When God tells Abraham to leave his home and travel to the land of Canaan, He promises that his children will become great nations and he will find fame and fortune.
Despite Abraham’s initial reservations, God promises all will be taken care of.
This reflects a deep and fundamental principle in Judaism – if you do the right thing in life, you won’t lose out.
It’s how I try to live my life and I find that it always works.
Let me give a few examples.
In business it seems that being a little bit unethical or just a tad dishonest will bring better results than not. But while owning up to a mistake might mean people are unhappy with you, in the longer term, they will respect your integrity.
In another instance, my wife and I were literally walking out the door to start our holiday when we received news that a good friend’s son had passed away suddenly. I got on the next plane to Israel.
My going made a huge difference to the family and the people we were renting a house from allowed us to our stay to the following week. Doing the right thing didn’t make us lose out.
Many years ago I had a car accident. There were no witnesses, so he could never have proved it was my fault.
But it was and I admitted this unreservedly. I also had no way of proving the damage I had caused, but felt it right to send him a cheque. He wrote a lovely letter saying he just wanted to see I was honest – but he did not need the money.
Abraham became incredibly wealthy; he remains famous 3,500 years after his death and his descendants are as numerous as the stars in the sky. Don’t be afraid of doing the right thing. It will always work for you.
Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt is founder of Tikun UK