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Mishlei 22-16. Manipulation

Mishlei 22-16


Key Concepts

In any financial dealing between a rich person and a poor person, the rich individual has a natural advantage. This is because the poor person feels relatively insecure and therefore gives a wealthy man the benefit of the doubt. As a result, the wealthy person can easily manipulate the expectations of the poor person, and make him believe he doesn’t deserve more than he is getting out of the exchange.

The result of such manipulation is to make the rich man even richer, that is, richer than he deserves to be. Thus, the poor man is easily cheated by the rich one. However, instead of benefiting from the deal, the rich man loses thereby since he has only cheated himself. His deviousness has resulted in his failure to appreciate the value of of his profit.

Exploring Mishlei

עֹשֵׁק דָּל לְהַרְבּוֹת לוֹ נֹתֵן לְעָשִׁיר אַךְ לְמַחְסוֹר

(16) One who takes advantage of the poor to increase his own benefit,
enriches the wealthy only to lose thereby.

The one who takes advantage of the natural insecurity of a poor man, thinks he is increasing his own profit. But the result of this exchange is that the the rich man has lost the potential satisfaction he could have had through fair dealing.

Learning Mishlei

(16) One who takes advantage of the poorעֹשֵׁק דָּל
hoping to increase his own benefit.לְהַרְבּוֹת לוֹ
enriches the wealthy. — נֹתֵן לְעָשִׁיר
but loses therebyאַךְ לְמַחְסוֹר.

Additional Insights

If a wealthy man keeps the property of the poor man for himself, adding it to his own, he will not increase his wealth by such an act. Every penny due the poor man that is denied him causes loss of property. Instead of increase, it will bring the wealthy man want. (רב שמשון רפאל הירש)

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