Arts & Culture

Is Torah the Solution to the Global Economic Crisis?

The global financial markets are in ruins. It’s irrelevant whether the street’s name starts with Wall or Main; on every metaphorical avenue, dirt road, and interstate in practically every city and locale around the world the real people that inhabit … Read More

By / October 13, 2008

The global financial markets are in ruins. It’s irrelevant whether the street’s name starts with Wall or Main; on every metaphorical avenue, dirt road, and interstate in practically every city and locale around the world the real people that inhabit these spaces are scared and uncertain.  So it should be surprising that the incredibly relevant and timely wisdom and advice offered by Rabbi Levi Brackman and Sam Jaffe, co-authors of the recently published Jewish Wisdom for Buisness Success, has been met with the equivalent of an angry shush by Jewish media.

Christian media outlets, as the New York Times reported a week ago, have enthusiastically responded to a book that condemns greed, promotes charity, and attempts to outline a holistic existential blueprint balancing financial imperatives with spiritual ambitions. The Times’ article implicitly begs the question as to why Jewcy would be the only Jewish outlet to feature the book and its authors.

For an answer to the Times’ question one doesn’t need to go further than the ADL’s Abe Foxman, an almost full-proof barometer of the most fear-driven and ignorant elements of the Jewish communal psyche. Foxman’s public refusal to endorse the book is but one point in a constellation of public and private interests that continually stifle any discussion around Jews and money.

It’s a shame. Brackman, a Judaic scholar and teacher who runs a consulting practice for business-people in search of career fulfillment, and Jaffe, a former Wall Street Journal staffer and entrepreneur within the renewable energy space, have written a book with an undeniably fascinating premise: that is, the statistically disproportionate success Jews achieve in business is not due to "smart" genes or a secret Yiddish cabal that controls the levers of power, but to the religion itself. Their book is an attempt to prove this hypothesis. 

Join us this whole week as Jewcy will devote its lead space to the posts of Brackman and Jaffe as they wrestle with Jews and money, not only from a perspective of altitude, to elaborate and often counter the explosive mythologies that have developed around this issue, but also at street-level, to show readers how Torah and the culture that it spawned established concrete ideas and lessons to help anyone – Jew or gentile – achieve greater success in business. 

Today’s posts:

Sam Jaffe on whether God has a place in the worlds of business and money

Levi Brackman on writing a How-To Guide on Becoming Rich Like the Jews

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