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    The rich man’s worry – Lech L’cha

    Fiddler on the Roof featured the catchy song, “If I Were a Rich Man”. We all sang along, because we all had dreams of being rich.

    Affluence is still a widespread dream, but most of us will never achieve it.

    Even in the Bible it seemed noteworthy that some people were richer than others, Abraham for instance. About him the Torah says, “And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver and in gold” (Gen. 13:2).

    But how does the text say “very rich” in Hebrew? Kaved m’od, literally “very heavy”.

    Possibly this indicates the sheer bulk of his possessions, but it could also be understood metaphorically as telling us, “Abraham’s affluence weighed heavily upon him”.

    The sages say in Pir’kei Avot, marbeh n’chasim marbeh da’agah, “The more possessions, the more worries” (Avot 2:7).

    One type of rich person constantly obsesses about not losing his or her wealth, but this is probably not Abraham. His worry is that of the tzaddik, for whom money is a challenge and an opportunity… a challenge to use his means wisely, and an opportunity to benefit society as a whole.

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