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  KD MAGAZINE!         ב"ה              
 
 
     
 

The Root of All Evil
By Rabbi Shea Hecht, Posted: February 18, 09

RABBI SHEA HECHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

These days, the economy has center stage. There's no major news story that does not carry with it the smell of Wall Street, the real estate bubble, foreclosures, government handouts or the like. Certainly, there can be no headline more gripping that the one that speaks directly to our wallets.

Money is the root of all evil, or so they say. The desire for money is famous for turning honest men into thieves and cheats. Money is credited with ruining many a personal or professional partnership, for splitting families apart, for creating questionable alliances and for motivating mankind to the vilest deeds.

The recent whirlwind of corporate greed and mismanagement, Ponzi schemes and stimulus pork create a very compelling body of evidence for the filthy nature of the greenback.

I, however, think that money is getting a bad rap.

For all of its hazards it's true--and it's always been true--that no stomach can be fed without money. No back can be clothed or house built. All of humanity's advancement since the use of fire--medicine, technology, transportation, industry, architecture, science--they are all built on a foundation of cold, hard cash.

In fact, nothing worthwhile in this world can be accomplished without a bountiful, healthy cash flow. In fiscal 2007, 306 billion charitable dollars were donated in the US alone. These ducats enabled medical and scientific research, advocated for equality, sheltered the homeless, protected endangered wildlife and other good deeds too numerous to mention. Thatís what I call a hard-working dollarÖ

Wanna see a cure for cancer? How about an alternative to fossil fuels or an end to human trafficking? Well, you better dig deep, Ďcause it takes plenty of moolah to make it happen.

One thing I have learned during this financial crisis is that wealth is neither good nor evil. It is a resource, and like any resource it must be used wisely and conservatively. When we channel our gelt in to something that is inherently positive and worthwhile, it benefits the giver just as much as the recipient, and in this way we harness the constructive, healing power of money.

Is money the root of all evil? Okay. Iíll buy that. But there should be no mistake that itís also the source of all good.

 
Rabbi Shea Hecht is the Chairman of the National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education . His web site is: www.sheahecht.com

 
   
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