PF Advice from Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Many of you are likely saying, "Rabbi Who?!"

Read on.

Some time ago, the Mrs and I were taking a rather lengthy road trip to a friend's wedding. Knowing it would be a long and tedious drive, I loaded up a stockpile of Dave Ramsey Show podcasts for the trip. The podcasts are typically the first hour of broadcast, and the theme hours including guest speakers are typically in the second hour - which sucks for cheapskates like me, who are unwilling to pay for all 3 hours.

One show in particular did not fit that mold. Dave was doing a full three-hour show with Rabbi Daniel Lapin as his guest. The fun part about Dave's show is that that he's more financial guru than radio host as he originally introduced him as "Daniel 'Rabbi' Lapin" as though he were some kind of boxer. What's even better is that Dave can laugh at himself and correct his own error.

In the show they discussed the Rabbi's book, Thou Shalt Prosper, as well as took calls with both giving responses. It was quite entertaining to hear the two perspectives on each topic. The Rabbi gave a brief synopsis of his book and discussed a few of the concepts covered in it. The book examines:

• Why Jews throughout the ages flourish economically
• How you can benefit from this Jewish wisdom
• What "being in business" means, whether you're flipping burgers, a professional or a CEO
• Why you should never retire

The Rabbi himself described it as the only time in history when the removal of a small piece of skin could turn bigotry into science. I could tell that I was going to like this guy, and needed to find out more. I knew that I needed to read his book (still on my list!)

One of the concepts from the book that he discussed was Candles vs Cake. He described how some folks view money as if it were like cake at a party: There's only so much of it, and if one person gets too large a slice, then others, by definition, will get less or none. In personal finance, this works to their detriment, holding them back from even believing success is possible. Others, more correctly, see money as if it were the candles on the cake. Like the flame on one candle, money can be spread around to benefit many. One candle with a large flame does not imply that others will go unlit.

This is an amazing analogy once you realize how right he is. Take today's economy. Shopping at a local retailer, means that shop owner has more money to buy a new sign out front, which gives work to the local sign maker, which mean he is buying more materials from the paint supplier and lumber yard, who can now afford that part-time help.... and on down the line. None of them are harmed by the transfer of money from one to another, but rather all benefit little by little.

Anyone read
Thou Shalt Prosper? What did you think?


DogAteMyFinances said...

I really enjoyed the book. It was a bit dumbed down, but nowhere near how Dave Ramsey's stuff is dumbed down.

It really made me think.

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