of his work and happy with his important place in society.

But today people learn Torah and don't work until way after their marriage and a few years in Kollel. The bills are always there, and how they are paid is a sad story. People who live like that suffer from lack of Shalom Bayis, are themselves frustrated, and we see what kind of people are growing from this idea.

The incredible divorces, the putting the husband in jail, the stranding of the wife without a GET, the children being torn apart by all of this, this is the Yeshiva is Haschoso of our times, as we mentioned in an earlier post on this topic.

One of my young children was crying because he sold his bike and got the wrong price for it. I told him that I was overjoyed that he made such a mistake. Look, I said, my friend married, borrowed a fortune and lost it, and how what will he repay it? Why? Because he was never trained in business. But you, making a painful mistake over five dollars, have learned lessons that will protect you doing business the rest of  your life. How lucky you are!

How we can implement the idea of children earning in a country where this is illegal in some ways is another discussion. But it can be done in a legal manner. And a child can surely buy and sell things on his own, and learn business. If he does that, as the years go by, his savings will prepare him for a marriage with wealth and Shalom Bayis. He will learn better, he will be happier with his family, and he will have his place in the world.

Let us say that a child sells before each holiday things needed on the holiday. Is it against the law for him to do this? If the child works for others, this is a problem. But if a child helps out their father or mother in the family store, is this a violation? There are laws but it is possible within the framework of the federal and state laws dealing with child labor to find a way to make money. For instance, agriculture is not a forbidden job for children so much so that a very large percentage of food in America is harvested by children. This is a dangerous job and the children often work long hours, but it is not illegal, although maybe ht should be illegal. But there are other jobs that are forbidden under child labor.But if the child sells his bike or fixes bikes and charges for his work, is this child labor? We have to find the right job in the right state where a child can make money and work towards wealth.

But we keep in mind what we mentioned in the beginning of our 4winds of four wealth for happiness. Each of the four wealths, for Torah, for money, for family and for understanding the world, encourages the othe three wealths. Thus, if a person has a lot of money, his learning goes better, as Rovo told his students.

We mentioned with the First Wealth, Torah, that  if somebody did not learn properly for many years, no matter what his age, let him begin "today." And so it is with financial success. Let a person find a way to make some money. Let him ask people knowledgeable in the area and get their advice. Let him talk to people who will give him a Torah perspective. And then, try it out.

That is, don't ever jump. Don't get do anything, or even say anything, until you carefully weigh what willl happen next.

Caution and steadiness. But never forget that you are looking for wealth. May HaShem reward you with success.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How a Troubled Marriage Should Behave

How should a troubled marriage behave? This is a difficult question. And the reason it is difficult, is because people with such a problem have three basic avenues to turn to. One, each person in a troubled marriage, husband and wife, can do one of three things. One, they can turn to their parents or close friends. This can often provoke fights that lead to utter destruction. Again, involving parents or close friends in a problem with a spouse is an invitation to disaster. I told this to a prominent Israeli Rov and he strongly agreed.

Two, a person in a troubled marriage can turn to a therapist to try to make Shalom Bayis. But there are those who claim that some therapists are not effective, or rather, some therapists are effective at breaking up the marriage.. Some, of course, can be very helpful, but this option is not a sure avenue of success. The third option is to go to a Beth Din or Rov. Here too, there are Beth Dins that succeed in making Shalom, and some that succeed in destroying marriage. There is a letter from a Gadol about a prominent Beth Din that it destroys marriages. But after the letter was issued, I think it is still in business.

Thus, a troubled marriage has three very delicate options. And often, none of them succeed. Because if  you don't go to parents and friends, and you don't go to therapists, and you don't go to Beth Din or Rabbonim, what else can you do?

What often happens is that after the three things above have been tried and the husband and wife see no change, not only has there not been an improvement, but things may have reached a new level of anger and bitterness. At that point, and probably before, the flies have begun to swarm. There are organizations of people who believe it is a great mitsvah to destroy a marriage, children and all. And they inculcate in husband or wife such hate for the other that nothing is forbidden. This has nothing to do with Torah, but the people who advocate these things usually blame it on some rabbi, and they may be telling the truth.

If there is a rabbi who wants to save marriages, not break them up, or there is a therapist or Beth Din known to save marriages, they should be consulted.

If there are people giving "advice" about how to destroy the other spouse, the couple should refuse any such advice.

When the couple goes for advice with the appropriate person, they should identify the pressures and the problems that are hurting the marriage. Pressures and problems could be lack of money, or not enough money, or bills or things that are needed but there is no money for them. The gemora says that when the kitchen is bare fights in the family begin.

Today, when we live in urbanized areas where real estate prices are quite high, owning a house or paying rent is beyond many people. Some people just suffer. And this hurts the marriage.

Another problem may be the children. Sometimes, a child can be difficult and the parents struggle to deal with it. They may have different ways of dealing with it. And they may argue about whose way is best.

Another problem could be that somebody hurt the other one and they remember it. How to rectify the hurt is a big problem.

Overriding all of this is one thing. Does the couple have the right attitude about marriage? Namely, is the couple committed to marriage? Is the couple committed to their children? Or do they feel that marriage and children must step aside for the personal happiness of the husband and wife?

Today, many or most Torah Jews live in urban areas where real estate costs and the costs of tuition for Yeshiva are terrible burdens. This hurts the marriage. When we factor in the fact that in America people often get what they want as children, and want to supply their children with the same, we realize that marriage can be a challenge. The parents are used to plenty and can't easily adapt to less. And they are upset that they cannot supply their children with what they had as children.

And there is another factor that I heard from a prominent therapist. I once mentioned that there are people who don't understand marriage. He laughed and said that today the problem is worse than that. Today, the parents of the parents don't understand marriage. The present parents as children never saw a truly functioning marriage, so where do they learn how to behave in marriage?

Today it is very hard. And as the pressure builds, and the flies of "helpers" swarm to "help" the wife be free of her husband, and to "help" the husband to have a better wife, how can marriage survive?

Mort Fertel is a prominent therapist available online. He is a Torah Jew with a strong following for his ideas and help for marriage. He insists that commitment is the key to marriage. He says that commitment creates love. But that love does not last, as it is caused by people at a certain age, and as they change, the love weakens. But one who is committed, and constantly creates commitment, produces a love that lasts. But to be truly committed is truly possible when one had parents who were truly committed. Otherwise, it is a problem. But problem or not, if two people, especially Torah people, commit themselves to being committed, for their sakes and for the sake of the children, there is hope.