In his bestselling book The Garden of Emuna, Shalom Arush describes a business paradigm in which emuna* is the most valuable commodity:
A fundamental principle in emuna that underlies one's effort to earn money - whether by commerce, negotiations, trading, finance, or any other exchange of funds or goods - is that a person's livelihood is predetermined from Rosh Hashanah.**Our level of trust in Hashem*** is the practical manifestation of emuna in our lives. Trust includes the awareness that Hashem sustains all of His**** creations, and that He does His job dependably. When we trust in Hashem, we're not worried where our next meal is coming from; we know that He who has fed us in the past will continue to do so in the future. We also know that our livelihood doesn't depend on our craftiness or cunning - it depends on Hashem only.No one can detract from the income that Hashem designates for a person. The Talmud states emphatically (tractate Yoma 38b) that one human is incapable of touching a fellow human's intended portion. Equipped with this basic fact, we never need to worry or fear anyone or anything.Trust in Hashem - internalizing the fundamental principle of emuna that our livelihood is predetermined and exclusively from Hashem - enables us to conduct our business affairs with confidence, a clear mind, and a healthy outlook. Stress, anxiety, and worry fall by the wayside. With trust in Hashem, we go through life with inner peace, avoiding the pitfalls of crazy wheeling, dealing, and chasing money at the expense of our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Sound exaggerated? Here's what futile chases after money do to a person:
- Emotional damages - worry, anger, stress, and anxiety that also result in depression and severe changes of mood;
- Physical damages - the above emotional strains increase chances of heart disease, digestion disorders, strokes, and cardiovascular problems, Heaven forbid. Also, they are springboards for substance use and addiction, namely, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.
- Spiritual damages - money chasers forget the Torah's laws, and often resort to dishonesty, fraud, thievery, and other transgressions, all of which severely blemish a person's soul.With trust in Hashem, a person doesn't think about money all day long. Peace of mind is only two words away - Hashem provides.Business is one continuous test of faith. Businesspeople are tested every single second: If they believe that their livelihood comes from Hashem, then they're calm and composed, conducting their affairs on an honest basis. If they believe otherwise - that their income depends on their own efforts and aptitude - then they're most likely working much too hard and wasting energy looking for all types of ploys to make money.One's entire life depends on the emuna that Hashem provides for every creation. Emuna creates a clear, clean, and shining spiritual pipe that abundance flows through, directly from Heaven to a person's bank account or dinner table. Drinking from the pipe of emuna is like drinking from a silver goblet. Without emuna, one drinks from the spiritual equivalent of a sewer pipe, where one's income is contaminated with negative emotions, bad health, and damage to the soul.Decide which option in life you'd prefer, because basically, there are only two:First, you can believe that Hashem predetermines your income, and that every last cent designated for you will reach you at an exact time and in its entirely, if not from one source, then from a different source, if not today, then tomorrow. As a result, you are calm and composed, and avoid the troubles of illegal and dishonest business procedures, hypertension, ulcers, and cardiac arrests.Or second, you don't believe in Hashem or in His ability to support you, and you bang your head against the wall trying to make a living, angry and irritable most of the time because life is a living death. You sink into debt, you're confused, and you can't think clearly with the tensions and stress that weigh on your brain. Oftentimes, you catch yourself cutting the corners of honesty and wholesome business practices in trying to make an additional buck.Remember! A person receives his or her Heavenly stipend to the cent. By cheating, lying, or dealing dishonestly, a person won't earn a cent more.Here's an example: Joe and Harry are both store owners; each is destined to earn one hundred thousand dollars this year. Joe earns his money honestly and in good faith, and therefore enjoys it. Harry wants a lot more money than what Hashem gives him, so he wheels, deals, lies, and steals, bringing in a gross income of an additional fifteen thousand dollars. Harry will now suffer sicknesses, accidents, home damages, income tax investigations, law suits, and any number of other aggravations. As a result, he'll lose the fifteen thousand that wasn't destined for him, and he won't enjoy the hundred thousand that was destined for him, since he'll be busy running to doctors, lawyers, repairmen, and the like.
* "Emuna" - a term denoting belief, conviction (especially in God and divine providence).
** "Rosh Hashanah" - the first day of the Jewish legal calendar (as opposed to the festival calendar or the agricultural calendar), on which God evaluates every human being and determines in which areas each individual needs to improve and grow and which resources in Creation will be allocated to each individual to facilitate his or her growth.
*** "Hashem" - a Hebrew way of referring to God (lit. "the name").
**** While God is often described with masculine language, this is merely a human convention, as God does not have any gender, of course.