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Don’t forget to say thank you

CM 26/08/2021

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This week we read the Torah portion of Ki Tavo. The beginning of the portion begins with the commandment to bring the first fruits. Imagine the farmer who has toiled and toiled and finally sees the reward of the hard work, only instead of enjoying it by eating, he must bring it to Jerusalem, and make a declaration thanking the Lord for both the land and all the good that has been received.
Rabbi Berel Wein writes, “Saying thank you is one of the basic courtesies of human interaction. Though elementary and straightforward, it is often forgotten or neglected. In saying thank you, we are acknowledging that we are dependent upon the goodness and consideration of others and that we are not completely in control over events and even of our own decisions in life.”
Too often we perceive our great achievements as a testament to our greatness and fall prey to “And you may say in your heart, ‘My strength and the might of my hand made this victory’.”

Rabbi Wein continues, “There is no question that the farmer invested a great deal of effort, sweat and toil in bringing his crops to fruition. Because of this effort and the investment on the part of the farmer, there is a temptation that he will view these new fruits as an entitlement. For, after all, he was the one who devoted the time and effort necessary to produce them. There is a danger that he will forget that there really are no entitlements in life and that one has to say thank you for everything that is achieved, though ostensibly we have labored to achieve this much desired goal. Rather, it is incumbent upon the farmer to thank his Creator for the land and the natural miracles that occurred daily in the production of food, grain and fruit.”
When we lived in an agrarian economy, I think that even though the farmer attributed crop success to skill, there was still a realization that help from a higher source was received, due to the fact that so many conditions had to be met to reap a bumper crop, i.e. rain, soil conditions, no bug infestations, etc.
With all the money chasing Israeli hi-tech, the streets of Tel Aviv seem to be literally paved with gold. Day after day we hear of another Israeli multi-billion dollar IPO, a company being acquired for hundreds of millions of dollars, and another record setting financing round. Almost $12 billion was raised in the first half of 2021! What this means is that you have lots of 20- and 30-year-olds who have suddenly become multi-millionaires. They are taking their newfound riches and buying hi-end real estate, buying fancy cars, and living the good life. My worry is that without proper planning and perspective, they will end up the same way many lottery winners, athletes and others that come into a windfall end up; broke.
EIN HEMED National Park (Aqua Bella) is perfect for a family outing. The kids will enjoy swimming in the pool and playing on the lawns, with ruins of a fortified Crusader farmhouse to explore. (credit: ARNOLD SLYPER)EIN HEMED National Park (Aqua Bella) is perfect for a family outing. The kids will enjoy swimming in the pool and playing on the lawns, with ruins of a fortified Crusader farmhouse to explore. (credit: ARNOLD SLYPER)
Even if they don’t squander the money, shouldn’t the money be used for more than just materialism? Aside from the regular budgeting and investing advice that I give I think in this case, an emphasis should be made to benefit society. I am all for charity, but in the case of these young tech multi-millionaires, they can actually fund or create projects that are near and dear to their hearts. They can take giving charity to the next level. This will of course bring tremendous meaning for the rest of their lives. Something which may go missing if the main goal is to buy new electronic toys and gadgets.
You may be a great entrepreneur or computer programmer, but internalize the lesson of bringing the first fruits. It’s not all you. Give thanks for being so fortunate that you hit the financial jackpot. The holiday season is very much about the betterment of society. Giving charity is one of the big three, prayer and repentance the other’s, that help nullify a bad judgment. Our prayers are in the plural. The high holy days are not about I. They are about us.
If you have come into a serious financial windfall, take some time and figure out how you can help build a better society. And don’t forget to say thank you.
The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates.
Aaron Katsman is author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing (McGraw-Hill). He is a licensed financial professional both in the United States and Israel, and helps people who open investment accounts in the United States. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. (www.prginc.net). Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. For more information, call (02) 624-0995 visit www.aaronkatsman.com or email aaron@lighthousecapital.co.il

Source: Jerusalem Post

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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