Naso (Take a count)

Question: It is impossible for a person to acquire even one iota of someone else’s rightful possessions. How do you understand this, and how does this relate to the concept of stealing? A person’s possessions are not merely haphazard acquisitions; rather, יהוה has arranged that whatever we need for accomplishing our spiritual life-task comes into our hands in a legitimate way. Yet יהוה also gives man free will, and unfortunately some use this free will to try to circumvent יהוה will, and steal from others. However יהוה ultimately is in control of everything, and will see to it, one way or another, that no one will benefit from illegitimately gotten gains, nor lose out from having something that’s legitimately his taken away. With this knowledge, one can relax and neither feel the need to take from others – it won’t help anyway – nor feel overly upset if something of his is taken – he’ll either get it back, or it wasn’t really meant to be his in the first place.

Question: Is it ethical to ‘steal from the rich and give to the poor’? While we can feel bad about what seem like social injustices and try to encourage people to share their wealth – stealing, even in this case, is ethically wrong.

Question: Do you think a person who truly trusts in יהוה can steal? No. Trust in יהוה means trusting that He has the capacity to give us anything we need, in an honest way. Therefore we should try our best to get what we want honestly and if we don’t get it we should accept that יהוה must feel that getting it would not be for our ultimate good.

Question: If someone claims to have achieved something spiritually worthwhile without effort, don’t believe him. How do you understand this? It is a spiritual rule that that which is genuinely worthwhile is going to require effort to achieve. Although we might wish it were otherwise – when it comes to spiritual greatness, there is no free ride.

Question: Why should someone work hard and have responsibilities? Life in this world is about maximizing our potential and working hard to achieve worthwhile goals. Responsibilities build us up and give us the inner strength we need to succeed. Besides this, they also polish our character and help turn us into givers instead of takers, which is one of life’s main spiritual goals.

Question: In your opinion, do comfort and pleasure go hand in hand? Although it may seem so, in truth they are miles apart. Often the greatest pleasures in life take much effort to achieve and sustain and aren’t comfortable at all. Comfort seeking is a kind of retreating from life – a mini-death – and missing out on many of the greatest pleasures life has to offer.

Question: Do you seek your own pleasure and not seek what יהוה wants you to do?

Proverb 10:23 It is as sport to a fool to do wickedness; and so is wisdom to a man of understanding.  

Proverb 18:22 A fool has no delight in understanding, but only that his opinions he may speak.  

Proverb 21:17 He that loves pleasure shall be a poor man: He that loves wine and oil shall not be rich.  

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#35 Naso