Fishing for Dollars

Are you working to live or living to work?

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Comments (9)

(9) Deena, July 17, 2013 6:47 AM

You're all missing his point

The point is not to work for what you need to pay for. If you need to work long hours to make ends meet, then so be it. It's a hard life and you need to put in the extra effort to make it meaningful. But for those minutes or hours of the day when you don't really need to be at work and you're just "finishing up" this and that at the office at the expense of your family or Torah time, please reconsider. It does have an effect on you, your spouse, your children, and ultimately your community.
Even ten minutes a day of introspection and/or Torah learning will make a difference to the focus of your day. So can you carve out that time, and enjoy life, or are you too busy making the extra few dollars to "make tomorrow a little more comfy"?
Something to think about.

(8) parent, October 6, 2008 12:37 AM

question to Rabbi

Dear Rabbi Yaakov Salomon, Do you have your own house? Is it in safe area for kids? Are your family income is about average for your state? there is no way for middle class to afford to stay Jewish ( 30k school per kid, about 30k morgage,

(7) Rosen, September 9, 2008 1:23 PM

living to work paycheck-to-paycheck

Most of us probably live to work because we must do so paycheck-to-paycheck in order to make ends meet. Finding any deeper meaning to what we do for a living involves committed time, where we try to make a balance between work and our social lives with friends and family.

(6) Anonymous, September 9, 2008 1:08 PM

we have to work hard to be able to afford our Jewish life

I would love to agree with this article, but unfortunately, in today's life that is not a reality. The cost of a Jewish education these days is outrageous. It has become a privilege instead of a right. The cost of kosher food in the U.S. is rising daily as well. With that being said, add the cost of higher education for 2 kids per household, and that leaves us no choice, but to work, work, and work. I love my children and am trying to give them the best that I can give them. A Jewish education is one of those things that I have decided not to go without. However, I am dearly paying the price for it.

(5) ruth housman, September 9, 2008 11:05 AM

taking stock: all things in moderation:

An old story but a wise one, and reiterated in many ways, with different "fishermen". There is more to this story, and that is, if we took more than we should, namely too many "fish" we would deplete the stock, deplete the ocean, and we are all doing this, to the environment, right now. So another message, to be derived from this very wise story, is to "take stock". Should we be digging for more oil? What are we harming in the process? What do we gain versus what do we lose? Life is about moderation, about taking stock, about looking around, and about the best we can do and be, when it comes to balance. Surely, in order for others to eat, we must farm. In order for decisions to be made, we must administer. Work is about what we must do to sustain ourselves in many ways. And it should also be about passion, about love, and not a terrible, terrible chore. For some perhaps, there is no choice. We all do, however, have choice in how we live it, how we are to each other on the job, and how we conduct ourselves throughout our lives wherever we are. We do need to take charge in terms of what's inportant. And we need to realize, of course, that this world is to be enjoyed and to be nurtured, and this means our families, our children, our love of each other. So we need time for all of this. Seek balance and always seek to do whatever you do, with LOVE. Money does not buy happiness. Happiness is a state of mind and it's about how we give, to each other, all the time, wherever we are and about not leaving those we cherish behind in pursuit of excess. This is the time of apples and HONEY! Partake!

(4) Annette, September 9, 2008 10:01 AM good to hear this topic!

I'm one of the few of my 'friends' who stayed home with the kids, & sometimes I babysat other's kids, I played things I never wanted to play and I learned more from being with the kids than any job would have taught me: I have a totally different sense of gratitude for so many things on a daily basis, I learned to set goals and meet them and teach them to the kids, I learned to shut my mouth A LOT, to laugh (I was too serious), to smile all the time because I Did figure out no problem was so big it couldn't be solved (ie: everything is for the best & for my best, because The Almighty custom tailors each situation for each of us!)and I feel my life is so much richer for being an active parent, this is not to say that a working mother wouldn't be an active parent, but for me, staying at home worked best, and we did without a lot of things too, by not focusing on what we didn't have, but on what we did have we felt rich! and grateful. Was it a good thing? well, as it turned out my husband has had depression for most of the kids' lives and as the kids said 'dad wasn't there' ... it's a good thing one of us was. Go ahead, as Rachamim Melamed-Cohen said in last year's 1 minute Rosh HaShana video: Choose Life! Go ahead... and live. Shana Tova.

(3) SusanE, September 8, 2008 11:42 AM

I Read Something Different about Working.

Rabbi, somewhere, maybe here on, I read about people who define themselves and their life in what they do to earn money. If you ask them who they are they tell you what they do. Their job, work, or career is their whole identity. . After all when we try to define what work is, isn't it doing a job, or performing a service for pay or material reward? Most people work for 30 or 40 years earning enough money to have shelter and feed kids. or many cultures work to grow food and build their own shelters. From uncivilized people to big educated corporate heads isn't working for food and shelter just the same thing but on a vastly different level? . Anyway the article I read said: Work is a shameful thing. We should be embarrassed by having to work. Work is a punishment to us humans because of our downfall in the Garden of Eden. G-d gave us everything we would ever need to survive there and be comfortable and we wouldn't have to work for any of it. We only had to keep one ONE restriction. (we totally disregarded that and even lied to G-d) So now because we are STILL being punished, we humans have to work for food and shelter and to live. What a shame.

(2) C G. Carpenter, September 8, 2008 8:42 AM

Work To Live or Live To Work

I and my wife decided when we were 18 & 19 year old newlyweds that she was going to be a stay at home mom. This went against the grain of what our parents wanted. We were pressured by them,they would say"you would have so much more if Tina would work". It is true that materially we would have had more, mabey another car payment to keep , larger clothing bill, chid care costs,ect.Instead my wife watched the childrens first steps, heard their first words,and was able to be there in times of sickness.We did have to find lost change and sell things too make ends meet in our younger days but, we made it this far. Some of my contemporaries chose to "get it" while they were young, sadly their children are no longer young and are out of the house.Wealth is nice but it also is a thief, a thief of TIME. Working is a good thing, it gives us a sence of accomplishment and pride. Many people retire early and then end up bored and dissatisfied with life, they spent valuable TIME when they were young to sometimes gain empty TIME. I work in a retirement area, I see people who's only concern in life is TIME for golf, tennis and worrying about the upkeep of their properties. As for me I try to get home early as possible to spend TIME with my 10 year old daughter, my boys are 22 and 27 they are out of the house in different cities and it is hard to find TIME to be with them now. So we can spend TIME on our family or TIME on our wealth,its a balance. God always lets us choose,I guess the trick is to know when you have enough wealth, because we seemingly never have enough TIME.

(1) malka, September 7, 2008 2:58 PM


so true, while we need to work in order to support our familiy, sometimes people get too carried with it and don't spend enough time with loved ones. We need to remember that this moment is the only chance we have before the kids grow up and are away.


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