The vestibule and the ballroom
Serving the Same G-d

Negotiating in Faith

Maybe you know people who enjoy flaunting Tibetan phrases, rolling their eyeballs, and burning lots of myrrh-scented candles and incense. Maybe you know other people who walk around quoting scripture, and then look down at you, saying, "Where were you at services last week?" Neither of these types has anything to do with genuine spirituality...

Here's a fool-proof method to find out if a person is spiritual or not: Conduct a business transaction with that person, and if he or she deals with fairness and integrity, you can bet that they're bona-fide spiritually-oriented people.

When a person's soul leaves the body at the termination of the physical life on this earth, the first question the Heavenly Court asks is, "Did you negotiate in good faith?", in other words, did you do business fairly (Talmud, tractate Shabbos, pg. 31). It's fine if a person listens to sitar music or quotes Kabbala after having dealt unfairly with his/her fellow human, forget about spirituality.

What does "negotiate in good faith" mean? Faith is emuna, and with emuna, one believes that his income comes from Hashem. Therefore, he won't break the slightest of Hashem's commandments in making a living. That's negotiating in faith.


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