Bechukosai: The Best Employer on Earth
Here is a foolproof method to get your business or your personal finances out of slump mode and on the road to unfathomable success...
by Rabbi Lazer Brody
The owner of the company had tears in his eyes when he told me his story. His patented products were not only unique but they were reasonably priced too. His marketing and production staffs were dependable and hard-working. Everything seemed to be right from a management standpoint yet the company wasn't making any money. Strange things happened in the company's manufacturing facility such as brand new machinery breaking down and all types of other unexpected maintenance problems happening. Sure, the machinery would eventually be fixed and the maintenance team would repair the bugs, but meanwhile the factory was suffering from down-time and customers weren't receiving their goods on time. Together with the slowdown of the overall economy and the weakening of the dollar, the current fiscal year was a disaster. One more year like this could spell the untimely end...
With a choked voice, the owner asked me, "Rabbi, what do I do?"
I asked him a few more questions, one of which was if he gave enough to charity.
"Of course, I give a full ten percent of my net salary after taxes to charity. I'm careful about that," he answered.
"Yes, but you're the owner of the company," I answered. "The company has net profits beyond the salary that you draw for yourself. True?"
"It used to be that way, Rabbi. In the first couple of years that we started manufacturing our own products, we made money hand over fist. But lately, things have been disastrous – there are no more reserves."
I opened up a Chumash that was on my table to the end of Parshat Bechukosai:
"Any tithe…belongs to Hashem; it is holy to Hashem." (Leviticus 27:30)
"Do you see what the Torah says? Any tithe – your crops, your fruit, your newborn animals – all belongs to Hashem. Tell me something – how did you pay for the new machinery?"
"From previous years' profits," the owner replied.
"And this was money that wasn't tithed, right?
"Yes, Rabbi, but my community rabbi told me that I only have to give maaser (tithe) from the salary that I draw."
"Technically, according to dry religious law, your rabbi is right. But if you want the blessing of abundance in your life, you have to be more than right. Your new production-line machinery lacked the blessing of being paid for with tithed money. The breakdowns, the down-time and the idle workers are now costing you a lot more than the tithe of your company's net profits, had you given it..."
The owner thought for a few moments and asked, "Well what do I do now? I have enough debts without paying back tithes."
"You don't need to," I said. "You don't owe anything now because Hashem took away the old profits. Now's the perfect time to make a new beginning. Sell the company..."
"I can't do that," objected the startled owner, nearly jumping out of his chair. "My life is invested in that company."
"I don't mean sell the company to a person – sell it to Hashem."
"How do I do that?" He asked.
"From this moment on, sign the company over to Hashem. You don't need to make a legal transaction, just pass the company over to Hashem. He is now the owner and you are the Chief Executive Officer. Hashem is a great boss – you now work for Him. You see, when the company is yours, it may succeed and it may not. But when it's Hashem's company, it must succeed! Look, Hashem is willing to let you have 90% of all profits plus your salary as CEO. Where will you find a boss like that? All you have to do is to set aside 10% of the company's net profits after taxes – in addition to the tithe from your own salary of course. For the salary of one dollar a year – which you'll deposit in a Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva charity box that I'll give you - I'll serve as the company advisor and trustee. Once the profits start rolling in, ask me for the best way to invest Hashem's 10%. Wait and see how you take off."
The owner extended his right hand and shook mine – "Rabbi, you got a deal!"
I forgot about the whole thing. A year later, one of our English speaking secretaries at Breslev Israel received a phone call from an individual in the USA who requested to speak with me. It was the owner of the company. In one year, he had wiped away all his seven-figure losses and debts. In addition, the company made over $142,000 in net profits after taxes. He wanted to know the best way to invest Hashem's $14,200. Ultimately, we decided to make an emuna Shabbaton and Sunday Seminar in his hometown, an event that always pays off big dividends. It was a smashing success. His company continues to thrive beyond the CEO's rosiest hopes. Why? Hashem now owns the company.
Did you ever consider turning your own personal company over to Hashem? Even if you aren't self-employed, you can turn your personal finances into the "Your Name" Company and turn that over to Hashem. He's for sure the best employer in the world.
Rabbi Lazer Brody was born in Washington, D.C. in 1949. After receiving his bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Maryland in 1970, he moved to Israel and joined the Israel Defense Forces regular army, and served in one of the elite special-forces units. He is a decorated combat veteran of two wars and numerous of counter-insurgence and anti-terrorist missions on both sides of Israel's borders.
Rabbi Brody is the English-language editor of Breslev Israel's highly popular English-language website at www.breslev.co.il, and the founder and director of Emuna Outreach. Between Breslov Israel and Emuna Outreach, he devotes his time to spreading emuna and particularly the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev around the globe.
"Lazer Beams," Rabbi Brody's award-winning daily web journal, has been instrumental in helping tens of thousands of people around the globe find joy and fulfillment in their lives.