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Can Faith Help Me Win the Lottery?

Sunday, 31 October, 2021 - 6:53 pm

Question of the Week

I have a question about faith. If you look at the statistics, my chances of a happy life are pretty grim. I am very unlikely to make a lot of money or win the lottery. But my marriage has a high chance of failing, and at my age the odds of contracting some dreaded disease are increasing. So with the cards all stacked against me, am I supposed to just have trust in G-d that everything will be fine? Isn't it more realistic to say that everything probably won't be fine?

Answer

They say that 60% of small businesses fail within their first three years. And after ten years, only 10% are still standing. So for an entrepreneur starting a new business, the scales are tipped heavily against you.

Imagine two entrepreneurs embarking on two start-up ventures. The first goes in with a realistic attitude: "I have a one-in-ten chance of making it. So I'd better have a back up plan, because a few years from now all my hard work will most likely go down the drain." 

The second entrepreneur goes in bursting with positive energy and confidence: "I know full well that the odds are against me. But I am not a statistic. I am in G-d's hands. I'll do all I can to succeed, and one way or another, things will work out. I know it won't always be easy, but I am up for the challenge."

Which of the two is more likely to succeed?

I have no idea. There are many factors that make a successful business. Attitude is only one of them. Sometimes confident people fail. Sometimes half-hearted efforts succeed.

But one thing is for sure: the second guy will do well, whatever happens. Even if this time his venture flops, his faith will propel him to get up and try again. His positivity is not based on statistics or the likelihood of success. His positivity is a strategy. The best way to tackle life's challenges is with faith and confidence. 

Having faith and thinking positively doesn't mean you never fail. It means you don't let the fear of failure hold you down. You still feel pain, but you don't let the fear of future pain rob you of your happiness in the present. You remain positive, because that is the best way forward. It is the only way forward. 

Faith can help your marriage blossom. Faith can strengthen your immunity to disease. And as for winning the lottery, faith can help you realise that you already did. 

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss

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