“Good morning, Rabbi! So nice to see you!” a young man he didn’t know greeted Rabbi Goldblatt.
The Rabbi looked up and smiled. “Good morning,” he responded. As they continued walking in the same direction, Rabbi Goldblatt asked, “Are you making a living?”
“Yes, baruch Hashem,” the young man replied, and started to turned away. But then he turned back to the Rabbi. “How come you asked me that?” he inquired.
“Because it’s important,” Rabbi Goldblatt replied, “and not everyone’s so fortunate as to be making a decent living these days!”
“I agree,” said the young man as he rushed to cross the street before the traffic signal turned red.
Young people pursue financial success and seek security, but when asked about money and its place in marriage, they often belittle its importance. Yet, one of the things spouses discuss almost every day is money. How money is viewed can create or eliminate problems between marriage partners.
A Rav who is a member of a beit din for gittin once said, “Divorce is a very stressful and emotional experience. I find, however, that once I’ve solved the financials, everything else becomes easier to accomplish.”
Money is like a virus. Once the bug enters your system, it’s able to throw everything off balance. Problems that would otherwise not even exist, surface because of the money bug. Just as quarantine is effective against spreading infection, isolating money issues can prevent them from “infecting” an otherwise loving relationship.
Partners in a marriage must deal with money issues but should never make them a priority of contention. The money bug can raise the temperature to unsafe levels.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
The value of an act or a mind-set is enhanced by repetition … focusing on one of the morning brachos can make a deep impression and help us notice our good fortune in everyday happenings. But don’t stop at one day; take one of the brachos that we say daily and focus on it for as long as it is making an impression on you … The longer the brachah continues to affect you, the deeper and more permanent the effect will be. (Rabbi Noach Orlowek, Turning Ideas Into Action, p. 175)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He is author of the book 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.