"Cut Back!"

That seems to be the call of the hour—and any responsible individual or company understands that during economic crisis, there are some things that we simply can't afford or shouldn't afford to do, buy or invest in. For some it may mean not throwing extravagant office parties, for others it may mean not going on luxury vacations, and for yet others it may mean taking public transportation to work.

But there are some things that if you cut back on, you'll only hurt yourself more. Imagine a stock trader selling off his computers, a cab driver cutting back on gasoline purchase or a printer auctioning off his presses. You don't tamper with whatever is generating the income! If anything, you do what you can to strengthen it so that it produces more. True, it may cost a few dollars to upgrade the presses, to fill up on gas or to keep your computers, but ultimately you're confident that the money will come back to you many times over.

He only desires that we create those channels to provide a means for His blessings Yes, don't tamper with whatever is generating the income—strengthen it. But what is the Ultimate Generator of income? The Source of all income is G‑d. The actual cash comes to us in many different channels, we often refer to them as "work," but G‑d is the source of everything in life. He only desires that we create those channels to provide a means for His blessings to manifest themselves. But if we lose focus on the Source of Income and only invest in the channels—that would be exactly like selling off the printing press while looking for more printing jobs; maybe worse.

What's fascinating is that G‑d Himself teaches us in the Torah, through His prophet Malachi, how to continue generating income in the form of literal, tangible goods from the Source of Income: tzedakah (charity)!

"Bring all the tithes into the treasury so that there may be nourishment in My House. Test Me, if you will, with this, says the Lord of Hosts, [see] if I will not open for you the windows of the heavens and pour down for you blessing until there be no room to suffice for it."

So of all things to cut back on in these challenging times, why would you cut back on charity?!