Passover: The end of financial slavery - opinion

The beauty of freedom is that you are in control. Stop making excuses, get to work and use your newfound “freedom” to get on the path of financial independence.

Calculating taxes (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Calculating taxes
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

“Now I’ve been free, I know what a dreadful condition slavery is. I have seen hundreds of escaped slaves, but I never saw one who was willing to go back and be a slave.” – Harriet Tubman

As we celebrate the end of Passover, the question that needs to be asked is: What are we celebrating? What is the significance of the seventh day of Passover? The Torah simply commands that we eat matzah for seven days, and then to make a special celebration on that last day, without explaining why. (Exodus 13:3-7) The Midrash says that the miracle of “kriyat Yam Suf” (the splitting of the Red Sea) took place seven days after the children of Israel left Egypt.

Rabbi Yehuda Prero asks why there is no mention in the Torah that the splitting of the sea took place on the seventh day? 

He answers, “The Sefer HaToda’ah writes that the Jews were only given holidays by God that celebrated the salvation of the Jews. They were never given holidays that commemorated the downfall of their enemies. God does not celebrate the downfall and destruction of the wicked, as they are His creations. Therefore, the Jewish nation as well does not celebrate the downfall and destruction of the wicked. 

“It is for this reason that there is no connection made between the splitting of the Yam Suf and the seventh day of Passover. We cannot celebrate the downfall of the Egyptians. However, the Jews indeed were saved on this day, and sang songs of praise and thanks, Hallel, to God for their salvation. We too sing Hallel to God on this day, just as our forefathers did. We can and do mark the occasion of our salvation. We cannot and do not, however, mark the occasion of our enemies’ demise.”

Exodus from Egypt (Edward Poynter) (credit: Wikimedia Commons)Exodus from Egypt (Edward Poynter) (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

At the Seder, we were told to view ourselves as if we had left Egypt. That we have left slavery and entered into freedom. The 30,000-40,000 Israelis who crossed the Egyptian border to vacation in Sinai this year will experience their own version of leaving at the same time.

WHEN THE Jews left Egypt, they didn’t have much time to prepare. My mother used to say she wasn’t ready for the messiah to come because “The basement is a mess, and I need it clean before he comes!” 

Often, when it comes to getting finances in order, we make excuses why we can’t start right away. If you want to achieve financial independence, then you need to start investing now. Don’t think that $25,000-$50,000 is not enough. 

As I have written often, most Americans between the ages of 20-35 have zero retirement savings. It’s even worse for older Americans, as half of them over the age of 53 have no retirement savings. It’s so important to start investing as soon as possible. If a 25-year-old with $10,000, started adding an extra $320 a month at a 7% annual compound rate of return until he or she turned 65, they would wind up with $1 million.

According to “conventional wisdom,” it’s impossible to save on an Israeli salary. However, this really is not the case. If you make saving a priority, then you will be surprised at how much you can save, even in Israel. We all tend to make certain lifestyle choices which impact our financial situation. Whether it’s living in a certain community or choosing to take a particular vacation, our expenses are impacted by these decisions. 

However, if we make financial independence a priority, we can make the lifestyle changes needed to save a couple of thousand dollars a year. Putting aside just a few thousand dollars each year may not seem like a way to grow your wealth, however, taken with your starting sum, investing that amount every year for 10-15 years could end up being hundreds of thousand dollars. Before you know it, you could be financially independent.

The beauty of freedom is that you are in control. Stop making excuses, get to work and use your newfound “freedom” to get on the path of financial independence.

Chag Sameach!

The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates.