The Rebbe’s Opinion On: Business Matters




    Chalukas Shas 5784

    The Rebbe’s Opinion On: Business Matters

    Chabadinfo in collaboration with Beis Moshiach Magazine presents: The Rebbe’s Opinion On, a series featuring the Rebbe’s opinion and directive on various subjects • We present here a selection of letters of the Rebbe giving various pieces of advice on business-related matters • Full Article 


    We present here a selection of letters of the Rebbe giving various pieces of advice on business-related matters:

    What Occupation to Choose?

    I received your letter, in which you ask what occupation to choose.

    Generally speaking one should choose a line in which one has either knowledge or connections, or both. If there is any doubt, it has been said in such a case that “help comes with a multitude of advice,” i.e. from talking things over with as many qualified people as possible. The important thing is that the choice made and the actual effort put into its materialization should come together with the fullest trust in G-d, whose benevolent Providence extends to everyone, and this will ensure the success of it. (13 Teves, 5723, Letters From the Rebbe, Vol. 3 p. 81)

    Start a New Business or Overcome Existing Problems?

    As requested, I will remember you in prayer for the fulfillment of your heart’s desires for good in the matters about which you wrote. The zechus of your tzedaka, for which receipt is enclosed, will surely bring you additional Divine blessings.

    With regard to the question of parnosso and whether it would be advisable to make a change and start a different business enterprises, etc., there is surely no need to point out at length that starting a new business requires a great deal of adjustments and unforeseen problems and so on. You should therefore discuss with knowledgeable friends whether it is advisable in your case to make such a change, or it would be more advisable to invest the energy and effort, etc., in overcoming the problems that you are familiar with in your present business. (24 Elul, 5745)

    When The Wheel of Fortune Turns

    I received regards from you through Prof. Yitzchok Leib Block, who informed me of your present state of anxiety and aggravation etc.

    What I have heard of you and of your background from Dr. Block in the past, I am surprised that you should feel so discouraged at this time. Surely you know what our Sages say about Parnosso, namely that it is like a turning wheel, going up and down and up again. And my father-in-law of saintly memory (whose anniversary of liberation from his near-fatal imprisonment in Soviet Russia we have recently observed on the 12th-13th of Tammuz) commented on this that as in the case of a turning wheel, when a point reaches the lowest position, that is the time when it is bound to rise again, so it is in the matter of fortune, that sometimes when things look the blackest, that is when they begin to brighten up again. 2 The only thing is that sometimes G-d tests the strength of one’s faith in Him, and when this faith is not shaken whatever the trial and difficulty may be, the trial is soon over, and one sees that it was nothing more than a temporary test.

    To a person of your background, it is surely unnecessary to emphasize that Divine Providence is always benevolent, and His blessings are readily available On High. However it is necessary to make a channel to receive them in an obvious and tangible way down here below. The channel to draw and receive G-d’s blessing is through the Torah and Mitzvoth, coupled with complete faith in G-d. And although these things have to be observed for their own sake, and not for the sake of the reward, G-d has made it known to us that the observance of the Torah and Mitzvoth in the daily life is the channel and vessel to receive and hold G-d’s blessings materially and spiritually. (5th of Menachem Av, 5724, to Mr. Joseph Michael Horowitz)

    Beis Moshiach 1

    Selling Assets

    With regard to the plans that you mention, the one of selling the assets of the business and starting in a small way should be ruled out completely, for one should try to enlarge one’s business and not reduce it. This should leave the first two alternatives that you mention, that is, either to make your partnership into a corporation in order to attract more capital, or to continue the partnership as is, but in a larger and improved building, etc. The choice between the two depends to a considerable extent upon the preference of your brother, and also what are the prospects of enlarging suitable lines, etc. (26 Teves, 5717)

    The “Headaches” of Business

    “Pour you out a blessing more than enough.” (Malachi 3:10). Thus, your pledge of 500£ for Kfar Chabad, hast been returned to you many fold. It is a pity that you did not pledge more, so that the benefit would have been so much greater. I trust, however, that this will be a lesson for the future, to remember how trust in G-d is well rewarded.

    With reference to what you write about your worries that after a period of five years there will not be any business, you probably are aware that there are many merchants who know of the saying of the Sages, “He who increases his worldly possessions, increases worry, nevertheless they are trying to increase their worldly goods, taking a chance at increasing thereby their “headaches.” I assume that you are no exception.

    I mention this so that you will not take too much to heart the “headaches” of business, since they are the effect of “increasing wealth.” As long as you will keep the channels and vessels open to receive G-d’s blessings; these channels and vessels being all matters connected with the Torah and Mitzvoth, G-d will surely send you His blessings. (12 Sivan, 5717)

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