This Shabbat we read the Ten Commandments from the Torah. These basic moral principles have been the bedrock of moral societies for over three millennia.

I often get asked about the relevance of faith in G‑d, Judaism, Torah and Mitvot in today's and age. One of the basic principles of Jewish thought is that the Torah is relevant in modern times just as much as in ancient times, and is relevant in all areas of life, not only the spiritual.

I'm a Rabbi not an economist, but from my limited understanding I think that faith in G‑d is extremely important from an economic standpoint as well.

In general economic theory there are micro and macroeconomics. Microeconomics focus on the economic activity and patterns of individuals and businesses, while macro economics focus on trends of entire industries. Micro and macro economics primarily study results and existing trends. 

While these two viewpoints seem to encompass the entirety of economic thought, there is one more element to economics that I think is too often left out: faith. 

Faith is what makes people believe in themselves, and that they can succeed. Cold facts alone indicate that many people fail. So why persevere? Because of faith. Faith is a bold sign of strength and leads to action, it's not a regressive crutch to lean back on. Faith takes courage. 

While a national economy is an immensely complicated subject, it's all based on the simple fact that when people feel positive, and believe in themselves and their power to succeed, the economy grows. 

A single smile and an encouraging word to a small business owner can make him or her believe in themselves, and go on to grow their business. Those extra dollars of profit are direct results of that smile and the faith that it caused.

Faith is also the bedrock of the differences between right and wrong. With logic alone, any act, even the most immoral or destructive, can be explained away and bury its true meaning under piles of words and theories. It takes faith to see the bigger picture and realize what is right ad what is wrong.

In short, faith in G‑d means that there is purpose and meaning in everything. If G‑d created it, it means it is here for a reason. Faith is the bedrock of success, of justice and the difference between right and wrong. It brings an overarching positive vibe to society and gives people cause to believe. 

In the words of Martin Luther King, 'Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. '


Rabbi Avrohom