This week we patiently count the days awaiting Shavuot, the celebration of receiving the Torah.
The Gemara in Shabbat (Daf 88B-89A)discusses when Moshe Rabbeinu went up to Heaven to receive the Torah. When the angels saw G-d giving the Torah to Moshe who was a human, they instantly protested and demanded that the Torah should be given to them the holy angels. G-d commanded Moshe to answer the angels.
Moshe said to the angels, “The Torah says, ‘I am Hashem your G-d who took you out of the land of Egypt.’ Did you go down to Egypt? Were you enslaved to Pharaoh? The Torah says further, ‘You shall not have other gods.’ Do you live among nations who worship idols? The Torah says further, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it.’ Do you work, that you should need to rest?” Moshe continued to demonstrate that the commandments of the Torah do not apply to angels.
This week’s parsha implores the Jewish people several times “Be Holy!” But if we look closer at the content we notice many seemingly mundane laws of commerce. Be honest in business, do not mislead people, do not steal, pay a day laborer on time. What is the connection between these daily rules of commerce like having proper scales and holiness?
The Gemara in Shabbat (Daf 31A) tells us the first question that you are asked after you die: Were you honest in business? Why is this the first question? Why not, did you believe in G-d or something along those lines?
The reason is because its easier to believe in G-d when you are praying in Shul on Yom Kipur, then when you are closing a deal or conducting a business transaction and you stand to gain a large amount by being slightly dishonest. True holiness and the highest level of faith in G-d is imbuing your daily business activities with the belief in G-d. This behavior displays your belief in G-d.
The Torah was given to humans because of the struggles they encounter not in spite of them . The involvement in the physical world in order to earn a living is an uncertain endeavor. It is also the key to the highest level of sanctifying G-d’s name. G-d has enough holy angels, what he wants is holy businessmen.