Integrating Spiritual Wisdom into Commercial Transactions
Rabbi Nachman teaches,
All business dealings are really Torah. For example, the law relating to a person who exchanges a cow for a donkey is Torah, and when a person actually performs such a transaction this is certainly Torah. Accordingly, when engaged in any business transaction, you must bind your thoughts only to the Torah teachings and laws contained within the transaction in question.
When a person uproots his business dealings from the Torah, relating only to the externality of the business transaction itself without binding his thoughts to the Torah within it, he is later punished by having to go to a Torah court of law. He must then review all his thoughts and deeds from the start of the transaction to the end and bring them back to the Torah. He must tell everything to the judges, who then determine the Torah ruling in the case.
This way everything relating to the business transaction is turned back into Torah. This is the Torah’s vengeance against the person for having separated the transaction from the Torah laws contained within it and falling to the level of the business deal itself as if no Torah were present within it. By having to come before the court and tell the judges everything related to the matter, turning them into Torah, he comes to see that all business activity is Torah. Everything is relevant to the case, even the person’s thoughts – for if he omits a single word or thought, the Torah ruling will be defective. Everything must be put before the judges, who turn it into Torah.
Everything depends on the extent of the flaw. There are cases where the person’s only punishment is that he has to go to court but , although he wins his case, he is shown that he failed to attach his thoughts to the Torah in the proper way. However there are cases where a person uproots his business activities from the Torah to a far greater degree, and his punishment is greater because he does not win the case.
In truth, when engaged in business you should focus only your external mind on the transaction in itself, while your inner thoughts should be bound to the Torah contained within it.
Likutey Moharan I, 280
With permission taken over from: Daily Dose Of Rabbi Nachman