Jerusalem Journal report - Personal Net worth: $2.2 Trillion
Personal Net worth: $2.2 Trillion
May 10, 2017
Last Friday and Saturday I had the privilege of spending Shabbat with two of my closest friends in Israel, Yishai and Malkah Fleisher. They live on the Mount of Olives; their family is delightful.
On Saturday, their youngest Delight, about 18 months old, suddenly lost his lunch. Poor thing. One day later, I lost mine.
Poor me! It was a stomach flu. 24 hours? If only. Three days later I am getting better but still recovering.
Homebound and weak, my sudden if temporary fall from health has been a good reminder about how quickly things can change. Overnight I went from vigorous health to achy weakness, from an active schedule to the sofa, bed and ...facilities, lol.
Thinking along these lines, guess who came to mind?
According to MSN, he is the fifth wealthiest person who ever lived. In today's US dollars, his personal net worth was an estimated $2.2 *trillion.*
Not bad, eh? Fairly secure, right?
He didn't think so. Instead, he said, "Cast but a glance at riches, and they disappear; they sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle."
Just like my health did on Sunday night.
About 900 years after this wealthy man died, his direct descendant with a net worth of zero also said some interesting things about money.
Perhaps with his great-great grandfather in mind, he said we cannot take wealth with us, even to heaven, when we die. What we accumulate here stays here.
But, he added — and this is really interesting — we can send it on ahead.
Instead of amassing fortunes here, his advice was to "store up" financial wealth there, a place where assets do not depreciate and "thieves cannot break in and steal."
He also gave a glimpse of heaven's complex social makeup. Just like here, its culture is a network of relationships.
"Use this world's wealth," he said, "to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into their eternal dwellings." What's more, he added, "according to the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Somehow productivity and wealth in heaven's economy will be, like here, linked to who we know. Notably, who we know there has everything to do with what we do here.
The obvious question is how? How do we transfer wealth from here to there? How do we build a network of helpful relationships in heaven's economy?
The 5th wealthiest man who ever lived had a notion. His poetic explanation was to "throw your bread into the water. Then, after many days, you will find it."
Almost a millennium later, his descendent was a bit more explicit.
In about hundred different ways, he said to give it away. Give it to the Temple, give it to the poor, give it to his kingdom's work. Give it where there is no chance of a return, at least in this world's terms. (That's what his great, great grandfather meant by, "throw your bread into the water.")
And, give extravagantly. In fact, he clarified to a wealthy young aristocrat, give away everything you regard as yours. Because, in reality, nothing here belongs to us. Instead, we are trustees for the only Owner of wealth on this side of the grave.