Watch: You need a roof over your head. But do you need the grandest house on the block? You want your children to receive a good Jewish education. But is it worth the expensive tuition? When is the sky the limit, and when should we reach for the stars?
When it comes to our physical needs, the status quo is often not enough. We constantly want more. A better salary. Fancier furnishings. A higher social status.
When it comes to the spiritual, we pat ourselves on the back for the $18 donations. We are satisfied with an occasional Torah study session.
This is described as “unbalanced scales” when it comes to setting our priorities. In the Torah portion of Ki Tzeitzei, we are warned against utilizing unbalanced scales in business. In the verse directly following, we are instructed to forever remember the wicked nation of Amalek.
Amalek was the first gentile nation who dared to attack the Jewish people following the miracles of the Exodus and the splitting of the sea. Their impudence earned them the fate of total eradication and we were instructed to never forget their offense.
The Midrash clarifies the link between business scales and Amalek. The Jewish people were vulnerable to Amalek’s attack because they wielded dishonest weights. A lack of integrity in business is surely wrong, but is it an offense proportionate to such a severe attack from Amalek?
Amalek attacked when the Jewish nation was en-route to Sinai, attempting to hinder the receiving of the Torah, and cool off the enthusiasm of our nation.
The Torah commands us to forever remember Amalek’s attack, because we can still fall prey to the Amalek attitude. A cold, Amalek attitude towards Judaism can seep into our mindset when we have an unbalanced set of priorities, with materialism taking precedence. Vitality and passion towards Torah and mitzvos are fostered from a scale tipped in favor of the spiritual.
Take an honest look at your life’s scale. Which values hold weight?
You bought the newest gadget on the market.
How much would you spend on a mezuzah?
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