I’m fascinated by culture.

This past year, one thing I’ve been studying is culture’s influence on outcomes.

For example, what is it about Chinese culture that has caused them to thrive in the United States, despite discrimination, without significant political representation, and with the generational trauma of Mao’s Cultural Revolution that killed tens of millions of their people only six decades ago?

Or, how do Jewish people only constitute 1.9 percent of the U.S. population but make up 19% of the Forbes 200 list?

How, despite historical trauma, prejudice, and discrimination, do Jews manage to … well, CRUSH IT in business, finance, and life?

A few weeks ago, I picked up a book called Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, so I could find out exactly why Jews are winning.

Here are a couple things I’ve learned …

1. Being “the people of the Book,” Jewish people place a high value on education, reading, and developing skills. In fact, Chanukah candles signify education and understanding. When Jewish children do well in school, their friends don’t make fun of them or say silly things like “you’re acting Christian.” Learning is something to be proud of. And advancing in one’s education is openly rewarded.

2. Jewish children don’t grow up learning about “evil rich people” or the various crippling beliefs about money. Instead, they study the Torah, where the eighth appearance of the word good is applied to gold, a metaphor for money and wealth.

Jews see wealth as God’s reward for righteous conduct — serving and pleasing their fellow human beings in a moral, noble, and honorable way.

Money is good, because God said so. It’s right there in the Book. When you serve the people who need your solutions and skills, you’ll become wealthy. If you make money in an immoral way, customers will eventually stop coming around and your business will dry up. Simple as that.

On today’s episode of the podcast, Rabbi Daniel Lapin says, “Money is a certificate of performance.” 

Indeed, it is.

Culture doesn’t have to be complicated.


Source: Financial Summit ’16 – Session 1 and 2 – Rabbi Daniel Lapin

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