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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Driving for success

Daf Yomi Nedarim 33


Warren Buffett is one the richest men in the world.  He is known as the Oracle for his mastery of the stockmarket.   His company, Berkshire Hathaway, has exhibited the most solid returns of any investment company in history.   Ever wondered what kind of house he lives in?  What car he drives?

Mishnah:  One who vows to abstain from his friend’s food may not borrow a flour sieve, a grain sieve, a mill or an oven.
The Ran explains: These utensils are forbidden since they are used for food preparation.
Rav Papa asks: How about borrowing a horse to ride upon to the banquet or a ring to be seen with at the banquet, are these forbidden food-related items?
The Ran explains: The purpose of the horse and the ring are to give the impression of being a VIP and receive the royal treatment and best portion at the banquet.  Is that considered a direct food benefit or an ancillary benefit?

Hashem has great things in store for you in life.  If you maintain your faith in Heaven, you will achieve incredible success and prosperity in every aspect of your life.   And if you want to be successful, you need to live with a psyche of success.  Hold your head high; know that you are a Heavenly ambassador, here on earth to accomplish great things.  When you are already prosperous in your mind, in no time that will translate into tangible, physical success!

Nevertheless, even though you must live your life with an air of success, that does not mean you should be a charlatan or live beyond your means.  “Who is rich?” asks Ben Zoma in Ethics of the Fathers, “He who is happy with his lot.”   You are already successful.  You are already accomplished.  You are already prosperous.  You don’t need to go borrowing your neighbour’s Ferrari and jewellery to prove it! 

You don’t need to prove anything to anybody.  The truly successful individual is the person who does not need all the trappings of success to show off their success.  Warren Buffett does not own a New York penthouse or a Malibu beach-house.  He lives in a modest house in suburban Omaha, Nebraska and drives a regular car, without a chauffeur.  He is so successful that he’s not out to prove anything to anyone.


As long as you know your self-worth, you don’t have to impress anyone.  If they’re anybody at all, they will perceive who you are due to your innate success.  May you never be tempted to live beyond your means in an effort to prove who you are!