Be thankful for your personal, financial successes - opinion

 TRADERS WORK on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Tuesday in New York City. (photo credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
TRADERS WORK on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Tuesday in New York City.
(photo credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A regular Korban Shlamim may be eaten over a two-day span. The thanksgiving-offering must be entirely finished the day that it is offered.

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. John Milton.

In this week’s Torah Portion, we read about the ‘Thanksgiving offering’. “This is the law of the sacrifice of the peace-offering that one will offer to Hashem: If he shall offer it for a thanksgiving-offering, with the sacrifice of the thanks-giving-offering shall he offer unleavened loaves, mixed with oil, unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and loaves of scalded fine flour mixed with oil… And the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace-offering must be eaten on the day of its offering…” [Vayikra 7:11-15].

When someone was saved from capture or danger, or was healed from a sickness, a thanksgiving-offering was bought. It contained 40 loaves, a form of a peace offering (Korban Shlamim). It’s different from a normal peace offering in a major way. A regular Korban Shlamim may be eaten over a two-day span. The thanksgiving-offering must be entirely finished the day that it is offered.

How can one person finish this entire offering in a day? 

The question that is asked is, how can one person finish this entire offering in a day? The Netziv, Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, answers that when someone needs to consume a huge amount of food in a short time there is no choice but to invite family, neighbors and friends to help finish off the big spread. Thanksgiving, he explains, requires publicity. With a thanksgiving-offering, the more the merrier. We want to publicize the fact that this person had salvation.

Investment graph (credit: INGIMAGE)
Investment graph (credit: INGIMAGE)

Rabbi Yissocher Frand says, “The Netziv points out elsewhere that there is another Shelamim offering that is only eaten for one night (rather than the normal two-days and one-night time period). That is the Korban Pesach (Paschal lamb). Here too we have emphasis on inviting people and registering them to join with us in our Paschal offering. The Korban Pesach is also a thanksgiving offering of sorts.

We publicly thank the Almighty for taking us out of Egypt. We do not allow “leftovers” such that people are eating lamb sandwiches for days after the 14th of Nissan. No. We want it all finished that night. This way people have no choice but to invite over many others to share the lamb together and to spread the word of G-d’s kindnesses to us.”

According to the Talmud in Brachot 7b, after giving birth to her 4th son, Leah was the first person to express openly her feelings of thankfulness to God. Why? According to Rashi, “Now that I have received more than my portion, it’s time to express my gratitude to G-d”. What is so praiseworthy about this? 

I saw an answer given in the name of Rav Dovid Kviat. He says, “The praiseworthy aspect of Leah’s behavior here was that she viewed what she received as “more than her fair share”. It is the nature of human beings to view that which they receive in life as something that they had coming to them. “This is what I deserve.” He continues, “The novelty of Leah’s comment is that we see that a person has the ability to step back, look at a situation objectively and come to the conclusion that “I am getting more than I deserve”. This is not our normal tendency. The normal tendency is to view life as either “I am getting less than I deserve” or “I am getting my fair share.” It is all about giving thanks.

THERE IS is an old investing adage, with a couple of variations but I’ll use this one: “Sometimes Bulls make money, Sometimes Bears make money, but Pigs get slaughtered.” I have a running joke with my brother that inevitably whenever he tries booking an airline ticket online he watches the price fall and fall. Then instead of being satisfied with the price, he waits hoping it will continue to fall. It doesn’t and then the ticket price spikes higher. He then sends me a pig emoji and a pig snorting recording!

Satisfaction is important

Satisfaction is very important for investors. Recently I had a client call and ask if she should sell a particular stock. I mentioned to her that she actually bought the shares, not to hold them long-term, rather she thought the price had dropped too much and thought it would jump higher when they announced their quarterly earnings. She was correct in her short term analysis. My thought was that she should probably sell because her theory played out perfectly, and she should be happy with the money made. Had she set out to hold it for the long term I would have discouraged the sale, but her goal was a short term trade and she achieved his goal. Be thankful, and bank your profits.

Conversely, last year I had a client who had made a lot of money in one stock and called me to sell. I asked if he should just sell at the market price and he said no. He want to sell the shares one dollar higher than the market price. We were talking about a stock with a share price well above $1000. Well, needless to say that to try and make another $1500 he lost over $100,000. Oink, Oink!

Be thankful for your personal and financial wins.

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.

Aaron Katsman is author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing (McGraw-Hill), and is a licensed financial professional both in the United States and Israel, and helps people who open investment accounts in the United States. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. ( Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. For more information, call (02) 624-0995 visit or email [email protected].