Did You Conduct Your Business Transactions Faithfully?
As Shavuot approaches, we try to look for ways to strengthen our relationship with God and our connection to the Torah. Some study the Torah all night at a Tikkun Leil Shavuot, others commit to studying more Torah throughout the year, yet others commit to putting more effort into Mitzvah observance.

The Gemara in Shabbat 31a asks the following questions

1. Did you conduct your business transactions faithfully (nasata vinatata b’emunah)?

2. Did you set aside fixed times for Torah study (kavata itim laTorah)?

The above questions are part of a series of questions that a person will be asked by the Heavenly court when they are brought to their final judgment.

What does the first question have to do with the second? What is the connection between conducting business transactions faithfully and setting aside time for Torah study and why is the question about business transactions asked first?

Rashi talks about the idea of “isuk baTorah”, involvement in the Torah, not just in studying the Torah but in letting the Torah guide every aspect of our lives.

Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel points out that one’s business dealings have important connections to Torah study. Since the normal way of the world is to earn a livelihood, Chazal (the Rabbis) express on numerous occasions, not only the importance of one’s own learning, but also the need to support Torah study for others. As the famous Yissachar- Zevulun relationship teaches us, one who uses his wealth to support the Torah has a share in that study. The fountain of the Torah is carved out by Torah scholars. It is also acquired by philanthropists (nedivei lev). The scholars acquire it through their learning and those who donate funds acquire it through their support and generosity. So how a person uses the assets that he or she earns has much to do with the study of Torah.

Rabbi Dr. Kanarfogel adds that if one does business honestly, and thereby fulfills all the sometimes intricate Halachic regulations and requirements of proper Jewish business, that person is considered to have fulfilled all of the Mitzvot in the Torah.

At Torat Reva Yerushalayim we rely on your contributions to ensure that Torah study classes can be provided to Jerusalem ’s neglected populations- including the elderly and people with special needs who would otherwise have no other opportunities to study Torah.
Please consider making a tax deductible contribution to Torat Reva Yerushalayim in honor of Shavuot.