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    Manners and money – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Do you agree that money is the root of all evil?

    A. No. It can cause evil, but it does not have to.

    The same may be said of two other human drives – sex and food. Kohelet says, ohev kesef lo yisba kesef, “He who loves money will never be satisfied with money” (Eccl. 5:9), which may also be said of sex and food. And the pursuit of these desires can lead you to unethical actions: if you simply have to have more money, sex or food, you will be tempted to steal from or exploit other people.

    Any legitimate human desire must be disciplined. That is why Judaism is so concerned with business ethics, bedroom ethics and eating ethics. As far as money is concerned, the money must be pursued honestly and used for constructive purposes, supporting yourself and your family, assisting the disadvantaged and strengthening the community.

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