"Excuse me, are you Jewish?" For anyone who has spent some time working in NYC, chances are that you've been approached by a young Chabad teenager, asking if you'd like to put on Tefillin or light Shabbat candles.

Well, here we go, I confess. I was once one of those boys. My friend and I would leave our Brooklyn Yeshiva every Friday around 12:00 pm, take the 4 express train to Wall Street, and try to find some customers who might want to make use of the Tefillin and Shabbat candles we had picked up earlier at Chabad central in Crown Heights.

We'd visit several offices downtown every week. One of those offices was the HQ of the one of the largest Forex traders in the world, where several of the executives and employees were Jewish. We'd spend some time there chatting with the people working there about anything from Torah to football. Some of them would agree to put on Tefillin with us as well, and say a short prayer before going back to work.

I'd find it so inspiring to see how people in that Forex firm, as well as many others, would stop and take precious time during their day in order to study a few words of Torah, do a quick mitzva or say a short prayer. It really made an impression on me. Some of the people we'd meet were at career levels that many can only aspire to reach. Yet they'd seem to be so happy to put it all on hold when we'd come by with our little bags full of mitzvahs.

We all are Forex traders of sorts. We trade our skills for money that we then spend on whatever we choose. Our minds are constantly full of evaluations and exchanges. "If I invest correctly, manage my IRA diligently, or spend more hours in the office, I'll have more to spend on what matters to me."

Aside from dollars, yuan and pounds, I'd like to throw one more currency into the mix. It's a currency that's far more valuable than all others. Its called meaning. The idea of living a meaningful life is not a novelty confined to Rabbis or theologians. It's an inherent desire in every one of us, yet sometimes it can fall out of sight and just needs to be focused on.

If someone is successful in one "currency", say the head of a very successful firm or a famous actor, people will always take note of them and whisper to each other "there goes that very successful fellow". Yet how often do you you hear someone whisper to you in admiration "there goes a devoted friend and loving dad", or "did you see that woman? She's one of the most caring moms I've ever seen." Perhaps the currencies that are the most valuable tend to slip off our radars.

Ultimately what we often want most is to be at peace with ourselves, have happy families, and live meaningful lives. Success is certainly a cause for happiness, but haven't you met very successful people who are still unhappy?

The currencies of the NYSE and Nikkei are very important indeed, but only because they can be exchanged for other "currencies" that really mean something to us. They can be used to buy a home for the family, give to a charitable cause, have a car to drive the kids to their games, and have a successful career in order to make life better for our families and others.

So the next time we pass someone in the street who might be very successful in real currency - maybe they're always smiling, always ready to lend a hand, a great parent, selfless spouse or dedicated friend - take notice. Admire them and maybe even say to yourself: "there goes a wealthy person."

Rabbi Avrohom