Even Jews who are lifelong Torah learners from their youth and throughout their adult lives too often exhibit the same lack of financial literacy that burdens the broader society. A Torah-based financial-literacy program could correct this knowledge deficit for the simple reason that observant Jews take seriously what Hashem commands and what the Sages of Israel (“Chazal”) teach. This vital financial education has largely remained siloed in disparate Judaic texts – until now, with the publication by Gil Weinreich of A Torah Guide to Personal Finance.
Weinreich saw the creation of such a book as a sort of capstone to his decades-long experience as a financial journalist.
“My goal was to compile a resource that relates the Torah’s view of wealth, its logical approach to financial planning, along with advice on how to go about earning a living, investing for the future, managing risk and retirement.”
Having long written about these topics for an audience of professional wealth managers, organizing the information in the manner of a personal finance journalist seemed natural.
“Remarkably, there was not a single book that put together Chazal’s teachings on matters of personal finance, despite the great need for Jewish households to organize their finances in a manner conducive to a Torah lifestyle,” Weinreich said.
The financial journalist says the need for Torah-based financial literacy is especially great given the difficulty of adhering to values that contemporary society is unsupportive of, such as financial responsibility.
“My observation is that even industry professionals lack a clear understanding of finance; they may possess a lot of technical knowledge, yet all too frequently lack an awareness of how finance connects to life,” he adds. “True wealth is not the private domain of Rothschilds and Rockefellers, but actually achievable by all.”
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