The Money Code. Become a Millionaire With the Ancient Jewish Code
][In its author’s words, the Money Code that Jewish knew for centuries is found in the books containing history’s greatest wisdom of all time, specifically the Jewish religious texts. Although some popular religious texts such as the New Testament, Quran, Bhagavad Gita, Tao Te Ching or Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol) contain interesting insights and stories, it is the Jewish religious texts such as the Old Testament [Tanakh] that contains valuable information on acquiring Wealth.
Even if the contents discussed strongly delve into Judaism, the book is written for non-Jew and also for non-religious people: “the reader does not need to become a Jew or convert to their religion, Judaism, to become wealthy”.
H. W. Charles believes that your financial success depends upon:
- the wisdom you learn from these Jewish books and
- our will to change our way of doing things and take action
The author reports that the Money Code found in the Old Testament (Tanakh) is decoded by the Talmud (the Talmud explains the secret meanings behind the words of Hebrew scriptures) and other Jewish religious texts. Jews refer to the first five books of Tanakh (the Old Testament) as the Torah.
The book highlights how religion influences a person’s success and finances “because it shapes values and priorities, contributes to the set of competencies from which action is constructed, and may provide important social contacts”. As such, religion is an important factor for wealth accumulation. Quoting research among several faiths done by the Sociologist Lisa A. Keister, he reports how Wealth is highest among Jews, followed by mainline protestants, followed by Roman Catholics. Conservative protestants were the least wealthy successful.
The author seems to conclude that being raised Jewish and practising Judaism leads to the accumulation of Wealth. He, therefore, extracts for us 7 key MONEY CODES from Jewish religious books. Then, he invites the readers to study and execute them to obtain Wealth.
MONEY CODE NUMBER 1: WISDOM
Wisdom is defined as the quality of having experience and discerning or judging what is true, right, or lasting. It is the practical application of knowledge. King Solomon is one of the central figures in Jewish history; the Tanaka (old testament) credits Solomon as the First Temple builder in Jerusalem. He was the wisest and richest man of his time because he desired wisdom more than anything else. God said: “I am giving you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you, nor will there ever again be anyone like you. I am also giving you what you did not ask for, riches and honour greater than that of any other king throughout your life”. This is because with great wisdom comes great Wealth and success. As such, for religious people, the author suggests following Solomon’s footsteps and praying for wisdom and an understanding heart. Wealth and success will follow. For non-religious, he suggests using affirmative prayer, a scientific prayer, focusing on a positive outcome.
Ultimately, rather than pursuing Wealth, pursue wisdom: “don’t exhaust yourself in pursuit of wealth; be smart enough to desist. If you make your eyes rush at it, it’s no longer there! For wealth will surely grow wings, like an eagle flying off to the sky”.
Humility is regarded as a prerequisite to increasing wisdom: “first comes pride, then disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom”. “Poverty and shame are for him who won’t be taught, but he who heeds reproof will be honoured”.
To achieve wisdom is necessary to study:
- Jewish philosopher Samuel Ibn Tibbon said: “make your books your companions”;
- American sales expert Zig Ziglar said: “Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs”.
Among all books, the Talmud is seen as a source of great wisdom. It has also become a handbook for doing business and seeking fortunes. The Talmud explains: “if one takes his studies by heaps at a time, he will benefit but little, but if one gathers little by little he will gain much”.
The author then covers the subject of time, saying that many Jews understand that time is more valuable than money: you can always get more money, but you can never recover time. Time is the most precious commodity. As such, most Jews spend their time acquiring wisdom, Wealth and contributing to society.
MONEY CODE 2: TRADITIONS [MINDSET]
The Tanakh portrays the first Jews as very wealthy, and this Wealth was considered a clear sign of divine favour. Traditionally, Jewish families encourage the pursuit of wealth accumulation, high-income careers and investing. Jew families value wealth and success. While many ethnic and religious groups are mainly focused on the afterlife and downplaying this world, Jews view Wealth and success as a blessing and gift from God. The Tanakh says, “everyone to whom God has given riches and wealth, along with the power to enjoy it, so that he takes his allotted portion and finds pleasure in his work, this is a gift of God”. The Tanakh says: “the Lord makes some people poor and others rich; he brings some down and lifts others”.
The author further quotes the study of Lisa A. Keister’s on religion’s influence on Wealth, mentioning that conservative protestants are at the low end of money accumulation. The study speculates this could be due to their low education achievement and literal Bible interpretation, concluding that money accumulation is not very important or even preaching poverty as a virtue. The author states that many Christians who view poverty as virtuous base their belief on the idea that Jesus lacked many possessions. Yet, Jesus had money: Judas managed the money for Jesus. The author states that many Christians misunderstand that the problem is not money but the attachment to possessions and dependence on money rather than dependence on God. He reminds us that many schools of Greek philosophy held a belief that all physical matter was flawed. Much Greek thinking was incorporated into Christian doctrine; thus, he subsequently states that poverty crept into Christian denominations. People searched for scriptures to support that view by taking verses out of context. The author states that money is not the root of all evil: it is a neutral substance that can be used for good or bad, depending on who is using it and how it is used.
For the author, poverty is the real problem: “poverty causes transgressions“ to find means to survive. He then quotes a popular verse of the bible: “you can never serve God and Mammon”. He states that people serve mammon when they work very hard for money their whole life (slaves to money) rather than making money work hard. The key is to work hard to create abundant Wealth to have time to study and develop one’s full potential. Quoting Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah: “where there is no money, there is no learning”. The Rabbi explains that only when stomachs are full, they can study, grow spiritually and do good work.
Unlike Christianity, in which some view poverty as virtuous and desirable, Jews have generally viewed poverty negatively. Jewish texts have portrayed poverty as an unjustifiable burden, pointless suffering. Jewish people view Wealth as a blessing and look down on poverty because it cannot help anyone.
MONEY CODE NUMBER 3: WORK
The Talmud covers the subject of what a person should do to become rich: “let him engage much in business and deal honestly”. The Tanakh states: “the diligent will rule, while the lazy will be put to forced labour”. The author makes his point by saying that most Jew works for themselves and hire employees instead of employees. He then uses the words of German politician Julius Streicher: “it is an open secret that Jews do not work, but rather let others work for them”. Jews believe that people are creators, not consumers. Work requires goals and plans to achieve them with perseverance. The Tanakh says: “in the morning, sow your seed; and don’t slack off until evening; for you don’t know which sowing will do well”. Discussing work, the author also refers to the limits of the “law of attraction” and uses these verses of the Tanakh to disregard it: “in all work there is profit, but mere talk produces only poverty”. Only through work can it be possible to produce results that create Wealth: “idle hands bring poverty; diligent hands bring wealth” (NLT).
MONEY CODE NUMBER 4: INVESTING
The Talmud teaches that “one’s money should always be ready to hand”, meaning that we should always have money ready for an investment. He states that 33% of Jews invest in financial assets, compared to 7 % of mainline protestants, 4 % of Catholics and 0% of conservative protestants. Quoting the banker Edmond Safra, “if you don’t sow, how will you harvest”. The author states that during the journey towards Wealth, a person may have to hold back on spending for a period of time and save as much as possible. The Tanakh states, “those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich”. The author promotes the concept of working hard, saving and accumulating to invest in financial assets and ultimately obtain the desired return to support one’s lifestyle or future needs. On this topic, he expresses concerns for the current consumerist culture and quotes the Tanakh where it says, “the wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get”.
The book of law also states that “time is money, but also money is time, for every luxury cost so many precious hours of life”. As such, hold back on purchasing all you desire until you can truly afford it. Unwise borrowing puts you in a position of servitude.
The author promotes the idea to invest for the future generation, quoting the following story from the Talmud: a sage spot a man planting a carbot tree. The sage asked him how long it will take for this tree to bear fruits? Seventy years replied the man. The sage asked: are you so healthy a man that you expect to live that length of time and eat its fruit? The man answered: I found a fruitful world because my ancestors planted it for me. Likewise, I am planting for my children.
As such, saving can be seen as planting seeds: it takes time to see the growth, but it will provide a rich harvest.
The author extracts further tips on investing. He suggests we educate ourselves and plan ahead before making investments. The Tanakh says, “the thoughtless believeth every word, but the prudent man looked well to his going”. As such, never rush into an investment without prior research and deliberation. On the other hand, don’t stop investing in good opportunities: “he who keeps watching the wind will never sow; he who keeps looking at the clouds will never reap”. He also quotes to “divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead”. This is pure financial diversification.
MONEY CODE NUMBER 5: THE LAW
Natural law or the law of nature is a system of law determined by God. Law stands for order. The author quotes the Iron Law of Human destiny: what goes around comes around or the Law of Action and Reaction. He then discusses the 7 universal law given by God to Noah. These laws are to be also followed by non-Jews if they are to be blessed. On this topic, the author goes back to the concept of poverty: not much is expected of those who are in poverty because they do not have knowledge of the Noahide Laws (against idolatry, theft, murder, adultery, cruelty to animals, blasphemy, etc.). The Tanakh says: “what can we expect from the poor? They are ignorant. They don’t know the ways of the Lord. They don’t understand God’s laws”. “poverty and shame are for him who won’t be taught, but he who heeds reproof will be honoured”. Non-Jews or non-religious people will benefit from following these laws. Among the laws, the are several warnings against dishonesty or greed. “Wealth gotten by dishonesty shall be diminished, but he that gathered incrementally shall have an increment”. The Tanakh says, “greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they are headed for poverty”.
MONEY CODE NUMBER 6: TITHE
Tithe means one-tenth. Religious Jews give 1/10 of their income to the poor. This practice is an ancient Jewish formula for becoming wealthy. Abraham gave a tenth of everything. The Talmud tells us, “tithe so that you will become rich“. Tithing is in itself a qualification for Wealth. It is like a partnership with God in sustaining the world. “Neither poverty nor wealth is due to the craft, but all depends on merit”. Try to build your merit: the more you gather, the more divine energy you attract, and the more successful you will be.
MONEY CODE NUMBER 7: CHARITY
The Talmud says, “even a poor man who himself subsist on charity should give charity. If he does that, [heaven] will not again inflict poverty upon him”. An offering is anything given beyond the tithe. The author quotes the Law of Cause and Effect again, stating you first must give before you receive. The Tanakh says, “he who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who hides his eyes will get curses in plenty“. In this final chapter, the author quotes Anglican methodist clergyman John Wesley to summarize it: “earn as much as you can, save as much as you can, invest as much as you can, give as much as you can“.
I decided to read and review the book “The Money Code” out of curiosity while preparing the Article “Dress English, Think Yiddish”. The book is not academic research; besides his several quotes of Jewish religious scriptures, the author enthusiastically promotes his thesis quoting Jews alternatively and non-Jew authors and researchers to build his case.
H.W. Charles discusses several financial concepts that are well known among practitioners or financial enthusiasts. If these subjects are new to the readers, they can provide great value and promote the practice. If the concepts sound already familiar or largely acquired, we believe they still provide an interesting historical and cultural context. It is indeed fascinating to realize how similar principles were present in texts dated thousands of years.
I found it particularly interesting to read how poverty or lack of prosperity is discussed in the book. We are far from some religious doctrines that nearly idealize poverty, defend it and/or paternalistically suggest mitigating it. The message is clear: it is necessary to escape poverty, escape conditions of need, avoid jobs that don’t make us prosperous and don’t leave us quality time. We can be thrifty and live below our means to save more, invest more, live a life based on our values, and give back to society. That does not mean to be poor, but to avoid luxuries that we cannot afford to create Wealth through acquired wisdom (1), correct mindset (2), honest, smart work (3), financial investments (4), adherence to religious and natural laws (5) and charity (6-7).
Do you have a favourite Money Code number from the 7 listed in the article? Did you find inspiration, or the contents are far from your current sets of values?
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Until next time, Sweat Your Assets!