08 August 2018

Basic Concepts: "...Contentment With One's Portion"

27 Menachem Av 5778

Or Hara'ayon, Chapter Nine: "Wealth and Contentment With One's Portion," pp.190, 196...

Whoever rids himself of covetousness and lust can be assured that he will also be rid of the unsavory acts resulting from these unsavory attributes. A person who does not desire or covet, will not be caught by the long arm of the evil impulse. He will not be taken captive by his own selfishness, engrossed at all hours in thoughts of how to become rich, how to derive pleasure, how to receive and take and acquire. Ultimately, he will achieve the tranquility of one who is content with his portion.

No trait assures tranquility more than contentment with one's portion, and it is worthwhile to pray for this, as did Kong Solomon: "Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me my allotted bread. Lest I be full, and deny, and say, 'Who is the L-rd?' Or lest I be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my G-d" (Prov. 30:8-9); and, "Weary not yourself to be rich. Cease your own devices. You set your eyes on it and it is gone" (Ibid., 23:4-5).

The wealth a person toils so hard to attain, fretting and scurrying and losing sleep over it, passes in a flash. What is life on this earth if not the blink of an eye? Ultimately, rich and poor meet the same fate.

...Lust and jealousy magnify man's selfishness and ego. If these traits take control, a person can ultimately begin to destroy the world through theft and murder. Such a person becomes so egocentric that he views his fellow man's person and property as worthless. Anyone obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure, honor, and wealth destroys the world by destroying its whole purpose - submission to G-d, acceptance of His yoke, and suppression of the evil impulse.
The fact that so many "religious" people, both Jews and Gentiles, admire the current President of the United States who, more than anyone else I can think of, embodies these bad traits, is an indicator of how spiritually impoverished this generation has become and how much we've failed to internalize these truths.

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