Our rocky economy has made financial security, long considered a right for those who played by the rules, seem like a cruel joke. Savvy investors who thought they had stashed enough away are now panicked that they will outlive their money. Scary times.

There was once a time when "being set" seemed attractive and attainable. Not ostentatious wealth, but simply being comfortable and secure was a laudable goal. Ten months ago many thought they had achieved that, only to see it disappear. Spending is down, charitable giving is being reduced, and investment and risk-taking are deemed foolish—as people race to get to the security of hard cash.

Hunkering down and hoarding cash is suddenly in vogue—with a vengeanceThe shake up is far more than financial. This phenomenon has engendered cultural and social reformulation too. In the wake of a failing economy new perspectives are being created. Hunkering down and hoarding cash is suddenly in vogue—with a vengeance. Stifling panic and a "batten down the hatches" mentality have replaced optimism and the entrepreneurial spirit.

I'd like to submit to you what I feel are the spiritual underpinning of this economic downturn as well as the map for its solution. (Disclaimer: Anyone who makes investment decisions based exclusively on a blog-writing rabbi's financial direction gets the returns he deserves... The following is more of a life strategy than an investment one).

Torah's message is infinity; everywhere, all the time and in all matters. We do not aspire merely to "fixed incomes," or fixed anything else. That strategy has been tried and the results weren't pretty.

Pharaoh's Egypt was all about getting everything "locked away." They reasoned that the Nile River could supply their riches, but even that had a start and stop point—it couldn't be expected to sustain the whole world. So this resource had to be guarded; its wealth distributed with utmost caution.

The resultant xenophobia of ancient Egypt even tried to keep G‑d out. The economists forecasted the market based on the static state of the Nile (the market of its time) and any mention of something not conforming to those algorithms was squashed—a lot like Communist Russia.

Does this sound uncomfortably familiar? Do you see yourself afraid to share your potato chips in the schoolyard, fearful that you'll run out? Or too spooked by the Dow Jones plunge to lend your brother-in-law some money?

G‑d took us out of Egypt, and it took a mighty hand to do that. Maybe that is why matzah is called the "Food of Faith," because leaving the culture of absolute certainty to enter the unknown and the unquantifiable demands faith.

When we seek our "comfort level," we surrender the opportunity for G‑d's infinite blessing. When we think we "have it made," we discover that we may have our finances assured – or not – yet our sense of purpose, our need for companionship and our drive for transcendence can't be squeezed into tidy numbers. Our culture encourages financial planning based on "all things being equal" (the Nile will flow forever), only to find out that all things are never equal (G‑d turned it into blood), and "oops!" our perfect scheme collapsed leaving us lonely and broke.

An ailing chassid once asked the Rebbe for a blessing that he choose the proper doctor to heal him. The Rebbe expressed disappointment that he didn't ask for a blessing to be rid of the illness entirely. Don't aim for something as trivial as security when the infinity of G‑d awaits you. After all how much is enough? Sadly the answer tends to be "just a little bit more"—like tomorrow, we can see it from here but we never achieve it. Ironically we are infinitely in pursuit of the finite—forever chasing "enough."

So while we do not ascribe to the credo "greed is good," Judaism does teach that "satisfaction" is often a mask for complacency and the false sense of control which money markets and guaranteed returns pretend to offer.

Don't confine G‑d's blessings to our often undersized goals; open up to infinity and G‑d will provide.