Advice on: Money

Lust for money

Rav Berland’s Advice on: Money

Continuing our translation of Etzot HaNachal, a compendium of practical advice from Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, based on the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.


Having a lust for money is the biggest curse that exists.

  • A person experiences their lust for money 24 hours a day – which is not something that you have with the other lusts.

It’s assur (forbidden) to save money at the expense of the mitzvoth.

  • When you try to find a way to do a mitzvah on the cheap, and to save money at its expense, this brings a spirit of tumah (spiritual impurity) down upon you.
  • When a person tries to do a mitzvah without spending any money on it, because he doesn’t want to lose the money, this brings judgments upon him.
  • When a person starts looking for ways to do a mitzvah the cheapest possible way, it’s known that shedim (demonic forces) rule over everything he tries to accomplish.

A mitzvah that’s done for ‘free’ (chinam) is also worth chinam (nothing).

  • The holy Ari, zt’l, never wanted a discount on his mitzvahs.

It’s possible to test Hashem with tzedaka (charity). If a person gives $100 to tzedaka, this will change into $1000.

  • This is the inyan (matter) of shemita, on Har Sinai, this was to cause n’shemet a ‘loosening’ [of the purse strings], to distribute tzedaka.

A person can give his very last coin to tzedaka, and he’ll start to see salvations and miracles, that have never been seen before.[1]

  • If a poor person comes to a person’s home twice, to ask for tzedaka, then there is a possibility that a decree has been made on that person, and that if he gives the poor person tzedaka – maybe 100 shekels, or even, his last shekel, and then he just trusts in Hashem – then he will be saved from the decree of death, and his days will be lengthened.

A person needs to be free of any doubt that he will not so much as touch a penny that belongs to someone else.

[1] For a real-life example of this, please see the story of David HaLevi, who was saved from a terrorist stabbing attack in the merit of giving his last 10 shekels to charity shortly beforehand.

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