By: Shmuel Shayowitz

The father asks, “I see you are in between jobs. How are you going to provide for yourself and my daughter?”

The young man replies, “Well, God will provide.”

The father continues by asking, “I assume you will be having children. How will you support them?”.

The young man paused and then replied with great conviction, “Don’t you worry; God will provide.”

A bit concerned, the father asked another question, “Do you have any savings? What is your plan in life?”

The young man looks the father straight in the eyes and says, “God will provide.”

Later, the daughter asks her father, “So, how did it go?”

The father answers, “The bad news is that he has no money and no plans, but the good news is he thinks I’m God!”

Being an Orthodox Jew who places complete faith in God for all our needs while simultaneously striving to be fiscally responsible and accountable presents a unique set of challenges. It is a delicate balance that requires navigating the realms of spirituality and practicality.

However, striking a balance between faith and finance is not without its obstacles. On the one hand, our faith encourages us to trust in God’s providence, believing that He will provide for our every need. This unwavering trust has been instilled in many of us since childhood, reminding us that our spiritual connection should guide our decision-making in all aspects of life.

On the other hand, the reality of life necessitates a responsible approach to managing finances. Judaism teaches the importance of fiscal responsibility. It encourages individuals to work diligently, save, and engage in fair business practices. It calls for being accountable stewards of the resources entrusted to us, recognizing that financial stability is crucial for the well-being of ourselves and our communities.

Balancing these seemingly opposing forces is an ongoing journey of self-reflection and growth. While our faith assures us that God will provide, it does not absolve us of the responsibility to make wise financial decisions. This delicate balance requires us to diligently seek livelihood while also remaining mindful of the ethical dimensions of financial dealings.

In the pursuit of this equilibrium, I often find solace and guidance in the Torah’s concept of “Hishtadlut,” which refers to the simple concept of ‘making an effort.’ It teaches that while we put our trust in God, we must also actively engage in the practical aspects of life. It is this notion that empowers us to pursue opportunities, make informed choices, and be diligent in managing our finances – all while maintaining unwavering faith.

The challenges of being an Orthodox Jew who relies on God for all our needs while simultaneously being fiscally responsible are indeed significant. However, by embracing the teachings of the Torah and finding harmony in the delicate balance between faith and finance, I believe it is possible to lead a purposeful and fulfilled life. It is through this synergy that we can nurture both our spiritual growth and financial well-being, enabling us to make meaningful contributions to our communities and the world at large

Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Approved Funding is a mortgage company offering competitive interest rates as well as specialty niche programs on all types of Residential and Commercial properties. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. He can be reached via email at Shmuel@approvedfunding.com.

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