Question:

Would it be very normal for the Hebrew word “req” (vain, empty) to mean financially poor when it is used to describe a person? For instance, judges 9:4, judges 11:3, 2 Samuel 6:20, 2 chronicles 13:7. Some references say that “req” means worthless, but it isn’t clear whether they mean financially worthless, or ethically worthless. thanks!

Answer:

The word “req” in Hebrew is never used to describe a person’s finances, rather only the person’s character and soul. A person without correct torah values and fear of G-d is considered “req”, and missing meaning in life and real eternal purpose. A person that is poor is not “req”, he may be full of purpose and values, therefore he himself is not “req”, rather only his pocket is “req”. On the other hand there we can have a person that is rich, but his life is empty of values. Judaism, unlike western society does not value a person for his money, but for his souls worth, and the values that his soul has attained. The Mishna (Avot 4-1) says “Aizehu Ashier”? Who is considered a rich ( and fortunate person)? “Hasomeiach bchelko” a person that is happy and content with what he has. The word used for financial poorness is “dal” or “ani”, but never “req”.

Best Wishes

 

Tags: Hebrew

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