Levels of Currency
The money system each country maintains is the most common form of currency today.
There are other forms of currency.
Cryptocurrency of late, briefly described in an earlier article.
And then there's precious metals, like Silver and Gold...
Silver & Gold
זהב / Zahav
כסף / Kesef
Silver and Gold are a government-neutral form of currency:
Common Biblical currency
Used globally throughout history
Recently — Gold Standard. Fiat Currencies were backed up against physical gold. Governments moved away from this though.
Still current today, effectively a currency that is in competition with Fiat Currencies. Instability of the latter inflates the value of the former.
Like every other physical concept,
this classical form of currency has a
Love & Awe
The spiritual origin of Silver is Love of G-d.
Kesef (כסף) also means "longing" (Kosef) which is a form of love.
Gold originates from Awe of G-d.
Hence, it resembles the color of fire which is associated with fear, awe and judgement (Gevura).
These two emotions are the primary emotions. There are others.
Currency itself is
Paper money and precious metals have no intrinsic value.
They are unsuitable for the three most basics needs of human beings:
You can't eat gold
It won't keep you warm at night, and
It's not the the most effective shelter material for your home.
The obvious value of currency is that it has an agreed worth that can be used to purchase all these basic necessities, and much more.
Love and Awe of G-d are also pretty worthless on their own.
But these two emotions serve as the foundation for observing all Commandments:
Love of G-d motivates all the Active (Positive) Commandments. Love toward something makes you want to connect to it, and the only way to connect to G-d is by observing His Will.
Awe of G-d is the motivation behind refraining from all that's forbidden. Reverence of something makes you want to avoid conflict with it, which would apply if His Will is transgressed, G-d forbid.
So G-d's Commandments are the assets that you can buy with Love & Awe of G-d (Silver & Gold).
Money doesn't grow on trees.
And neither do Love, Awe or any other G-dly emotion.
to obtain wealth.
And same thing with spiritual money — Love and Awe:
Emotions are Obscure
— By nature. Even love for something physical is not so transparent outwardly.
Same thing with the Love and Awe of G-d.
These two commandments belong to a group called "The Hidden Ones (הנסתרות)", just because they are invisible. Hence they cannot be measured and enforced in the court of Jewish Law.
G-dliness is even more Obscure
G-dly emotions are widely celebrated by angels and souls in the higher spiritual worlds.
But chasing after spiritual pursuits is not an accepted norm down here. You don't see big stadiums packed with people roaring with love and thirst for G-d.
G-dliness itself is hidden (let alone emotion toward G-d).
Spiritual Currency is
Hidden by Nature
By virtue of two reasons:
will also undergo
At the End of Days, like regular finances
(as described in earlier articles)...
Coming up next
NOTES & REFERENCES
Silver & Gold = Love & Awe [of G-d]: Torah Ohr, Vayeshev. Likutei Torah, Tzav. Et al.
Love & Awe are the primary emotions: Tanya Ch. 3. Also note there are other precious metals besides the primary gold and silver.
Silver is love: As in the verse נכסוף נכספת (Genesis 17:30), נכספה וגם כלתה נפשי (Psalms 84). Silver is fair, showing Kindness (Chesed). See Sefer Halikutim, on the term “Zahav”.
Gold is Awe: Gold the color of the תרין תפוחין קדישין "Two Holy Apples", the level of "Truth" that will be revealed in the Next World.
The second of the Priestly Blessing, which comes from this level of Truth, is expressed in enlightened face. Rashi explains "golden face". Bamidbar Rabba 11:6 (cited in Rashi on Numbers 6:25). Also "The one's wisdom enlightens his face" — reddish cheeks (Gevura). See Sefer Halikutim, on the term “Zahav”.
Emotions other than Love and Awe: There are classically six emotions (Tanya Pt. 4 Ch. 15): The primary two and the following four which stem out of them (Tanya Ch. 3):
Compassion (רחמים / Rachamim)
Victory (נצח / Netzach)
Glory (הוד / Hod)
Connection (יסוד / Yesod)
Love & Awe are worthless on their own: Tanya Ch. 40. Both Love and Awe of G-d are commandments in their own right (Deuteronomy 6:5, 6:13. Rabmam Laws of Torah Fundamentals Ch. 2 and 3), but their essence (what they are all about) is motivating the observance of all the other commandments (That is, if you really love G-d, you'll do all He says, and if you are in Awe of Him, you'll keep away from everything He forbids).
Natural Love and Awe
Are inherited by birth from our Forefathers: Tanya Ch. 18.
May be dormant during personal exile: Tanya Ch. 19. Hence these natural emotions are also called "Hidden Love (and Awe — see Ch. 25)".
Low intensity: Only sufficient to abstain from evil and perform good, derived via the logic explained in Tanya Ch. 17-25, whereas the other forms of Love & Awe have a "flame"...
Heart is also called a "Wallet" (where Love & Awe ("money") are kept): Yismach Moshe on Sanhedrin 97a. Also see Talmud Yerushalmi Trumot 8:4.
Love and Awe acquired through mental toil:
Tanya Ch. 3.
Shaped and limited by one's intellectual capacity: Tanya Pt. 4 Ch. 15
Love and Awe received from Above as a gift: Tanya Pt. 4 Ch. 4. Residing in the depth of the heart and rooted in the level of Chochma (Wisdom) of the soul.
Love and Awe are "Hidden" (ניסתרות) Commandments: Tanya Ch. 44.
Gold originates from the level of Bina, wherereas Silver from the lower level of Chesed. Hence Gold represents the Next World (when G-d’s Intellect will be manifest in the world), whereas Silver represents This World (which is built on kindness — Psalms 89). Hence it says “Not with silver will you be redeemed” (Isaiah 52:3). See Sefer Halikutim, on the term “Zahav”.
Also note silver tarnishes while gold does not...