> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Brainstorming with Baars

The Greatest Venture Capitalist

Rosh Hashanah (Day 1: Genesis 21; Day 2: Genesis 22 )

by Rabbi Stephen Baars

I used to have a class with a very successful venture capitalist. One time I started our weekly session and instead of opening the Torah to discuss a relevant issue, I asked him if he would fund my new business.

He was a little taken aback. Usually we would be discussing some principal of existence or fundamental of parenting by now.

I could see the wheels of his brain turning? "Is this the rabbi's new career?"

He asked, "Well, do you have a business plan?"

"Business plan!" I laughed, "You know me, I'm a good guy, I don't need one of those."

Now he was getting nervous (he thought I was serious).

"How much do you want?"

"$500,000." I wasn't messing around with small time incremental investments.

He was clearly uncomfortable. This is no small amount for anyone to ask for, no less a Rabbi turned businessman.

"Ok, well what do you expect to make, what will be your return on the investment?" He questioned.

"ROI." I laughed again. "Common, I'm a good guy, you can trust me, it's all going to work out. Don't worry so much."

"Ok, so what exactly is the business?"

"Listen," I said, "Why do you need to know all these details. I'm a good guy, it's all going to work out."

He was now getting nervous. He had enough respect for Rabbis that he didn't know how to say no.

My compassion was sufficiently exercised, and feeling that the point had been made, I explained:

In a few days will be Rosh Hashana. On that day, The Almighty is going to make the most important investment there is. More important than money!

We will stand in front of God and ask Him to give us another year of life.

God is the ultimate venture capitalist and He is going to make an investment of time.

What is our business plan? What are we going to do with the year?

What's the return on investment? By next Rosh Hashana what are we hoping to tell God we accomplished?

Many people answer like I did. I'm a good guy, I'm good for it, don't worry. Just give us the year.

Rosh Hashana is coming, we want to live another year, so what are we going to tell God we are going to do with another year of life if we get it?

Come with a plan.


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