The Limits of Wealth

“As a man came out of his mother’s womb, so must he depart at the end, naked as he came. He can take nothing of his wealth to carry away with him” (Ecclesiastes 5:14).

The Rabbis comment: Man’s life can be compared to a fox who found a vineyard, fenced in on all sides. There was one little hole in it, through which the fox wanted to get in. But it was too narrow, and he did not succeed.

What did he do? He fasted for three days until he became thin and frail, and then entered through the hole. Once inside, the fox ate the grapes and grew fat. When he wanted to leave, however, he was again unable to fit through the hole. So once more he fasted for three days until he was thin and frail, and he went out.

Once outside, he turned towards the vineyard and said, “Vineyard, vineyard, how good is your fruit! All that is within you is beautiful and worthy of praise. But of what use are you? Just as one enters you, so one must come out.”

So too with this world!

——- Ecclesiastes Rabbah 5:14

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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