Wealth of Poverty?


Jewish tradition teaches that righteous people are punished in this world by HaShem for few sin he committed to be fully rewarded in the world to come, while wicked people are rewarded in this world for few mitzvahs they do, to be fully punished in the world to come.

According to this teaching, righteous people generally suffer in this world, often with poverty. However, there are many affluent righteous figures in Tanakh, like Abraham, Job, and King David. And the Torah promises material blessings to those who perform commandments.

Which is true? Are the righteous people punished with suffering in this world? Or are the righteous ones rewarded with wealth in this world?



  1. As you write, in general, the righteous are not granted wealth by God. Rather, they live in this world with the minimum, so as not to encroach on the spiritual riches that they will receive in the world to Come.

    However, as you also point out, there are always exceptions to the rule, and some righteous people are extremely wealthy. Obviously, who is granted wealth and who is not is the domain of God, but it seems that there are some extremely special people who will not be affected adversely by physical wealth. And it is to them whom God gives wealth.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team