Spending too much time at work trying to make an extra buck? Wondering what the key to G‑d’s blessings is? The Talmud has an interesting formula.

The third-century sage Rabbi Chelbo, who had emigrated from Babylon to Israel, eloquently stated: “Always be especially careful with the honor of your wife, for blessings are present in the house of a man only because of his wife, as it states [in Genesis, when Abraham was showered with gifts and presents], ‘Abram was treated well on [Sarai’s] account.’” (Talmud, Bava Metzia 59a)

According to the simple interpretation of this verse, the Bible is describing how Pharaoh showered Abraham with gifts. However, since the verse does not mention Pharaoh by name, the Talmud interprets the verse as referring to G‑d, the source of blessing. Accordingly, the verse teaches that G‑d treated Abraham well on account of his wife. (Commentary of Maharsha ibid.)

The Talmud continues, “This is what Rava said to the people of Mechoza: ‘Honor your wives so that you may become wealthy.’”

The commentaries ask: what is Rava adding to Rabbi Chelbo’s statement? Rabbi Yoshiyah Pinto answers that from the opening statement one might (incorrectly) infer that he ought to honor and respect his wife for the blessings found in their house, but that even if he doesn’t, the blessings will remain on account of his wife. Rava’s comment qualifies this by stating that wealth and blessings are contingent on the husband honoring and respecting his wife. (Commentary of Rif to Ein Yaakov ibid.)