Project Genesis

Marrying Into Wealth

I am engaged to a wealthy Jewish woman. I am not marrying her for her wealth. She has known only great wealth; whereas, I have always worked for my home, food, clothing, and so on. How will I raise my children to respect work? How will they know the value of money? How can I accept her great financial capacity when mine will always be far less?

Mazal Tov! There are two answers to your question but you can use both approaches at the same time.

1. Work out an agreement with your wife that her wealth will be a secret between the two of you and live a modest life. Your children don’t need to know how wealthy they are until they are old enough to appreciate their good fortune (or until your will is read.)

2. Make sure to make philanthropy a major aspect of your lives. If your children see that you are using your money wisely as a responsible custodian then they will understand that their good fortune is a blessing meant to be shared with the less fortunate and they will grow up to be compassionate people. I would urge you to include Jewish charities in your philanthropy as you need to demonstrate to your children that you are only managing the money for G’d and if you mess up G’d might decide to choose a different manager. It is very irksome to see Jewish wealth being spent on Concert Halls and Opera Houses while Jewish education is suffering due to a lack of funds.

May you use your gifts with wisdom and generosity.

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