Sunday, May 10, 2009

Parshas Behar/Bechukosiye

Seeking Hashem In Business

Possuk 25:14 "When you sell something to your fellow Jew"

It’s known in the mystical writings that extracting the “holy sparks” is the entire purpose of all the worldly occupations, creative activity and business involvement, that are subsumed within the thirty-nine melachos (categories of act involved in the Sanctuary). The main way to effect the extraction is by remembering Hashem when we’re involved in business. And so it states (Devarim 8:18): “You shall remember Hashem, your G-d, for [or when] He is the One that gives you strength to produce wealth”.

This is why we should have business dealings specifically with our fellow Jews. Thus Rashi cites our Sages, that “when you sell something to one of your people” tells us that we ought to sell only to a Jew and that “[when] you buy something from one of your people” tells us that we ought to buy only from a Jew. Therefore it would be appropriate to try, as much as possible, to be in the company of fitting and fair people when traveling or engaging in business at home. Then, we should regularly speak with them in words of Torah and fear of Heaven in a fashion that will remind them – and they will remind us – every day, about the final purpose. Thus, the Zohar mentions that it is forbidden to travel unless one has a companion with whom he can engage in Torah discussion.

Even if we don’t find such people when involved in our business, nevertheless we must be careful with our thoughts, not to forget Hashem at the time of our transactions. We must greatly desire that we and our clients and suppliers will be drawn towards Hashem and His Torah. This was Hashem’s intent in circulating business activity and melachos in the world; everything is for the purpose of extracting the “holy sparks”.

The main thing is that through bargaining and business dealings people join together to the point that, at last, truth will gain sway in the hearts of all Jews and every one will draw his fellow until all will return to Hashem and His Torah.

Orach Chaim Hilchos Beis Ha’Knesses 6:24