Welcoming The Shabbat: Investment
Rabbi Tachlifa, the brother of Rabinai of Choza’ah learned: “One’s yearly sustenance is fixed between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, except for the expenditure for Shabbat and festivals, and the expenditure for the teaching of children Torah. If he spends less,
he is given less, if he spends more, then he is given more.” (Beitzah 15b-16a)
I have often heard this teaching quoted as a magical formula; “If you need more money, spend more on Shabbat and your children’s tuition.” Some people spend a fortune on Shabbat so that they will receive more money from heaven. However, someone who spends money on Shabbat to receive more money from Heaven is not spending the money on Shabbat, but on themselves.
Rabbi Tachlifa is speaking of investing in eternity. Both Shabbat and teaching our children Torah are preparations for a life focused on the World to Come. The judgment between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are focused on this world, and is, to a certain extent, fixed. However, one who is focused on the World to Come, is not limited by that judgment.
The expenditures for Shabbat must be focused on the World to Come. They cannot be to earn more money for this world. They cannot be to show off to our friends. They cannot be just to have more and better food. We begin by asking ourselves, “What can I do to enhance my Shabbat so that I can attach to the eternal?” Rabbi Tachlifa is referring to that type of investment.
I have an opportunity to create an eternal moment, and to access my combined growth and achievement. How will I approach such an opportunity?
Approaching Shabbat with such appreciation transforms my Shabbat expenditures into Olam Habbah investment. They will not be limited by the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur judgment. The funds become expansive, and will be blessed as described by R. Tachlifa.