Alumni News

'America's Rabbi' relays financial wisdom to students

November 18, 2015 : Liberty University News Service

Rabbi Daniel Lapin addresses Liberty University students at Convocation.

In an upbeat Convocation on Wednesday at Liberty University, author and radio show host Rabbi Daniel Lapin addressed the topic of wealth and the need for money in order to provide for God’s children and the nations.

President Jerry Falwell introduced Lapin as a longtime friend of his family and someone who encouraged him after the death of his father, Liberty founder Dr. Jerry Falwell.

“Rabbi Daniel Lapin is regarded as one of America’s most courageous and eloquent voices for biblical values,” President Falwell said.

Lapin, known as “America’s Rabbi,” is a noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author, and radio host. He is the president of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians.

In a lively speech infused with humor, Lapin shared his thoughts on America’s wealth and hospitality. The U.S., he said, is “the most tranquil, prosperous, (and) durable home the Jews have had in the last 2000 years.”

Lapin asserted that the world’s most successful nations are those built on Christian foundations. He explained that money is not intrinsically bad but rather is a tool that is designed to facilitate generosity toward others and the building of relationships.

“When people give you money voluntarily, willingly, it must be that what you did for them exceeded the value of the dollar bill they gave to you,” Lapin said.

Attempting to discredit the stereotype of the evil businessman, Lapin said that building wealth is actually a way for people to do the Lord’s work, as is evidenced in Jewish and Christian customs.

“Making money is not taking money,” he said. “Taking money is one thing. Making money means you are delivering value to another one of God’s children. You are caring for another child of God.

“You might see money as God’s way of blessing those who are obsessively preoccupied with the needs and desires of His other children. God wants to see us finding ways to bless one another.”

In closing, Lapin expressed his belief in the audience, telling the students that they can help restore America’s great economy by being dedicated to God’s Word.

“I do believe that the economic vitality of the United States of America absolutely depends upon the restoration of a vibrant, fervent Christianity, of which you all are the most effective spokesmen,” Lapin said. “I thank you profoundly for your dedication, for your God and his Word, and for your courage in taking that Word out to the country and ultimately to the world, and that is what you are all doing.”

Erin Kelly speaks to her fellow Liberty students.
Liberty University junior Erin Kelly, daughter of Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Jim Kelly, encourages her classmates.

Before Lapin took the stage, students heard a word of encouragement from one of their own, junior Erin Kelly, daughter of legendary NFL quarterback Jim Kelly and author of “Kelly Tough.” Recalling some of her struggles, including watching her father’s battle with cancer, she assured her fellow students that God gives us strength when we feel weak.

The Kelly family spoke at Convocation last year for the first time following Jim Kelly’s declaration of being cancer-free.

Lapin and Kelly both signed copies of their books after Convocation.

Students were also encouraged to show up in force for Thursday night’s Flames Football matchup against Big South Conference rival Coastal Carolina. The game will air on ESPNEWS. During worship, the Campus Band all donned “Beat Coastal” T-shirts, and football players and Liberty’s Athletics Director Jeff Barber rallied the crowd.