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Do your best and God will prosper you

Speaking of Delta, its stock was moving in the opposite direction earlier this week, when it updated its third-quarter guidance. Major airline stocks are trading down on Thursday, and among the big players, only United Continental Holdings UAL is in the black for the year. The rise in air travel means that airlines have a delicate balancing act: Adding seats, but not so quickly that they have to cut fares to fill them, as this hurts margins and could start a price war.

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Baggage fees are on the rise. Write to Teresa Rivas at teresa. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at or visit www. We've detected you are on Internet Explorer. For the best Barrons.

Delta Airlines planes. Text size. Newsletter Sign-up. Close How Airlines Can Prosper Despite Higher Fuel Prices Airline results may be hurt by higher fuel prices, but there are still some stocks worth buying, say analysts. Thank you This article has been sent to. This is also why, even though Jews only comprise 0. A common lesson is to sacrifice present pleasures for future benefits — a reminder that putting in hard work today may well lead to a successful business tomorrow.

On a more personal level, a healthy business venture can also make people feel better about themselves. The same can happen when someone is part of a noble business pursuit. Due to the teachings of the Torah, Jews will apply this kind of morality to doing business and earning money. However, this can be prevented by atonement. But to reset one has first to learn from what one did wrong and diminish the temptation to repeat the behavior. Jewish tradition views lending money, as opposed to giving money away, as a charitable act.

By lending, others can start their own business and retain their independence and dignity in the process. Christians and Muslims tend to subscribe to a literal interpretation of the Bible that prohibits charging interest. But the oral traditions that were passed down — the Jewish laws that were not written in the Torah — taught Jews that there were moral circumstances that permit charging interest.

In a traditional Jewish workplace, coworkers are not unlike friends and family. But for these kinds of relationships to develop, they have to be genuine. You might think of friends and family as being separate from business, but they can actually be a good source of inspiration.

For Richard Simon, his personal relationships lead to him becoming a pillar of the publishing world. As a child, Simon saw how much his grandmother and her friend loved doing the Sunday crossword puzzle together. But they would always finish it by Tuesday, which left them with four puzzleless days.

Sensing a market for a book full of puzzles, Simon took the idea to his friend Lincoln Schuster, and, before, long the publishing giant Simon and Schuster was born. Traditional Jewish prayer requires a quorum of ten men called a minyan ; every synagogue in every city has one.

So whenever a Jewish businessman is traveling, he can join a minyan and find a number of opportunities to form new relationships. And since this kind of network is always growing and evolving, there are always new possibilities. There are also teachings that can help form successful new relationships by allowing people to better understand themselves and how others perceive them.

Once we clearly understand how others see us, we can change things about ourselves that might be hindering a successful relationship.

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These lessons about self-change are taught by Mussar, a body of ancient Jewish literature. And with this understanding, relationships can take on a deeper, even spiritual, meaning. Are you a perfectionist? It helps to look at business as an inanimate object.

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Bernie Madoff is a perfect example. His Ponzi scheme cheated people out of millions of dollars by means of fraud and false trust. So we must hold Madoff accountable, rather than blaming capitalism. Being moral in your business practices is a challenge since most actions can have both good and bad effects. When we look at the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, and the railroad tycoon George Pullman, we see two people who improved society at a great cost to others.

Carnegie is considered to be one of the biggest robber barons of the nineteenth century. And though Pullman pioneered US railway expansion, he exploited his workers by charging them higher rates for housing and food. Some workers for the Pullman Company owed more than they ever earned.

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They say business is driven by greed. But Jews are taught that you must provide for yourself before you can help others. By turning people into customers, business is considered dehumanizing. Business is also sometimes blamed for creating inequality.

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However, without business, there would be no wealth to sustain the economy. What comes to mind when you think of a great leader? There have been many great leaders over the years, and Jewish tradition shows us that there are certain characteristics that they all share. Leaders often are, or were, followers. The necessity of confrontation is driven home by the tale of Joseph.

One of these brothers, Judah, instead of confronting his brothers, compromised and suggested they sell Joseph into slavery. This cost Judah his role as leader. The power of faith can come in different forms. The most obvious is perhaps daily prayer. Less obvious is the ability to have faith in oneself and to instill that personal faith in others so that goals are achieved. Another thing to consider is that there is no single definition of a leader, and that they fill many roles: guiding people through change, being an inspiring role model or helping people develop, for example. But this event brought out the leader in Giuliani, and he did an able job of guiding the city out of crisis.

Many people fear change. Judaism teaches us to embrace the fact that all humans are unique and that they continue to change throughout their lives. Once we learn to accept this change, we can then learn to profit from it. The Star of David provides clues for us to follow. The star is comprised of two triangles. The three points of one triangle represent three fixed entities — God, humans and the physical world. Some companies go out of business when faced with change. For example, many companies went under when steel replaced cast iron as a construction material in the nineteenth century.

But for those that hung on, innovations were soon introduced that allowed them to switch over to the new material, get rid of expensive equipment and retrain or replace employees. In the end, the change brought profits that outweighed the initial loss. Judaism shows us that change is easier to accept when it arrives gradually, which is why events that honor a marriage or a death take place over several days.


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Moving forward is a matter of staying connected to the parts of your life that will never change and remaining open to the things that should or have to change. This applies to successful business, too. Disney does this well.