Let’s be honest with each other: Money can potentially make life so much easier.  If only somebody else could do my ironing this week!  It would take 4 minutes in an air conditioned taxi instead of roasting whilst carrying those heavy groceries up the hill!  If we could just buy Shabbos food after such a crazy week!  But money is not the “be all and end all”.  In fact, money is a Nisayon from HaShem to see how we will use what He has given us.

We are inclined to say to our children, “No, it’s too expensive!”  “We can’t afford it!” “Do you know how much I paid for that?!” “How am I going to buy you another one?!”  What message do these exclamations convey?  That money is so important and that without it we will be stranded.

On the contrary, we want our children to feel that we love, and want to give to them.  We also want to ingrain into them that we have everything that we need because HaShem provides us with all our requirements.  Of course we can only successfully pass on these perspectives if we truly feel this way ourselves.  It is our lifelong Avoda to understand that HaShem is our only Supplier.  If we cannot afford something, perhaps we do not need it.  And if we really do need it, then HaShem will ensure that we will afford it, despite any setbacks along the way. 

When children damage or lose property it is preferable to emphasize the importance of responsibility than complain about the financial loss.  Shopping in the supermarket together can be an opportunity to teach how to prioritize and make wise choices.  Part of chinuch is showing children how to spend their money and of course how not to spend money they don’t have, ie. not borrowing!

We say “sheasa li kol tzorki” every morning, acknowledging that HaKadosh Baruch Hu gives us everything we need.  If we try to live by this principle we will never feel in deficit.  There are children from comfortable middle-class families who constantly feel they lack.  Conversely there are many poverty-stricken families whose children feel they have everything. 

 

It is all in the message we are giving over – we have, we desire to give to them and HaShem is not just running the show but financing it too!

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