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FAQ: Earning a Living

FAQ: Earning a Living

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QUESTION: "I was wondering if you had any hot-tips on how to improve one's business & finances...

ANSWER: NOPE. There are no magic formulas and no instant solutions. The only spiritual "device" is to increase one's merit in G‑d Al-mighty's eyes, which means to do lots more good deeds in helping others, and if you are Jewish, to improve in fulfilling the commandments and studying the Torah. Good luck!


QUESTION: "I have dealt with several Kabbalists in the past trying to get desperately needed help in making a living. Why have I not succeeded? Is there an effective solution in Kabbala that is guaranteed to work?"

ANSWER: No, of course not. G‑d is in charge and He has free choice. You can only ask Him; you can't order Him around. But not to worry; He knows what is best for you better than you do.


QUESTION: "How can Kabbalah study help me find out what I should be doing with my life/career?"

ANSWER: By increasing your merit and your purity and the clarity of your thinking.


QUESTION: "Could you please send some articles on Jewish thinking on employment, in particular employment of the older person (status, image, self-esteem)?"

ANSWER: We have nothing on this subject. The Lubavitcher Rebbe spoke very strongly on his 70th birthday and on his 80th birthday about the need for older people to stay active and involved, so perhaps you can find something on this subject on Chabad.org.


QUESTION: "Is there a prayer or a ritual for opening the parnasa (financial livelihood) channels?"

ANSWER: The best possible prayer for this is the "Shema koleinu" blessing in the Standing Prayer. In the Standing Prayer, when you reach that blessing you can focus on your needs. Good luck!

QUESTION: "I am having problems with my parnasa, and I would like to know what would be the simple and best way to keep on a continuous parnasa supply with no gaps or interruptions?"

ANSWER: Pray sincerely to G‑d. That's it. There are no tricks. The Torah is clear that the flow is solely up to Him.


QUESTION: "Is there a particular divine name associated with parnasa?"

ANSWER: I think that if there were a guaranteed formula for parnasa, by now there wouldn't be any wealth left in the world anyway! Keep praying, keep doing mitzvot, especially tzedakah-charity, and keep studying Torah. But let's remember that G‑d also has free choice; He can't be forced. You can try extra focus when you say "potei'ach et yadecha umasbiah l'chol chai ratzon" - "You open Your hand and willingly satisfy all living things" - in the Ashrei prayer.


QUESTION: "If a person's money is pre-decided, why should he work?"

ANSWER: Someone may put money you didn't really earn into your bank account, but you still have to do something to withdraw it. More to the point: for someone to put money you didn't really earn into your bank account, you first have to open a bank account. This is called creating a vessel to contain the light, to hold on to the blessing.

Yerachmiel Tilles is the co-founder of Ascent-of-Safed, and was its educational director for 18 years. He is the creator of www.ascentofsafed.com and www.kabbalaonline.org and currently the director of both sites. He is also a well-known storyteller, a columnist for numerous chassidic publications, and a staff rabbi on AskMoses.com, as well as and the author of "Saturday Night, Full Moon": Intriguing Stories of Kabbalah Sages, Chasidic Masters and other Jewish Heroes.
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