Ethics

For the week ending 22 September 2007 / 10 Tishri 5768

The Last Laugh

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Question: In my business affairs I am sometimes ridiculed by non-observant Jews or Gentiles for my religious appearance and practices. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: The Chafetz Chaim compared your situation to the rookie businessman who was greeted with laughter and mockery by the seasoned merchants when he brought his goods into the marketplace.

The newcomer ignored their warnings that he would never be successful in his undertaking. He continued with determination and eventually became a very prosperous businessman. He indeed had the last laugh at those who mocked him.

In the same manner, concluded the Chafetz Chaim, a Jew must pay no attention to those who make fun of him for living a Torah life. This world is like a marketplace and whoever studies Torah and does mitzvot will earn great profits in the World to Come. There he will have the last laugh at those who laughed at him here.

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