Monday, April 30, 2012
Here's a thought...
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.
A well-informed mind is the best security against the contagion of folly and of vice. The vacant mind is ever on the watch for relief, and ready to plunge into error, to escape from the languor of idleness.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Who is heWhy does he/she hide behind the maskI see him everydayYou see him everydayLook harderSearch harder You’ll find himThe Masked ManWe all see himAll the timeHe see’s us every morningJust look deeperJust search harderHe is always with usI see him You see himHe cries all the timeWhere is heThe Masked ManLook inside Look into your soulYou’ll see everybody’s has a mask onI’m the masked manYou’re the mask manWe all live one big lie We are all the masked manThe Masked Man-Keith Young
A business can run without profits for quite a while provided it has cash flow. However, the opposite is not true. Webvan wasted capital on huge infrastructure investments and Pets.com struggled to raise capital. Meanwhile, Amazon was generating sales and raising capital. Small business startups fail most frequently from lack of cash flow. Maintaining, and projecting cash flow is crucial. The tool for doing so is counting.
Whether you run a business, work in one or invest in one, you occasionally examine a balance sheet showing assets and liabilities. You also watch income statements which reveal profit and operating earnings figures. But more important, scrutinize the often neglected cash flow statements regularly as they show the cash coming into and flowing out of the coffers. Understanding numbers is a key life skill.
We are currently in the calendar period between Passover (Pesach) and Pentecost (Shavuot) when Jews count off each day. (Leviticus 23:15) This is called Counting the Omer. For instance, today, we formally note, is the 18th day of the Omer.
Hebrew associates counting with wisdom. The word SoFeR means both someone who counts and also a wise man. Wise people can convert complex circumstances into precise numbers which can then be easily compared and analyzed. Numbers can certainly be manipulated, but it is harder to mislead with numbers than with words. A torrent of words easily obscures simple facts and plays to the emotions. It is much easier to figure out the story from the numbers than it is to discover the numbers from the story.
For car enthusiasts like me, advertisements with performance figures are more useful than poetic paragraphs lauding the luxurious leather seating and the rapturous flowing lines of the Italian-designed bodywork. When studying a company’s annual report, the financials and footnotes are more important than photographs of corporate personalities and their headquarters. Revenue figures are more valuable than pages of propagandistic prose.
Jewish tradition is filled with numbers. We maintain and calculate a complex calendar whose months and days have not names but numbers. We count generations, we count money raised for the Tabernacle in Exodus and we count the dimensions of Noah’s Ark. We even like knowing how many letters there are in the Torah (304,805) as well as how many words (79,847) and verses (5,845).
Numbers convey meaning; often deep meaning. For instance, because the Torah is God’s message to mankind for all places and for all times, we should not be surprised by prophetic insights that flow from analyzing numbers.
For instance, the founding Israel in 1948 was a manifestation of God’s special relationship with the Jewish people. It would be surprising if the Torah contained no hint of that forthcoming event.
The civil year of 1948 corresponds to the Hebrew year, 5708. Let’s examine the 5,708th verse of the Torah:
The Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed and you shall possess it…
As the State of Israel celebrates its 64th birthday this week, it is worthwhile to remember that the land is continually earned through faithfulness to God.
Ancient Jewish Wisdom with Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin is on sale for a few days, making it an even friendlier individual, friend or family activity.I wish I could invite you all into my home to share more amazing truths which flow from Biblical numbers. I’m afraid that space would get a bit tight. But I am delighted that my wife and I can visit your homes through our television show, Ancient Jewish Wisdom. We have gathered four of our favorite shows on DVD, including The Importance of Numbers: Scripture is Full of Them. Why? You will greatly enjoy these shows with astonishing secrets embedded in Scripture. Imagine – TV shows the whole family can watch and discuss together!
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Here's a thought...
Most basic truths sounded stupid and even insane the first time we heard them.
I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for yourselves or your material world, but to care about the improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private.