I've never been wealthy or part of the upper class so I cannot confirm whether this is true or not (although I'de love to be given the chance!) but, Chaim Kramer in his book Earning A Living Earning A Life says "In the physical world, for the most part, someone who is down-and-out will serve God and acknowledge him, But when he moves up, becoming affluent, he then forgets about God." The Rebbe Nachman of Breslove says "that when a person comes to wealth, to good, he then forgets about God. This is the concept of 'his eyes grew dim and he could not see' (Genesis 27:1). On account of his getting too close to the Light of Godliness. The light then dims his vision and harms him. It is like when a person looks directly at the sun. The sun's light harms his eyes." (Likutey Moharan II, 82:3)

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    It's explicit in the Torah judaism.stackexchange.com/a/109806/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 11 at 17:28
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    It's certainly possible but absolutely? Logically it's not the necessary conclusion as there are and have been many great individuals that were/are wealthy
    – Dude
    Commented Feb 11 at 17:50
  • I can confirm however, that being poor does make it easier for me to serve God because it motivates me to please God so that I might recieve abundance.
    – Miguel
    Commented Feb 11 at 17:54
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    Hey Miguel, I'm glad that you are here trying to learn. From the MiYodeya tour "Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers." The framing of your question as "Does anyone have any personal life experiences they want to share on this?" means that it will likely be closed. Please consider taking some time to familiarize yourself with how Mi Yodeya works and what expectations are placed upon users. Commented Feb 15 at 16:12
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    Poverty is not a guarantor of divine service, either. Mesilat_Yesharim ch. 1 says (in translation): "Thus, we see that man is truly placed in the midst of a raging battlefield. For all matters of this world, whether for the good or for the bad, are trials for a man. Poverty from one side versus wealth from the other. This is as Shlomo said: 'Lest I be satiated, and deny You, and say, Who is G-d? or lest I be poor, and steal...' (Prov.30:9) [...] until the battle is waged against him from the front and from the rear."
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Feb 15 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


In the Mishnah, Rabbi Yonatan said:

He who fulfills the Torah in poverty shall in the end fulfill it in wealth. He who disregards the Torah in wealth shall in the end disregard it in poverty. [Pirkei Avot 4:11]

This quote neatly sets up a perpetual motion machine through the generations: First poor and observant, then rich and observant, then rich and non-observant, then poor and non-observant, then back to poor and observant. Our very survival seems to depend on this pendulum swinging back and bringing some of our people back into the fold.

  • is this related to the kabbalistic concept that in order to arouse blessings from above we must first develop a vessel (kli) in order to recieve it? And is this what is meant that Hashem doesn't always give us what we want because we can become corrupted by too much abundance?
    – Miguel
    Commented Feb 13 at 3:19

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