Mendy Kaminker

Why I want to live like a millionaire

I strive to live like a millionaire.

No, I am not saying that I have a burning desire to live in a mansion, own a private jet, and take my family every weekend to cruise on a super yacht.

But I am trying to have the mindset of a millionaire.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

Think about two types of people who want to build a synagogue. One has access to an unlimited amount of funds; the other is working on a tight budget.

It’s not hard to guess which synagogue will be more beautiful!

For someone working on a tight budget, every decision is judged based on “can we do it?” or “do we have enough money for it?” And the most essential question: “how can we do it by spending even less?”

So they will choose practicality over aesthetics and end up with something that looks okay but could be better.

When you are not limited by budgetary constraints, you will go all the way.

This is what I try to do. To find ways to adopt the same big-thinking mindset as wealthy people. The “I can do it” and “do-it-the-best-way-and-cut-no-corners” attitude.

In fact, one may argue that living this way is a Torah value!

Here is how.

The Mikdash – the holy temple – was the place we built for Hashem. Initially created as a Mishkan, a temporary structure that traveled with the Jewish people in the desert. Ultimately, it was erected in Jerusalem.

It was a holy place, but it was also a stunningly beautiful building.

And it was not only about the beauty of the structure. Every aspect of the Mikdash service was carried out in a manner befitting great wealth. In the words of the Talmud, “there is no poverty in a place of wealth.”

After all, this is the house of G-d, the creator of the heaven of earth. It ought to be the most beautiful place on earth!

So the Mikdash builders had this big-thinking attitude.

The fact is that all of us are Mikdash builders.

When G-d told the Jewish people to build the Mikdash, He used an unusual phrase: “I will dwell in them.” The sages point out that the correct language should have been “I will dwell in it [the Mishkan]” and not “in them.”

G-d’s choice of language makes it clear that the goal is not only building a central Mikdash. We should also endeavor to build our own Mikdash by filling our homes, workplaces, and journeys with holiness.

Everything we do is an opportunity to create a home for Hashem, so everything we do should be done in a befitting manner for the King of Kings.

Now, this is a millionaire’s mindset!

A well-known Chassidic saying advises us to “think good, and it will be good.” Taking inspiration from this idea, we might similarly encourage ourselves to “think big, and it will be big.” When we keep in mind that each moment of our existence is dedicated to serving Hashem, we can strive to approach every task with excellence and magnificence.

About the Author
Rabbi Mendy Kaminker is the Chabad Rabbi of Hackensack, and an editorial member of
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