is a super normal thing to do.
People reserve and grow their own finances:
For a rainy day
For their children
For their fame.
Jewish Law only expects 10%–20% of net earnings to be donated to Charity.
The rest is completely yours.
And it will grow! – having given your charity quota.
All that is the case in the
Some of the commonly-known "problems" with owning wealth:
Mandatory losses: This tax. That tax. Alas... But manageable.
Potential losses: Theft, leakages, drop in value. Indeed worrying but there are strategies for managing these and sleeping well at night.
Imaginary losses: whomever has 100, wants 200. Has 200 – wants 400. The hunger for more just grows (exponentially) and will never be satiated...
Requested losses: Can you please support this institution? Give to that cause?
The core issue behind all these worries:
People view their wealth as
Another issue with "owning" wealth:
People believe their wealth provides them with
Banking and counting on their Bank Account.
Whereas reality is:
Sustenance from Above
Creation wasn't a one-time thing
and then "see you later, G-d"
G-d continually recreates the world.
He also continually sustains the world (every living thing included) with what it needs.
So Financial Models based on
"Bread in the Pantry" (פת בסלו),
Savings in the bank, or
Get once, own (and worry about) forever.
are misleading, suggesting
Independence of Heaven.
It belongs in the Old World, which is fraught with tests,
to see if we'll discover the truth.
The model which is more reflective of Divine Sustenance to the world is
Owning nothing and depending on the Provider.
Reliance on Heaven.
The New World of Messianic Times is moving away from the sense of ownership, for everything is really owned by G-d.
This truth will be openly uncovered in the New World.
Manna / מן
This reality was openly revealed while the Jewish People were traveling through the Desert – the "Bread from Heaven" – the Manna:
On a Daily Basis,
each person received his / her daily quota of food directly from Heaven.
An ongoing miracle that lasted 40 years.
None of the Manna could be stored away. No Pantries.
That was just a taste.
Thereafter this reality has gone into hiding.
It's for the individual to bring it into his/her belief system,
and have his/her actions reflect the reliance on the Provider of All.
So that this reality will be revealed again in the Messianic Era,
on a permanent, global scale.
Income replacing Pocket
With the Coming of Moshiach, it's becoming more prevalent to rely on Income in lieu of Savings.
Not having cash at hand for tomorrow's needs
Circumstances of income (Job) may change (no security there either)
Now, on the opposite extreme,
what about the wealthy who DO still have (very) deep pockets??
0 Balance is also a Target.
"Moshiach not coming until pockets are empty" –
It's not only a Sign, for us to spectate.
It is also a benchmark:
For those who have spare – to spend it (Charity).
Empty pockets across the board
Bank Account empty not by choice...
Bank Account empty by choice (lifestyle) as relying on income.
Needs to empty his/her Bank Account to bring Moshiach
In the Old World, people own their wealth:
That comes with a sense of self and perceived independence
Associated with worry on a few levels, even for the wealthy
Limited to our personal capabilities and circumstances
The New World (Messianic Times) means departure from the sense of possession (of assets, funds) because:
It really all comes from G-d on a regular basis, and owned by His Holiness.
At the same time, our sustenance is not confined to our own physical ability (pocket/wallet/bank account/shares)
Hence whatever sustenance is provided will be consumed without a shade of worry for tomorrow ("empty wallet")
And therefore we already see (by means of transition) that:
Ownership of assets is moving to subscription models in lieu of out-right purchases.
Financial worth is valued on the basis of income as opposed to cash in the account.
People tend to empty their bank accounts in reliance on their cash flow.
NOTES & REFERENCES
10%-20% of net earnings must go to charity: Talmud Ketubot 50a. Code of Jewish Law, Yore De'a, 249:1.
Earnings will grow if Charity is given: Malachi 3:10, Talmud Taanit 8b.
Increased assets – increased worries: Avot 2:7.
Whoever has 100 wants 200. Has 200 – wants 400: Midrash Kohelet Rabba 1:13. Also note exponential growth of hunger even though linear increase in numbers...
G-d is continually creating the world: Tanya Pt 2 Ch. 1.
G-d continually sustains the world with its needs: Grace over the Meal, at its beginning.
The Manna: See Exodus 16:4-36
The Manna will come back in Messianic Times: Midrash Kohelet Rabba 1:10. Talmud Chagiga 12b. Midrash Mechilta on Exodus 16:25.
The Manna was not all that welcomed by the desert sojourners. It left them hungry, as they couldn't visualize its taste and also the kitchen was completely empty at the end of each day. Hence the Manna became known as "the Bread of Affliction". See Talmud Yuma 74b.
The reason for the affliction was their natural desire to own their sustenance, not to be totally dependent on G-d. Similarly, the Manna came down from a very high spiritual level that could not be (properly) perceived (beheld / seen) which left them sort of hungry (for the full appreciation of what they were eating).
But the affliction element of the Manna is not coming back. It only applies when people are full of self (the natural state of being in This World). However in the Times of Moshiach, people will intimately realize:
How small they are
How great G-d is,
How notwithstanding the infinite disparity, He sustains everything on a continual and individual basis.
Being fully conscious of this will make dependence on G-d (for sustenance) the biggest pleasure:
He is the ultimate reliability. No more worries with pay-checks, redundancies, share market fluctuations etc.
Unlimited provision. No restrictions of account balance and credit limits
Note this is achievable even before the Coming of Moshiach (and helps bring it closer!). It's only that in that era, this feeling will become public domain. (On the above points, see Sefer Hamaamarim Melukat Vol. 4 p. 355).
Bank Account = 0: is also a target This does not contravene the law mentioned in the beginning of this article (10-20% only to Charity) for a variety of reasons. Here are only some:
The word "Spend" (מבזבז / Mevazbez) in the context of this law connotes spending against one's will. But if one enjoys giving to charity, he is allowed to spend as much as he wants (provided it is not to the extent he starts needing charity himself) -- the Baal Shem Tov.
If one can spend more than 20% on personal wants, one can most definitely spend the same on Charity -- the Alter Rebbe.
For the uber-rich, 20% is (relatively) nothing -- Chafetz Chaim.
By-the-way this "financial model" is not a new thing. The righteous (holy Tzadikim) have been practicing it all along history... And in the Future, everyone will be Righteous (Isaiah 60:21)