How is it that people who become wealthy tend to forsake the principles of their fathers?
Now this is something that's a well-known phenomenon; it's constantly reiterated in the Scriptures, in the Tanach. Vayishman Yeshurun vayivot, Yeshurun became fat, the righteous nation became fat and began kicking. It's like a cow, a cow if you don't feed it too much it's docile; once you give it too much food and you come to milk it, it'll give you a kick in the face. And that's how children are too by the way, they are overfed with too much candy and ice cream, and that's why they're so fresh. If they had to go to work in order to support themselves, then you would see it would be a much more decent population. Money is a great test.
Now for good people money is a glorious opportunity, they become more grateful to Hashem and they utilize their wealth for the support of the Torah causes, and they become like Rabbi Akiva, or like Rabbon Gamliel, or like Rabbi Tarfon, or like Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya, all the great people of our history who knew how to live with money.
But those who are not trained, those who are not prepared for wealth, are ruined by wealth. Like Shlomo Hamelech said, Reish v'osher al titein li, don't give me extreme wealth or extreme poverty, hatrifeini lechem chuki (Mishlei 30:8), give me enough.
Therefore, it's a great test, and very many people have stumbled and fallen because of this test.
Good Shabbos To All
This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures. To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210