Thursday, May 23, 2013

Advice from a Billionaire

Question of the Week:


I want to fulfil G-d's commandment to go forth and multiply. In fact, I want to have as many children as possible. However, my wife and I are struggling just to support ourselves. If we have lots of children in our current financial state we will be on welfare. I do believe G-d will provide so I can have lots of children, but this doesn't seem to be happening and I am getting impatient. Should we simply have a big family and hope for divine assistance so we can afford to live in a Jewish neighbourhood and keep up with the standard of living? Or should we wait until we might be more financially ahead?




I feel for you in your quandary. There is no greater gift than children, but we do have to be responsible. So let's think it through rationally.


You talk of having a big family. But that usually doesn't happen all at once. Unless your wife gives birth to sextuplets, it will be a while before you become a big family. So why not take one child at a time? I am sure you have room for one more. And then please G-d you will find room for another.


Every soul that comes into this world brings blessings with them. While until now G-d was only looking after you and your wife, when you have a child, G-d has three people to look after, with three separate accounts to deposit into. Apart from the government's baby bonus, there is a divine baby bonus. But that only comes after the child is born, not before.


The truth is, you can't predict what your financial position will be two years from now, or two days from now.


Imagine you win the lottery tomorrow and become a millionaire. Problem solved? Well, say you have ten children based on your new wealth. And then you lose it, as most lottery winners eventually do. What now? Do you give up your kids for adoption because you can't afford them any more? Finances are fickle. You can't base your life choices on money.


There is no question that being a parent can be expensive. But we all have to make careful choices about where our money goes. There is no mitzvah to keep up with the extravagances that others deem an appropriate standard of living. If you have a decent home and food to eat, you can do without many of the so-called necessities that are in fact luxuries. Ask yourself, in years from now, what will you regret more - the European holiday you never went on, or the child that you never had?


I know a religious man in his eighties who is blessed with countless grandchildren and great grandchildren. He happens to come from the same town in Europe as a well-known billionaire. When they meet, the billionaire always tells him, "I'm jealous of you. You are really the rich man, your shares will never drop."


Don't ask if you can afford to have a child. Ask if you can afford not to.


Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Moss


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We just received news that Diana Golenshin of Israel, after a year in the US and moving from Miami to Cleveland, received a liver transplant in the early hours of Wednesday 15th May at the Cleveland Clinic.  Baruch Hashem the operation was successful.


We now await news of her recovery, and pray that it is speedy and without trouble so that she can return home to Israel as soon as possible.


Many people from Nefesh helped the fundraising effort and allowed the family to remain in the US whilst she waited for this life saving procedure. Graham, Hana and Yona of the DianaGolenshinFund pass on the family's thanks for all the support and ask that you keep Diana in your prayers as she recovers - Diana bat Chava.




  Rabbi Cardozo

Shabbos June 8 we will be honoured to host Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo, who will give the sermon during the service.


"Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo has emerged as one of the most thoughtful voices in contemporary Judaism. He is a man of deep faith and wide intellectual horizons, unafraid to confront the challenges of the age with the quiet confidence of one who is attuned to the music of eternity." (Rabbi Professor Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of Britain and the Commonwealth)"

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