It is ironic, and unfortunate, that money causes more conflicts and disputes than anything else in the world. More fights erupt among people over money than over any other matter. Our Rabbis teach us that material blessings are dependent upon peaceful relations, and yet, specifically when it comes to one’s business and other financial dealings, he is more likely than in any other context to fight and quarrel. It seems that the Satan, knowing the particular importance of “Shalom” (peace) for Parnasa (livelihood), drives people to argue specifically in this area.
And this is precisely how the Satan operates in his schemes against us. The holy books teach that the area of a person’s greatest test and struggles is the area in which he has the potential to reach the greatest heights of Kedusha (sanctity). If a person experiences an especially strong urge to partake of non-kosher food, for example, he must realize that this is the particular area through which he can achieve spiritual greatness. The forces of Tum’a (ritual) focus their attention and efforts upon the areas with the greatest potential for Kedusha. And therefore if a person finds a certain area of Torah observance especially challenging, he should realize that this is the area in which he has special potential for spiritual greatness. Unfortunately, most people despair from the areas that pose the greatest challenges, and look for another area in which to excel. Our attitude must be just the opposite. We need to focus extra attention on the areas of our greatest challenges, because the fact that they pose the greatest challenges proves that this is where we have the potential to excel. It is precisely because of our potential for excellence in those areas that Satan assails us specifically in our observance of those aspects of religious life.
And this is why it is often so difficult for us to maintain peace in the context of money. “Shalom” is the prerequisite for prosperity, and nobody knows this better than the Satan. Therefore, in his efforts to deny us God’s blessings, he gives us this difficult challenge, he drives us to fight specifically in the context of money – the context where “Shalom” is the most critical and indispensable for success.
Armed with this understanding of the Satan’s schemes, we will hopefully be better prepared to confront this great challenge, and to avoid fighting and conflicts in our financial dealings. This will help ensure our success by opening the “pipelines” from the heavens through which God will shower upon His abundance of blessings, and grant us all much success and prosperity, Amen.