Do You Want Wisdom or Money?

Most people pray for two things money and good health. How many pray for wisdom? Very few. The quest for wisdom was made a priority by the rabbis evident by their making the petition for wisdom the first of the thirteen blessings of petition said in the amida (the nineteen blessing prayer said at least three times a day).

The Talmud Bava Batra 25b Rabbi Yitzchak said: “A person who wants wisdom will turn toward the south and a person who wants wealth will turn toward the north the sign for this was that the table in the Temple was in the north and the menorah in the south.” Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said “Always tun to the south because wisdom is the key to riches.”

The menorah symbolizes the light of Torah and therefore symbolically turning towards it grants a person the capability of attaining wisdom by desiring it. However why not turn to the repository of wisdom itself - the Aron Hakodesh the Ark of Testimony which contained the Two Tablets and the Sefer Torah written by Moses himself. Why turn to the menorah that stands outside the holy of Holies outside the curtain that marks the boundary?

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch states that: “The human mind, turning towards the Torah and receiving enlightenment from the Torah has to be kept conscious that it stands outside the Torah. The Torah is something that has been given to it and not produced by it. It has to draw and increase its enlightenment from the Torah but never to take its own light into the realm of Torah to alter it or reform it...”

Remember: Torah wisdom is the key to riches and so much more.