29 - Situations - Be As Concerned For Someone Else's Money As You Are For Your Own

Not only must we help others not lose money, but we must also help them succeed.

 

                                         We are stretching in ahavas yisrael together to create

z’chuyos for K’lal Yisrael in these urgent times.

Review:

Last week’s stretch of the week was:  Make a point to be conscious of when you're about to get mad or angry at something, and try very hard to control yourself to handle it calmly. 

Please allow ONE person to share her experience with this exercise for ONE minute.

 Situations

Lesson #29

PIRKAY AVOS--ETHICS OF OUR FATHERS

Be As Concerned For Someone Else’s Money As You Are For Your Own

  יהי ממון חברך חביב עליך כשלך

Y’hi Mumone Chavair’cha Chaviv Alecha K’Shelach


Perek Bais, Mishna Yud Zayin Part 1


Story(based on a true story)

For the last five years I've been the set director for my daughters' Bais Yaakov High School annual plays.  Having had extensive theater experience in secular venues, I take pride in my position working now for an orthodox venue.  The purposes for the plays are bountiful.  While they certainly help the students channel their creativity, form bonding friendships and assist them with their self esteem, they also give women and girls from our community a lovely night out -- and honestly, the revenue the ticket sales bring in helps raise a nice amount of money for our school!

As set director, it's my job to help the girls design and decorate the set from scenery to props and everything in between!  I'm given a very workable budget in which to purchase whatever supplies I need.  When I first signed on to this job, I was informed that the person who held my position before me often times irresponsibly ran over her budget and it forced the school to regretfully take that overture from the ticket sales.  I was encouraged to please try and come in at budget or under.  I saw it as a wonderful challenge for myself, and so far each year I've been highly successful.  I guard that budget money as if it were my own personal money, that way I feel the pressure of never wanting to ever go over our budget.  I teach my students the value of recycling items from second hand stores, garage sales, their basements, attics, even garbage picking, instead of purchasing brand new items.  We also have begun to appeal to local businesses in our community, offering to advertise and promote them for free in our play bill, if they donate any items we might need.  There was even a situation once where a business had heard about our program, and they didn't have the best of reputation in our community, but they donated to our cause and were so generous and wonderful to work with.  We have now worked with them several years in a row and happily promote them to any and all!  The sense of achievement I get from saving the school money sometimes is more of a rush than it would be had I saved my own money!

Pirkay Avos:

"... רבי יוסי אומר:  יהי ממון חברך חביב עליך כשלך..."

"…Rabi Yosai omer:  Y’hi mumone chavair’cha chaviv alecha k’shelach…".

"…Rabi Yosai says:  Be as concerned for someone else’s money as you are for your own…"(Perek Bais, Yud Zayin).

Our Sages state that Mar Zutra once stayed at an inn where the innkeeper’s silver goblet was stolen.  A while later he saw one of his students wash his hands and wipe them dry on someone else’s garment.  Mar Zutra thought that someone who has so little regard for the property of others might well be a thief also, so he had him bound until he confessed to stealing the goblet (Bava M’tzi’a 24a).

Even when we are not subject to a specific halachic obligation regarding someone else’s property, we may still be subject to a moral responsibility.  Thus, a person who wishes to go beyond the letter of the law should, when seeing someone else’s money at risk, ask himself what he would do if he himself were in that situation.  If he would set aside time and effort to extricate himself, he should do so for that person as well. 

An employee must bear this principle in mind, and not misuse his employee’s resources and waste time on the job (of course, this is a halachic obligation and not just an act of piety).  He must think:  If I were the employer how would I want my own employees to act?

Not only must we help others not lose money, but we must also help them succeed.  For instance, we should praise a businessman’s goods and services, and deny any defamatory rumors about his affairs.

(Reproduced from Rav Lau on Pirkei Avos, with permission of the copyright holders, ArtScroll / Mesorah Publications, Ltd.)

Discussion Question Options:

What are some examples of ways we can morally save or protect someone else's property or money?

What are ways you can prevent "wasting time" at your place of work?

Give examples of ways we can praise a businessman’s goods and services, and deny any defamatory rumors about his affairs.

Stretch of the Week:

Find a way to save or protect someone's money OR promote someone's business that you also defend them against defamatory rumors. 

 

Stretch Of The Week